Carolyn Wilsey

English, Writing, and Study Skills Teacher

Carolyn Wilsey specializes in individualized writing instruction. Her love for writing and reading began in early childhood and has continued through her academic, personal, and professional life. She graduated with a B.A. in American Literature from Middlebury College and, in 2005, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. This program included a rigorous and enjoyable training course on how to teach composition.

Carolyn’s early career was in journalism and included posts at both small community newspapers and large national magazines. In 2009, she began teaching Writing 101 at Marymount Manhattan College and developed a passion for collaborating with students on their writing projects. After a successful semester as a writing coach for the State University of New York (SUNY), Carolyn transitioned to education full-time. She has worked as a writing consultant (or tutor) at Columbia University, SUNY, Marymount Manhattan College, and Greenwich Education Group (GEG). Additionally, she has classroom experience as a literature, study skills, and writing teacher at GEG and has worked with many students with learning differences. She has also worked as a mentor teacher, supporting aspiring intern teachers, at Summerbridge at University High School in San Francisco.

Prior to joining the Compass staff in August of 2016, Carolyn was an Academic Support Specialist for SUNY — a college learning center position that included one-on-one writing coaching and time management sessions, creating and delivering workshops, embedding academic support in the classroom, and designing and teaching independent studies, including a basic skills writing program, which she managed across three city locations. After living in Manhattan for six years and Brooklyn for nearly the last three years, Carolyn relocated to San Francisco. Moving to the Bay Area has been a longtime dream of Carolyn’s, and she is excited to be surrounded by the beautiful landscape and culture here and to participate in the school community at Compass.

Karen Vanderburg

English Teacher

Karen Vanderburg grew up in Southern California and presently lives in Berkeley with her family.  She went to college in the Northwest and then lived abroad in Eastern Europe after graduating with a master’s degree in Comparative Literature.  Since her return from Europe, Karen has been teaching high school and middle school students around the Bay Area in both public and private schools for almost twenty years.

As an English teacher, her main interest has always been reading because it challenges her mind and sparks her imagination. She loves to be swept off on an escapade or ponder the predicaments of famous characters. Karen is also an aspiring writer and encourages her students to explore their talents in poetry and short stories.  Aside from reading and writing, she loves being outside in nature. There she usually goes running or hiking, but cross-country skiing in the peaceful snows of winter is her absolute favorite.