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Grades 4/5 Combo BIO

Brian Olkowski

I have taught 4th through 6th grade at three different schools. My career started after attending Humboldt State University where I received my B.A. and teaching credentials. I began my teaching journey with a 5th/6th grade combination class at Highland Elementary School in Hayward, CA. The following four years, I had 5th grade classes, and then, life brought me to Portland, OR for a year. This was my first time teaching 4th grade. I had a wonderful year at Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton, OR. After this year, I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area where I started teaching at Coyote Creek. This is truly an amazing place to work. I have taught 4th, 5th, and a 4th/5th combination class with our wonderful Coyotes.

In addition to teaching, theatre is a huge passion of mine. I see shows all the time, do some acting, and also direct children¹s shows. I have directed the Coyote Creek Drama Club every year since I have been here. It grows bigger and bigger each year. I also recently started a non-profit children¹s theatre company, Tri-Valley Young Performers Academy Trivalley YPA We have sessions throughout the year, including a summer performing arts camp.

Along with teaching and theatre, I am also a massage therapist. I became a cmt during my first year at Coyote Creek completing over 720 hours of instruction at the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville. Part of this included being the massage therapist for the Broadway Tour Mamma Mia.

jill reynolds

I love 4th and 5th grade!  I especially appreciate the (sometimes sarcastic) sense of humor and emerging identities that tend to occur in this age group.  I taught 5th grade in Richmond, CA and felt honored to help my students transition through upper elementary.  I’m thrilled to do the same at Coyote Creek.

Everything in my background can be applied to teaching.  From volunteering for homeless youth to doing corporate training and presentation development to leading a rambunctious, 30-member Girl Scout troop, I’ve learned that personal challenges are strengths in disguise, public speaking and communication skills are essential (which I teach youth at every opportunity) and cookies really can solve problems!  My philosophy is that all experiences are to our benefit—an attitude I hope to foster in my students.  

Thank you for welcoming me to the pack!