We are 29 educators from Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Monterey County schools. We teach grades Kindergarten to 12; we are mostly public school teachers, but one of us teaches in a private school. A few of us are already in administrative positions; a few are teachers in out-of-the-classroom positions; most of us are currently classroom teachers.
Our instructor for 2010–2011 is Professor Dr. Gary Stebbins. Our instructors for 2009–2010 were Rosie Alvarez and Cecelia Burciaga.
Course information and work for this final semester are on the Winter-Spring 2011 page.
Who We Are:
~ Instructors ~
~ 2010–2011 ~
~ 2009–2010 ~
Rosie Alvarez: Principal of Boronda Elementary School in Salinas. Was the first principal at this new school, so she was able to create the school culture from the start. This is her 13th year as a principal; before that she was a classroom teacher for 21 years.
Cecilia Burciaga: Started her career in education at Chino HS, but left after a few years because of the “teacher’s lounge syndrome” She went on to Stanford, where she taught for 20 years. She was one of the founding administrators at CSUMB. She served on President Carter’s Commission on the Year of the Woman, as well as President Clinton’s Commission on the Status of Hispanics in Education.
~ Students ~
~ 2010–2011 “Newbies” ~
Cassandra “Kas” Pereira: Kas started teaching high school at nineteen years old in a private alternative school in Santa Cruz, and worked as a teacher/administrator for four years before moving to public school to complete her credential and get a fresh perspective on education. She lives in Lompico with her husband, two dogs, and five chickens, and describes herself as a hardcore Neophile.
Chris O’Brien: Chris has been a fine arts teacher for nine years in the East Side Union High School District. Originally from NY, he made his way to the west coast in 1999 and never looked back. He is an advocate for the Arts along with student nutrition and fitness.
Matt Linton: Matt is focused on earning his Masters and Admin. Credential so that he can eventually become a principal. He has been in education for about 11 years, at many different levels, and currently works as the English Learner Specialist at Watsonville High School. For fun, he likes to surf and be outdoors with friends or family.
~ 2009–2011 ~
Ariel Benson: EL Specialist (TOSA) in PVUSD. She runs LARC: Language Assessment Resource Center; has been there 4 years. Before this she was a classroom teacher—grades 3–8—for 10 years. Also a proud mom of two children.
Cheryl Di Grazia: Taught humanities (language arts-social studies core) to 7th and 8th graders at Linscott Charter School, Watsonville, PVUSD for several years. Before becoming a teacher, she worked in the tech industry for 20 years. She has two children, an 9th grade girl and a 6th grade boy (’09–’10).
Claudia Monasterio: In her 3rd year serving as Assistant Principal at Hall District Elementary School, Watsonville, PVUSD. Many years teaching before this post, mostly grades 3–5. She has 3 kids, including twins.
Doug Demuth: Science teacher at Aptos HS, PVUSD. Teaches 10th and 11th, some seniors, mostly earth and space science. He is a new dad—twins!
Elizabeth Lopez: Started her career in Pasadena, teaching there for 14 years. She now teaches 4th grade at Sherwood School in Salinas (where she has taught 4th–6th). She looks forward to becoming an administrator who will support classroom teachers.
Elva Arrellano: Teaches Kindergarten (and K–3) in Salinas City Schools. She is a lifelong learner, and has earned a Masters and PhD already. She is also a School Board member for Santa Rita Schools, a ceramicist and enjoys reading philosophy.
Gina Elisalde: Teaches 3rd grade at Ohlone Elementary School, Watsonville, PVUSD. She has served as a math instructor/coach for SB472 training. She sees her utilizing her admin credential for some post in curriculum, rather than as site principal or AP.
Heidi Story: Teaches English at Aptos HS, PVUSD. Has taught at MS, served as Department Chair and Summer School Principal. Has twins in 7th grade at AJHS. Grew up in Watsonville, loves beach volleyball, running and watching movies.
