Kara grew up in the Midwest where she gained her love of children and teaching. She earned her K-6 licensure in Elementary Education from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. She has a myriad of experience with students, including teaching in the classroom (grades 4, 5, and 6) and small group/1-1 tutoring. Her passion is establishing relationships with children of all ages, while discovering their interests and learning styles. Her greatest hope is to encourage and instill a love of learning, while finding strategies that allow students to feel the most successful they can be. In her free time, Kara enjoys yoga, nutrition, and spending time with her husband and son. They enjoy the outdoors, the beach, trying new foods, and cooking together. 

Specialties

Math all levels through Geometry

Writing

Teacher

Kayla has worked in Early Childhood Education for over six years. Her positions have included indoor and outdoor teacher, sports instructor, and coach. She has experience in outdoor forest programs, preschool classrooms, and a variety of sports programs. She is also taking ECE classes to achieve a practitioner certificate.
Kayla's passion for working with young children stems from her belief in the person-centered approach to life and learning. She works with children on an individual level to help assess their needs and abilities, and uses a multitude of different approaches to help children achieve their own goals and milestones.
In her free time, Kayla enjoys playing with her cat Oliver, gardening, practicing yoga, and reading.

Education

B.A. Education, University of Vermont

CA Certified Teaching Credential 

Waldorf Teacher Training, NAMC

Montessori Early Childhood Diploma 

Specialties

​Social Sciences, Political Science, Special Education, College Prep, Conflict Resolution, Mentoring

Education

Currently pursuing a B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, San Jose State University

​Teacher, Administrative Assistant

Gina taught special education for 34 years in San Mateo and Palo Alto and is now semi-retired. She enjoys teaching reading to all students from kindergarten through grade six. When she is not teaching, Gina can be found working in her garden, taking long walks with her husband and three little dogs, and catching up on her reading.

Specialties

​Math (all levels)

Ecology

Education

B.S. Psychology, Santa Clara University

Professional Clear Multiple Subject Credential- College of Notre Dame

​Kayla Dzurek

​Teacher

Specialties

​English, Comprehension, Composition, Creative Writing, Test Prep, College Applications

​Manuel Kernen

Brandy Williams

Kara Talledge

Julie grew up in a small town in Germany until the age of 9 before moving to the Bay Area. She learned English while attending the German-American School upon her arrival. Having grown up speaking both German and French in a multicultural family of teachers she quickly became accustomed to merging language and culture. She graduated from Beach High School at the age of 15 to pursue her passions for the arts and was editor in chief of her college newspaper, while tutoring students at Cabrillo College for English, French, German, Japanese, Psychology and Sociology both through the school and privately. She spent a year as an au pair in Geneva, Switzerland, caring for 2 children who attended a Waldorf School and has also accompanied her six nieces and nephews progress from Kindergarten to graduation in Waldorf education. As a homeschooling mom she has taken part in co-ops and used a Waldorf approach for her son's education. 


Before joining TRA, Julie worked in marketing for a startup where she had the opportunity to apply her language skills. Creating her own vegan cooking classes thereafter, gave Julie a great sense of fulfillment as she was able to share her joy for healthy meal preparation and teach about the importance of nutrition. In her free time, she is pursuing a nutrition certification and enjoys cooking meals from various cultures. Julie is very engaged in discovering innovative ways for her son to learn about the world and brings their dog along for the adventure whenever she can. She is excited to share her passion for life with her students in fun and creative ways!

Staff

​Teacher


Teacher

Education

BA in Sociology and Psychology UC Santa Barbara ​

​200 Hr TEFL Certification 
Peace Corps Prep—Youth in Development Certification
Polarity Practitioner in training 

Kyle Bradach

College Advisor, ​Teacher

​Teacher

Teacher​, Administrative Assistant

Specialties

Early Childhood Education 

Education

University of San Francisco B.A. Sociology 

Manuel grew up in Switzerland before moving to the United States at the age of 12. Manuel is fluent in Swiss-German, German, French, and English. He attended San Mateo High School before going on to study Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California Berkeley and then earn his Master's in Global Politics from the LSE. He is currently teaching remotely while pursuing his PhD overseas.


