District welcomes 17 new teachers across five schools
The Sonoma Valley Unified School District welcomed 17 new teachers to its K-12 classrooms this fall. Teachers, by school are:
Jorge Garcia has joined Adele Harrison this fall as a special education teacher for grades six, seven and eight. Garcia received a B.S. from CSU Los Angeles and he received his teaching credential from National University. Prior to coming to Sonoma, Garcia taught a special day class at Middleton Street Elementary School in Huntington Park.
Adele Harrison welcomed Joy Rohrs, who will teach Spanish language arts, yearbook and Success Zone. Rohrs received her B.A. in recreational administration and her single and multiple subject teaching credentials from Chico State University. Rohrs started her teaching career at Adele Harrison but most recently taught a dual immersion sixth grade class at B. Gate Wilson School in Fairfield.
Carolyn Niehaus has joined the faculty at Adele Harrison and at Altimira as a band and choir teacher. Niehaus received her B.A. in music from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. Previously, she was a student teacher at Kerr Middle School in Elk Grove and she was a long-time music instructor at Cazadero Music Camp.
Katherine Hennessey has joined Altimira Middle School this fall as a sixth- and seventh-grade English teacher. Hennessey graduated from Notre Dame University with a B.A. in history and she received her teaching credential in English and history from National University. Hennessey has been a student teacher at Sonoma High in the past and she taught photography and art at Napa State Hospital.
Daniel Decker is a new resource specialist/special education teacher for grades two through five at Dunbar Elementary School. Decker graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in kinesiology and received his teaching and administrative credentials from Sonoma State University. Previously, Decker worked at Browns Valley Elementary School and in the Santa Clara Office of Education.
Megan Gauci joined Dunbar Elementary this fall as a third-grade teacher. Gauci graduated from Sacramento State with a B.A. in liberal studies and she received a multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State. Previously, Gauci taught fifth grade at Sassarini and she has been a long-term substitute teacher for a fifth-grade classroom at El Verano. Gauci was born and raised in Sonoma, where she attended Prestwood, Altimira and Sonoma High.
This fall El Verano Elementary School welcomed Jim Tutor as a new fourth-grade teacher. Tutor graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in child development and he received his multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State. Tutor is a native of Sonoma, and he attended Sassarini, Altimira and Sonoma Valley High School.
Devin Daly joined Sonoma Valley High School this fall, teaching both French and geometry. Daly graduated from San Francisco State University, where he majored in French and minored in math. Daly received his master’s degree in education from San Francisco State University. Previously, Daly has taught at Holy Names High School in Oakland and at Carondelet High School in Concord.
Barbie Duncan joined Sonoma Valley High this fall to teach 11th-grade U.S. history and 10th-grade world history. Duncan graduated from U.C. San Diego with a B.A. international studies and she received her teaching credential from Dominican University. Duncan has also studied baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of American. Duncan is a first-year teacher who student taught at Sonoma High last year. She is a Sonoma High graduate, class of ’01.
Savannah Heupel has joined Sonoma Valley High School’s math department teaching geometry and algebra I. Heupel received a B.S. in mathematics and a master’s degree in education from U.C. San Diego. Previously, Heupel taught algebra and geometry at Hayward High School.
David Kramer has joined Sonoma Valley High School to teach regular and A.P. chemistry. Kramer is a graduate of Stony Brook University in New York where he received a B.A. and a Ph.D. in chemistry. Kramer received his teaching credentials from Dominican University. Earlier in his career, Kramer was an adjunct professor at UCSF and he spent many years as a research scientist specializing in the advanced development of magnetic resonance imaging.
Emily Moore has joined Sonoma Valley High School as a music teacher. Moore, who is an accomplished flutist, received a B.A. in music education and her teaching credential in music from Sonoma State University. Most recently, Moore has been student teaching at Analy High School in Sebastapol.
Carolina Ochoa-Roloff has joined Sonoma Valley High as a new Spanish teacher for grades nine through 12. Ochoa-Roloff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Chicano studies/Spanish and she received her master’s degree in education from National University. Ochoa-Roloff has taught Spanish for 10 years, most recently Spanish I-III and Chicano studies at Rubidoux High School in Riverside.
Sonoma Valley High School welcomed Michelle Purvis this fall as its newest ninth-grade biology and earth science teacher. Purvis has her B.S. in biological science from Chico State University and she received her teaching credential from Dominican University. Prior to coming to Sonoma, Purvis taught high school biology and earth science at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs and at Oak Ridge High School and Union Mine High School in the El Dorado Unified School District.
Sonoma Valley High School welcomed Karling Skoglund this fall as a new ninth-grade agriculture earth science and agriculture biology teacher. Skoglund graduated from Chico State University with a B.S. in agriculture science and education and a specialized agriculture teaching credential. Prior to Sonoma, Skoglund taught agriculture earth science, floral design and veterinary science at Orestimba High School in Newman.
Gayle Smith has joined Sonoma High as an agriculture chemistry teacher. Smith has a B.S. in animal science, a B.S. in agriculture education and a specialized agriculture credential from Chico State University. Previously, Smith taught ag. earth science, ag. biology, animal anatomy and physiology at Minarets High School near Fresno.
Jon Southam has joined Sonoma Valley High School this fall in the math department, teaching algebra and geometry. Southam graduated from the University of Nevada at Reno with a B.A. in psychology and history. He received his teaching credentials from Sonoma State University. Most recently, Southam taught AVID and algebra support at Redwood Middle School in Napa.
“We are very pleased with the enthusiasm, energy and talent of our newest faculty members,” said Sonoma Valley Unified School District Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, “and we offer them the warmest of welcomes to the district.”