Message from Head of School
Welcome to Mulberry, where creativity and social learning go hand in hand to prepare children for intellectual and social success in the 21st century.
Mulberry has deep roots in progressive education and a strong tradition of integrating creativity and imagination across disciplines in everyday learning experiences. An upper-grade math lesson teaches fractions through the proportional views of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”; third-grade writing comes alive through student-created puppet theater; first and second graders get a “hands-on” understanding of the human body by creating life-size models (and seeing first hand just how long 25 feet of intestines are!); kindergarteners and “JK-ers” begin their understanding of chemistry through cooking experiences, and preschoolers learn about their world through play.
Mulberry’s ‘magic’ is born of our core values: discovery, engagement, collaboration, integrity, self-knowledge and community. We encourage children to try new skills, make guesses, and use their senses. They learn by doing, through experience and active problem-solving. We teach and model skills in working together – both in the classroom and on the playground. When children make mistakes, they learn personal integrity by owning and learning from them. Our teachers and staff understand the importance of developing in our students an understanding of how they learn best, and how they know what they know, and they provide opportunities for children to reflect upon their responses to people and situations, and to resolve conflict in meaningful ways.
The Mulberry community offers a sense of belonging and mutual respect for our students, parents, teachers, administration, and alumni. Families are involved in many ways, and parent participation plays a vital role in enhancing our enriched learning environment. Our dedicated staff, teachers, and parents are active learners who each bring unique and valued contributions to the community. Working together with our shared focus on student learning builds our strong community of lifelong learners.
This unique combination of progressive educational values and a committed, child-focused community fosters confident and resourceful Mulberry graduates who are well prepared for the challenges of the 21st century – academically and as members of an ever-widening global community.
Kara earned a B.A. degree from San Jose State University and received Professional Clear Multiple Subject Credentials from National University. In addition, she completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and holds an Administrative Credential through San Jose State University. Kara has been an educator at Mulberry for over 20 years. She believes in being able to use a variety of practices so that all learning styles are represented and respected. In addition to strong academics, a focus on social-emotional development, where students gain an understanding of their individual strengths and challenges, is an integral part of her educational philosophy. She values the relationship-based teaching and the parent participation that are integral to Mulberry’s classroom community. A life-long learner, Kara’s most recent professional development opportunities include the SF STEM conference, Silicon Valley Math Initiative Coaching Institute, Apple Educational Leadership Summit, and Learning and the Brain; Educating for Creative Minds. Kara’s hobbies include hiking, reading, cycling, and yoga. She cherishes time with family and friends, and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children, and at her favorite refueling spot, the beach.
“Mulberry’s ‘magic’ is born of our core values: discovery, engagement, collaboration, integrity, self-knowledge, and community.”
– Kara Riordan, Head of School –