Manuel has experience working with a wide range of students and grade levels. He has worked with children in special education and taught at-risk youth students for the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE). He also co-taught a class on international issues at the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-taught seminars during his time at LSE and UCB. He volunteered in Tanzania and recently worked as an intern for an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) in London where he conducted research on third-party mediation practices. 

Education

B.A. English, UC Berkeley

Benjamin "Jammin" Amundson

Education

B.S. Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz

​College Advisor, ​ Teacher

Christina was born and raised in the Bay Area. She attended Mercy High School in Burlingame and then went on to earn her B.A. in History and Psychology at Stanford University.  After completing her undergraduate degrees, Christina worked for a college preparation program for students who, like herself, would be the first in their families to attend college.  After almost four years of working with students and families, she went on to UC Davis School of Law where she earned her J.D. in 2008. Over the first five years of her career as an attorney she handled issues ranging from criminal law to labor and employment litigation in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. When not at TRA, she works for the federal government in civil rights enforcement matters. 

Christina spends her spare time with her partner and her three very active children ages 20, 11, and 10.  She loves to cook, travel, and dance to all types of music.

Eric was born and raised in the Sacramento area, then moved to the Bay Area shortly after high school. After spending time traveling, he decided to return to school to pursue his passion for literature. Once enrolled at UC Berkeley, Eric steeped himself in the environment of learning by studying creative writing, poetry, and Spanish in addition to literature. He created exchange groups for studying languages and offered tutoring for classmates as well.


It was at University that Eric fully realized his love for learning and his passion for helping others to achieve their academic goals. He lives for the moment when a student's face lights up with the mastery of a new idea. When not absorbed in a book, Eric enjoys writing, playing music, rock climbing, vegetarian cooking, and traveling--especially to destinations where he can practice his Spanish.

Xero is a San Francisco native who moved to the peninsula at age 11. After graduating from Cañada Middle College High School, she took general education courses at College of San Mateo before transferring to San Francisco State University where she earned her BA in Environmental Studies. Upon graduation, she decided to pursue her passion for teaching by working as a tutor for students of all ages-- particularly in mathematics but also chemistry and English-- which she continued for nine years. Simultaneously, she worked in childcare and earned six units in early childhood education. Xero is very warm, friendly and patient and loves helping students of all ages build their confidence and discover the joy of learning by strengthening foundational skills and using creative methods to break down complex concepts. In her spare time, Xero sings in a hard rock cover band, practices daily meditation, swims in rivers, roller skates at the beach, and goes to concerts as much as possible.

Specialties

College Applications

​English (Grades 9-12)


Eric Elsea

Gina Williams

Teacher

Specialties​

Math (All Levels) and Physics, working with kids who "hate" math

Specialties

Math (All Levels)

College Advisor, ​Teacher

Israel "Izzy" was born & raised in the Bay Area. He attended Aragon High School in San Mateo and then went on to College of San Mateo; however, he is now at SJSU in his final two years of his undergraduate program. In addition to his bachelor's, he is pursuing a minor in Computer Science. In addition to tutoring at TRA, Izzy is interning as an engineer at Structural Integrity. Izzy takes pride in his academic and professional journey because it has been challenging, and yet, he has overcome adversity and is the first in his family to pursue higher education and title. Izzy is excited to bring his  6+ years of experience tutoring math for all age groups. 

Charlie is a Bay Area native who discovered a passion for STEM at an early age. They enjoy puzzles and increasing their mathematical knowledge, but most of all they enjoy sharing their knowledge with others through teaching. Charlie has an A.S. in Mathematics as well as Physics from Foothill College and recently graduated with a BA in Mathematics for Teaching at SFSU.
When not practicing math and physics, Charlie likes to listen to and play music. Their favorite instrument is the ukulele, but they are also learning to play the guitar, mandolin, and drums.

