TK, Kindergarten & 1st Grade Teachers

Nancy Chiprich ~ K/1

Hello! My name is Nancy Chiprich.


I received my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from the University of California Pennsylvania. I started my teaching career at Sunol Glen in 1997 and have primarily taught first grade and K/1. I am excited to take part in your child’s education. My goals are to create and provide a comfortable, safe (AND fun!) learning environment for all students that enter our classroom and instill a lifelong love of learning.

 

I love teaching kindergarten and first grade!!  I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of our new families!

Huong Giang ~ K/1

Hello, my name is Huong Giang.

I am happy to be part of our awesome K/1 team here at Sunol Glen! I love working with children and continuing to grow and learn professionally. I received my teaching credential from Saint Mary’s College and went to UC Davis for my undergraduate degree in History. I am starting my 22nd year of teaching, with this being my eighth year as a K/1 teacher at Sunol. I started off teaching 5th grade for one year, 3rd grade several years, and 2nd grade for many years. No matter the grade level, I strive to create a learning atmosphere which celebrates honesty, mutual respect, flexibility, critical thinking, cooperation, humor, imagination, and innovation. I am very appreciative of the tremendous support here at Sunol Glen and look forward to meeting and welcoming my new students and families into my class!  

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Rachel Maugeri ~ TK/K/1

Hi Sunol Glen Eagles! 

 

My name is Rachel Maugeri and I am so happy to be a part of the Eagle family! I grew up in Santa Cruz and now live in Livermore. I attended San Diego State University for my undergraduate degree and then received a masters in education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Some of my favorite things to do are going to the beach, going on hikes and cooking!

 

This year will be my 6th year of teaching. I strongly believe in students having choice in their learning, building a classroom community where everyone feels safe and supported and teaching to the whole child. I love the small school feel and the tight knit community that comes with being a part of the Sunol Glen family. I have most recently taught a 2/3 combo right here at Sunol Glen. In the past I have also taught both kindergarten and first grade. I am very excited to be back with the littles and moving to a TK/K/1 combo this coming year!

 

I look forward to meeting and welcoming all my students and their families in the fall!

 

2nd & 3rd Grade Teachers

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Carly Horton ~ 2/3

Aloha!

 

My name is Mrs. Horton, or Mrs. H for short, and the 2021/2022 school will be my first year at Sunol Glen. Last year, I taught in the Cupertino Union School District, at a school in San Jose. After moving to Livermore in November 2020, I knew that I had to find a school closer to home. I was excited when I found Sunol Glen - I was drawn to the small school and the close knit atmosphere. 

 

I grew up in San Carlos, then went down South for my undergraduate degree at San Diego State. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Child Development. I found my love for teaching when I volunteered at SDSU’s preschool. Once I moved home after college, I taught preschool for a few years before moving to Los Angeles. I met my now husband while home for Christmas, which is what brought me back to the Bay Area!

 

After teaching preschool for about ten years, I was ready for a challenge and decided to get my MA and Teaching Credential at San Jose State University. I have taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, and I am looking forward to this new beginning as a 2nd/3rd grade teacher! I was our site technology mentor at my school last year, and I love to supplement lessons with elements of technology. 

 

You’ll notice a Hawaiian theme in my classroom - I’m part Hawaiian through my mom’s side of the family. (The “K” in my middle name stands for “Kalawakua,” a name that has been passed down to the women in our family for over 100 years.) I was even able to teach last year from my mom’s house on Oahu during distance learning. Hawaii is my happy place!

In my spare time, I am a fitness instructor at Barry’s in San Jose and Palo Alto. I also enjoy cooking from scratch (I am trying to perfect my pasta recipe), reading, finding new restaurants to try (send me recommendations!), and working out. I also love being outdoors, preferably at the beach! I live with my husband (we just got married this summer) in Livermore, and we love it so far (especially the Farmer’s Markets)! 

The most important part of teaching for me is the classroom community. Every year, my students and I will work together as a team to create a classroom environment that feels safe, welcoming to all, and fun to be in.

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Keely Garcia ~ 2/3

Hello!

My name is Keely Garcia and this will be my first year as a full-time teacher at Sunol Glen. During the first part of 2020, I taught here as a long-term substitute for fourth grade. After leaving Sunol Glen, I taught in a third and fourth grade combo class in Castro Valley. I am so excited to be back teaching with the Eagles.

I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. While there, I met my husband, James, and decided to move out here to be closer to him. We live in Livermore with our dog, Lu, and have strong ties to Sunol. My husband's great-grandpa attended Sunol Glen, as well as my husband and many of his family members; and we even got married, on their family ranch, right down the road from the school! I have always loved hearing about how impactful this school was to so many people and I hope I can do the same for others.

The most important part of teaching for me is creating lifelong learners. I hope my students come in each day feeling cared for, welcomed, and ready to learn something new. My classroom motto is "in 2nd/3rd grade, we problem solve!" and I hope to give them the tools to do so both in class and in the "real" world. I can't wait to meet more of the students and families throughout the school year.

