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Mark Briceno
Mark Briceno
Main Campus Classroom Support Teacher and Aftercare Coordinator
Mark Briceno

Mark Briceno

Main Campus Classroom Support Teacher and Aftercare Coordinator

Mark is a wonderful Associate Teacher supporting Third - Eighth grade and our Aftercare Coordinator. Mark has eight years of teaching experience including five years at the Bay Academy in Shenzhen, China as 2-3 grade teacher. Mark holds a BS in Journalism and Communication, a BA in Literacy Studies and Elementary Education, and holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Mark is highly recommended and has an excellent record of connecting with students, and helping them to gain confidence and become engaged in their learning. He is a great sports enthusiast, and brings this passion to the classroom.

Pam Cross
Pam Cross
Director, Operations & Finance
Pam Cross

Pam Cross

Director, Operations & Finance

Pam’s career began at Lucas Film Limited in the Star Wars generation, where she worked in accounting and asset administration for 15 years. She then transitioned into education, working at Knowledge Universe Education (KinderCare Learning Centers) in many capacities including Director of Purchasing, and at Klemmer Leadership Seminars as Director of Operations and Finance. Pam is committed to nurturing community and educational access, having served on the board of the nonprofit organization Daily Acts and currently sitting on the board of the Mustard Seed Scholarship Fund. Pam and her husband Chuck live in Petaluma and have two grown sons. Pam enjoys gardening, traveling, reading and spending time with her family.

Susan Dalton Guzman
Susan Dalton Guzman
Bilingual Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten Spanish Teacher
Susan Dalton Guzman

Susan Dalton Guzman

Bilingual Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten Spanish Teacher

Susan joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2016. Susan holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Barbara City College as well as a California Child Development Teacher Permit and Site Supervisor Credential. Susan is a fluent Spanish speaker and offers her students an engaging introduction to Spanish and the opportunity to build Spanish language skills each day. Prior to joining the faculty at The Spring Hill School, Susan was the director and owner of her own preschool for 10 years, where Spanish language and multicultural activities were her focus. She also spent seven years as a Lead Teacher and Program Manager and two years as a Site Supervisor at North Bay Children’s Center. She has volunteered as an assistant coach for Sonoma County Girls on the Run and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In her free time, Susan enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, kayaking, bicycling, and being out in nature with her son Morgen and daughter Maya.

Claudia Diaz
Claudia Diaz
Main Campus Office Manager
Claudia Diaz

Claudia Diaz

Main Campus Office Manager

We welcome Claudia Diaz as our k-8 grade Office Manager. Claudia comes with extensive experience in administrative work including the Office Manager at Bellevue Union School District. In her position, Claudia assisted families, students, and staff in a professional and warm manner and through effective systems of communication. Claudia has a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She also holds an Associates of Science Child Development and taught primary schools as a teacher and supervisor for three years. Claudia is also a Copywriter/Creative Content Creator. She is bilingual, organized, positive, and joyful and excited about joining the Spring Hill in the office as well as the afterschool program for 3-8 grades

Cynthia Diaz
Cynthia Diaz
Co-Lead Teacher, Lower Elementary Grades 1st & 2nd, Spanish Teacher
Cynthia Diaz

Cynthia Diaz

Co-Lead Teacher, Lower Elementary Grades 1st & 2nd, Spanish Teacher

Cynthia joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Early Childhood Development from Sonoma State University. She also has a Montessori Elementary credential from American Montessori Society. Cynthia has worked with students from 1st through 5th grade since 2009 in a variety of different capacities in the classroom, including a behavior and education specialist, student support instructional assistant and tutor in many subjects, and an after-school classroom director. She is a native Spanish speaker and enjoys integrating cultural studies in her Spanish lessons. Cynthia believes it is important to encourage conversational Spanish throughout the school day as well as after school help to connect Spanish as a second language with real-life experiences and activities. She enjoys listening to her students sing and speak Spanish throughout the day, play games and read in Spanish. Cynthia is a graceful, respectful, and positive role model with strong organizational and leadership skills. She absolutely loves being with children. Cynthia enjoys cooking and baking, as well as hiking and camping with her husband Arthur and their son Rylan.

