Staff

Administrators

Jessica Guzzi

Interim Executive Director

Jessica Guzzi has been a teacher and teacher leader for 20 years in traditional and alternative educational programs. Her career in education began the same year MBCS opened in 1998. Before teaching elementary she taught in the field of early childhood education for 12+ years as a Master Teacher in California and Pennsylvania. In 2012, Jessica graduated from Chico State University with a double credential in English and Multiple Subjects. She recently completed her master’s degree at Brandman University. Locally, she worked in Salinas for two years teaching 6th and 3rd grade and Bay View Academy for four years as a 3rd grade teacher.

Jessica and her husband are transplants from Pennsylvania. Mr. Guzzi is a teacher in Carmel. They moved here from the mountains near Truckee with their 3 children about 7 years ago. The Guzzi family loves the natural beauty of the peninsula! Jessica is new to Waldorf education and knows she would have loved to be a Waldorf student because of her interests in folk tales of the world, eco-literacy, fiber arts, drawing, sewing, puppetry, gardening, herbal medicine, and singing.

Anne Wyatt

Interim Director of Education

Anne Wyatt was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her BA from Santa Clara University in Theatre and Dance. Before beginning her second career in teaching, Mrs. Wyatt was the Artistic Director for the City of Milpitas and headed the Milpitas Rainbow Theatre for 10 years, working with youth aged 8-18, directing and choreographing plays, coordinating special events, and was a founding member of the Youth Program Team, whose mission it was to partner with families to promote the healthy development of youth in our community.

Upon moving to Arizona in 2008, Mrs. Wyatt pursued her career in education and taught in Mesa, Arizona for seven years before moving back to California and finding her dream job teaching here, at Monterey Bay Charter School.

When she is not teaching, Mrs. Wyatt is enjoying her family of four children, one husband, one rescued cat, and four chickens. She loves cooking (!) and outdoor adventures.

Managers

Perla De La Torre

Office Manager

Perla was born and raised in Salinas and attended Hartnell Community College. She worked for the Monterey County Office of Education as an Instructional Assistant in the Special Education Department, which she found rewarding. Perla completed a certified nursing program and worked with the elderly and with children and adults with disabilities. She loves working with children and families making their day better. Perla enjoys the outdoors, hiking, yoga, traveling and spending time with her husband and family.

Kim King

Business Manager

Kim brings over 10 years experience working in a school administrative setting, over 30 years experience in business management and a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Santa Clara. She recently comes from Bay View Academy Charter School in Monterey where she served as it’s inaugural Office Manager for 4 years. Kim has also worked in retail sales, banking, food service, medical offices, and ran her own small business. Kim has also been an active volunteer at many local organizations. Kim is 4th generation born and raised in Monterey. Kim enjoys time with her family and friends, reading, and exploring our local history and beautiful environment.

Candace Villarta, M.I.S.

Communications & Development Manager

Candace Villarta was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula. She is the mother of four children who attend Monterey Bay Charter School. Candace graduated from Humboldt State with a BA in Organizational Leadership. Candace also received a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies in Nonprofit Management, Organizational Leadership, and Public Relations, from Southern Utah University. Candace is currently working towards her Fundraiser Executive Certification. Candace served as the MBCS Parent Circle Chair for three years and was a member of the MBCS Development Team and Foundation Board. In the last eight years, she has helped plan numerous MBCS school events and fundraisers. She plans to incorporate her extensive background in hospitality, special events, and fundraising to help Monterey Bay Charter School build community relationships and achieve new levels of fundraising success.

Jessica Lewis

Enrollment Coordinator

TBA

Laurel Flaherty

Assistant Business Manager

TBA

Staff

Faculty

Lisa Wespiser

Rosemary Kindergarten Teacher

Lisa Wespiser

Rosemary Kindergarten Teacher

Lisa is passionate about serving the community through public education. She joined the Waldorf movement as a parent over twenty years ago. Since then she has journeyed through the grades, immersed herself in early childhood, and worked in school administration. The magic and joy of working with children and parents has been a highlight in her life. In her free time, Lisa loves to explore the great outdoors with her loved ones and her dog Fergus, work with her hands, or curl up with a good book in front of the fire.

Lisa earned her Waldorf teaching certificate at the Center for Educational Renewal. She also holds an Administrative Services Credential and a Multiple Subjects CLAD Credential. She is trained in Kim John Payne’s Three Streams of Student Support and early literacy development. She earned her undergraduate degree in French from Santa Clara University.

