Stories from Sea Crest School

The official blog of Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay, California.

— Head of School appointed to NAIS Board of Trustees

Dear Sea Crest Families,

I am excited to have the opportunity to share the great news with you: Our Head of School, Dr. Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, was recently appointed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to their Board of Trustees. NAIS is the national voice of independent education, advocating on behalf of its members. The association offers research and trend analysis, leadership and governance guidance, and professional development opportunities for school and board leaders. Sea Crest School is one of the 1500+ members of NAIS, which is a major source of industry information and professional development not only for school staff and leaders but also our Board of Trustees.

The NAIS Board of Trustees, made up of 20 distinguished individuals, includes thought leaders, independent school pioneers and innovators in the field of education. This prestigious appointment is a testament to the visionary leadership Tekakwitha has brought to Sea Crest School. Tekakwitha truly lives by Sea Crest’s Guiding Principles and has shared with me that she is looking forward to giving back to NAIS, an organization that provides so much support to our school. We look forward to the insights and ideas Tekakwitha is sure to bring back from her work on the NAIS Board.

Please join me in congratulating Tekakwitha!

Amy Ramsey
Chair, Sea Crest Board of Trustees


— Innovation Lab & Design Thinking

Innovation Design ThinkingThe Design and Innovation Program at Sea Crest is building up steam! There are students coming in all day to create a huge range of projects. While they are having a blast creating, it’s important to point out how the program impacts children in the long run.

Many of the jobs that exist today did not exist twenty, ten or even five years ago. If current trends continue, it’s likely that many of our children will go into careers that don’t yet exist and demand a great deal of adaptability.

We can prepare them for this shifting landscape with two essential problem-solving skills: empathy and grit.

Innovation Design ThinkingThese two skills are the backbone of our innovation program and design thinking. Each of the students’ projects begin with a challenge that needs solving. Next, they go through the design process, which consists of four steps: find it (research), sketch it (brainstorming), build it (prototyping), and share it (gathering feedback).

As students go through these steps, they learn to see things from another person’s perspective and to adapt ideas to fix complex problems. Below are some examples of the challenges they are solving:

Kindergarten & 1st Grade
How might we use simple machines? [Experiment with simple machine combinations to solve problems]

Innovation Design Innovation Design Thinking

2nd & 3rd Grade
How might we keep better track of our things in class? [Create custom logo stickers for your things]

Innovation & Design Thinking

4th & 5th Grade
How can we address small inconveniences around the school? [Add plants to the garden area, reduce noise in the locker area, and more]

Innovation Lab Design Thinking Innovation Lab Design Thinking

Middle School
How might we help teachers have more functional classrooms? [Build storage, adjust lighting, add plants, etc.]

Innovation Lab Design Thinking Innovation Lab Design Thinking

How might we give the kindergartners more choice time options? [Build and donate a variety of toys]

Innovation Lab Design Thinking Innovation Lab Design Thinking


Click here to watch a video of Middle-School students testing their toy prototypes with Kindergarteners.

— News from the Health & Wellness Program

Hygiene DriveHygiene Drive
Our 4th Annual All-School Hygiene Drive is underway. The Sixth Grade has been diligently working on posters, Sign-up Geniuses, and presenting to Lower School classes. All items will be donated to Coastside Hope to help our local community.

Self DefenseSelf DefenseGirl Power
Before the Winter Break, girls in the Eighth Grade had the opportunity to empower themselves by learning about self-defense through a workshop led by Kristin Lynn and George Miller. Our girls discovered how to use their voice in a powerful way, as well as several techniques in self-defense.

CPR Training CPR Workshop
The Eighth Grade had the opportunity to learn CPR. George Miller and Kristin Lynn guided the students through scenarios of when the use of CPR is necessary. Students learned how to perform CPR, as well as use automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Touch Your Toes
The Middle School finished a unit on Flexibility. Students were taught static stretching and resistive stretching. The unit emphasized the importance of flexibility and how it can assist in living a healthy lifestyle and prevent injury.

Everybody Dance!
We have begun our dance unit. Students were introduced to the Electric Slide and were assigned the task of creating an updated version of the dance. This unit focuses on line dancing and choreography.

Food for Thought
The Seventh Grade watched the Morgan Spurlock documentary, Super Size Me, and reflected on how frequently food is wasted in our community. In the iLab, they are now utilizing the Design Thinking process to propose solutions for food waste here at Sea Crest. Seventh Graders will present their proposals to school administrators in the near future.


— Alumni Profile: Elysa Kohrs, Class of 2009

Meet our Alumni: After attending Sea Crest since Kindergarten and graduating in 2009, Elysa has been determined to make a big mark in the world. Click here to watch the video.

Do you have Alumni News to share with us? Please email us at, or click here to update alumni contact information. We look forward to hearing from you.


— A community celebration of science and innovation

Congratulations to the seventh-grade students on such a successful Science Festival and Innovation Exposition! We were all impressed by their hard work and the deep knowledge demonstrated in their projects. A special thank you to Mr. Twining for getting our students prepared for the event and Ms. Giacotto for helping to organize.

Thank you to the eighth-grade students for your dedication by running the amazing science stations, which the entire school enjoyed. This K-8 event was open to the public and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate science and innovation. There were a number of inventive projects, experiments and hands-on activities for all ages!

Thank you also to our parent volunteers and judges. We could not have done it without your help!

Science Festival Science Festival Science Festival
Science Festival Science Festival Science Festival


— Students build solar suitcases to power a school in Africa

Sixth-grade students are building Solar Suitcases to power a partner school in Kenya, Africa.

We Share Solar is an education program in Berkeley that links science and technology with international philanthropy and service. Through building the Solar Suitcase (a 12-volt DC stand-along solar system that can power lights, cell phones, and small electronic devices) students learn how solar electricity works.

After they’ve built the suitcases, students will write letters to the students in Kenya and deploy the solar units for immediate use.

we share solar suitcase science we share solar suitcase science we share solar suitcase science


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Sea Crest School is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and all other operations. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, citizenship, national or ethnic origin gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification in the administration of our educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs and athletic or other school-administered programs. © 2018 SEA CREST SCHOOL
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