Westridge Welcomes New Staff

As our year begins, Spyglass would like to welcome all those new to the Westridge Community. Read our feature on the new Head of Lower and Middle School Dr. Zanita Kelly by clicking on her photo, as well as short pieces on the other faculty that have arrived this year. We are grateful for their new presence on campus. We can't wait to get to know them all!

Brooke Surin, Upper School Biology Teacher

Brooke Surin comes to Westridge from The Archer School for Girls, where she taught ninth grade physics.

Q: What’s one thing no one at Westridge knows about you?


A: My dad was my 8th-grade science teacher. It was super fun. All the teachers know this about me but not the students: I was a baby model.

Stephanie Bolton, Librarian

Stephanie Bolton comes to Westridge from Windward School, where she interned as a librarian.

Q: What’s one thing no one at Westridge knows about you?


A:  I really like playing Dungeons and Dragons. I played a lot in high school and then I didn’t play for a while, and just recently my husband and I joined his college roommates and some of their friends and have been playing every Wednesday night.

Kerri Epps, Middle and Upper School Orchestra Teacher

Kerri Epps comes to Westridge from the El Segundo Unified School district, where she built a district-wide orchestra program.

Q: What’s one thing no one at Westridge knows about you?


A: In college, my friend Alyssa and I took salsa dance lessons for two years. It was so overwhelming at first, but once I understood the basic steps, I was able to get into the groove. Alyssa and I had so much fun going out and dancing at various salsa nights in LA. It was a great way to meet new and diverse people.

 Lily Shang, Middle School Mandarin Teacher

Lily Shang comes to Westridge from American University Preparatory School, where she taught Mandarin 1, 2, 3, 4, and AP for two years. She also worked as an event coordinator and residential life supervisor.

Q: What surprised you about Westridge?

A: The food. I love to eat, the food is good, and the prices are reasonable. Also the community. I consider a school a community. We are all part of the community. I like how everyone greets each other with a smile on their face. As a new teacher, I feel very welcomed in this community.

Tina Singh, Upper School Chemistry Teacher

Tina Singh comes to Westridge from Riverside STEM High, where she taught AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and a STEM Research Methodology class.

Q: Who was your favorite high school teacher and why?

A: My favorite teacher in high school was Mr. Doug Snyder (Hoover High).  He was my Chem and AP Chem teacher. His dedication, passion, and rapport with students inspired me to become an educator.

Vicki Garrett, Upper School Spanish Teacher

Vicki Garrett comes to Westridge from the College of Charleston, where she was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish.

Q: What surprised you about Westridge?

A: I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by the human connections at Westridge. I knew this was a school united around a common goal of empowering girls. But the welcome I’ve received exceeded all my expectations. Everyone—teachers, staff, and students—all take a moment to say hello, to ask how I’m doing, to share about their day, and to connect on a human level. There’s a real sense of community that I’m so happy to be a part of.

Lilian Maldonado, Middle School Spanish Teacher 

Lilian Maldonado comes to Westridge from Palisades High School Charter School. She is teaching Middle School Spanish at Westridge this year.

Q: What’s one thing that surprised you about Westridge?


A: I love how open-minded Westridge is. It can appear conservative for some aspects, but it is just very classic and progressive at the same time.