Our mission & vision
Seattle School for Boys encourages and inspires boys to become collaborative learners, creative thinkers, and compassionate leaders who genuinely care about our diverse global community.
Seattle School for Boys provides experiential learning to a diverse community of middle-school-aged boys through a problem-based approach rooted in neural education. We celebrate creativity, invention, and holistic self-expression.
Through the use of evidence-based teaching methods, our learning platform advances the social, emotional, and cognitive growth of boys and inspires them to become active members in their community while championing social justice.
- Bringing joy, curiosity and rigor to learning.
- Open mindedness and thoughtful engagement with our community.
- You. Me. Us. Them. Mutual respect and compassion.
- Self-awareness, self-expression and collaborative work.
Our learning space
Seattle School for Boys recently moved into a larger space located in central Seattle at 2100 E. Spruce Street, near the Spruce Street Mini Park and the Rotary Boys & Girls Club. With 48 students in grades 6, 7 and 8, the new location provides classrooms and community space to support the school’s program and allows room for future growth. Our new space also ensures that lunchtime can be a time for fresh air and free play (like frisbee and climbing trees at parks), and encourages outdoor exploration. Public transportation options abound.
At Seattle School for Boys, we understand how the middle school years profoundly impact cognitive, social, and emotional development, which is why our learning spaces and educational frameworks include flexible interdisciplinary curricula that encourage active and personalized learning.
So, when delving into various topics, the four walls of the typical classroom give way to experiential learning via our Bridges Program. Here, students walk, bike, and take public transportation to utilize the many public parks and spaces nearby.
Experiential learning in collaboration with community organizations allows our students to get hands-on guidance from experts in areas such as engineering, construction, and the arts while exploring diverse environments throughout the greater Seattle area.
Head of school
Alvertis Brooks, Jr.
Mr. Brooks will join Seattle School for Boys in July 2022, after serving as Assistant Director of Athletics with Seattle Public Schools. He previously served as Director of Operations at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy and as Assistant Director of Athletics at University Prep, as well as being the owner and consultant at Learn With Us Now.
Mr. Brooks is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting with an emphasis in finance and he holds a Master’s degree in education from the University of Washington. He is pursuing his doctorate in education at UW’s Leadership for Learning. A father of three, he has served on a number of advisory boards focused on the development of culturally responsive spaces for students. As a leader for equitable systems, he looks forward to building community involvement and advancing the vision for Seattle School for Boys.
“I am excited for this opportunity to work with SSB’s inspiring students and dedicated faculty and staff,” said Brooks. “With its experiential learning environment and commitment to ensuring all students are seen for who they are and what they bring, I believe Seattle School for Boys serves an important role in our community.”
“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Brooks to the Seattle School for Boys community,” said Search Committee Co-Chairs Andrea Gates Sanford and Peter Berner-Hays. “As a strategic thinker and engaged leader, with experience working in public, independent, and startup schools, Mr. Brooks is uniquely positioned to lead SSB as it expands its reach, deepens its roots, and continues to deliver on its mission.”
Mr. Brooks takes over from Interim Head of School, Patti Hearn, who has successfully led the school since August 2020, including through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty & staff
7th/8th Grade Math,
Art and Cooking Teacher
Dr. Conrad Webster
Director of Student Support
Science & STEAM teacher
Chief Academic Officer, Humanities teacher
Staff: Registrar and Office Administrator
7th Grade Humanities, Music Teacher
Austin Garcia, Sixth grade Core Teacher
Austin joins SSB after spending five years with Seattle Public Schools. He is thrilled to join SSB and become a part of the community. He is very passionate about all academic fields and can bring meaning and real world application to his work with others. As a father of three children, he enjoys spending his time watching them explore the world. Austin has a Masters in Teaching from the Seattle Teacher Residency and the University of Washington. He has taught in different counties and brings his knowledge of their styles to the classroom. He loves to work with students and connect families. He looks forward to building positive relationships with all.
Dr. Conrad Webster, Director of Student Support
Dr. Conrad Webster is a writer, organizer, facilitator, professor, and education consultant from Houston, TX. Dr. Webster comes to Seattle School For Boys after serving as a Project Manager, Racial Equity Advancement Advisor for Seattle Public Schools and adjunct professor at Pierce College. Dr. Webster graduated from University of Washington with a doctorate degree in Educational leadership in 2019 with a focus on social justice and social emotional wellness. Dr. Webster focuses his free time on Black male empowerment, social justice, education, mental health, mentorship, business, and finance. If it’s part of your healing he will cover it. Dr. Webster also owns his own business called Black Boy Heal, where he provides free mental health services for African American identified boys in the K-12 school system.
Jerome Hunter, Chief Academic Officer & Humanities teacher
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jerome has always been a keen learner and a proponent for experiential education. As a co-founder and the head of academics at Seattle School for Boys, he believes that boys can advance beyond the confines of traditional male socialization and toward a holistic version of themselves when provided the appropriate tools. Jerome is a humanities teacher who is dedicated to elevating and maintaining equity in education. He believes that EQ is as important as IQ and has committed his practice to ensure that boys play an active role in their social, emotional, and cognitive development. He balances his time outside of the classroom by designing neural education instructional models and experiential learning projects that align with ethnic studies and multicultural education.