Email: l.wespiser@mbcharterschool.org

Malia Rives Smith

Lavender Kindergarten Teacher

Malia Rives Smith

Lavender Kindergarten Teacher

Malia Rives Smith has been working in the field of education since 1997, and in 2015 found her love in the Waldorf Kindergarten. “I look forward to continuing the beautiful and sensible system that is Waldorf and combining it with all that I love about teaching Kindergarten-age children. I believe that Early Childhood education is profoundly important as a foundation for life, and I have a deep reverence for maintaining the magic and wonder that is a part of the Kindergarten years.”

Malia earned her B.A. in Fine Art from Humboldt State University, MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder and holds her Waldorf Early Childhood Education certification from Rudolf Steiner College. Some of her passions include international travel, bike touring, sculpting with wool, metalsmithing, enameling, and ceramics. She was trained as a ballet dancer for over two decades, and has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1997.

Email: m.rivessmith@mbcharterschool.org

Jazmin Ventura

Morning Glory Kindergarten Teacher, Pedagogical Leader, ELOP Coordinator

Jazmin Ventura

Morning Glory Kindergarten Teacher, Pedagogical Leader, ELOP Coordinator

Jazmin grew up in Los Angeles, earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University, her M.A. in creative writing from UC Davis and attended the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. She served on the Highland Hall Waldorf School faculty for over ten years and worked as a third grade dual language Title I teacher at an IB charter school in Lubbock, Texas.

Jazmin was a member of the summer faculty at Rudolf Steiner College and, most recently, graduated her eighth grade class at Live Oak Waldorf School in Meadow Vista, CA. She is the recipient of a creative Fulbright and is co-publisher of LettersAt3AMPress with her husband, Michael.

Amber Beinhorn

First Grade Teacher

Amber Beinhorn

First Grade Teacher

Amber was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from CSUMB in Social and Behavioral Science in 2018, She then continued her education receiving her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix in 2021. She began her journey as a long-term substitute teacher in First grade at Bay View Academy where she discovered her love for teaching. Mrs. Beinhorn then went on to teach Kindergarten with MPUSD last year at Monte Vista Elementary. She hopes to create a warm welcoming environment in her classroom and is excited to join the MBCS team! In her free time, Amber loves to cook with her new husband Zach, go for hikes with her dog Zoe, read books, and knit.

Email: a.beinhorn@mbcharterschool.org

Kylie Guilinger

First Grade Teacher

Kylie Guilinger

First Grade Teacher

Kylie was born and raised in Hawaii and has known that she wanted to be a teacher since she was in the second grade. She attended Boise State University to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in K-8 mathematics and then taught 3rd grade in Boise and 2nd grade in Pocatello. After moving to southern California with her husband, she earned her Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Concordia University Irvine and taught kindergarten for three years in Rancho Cucamonga. Kylie is excited to set down roots in the Monterey Bay area and join the MBCS community. She is passionate about cultivating a welcoming and developmentally-appropriate learning environment for her students and is excited to be at a Waldorf-inspired school. When she’s not teaching, Kylie enjoys hiking, reading, baking, and spending time at the beach. Kylie’s extended family is spread across the country from Hawaii to Colorado to Boston, and she enjoys visiting whenever she gets a chance.

Email: k.guilinger@mbcharterschool.org

Chiara Lama

Second Grade Teacher

Chiara Lama

Second Grade Teacher

Chiara brings 5+ years of teaching experience fostering the importance of wonder and exploration with young children in pre-k, 2nd, 3rd and most recently a 4th grade classroom. Chiara obtained her multiple subject credentials from California State University Monterey Bay and her B.A in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University Northridge. Chiara’s passion for teaching is driven by her desire to tap into student’s innate curiosity to learn, excitement to move and explore, and creativity in approaching new subjects. When she is not in
the classroom she is open water swimming, trail running, practicing yoga and reading non-fiction books.

Chloe Ferguson

Second Grade Teacher

Chloe Ferguson

Second Grade Teacher

Chloe was born and raised in Singapore, as the child of two teachers. Upon moving to the United states, she attended University of the Pacific, earning a California Teaching Credential and concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language. Throughout college she worked with elementary schools across Stockton and Manteca student teaching, substitute teaching, tutoring, and coaching soccer.