Erika Stratz

Teacher

​Jamie Govoni Hobe

Education

​B.A. Peace & Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley

​M.S. Global Politics, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

PhD. Education, University of Cambridge (in-progress)

Education

​B.A. in Mathematics, San Francisco State University

​B.A. in Ecology, San Francisco State University

M.A. in Mathematics, San Francisco State University

Gabbie is an East Bay native with a wide range of educational experiences. She was diagnosed with ADD and a visual-auditory-processing disorder at 6 years old. She spent many school years in both the remedial and GATE or rapid learning classes. However, she fought her way through and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics from UCSC, the top Astrophysics program in the country.

Gabbie's teaching philosophy is that every person learns differently, and she loves finding methods that work for each student. She believes everyone can learn and make sense of any concept or formula with the proper help. Gabbie wants students to know that it does not matter if they have a learning disability, dyslexia, or just a good old fashioned hatred of numbers, she has got their backs. 
Gabbie has worked with students ages 9 to 71, from the formal classroom to individual tutoring, online tutoring, and even outdoor education. Her passion for supporting students in math and science comes through with her sense of humor, intrinsic love of all math, and her philosophy that the more people comfortable with math and science the better the world will be!

Teacher

Education

B.A. Environmental Studies, USF​

​Teacher

Education

​A.S. Mathematics & Physics, Foothill College

​B.A. Mathematics, San Francisco State University 

Single Subject Math Teaching Credential (in-progress)

Teacher

​Gabbie Blachman

Julia is a Redwood City native and was a part of the second ever graduating class of Everest Public High School. During high school, she had her first experience teaching the English language in Estelí, Nicaragua through the experiential education non-profit Global Glimpse. This 3-week cultural immersion had a profound impact on how she viewed the world and her relationship to it, instilling within her the desire to open young minds to our deep interconnectedness. This inspired her education at UC Santa Barbara where she double majored in Psychology and Sociology, or as she likes to call it, nature and nurture. 

This educational background in social skills development is infused with her work with atypically functioning youth, teaching English language to international learners and somatic tracking/guidance with chronic pain patients. As a Registered Polarity Practitioner in training, Julia’s passion for holistic mental, emotional and physical health seamlessly blends into each student relationship she fosters. In her free time, Julia enjoys playing soccer, reading about our inner and outer worlds, and hanging out with trees.

Israel "Izzy" Chavez

Specialties

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Math K-9

Specialties

K-12 English, Mindfulness, Students with Learning Disabilities

Kyle was born in Ohio, but grew up in the East Bay from age four. After finishing high school, Kyle went to SF State University where he studied plant biology. He then worked as a plant biologist for the US Forest Service near Yosemite National Park. Eventually, Kyle returned to SF State University where he earned a master’s degree in mathematics and spent several years teaching mathematics at SF State as a graduate student. In his free time, Kyle enjoys backpacking, disc golf, xbox, and stock market trading.  ​


Specialties

​Math (All Levels), Physics

Education

​B.A. in Communication Disorders from Holy Names College

M.A. in Communication Disorders as a Speech/Language Pathologist from CSU Stanislaus

​Wilson Reading System Certification/Wilson Dyslexia Practioner

Brandy is a native of Southern California living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2016. Brandy received her bachelor of science in Kinesiology from California State University Fullerton. She then completed post-baccalaureate classes in chemistry, biology and physics leading her to a tutoring and teaching career focused on the subjects of chemistry, biology, and physics. Brandy is a recent graduate of University of San Francisco with a masters in teaching with an emphasis in urban education and social justice, and a teaching credential in chemistry. 

Brandy believes all students can learn complex content with the proper study and organization skills. She loves to see the “light bulb” come on for students when they grasp difficult concepts and reach new goals. In her free time she likes to hike, dine at new restaurants, and visit new cities. 

