Brooke Green New Head of Laguna Blanca Lower School

By Joanne A Calitri   |   May 30, 2023
Brooke Green is appointed the new Head of the Laguna Blanca Lower School (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Laguna Blanca School has announced that Brooke Green M.Ed. will be taking on the role of Head of the Lower School Montecito commencing July 1, 2023. Green is an alumnus of Laguna Blanca School 1997, has been the Lower School’s third grade instructor and their Learning Specialist grades two through four since 2013; and taught grades K through six at other schools since 2008. A former triathlete who grew up in Montecito and attended Montecito Union School, she holds an M.Ed. in Special Ed and a BA in Universal Design from UC San Diego. 

We sat down for an interview to take a closer look at the pedagogy she brings to the position, and her passion for teaching.

Q. Let’s start with your appointment to Head of School… 

A. I’ve been teaching elementary school for 15 years and absolutely love teaching. 

I wasn’t actively seeking an administrative position, but when it was clear that a position was going to become available, I was encouraged by a number of my colleagues and school parents to apply for the Head of Lower School. The more that I thought about the position, the more it appealed to me. The Head of Lower School position would offer me an opportunity to share many of the lessons that I learned in my career with the faculty and to give back to the children, and to Laguna Blanca community, in new ways that I’d never even considered. 

Q. As the new Head of School, what is your primary mission, and how will it be carried out? 

A. My primary mission is to uphold Laguna Blanca School’s tradition of excellence and to help each and every student to excel in their academic and social-emotional learning. This means continually reviewing our educational programs, building upon our methods of supporting and evaluating student success, and strengthening our connections and relationships within the community. 

Q. What is the pedagogy at Laguna and are you leading changes in it? 

A. The pedagogy at Laguna Blanca School reflects a balance between academic rigor and interdisciplinary enrichment. The value that the Laguna Blanca education places on art, music, science, robotics, athletics, and language is truly what sets it apart. I have often heard parents and visitors describe the Lower School as “magical.” I think the magic is in seeing how the students are nurtured in a way to try new things and to take risks. Within a nurturing environment, students take flight in discovering new strengths and passions. 

The teachers at Laguna Blanca have developed signature programs and project-based learning experiences where students can apply their learning through immersive experiences that reach into the community, such as the fourth grade Citizenship Breakfast and the TEDx program at the Upper School. Through these signature programs, I have observed how engaging with the community builds important life skills, empathy and awareness, and the ability to reflect, problem-solve, and serve others. As I think about the future of the school, I will continue to encourage faculty to continue innovating and developing new programs with tie-ins to the greater Santa Barbara community. 

Q. Your teaching direction is said to “implement goal setting and a growth mindset in elementary age students” – how is that accomplished? 

A. Learning how to set goals and engage in challenges are critical life skills that I have observed every teacher at Laguna Blanca Lower School weave throughout their lessons and educational fabric. With elementary age students, this is accomplished by creating a safe and nurturing classroom environment, balanced with ample opportunity to take risks and be challenged through an individualized educational experience. This is achieved through ongoing community-building and really knowing and understanding our students. 

I think it’s also important as a parent, teacher, and leader to model goal setting and growth mindset by openly discussing goals, setbacks, and next steps. There is a huge value in allowing children to see that the feelings they have around setbacks are normal; and then giving them guidance through example in how to problem-solve and re-engage in a challenge. I often share with my students my own process of getting over my fear of public speaking and my goal-setting process in competitive swimming. Importantly, children need to know that setbacks are an important part of growing and improving. The students at Laguna Blanca School develop problem-solving skills and build confidence as they learn how to work through challenges in pursuit of their goals. 

Q. A word from you about your colleague Anna Alldredge, the Interim Head of Lower School, now promoted to Head the Upper School. 

A. I can’t say enough about Anna’s excellent work as the Interim Head of Lower School. I respect and admire her immensely, as does our entire school community. She is very organized, is an eloquent public speaker, and has a clear vision and passion for curricular design. I believe her strengths around innovation and learning have helped drive our educational trajectory and will keep our school at the forefront of curricular development. Additionally, having had the experience of working across divisions, Anna will certainly support the cohesive vision of our EK – 12 program. 

Q. As a former triathlete, what is your daily PE to stay fit and healthy? 

A. I haven’t competed in a triathlon in a few years due to a knee injury. Inspired by my daughter who swims for Santa Barbara Swim Club, I began swimming competitively in 2017. I quickly took to the sport and now train six days a week. I relish the opportunity to set personal goals and then set new ones when I achieve those goals. I have found this process highly rewarding, and in 2019 I won Masters National Championship titles in two backstroke events. I enjoy how the team members support and encourage each other, and I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Santa Barbara Masters Swimming.  

The MJ congratulates Brooke Green in her new position at Laguna Blanca Lower School!


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