Born and raised in Lima, Peru and moved to Kansas when she was 10 years old. Katherine is a first-generation college student and earned her master's and undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. She is dedicated to serving youth and supporting them to reach their goals and dream. In the past she has served as a vice principal in a K-8th school in East Oakland and as a special education teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in WCCUSD. Ms. Acosta-Verprauskus values working in partnership with teachers, students, and families to maximize the learning and experience of ALL students get at Montalvin Elementary School. In her spare time she chases her 2 year old son and enjoys cooking in her Richmond home.
I was born and raised in Maryland and came to the Bay Area as a professional musician in 2006. I play many instruments! I got into education while giving lessons at a school and fell in love with the art of teaching. I have taught Middle School Math and Science for ten years prior to coming to Montalvin. I have a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Mills College and am currently finishing up a Doctorate degree. I am very excited to be the new Vice Principal of a great school in a great community. My role here is to serve the families, students, and staff and to provide the supports needed to assure that all students are academically, socially, and emotionally successful. I am committed to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students.
Dean of Climate & Culture
Unconditional Education Coach
Born and raised in the Midwest, Ms. Kays brings nearly 15 years of experience as an educator, school leader, and nonprofit founder and director. Her experience in education spans from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade general music, theater, dance, and technology. Most recently, she was the Interim Assistant Principal at Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago where she coached teachers in classroom culture, student engagement, and effective teaching strategies. She attended Greenville College, earning a degree in Music Education and earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Education Leadership from DePaul University. In her free time, Kim is an avid swing dancer and vintage fashion lover. Ms. Kays joins Montalvin as part of the Unconditional Education partnership with Seneca Family of Agencies and is excited to build on the already amazing culture at Montalvin to create an environment where all students can thrive.
Stephanie Lucero -Transitional Kindergarten
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Los Angeles.
Where did you go to college? I attended California State University at Los Angeles where I received my BA and MA in sociology.
Why do you like teaching or why did you become a teacher? I have always enjoyed expanding peoples horizons.
What do you like about Montalvin Manor K-8? We have an amazing population.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy swimming and quilting.
Do you speak any other languages? Yiddish
Ana Maria Libunao - Kindergarten
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in the Philippines. I moved to Los Angeles, California in 2004 then moved to the Bay Area in 2015.
Where did you attend college? I graduated from De La Salle University in the Philippines. I took my Masters in Education in National University last 2012 .
Why did you become a teacher? I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of as many students as I can.
What are your hobbies? I'm a foodie! I like trying food from different countries/cultures. I love watching movies and binge watching shows on Netflix.
Erika Hix - Kindergarten
Where did you grow up? I grew up here in West Contra Costa.
What do you like about Montalvin? I love teaching kinder her at Montalvin. Kindergarten in my opinion is the most important grade there is.
What are your hobbies? When I am not teaching I enjoy cooking and eating good food with friends and dancing.
Maria Gonzalez - Kindergarten
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in the Bay Area and I have one brother and one sister, both younger than me. I was the first person in my family to go to college and I got my BA from San Francisco State University. I enjoy reading, spending time with my family and traveling to new places.
Martinique Perry - 1st Grade
Where did you grow up? I grew up all around California. I grew up mainly in Sacramento and Salinas/Monterey area.
Where did you go to college? I attended Dominican University of California.
What are your hobbies? I love to travel. I go visit my parents in Louisiana twice a year. I like creating things for other teachers and for my classroom. I love reading new books and working out. I really love staying home and catching up on my T.V. shows on the weekend.
Anything else? I commute from a small town in the north bay called Petaluma because I love my school, the families and the community I teach.
Laura Terry - 1st Grade
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Mesa, Arizona
Where did you go to college? I graduated from Arizona State University. Go Devils!
Why did you become a teacher? I am a proud Teach for America teacher and am passionate about teaching.
What are your hobbies? Outside of school, I enjoy hot yoga and singing. I have a little dog named Tucker who lives with me in Oakland. I also love to cook.
Kelly Becker - 1st Grade
Where did you grow up? Lancaster CA and Pacific Grove CA
Where did you attend college/university? University of California Santa Barbara Graduated with Master of Education
What are your hobbies? Spending time with my family
Why do you like teaching or why did you become a teacher? I became a teacher because I knew it would be fulfilling and it has been. As a graduate of Cal State Monterey Bay I learned the value of hard work and as UCSB graduate I learned the importance of research and continuously working to become a better teacher. I teach because I have pride in the schools I've taught at and I apply this to my classroom and my every day life.
