ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS

Kindergarten

Cora Blain


In 2005, I received my Multiple-subject teaching credential from California State University Long Beach. I have been teaching for twelve years. Last year was my first year at Mira Vista Elementary School and I am very excited to be returning! Last year, I moved from Orange County to the Bay Area. In Orange County, I was a Middle School teacher and a Kindergarten teacher, so I have experience with all grade levels attending Mira Vista Elementary. Before having my own classroom, I was a substitute teacher. When I was a young girl I worked and volunteered for many schools and always knew I wanted to be a teacher. As a teacher, and a parent, I understand how important it is to support Mira Vista’s Parent Teacher Association. I enjoy sharing good memories with students and staff at extra curricular activities such as the Fall Festival, Healthy Kids Celebration, and school dances. One of my favorite ways to contribute is to decorate for special occasions.
A few of my personal favorite mottos are “Try, try again” and “When you think you’re done, is when you just begun.” A few hobbies include hiking, art, gardening, walking my two dogs, and spending time with my friends and family. Ms. Blain lives in Vallejo with her daughter and two dogs. Her daughter is also a proud Mira Vista Bumblebee and her son attends college in Orange County.




Sarina Mortensbak





Erica Johnson






First Grade

Bonnie Janora


I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, mostly as a first grade or kindergarten teacher. I am originally from Buffalo, NY and moved to California after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from SUNY Binghamton. I am passionate about gardening and cooking and eating healthy foods.




Hannah Wargowsky


Hello Bees! This is my 1st year teaching at Mira Vista and I am very excited to learn more about the students, families and community. I grew up in Atlanta, but lived in many different places. I went to school at The University of Georgia. I just received my Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and dog, Junie. Can’t wait for a great year!




Violet Kimzey


I grew up in Turlock, California and moved to the Bay Area to study biology at UC Berkeley. When I’m not in the classroom, you can probably find me hiking, birding, or at a concert. I love being a part of the Mira Vista community!





Second Grade

Alyssa Gonzalez Hoy


I am a WCCUSD Alum. I went to Shannon Elementary, Pinole Middle & High School. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a Linguistics degree. Mira Vista is where my teaching journey started as a substitute in Kindergarten. I went on to get my teaching credential through Sonoma State and was placed at another school site in the district, where I taught 6th, 3rd, & 4th grade. Each grade level has something unique to love! I am excited to be back at Mira Vista, the school I found my passion for teaching. I currently live in El Sobrante, with my husband, Demetrio and our dog, Clover. I enjoy traveling during the summer and even on the weekends. I also enjoy day hikes and going to the movies.




Sara Hillegass


Hello Mira Vista Bees! I started my teaching career 21 years ago at Mira Vista teaching 1st grade. I spent 17 years at this site and then did some exploring at other WCCUSD schools and I am now happily back where I started! I grew up in the Chicago area and I am the proud Aunt of nine nieces and nephews, whom I love to talk about. I enjoy live theater and am a regular Berkeley Rep patron. And I am a huge basketball fan. Go Dubs!




Caralee Spafford


I am a Bay Area native and am incredibly grateful to work at Mira Vista. I received my BA from UC Davis and MAEd with an emphasis in digital teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University. I just recently completed my Administrative Credential from CSU East Bay. I am the Tech Teacher Leader for Mira Vista and greatly enjoy integrating technology into the existing curriculum, however spending time outside is my true love. You’ll often find my class in the garden, whether it be reading, cooking, or pulling weeds- I love to take my students outside! I am always looking forward to practicing my Spanish- please come talk to me and help me practice! You can often me singing and dancing on the yard with our students or teaching our Musical Theatre Club at Mira Vista! I taught first grade for four years at MV, and fifth grade for three years, before starting third grade this year. The MV community is such a gift in my life and I am so excited for the 2020-2021 school year! You can reach me at cspafford at wccusd.net





Third Grade

Emily Floyd





Rachel McLachlan


I grew up here in Richmond, and attended Mira Vista as a child. I’ve have been a Magnificent Mira Vista Bumble Bee since 1980! My two daughters have also attended Mira Vista. I’m in my 21st year of teaching and my 10th year at Mira Vista. I have taught all grades from kindergarten through third, and third grade is my favorite! I speak Spanish as my second language, and my hobbies include playing piano and physical fitness. I love teaching at Mira Vista, and being part of this amazing school community.




