1st Graders at Carlthorp School are pros at the ins and outs of how the school works.
Responsive classroom continues with daily Morning Meetings focused on reinforcing the importance of community. Students are given opportunities to be comfortable speaking in front of their classmates and teachers. In 1st Grade the students develop more independence.
They are expanding their critical thinking and problem-solving skills that were introduced in Kindergarten. They continue learning through the core subjects of reading workshop, writing workshop, guided reading, CGI (cognitively guided instruction) and math workshop. 1st Graders are becoming strong readers and writers.
In the winter the students invite parents to join them for “1st Grade Breakfast.” The students are the hosts of the breakfast and have the opportunity to present their favorite work in an interactive way while learning to be gracious hosts. The school year ends with an “Author’s Share,” an opportunity for our 1st Graders to proudly showcase work that exemplifies the growth they’ve made throughout the year.

Meet the Team

List of 4 items.

  • Keara Devitt

    Ms. Keara Devitt is eager to begin her fourth year teaching at Carlthorp School. Originally from Long Island, New York, she is the youngest of seven children. Her mother is a professor and her father is a high school teacher. In 2010, she decided to travel to California for college to pursue her teaching degree and professional career. She attended the University of San Francisco and was accepted into the five-year Dual Degree in the Teacher Preparation Program. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Elementary Education.  Upon graduation, she worked as the 1st Grade lead teacher at Saint Martin of Tours School in Brentwood for three years. While teaching at Saint Martin of Tours, she attended Mount Saint Mary’s University and completed the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Program. When not at school, Keara loves being outdoors and enjoys running, hiking, and hot yoga. 
  • Jenny Morgan

    Jenny is a proud Southern California native from Palos Verdes. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Television. Shortly thereafter, Jenny felt the call to work with young people, which led her to USC’s Rossier School of Education, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Education. While completing her M.A., Jenny taught a summer Kindergarten readiness program, and also began teaching a 6th and 7th Grade study skills course at Rolling Hills Country Day School, which she continued to do for three years. Just prior to joining the Carlthorp School team, Jenny taught 11th and 12th Grade English Language Arts at YES Prep East End in Houston, Texas, an urban charter school that serves mostly underprivileged students. 

    This is Jenny’s 7th year at Carlthorp School, where she has taught 1st, Kindergarten and 4th grades. She is now thrilled to return to the 1st grade team. In her free time, Jenny enjoys being with family and friends, riding her beach cruiser on the strand and appreciating the California sunshine!
  • Tiffany Neilson

    Ms. Tiffany Neilson is eager to join Ms. Julie Paiva this year in 1st grade. During the last five years teaching at Kenter Canyon Elementary School for advanced studies, Tiffany was involved in many extracurricular committees including the instructional leadership team, student leadership council, social committee, and governance. She is very excited to join the Carlthorp School community and to continue inspiring children to learn and reach their highest potential. Tiffany was born and raised in Valencia, California, and attended Concordia University in Irvine, where she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. While attending CUI, she played intercollegiate volleyball. Her experience as a student-athlete fostered perseverance, commitment, teamwork, and leadership. Following college, Tiffany spent a year abroad in Rome, living with an Italian family and working as an au pair. During this time, she immersed herself in the culture and discovered a passion for traveling. When she isn’t teaching, you can probably find her at the beach playing volleyball, reading, listening to music, cooking, or traveling. She enjoys attending live theater, learning about nutrition, visiting art museums, and spending time with her two nieces. 
  • Julie Paiva

    Julie is excited to return to teaching 1st Grade at Carlthorp School for the second year. Prior to Carlthorp, she spent 16 years teaching at the elementary level in Brentwood’s Kenter Canyon School of Advanced Studies. She has a passion for inspiring students to become life-long learners and compassionate members of the community. Julie graduated from UC Davis with her bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communications, and a minor in Theater. She went on to receive her Masters in Teaching and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Chapman University. In 2009, Julie was awarded the Lori Petrick Award for Excellence in Education from the Palisades Charter Schools Foundation. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys writing, performing, being outdoors, and traveling to new places.