What do you like about Montalvin Manor K-8? I love the community, sense of family, the pride, and the growth mindset of the team here at Montalvin!
Is there anything else you would like to share? I grew up in the desert in the aerospace industry and I love magic mountain and Disneyland. I've gotten to see the Gates of Ghiberti, I sampled crepes on the streets of Paris, and I was a secretary at the rocket site that launched the Mars Rover. Family is everything to me and my family began in Pacific Grove. I love falling asleep to the sound of waves and waking up to the smell of seaweed. I've always known I wanted to be a teacher, a wife, and a mom, and I am so lucky to be all of these things, especially at Montalvin.
Susan King - 2nd Grade
Where did you grow up? I was raised in Seattle, Washington.
Where did you go to college? I attended Washington State Univ. and Cal State East Bay.
Why did you become a teacher? I love to teach and enjoy seeing and exploring the world with my students.
What do you like about Montalvin? The students and my colleagues!!
What are your hobbies? I love gardening, cooking, and book sales!!! And, my youngest daughter is teaching English in Japan.
Zsarleen Posadas - 2nd Grade
Where did you grow up? San Francisco
Where did you go to college? I went to Diablo Valley College & Hayward State “Cal State Eastbay” and graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis of Early Childhood Development.
Why did you become a teacher? I've taught Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. This is my 18th year of teaching with the WCCUSD.
What do you like about Montalvin? Students and families and working with a great group of teachers
What are your hobbies? I LOVE spending time with my family, teaching, eating, cooking, staying active, and being outdoors. Most importantly I enjoy being a mom of 2 young daughters.
Aaron Leonard - 2nd Grade
Where did you grow up? Martinez, CA
Where did you attend college/university? San Francisco State University and currently at Mills College working towards a Masters in Education
What are your hobbies? Soccer and I’m a comic book writer
Why do you like teaching or why did you become a teacher? It’s the most fun I’ve had at any job.
What do you like about Montalvin Manor K-8? Grit. A teacher once changed my life because of his rigorous standards. I believe we are doing the same here. The students and teachers here know how to hustle.
Anything else? My wife Megan and I have three sons, Ebb, Casey,and Wesley
Renae Kekauala - 3rd Grade
Where did you grow up? Idaho
Where did you go to college? University of Arizona
Why did you become a teacher? I enjoy being around kids way more than adults!
What do you like about Montalvin? I love the students and families at Montalvin. They are so respectful and hardworking!
What are your hobbies? I like to sew and quilt, be with family, and eat delicious food!
Gary Collins - 3rd Grade
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Oakland California.
Where did you go to college? I attended Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley Class of 2008. I graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia in 2012 where I studied business administration with a concentration in marketing. I am currently enrolled as a graduate student at San Francisco State University where I am studying elementary education. Before I became a teacher, I worked for Kellogg’s as a sales representative.
Why did you become a teacher? I'm thrilled to take on an entire classroom by myself and be part of the Montalvin team!
What are your hobbies? My hobbies include, cooking, hiking, sports, technology, reading and film.
Beth Levine - 4th Grade, Literacy
Where did you grow up? I grew up in California in San Mateo.
Where did you go to college? I went to school at University of California at Santa Cruz for two years. I decided to study civil and environmental engineering, so I attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Why did you become a teacher? I like helping students succeed.
What do you like about Montalvin? The great families and students
What are your hobbies? I love hiking in the mountains and also taking my students hiking. I love to run and organize the Girls on the Run team at Montalvin. I also enjoy helping students to love reading and writing!
Anything else you would like to share? I worked for ten years as an engineer helping landfills and sewage treatment plants to not pollute the environment.
Erica Fisher - 4th Grade, Math
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Where did you go to college? I attended College/Grad. School at The Evergreen State College, University of San Francisco.
Why do you like teaching or why did you become a teacher? I like teaching to help students who are struggling in math like I did as a kid.
What do you like about Montalvin Manor K-8? Our community
What are your hobbies? I love gardening, dancing, baking.
Do you speak any other languages? A bit of Spanish and Hawaiian
Ethan Sorscher - 5th Grade, Math & Science
Where did you grow up? I grew up in the East Bay of California.
Where did you attend college? I went to UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
Why did you become a teacher? 1) I get to learn new things every day. 2) I get to share what I know every day. 3) I get to see the joy that human beings experience when they learn new things. 4) I get to help people learn how to be human beings as well as academics. 5) If I am good at my job, more people will grow up to be productive, tax-paying members of society that contribute to my Social Security/ Medicare.