Chloe loves cooking and past summers have been spent teaching local culinary classes to elementary students. She has spent the 2020-2021 school year working towards earning a Master’s of TESOL (teaching English as a second language), to further her ability to assist non-native English-speaking students during my teaching career. Chloe loves working with families and providing the support students need to become creative and successful community members. Growing up abroad taught Chloe the value of learning from other cultures and forming a community in the place she lives, giving her an appreciation for both travel and home. Chloe is excited to join the MBCS and Monterey community and cannot wait to share her passion for cooking, the outdoors, and teaching.

Nicolle Frazee

Third Grade Teacher

Nicolle Frazee

Third Grade Teacher

Nicolle is a passionate educator and artist with over 30 years of experience empowering, inspiring, and educating young learners. She comes to us from Highland Hall Waldorf School in Los Angeles, where she taught 1st and 2nd grades.

Nicolle completed her Waldorf Teacher training at the Waldorf Teacher Education Eugene (WTEE) program in Oregon. Prior to that she earned her teaching credential and BA from Concordia University in Irvine, California.

Nicolle is a lover of art, the sea, vegan food and all life, especially animals. She volunteered at a marine mammal center for two years rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing seals and sea lions in Laguna Beach. Nicolle is thrilled to relocate to the Monterey Peninsula among an abundance of marine life, sprawling seascapes, and in a community that values Waldorf Education. Nicolle is mom to Eden, who lives and teaches in the bay area and has two cats, Buddha and Freyja.

Amy Neiman

Third Grade Teacher

Amy Neiman

Third Grade Teacher

Originally from downtown Chicago, Amy Neiman graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in anthropology/archaeology before moving to California where she earned both a multiple subject teaching credential and a single subject teaching credential in the Social Sciences. She has since been involved in education in the Los Angeles and the Bay area where she taught 2nd, 3rd and 6th-8th grades in addition to co-founding a charter school which emphasized social-emotional learning and culturally responsive practices.

She has spent the past three years in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland teaching middle school Humanities at a project-based, expeditionary learning school.

Amy is an avid runner and loves nothing more than fresh air, mountains, music, travel and getting her hands dirty in the veggie garden. She is moving to the central coast where she is thrilled to be closer to family, nature and all the amazing things the peninsula has to offer. Needless to say, she will not miss the traffic of the big city.

Kaitlin Davis

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kaitlin Davis

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kaitlin Davis has worked in education for the past 5 years in a variety of classroom settings where she has discovered a love for working with children. She received her teaching credential from Cal State Monterey Bay and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Kaitlin is thrilled to share her passion for learning, art, and the natural world with her students, and cannot wait to embark on her journey as a Waldorf teacher.

Kaitlin grew up in Carmel Valley and moved back to the Monterey Bay in 2018. She has a deep appreciation for the beauty of the Central Coast and all that it’s outdoors have to offer. When she is not at school, she enjoys running, hiking, scuba diving, cooking, and reading. Kaitlin is ecstatic to be joining the team at Monterey Bay Charter School and is looking forward to a wonderful year filled with discovery, inspiration, and connection.

Email: k.davis@mbcharterschool.org

Stephanie Wilson

Fourth Grade Teacher

Stephanie Wilson

Fourth Grade Teacher

Stephanie Wilson was born and raised in Sonoma County. She went to University of California Santa Cruz for her Bachelors in English Literature, as well as her Masters in Education and teaching credential. She has been teaching in the Monterey Peninsula area for the past six years with middle school aged students.

When she is not teaching she loves to scuba dive—particularly in Monterey. She has been diving for six years and feels this underwater experience as well as first hand time in nature has made her a better teacher. She also loves to read, swim, bake, and walk/ hike with her two dogs.

Kaila Padovich Alter

Fifth Grade Teacher

Kaila Padovich Alter

Fifth Grade Teacher

Kaila grew up near Yosemite in Oakhurst, CA. Even from a young age, she always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Kaila earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies and received her credential from Cal State Teach, Los Angeles. In 2015 she moved to Monterey and began working as an after school educator. She joined Monterey Bay Charter School in 2016 and fell in love with Waldorf education.

In her free time, Kaila enjoys rock climbing with her husband and their two pups Missy and Kita. She also likes surfing, hiking, cycling, reading and spending time with friends and family. She loves the great outdoors. After a year of traveling around North America in her camper, she is excited to be back with MBCS.

Aaron Joseph

Fifth Grade Teacher

Aaron Joseph

Fifth Grade Teacher

Aaron earned his B.A. in Religious Studies (2002) and his M.Ed. and teaching credentials from UCSB (2007) and has been working in the field of education most of his adult life. He has taught nearly every grade from K-12, in addition to ESL for youth and adults. Aaron met Waldorf Education as a new parent and soon found that it aligned with his core beliefs about what nourishes children and makes for joyful learning. All of his four children have attended MBCS and other independent Waldorf schools.