Dani Cimino ~ 2/3

Hello! My name is Ms. Danielle Cimino!

The 2022-2023 school year will be my 12th year working at Sunol Glen School and my 10th year as a 2nd/3rd grade teacher. I am looking forward to teaching Monday-Wednesday each week and job sharing with my awesome co-teacher Ms. Drazen.

I grew-up in Sunol and attended Sunol Glen K-8th grade myself; so this school and its traditions are near and dear to my heart. I had a great experience at Sunol Glen and I enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community that gave so much to me. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher and couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. 

I earned my B.A. in History with a minor in Education from University of California, Santa Cruz. While in college I spent a year studying abroad at Cambridge University, UK, and then later studying at the Universidad de Cordóba, España. After undergrad, I earned my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, with EL Authorization & GLAD Certification from CSU East Bay while intern-teaching in Union City. A few years later I completed my Masters of Science in Education, option in Reading Instruction, with a Reading & Literacy added authorization. Recently, I attended Lucy Calkins' Summer Writing Institute at Columbia and became a Google Certified Educator. I want my students to be lifelong learners and believe in leading by example.

When I was kid I spent most of my time reading, taking care of my pigs and cattle through Sunol 4-H, crafting not so great art projects, and playing the clarinet in the marching band. Now that I'm a grown up, I balance my time between teaching and raising my one year son Jesse with my husband Mike. When my boys aren't keeping me busy I enjoy baking, photography, and planning adventures traveling around the world.

I am greatly looking forward to this upcoming school year and getting back in the classroom. I want to challenge all of my students to rise to their fullest potential while at the same time making sure they have fun, feel safe, and are kind to themselves & their peers. It's going to be a great year!

Kate Drazen ~ 2/3

Hello!

 

My name is Kate Drazen and I am delighted to be teaching 2nd/3rd grade at Sunol Glen School this year! I earned my B.A. in psychology from Colgate University and my M.A. in curriculum and instruction from University of the Pacific. While earning my teaching credential, I was an intern at Head-Royce school in Oakland, where I taught kindergarten and fourth grade. Before coming to Sunol Glen, I taught third grade for three years at Loma Prieta Elementary School, and have taught fourth and fifth grades here at Sunol Glen for the last three years.

 

I strive to collaborate with students to create a warm classroom community in which students feel empowered to think critically and solve problems, both academically and as citizens of their communities.

 

When I am not teaching, you can find me spending time with my family, trying new recipes, traveling, or reading. I love reading historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery books, and have a passion for discovering new middle grade titles. 

 

4th Grade Team

Jamie Dorighi ~ 4

Hi!  My name is Jamie Dorighi. 

 

I have been teaching for 14 years, and I’m thrilled to be returning for my 12th year at Sunol Glen!  I grew up in Fremont, California.  I obtained a degree from UC Berkeley majoring in American Studies.    I continued my education at San Jose State University where I earned my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.  In 2015, I received my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on teaching literacy across curriculum.  I also received my Reading Specialist Credential.  

 

I love teaching and working with children.  I love that each day is different and brings about new challenges and successes. Besides teaching at Sunol I have taught 2nd/3rd grade in the Cupertino Union School District at Portal Elementary. I also taught 2nd grade in the Santa Clara Unified School District at Don Callejon School.

 

I take pride in creating a classroom community where students are eager to express themselves.  I want my students to develop a sense of responsibility towards their learning and behavior while feeling comfortable and confident in their abilities.     

 

When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my husband Mark, and my three kids Brooke, Vince and Taylor.  Whenever I get a chance I like getting out for a trail run!

 

I can’t wait to discover the gifts that each student will bring to our class.   

Aurora Commentz ~ 4

My name is Aurora Commentz. I am so excited to be the TOSA (teacher on special assignment) as well as one of the 4th grade teachers this year at Sunol Glen. This will be my seventh year teaching, and my fourth year teaching at Sunol Glen. Prior to 5th and then 7th grade at Sunol Glen, I taught kindergarten and TK at a school in Southern California, then I worked for the school district in Livermore as a home hospital teacher (8th grade) and as a teacher for Adult English Learners. 

 

I grew up in a small mountain community in Southern California called Wrightwood. I love the mountains. I went to Biola University with a major in Intercultural Studies interdisciplinary with Education and graduated in 2013. I completed a summer internship in Moscow, Russia in 2012 where I taught English as a second language. I completed my credential through the University of Redlands in 2016. I appreciated my time at University of Redlands because there was a focus on social justice in education throughout the program. 

 

I care deeply about making sure that students feel seen, known, and valued for who they are as they learn. I also believe that I am here as a facilitator of learning. I have high expectations of students because I know that they are capable of meeting those expectations, and I am here to help them reach those learning goals. 

