Teacher and Classroom Assignments
Jacqueline Parker – Principal
Jacqueline received her teaching credential from Dominican University and a Master’s in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. She and her family reside in Marin County, and are very supportive, proud and excited as she joins the Thousand Oaks family. Her daughter Thalia and son Jaylen keep her very busy outside of school. Her family enjoys spending family time, camping, hosting family gatherings, traveling, visiting museums, and parks. Her husband Desone is a Marin County native, and they both feel blessed to have a great support system as they go through our life journey.
As a bilingual, bicultural educator, she has been honored to work with second language learners for eighteen years. She is a passionate leader committed to systemic leadership through an equity lens and believes that every child should have an equal opportunity to a high quality education. She strives to provide opportunities for students to have access to innovative instruction, parent involvement, and a focus on 21st century skills and believes that every child deserves to have a well-rounded education, which includes a focus on Social Emotional Learning, Technology, Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, and the 21st century skills embedded in all subjects.
Sylvia Riddick – School Secretary
Sylvia really loves being a secretary in a public school setting. The experience she has gained as a PTA President, Girl Scout Leader, Noon Supervisor, Instructional Assistant, Office Assistant, Math Department Secretary and mother of five children has given her the knowledge and skills to handle the many obligations that arise daily in the front office. She has been a school secretary for fourteen years and she puts forth her best effort to meet the needs of each and every individual who enters her office. It is her joy simply to be of service.
Bill Briggs – Room 3
Patty Casetta – Room 2
Patty was born in Ecuador. She has lived in the U.S. for thirty years. Most of her family is still in Ecuador. Before moving to the Bay Area in 1993, Patty lived and taught in Los Angeles. Patty has been teaching at Thousand Oaks for sixteen years. She has taught kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. Kinder remains her favorite grade. Patty lives in Berkeley with her husband and her daughter Marcella who will be a 12th grader in September of 2016.
Libby Trumbull -Room 1
Libby has been teaching at Thousand Oaks for 20 years. She has a daughter entering her senior year at UC Davis, a step-son entering 8th grade and a bonus daughter who just graduated from American University. Libby’s partner, Lisa Z., is a musician working with students of all ages. Libby loves being outdoors and often hikes in Tilden Park before starting her work day!
Becky Rosen – Room 5
This is Becky’s 17th year teaching and 13th year teaching first grade. Becky LOVES teaching, especially reading and art. She is married and has two daughters. She and her family love to camp, go on walks, and garden. Their dog Frannie loves to camp and walk with them. Becky used to be a softball coach at Albany High and for Sting. She still loves softball but does not have the time to play right now. She has a Bachelor’s with honors in Cultural Anthropology and received her teaching credential from San Francisco State University. She LOVES teaching at Thousand Oaks and LOVES the T.O. community.
Gabriela Fuentes – Room 6 (bilingual)
Gabriela Fuentes-Murillo has been a bilingual teacher for about 20 years. She started teaching in San Francisco and then taught in Oakland and at Rosa Parks in Berkeley, finally ending up at Thousand Oaks 4 years ago. She went to UC Santa Cruz for undergraduate work and then received her teaching credential at San Francisco State. Every year she is reminded of what an honor it is to teach children and how powerful a bilingual education is! Outside of work she gets to be inspired by her 18 year old son, her 13 year old daughter and her 20 year old stepson!
Elizabeth Weinstein – Room 7
Elizabeth received her Multiple Subject CLAD credential from St. Mary’s and has been teaching at Thousand Oaks since 2001. She has taught third, second and first grades. She thinks the students, staff, and families at Thousand Oaks are
Anita Bell – Room 9
Anita has been teaching at Thousand Oaks since 2001. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley. Anita earned her Multiple Subjects and Special Education Teaching credentials from SFSU. She has worked as both a Full Inclusion teacher and a General Education teacher. Anita loves the supportive Thousand Oaks community. She enjoys reading, hiking and traveling.
Robin Bogoshian – Room 8
Robin Bogoshian, a California native, is in her twentieth year of teaching. Her former profession in the business world just did not light her fire like teaching does! She has taught Kinder, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Grades. Robin has taught mostly in California but also taught fifth grade for five years in Northern Virginia while she and her husband lived in D.C.