What do you like about Montalvin? The sense of community among staff and families, the pervasive and empowering solutions-oriented mindset that everyone seems to share, the clean and well-maintained facilities, the comprehensive school-wide systems in place to promote behavior and growth mindset, the students are eager to learn and want to do well, the material support for teachers to do the job, the new copier, the abundant supply of paper, the breakfast potluck, the food at PDs/ meetings, the reliable and beneficial Wednesday PD/Collaboration schedule, and much, much, more! There is nothing I do not like.
What are your hobbies? I love Reading, Watching Netflix, Taking Naps, and Playing Video Games.
Jessie Welcomer - 5th Grade Literacy
Where did you grow up? I was born in Alabama ut grew up here in the Bay Area.
Where did you go to college? Pomona College in Southern California. I have a Master's Degree through Loyola Marymount University.
Why did you become a teacher? One of my favorite things about teaching is helping students discover great books. I also love teaching writing and encouraging students to find their voice.
What do you like about Montalvin? I love working with all the amazing students and families in our community. This is my fourth year teaching fifth grade at Montalvin!
What are your hobbies? When I'm not teaching, my favorite thing to do is travel - I've been to 25 countries and lived abroad twice, in Ecuador and Spain. I also love hiking, reading, and spending time with my family and friends (and two dogs!).
Shaundra Miller-Washington - 6/7 Grade, Science & Visual Performing Arts
Where did you grow up? Richmond, CA
Where did you go to college? UC Santa Cruz & UCLA with a Master Degree in Public Policy.
Why did you become a teacher? To work with kids in the same community where I grew up and be a positive influence like teachers were for me. I have taught fifth and sixth grade in this district for 12 years.
What do you like about Montalvin? The community and our effort to be great academically
What are your hobbies? I enjoy helping kids learn, doing science experiments with them, as well a swimming and binge watching television shows.
Shelly Moore - 6/7 Grade, Math & History
Where did you grow up? Louisville, Kentucky
Where did you go to college? University of North Carolina
Why did you become a teacher? Teaching is a second career for me. I have a degree in textiles from the University of North Carolina, and I spent many years in retail management. Teaching, however, is the most rewarding job anyone could have.
What do you like most about Montalvin Manor K-8? Everything!
What are your hobbies? Reading
Sandra Holloway - 6/7 Grade, Middle School, Literacy
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Central America & Sacramento CA.
Where did you go to college? I graduated from the Universidad de Montemorelos in Nuevo Leon, Mexico with my degree in education.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy spending time with my family. I love to see orchids in bloom & play words with friends.
Mr. Castro - zSharp Music Teacher, Grade TK-8
Where did you grow up? Concord, CA
Where did you attend college/university? Cal State East Bay
What are your hobbies? Singing, hiking, and trips to Lake Tahoe
Why do you like teaching or why did you become a teacher? I believe that everyone has something to share with the world. I love that I get to empower my students to try new things and to explore their interests through the discipline of music. Music is everywhere! Even our hearts have beats.
What do you like about Montalvin Manor K-8? I love the positive culture that all of the faculty has created here! It provides a great foundation as well as a spring board for our students to achieve new heights!
Do you speak any other languages? Spanish
Vanessa Romero - Preschool
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Los Angeles, CA.
Where did you go to college? I attended Dominican University of California.
What are your hobbies? I like to read and write poetry. My favorite subject is science. I enjoy watching and playing soccer, as well as boxing. I also love to dance, and I play indoor soccer Friday nights.
Maria Brown - TK- 6, Instructional Support Provider, Learning Center Teacher
Where did you grow up? I grew up in El Sobrante & Benicia.
Where did you go to college? I attended Murphy Elementary, Pinole Middle, Benicia High School, San Francisco State University, Sacramento State University.
What are your hobbies? I love my family, traveling, cooking, eating, camping, reading, massages, beach days, learning and of course teaching!
What do you like about Montalvin? This year marks a decade for me as part of the Montalvin family! It has been a very rewarding experience to work with the students and families in this community.
Anything Else? I have an eight-year-old daughter.
Bridget Mudd - Learning Center- Education Specialist
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Rockville, MD near Washington D.C.
Where did you go to college? I received my undergraduate degree from The New School for General Studies in New York City and am currently working on my MS in Education from Dominican University of California in San Rafael.
Why did you become a teacher? My favorite thing might be finding the ways all people, but especially children shine. We all have so much to offer! I feel very lucky to be part of the Montalvin community with you.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy a lot of different things including dancing, Martial arts (Taijutsu) and hunting for waterfalls!