Susan Dieli
Susan Dieli
Spanish Teacher Grades 3rd-8th
Susan Dieli

Susan Dieli

Spanish Teacher Grades 3rd-8th

Susan Dieli is the Spring Hill Spanish Teacher for grades 3 through 8. Susan is a graduate of Webster College, St Louis. MO, where she designed her own B.A.- Minstrelsy: the Art of the Medieval Minstrel in the 20th Century. After many years spent as a jack-of-all-trades in the fine and performing arts, Susan earned her teaching certification in Spanish at Goshen College and has been teaching for 14 years in both public and private schools. Most recently, Susan spent six years at Oak Farm Montessori School in Fort Wayne, Indiana where she developed the program and taught Spanish, grades 4 - High School.

Andrew Emer
Andrew Emer
3-8th Music, After School Orchestra
Andrew Emer

Andrew Emer

3-8th Music, After School Orchestra

Andrew has 27-year career in the arts as a professional bassist. He holds a bachelor's Degree in music from Sonoma State University and a Master's degree in music from New York University. After a stint working on various broadway shows and working great musicians including but not limited to Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Branford Marsalis, and Ben Vereen, Andrew went on to a one-year stint as musical director for Phyllip Seymore Hoffman and the New York City public theater. Andrew has toured and performed in 22 countries and was visiting jazz instructor at the National Conservatory of Brussel, Belgium at Antwerp. He currently works with the Santa Rosa Symphony and is a listed producer at Prairie Sun Recording Studios. Andrew's teaching credits include Sonoma State (current professor), The Santa Rosa Symphony Simply Strings program as program manager, low strings coach, and advanced Chamber group conductor. He is excited to join the Spring Hill school and guide the school to build an amazing music program!

Jeffery Erkelens
Jeffery Erkelens
Advancement Director
Jeffery Erkelens

Jeffery Erkelens

Advancement Director

We welcome Jeffrey Erkelens as our school’s Advancement Director. Jeffrey holds a BA in Business Administration and has over 30 years of successful and diversified experience in leading, founding, developing and managing high profit financial, product, and venture business companies, and non-profit organizations. For the past 15 years, Jeffrey has been Chief Business Officer and Development Director at Novato and Sonoma Charter Schools. He has helped both schools to grow their development efforts successfully through community participation and grants. Jeffrey is bilingual and has extensively traveled, and worked abroad. He is professional, organized and cares deeply about connecting with teachers and families. Jeffrey looks forward to listening and hearing what our community values, making sure our community is connected and engaged around our students' excellent learning experiences, and our school’s success.

Fabiola Estrada
Fabiola Estrada
Bilingual Associate Teacher, Snowy Egrets Primary Class
Fabiola Estrada

Fabiola Estrada

Bilingual Associate Teacher, Snowy Egrets Primary Class

Fabiola is an experienced teacher and outdoor program educator who has been a member of the Spring Hill faculty since 2014. A native Spanish speaker, she offers an excellent bilingual program to her students, bringing Spanish to life in a natural “real world” manner. Fabiola integrates conversational Spanish with an engaging outdoor curriculum, offering students a rich learning experience. Fabiola’s positive energy always brightens the days of her students and everyone around her. She is a passionate early childhood educator and celebrates the joy her students find in their work. Fabiola has extensive outdoor education training and creates a welcoming and secure environment, giving children the confidence to explore, play, and learn. She enjoys spending time outside of school with her family.

Denise Gage - Collins
Denise Gage - Collins
Lead Teacher, Snowy Egrets Primary Class
Denise Gage - Collins

Denise Gage - Collins

Lead Teacher, Snowy Egrets Primary Class

Denise Gage-Collins is the Lead Teacher of Spring Hill’s Snowy Egrets Primary classroom. Her love for learning and her students shines as she brings her experience in both Waldorf and Montessori into the classroom. She holds an Early Childhood Education AMS Teaching Certificate and has spent 25 years teaching in a Montessori classroom environment. She is also Waldorf (LIfeways) Certified. Denise is also a dance teacher and holds a Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Certificate. When she is not in the classroom Denise enjoys yoga, dancing, music, hiking, backpacking, camping, gardening, paddle boarding, being in nature, and spending time with friends and family.

Raul Galo Gongora
Raul Galo Gongora
Buildings & Facilities
Raul Galo Gongora

Raul Galo Gongora

Buildings & Facilities

Coming soon!