Jake Russo: Biology teacher at Aptos HS, PVUSD. 5th year at AHS; 7 years at Watsonville HS before that. Was instrumental in the installation of an 18-hole disc golf course at AHS. Has 2 kids.
Jared Norman: Teaches PE & APE (Adaptive PE) at SVHS, SVUSD, where he also coaches wrestling and football. His goal is to bring about positive changes in a school’s culture through athletics & leadership.
Jen Bryan: Teaches PE, biology, health and other sciences at Aptos HS, PVUSD.
Joe Manildi: Teaches physics and AP physics at AHS, PVUSD. He is also the advisor to the Aptos High School Robotics Club. He grew up in Pacific Grove, and has 3 young children.
Josh Wahl: Teaches 11th and 12th grade English, as well as “Theories of Knowledge,” an IB class (International Baccalaureate). He worked for several years in the private sector, in online retail business, but went back to school and became a teacher to gain some stability, when hsi first child was on its way. He has 3 sons, ages 9, 5 and 2.
Julie Ebert: Taught elementary school for many years, and is now ELD and Reading specialist, and CELDT Coordinator, in Soquel Elementary School District. She has been an active parent in her children’s schools, serving on School Site Council for many years, and was also an elected School Board member for 7 years. Her children are now 19 and 16.
Justin Clymo: Teaches English at Robert Louis Stevenson School in Monterey. Before that he taught PE, English and Theology at Palma HS in Salinas, where he was also PE Department Chair. He used to teach in Sacramento. He was “born into being a school administrator” – his mom is a school administrator. He has 3 children, the youngest born in December 2009!
Lisa Diamond: Serves as Afterschool Program Coordinator atLandmark Elementary School, Watsonville, PVUSD, and did the same at Ann Soldo Elementary before Landmark. She has served on school Leadership Teams and the District AR (Accelerated Reader) Leadership Team. She is very interested in issues of school policy and educational policy.
Lisa Glick: Teaches ag science (ROP) and orientation for all incoming students, at Coastanoa HS in SCCS. Before becoming a classroom teacher, she was an adminstrator: for 15 years she worked nationally and internationally as Education Outreach Director with the Life Lab Science Program. She was also an education consultant and small business owner. She has been a classroom teacher for 8 years now. She is the proud and challenged parent of two fabulous adolescent males.
Lynn Clausen: Currently After School Coordinator at Mintie White Elementary; 20 years teaching experience; District ELD Coordinator; and ELD Teacher trainer.
Maura Rae: Has been teaching for 16 years, currently in an ELD specialist at Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School and district ELD mentor for Soquel Schools.
Mike Hansen: Teaches biology at SVHS, SVUSD. He loves his dog, photography and plays guitar. His goal is to effect change, not be effected by change.
Michelle Poirier: Has taught math for 18 years, 6 years at Santa Cruz HS and 12 at Harbor HS, SCCS. She teaches calculus and AP calculus. She has served in various leadership roles at her schools over the years.
Peggy Pughe: Teaches history-social studies (10th and 11th grade, World and US History) at AHS, PVUSD. She’s been teaching for 14 years. She has a boxer puppy, likes to run, cook, and her 9 year old step son.
Rich Moran: Teaches science at PVHS, Watsonville, PVUSD, and is now also the Afterschool Program Coordinator there. He is married and has an infant child (born July 2009).
Ted Altenberg: Taught grades 5–8 for 20 years, in several schools in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Monterey counties, plus a few semesters of college (at MPC). He is now in his 4th year serving as a curriculum coach and resource teacher in GATE Services, PVUSD. He is married and has 2 teenage children.
Yolanda Barba: Teacher of Resource and Special Day SpEd classes at Gonzales HS, GUSD. She is also Afterschool Coordinator, and worked last year in an administrative position. She has 5 kids: a college grad, a marine, a HS senior, a 6th grader and a 3rd grader.
Our cohort group photo from fall 2009: