Hello! My name is Darrin Chappell and I am very excited to be back at Mission this year, at the Larkspur campus. This will be my second year at Mission Montessori, having spent this summer in Houston for my training in the Lower and Upper Elementary programs.
I grew up in the Bay Area just north of San Francisco, and attended Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where I received my BA in International Studies with a regional focus on Africa. During the first term of my senior year at PSU, I studied at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where I became proficient in Swahili, ate amazing food, and studied the economics, history, culture and politics of Tanzania and other parts of the region. I spent the following months traveling around much of the rest of Tanzania and parts of Kenya, from which I further developed my fascination with and reverence for the culture and history of East Africa.
My shift from working in the non-profit sector surrounding education and development in East Africa to moving into a classroom happened around the time I discovered I was going to become a father and start a family here in Arizona. I was raised in a family of people who are passionate about education, and pursuing a career in education was always something I had considered, but it was not until finding out about Montessori and anticipating the arrival of our baby boy that I felt the drive to move in that direction.
I started off at the 96th St. campus in a wonderful Lower Elementary classroom before making the switch up to Larkspur for the 2015-16 school year. I feel grateful to have found Mission, and am looking forward to this year and the years to come. I look forward to bringing my experience in International Studies to our already impressive Cultural Studies program. We live in a time where raising our children to be global citizens is a vital part of the well-being of our planet as a whole – they are our future leaders constructing a more understanding cohesive world and our job is to provide them with the foundation they need to get there.
Let’s make this a great year!
Favorite type of food: BBQ
Who inspires me: Justin Vernon
Favorite movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
Favorite hobby: Barbecuing
Favorite quote: “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”
― Pema Chödrön
Why I teach Montessori: Our future as human beings depends on our ability to think creatively, critically, sustainably, and outside of the box. Montessori provides an excellent path towards developing that kind of perspective.