Aaron joined the MBCS faculty in 2014 and took a class from 1st-4th grade. He then taught in the Kindergarten for two years, before returning to his former class and completing their journey through the grades. He is excited to be receiving a 5th grade class this year.

Outside the classroom, meditation, running, the arts, and the outdoors are central to Aaron’s life. He is also a certified teacher of Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), a powerful training that integrates Eastern contemplative practice with the Western science of emotion.

Email: a.joseph@mbcharterschool.org

Erica Behler

Sixth Grade Teacher

Erica Behler

Sixth Grade Teacher

Erica is a passionate educator who aims to inspire students by helping them cultivate ecological identities and form connections with the natural world. Her love for the outdoors stems from her California upbringing, where she spent time exploring the wonders of the coastline, redwood forests, mountains, and deserts. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Psychology from Monterey Peninsula College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from CSU Monterey Bay. She received her Multi-Subject Teaching Credential and her Master’s Degree in Education from Sonoma State University. During her education, she was able to work at schools in Salinas, Seaside, Carmel Valley, and Sebastopol.

Erica’s admiration for Waldorf education arose when her brother started attending MBCS. She truly resonated with the teaching philosophies and incorporated the methods into her studies when working in a Waldorf-inspired classroom during her student teaching.

When she is not teaching, Erica enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors and in the garden, traveling around the country with her two dogs, Leroy Brown and Nola, and learning about the local flora and fauna in the places they visit.

Amanda Hoff

Sixth Grade Teacher

Amanda Hoff

Sixth Grade Teacher

Growing up in San Jose, Amanda always knew that teaching would one day be her profession. On her journey to becoming an educator, the ebb and flow of life presented her with many adventures. After attending college in Redding, and brief return home to San Jose, love brought her to Fresno, where she and her husband made a home. During her time in Fresno, she graduated from Fresno Pacific University with a BA in Liberal Arts and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, earned her teaching credential, welcomed her daughter, Berkley, and began collecting animals (two dogs, five cats, and one chinchilla).

Having embarked on her latest escapade, moving to Monterey, Amanda is thrilled to plant new roots and use her passion for teaching to serve her students at MBCS. Her experience teaching 7th grade English Language Arts for the past three years proved that students confidently achieve their aspirations when classrooms center around creativity and wonder. Therefore, she brings to MBCS her excitement for designing innovative and supportive lessons that proactively provide her students with multiple means of engagement and discovery.

Outside of teaching, Amanda enjoys hiking, reading, practicing yoga, taking road trips near and far with her family, and playing with and cuddling her many animal friends.
Email: a.hoff@mbcharterschool.org

Natalie Croft

Seventh Grade Teacher

Natalie Croft

Seventh Grade Teacher

Through teaching, Natalie Croft inspires students to thirst for knowledge through creativity. She is very excited about her move to Monterey Bay Charter School from Carmel Unified, where she was the head teacher at the Cachagua Children’s Center. She also taught 2nd grade, ELD, preschool, sewing, photography and mixed media arts in Carmel. With a credential from Cal State Teach and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, she teaches her students how to observe the world around them through activities and lessons that promote curiosity. Mrs. Croft is looking forward to blending her passion for the arts and education together as a Waldorf educator. Through a Waldorf approach, her goal is to give students the skills and tools they need to achieve academic success and become confident members of their community.

Mrs. Croft lives in Carmel Valley with her husband Rusty Croft and their three children. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Croft has a passion for learning anything and everything in the science realm. It is quite possible, that is if you run into Mrs. Croft outside of school, you will find her looking down. That’s because she is fascinated with geology, which has turned her into a bit of a rock hound. On the weekend she also enjoys making art with her sculptor husband, crafting with her girls and reading astrophysics books. Yes, she likes the outer space realm too…even her cat’s name is Jupiter.

Emily Hardin

Seventh Grade Teacher

Emily Hardin

Seventh Grade Teacher

Bio TBA

Aaron Vasquez

Eighth Grade Teacher

Aaron Vasquez

Eighth Grade Teacher

Aaron moved back to the Monterey Bay Peninsula to raise his family in 2018. After graduating from Pacific Grove High School, he studied rhetoric at UC Berkeley and graduated in 2000. Starting in 2001, he embarked on his journey as a classroom teacher. Thrilled by the opportunity to share his passion for literature and communication, he has been driven by this calling ever since. Aaron earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from Santa Clara University to further hone his craft. He has taught in a variety of school settings over the years, from large public high schools to small independent private schools–mostly in the San Jose area. He is excited for the opportunity to teach at Monterey Bay Charter School.

