For the second part of this introductory series, we present to you our Heads of Department at EF Academy Pasadena!
Erica Washburn – Head of Department: History and Co-leader of Global Leadership
Erica Washburn joins EF Academy as an experienced program director and History teacher committed to helping students identify the causes they care about and inspiring them to take action. Earning her Bachelor’s in Secondary Education and her Master’s in History from Boston College, Ms. Washburn has expertise in teaching students how to adopt the skills of an historian to discern the significance of historical events, as well as how to design meaningful solutions to pressing contemporary issues. As Director of the Horizons program at Miss Hall’s School and Explorations Coordinator at the Punahou School, Ms. Washburn knows the transformative power of experiential learning. She has experience designing innovative curriculum as Chair of the History department and AP United States History teacher at Miss Porter’s School and is a Social Entrepreneurial Leadership certified educator from the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Washburn enjoys participating in international study abroad trips and has traveled to 30 countries. As someone who believes that cross-cultural collaboration is essential to solving our current global problems, she enjoys working with our EF Academy Pasadena students to utilize their passion and skills to be global changemakers.
Jeff Robinette – Head of Department: Math
Jeff Robinette brings 9 years of experience as a math teacher and department chair and 5 years in sales and marketing. Mr. Robinette is passionate about bringing math to life for his students through practical experiences, real-world applications, financial literacy, and getting outside of the classroom to learn by doing. He is a seasoned coach of cross-country, wrestling, and weight-training and has produced multiple collegiate athletes. Mr. Robinette has a MA in Educational Administration and a BS in Secondary Mathematics Education. Originally from North Carolina, Mr. Robinette is passionate about teaching math through its practical experiences and real-world applications outside of the classroom, coaching athletes, hosting friends and family for southern style smoked BBQs and traveling in his free time. He enjoys a challenge, has completed multiple ultra-distance events including two 100-mile marathons, loves the outdoors, and would like to climb El Capitan.
Kaela Clapp – Head of Department: English and Co-leader of Global Leadership
As Head of Department for English and Co-Lead of the Global Leadership Program, Kaela Clapp is excited to foster experiences that recognize the value of our diverse student population. Her love for travel and exploring new places and cultures has largely influenced her professional and academic work. Ms. Clapp’s teaching and design philosophies aim to empower everyone by providing a space for students to find connections between their unique perspectives and backgrounds to enrich the classroom. Playing Division I volleyball at the University of Hawaii has impacted her role as a leader, teammate, and learner. It has prepared her to find creative solutions, innovate, and continuously grow while being part of a high functioning team with a common goal. Living in Hawaii the last 11 years has also shown her the importance of building engaging learning spaces where the meaning of family and care expands beyond your own household. These experiences continue to influence and inspire her pedagogical approaches today, as she creates environments where students can feel supported and challenged to address real world problems and propose authentic solutions, while working toward becoming global citizens and agents of change in our evolving world.
Dr. Nicole Windmon – Head of Science Department
Nicole Windmon PhD. is the Head of Science Department at EF Academy. Dr. Windmon has taught Organic Chemistry, Advanced Placement Chemistry and Integrated Physics and Chemistry at previous institutions both at the collegiate and high school level. She has also founded an after-school research activity in which students can conduct research of their choosing and eventually present their findings at the LA County Science Fair. At EF Academy, Dr. Windmon is particularly excited to work with students on global thinking and problem solving in the field of STEAM. Dr. Windmon is a seasoned boarding school teacher having spent the second part of her teaching career at a boarding intuition. Her favorite part of boarding school life is being able to connect with students outside of the typical school day. When she is not teaching Chemistry, or just hanging around campus, you can find Dr. Windmon out on the local hiking trails or walking her dog, Abby.