When she is not teaching, she loves to read, travel, bike-ride (with her pup, Eudi), spend time with her husband and three terrific children and is learning to play the violin. She is thrilled to be part of the Thousand Oaks Community of committed parents, hard-working staff and like-minded and happy educators.
Asucena Davila – Bilingual 2nd/3rd Room 11
Maestra Asucena was born and raised in El Monte, a primarily Latino community in Southern California. She moved to the Bay Area in 1999 to attend UC Berkeley, where she earned a B.A. in History and Chicano Studies. She began her teaching career working in an after school program in East Oakland in 2006 where she later became an Intervention Specialist. She then became a teacher and taught 6th and 7th grade math & science for seven years. She received her teaching credential, BCLAD, and masters degree from Holy Names University. She is married and has two beautiful daughters who just like herself are being raised bilingual.
Lorna Cross – Room 13
Marvin Reed – Room 12
Mr. Reed was proudly raised in the Berkeley Unified School District where he attended Oxford Elementary School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, and Teaching Credentials at Sacramento State University. Along with being passionate about education, he is also an active participant in the performing arts. Mr. Reed has worked with many prestigious Marching Band programs around California (Granite Bay, Foothill (Pleasanton), John F. Kennedy, Ayala, American Canyon, Elk Grove, Laguna Creek, California, and Ponderosa HS.) He also been a part of the Concord Blue Devils organization (Blue Devils ‘B’ and the Blue Devils “A” Corps). He has also been the Drum Major coordinator for Blue Devils ‘B’ and the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Currently, he is the Assistant Director and Drum Major Caption Head of the Sacramento Mandarins Academy. Mr. Reed is thrilled to be back teaching in his hometown and is looking forward to getting to know all of his students to best serve their needs!
Samantha Roger - Room 4
Anne Hirose – Room 14
Anne lived in El Cerrito through high school, received her BA from UCLA and completed her graduate program at Cal State University, East Bay. She has taught in Berkeley for 20 years and holds a dual credential in general and special education. After fourteen years of being a full inclusion support teacher, she is now enjoying teaching a general education classroom. Anne lives in Albany with her two sons.
Amanda Abarbanel-Rice – Room 15
Amanda is a native of Berkeley and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1987. This is her 18th year teaching at T.O. She has two sons, one who is currently in 5th grade at T.O. She is happy to be a part of the wonderful community of staff and families at T.O.
Mary Selna – Room 17
Discovered by a Hollywood agent at age 13, Mary had a brief but stellar run as a child actor and tooth model. She gave up show biz, flew over a million miles for United Airlines and became a teacher. With three credentials and a Masters in Special Education, why not? Now in her third decade of a distinguished teaching career, she is an advocate for peace, choice, empowerment and fun.
Suzanne Middleton – Bilingual support - Room 21
Suzanne loves working with children! She has taught in a variety of different classrooms, including preschool, Spanish bilingual, private and public. This is her 3rd year teaching at Thousand Oaks, and she is thrilled to be a part of the T.O. community! When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her family and friends, preferable out in nature.
Megan Abramsom-Ward – Room 21 (bilingual)
Megan loves Fifth graders! They are motivated and bring joy to the classroom! She has been a teacher for 19 years. Most of her years of teaching have been at T.O., but one year she taught Spanish at Berkeley High School. She also taught abroad at the American School of Milan in Italy. Megan loves traveling, studying languages and playing tennis. She has three amazing sons. Two of them attend T.O. The other is coming soon!
Bob Garrison – Room 16
Bob is a California native, having grown up in the Bay Area. After working in the business world for 20 years, he changed careers to become a teacher. Bob has a B.S. from U.C. Davis, and M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a Teaching Credential from Mills College. Bob loves teaching at T.O. He was a T.O. parent for 6 years before becoming a T.O. teacher. Outside of school, Bob enjoys running, reading, traveling and spending time with his partner and two children.
Jeni Wendel – Room 19
Jeni actually first came to Thousand Oaks as a second grader. After living in New York and Seattle as a Theater Artist, she moved back to Berkeley and her child was assigned to Thousand Oaks. She then began her changing career at Thousand Oaks. She began and ran the afterschool program, in 2001 became the Drama Specialist, in 2004 became the computer specialist (running the lab that is no longer at T.O.) and eventually made her way into the classroom on a
permanent basis in 2006. Jeni is also an artist and writer in her spare time.
