Administration

Chris Topham - Executive Director

Chris Topham - Executive Director

Chris joined Sebastopol Charter in 2013.  Prior to arriving, Chris served as the Lower School Coordinator at Summerfield Waldorf School, an administrative role that he stepped into after 15 years of teaching which included teaching a class grades 6-8 and another class grades 1-8. He began his teaching career as a Waldorf class teacher at Novato Charter School when the school was founded in 1996 and where he taught a class 4th to 8th grade.

Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Pepperdine Universtiy, Master of Arts in Education Leadership from Sonoma State University, a California Public School Teaching Credential from Dominican University, Waldorf Education Teaching Credential from Rudolf Steiner College and an Education Administration Services Credential from Sonoma State University.

Chris was born in Switzerland and raised in Sweden. Chris loves spending time with his family: his wife Heather, who works at Credo High School; his daughter Ivy, a 11th grader at Credo High School; his daughter Annika, a 4nd grader at Sebastopol Charter; and his son Mattias, a 3rd grader at Sebastopol Charter. He also enjoys tennis, downhill skiing, drumming and walking his dog.

John Azzizzi - Operations Director

John Azzizzi - Operations Director

John arrived at Sebastopol Charter in 2013 after most recently serving in finance and operations leadership roles in the nonprofit sector.  Prior to pursuing graduate studies in education, psychology, and philosophy, he was an international business executive with General Electric leading and serving in various management capacities. 

John is a certified Waldorf teacher having completed his training at Rudolf Steiner College in their San Francisco program where he received his MA in Waldorf Education.  He also holds a BA in Economics from Yale University, an MA in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a certificate from the Universidad de Sevilla where he studied abroad.  John has lived and worked in Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong and traveled widely before settling down in northern California. 

When he can find the time, he enjoys playing the piano and singing with others.  He is a long time student of the Diamond Approach and the inner journey.  You will often find him at Ragle Park riding bikes and playing baseball with his young son or helping his wife to permaculture the grounds of their home in Sebastopol.

Barbara Philipp - Office Administrator

Barbara Philipp - Office Administrator

Barbara Philipp has been working at Sebastopol Charter since 2005. After having been the Data Coordinator, Receptionist and 8th Gr. Handwork Teacher, she is now the Office Administrator, which includes the jof of Enrollment Coordinator. Barbara received her Waldorf teaching certification from the Center for Educational Renewal in Santa Rosa has been involved in Waldorf education since 1995. She earned her BA in Liberal Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. All three of her children attended and graduated from Sebastopol Charter, her eldest being in the very first kindergarten and first graduating class. Her passions include handwork, especially sewing and quilting, cooking, being in nature, and living an intentional life. 

Carrie Vazquez - Administrative Coordinator

Carrie Vazquez - Administrative Coordinator

Carrie began with Sebastopol Charter School in 2013, shortly after moving to Sebastopol from San Francisco. She comes from a management, marketing and administrative background. Carrie received her Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services Management and also studied Anthropology and Business. She has been deeply committed to Waldorf education since 2009 when her daughter was born, attending classes and workshops around the bay area. During the summers you can find Carrie climbing up mountains, exploring the beaches, back country camping, or at one of the National Parks. In the meantime, she enjoys baking, crocheting, gardening, sewing, and practicing Kundalini Maha yoga meditation. 

Essie Bishop - Office Assistant

Essie Bishop - Office Assistant

Essie began working for the Sebastopol Charter School community as the Office Manager for The Charter Foundation in 2015. She was invited to join the schools administration team as an Office Assistant and Special Education Assistant as well in September 2016. She has expressed gratitude and enthusiasm to be a part of this community. Essie has a background in Bookkeeping, Office Management and Garden Center Operation. She has been an active proponent for alternative educational options in Sonoma County, and has volunteered many hours in the creation of, and in support of several of our local charter schools. Essie spends most of her time on adventures with her two young children playing on the ice rink or exploring the rivers, beaches and woods of Sonoma County. She also loves spending time in her garden or getting lost in a good book.