 

I met my husband in 2012 and we got married in 2015. I live in Livermore with my husband, Bryan, and our dog, Johnny. I recently got Bryan to go camping with me for the first time! I’m hoping he’ll start to love the mountains too! Together we enjoy reading and discussing fun books, going to the beach, road trips, and learning about history.

 

5th Grade

Katrina Figueira ~ 5

Hello Sunol Glen Families!

 

My name is Katrina Figueira and I am so excited to be teaching at Sunol Glen School!  I grew up in San Jose and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in psychology.  I then pursued my teaching credential from Cal State Hayward and continued my education to obtain my Masters in Education, with an emphasis in Reading Instruction, and my Reading Specialist credential from CSUH as well.

 

Working with children is my passion and my calling.  I taught in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in the city of Pleasant Hill for over 20 years.  I taught 5th grade for 14 years, and then worked in a job-share in both 3rd grade and 5th grade while my children were young.  In 2017, I joined the Sunol Glen family, teaching as a part of the wonderful 2/3 team, and am now happy to have returned to 5th grade.  I aim to make my classroom a place where all students feel important, encouraged, believed in, and respected.  I enjoy the challenge of helping every student to reach their full potential. 

 

My husband, David, and I live in Fremont with our two children: Caleb, who is 14, and Eliana, who is 12.  When I'm not teaching, I love spending time with my family, reading, traveling, and enjoying our sweet dog, Kota.

 

I am delighted to work with your children this year! 

 

Middle School

Chris Wheeler ~ 6

Hey Sunol Middle School, 

 

Thanks for dropping by. I’m Chris Wheeler and I teach 6th Grade!

 

The last couple years have been unusual. Maybe you haven’t seen me around campus, but I’ve been lucky enough to be teaching here at Sunol for over a decade. Through the years, I have taught several different classes and various grade levels.  6th Grade is my favorite and I’m still here: lucky me!  I am grateful to be working at our small school with such an energetic, dedicated team of professionals.  I look forward to our traditional school experiences safely returning to our beloved Sunol Glen community.  

 

I grew up in San Jose and spent the first part of my working life in the printing and publishing business. Times were good in Silicon Valley, we eventually built our own manufacturing facility in the small town of Brentwood California.  Many years later, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to return to school and transition from the factory to the classroom.   

 

Way back in history, I served with the Marine Corps as an Aviation Ordnance Specialist.  I spent my desert time as a machine gunner in a helicopter squadron. We traveled throughout the Middle East, eventually arriving on the U.S.S. Tarawa, circling the Persian Gulf and preparing for potential missions elsewhere. On the slow ride home, we were tasked with humanitarian objectives in both Bangladesh and the Philippines.

I currently live in Brentwood with my wife Sandy and our canine friends Athena and Iris. Our daughter Christina manages a laboratory for a pharmaceutical company in San Diego and our son Kyle lives close by in Pittsburg and is working at a family meat store here in Brentwood.  

 

I still love to read, ride bikes and exercise. I even made it back into the ocean for some stellar scuba diving this summer.  I can’t wait to get this year started, let’s bring it!

 

Chris 

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Melissa Arata ~ 7

Greetings!
My name is Melissa Arata and I am thrilled to be joining the Sunol Glen Family. I was born and raised in Castro Valley. In 2005, I moved to Southern California to attend Cal State Fullerton where I majored in Liberal Studies. After earning my Bachelors degree, I returned to Cal State Fullerton to get my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s in Education. As a life long learner, I continue to take courses focusing on rigorous curriculum, equity, social emotional learning, and social justice.

2022/2023 will be my 10th year in the classroom. My first year teaching I taught a 7/8th grade self contained classroom and I am thrilled to be going back to 7th. The last 8 years I taught 2nd and 3rd grade, with one year of 6th in the middle. I believe that this experience will help me become a valuable asset to the Sunol Glen Family.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, running, reading and spending time with my friends and family.

I look forward to learning, laughing and growing with your Middle Schoolers this year.

Warmly,

Melissa Arata

Karen Jeffries ~ 8

My name is Karen Jeffries; I am the 7th & 8th Grade Language Arts & History teacher as well as Student Council teacher. I have been a teacher at Sunol Glen since 2004. I’ve taught first, second, and third grade before moving to the middle school program. Before coming to Sunol Glen I taught for one year in special education.

 

I grew up in Pleasanton and graduated from Foothill High School. I played a lot of sports while going through school. After graduating, I went to Sonoma State where I majored in Business and minored in English. Once I completed college, I worked as a media buyer and started pursuing my MBA at Saint Mary’s. I started going to school to be a teacher in 2001. I completed my program in 2003 and received a Teaching Credential as well as my Masters in Education.

 

I met my husband Johnnie, in 1999 and we got married in 2002. We enjoy traveling, going camping, and playing sports such as softball and golf. We live in Pleasanton with our son, Cody, dog, Ginger, and cat, Beanie.

 

Electives

Maretha Davel ~ Music
Morgan Mitchell ~ Art