Give a warm welcome to Sequoyah’s new K-12 Director of Learning Services, Liz Pappademas! Pappademas joined the community in early January 2022, having held similar positions at Saint Mark’s School and at Viewpoint School. Her education career started in 2014, prior to which she was busy working as a musician, singer, and songwriter.
Pappademas was born in a taxicab in New York City. She moved from New York at the age of two and grew up in San Francisco, where she lived until she was 18. Throughout her education, she attended schools very similar to Sequoyah, which is what inspired her to work here.
As a kid, Pappademas enjoyed sports, music, and theater. She described herself as “shy” but “artsy,” and she doesn’t think that she has changed much since then. In fact, part of why she likes working with kids is because she feels like “one in a way, inside.” Pappademas is excited about working at Sequoyah because of its openness to ideas, its “progressive nature…and the level to which students get to choose the direction of their education.” Pappademas expressed that there seems to be a type of student that the school attracts. She explained that “the kids that I end up really getting along with and like to enjoy helping are … the ones who are a little bit more different or different thinkers, and I feel like Sequoyah sort of has a great collection of that group.”
When asked what she would be doing if not working here, Pappademas explained that she gravitates back to making music. But despite how much she loves the music scene, making a living as a musician is difficult because “it’s just an industry where there’s such a slim chance of actually getting anywhere, or seeing results from your really hard work.” So now, she only plays music on her own terms. This is the other half of why she began to tutor children: because she felt like she was making a difference in their lives, rather than receiving a letter from a fan every once in a while. As for her dream job, she would like to be the organist for the Dodgers.
Music isn’t the only thing that Pappademas does in her free time; she likes to fix and upcycle motorcycles and cars with her boyfriend. She also enjoys swimming, riding her bike, and reading; she is particularly passionate about brain science research. If there was anything Pappademas would want people to know when they first meet her, it’s how to pronounce her last name correctly (Pap-uh-dee-mas). Since kids had to call her by her last name at old jobs, she said that it would always take a while for them to learn.
Pappademas’s biggest fear is bears. In the future, Pappademas would like to “keep being creative” and “keep growing and learning.” This includes building the Learning Services program at Sequoyah, meeting more students and parents, and creating more music with her friends.
Pappademas would like to let everyone know that she’s “available to help anybody, not just neurodivergent students. It can be the smallest thing, like a project that you want to work on,” and that she’s “sort of everyone’s advisor in that way.”
That said, if you need help with school, or if you want to talk to her about motorcycles, music, or neuroscience, be sure to find her on campus or shoot her an email.