Marie-ange Haddad
Marie-ange Haddad
4th Grade Teacher
Marie-ange Haddad

Marie-ange Haddad

4th Grade Teacher

Mari-Ange leads our fourth grade students. Marie-Ange is an experienced teacher, highly trained in project-based teaching and learning. In her previous school, she was a trainer of teachers in project-based education. She holds a BA in Elementary Education, and a BA in Child and Youth Studies. Marie-Ange is organized, and has excellent positive classroom management. She believes in differentiated instruction, and strives to offer small group, and individual support to insure the success of every student. Marie-Ange also brings to her classroom a growth mindset, creative thinking, assessments, inclusion, and helping students develop grit.

Shaharazad Hamidi
Shaharazad Hamidi
Head of School
Shaharazad Hamidi

Shaharazad Hamidi

Head of School

Shaharazad has been Spring Hill’s Head of School since 2010, and before taking the helm was a Lead Teacher for 21 years. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership as well as degrees in business administration and literature, and is an accomplished independent school leader. Under Shaharazad’s guidance, Spring Hill has become a premier private school in the Bay Area, with a holistic educational philosophy, an exceptional curriculum based on advanced science and creativity, and an emphasis on global education and bilingual programs. She has traveled internationally as an invited educator, teaching the psychology and philosophy of Montessori education and the impact of whole-child education, addressing academics, social-emotional learning, and leadership.

Shaharazad has lived on three continents and is fluent in three languages. She is passionate about learning and continuous education, world literature, painting, sculpture, photography, films, and cooking. She says, “My international background and life experiences have given me an understanding of the importance of preparing students for life. My goal for our students is that they become joyful and confident learners, well-rounded individuals, and leaders capable of making informed choices and fair judgments when they face the challenges and complexities of our world.”

Shaharazad and her husband Siamak are long-time residents of Petaluma and active in many community organizations. They are proud of their daughter Elica, an attorney and graduate of Spring Hill.

Loryn Hatten
Loryn Hatten
Director of Communications and Associate Director of Admissions
Loryn Hatten

Loryn Hatten

Director of Communications and Associate Director of Admissions

We’re excited to welcome Loryn Hatten in a new administrative capacity as our Communication Director, and Admissions Associate Director. Loryn holds a BA in Teledramatic Arts and Technology from CSU Monterey Bay, and an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. Before coming to The Spring Hill School, Loryn served as the Production Manager and then the Producing Artistic Director for Peninsula Youth Theatre in Mountain View, California for seven years. She has always found great joy in supporting children and families. She loves the vibrant and supportive community at Spring Hill and is enthusiastically looking forward to her new position that is aligned with her interests and passions.

Cara Hicks
Cara Hicks
Lead Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class
Cara Hicks

Cara Hicks

Lead Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class

Cara Hicks joined Spring Hill in 2020. She has a Montessori Primary teaching credential from the American Montessori Society and is completing her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori emphasis from the University of Massachusetts. Cara has been involved in Montessori her entire life, attending a Montessori school during her elementary years. She also has experience assisting in a Montessori Primary and Lower Elementary. She was drawn to the Headstart program where she served in a variety of roles; Center Director, teacher, and family service advocate. “As a Montessori student, I learned what it means to be a global citizen, respect the wisdom of other cultures, and to think outside myself. My mission, as an educator is to create an environment that encourages children to follow their passions and curiosities; one that fosters independence and empathy.”

Her travels have taken her to India, Nepal, and most currently she spent time in Thailand studying the technique of QiGong. Cara enjoys hiking, swimming, and spending time with her family.

Jean Hicks
Jean Hicks
Elementary Director
Jean Hicks

Jean Hicks

Elementary Director

Jean Hicks is our K- 4 Director. What continually inspires her about The Spring Hill School is its vision and mission. “Spring Hill has a pioneer spirit, consistently evaluating, and challenging its members to look at best practices in education. Secondly, but equally important, is the satisfaction one experiences spending each day with educators who find intrinsic joy in their work.”

Her past work experiences include many years in elementary teaching, founding Walden Green Montessori School, a K-8 school in Michigan, founding a school in the slums of West Bengal, India, and creating Paideia Tutoring, an Orton Gillingham tutoring business. Jean joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2004 as the Lower Elementary (grades 1 and 2) Lead Teacher.

Jean enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, and working. Nearest to her heart are the rare occasions, “when the whole family, scattered over Chico, Abu Dhabi, Nova Scotia, and Austin, are together under one roof!”

