Our Directors

Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller was a popular and rigorous English and French teacher for six years at Berkeley High School. She received her BA in French Literature, with a minor in English, from the University of California at San Diego and spent her junior year in France studying at the Sorbonne. She is very interested in French language and culture and loves to travel. Additionally, Lisa spent several years working for an SAT preparation program and is well versed in test-taking techniques.

Since 2000, Lisa has played a major role in developing Classroom Matters’ philosophy and holistic approach to tutoring and mentoring. She designs study skills curriculum for Classroom Matters, travels to Bay Area schools offering workshops and trainings, and regularly appears as a guest speaker at educational events. Currently, as Director of Classroom Matters, Lisa draws on her experience as an educator and trainer to create an environment where every student can discover his or her own love of learning, both in and out of the classroom. In addition to training tutors at Classroom Matters, she has worked as a new teacher coach and mentor for Oakland Unified School District. In 2012, Lisa established Classroom Matters Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide scholarships to low-income families for academic support services.

Tatiana Ramos Marquardt
Tatiana Guerreiro Ramos graduated Cum Laude, too many years ago to count, from Monmouth University, where her mother taught political science. With a B.A. in communications in hand, Tatiana headed off to New York City, where she worked in advertising for many years, most of them as a creative department manager. Following 9/11, Tatiana decided a career change was in order, and followed in her parents’ footsteps to become a teacher. After just a year in a third-grade classroom, Tatiana found herself in a family way and she and her husband decided she would stay home with their son. Almost a decade later, Tatiana is thrilled to be back in a teaching role. Her strengths are supporting K-8 students in math, language arts, humanities and foreign languages. A polyglot (English, Portuguese, French and Spanish) and a three-time National Memory Champion (the only woman to win the US Memoriad in its 15-year history), Tatiana enjoys crosswords, KenKen, keeping up with the news from her home country of Brazil, writing, and, most of all, spending time with her children.
Gabi Bennett
Gabriela Bennett moved to the Bay Area three years ago after doing her freshman year at New York University. She has since continued her studies here in Berkeley, where she is working toward a degree in either psychology or education. Gabriela has loved working with kids for years. She comes from a large family and has been babysitting since she was practically a kid herself. While at NYU, Gabriela worked as an AmeriCorps member, working with a program called Jumpstart whose mission was to foster language, literacy, and social-emotional skills in youth from New York’s Lower East Side. It was there that Gabriela realized how much she loved working with kids in an educational capacity. After moving to the Bay Area a few years ago, Gabriela did another AmeriCorps program, this time working as a youth development worker at an elementary school in East Oakland.

Gabriela began working with Classroom Matters as a Spanish and Afterschool Program teacher, and was soon named Director of the Afterschool Program. When she’s not working, Gabriela can be found spending time with her family, reading, enjoying the beautiful Bay Area views or trying out new ways to tame and love her curly curly hair.

Molly Gales
Molly Gerstein Gales, teacher and mentor, founded Classroom Matters in 1998 at the request of a parent. Molly received her M.A. in English Education from Columbia University. She has taught at public high schools throughout the Bay Area. At Berkeley High School, Molly helped to create the 9th grade integrated core program and founded B.E.S.T., a successful program for second-semester seniors. At Serramonte High School in Daly City, Molly designed and implemented a complete project-based learning curriculum in all subject areas. While Molly was teaching at Irvington High School in Fremont, the school district requested that she share her innovative techniques with other teachers in a series of professional development workshops. She continued to train teachers in private workshops and as a Master Practitioner with the UCLA School Management Program, Bay Area. Although Molly does not participate in the daily operations of CM, she remains on call as a consultant and tutors privately from her home.