Sixth Grade | Seventh Grade | Eighth Grade
Steve Kinney is an educator who has been involved in charter and public school education throughout his 19-year teaching career. He has worked with innovative schools, including the Marin School of Arts and Technology, an entirely project-based learning high school, Envision Schools, and the Novato Charter School, a leading public K-8 Waldorf-inspired school, and the Bolinas-Stinson School. He has led the Novato Charter School Classes of 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2021 and is currently the sixth grade teacher for the Class of 2025.
Prior to teaching, he obtained his BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Santa Barbara in 1988 and spent 14 years working in the information technology industry. In 2002, he obtained his California single subject credential in both Physics and Biology/Life Sciences from Dominican University, later adding a multi-subject credential in 2009.
Steve is a member of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and former winner of their Iron Science Teacher competition. He has participated in Marin County’s Project Based Learning Collaborative, a grant-based program to embed project-based learning into the science classrooms across Marin County. He has served on the Education Advisory Board for Beyond Differences™, a nonprofit organization with a mission to end social isolation in middle schools, and currently leads the Student Social Action Committee at NCS. He and his wife Hilary live in the North Bay Area where they have raised their sons Hayden, Kendall, and Wyatt, who have all attended the Novato Charter School.
Rick Betz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing/Literature from UC Santa Cruz and a Masters Degree in Education. He joined the Novato Charter School in 2003.
“Looking back down the road of my life, I am currently in my 18th year as a, primarily, middle school teacher here at NCS. Before that I spent 17 years at the Marin Waldorf School, completing two runs through the grades with a “sabbatical” year in which my wife and I ran a preschool. Along the way, Judy and I raised a family. We have three children, now 33, 30 and 26! Oh, my! I did my Waldorf training and received my Master’s in Education at Antioch, New England. Prior to leaving for the east coast my wife and I married in Ben Lomond, California. There we both graduated from USCS. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature via San Francisco State and UC Berkeley. Looking back to high school I met and fell in love with Judy. And me, I was born in LA, the result of my parents selling my mom’s engagement ring to flee the Broadway scene in New York in order to pursue careers in Hollywood. Before that, well, that is no longer my story, so for further details, give me a holler. I’m happy to oblige!”
Mr. McDonald was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota where he played on the soccer team and worked in the arboretum. After college Kevin spent four years in Tokyo teaching English, studying Japanese, and learning karate. He then returned to California, where he has been teaching for twenty years, most recently at the French-American School in Santa Rosa and Terra Linda High School in San Rafael. Kevin holds a multiple-subject credential and single-subject credentials in science and math. He believes that the key to teaching is making connections to the real world, whether it is wildlife conservation, economics, or sports statistics. Kevin still plays soccer, and on the weekends he enjoys attending concerts and art shows with his wife. He has been to six of the seven continents, and he plans on adding Antarctica to the list in the near future.