Danielle Javadi
Danielle Javadi
School Counselor
Danielle Javadi

Danielle Javadi

School Counselor

We welcome Danielle Javadi as our first school counselor. Danielle holds a Masters of Arts in Community Counseling (MFT), and a Masters of Science in Counseling (MFT), and a Masters of Science in Counseling (MFT). For the past 8 years, Danielle has been successful working with Mark Day School as the school’s counselor and Social and Emotional Coordinator. Danielle also has a private practice in Petaluma since 2017 helping children, teens, and adults with issues related to anxiety, behavior, and parenting. She helps her clients to shift negative through patterns for positive behavioral changes through mindfulness, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Danielle will be working with students and teachers as well as parents as needed in support of our students’ social and emotional learning and wel-being.

Jen Klem Clarke
Jen Klem Clarke
Middle School Director, Lead Curriculum & Advisory Coordinator, High School Placement Counselor
Jen Klem Clarke

Jen Klem Clarke

Middle School Director, Lead Curriculum & Advisory Coordinator, High School Placement Counselor

Jen brings to Spring Hill her passion and over 20 years of middle school teaching, leadership, and advisory experience, including 5 years of teaching in Pleasant Hill and San Francisco, 4 at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland, and 11 years at Marin Primary and Middle School in Larkspur. She holds an MA in educational administration and curriculum development, a BA in liberal studies, a California K-12 Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, and a Giftedness: Realizing the Potential credential. Her wealth of training and certificates also includes a Clear, Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD), and she has focused her professional development on learning and the brain, global citizenship and humanities curriculum development, project-based learning, student leadership, and mindfulness. After moving to Petaluma six years ago, Jen is very excited to be working close to home so she can spend more time with her husband, Kevin; their always entertaining sons, Finn and Kai; and their adorable Cocker Spaniel, Zoe. She enjoys yoga, cooking, gardening, crafting, reading, and most of all, exploring the world with her curious boys.

Natalia Gonzalez
Natalia Gonzalez
K-2 Support Teacher, Elementary Aftercare Coordinator
Natalia Gonzalez

Natalia Gonzalez

K-2 Support Teacher, Elementary Aftercare Coordinator

Natalia Gonzalez works on our elementary campus, providing K-2 support and aftercare. Natalia is an experienced and passionate teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience including 6 years as associate teacher for TK and Kindergarten classes in Petaluma. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Studies, Minor in Spanish and her Associates Degree in Child Development. She has completed her first year of Teacher Credentialing Program and has a k-6 substitute teaching certificate. Natalia is an educator at heart and has organized and led academic learning both in English and Spanish, and engaging activities designed to promote physical, mental and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, and field trips

Zak Kowal
Zak Kowal
PE Teacher Grades 1st-8th, Athletics Director
Zak Kowal

Zak Kowal

PE Teacher Grades 1st-8th, Athletics Director

Zak holds a BA in business management and a teaching credential in physical education. He has years of experience as athletic director, PE, and movement teacher and coach at independent schools in Silicon Valley. He has also led all seasonal sports, including baseball and basketball, and has a love for sports, health and nutrition, community, and team building. Zak is a motivated, personable, and skilled teacher who has worked with students of all ages. As an advisor in middle school, he is passionate about reaching out and connecting with his students for maximum mentoring, coaching, and success. He is also passionate about music—at his previous school, Zak DJ’d dances, and events!

Ed Longnecker
Ed Longnecker
6th Grade Advisor, 6th Grade Humanities, Math Teacher Grades 6th & 7th
Ed Longnecker

Ed Longnecker

6th Grade Advisor, 6th Grade Humanities, Math Teacher Grades 6th & 7th

Ed Longnecker joined Spring Hill in 2020. He holds a BA in Communications from Sonoma State University and has also earned a California K-12 Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, a Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD), and an Administrative Service Credential from Sonoma State as well. Ed brings a lot of enthusiasm and experience to Spring Hill. He has been working with middle schools in Sonoma and Napa Counties for the last 17 years. During that time he has worked as both an assistant principal and a teacher. Ed comes to us from the Napa Unified School District where he has recently had three teacher of the year nominations, as well as nominations for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, and won runner up as Napa Valley’s Male Role Model of the Year in 2019.