As a newer parent, Aaron found himself reading a variety of parenting books during those long sleepless nights. It turned out that he was consistently drawn to the concepts and notions that he read in “Waldorf-inspired” books. He is certainly looking forward to teaching in a program that fits with his own beliefs so well.

Faculty

Subject Teachers

Lili Blalock

Subject Teacher: Handwork

Lili Blalock

Subject Teacher: Handwork

Lili has been teaching Handwork at MBCS since 2000 and a volunteer in Waldorf handwork classes since 1990. Her handwork experience began as a child with sewing and knitting and progressed to include spinning and weaving. Lili’s hand spun, hand-woven rugs and saddle blankets have received Best of Show awards at local fairs. She began working on her Waldorf Foundation and Special Subject teacher training at Rudolf Steiner in 2008 and has B.A. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught piano lessons since 1980 and performed with many soloists and chamber groups.

Email: l.blalock@mbcharterschool.org

Robert Ballard

Subject Teacher: Wood Working, Games

Robert Ballard

Subject Teacher: Wood Working, Games

TBA

Robert Ballard supports the Upper Grades Games and is also a Special Education Math Intervention Teacher at the Monterey Bay Charter School.

Email: r.ballard@mbcharterschool.org

Steve Vaden

Subject Teacher: Blacksmithing

Steve Vaden

Subject Teacher: Blacksmithing

TBA

Stefanie Hazdovac

Subject Teacher: Lower Grades Games

Stefanie Hazdovac

Subject Teacher: Lower Grades Games

Originally from Southern California, Ms Hazdovac worked with her family’s multi-restaurant business while raising her children and attending school. After relocating to the Monterey Peninsula, Ms Hazdovac was employed as an administrative classified employee with a local school district. There she was able to resume her education in pursuing the qualifications needed to earn her teaching credential in vocational education. After 15 years of teaching vocational education to high school and adult students, Ms. Haz began working at the K-8 level and was hired at MBCS in 2015 as the lower grades games teacher and aftercare coordinator.

Ms. Hazdovac holds a clear California vocational teaching credential w/ CLAD. Her many fitness qualifications include, certified NASM/AFAA/SCW Youth Exercise Specialist, Group Fitness and Personal Training, as well as “KAY” certified child’s yoga and “Dancepl3y” children’s fitness and a certified licenced Zumba Instructor.

Email: s.hazdovac@mbcharterschool.org

Arlyn Knapic

Subject Teacher: Strings

Arlyn Knapic

Subject Teacher: Strings

Arlyn Knapic is a prominent violinist and violist on the Monterey Peninsula. She is the violist for the Monterey String Quartet and has performed throughout California as an orchestral member and chamber musician, performing locally with groups such as Ensemble Monterey, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, I Cantori di Carmel and The Western Stage.
Arlyn began playing violin at the age of five, after attending a Monterey Symphony concert with her mother. She received a BA in English with a minor in Music from UC Santa Barbara, studying with Ronald Copes of the Juilliard String Quartet. After working as a substitute teacher and as a strings teacher with South County Strings, she decided to return to school, earning an MA in Violin Performance from San Jose State University, studying with Cecily Ward and Diane Nicholeris. Passionate about teaching, Arlyn has attended workshops throughout the United States on the Suzuki and Dalcroze Method, and is active in the local Music Teachers Association of California branch. Besides having run a private violin and viola studio for over a decade, Arlyn also teaches with Orchestra in the Schools. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, playing with her three daughters, and taking care of a dog, a cat, a bird, and a large garden!

Faculty

Special Education

Kari Wolf

Special Education Program Manager

Kari Wolf

Special Education Program Manager

Kari graduated from UC Davis in 2008 with a degree in Animal Science. She worked as a vet tech for 3 years in Sacramento, and 4 years in Monterey. After the birth of her son in 2014, her passion switched from focusing on helping animals, to helping children with special needs. Kari received her Education Specialist credential from CSUMB in 2016 with a focus on students with mild to moderate disabilities. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Education with a focus in Special Education at CSUMB, and will be completing her Masters in School Psychology next. Kari has a strong passion for supporting learners with special needs and their families. Her professional goal is to create a strong relationship between each family and our school, as well as to encourage parent participation and understanding of the special education process.