Karen Aiken - School Psychologist
I am originally from the east coast, born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I went to college and got my Bachelor’s degree in Vermont. I moved to the Bay Area a few years after graduating college and received my Master's degree in school psychology from Cal State East Bay. I have two dogs and love taking them hiking every day. I also enjoy cooking, traveling, reading, and spending time with my nephews!
Romina Manuel - Speech Pathologist
Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from CSU Sacramento and a Masters of Arts in Speech Pathology from Calvin College
What was your favorite subject in school? History and Math
What are your hobbies? I’m into photography! Nature photography to be exact.
What is your favorite food? Korean & Mexican
Unconditional Education Team:
Bria Lee - Behavior Support Specialist, All In! Program, Seneca Family of Agencies
Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UC Berkeley and Masters in Special Education with an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Brandman University
What was your favorite subject in school? Math
What's a fun fact about yourself? I write short stories! I love to sing but I’m tone deaf.
What's your favorite food? Cereal
Hannah Hernandez - Clinical Intervention Specialist, All In! Program, Seneca Family of Agencies
Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Boston College
What was your favorite subject in school? Science and Psychology
What's a fun fact about yourself? I love to run and have twin boys and a daughter!
What's your favorite food? Japanese and Mexican food
Amanda Ramos - Student Support Specialist, All In! Program, Seneca Family of Agencies
Where did you go to college? I have a Bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology from Saint Mary’s College of California
What was your favorite subject in school? English, Psychology, and Art/Theatre
What's a fun fact about yourself? I’m also an actor and perform around the Bay Area!
What's your favorite food? Vegan food
Other Support Staff:
Dilcia Palacios - School Community Outreach Worker
Where did you grow up?
What's your background? I have been in WCCUSD for 17 years, 8 at Dover Elementary, 1 at Bayview, and 7 at Lake Elementary. I also have Restorative Justice training and have attended Contra Costa College with a certification in Early Childhood and family engagement and East Bay Hayward University training in Dropout Prevention Specialist
What was your favorite subject in school? Reading
What's a fun fact about yourself? I love cooking and trying new recipes. I love everything with fish!
Jennifer Deaver - Librarian
Where did you grow up? I am local, from Richmond.
Where did you go to college? I attended Sonoma State University.
Why did you become a teacher? When I was a kid, you could not get me to read a book. I absolutely hated it. Looking back, I realize that this had a lot to do with my lower reading skills but because I did not try often, I did not get better until later in life. Now, when I find a book that I enjoy, you cannot get me to put it down. I usually have the actual book and the ebook, so no matter where I am, I can continue to explore the world in my book. Sometimes I have the audio book too so I can do other things and listen. "Reading lets you go places, when you have to stay where you are." I do not know who said this, but it rings pretty true for me.
What are your hobbies (besides reading!)? I love being outdoors. The beach is my favorite. Hiking, swimming, having new experiences.
Marcos G. Vasquez - After School Site Director, Love. Learn. Success.
I was born in San Fernando, Ca, but I moved to Mexico when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Apatzingan, Michoacan (Mexico). I went to Escuela Epitacio Huerta (Elementary) and Secundaria Technica No. 5 (Junior High/Middle School). I moved back to the U.S.A. at the age of 12 to Newark, Ca, where I attended Newark Junior High and Newark Memorial High School. For college, I graduated from California State University, East Bay with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration and minor in Youth Services Administration. As far as my hobbies, I enjoy hiking, reading manga, cooking and baking (I LOVE IT), drawing, water coloring, screen-printing, watching movie, traveling, and teaching. I am fluent in Spanish and English. I lived in San Diego, Florida, and Mexico, and I have worked with kids from different walks of life. While living in Florida, I learned how to sail, paddleboard, kayak, flying trapeze, stilt walk, act, and dance. I can teach students how to sail, paddleboard, kayak, and dance. Since college, I have been working with kids in afterschool and I have enjoyed it all. I want to make a positive impact to our youth of today in order to make a better future.
Andrea Morabito - Learning Center- Education Specialist
I was born in France and my Parents were U.S. Citizens. I have dual citizenship. I came to the bay area by age 6 and have lived here since. I am married and have 2 adult sons and 1 adult daughter. I have my 1st grandchild. I work in the Learning Center grade 3-6th. I have always been interested in education.
Crystal Merrill - Read-Aloud Volunteer Program Coordinator
Reading Books have been a passion of mine since I attended an elementary school in WCCUSD. It gives me great pleasure to pass that along, which is why I do what I do. I sidestepped reading advocacy for a few years to earn my BS in Materials Science & Engineering at UC Davis and PhD in Materials at UC Santa Barbara, but now I am back to my first love. But science remains a interest; this summer I travelled to Oregon to see the total solar eclipse.