Other Teaching Staff
Julie Brod: Science Teacher 2nd-5th
Andrea Chappell: Food service
Elisa Litsky: Science Teacher 1st
Zoe Deane: Speech Therapist
Elissa Eseman: Full Inclusion
Elissa has lived and taught Special Education in the Bay area since 2010. She absolutely loves working with other people and thrives in collaboration!
She enjoys playing soccer on the weekend with her husband, going to the zoo with her two children, baking sweet treats and doing yoga. She is very grateful to be a part of the Berkeley Unified School District!
Liz Fuentes: Intervention teacher
Medha Gard: Occupational Therapist
Valerie Gutwirth: 4th/5th Dance
Valerie began teaching dance at Cragmont in 1999, and currently teaches at John Muir as well as Thousand Oaks. Valerie’s professional and curriculum development work includes workshops on arts integration for teachers, undergraduate and graduate education students, and district and state
administrators. She is currently an Equity Teacher co-lead at John Muir, and works with young dance teachers through CalCREATE and Cal State East Bay. Valerie continues to perform professionally, most recently with MoToR, a body music/vocal music/dance hybrid led by Evie Ladin. She loves reading, the beach, and cooking (her family is trying to convince her to try out for Chopped).
Rochelle Johnson - 1st/2nd Grade Art
Andra Kavuma – PE
Andra grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. She received her BA in Spanish and Film Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Andra earned her Bilingual Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from SFSU. She has taught at T.O. since 2001. Andra recently took a sabbatical leave and traveled for a year, visiting schools all around the world. She is happy to be back at T.O.
Kathleen Marte: ELD
Kathleen Marte received her BA from UCLA and a Master’s in Education with a specialization in language and literacy from UC Berkeley. She started her career in education as a bilingual teacher in a Spanish Dual Immersion program over 20 years ago. She loves working with students of diverse language and cultural backgrounds. Kathleen transferred this year from Alameda Unified where she was an ELD teacher and district coach for three years. In her free time, she loves dancing, reading, and spending time with her 11 year old son.
Sarah Moreno: RTI Coordinator
Angélica Pérez : Literacy Coach
Angélica was born and raised in San Diego. She attended UC Berkeley where she earned her BA in Sociology and Education. A few years later, Angélica pursued her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual Education. Angélica has been an educator for nearly 20 years, mainly as a bilingual teacher. This is her fourth year as T.O.’s Literacy Coach, where she works with students and teachers in providing literacy support. Angélica enjoys reading, traveling, dancing, cooking, playing tennis and spending time with her family. Angélica is thrilled to be a part of the T.O. community and hopes to instill a LOVE FOR READING in all our children. Happy reading!
Joanne Pham: Educational Specialist
Jessica Reich: Librarian
Maria Rosa Keys: Literacy Intervention
Maria Rosa Keys retired from TO in 2007 after teaching for over 37 years at TO and other schools in BUSD. She taught both bilingual and regular education classes. During her tenure in BUSD, she became very active in programs that emphasized the visual arts, full inclusion and of course bilingual bicultural education. Maria Rosa was born in Buenos Aires, Agentina and immigrated to the LA area at the age of 8. She attended both parochial and public schools. While working for her BA in Latin American Studies at CSUEB (Hayward), she was lucky to work as a teachers aide in a bilingual school in Berkeley. Within a year, she enrolled in a teacher education program and started working as a Kindergarten teacher at Casa de la Raza in BUSD. Working with the children and parents of Berkeley has been her passion.
Jarrett-Tory Sanders: Instructional Specialist, PE
Midori Sugahara-Henderson: School Psychologist
Sumita Soni: Math Intervention
After teaching in Oakland for two years, and teaching and coaching in Los Angeles for ten, Sumita has returned to the East Bay excited to be part of the educational landscape that gave birth to her teaching identity and philosophy. Sumita’s beliefs about teaching and learning are rooted in a constructivist approach and she loves the joy that surfaces in her classroom when students’ ideas are at the center of how lessons unfold. Sumita lives with her husband and two children and enjoys being amongst trees.
Sarah Winer: Gardening Instructor
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