BA in Child Development, California State University, Sacramento
Alex, a Presentation alumn is thrilled to return to Presentation as a teacher! Alex is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento where she earned her BA in Child Development with an emphasis on Special Education, followed by her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. During her time with the Elk Grove Unified School District, Alex worked with K-5 students, with an emphasis on differentiated instruction.
Alex spent a year working as an Applied Behavior Analyst working with with varying degrees of behavioral challenges and children with autism. Returning to the Valley in 2011, Alex applied her curriculum development skills while at Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, where she taught large group classes in science and literacy intervention.
Alex is also trained in Responsive Classroom, which means she is enthusiastically well-versed in helping children develop growth vs fixed mindsets. Born and raised in Sonoma and this town holds a very special place in her heart. When not teaching Alex loves spending time with her new husband Nick, family, hiking, painting and playing with her dog Jack.
As a child, I was fascinated by rocks. Once I reached fourth grade though this interest expanded into gold! Much of my childhood was spent on my grandparents ranch in Ukiah where many afternoons were filled with hours of "panning for gold." A beautiful creek ran the entire length of the ranch, winding up into a canyon at the back of the property. These memories of "staking out my plot", perfecting my technique of swirling sand in a pie pan (most likely secretly "borrowed" from my Grandmothers kitchen) hoping for a speck of gold, have inspired me as I begin planning curriculum and our class overnight adventure! As an adult I still collect rocks; big rocks and small rocks, ones with lines, flecks of pretty color or even just a unique shape. I look forward to sharing my personal interests and curiosity as we study our unique California history, and the gold rush, with the 4th graders!
MA in Counseling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute
BA in Spanish, DePauw University
Single Subject Teaching Credential (Spanish), Regis University
Sarah is a licensed MFT and serves as the school counselor two days a week. She is a great resource for extra support for the students where needed. She loves working with kids and wants to help them feel and be successful.
Additionally, Sarah goes into each classroom 1-2 times per month and teaches lessons on mindfulness and empathy.
School can be a rewarding and challenging experience for our students. At times, social/emotional issues may affect your child's performance in school. Therefore, we have Sarah Hartnett, a licensed MFT, as our counselor who is available for individual and/or group counseling services. Your children with get to know Sarah as she also visits all of the classrooms twice a month to teach lessons on empathy, which help students navigate social issues that may arise among their peers. Several areas will be discussed, including, but not limited to: navigating social media, teaching mindfulness, and developing mental muscle which enables students to think realistically, manage their emotions and take positive action. Sarah will be available to students and staff two days a week. Sarah enjoys skiing, yoga, hiking, and sailing with her family.
1st Grade Teacher
Master of Arts in Education (Specializing in Math), University of California-Davis
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education with an emphasis in Child Development, Humboldt State University
Stephanie was born and raised in Eureka, California. She has been a regular visitor to Sonoma for the last 3 years and is happy to now call it home! She loves the small-town community and is excited to be a part of The Presentation School family.
She received her multiple subject teaching credential from UC Davis in June 2019 and is on track to obtain her Masters Degree from UC Davis in the Fall of 2019. Stephanie has five years of preschool and afterschool experience working with ages 2-12, along with preschool director experience. She recently completed her student teaching in a kindergarten classroom in Vacaville. Her particular interests are in the developing child and adjusting instruction to best meet their individual needs.
Stephanie enjoys spending her time outdoors, hiking, going to the beach, and gardening as well as travelling and spending time with her family.
3rd Grade Teacher
M.Ed. National University
BA in Education, University San Diego
Melissa is originally from upstate New York and comes from a big, extended Italian family. She moved to Southern California when she was ten and has always wanted to be a teacher.
Melissa studied education at the University of San Diego where she received her bachelor's degree and credential. She also holds a M.Ed. with an emphasis in reading.
Melissa taught in San Diego for seven years until she met her husband and moved to the Bay Area in 2008. Her tenure includes 8 years teaching fourth grade at San Domenico School in Marin before joining Presentation School. Melissa believes in educating the whole child and teaching her students how to maintain a growth mindset when it comes to learning.
Melissa and her husband, Domenick, live in Petaluma with their two young daughters. Isabella attends Presentation School. Their four year old Gianna is in preschool in Petaluma. In her spare time Melissa enjoys park time with her kids, the beach, and visiting family in Orange County.
