Our faculty, staff, and governing board—like our students—are far more than the work they do for Sterne. Over the past ten years, we have recruited 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, why your Science teacher was a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust, why our Communications Director teaches yoga at a Women's Shelter as a certified Human Trafficking Volunteer. 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.
We are motivated by Sterne’s core value: Bring Joy to Learning. We introduce ourselves to you here.
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.
Michelle Bizeau, Head of High School
Prior to joining Sterne, Michelle was the Associate Head of School for Wellness and Empowerment at Notre Dame Belmont High School where she worked closely with students to foster character strength and academic skills that helped propel them into bright futures. After finishing her day at NDB, she would transition to Stanford University where she remains employed as a Senior Learning Specialist. At Stanford she works with incoming freshmen all the way up to medical residents and fellows, all of whom have learning differences. Throughout her 16 years in the education field, she has been steadfast in her mission to advocate and break down barriers for students who learn differently. She looks forward to bringing her everlasting enthusiasm and dedication to the students, families, and colleagues at Sterne School.
Michelle holds a M.S. in Counseling, specializing in marriage & family therapy and school counseling, as well as a B.A. in Child Development, both from Cal State Sacramento. She also holds an Administrative Services Credential and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in Counseling. She has the following certifications: Federal EEOC Investigator, Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2, Neuropsychological Assessment Certification, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Certification.
Matt Poynter, Head of Lower School
Matt has been working with neurodiverse learners in the Bay Area for twenty years. His most recent position 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.
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.