Vanessa Sorvetti

Education Specialist

Vanessa Sorvetti

Education Specialist

Vannesa is a traveler at heart and has called many places home. The redwoods in Northern California are one of her favorite places in the whole world. She received her BA in Social and Behavioral Science with a Concentration in Social History at California State University Monterey Bay. Vannesa recently finished her Masters in Special Education Mild/Moderate with Licensure at Grand Canyon University.

In her spare time, she and her daughter who also attends Monterey Bay Charter travel and explore as much as possible. She is also an avid reader and tends to read three to four books at a time. Feel free to chat books with her she is always looking for recommendations and new things to read.

Email: v.sorvetti@mbcharterschool.org

Andrea Webb

Education Specialist

Andrea Webb

Education Specialist

Andrea Webb earned her BA in Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University in 1995 then served 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa with her husband. She worked in residential treatment and family support services until her first child was born. She decided to stay home with her children until her youngest started kindergarten. Inspired by her daughter, she decided to try out working in special education. It was an instant fit! She spent 6 years working as a paraprofessional in special education and went back to school to get her credential in special education. 

She lives in Pacific Grove with her husband and three children (2 dogs and a cat). She is thrilled to be working at the Monterey Bay Charter School and in a field she is so passionate about. 

Lilian Dean

Speech & Language Pathologist

Lilian Dean

Speech & Language Pathologist

TBA

Amber Brumley

School Counselor

Amber Brumley, MSW, PPSC

School Counselor

Amber Brumley is thrilled to join MBCS as a full-time school counselor. Amber graduated with honors from CSUMB with a B.A. in Psychology. She continued her graduate studies at CSUMB and graduated with a Master’s of Social Work and a P.P.S credential in School Social Work as well as Child Welfare and Attendance. Having worked in higher education for seven years, Amber is excited to transition to K-12 education and become a part of the MBCS community. Amber values equity and believes in the personal dignity and value of each student and family that she serves. She is committed to helping all students reach their full academic, social, and emotional potential.

Email: a.brumley@@mbcharterschool.org

Maria Mishkind

School Counselor

Maria Mishkind, LCSW

School Counselor

Maria is excited to return to MBCS as the school counselor as well as being the field instructor for the two CSUMB clinical interns. Maria is a mom of three school-aged kids and two rescue puppies. Her life as a busy mom has informed her clinical approach to working with students and their families. Maria attended Wellesly College for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Education. She then attended New York University where she graduated with her Master’s in Social Work. Maria has been a child and family therapist for nearly 25 years.

Originally from California, Maria has also lived extensively along the East Coast and has traveled around Europe, Africa, and has studied in Spain. Maria moved to the Monterey Peninsula a few years ago. Her biggest love is hanging out with her kids. She also likes to walk on the beach, camp, travel and read.

Mimi Stokes

Paraeducator

Mimi Stokes

Paraeducator

TBA

Sara Rose Munoz

Paraeducator

Sara Rose Munoz

Paraeducator

TBA

Email: s.munoz@mbcharterschool.org

Rebecca Munoz

Paraeducator

Rebecca Munoz

Paraeducator

Rebecca is excited to be starting her second year as a paraeducator. She was born and raised in the beautiful rural community of Cachagua in upper Carmel Valley. Rebecca and her twin sister Sara-Rose spent their childhood years searching for the elusive Chupacabra. In 2019, she moved from Cachagua to Salinas, and began working at Monterey Bay Charter School as a Paraeducator. You may also find Rebecca on campus helping our kiddos with the summer camp program. If you don’t see her here you can frequently find her at Carmel-by-the-Sea, working at a popular Oyster Bar.

Email: r.munoz@mbcharterschool.org

Alicia Peak

Paraeducator

Alicia Peak

Paraeducator

Alicia originally hails from Grover Beach, which is about 2.5 hours south of Monterey Bay. She moved to the Monterey area in late 2021, after living in Melbourne, Australia for 4 years. Alicia traveled to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, and fell in love with the country. While in Australia she studied Mental Health and Community Services. If you ask her, she can assure you that Aussies do not say to throw a shrimp on the barbie… but they do love vegemite.

Prior to her time in Australia, she attended California State University, Fresno where she received her Bachelor’s in Sociology with a certificate in Applied Sociological Research Methods. Alicia is also gearing to embark on a new adventure… Graduate School. She is studying to receive a Master’s in School Psychology, and will continue to work in the Special Education Department throughout the program. When Alicia is not working with kiddos you can find her (or not find her) traveling and exploring new places. She also loves to spend the day reading a book while at the beach. Cheers!