My third graders are always teaching me and reminding me that I am a lifelong learner. Last year I realized just how special the bond is that we create when we spend almost 7 hours together each day. Though I know that my students thrive on our daily classroom routine, I always think that if I am out for a day, it is a nice little break for them. To my surprise, even if I was out for only a few hours in the morning, my students welcomed me with hugs and screams as if I was a movie star! To feel that kind of love when you enter a room is a treasure. It solidified for me the relationship we have as we grow and learn and share our year together.
4th Grade Teacher
BA in Humanities / minor in Psychology, Dominican University
Ms. Teresa Caselli was born and raised in Sonoma and has been teaching at The Presentation School since 2003. Prior to that, she completed her student teaching and worked as a substitute for Petaluma City Schools, followed by a long-term substitute position at Prestwood Elementary School in Sonoma.
Teresa received a BA in Humanities with a minor in Psychology from Dominican University. She also received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican.
In addition to ongoing education in a variety of subject areas, Teresa has been invited to be a visiting team member for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in California and Oregon.
Teresa taught 3rd grade for ten years at the Presentation School and began teaching 1st grade in 2013. She loves teaching the younger children and helping to foster their curiosity and creativity, as well as to guide their academic, social-emotional, and spiritual growth.
Teresa enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, hiking (with binoculars), and spending time with family and friends.
My 1st grade teacher was Sister Juanita Mary at St. Francis Solano School in Sonoma. I remember her classroom and the respectful pace at which we were allowed to develop our academic and social-emotional skills. She was kind, but firm and had a natural ability to make learning fun and exciting, often through music, which she played for us on her acoustic guitar. Being a very shy child who clung to her mother for the first week or two of 1st grade, Sister Juanita Mary quickly won me over and made my memories of first grade warm and tender.
5th Grade Teacher
BA in Art, Sonoma State University
Jamie Mitchell was born in Minnesota and moved to California when she was nine, and has loved it here ever since! She lived in the East Bay before moving to Sonoma County to attend college.
Jamie graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor's degree in Art and a minor in Art History. She received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University. She joined the Presentation family in 2009 and taught fifth grade for seven years before looping with the class of 2019 to the sixth grade. She enjoys coaching the Presentation Science Olympiad team and teaching the Yearbook elective each year. She is a Google Certified Educator.
She is married and has two children, a son and a daughter. When not at school, she is camping, swimming, hiking, traveling, or kayaking with her family.
One of my favorite things about teaching is watching kids learn something new. At first a child may struggle with a new concept or idea, however there is a magic moment when their face will light up with understanding and excitement as the unfamiliar becomes the understood.
6th Grade Teacher
Keefe was born and raised in rural New England to parents who were both independent school educators. With an additional two uncles and an aunt being teachers, his family gatherings served as his initial inspiration to join the educator’s community. Following his family’s move to California at age 17, Keefe attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and has made the Bay Area his home ever since.
After graduating, he worked in the organic foods industry for eight years before making the transition to an environmental education nonprofit. It was when he began leading students on extended outdoor education trips to the High Sierras and Mojave Desert that his desire to become a teacher really took root. To follow that calling, Keefe completed the teacher preparation program at Dominican University and spent a year student-teaching at Miwok Valley elementary school in Petaluma. Keefe also worked as a counselor for nature therapy programs aimed at helping at-risk children.
Keefe enjoys extended backpacking trips in wilderness areas throughout the country and hopes to inspire students to learn and grow by connecting them to the greater natural and human community that surrounds them.
Growing up, my elementary and middle-grade teachers were some of the most positive and fortifying influences in my life; even to this day I think of them for inspiration. They were well-rounded, creative, and their own excitement for learning burst through them. Like them, I believe that a teacher can catalyze lifelong pursuits and a love for discovery. With students I’ve worked with, I’ve seen the light that shines when they connect with their innate gifts and their capacity to be an inspired learner. I look forward to making my classroom a place where every student realizes this potential.
7th Grade Teacher
8th Grade Teacher
M.Ed University of Oregon
BA Education, University of Oregon
A fourth generation Sonoma resident, Gina knew she wanted to be a teacher as she was sitting in her fourth grade class at Flowery Elementary School and "teaching" her brother lessons at home.
