Andrew Nance is the founder, Program Manager, and Lead Facilitator for Mindful Arts San Francisco (MASF). Additionally, he offers trainings and assemblies around the globe for libraries, schools, and school districts to provide the principles of mindfulness to students and staff. His mindfulness training comes from Mindful Schools, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Omega and Esalen. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, for almost two decades, he was the Conservatory Director of The New Conservatory Theatre Center, providing educational theater experiences for thousands of Bay Area youth and adults.
He is the author of three Mindfulness books, the popular PUPPY MIND, & MINDFUL ARTS in the CLASSROOM, published by Parallax Press, and distributed by Penguin Random House. His next book, THE LION IN ME, is available for pre-order (Release date SEPT. 17 2019)
Suzanne Astar volunteers at New Traditions Elementary. She is a massage therapist and movement teacher. She is passionate about seeing interdependent community systems rooted in developing strategies for healthy living. In her first year with Mindfulness Arts, she practices engaging and enriching experiences irregardless of learning style.
Casey Coviello is a yoga teacher and a writer working in the health care space. She spends her Friday mornings at George Moscone Elementary School doing science experiments on her mind with 4th graders. Casey aspires to take three deep breaths every day.
Megan Gathers has lived in San Francisco since 1999 and is a private yoga teacher and healer combining mindfulness with bodywork and movement. She has studied meditation extensively at Spirit Rock and also at Against the Stream in San Francisco. She is delighted to be working with the students of Jefferson Elementary School.
Erin Mariani has a background in school counseling and is currently a heath and wellness coach at One Medical, sharing skills such as mindfulness and stress management to Googlers. She has worked with Mindful Arts for 2 years at New Traditions and loves sharing life tools with young minds. A devotee of improv comedy and yoga, she sees the strong connection of creativity, mindfulness and mind/ body connection as it relates to health and wellness of the whole person.
Megan Prentiss is a corporate culture champion, marketing communications strategist and coach to professionals that seek purposeful growth. She has been a volunteer with Mindful Arts for nearly two years teaching first graders at Buena Vista Horace Mann.
Julia Schoettle recently made the change from a long career in high tech to focusing on things that really matter….children and harbor seals! After stepping away from the Silicon Valley world, she attended UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior where she earned her Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation. This is Julia’s first year as literacy and “focus time” volunteer with Junipero Serra and Sherman Elementary. When not working with children, she is on Harbor Seal crew at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. Not sure which group is more adorable but the kids are better at learning to breathe and focus!
Jasmin Flores has been in the early childhood Education for 17 years and taught preschool at Buen Dia Family School in the Mission district for 13 years. Before joining Mindful Arts Education, she attended Mindfulness in Education workshops led by her mentor Daniel Rechtshaffen. She is excited to be working with the students of Charles Drew.
Linda Fawkes is a native of the Bay Area and has lived in San Francisco for eight years. This is her third year as a literacy volunteer at Charles Drew Academy. She is currently studying with Mindful Schools, an online resource for teachers from around the world, to learn the fundamentals of mindfulness.
Radhika Rao is an actor, storyteller, and theatre teaching artist. She was raised in India and moved to the United States to study theatre in India. She is passionate about using the performing arts to promote peaceful living, social justice, and interpersonal communication.
Laurel Thornton has been an educator and photographer for over 30 years. She has worked with developmentally disabled kids and adults, was counselor in residence with teens and then later as a teachers aide for a United Cerebral Palsy program. She is inspired to teach children and adults this incredible life skill.
Samantha Weiss has been working in education since 2008, as a middle school English teacher, teacher trainer in Peace Corps Cambodia and currently in building collaborations between public school districts in California. As a yoga and meditation student and teacher, she sees the value and necessity of sharing these skills with students of all ages. She is excited to work with and learn from SFUSD Students.
René Ly is a current graduate student at the University of San Francisco in the Urban School and Social Justice Program. She has dedicated herself to the craft of teaching and strongly believes in the power of holistic health. She is excited to be a part of Mindful Arts Education, sharing and learning with the community.