Griselda Lopez
Griselda Lopez
Bilingual Support Teacher, Primary Program
Griselda Lopez

Griselda Lopez

Bilingual Support Teacher, Primary Program

Coming soon!

Katie Lopez
Katie Lopez
1/2 Grade Teacher
Katie Lopez

Katie Lopez

1/2 Grade Teacher

We welcome Katie Lopez to our 1 - 2 grade teaching team. Katie has over 10 years of excellent 1 - 5 grade teaching. She holds a Masters degree in Education and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with English Learner Authorization, and a BA in Communication Studies. Katie has been a teacher trainer for the Lucy Calkin’s Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop through Columbia University. She has also been a district VAPA (visual and performing arts) site leader for her previous school for 4 years. She has advanced knowledge of outdoor education and Play Space practices. She has assisted in leading the HEART Program (Health Education through Art) for elementary aged children. Katie has a great positive and collaborative attitude, and commitment to her teaching and her students' success. Katie and Cynthia Diaz have already started their collaboration, and are looking forward to working together as a very strong team.

Eveyln Martinez
Eveyln Martinez
Bilingual Lead Toddler Teacher - Pufflings
Eveyln Martinez

Eveyln Martinez

Bilingual Lead Toddler Teacher - Pufflings

Jeff Mattison
Jeff Mattison
Associate Teacher, Hummingbirds Primary Class
Jeff Mattison

Jeff Mattison

Associate Teacher, Hummingbirds Primary Class

Jeff Mattison is the Associate Teacher in the Hummingbirds Classroom. Before arriving at Spring Hill, Jeff taught at the Primary level at the Montessori School of Sonoma for four years. Prior to that, he was the founder and co-owner of Redwood Montessori School in Penngrove, where he and Kim Zeunert-Mattison taught at the Primary level for fifteen years. He holds BA degrees in Sociology and Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and he completed his Montessori training at Brush Creek Montessori School. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys being involved with music.

Eliz McCoy
Eliz McCoy
Theater and Digital Art Instructor
Eliz McCoy

Eliz McCoy

Theater and Digital Art Instructor

Elizabeth McKoy is passionate about Teaching Theatre, directing and Arts Education. For over 16 years, Elizabeth has been the founding artistic director of the award-winning professional theatre company, Berkeley Playhouse.In the process, she has developed a thriving musical theater school serving over 1,400 students each year and over 50,000 patrons a year. Elizabeth has directed and musically staged over 35 shows and is also a painter, creativity curriculum writer, and teacher. Over the past 20 years, Elizabeth has trained hundreds of teachers in Theatre and Integrated arts education.

Elizabeth fell in love with Petaluma and moved with her family in 2021 where she began Artaluma - a non-profit creativity center and artisan shop. She and her 8 year old Alexandra LOVE the Springhill school and can't wait to become more deeply involved in this community. She is happiest surrounded by her 5 children, husband and dog "Bella."

Sarah Mead
Sarah Mead
Lead Teacher Kindergarten
Sarah Mead

Sarah Mead

Lead Teacher Kindergarten

Sarah holds a Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Social Justice Education from New York University, and a BA of Fine Arts. She has a Multiple Subjects State of California Teaching Credential (fall 2022), and a Single Subject Visual Art K-12 State of California Clear Credential, and NFHS Certified Athletics Coach Cross Country + Track and Field. Sarah has 8 years of excellent teaching experience. She is a passionate teacher. Her heartfelt mission is to teach all her students to love learning. She wants them to experience school as a place where they belong and can be successful as a learner and as a leader. The classroom environment that Sarah builds with her students is joyful, collaborative, engaging, consistent and kind. Sarah is committed to her students' social and emotional learning, and excellent academics through exploration and hands-on projects based on an integrated science and art based curriculum.

Clara Munoz
Clara Munoz
Bilingual Associate Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class
Clara Munoz

Clara Munoz

Bilingual Associate Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class

Coming soon!

Yadira Munoz
Yadira Munoz
Bilingual Support Teacher
Yadira Munoz

Yadira Munoz

Bilingual Support Teacher

Coming soon!