Q Jackson, Registrar and Office Administrator
Q joined Seattle School for Boys in 2020 after working for RealNetworks for 22 years. Q was born in Tulsa Oklahoma and moved to Seattle at six years old. She attended Montlake Elementary, Meany Middle School, Garfield High School and the UW. She has a love for travel and lived in the Netherlands for a short period. Q has a love of community and has a long background in community support with outreach for the homeless and youth groups.
Pepi Gabor, 7th/8th Grade Math, Art, and Cooking Teacher
As an optimist, pragmatist, and a realist, education and teaching have been interspersed and in the forefront of the many hats worn over time by Pepi. She grew up in Vermont, went to college in New York, moved west and has never looked back. Pepi has worked for attorneys, owned an engineering company, raised two delightfully diverse children, been a teacher many times, and owned an art gallery and a restaurant. By far the most significant roles have been that of mother and teacher. Pepi is humbled, gratified, and excited to teach our middle school boys math. It is her favorite age group because these are the years that inform the future. It is her favorite subject because learning how to solve problems in a meaningful way, regardless of the subject, is what will help students be successful. In addition to working, Pepi is a long-distance runner, avid yogi, and life-long learner. Currently, she is about halfway through the 200-hour training to become a yoga teacher and hopes to be done by early autumn.
Robin Donoso, Science Teacher & S.T.E.A.M.
Robin is joining Seattle School for Boys after working for the last two years in Phoenix, Arizona. She has taught science, social studies, and math in both public and private schools in Washington and Arizona. She brings a passion for hands-on learning and exploring science in ways that increase passion and understanding. She is spending the summer working at The Museum of Flight Aerospace Summer Camp. Robin is a graduate of Central Washington University in Anthropology and Theater Arts. She has a teenager who is a junior in high school and together they explore the world, one trip at a time. She spends free time reading, planning trips and cooking.
Wesley Speight, 7th Grade Humanities, Music Teacher
Wes has been teaching High School ELA and Humanities for six years. His teaching philosophy is a combination of Progressivism (moral compass, Constructivism (worldview), and Humanism (fostering full potential). He firmly believes in practicing and modeling positive reinforcement and that all students are scholars. He has a MA in Film and Creative Media and is currently finishing up a MAT in English this year. He hopes and plans to be a lifetime learner and eventually get a Ph.D. in Education. He is excited to be a part of SSB!
2022-23 School calendar
Important dates (dates with no school in bold)
- 8/22-8/30: Teacher prep and professional development
- 8/31: New Student Orientation (half day)
- 9/5: No school: Labor Day
- 9/6: All School Orientation (9 am-1 pm)
- 9/7: All School Orientation (9 am-1 pm)
- 9/8: First Day of School (8:30 am-3:33 pm)
- 9/28: Picture Day
- 9/29: Curriculum Night
- 10/14: No school: Professional development
- 11/11: Veterans Day - School In Session
- 11/17: First trimester STEAM fair
- 11/21-22: No school: Conferences
- 11/23-25: No school: Thanksgiving Break
- 12/15: Winter Showcase
- 12/19-1/2: No school: Winter Break
- 1/3: No school: Professional development
- 1/16: No school: MLK Day
- 1/17: No school: Professional development
- 1/19: Mid-trimester STEAM fair
- 2/17: No school: Professional development
- 2/20-24: No school: Midwinter Break
- 3/13-14: No school: Conferences
- 3/15-17: Spring Camps
- 3/24: No school: Professional development
- 4/6-7: No school: Conferences
- 4/10-14: No school: Spring Break
- 5/18: Spring Showcase
- 5/29: No school: Memorial Day
- 6/7: Field Day /Last day of school
- 6/8: Graduation
Seattle School for Boys is seeking educators with experience in humanities and/or math and STEAM to join our interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching team. We have an opportunity for a resident or primary teacher to work with students in core academic classes, electives, experiential learning programs, and the extended day program.
We are always interested in connecting with people who may bring their skills and innovations to our school. If you are a passionate educator who wants to be part of a joyful, adventurous learning environment, we would love to hear from you. Send us your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle School for Boys was founded by Jerome Hunter and Drew Markham.
Jerome Hunter is a co-founder and head of academics at Seattle School for Boys. Jerome is a contributing member of the Institute for Connecting Neuroscience with Teaching and Learning, and he is also in his fourth year as a mentor with My Brother’s Keeper. Based in his belief that boys can advance beyond the confines of traditional male socialization and toward a holistic version of themselves when provided the appropriate tools, he works to create neural educational models and experiential learning projects for SSB that align with ethnic studies and multicultural education, providing a space for middle school boys to feel safe, welcome and encouraged to grow as individuals.
