faculty & staffADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Tom Little, Head of School
Tom was a founding teacher at Park Day School in 1976, and taught for ten years before becoming the Director in 1986. He earned his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia, at the Klingenstein Leadership Academy. In 2001, Tom was awarded a Klingenstein Visiting Heads Fellowship. From 1997-2003, he served as the Private School Representative on the Mayor's Oakland Education Cabinet. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Academic Stars, an organization providing college scholarships for public school students in Oakland. Tom is also on the Board of Wingspan, a national organization sponsoring public and private school partnerships. He serves on the Board of the Progressive Education Network, a national organization of educators working to advance progressive educational practices throughout the United States. Tom has consulted on educational matters with public and private schools in the Bay Area and in Ireland. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two grown children, both of whom are Park Day School graduates, Courtney ('93) and Matthew ('00).
Flo Hodes, Assistant Head of School & Admissions Director
Flo joined the staff of Park Day School in 1982, when it was a school of 42 students in the Montclair District of Oakland. Originally drawn to the school for its progressive educational philosophy, staff involvement in decision-making, and outstanding focus on children and how they learn. Flo's earlier experience in education had been in Buffalo, New York, in a Summerhill-style "free school" founded by progressive university professors for their children. It was her first exposure to a constructivist model and this became imprinted for her as the model of effective teaching.
For over a dozen years, Flo has participated in the East Bay Independent Schools Association Admissions Directors group, shaping the course for common practices and policies for admissions, and building collegiality among more than 40 independent schools of the East Bay.
When not at work, Flo's time is filled with travel, friends, Cuban dance & music, knitting, and her growing brood that have the great fortune of living together on the "family compound."
Karen Colaric, Lower School Director
Karen joined Park Day in 1985 from Pacific Primary School in San Francisco, and has been an educator since 1980. During her tenure at Park, Karen has taught second through fourth grades before taking the Lower School Director position in 2005. Park Day's progressive philosophy and political values have been a perfect match for Karen, who enjoys experimenting with and creating curriculum and grappling with issues related to school leadership and social justice. Karen migrated to California to put herself through school at SFSU, earning both her BA in liberal studies and completing post-graduate credential work. Karen has published Creating the Bedroom of Your Dreams in the California Mathematics Council Communicator in June, 2002, and was a contributing author to the Great Explorations in Math and Science guide, Math on the Menu: Real Life Problem Solving. She has presented several workshops for Oakland public school teachers and was the Keynote speaker for a seminar for California Subject
Matter Projects, UCB in 2007 titled Educating for Sustainability: Principles and Projects that Build Ecological Literacy. In 2009, Karen presented Social Justice in Action: Proof and Practice at the Progressive Educators Network conference in Washington, DC. In 2011 she presented SDA: Support, Development and Assessment of Teachers at PEN. In 2004, Karen was awarded the Fulbright Memorial Fund and traveled to Japan with a contingent of 200 American teachers. She also had the privilege of leading a group of fifteen BHS students to Costa Rica, to take part in sustainability work through Ecology Project International. Recently, Karen attended the Project Zero Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she furthered her expertise in the Teaching for Understanding model in practice at Park Day.
Karen is the mother of two Park alums, Celeste ('99) and Spenser ('02).
In addition to her professional roles, Nora has volunteered on two neighborhood school boards, enjoys making sweets with her two daughters and treasures spending time with her family.
Events & Volunteer Coordinator