Rebecca Nakashima
Rebecca Nakashima
3rd Grade Teacher
Rebecca Nakashima

Rebecca Nakashima

3rd Grade Teacher

Rebecca Nakashima was born and raised in West San Jose, California. She is the oldest daughter in her family, with one younger sister who is 6 ½ years younger. Growing up, her elementary school experience was a challenging one with being diagnosed with learning disabilities, as well as having too much energy than most adults appreciated during the late 90s. Thanks to finding the right tutor, she was able to work hard and gain the confidence she needed to succeed, which eventually led her to teaching. Rebecca graduated from California State University, Fresno in 2012 with a BA in Deaf Education, thinking maybe being a teacher to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing would be the right career choice, but it was not until 2014 when she knew in her heart she was meant to be in the general education sector. Rebecca has taught third and first grade at both small and large schools, independently private and secular private schools, including four years as lead third grade teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School. She has been happily married for over a year now, and has left the busy city of Hayward to settle down close to her mother’s side of the family here in Petaluma. For now, Rebecca and her husband spend their time cooking together, playing video games, and taking care of their 11 house plants.

Marla Pedersen
Marla Pedersen
Art Specialist, Grades 3-8
Marla Pedersen

Marla Pedersen

Art Specialist, Grades 3-8

Marla Pedersen is Spring Hill’s art specialist. Marla graduated The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Art Education and moved to San Francisco in 2005. She taught art for 15 years at St. Vincent de Paul High School and St. Vincent Elementary School in Petaluma and Sebastopol Charter School. She teaches private art lessons in her home studio to artists of all ages and works on her own art career, focusing on drawing, painting, and collaborating with her husband on original screen print designs.

Marla has a passion for teaching youth and relates the art making process to their own lives, making connections through art history, cultures, and a wide range of artists and styles to develop a rich art curriculum. Students will understand art as a language, a way for people to communicate ideas and world issues through images and making, a way to show people what’s in our heart and what we value, in a visual form. She has lived in Petaluma for 12 years and has two sons, Milo, age 9, and Oliver, age 11. Marla loves art and nature, family time, road trips, camping, picnics, hiking, beach days, and playing piano.

Lacey Reese
Lacey Reese
K-8 Learning Specialist
Lacey Reese

Lacey Reese

K-8 Learning Specialist

We welcome Lacey Reese as our K-8 Educational Specialist and 3-8 learning support Specialist. Lacey holds a BA in Arts, Economics and her Special Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials. She has extensive experience in creating a learning center model based on educational evaluation and testing such as IEP for schools. Lacey’s teaching includes both collaboration with teachers on curriculum differentiation and implementation and working with students on one on one or small group instruction to assure each student's learning and success. Lacey is excited to be part of The Spring Hill School team. She brings years of experience supporting diverse learners. She recognizes the importance of goal setting based on The Spring Hill School mission and vision, and looks forward to playing a positive role in each student's educational experience.

Rosalva Reyes
Rosalva Reyes
Bilingual Support Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class
Rosalva Reyes

Rosalva Reyes

Bilingual Support Teacher, Sparrows Primary Class

Coming soon!

Pablo Rodriguez
Pablo Rodriguez
Music Specialist Grades PK-2nd
Pablo Rodriguez

Pablo Rodriguez

Music Specialist Grades PK-2nd

Pablo Rodriguez is a well-known singer, guitarist, and teacher in the North Bay area. He has performed in a wide variety of styles including classical, Brazilian music, jazz, gospel, pop, and Eastern European music. He has collaborated for years with songwriters, poets, dancers, choirs, and multi-media artists in many venues. He is an experienced teacher both in classroom and private instruction.

Rosa (Rosie) Ruiz
Rosa (Rosie) Ruiz
Bilingual Lead Teacher, Ducklings Toddler Class, Primary Program Bilingual Aftercare Coordinator
Rosa (Rosie) Ruiz

Rosa (Rosie) Ruiz

Bilingual Lead Teacher, Ducklings Toddler Class, Primary Program Bilingual Aftercare Coordinator

Rosie, a native Spanish speaker who is also fluent in English, has worked in early childhood education for ten years. She has an Associate Teacher Certificate and CNA certification (Certified Nursing Assistant). She also has a TALLK project certificate (Teacher Acquiring Language Learner Knowledge), a program that provides preschool teachers with training and coaching in specific strategies for interacting with English learner children to best support language acquisition.

