New faces in Valley classrooms
In a hiring surge that rivals last year’s, the Sonoma Valley Unified School District this week welcomed eight new teachers to its high schools, as well as five new middle school teachers, 15 elementary school teachers, four counselors and two nurses. Most of the new staff gathered last week for an orientation session and lunch at the district offices.
“We’re really pleased with the faculty and staff that we were able to attract this year,” said SVUSD Superintendent Louann Carlomagno. “We think the word is out that Sonoma Valley is an innovative and supportive place to work and to teach.” Carlomagno noted that she is particularly happy to be welcoming back five graduates of Sonoma Valley High School who will be teaching in the district.
Chris Arnett has joined Sonoma Valley High School as a psychologist. She has a background in special education and a BS from University of Nevada and a Ed.D in counseling psychology from Northern Arizona State. Most recently, she was a counselor with the Wright Elementary School District in Santa Rosa.
Luis Bravo has also joined Sonoma Valley High School as a new counselor, and he will split his time between there and Adele Harrison and Altimira middle schools. Luis has a BA in sociology and an MA in counseling from Sonoma State. Previously, he interned in counseling at Altimira.
Elizabeth Campos is a third new counselor joining SVHS. She holds a BA and an MA in counseling from Sonoma State. Previously, she worked as a migrant education advisor at the high school and at Altimira. Elizabeth is a graduate of Sonoma Valley High, class of 2009.
Anne Chism has joined Adele Harrison Middle School as a sixth and seventh grade math teacher. She holds a BA in math and a teaching credential from Sonoma State. Most recently, Anne taught math at Emerson Junior High School in Sacramento and she was a student teacher at Adele Harrison.
Robert Curran will provide resource support in English and study skills at Sonoma Valley High this fall. He holds a BA from Sonoma State and most recently was an instructional assistant at Crossroads Community Day School in Petaluma.
Kaitlynn Degrano is a new district-wide Grade Level Proficiency Project (GLPP) coach. She holds a BA, an MA and a multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State. Most recently, Kaitlynn taught kindergarten at Roseland Creek in Santa Rosa.
Thomas Edwards has joined Adele Harrison Middle School to teach sixth grade science and citizenship. He holds a BA from the California Maritime Academy and a multiple subject teaching credential from St. Mary’s College. Most recently, Thomas taught at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Pittsburg.
Heidy Garabay has joined Flowery Elementary School as a new fifth grade teacher. She holds a BA and a multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State. Last year, Heidy was a student teacher at Flowery.
Jack Gray will be teaching fifth grade at El Verano Elementary School this fall. He holds a BA and a multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State. Prior to coming to El Verano, Jack was an instructional aide at River Oak Charter School in Ukiah.
Gabrielle Heppe is a new fifth grade teacher at Sassarini Elementary School. She holds a BA and a teaching credential from Dominican University and she is at work on her master’s degree. Most recently, Gabrielle was a student teacher in a third grade classroom at Mark Day School in San Rafael.
Graham Hitman has joined the faculty of Sonoma Valley High School to teach biology and chemistry. He has a BA from Point Loma Nazarene University and a biological sciences teaching credential from Sonoma State. Most recently, Graham was a student teacher at Analy High School in Santa Rosa.
Mara Irvin has joined Dunbar Elementary School as a new kindergarten teacher. She holds a BA from San Francisco State and a multiple subject teaching credential from Dominican University. Prior to coming to Dunbar, she taught at Santa Rosa Charter School. Mara graduated from SVHS, class of 1989.
Michelle Jackson has joined the district’s counseling team supporting Sassarini and El Verano Elementary School. She holds a BA and an MA from San Francisco State and a master’s in social work from Cal State Long Beach. Most recently, Michelle was an elementary school counselor in Santa Rosa.
Lauren Jolly is a new first grade teacher at Sassarini Elementary School. She holds a BA from University of Oregon, a master’s degree from Portland State and her teaching credential from Simpson University. Prior to moving to Sonoma, Lauren was a literacy coach and an intervention specialist at an elementary school in Oregon.