Our faculty, staff, and governing board—like our students—are far more than the work they do for Sterne. We have an outstanding community of educators and staff who exemplify the diversity of life experience we hope for our students. This is why your Homeroom teacher is on the Board at Housing Choices, a non-profit creating affordable housing for people with disabilities, why your Language Arts teacher is a Diplomat at Eye to Eye, a nationwide mentoring program, and why your Science teacher was a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust. Our team comes to work every day not only to teach, but to inspire, and to open new doors to the world beyond the classroom. All of us are motivated by Sterne’s core value: Bring Joy to Learning.
- Leadership Team
- High School Faculty
- Lower & Middle School Faculty
- Administrative Team
- Board of Directors
Melissa Myers, Head of School
Melissa comes to us with over ten years of leadership in independent and specialized schools. She began her career as a Reading Specialist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before moving to San Francisco, where she worked as a community college instructor, and later as a special education teacher for middle and high school literature students. Melissa gained administrative experience at Stanbridge Academy before joining the staff at Sterne as Associate Head of School, running Sterne's High School program. After eight years as Associate Head, Melissa took the helm as Head of School in July 2020.
Melissa holds an M.S. in the Teaching of Composition and Rhetoric from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in English Literature from the College of Wooster. She also holds a certificate in Post Secondary Reading from San Francisco State and a Tier I Administrative Services Credential from St. Mary's College of California.
Matt Poynter, Head of Lower School
Matt has been working with neurodiverse learners in the Bay Area for twenty years. Before coming to Sterne, Matt was Principal of Stanbridge Academy where he oversaw curriculum and instruction for the K-12 program. Matt is excited to help develop the Lower School’s emphasis on strengths-based education in a learning context that includes intervention for lagging skills.
Matt holds an M.S. in Special Education from San Francisco State University, an M.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of the Pacific, and a B.A. in Secondary English and Reading Instruction from Indiana University.
Craig Brewer, Head of High School
Craig has been with Sterne since 2015, serving as a high school teacher and Director of Athletics until 2021, when he took over as Head of High School. In his 25 years of education, Craig was one of six people to found a middle school in Manhattan, was a college disability and veterans advisor, started athletic programs at three different schools, and was a founder of the Bay Area Small School Athletic League. Craig's vision for students is on finding the best next step in their education. Among his educator awards, he has also been honored as a US Olympic Committee Coach of the Year.
Chris Myers, Director of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications
Chris brings nearly twenty years of experience working in Bay Area schools to his role at Sterne. He began as a middle school and high school teacher at Stanbridge Academy in San Mateo before shifting to administrative roles in development, marketing, and communications at Stanbridge and French American International School + International High School, as well as Education Outside.
Chris holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also worked as a graphic designer and journalist in Chicago before moving to San Francisco in 2006.
Sarah Ridenour, Director of Learning
Sarah has worked in the field of education since 2006 and specializes in the middle school grades. Prior to joining Sterne, Sarah held various positions in schools including as the Vice Principal of Notre Dame Elementary School and as a teacher at the Chinese American School. She was drawn to Sterne's philosophy and loves working with the community at Sterne!
Sarah holds an M.S. in Teaching Reading from the University of San Francisco, a B.A. from California Polytechnic University, and also has a Multiple Subject and Single Subject Math Teaching Credential.
Alia Long, Director of Admissions
Alia has worked in admissions and independent schools spanning prek-12th grade across the Bay Area for 20 years. With a wealth of supporting varying pedagogies including traditional, progressive, constructivist, and Montessori in her wheelhouse, she is thrilled to be part of the Sterne community that builds on the strengths of diverse learners to discover and nurture each student’s version of greatness. She deeply believes in education that fosters the values of lifelong, joyful learning.
Alia holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Fine Arts. She is an artist and a voracious reader of books. Alia has twin daughters that attended independent schools from 6-12th grade who are now college graduates, and she has experienced in her own family the foundational value of independent school education.
Danielle Bonequi, Director of Finance and Business
Danielle has been with Sterne since 2014. She has held various accounting and business office roles in schools and for private companies.
Danielle holds a B.F.A. from New York University.