After graduating from Sonoma Valley High School, Gina attended the University of Oregon where she received her B.A.and M.Ed. with honors in Teaching and Learning.
Gina moved back to Sonoma with her husband Michael, a resource development manager for Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County.
Mrs. Irvine was a founding faculty member at a Vallejo Charter School, EL Education, for eight years, teaching and developing student centered, project based learning curricula. Mrs. Irvine taught fourth grade at Sassarini Elementary School, and joined Presentation School’s dynamic middle school team in 2016. Like many Presentation School teachers, Gina is trained in Responsive Classroom techniques, and is excited to apply her passions in our community.
Gina believes in educating the whole child and pushing each one to reach their personal goals. In her spare time, Gina enjoys anything outdoors, including painting, gardening, hiking, and camping.
One of the reasons I love to teach seventh grade is that the students know themselves and have strong interests and passions that follow them into the classroom. A few times during the year, I give a group assignment, along with specific learning targets or guiding questions. I then let the group decide how to present their information to the class. I will never forget the first time I gave this option to my class.
The variety of presentations was amazing. One group did a Slide Presentation, one group put together a rap, another created a picture book. But the group I remember most is one that put on a play, complete with script, props and costumes. I was able to sit back and admire the passion, joy and skill the students displayed. I laughed with the class and lost myself in their performance. These are the moments I teach for, and a huge reason I am at The Presentation School.
Middle School Science
K-8 Art teacher
K-8 Music Teacher
Debra Chambliss is a vocalist, pianist, instructor and Music Director who has worked in the Bay Area for the past 30 years. She began her singing career at 7 and became the accompanist for her church and K-12 private school at 10.
Debra Chambliss accompanied weekly Chapel services and won several awards as vocalist and accompanist for the MS and HS Competition Choirs.
Debra taught K-8th Grade music for the past 17 years in the SF Archdiocese at several schools, and directed the annual 8th Grade Play for St. Anselm. This work included leading several school choirs; teaching theory, history, and genres; incorporating drums, chimes, and rhythm instruments into the classroom; as well as performances, and creating school-wide concerts twice a year. She will be bringing these skills to our music/performing arts department, as well as serving as Music Director for our annual all-school Spring Musical.
She has worked as an accompanist and Music Director at dozens of theaters, including SRT, The Mountain Play, and CCMT. Currently, she is the Director of the Marin Symphony Children's Chorus. Highlights have included playing keyboards at the Post Street Theatre for the national tour of The 20th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and at the Orpheum Theatre for the North American premiere of Edward Scissorhands, as well as directing music for the West Coast Premiere of Children of Eden.
I have always loved Disneyland (still do!); the diversity and talent of the musicians always fascinated me. As a child, when the pianist at Carnation Plaza let me play a ragtime song I knew (AT DISNEYLAND! :) - I knew music would be my great passion in life (even before great food, and wine, and - well, Disneyland).
BS in Human Development and Family Studies / Minor in Elementary Education, University of Rhode Island
Reiley was born and raised in Burlingame, California. Her family moved to Sonoma in 2015 and she instantly fell in love with Sonoma County. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Education. During her college career, Reiley worked in multiple grades in classrooms throughout the state of Rhode Island. Her passion has always been to teach and teaching runs in her family.
Last year, Reiley had an active role with us at Presentation through her substitute teaching. She is now well known to many students and parents alike. Reiley believes in creating a learning environment where students strive to reach their full potential and their own unique learning styles. She aims to bring consistency, diligence and warmth to the classroom in a fun and inspiring way. As a recent graduate, she shares fresh ideas from her East Coast experience to integrate with our existing philosophies and guiding principles.
Reiley played Varsity Women’s Lacrosse and Basketball in high school and has coached at the elementary school level. She looks forward to being involved in elementary athletics and is a huge Golden State Warriors fan! She enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
There is nothing better than a freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencil and a new notebook! I’ve always loved everything about school and that is why I made it my career. One of my favorite memories from my elementary school was the Multicultural Feast, which was a celebration of different cultures through food and dance. Our school had over twenty different nationalities represented. It was so fun learning about all of the cultures and being exposed to their traditions. Each family brought food that represented their heritage and it was always a delicious feast!