Drew Markham is a co-founder and Board member at SSB. Watching her older child thrive at an all-girls middle school, where she was supported and encouraged through the tricky middle school years, Drew was dismayed to find that a similar educational experience was not available for her son. She worked to form a school where boys in our community — bringing together a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives — have the opportunity to be supported, guided, and celebrated, and in turn learn to support, respect, and have compassion for others.
The Seattle School for Boys mascot is the Steelheads. This mascot pays homage to the Seattle Steelheads, which were a 1940s Negro league baseball team. In addition, the design honors the unique geographical characteristics of the Coast Salish lands where we reside. SSB aims to embody the courage of the Negro league players and respect for the land, animals, and all that makes the Pacific Northwest home.
Our board of trustees
Joan brings a wealth of experience to SSB, having spent 44 years working in independent, public and parochial schools on both coasts of the U.S. She started her career teaching English, which eventually led to 26 years as the Head of five schools including 13 years as the Head of a Pk-6 day school and completing her career as the Head of Hamlin Robinson School (WA), a school with a mission to serve students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. While at Hamlin Robinson School Joan established the award winning HRS Learning Center and the Teacher Training Program, completed the school’s first capital campaign, moved the school to a newly built campus, increased enrollment by 180%, strengthened the finances and established several endowments. Upon her retirement the school established an endowment in her name, the Joan Beauregard Endowment for Discovery and Enrichment, and named the playfields in her honor.
Joan has been active in the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, NWAIS, serving on the Board of Governors for over 15 years, the Accreditation Committee for 17 years, and held many leadership positions such as Standards and Practices Chair, Treasurer and President of the association. She was also president of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, an executive committee member of Country Day School Headmaster’s Association and a member of Head Mistresses of the East. She has served on the boards of many independent schools and other organizations. Joan is a founding faculty member of Pathways to Leadership, a two-year program for aspiring woman leaders and has co-facilitated or presented at many regional governance workshops.
Peter has been a Kindergarten teacher, School Counselor and Head of School in a number of independent schools in the Seattle area. He has served on several school boards and on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools, NWAIS. Throughout his career he has facilitated workshops for new and young teachers supporting their early development with a clear focus on reflection, professional growth, and collegial connection.
A hallmark of Peter’s work in schools is his unwavering appreciation for children and a strong understanding of child and adolescent development.
Peter and Andrea share Board co-president responsibilities for SSB.
Andrea Gates Sanford
Andrea is a graphic designer by trade, starting her career in Austin, Texas, then moving to Washington DC in 1994 to start her own business, She Can Do It, LLC. She was full-time production manager for the launch of Discovery Channel Online before moving to Seattle in 1996 and has provided ringside online streaming video service and podcast support for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the past 15 years. She is now the full-time lead graphic designer for HR Creative Group.
She is a program coordinator for Casting for Recovery Washington and served on the board of directors for the Snow Leopard Trust for over 12 years, as well as serving on the boards of Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability, Indonesian Veterinary Training Program and the Center for Women and Democracy. She received her MBA in sustainable business from BGI in 2011. Her passion for equal rights and social justice led her to be involved with Seattle School for Boys from the very beginning.
Andrea trains and competes in agility and obedience cyno-events with her talented Doberman pinschers. She is an avid reader and enjoys the never-ending but rewarding struggle of learning both the cello and fly fishing, albeit not at the same time.
Peter and Andrea share Board co-president responsibilities for SSB.
LaShondra is an instructional assistant in a preschool classroom at the Haring Center’s Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington. Working in an environment with both neurodiverse and neurotypical children has paved a way for LaShondra to become more involved in advocating for the needs of all learners, no matter how simple or complex those needs may be. She also serves as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Bertschi School where her two wonderful boys attend elementary school and is an active member of the Bertschi parent council.
When not working, LaShondra enjoys exploring new and exciting kid-friendly and/or challenging hikes around the region, traveling, summer time camping and road trips with her family.
As a mom to two young boys, LaShondra was eager to jump right in as a board member and bring her insight to SSB and collaborate to have the mission of SSB fulfilled.
Drew is a corporate lawyer with expertise in governance and a CPA. After 14 years practicing at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and then four years as an in-house attorney at RealNetworks, she started her own practice, Avisé, SPC, where she provides legal consulting services to publicly traded technology companies. Prior to law school, Drew spent six years working as a certified public accountant, first as an auditor with Ernst & Young and then as a consultant for Levi Strauss & Co.
Drew has served on the boards of directors, including the finance committees and executive committees, of several nonprofit organizations, including Seattle Girls’ School, The RealNetworks Foundation, Child Care Resources, Climate Solutions, and Women’s Funding Alliance. She has done corporate pro bono work for many nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years. Personally, Drew is mom to two teens.
Dawn graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA and received her Master of Arts in Psychology from Seattle University. Professionally, she has worked with women experiencing homelessness in Seattle, as a lead clinician on a behavioral health team in Boston, and as the Managing Editor of Seattle’s Child magazine.
Dawn is mom to identical twin boys, an avid reader, an occasional writer, and an aficionado of colorful language. Honored to be part of SSB’s founding family cohort, Dawn is passionate about fostering a community where boys are empowered to grow into their full social and emotional selves.