Rosie is passionate about promoting children’s desire to read and write, and she focuses on engaging her young students in acquiring age-appropriate language skills. She brings to her students and colleagues a perennial positive outlook and good humor in approaching teaching and life. She is devoted to her young students and offers them a loving environment each day. She values the trusted relationships she develops with parents. Rosie’s greatest joys are her sons Anthony and George and her husband Tony. She loves spending time with her family, cooking for them, and cheering for her sons and husband when they play their favorite sport—soccer. An animal lover, she enjoys walking her five dogs and caring for her farm animals.

Alpa Sanwal
Alpa Sanwal
5-8 Science, 8th Grade Math
Alpa Sanwal

Alpa Sanwal

5-8 Science, 8th Grade Math

Alpa Sanwal is our STEAM coordinator for fifth - eighth grade, science teacher, and eighth grade math teacher. Alpa comes with many years of excellent math, science, and STEM teaching in Middle and High schools for the past 7 years. She holds a BA in Human Biology and a Masters in Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Science. Alpa’s talents include, but are not limited to, curriculum development, analyzing data and scores to develop effective blueprints for student success, public speaking and presentation skills. She is trained in mindfulness, and leading classes that guide her students to learn about evaluating, tracking, and improving their learning styles, and achievements through mindfulness and goal setting.

Katie Saran
Katie Saran
8th Grade Advisor, Humanities Teacher Grades 7th-8th
Katie Saran

Katie Saran

8th Grade Advisor, Humanities Teacher Grades 7th-8th

Katie Vanko is the 7th and 8th Grade Humanities teacher at The Spring Hill School. She has a BA in Liberal Studies, as well as a Multiple Subject Bilingual California Teaching Credential. Katie also holds a Master's Degree in Reading and a Reading Specialist Certificate from Sonoma State University. Katie has 12 years teaching experience in both Mammoth Lakes, CA and Petaluma. She has great passion for working with middle school students, guiding them as they realize their unique potential. Utilizing tailored lessons and curriculum that build lifelong readers and confident writers is important to her. She enjoys being out in nature with her family, and puppy Charlie Girl.

Karen Sheehan
Karen Sheehan
Preschool Director
Karen Sheehan

Karen Sheehan

Preschool Director

We welcome Karen Sheehan as our Primary Program Director. Karen has over twenty years of experience in teaching, and in school directorship. She holds a BA in psychology, holds Montessori Teaching Credentials from the American Montessori Society (AMS) and Executive Director Certifications. In her position, Karen has been a coach, and mentor for teachers and parents with the commitment to each student’s education, and success in a caring and safe learning environment. Karen is excited to lead The Spring Hill Positive Discipline classes for our new Toddler and Primary families to share the Positive Discipline method and approach in guiding our students’ social and emotional learning, which is the foundation of the Spring Hill School education.

Reina Starke
Reina Starke
Associate Teacher, Pufflings Toddler Class
Reina Starke

Reina Starke

Associate Teacher, Pufflings Toddler Class

Reina Starke joined the Spring Hill faculty in 1992. She has been an important part of the Spring Hill community for many years as a member of the administrative team, an Elementary after-school program teacher, a classroom substitute teacher, and a teacher in Spring Hill’s Toddler program. Reina’s mother was Spring Hill’s office manager when she was growing up, and when Reina welcomed her first child, she began working alongside her mother as an after-school teacher. With her mother’s passing in 2014, she is committed to carrying on her legacy of creating a warm and fun educational environment for the children of our community. Reina lives in Petaluma with her husband and two of her three daughters, all Spring Hill alumni. When she’s not with her Spring Hill family or her young granddaughters (one of whom is a Spring Hill student), Reina enjoys long walks, reading, and spending time at the beach.

Zainab Unchwaniwala
Zainab Unchwaniwala
Toddler Teacher - Cygnets
Zainab Unchwaniwala

Zainab Unchwaniwala

Toddler Teacher - Cygnets

We welcome Zainab Unchwaniwala as Cyngets Toddler Lead Teacher. Zainab has over 15 years of teaching experience including 7 years at an excellent Montessori per-school. Zainab holds her Master’s degree in Administration and a BA in Arts in English Literature, and Child development courses and training. Zainab's positive and peaceful attitude and presence, her commitment to connecting and nurturing each child to learn and to thrive, and building strong partnerships with their families are all aligned with The Spring Hill School’s mission and vision. Zainab brings her enriched heritage such as music, dance, and art into her classroom.