Gabriel Flores

Specialties

​Early Childhood, K-8 all subjects

Specialties

All Subjects (K-8), Writing & Literature (High School)

​Charlie Westly

Specialties

​K-6 ​Reading

Students with special needs, dyslexia

Gabriel was born, raised, and still lives in San Francisco. He is currently enrolled at San Francisco State University and has received his B.A. in Mathematics with a concentration in teaching. His plans after school are to enroll in a credential program so that he may one day teach 6th -12th grade mathematics for a distinguished school in the San Francisco Unified School District. Gabriel has been passionate about teaching since entering high school and wants to make math fun and relevant for all students.
In his free time, Gabriel enjoys volunteering for various organizations and is a true SF Bay Area sports fan! He also plays in recreational baseball and basketball leagues.

Specialties

K-12 English and Writing

French

​German

About Us


The Right Approach to Education provides Waldorf inspired 1-1 and small group tutoring to students in grades K-12 and beyond. We are a dedicated staff of credentialed teachers and specialists who work to understand the needs of each learner who walks through our doors. We integrate all learning styles and teach through movement, visual aids, music, and hands-on activities. This approach is so effective, we now work with students from over 50 Bay Area schools, and have helped over 950 families in not only academics, but also test preparation and education consultation.


Christina González

Julia Arsan

Test Prep

​SAT/ACT Math

Education

B.A. History and Psychology, Stanford University

Doctorate of Jurisprudence, UC Davis Law School


TRA Founder & CEO, Teacher

Julie Rizzo

Education

​B.A. Mathematics, San Francisco State University 

Single Subject Math Teaching Credential (in-progress)

Test Prep

​HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, ACT and SAT (English)

The Right Approach was founded in 2010 by Jamie Govoni. ​​Jamie is a graduate of the University of Vermont's prestigious child education program. She was named Student Teacher of the Year in 2002 by university faculty. Jamie moved to California in 2003 and taught middle school for four years. After becoming disenchanted with the state's insistence on teaching children based on standardized testing, Jamie sought alternative teaching methods. She has combined her training from a Bay Area Waldorf teaching program with her knowledge of traditional teaching styles, along with teaching students with learning disabilities, and SAT/ACT English and writing. She also has an ages 3-5 Montessori certificate, which helps when teaching her own small children at home.

Teacher

Specialties

K-12 English and Writing

Math K-8

Specialties

K-7 All Subjects

Test Preparation: ISEE, HSPT


Education

B.A. Elementary Education, Bethany Lutheran College​

Erika is a Bay Area native, living with her family just a mile from where she grew up in San Carlos.  After graduating from Notre Dame High School, she studied psychology at Santa Clara University and received her elementary teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University.  She began her career teaching middle school science, then went on to run her own third grade classroom in La Honda for several years.  After starting a family, she job shared in kindergarten and first grade in San Carlos, tutored all ages, and later began teaching young children and supporting their parents at a co-op preschool.  When she's not sharing her love of learning with students, Erika loves catching sunrise and sunset, walking barefoot on the beach, reading, cooking, raising chickens, learning to garden, and spending time with family and friends. 

Specialties

K-12 Math & Science
SAT Math
Physics


The Right Approach To Education

Xero Silver

Hailing from the land of ice and snow, St. Small Minnesnowda, Benjammin arrived to thaw out on the West Coast 15 years ago where he began a BS in Environmental Communications. This self-directed degree included applied sociology, teaching a self-created class, leading a cross-country bicycle tour and putting the campus' organic farm on the map while under threat of development. From there, he began working with grassroots community organizing efforts that included environmental campaigns, house-less advocacy and indigenous solidarity. While on a year-long break working on an organic farm, it was decided that it was time to teach. From South Korea to Northern California and down to the Bay for a multiple subject credential, teaching has taken him far and wide with a range of experiences that guide his culturally-responsive teaching. Now on his 7th year of teaching, Benjamin is excited to support all kinds of goofy 'kidren'!

Teacher