Middle School

5th - 8th Grade

Middle School Grade Level Overview

Middle School Teachers

Mr. Reed

Although his primary responsibility as Headmaster is to set the tone for the school, it is unlikely that Mr. Reed will ever give up teaching in the classroom.  According to him, “There simply is no greater thrill than seeing the recognition on a child’s face when they finally master a new skill.  I will always want to be a part of that process.” 

He was a reluctant teacher at first, helping his mother while attending Northern Arizona University.  He earned his bachelor’s Degree with a Major in History and a Minor in Mathematics.  While working on his graduate degree at University of Arizona, he was approached by his mother to return to Flagstaff and start a Carden Middle School into which her Carden Elementary School students could matriculate.   

All students gradually obtain the stamina and independent working skills needed for the upper grade curriculum.  It is this time in our curriculum that we require longer term assignments and self-motivation while we begin to prepare each student for the transition to High School and beyond.  In addition to teaching daily classes at the school, Mr. Reed is also a Carden Foundation Instructor.  He travels during the summer and infrequently during the school year to help other Carden schools with their teacher training and curriculum implementation.

Mr. Reed currently teaches the Middle School (5th-8th Grades) History and Math.

Mrs. Jensen

Mrs. Jensen does not teach History at The Howard School, but she is definitely a part of our history.  She began her career as a second grade student at The Howard School’s Montecito location.  After graduating from Principia College, she taught The Mae Carden Method to 1st and 2nd graders in China for a year before coming back to the states.  Upon her return home in 2003, she was offered a position teaching Spelling, Language and Composition to our 5th through 8th Graders.  One of Mrs. Jensen’s goals is to help students figure out what they don’t know vs. what they do know and guide them on this path of discovery.  “My favorite event each year is our week long middle school field trip.  Seeing how the students conduct themselves away from school and family always reassures me that we are making a difference in their lives. They are on their way to being very good citizens and I am proud of them.” says, Mrs. Jensen.

Mr. Riley

Aside from teaching P.E. at Howard, Mr. Riley also teaches Geography and Science in the Middle School. However, Mr. Riley's primary responsibility at The Howard School is to teach Physical Education.  We feel very strongly about incorporating P.E. into our daily curriculum.  It’s one of the components that make Mae Carden’s philosophy of “teaching the whole child” possible.  Mr. Riley says, “Sports teach us a lot about what we need to know in life: good sportsmanship, cooperative play, teamwork and a positive attitude.” 

For the younger children, P.E. is vital; it gives them much needed time to release some energy  and to start developing a sense of their physical being.  The older grades are learning to rely on each other and support one another while developing their skills.  Physical Education is a graded class in middle school, though the grade does not reflect physical ability alone; it reflects sportsmanship, teamwork and character.

Before joining the Howard staff, Mr. Riley was a P.E. Department Aide at Carpinteria Middle School for the last 7 years and was also co-director of Junior Lifeguards for the last 3 years.

Ms. Brewster

Ms. Brewster, as a third generation Carden teacher, brings her love of learning and dedication to education to The Howard School.  Perhaps her teaching skills came naturally as her grandmother, a Carden teacher trained by Miss Carden and her mother, a Carden student herself and then the director of a successful Carden school in Maui, were her inspirations to pursue a teaching career.  After completing a comprehensive fourteen week Carden teacher training course she began teaching first grade at Carden Academy in Mission Viejo.  She feels privileged to still have the ability to ask questions to someone who knew Mae Carden personally. Ms. Brewster attended fourth grade at Carden Hall in Newport Beach, which gave her first hand experience with the timeless education that our students are receiving.

Ms. Brewster earned an Associate of Arts in English from Santa Barbara City College and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She focused on educational and developmental psychology, which gives her insight toward the students and a greater understanding of their thinking.

When asked what she loves most about The Howard School, she answered that along with the curriculum, the children's sense of security about themselves gives her the greatest pleasure. "I love working with middle school students who respect each other for their individuality and have learned to think on their own," she stated.

Ms. Sarah Kelly

After 18 years of a very full career, I decided it was time to pursue work that I was passionate about while spending more time with my family.  Science will always be a part of who I am, and I never tire of seeing a child discover and explore this fascinating subject.  My role as the Science Lab teacher allows me to mix what I love about science and sharing my experience with others.  The students bring a new element to the learning process for me, so it’s a real win-win for everyone.

Teaching the Middle School Science Lab courses requires a lot of preparation and discipline.  Middle school grades are academically ready to focus and learn by doing and experimenting.  One of my favorite things about The Howard School is that they teach the students that learning comes from asking the hard questions and being able to guide them to find the answers is something I find very rewarding.  I love the kids at the school and the feeling that I can inspire them and positively affect their growth before they go on to high school.


·     B.A. in Business/Economics from U.C.S.B. (with Honors)

·     Studied at University of Sydney, Australia for 1 year

·     Completed all Pre-Med Requirements in 1 Year of Extensions Studies at UCSB

·     Masters of Business (MBA) from Pepperdine


·     8 years in Cancer Diagnostics at DAKO, numerous roles

·     9 years in Oncology at Amgen, mostly marketing and management. Received numerous awards

·     1 year in Hematology at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Executive Director of Marketing