Rian Verdu
Rian Verdu
Associate Toddler Teacher
Rian Verdu

Rian Verdu

Associate Toddler Teacher

Tracy Walthard
Tracy Walthard
Associate Head of School, Director of Enrollment Management, Pre-algebra Teacher
Tracy Walthard

Tracy Walthard

Associate Head of School, Director of Enrollment Management, Pre-algebra Teacher

Tracy holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a BA in speech communication, as well as a multiple subject K-12 California teaching credential and an administrative credential. As a long-time resident of Sonoma, Tracy is deeply rooted in our beautiful county. She is equally rooted in her dedication to education and student learning at K-8 grade independent schools. After 20 years’ experience in education, Tracy transitioned from teaching to administration at The Presentation School in Sonoma, where she taught, led admissions and marketing, and was Assistant Head of Curriculum and Instruction for 17 years. She is passionate about Spring Hill’s goal to prepare students to be lifelong, joyful learners, and active citizens of a global community. The school’s focus on respect for self, community, and the environment, as well as our commitment to global awareness and culturally inclusive learning, are personal passions for Tracy.

Cara Wasden
Cara Wasden
Public Speaking Coach
Cara Wasden

Cara Wasden

Public Speaking Coach

Cara Wasden has been teaching public speaking at Spring Hill since 2018. Cara has been a member of the international public speaking organization, Toastmasters, since 2005. She has won numerous speaking and storytelling competitions over the years and has helped many others achieve the same success. These days her passion lies in helping younger people gain public speaking skills and confidence early on. Throughout the last four years, Cara has coached and co-coached a number of Toastmasters youth leadership programs throughout the Bay Area. She continues to co-coach public speaking sessions for programs such as Tomorrow’s Leaders Today and Chop‘s Teen Center. She also co-coaches interviewing workshops for high school seniors involved with The Lime Foundation. Cara loves teaching public speaking to Spring Hill’s middle school students and is enthusiastically passing on her passion to others!

Asherah Weiss
Asherah Weiss
Art Specialist Grades 3rd-8th
Asherah Weiss

Asherah Weiss

Art Specialist Grades 3rd-8th

Asherah holds a teaching credential for visual arts and is a life-long artist. Most recently, she taught at Healdsburg Junior High where she graduated long before as an 8th grader. Asherah previously co-founded a community arts center in Santa Rosa and has supported many other community-based projects. She’s offered art to elders with dementia, worked with youth on the Autism Spectrum as a behavioral tutor, and engaged in many things in between.

Asherah’s excitement lies in what the arts can do for the world — making everything more collaborative, sustainable, beautiful, and meaningful. She loves to bridge many art forms from drawing, video, and handcrafts to movement and singing. Creativity is a way of life for Asherah and sharing it with her students brings her so much joy!

Rachel Wiebe
Rachel Wiebe
Lead Teacher Middle School, Grade 5
Rachel Wiebe

Rachel Wiebe

Lead Teacher Middle School, Grade 5

Coming soon!

Siamak Zadeh
Siamak Zadeh
Science Advisor
Siamak Zadeh

Siamak Zadeh

Science Advisor

Coming soon!

Kim Zeunert - Mattison
Kim Zeunert - Mattison
Lead Teacher, Hummingbirds Primary Class
Kim Zeunert - Mattison

Kim Zeunert - Mattison

Lead Teacher, Hummingbirds Primary Class

Kim Zeunert-Mattison is the Lead Teacher of the Hummingbirds Primary Class. Kim has a BS in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her Montessori Teaching credential from the American Montessori Society. Kim has been a Lead Montessori educator for the past 25 years, including 15 years as the founder, director, and Lead teacher for Redwood Montessori School from in 2001–2015, and teaching at Montessori School of Sonoma. Kim is a true believer in teaching and guiding children to gain “love of learning” and setting foundations for our children in becoming confident, skillful, respectful, and kind adults. Her teaching includes an authentic Montessori curriculum, peace education, teaching American sign language, and incorporating movements, songs, stories into vibrant circle and group times, when children are enthusiastic to participate. Kim is an avid traveler and passionate about guiding her students to become caring and respectful stewards of Mother Earth. Kim has a great focus on geography, cultural studies, and including world music in her Primary program.

Kim lives in Petaluma with her husband Jeff, who is also an educator and a musician. In her spare time, Kim plays bass guitar, loves to run, read, further advance her knowledge for early childhood education, hike, cook, and volunteer at non-profit organizations that are meaningful to her.