Email: a.peak@mbcharterschool.org

Megan Johnson

Paraeducator

Megan Johnson

Paraeducator

I was born and raised in a small town in Tehachapi, CA. Then I moved to the San Luis Obispo area where I attended community college at Cuesta College and received my associates degree in Psychology. I worked at a Montessori school for a year before I moved to the Monterey area. I am currently attending California State University of Monterey Bay to complete my degree in Psychology. I plan to continue on my journey of education in School Psychology. I love working with children and gravitate towards children that need support. I enjoy the outdoors, hiking, yoga, and having quality time with my loved ones.

Kyle Villavicencio

Behavior Technician

Kyle Villavicencio

Behavior Technician

Kyle moved to Monterey in 2010 to attend CSUMB. He brings 6 years of experience working in the special education field and has had the opportunity to work with students ages 5-22 years old. He’s been able to work and grow under amazing teachers that provided insight as to how we can best serve our most vulnerable community members. These skills will be brought to our school and implemented to help our students learn and grow.

Some of Kyle’s main interests include working on cars/motorcycles, photography, travel, and cooking. Through covid, he was able to rebuild one motorcycle from the ground up and revive a wrecked car purchased as a project. Through high school, he was interested in photography but didn’t begin pursuing it until 2017. A close friend and mentor taught him the ropes and in 2021 started a photography business.

Email: k.villavicencio@mbcharterschool.org

Makena Volzing

Behavior Technician

Makena Volzing

Behavior Technician

Makena was born and raised in San Jose,CA before moving to Monterey in 2013 to attend CSU Monterey Bay. After graduating in 2017 with a B.A. in psychology, Makena worked for 5 years in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a behavior therapist. In 2022, Makena earned her M.A. in ABA from Ball State University and specialized in autism. Makena is passionate about providing neurodiversity affirming services for those with autism and other disabilities.

Email: m.volzing@mbcharterschool.org

Faculty

Intervention Teachers

Donna Kiernan

Compliance Officer & Schoolwide Assessment Coordinator

Donna Kiernan

Compliance Officer & Schoolwide Assessment Coordinator

Donna is a retired Elementary Principal. Her 22 year career in education includes being a Special Education Teacher, an Intervention Specialist, a Resource Specialist, and an Assistant Principal. Following retirement, Donna supervised student teachers from both Chapman University and Northern Arizona University, and was a photographer for the P.G. Chamber of Commerce for 6 years. Donna has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island, a Masters in Education in Educational Psychology from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, and a Masters in Education in Special Education Administration and Supervision from Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds clear California credentials in Administrative Services, Specialist in Special Education, Multiple Subjects, and life credentials as a Resource Specialist, and Community College Special Education Instructor. Her work experience includes 5 years at Hewlett-Packard where she trained new employees, coordinated advanced degree programs, did event photography, and wrote the HP Labs Division Newsletter. She has been a professional photographer for 25 years. Donna enjoys visits from her grandchildren, all activities in the outdoors, especially photographing family and ocean wildlife, and walking her Golden Retrievers in Pacific Grove and along the coastal bike trail.

Email: d.kiernan@mbcharterschool.org

Elaine Baca

English Language Development (ELD) Services

Elaine Baca

English Language Development (ELD) Services

Elaine was a public school teacher for 32 years in the Alisal Union School District in Salinas. She has a B.A. and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSU San Francisco. At AUSD, Elaine was a 4th-6th grade Literacy Facilitator and Coach for six years. She consulted with teachers, observed lessons, modeled lessons with students, and served as the upper grades teacher instructor. She had a similar assignment as Literacy Coach for K-3 teachers for four years. She has presented seminars with the California Association of Teachers of English, Asilomar Reading Conference, and Monterey County Office of Education. Elaine worked as a substitute teacher for MBCS before becoming the school’s Reading Specialist. She enjoys reading, writing, exercise classes, and spending time with her husband gardening at their Monterey home.

Email: e.baca@mbcharterschool.org

Kristin Zelaya

Intervention Specialist

Kristin Zelaya

Intervention Specialist 

Kristin is a California native and has called  Monterey County home for the past nine years.  Her three children all attend Monterey Bay Charter School. Kristin earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies and multiple subject credential from San Francisco State University. Her early years in education were teaching at elementary schools in Iowa, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. After years of being part of the MBCS community, she is thrilled to join the amazing faculty.

  

When she is not teaching, Mrs. Z enjoys being outdoors. You will likely find her at the beach, pulling weeds in her front yard, or just relaxing in her hammock with a book. Her husband, three children, and eleven chickens live in Prunedale.

Email: k.zelaya@mbcharterschool.org

Mary Corey

Occupational Therapist

Mary Corey

Occupational Therapist

Mary holds a BA in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz and an MS in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University where she focused her studies on mental health and facilitating healthy aging through social participation. Her work experience as a school based Occupational Therapist includes supporting the learning of children in special day classes and in general education settings. Long an admirer of the Waldorf philosophy and values, having learned of it through family and friends, Mary is looking forward to working with students in a Waldorf environment. Outside the classroom, Mary enjoys viewing native birds and wildflowers, hiking, folk dance, baking, and fiber crafts.

Email: m.corey@mbcharterschool.org

Brenda Osterman

Intervention Specialist

Mary Corey

Intervention Specialist

Brenda is originally from Los Angeles and has lived in Monterey County on and off since 2013. She has worked in education for the past eight years in both general and special education. Brenda earned her B.A. in Psychology at California State University Northridge, and then took classes for her M.A. in Educational Psychology and Counseling to become a Marriage, Family and Child Counselor. She counseled children and also co-led a parent education group. Then she returned to school to earn her multiple subject credential at California State University, Fresno. She has also taken classes toward a credential in Special Education at California State University Monterey Bay.

Brenda is excited to be at Monterey Bay Charter School! She has one grown son. When Brenda is not teaching, she loves to take long walks with her dog, read books, go to the beach and watch classic old movies.

Email: b.osterman@mbcharterschool.org

Staff

School Support

Addison Edwards

COVID-19 Coordinator

Addison Edwards

COVID-19 Coordinator

Addison has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from San Jose State University, and has been teaching Anatomy & Physiology at CSUMB for 12 years. She has a background in healthcare through her previous work as a clinical exercise physiologist for Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, and has held numerous positions in the health and fitness field within the community. She was looking for a way to become more connected with MBCS when her oldest child began kindergarten there, and saw the position of covid tracking & tracing as a way to both help the school and be part of its community.

Email: covidcoordinator@mbcharterschool.org

Jenny Wood

Kindergarten Aide

Jenny Wood

Kindergarten Aide

Jenny obtained her B.F.A. in Textiles with Distinction in 1985, and earned an M.A. in Art Therapy from the College of Notre Dame in 1992. Ms. Wood has held positions as an Art Therapist in hospitals over the last 10 years; prior to that she was a Textile Lab Assistant, Production Weaver and Camp Counselor. Ms. Woods has also been a very active volunteer as an Art Therapist in educational and convalescent environments since 1988. She became a Kindergarten Assistant in 2002.

Jenny Wood is also part of the Before Care Program Staff in the Foothill Campus.

Email: j.wood@mbcharterschool.org

Zanub Shah

Kindergarten Aide

Zanub Shah

Kindergarten Aide

Zanub Shah grew up in Lodi and moved to the Peninsula in 2008. She is the mother of four children, three of which attend Monterey Bay Charter School and one who graduated from MBCS. Besides sipping on chai tea, Zanub loves the beach and the outdoors and enjoys going for walks and hikes. Cooking, decorating & designing are some of her favorite things, and recently has grown fond of plants and gardening.

Zanub was a stay-at-home mom for 14 years. During that time, she was volunteering with the Play & Learn Program’s PTA where her kids attended, and eventually became the Vice President for the PTA for a few years. Most recently, she worked at the Waldorf Inspired Rosebud Preschool in Pacific Grove and now has joined Monterey Bay Charter School. At first a parent and now an employee, Zanub is excited to join the team.

“It’s great to be a part of a school that not only teaches with the eyes, ears & mouth but with the head, heart, and hand. This school has done wonders for my children and overall family. It has not only brought our family out of its comfort zone but made us feel like we belong to a wonderful community. It is my goal to give that same warmth & love back to the children and their family.”

Michelle Vine

Kindergarten Aide

Michelle Vine

Kindergarten Aide

Michelle is from Vancouver Canada, and has lived in Monterey for the past 9 years. She loves hiking, mountain biking and crafting. Michelle is thrilled to bring her experience as a mama and educator to Monterey Bay Charter School’s magical kindergarten world & school community.

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