Shoshannah Walker


I am a California native. I was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in the Bay Area . I have a 6 year old son named Jovani who has a smile that can light up the room. I graduated from California East Bay with my teaching credential and later received my master’s from St. Mary’s College of California. This is my 16th year of teaching. I’ve taught a range of grades K-4, 2-3 combo, 3-4 combo, and I’ve looped with K-1 and 2-3. I enjoy outdoor activities like camping, fishing, hiking, and gardening. I am excited to start the new year at Mira Vista Elementary.





Fourth Grade

Diane Hoy


I was born and raised in the Richmond area, attending local schools – Riverside, Adams Jr. High, and Kennedy High. I graduated from UCSB with a BA in Business Economics. I received my credential through the partnership program between Hayward State and WCCUSD. I have taught 17 years – all of them at the wonderful Mira Vista. I have been married for 35 years to Larry, and we have 3 adult children. My favorite places to go are Duncans Mills on the Russian River and the beach. I love to scrapbook and read. I especially love to teach.




Debbie Cruger-Hansen


I am originally from Bryan, Texas, home of the Texas A&M Aggies. After graduating from Sam Houston State University with a BFA degree, I moved to Los Angeles where I met my husband. His career moved our family to the Bay Area where we have lived happily for the past 30+ years. I earned my teaching credential from Hayward State (Cal State University, East Bay) and began teaching after my three daughters moved from elementary school to middle school. I then earned my administrative credential and Masters Degree in Elementary Administration from St. Mary’s College. I have been at Mira Vista for all but one of my 20+ year teaching career. I have taught first grade and fourth grade. My passions are quilting and reading. I also love hanging out with my two grandsons and one granddaughter.




Nicolette Cotter-Aschoff






Fifth Grade

Grady Carson


I was born and raised in New York City (Mets NOT Yankees). I received my masters in Early Adolescent Development from Bank Street College of Education and taught for 6 years in NYC. I came out West in 1998 and taught for 2 years in Mill Valley. I worked for 12 years at a nonprofit educational publishing house (Center for the Collaborative Classroom), developing literacy materials with a constructivist pedagogy and working with teachers around best practices in literacy. After leaving CCC, I spent three years as a literacy coach in Oakland USD. A few years ago, I decided I needed to be back in the classroom, and I am thrilled to have landed at MV and to Bee a part of this amazing community. The lights of my life are my two boys, Ansel, 18, who is playing baseball in Texas, and Dashiell,15, who goes to ECHS. I love all things music—listening and playing (drums and some guitar). I am an avid baseball fan (to be clear, Mets NOT Yankees), watching, coaching and still playing some. On weekends, you’ll find me hiking with my dog, Oliver, playing ball with Dash, cooking, watching a game or working on my home.




Nicolette Cotter-Aschoff






Mild Moderate Special Needs (MMSN)

Melanie Santos, TK -1st grades


I am Melanie Santos, a Special Education Teacher in TK, K and First Grade. I have been teaching special needs students for 33 years, 13 years in the Philippines and 20 years here in WCCUSD. My Bachelors Degree is in Psychology and my Master's Degree is in Special Education. I have been teaching in Mira Vista for 18 years. I love Mira Vista and I consider it as my second home. I love the community as well as the students who are enrolled here. I love teaching the younger kids because I find fulfillment in my job when I see them mature as they go the next grade levels and still remember me as their teacher. I love talking to parents and get to understand different cultures as we share conversations during parties and field trips. I love TEACHING!




Andrea Miller, 4th - 6th grades





Sherie Roberts, 2nd - 3rd grades


My name is Sherie Roberts, I teach 4-6 MMSN at Mira vista for three years now. Previously I was living in Fresno and teaching there. My husband and I are big SF Giants fans with season tickets to Oracle Park. When not attending a ballgame I enjoy visiting my grandchildren, Elowyn and Asher in Colorado and Colt in Ohio. I love to garden in my backyard with my 3 dogs and 2 cats.





PE and Music

Guy Sutherlin, PE





Jane Magid, Band


Jane Magid has degrees from U.C. Berkeley in linguistics, San Francisco Conservatory of Music in flute performance, and a teaching credential from Cal State East Bay. She has been teaching music to kids since 1983 and instrumental music in WCCUSD since 2005--and she has fun doing it! When she’s not teaching, she enjoys playing music, making food, taking photographs, and going outside to explore the natural world.





Resource Specialists/ Learning Center

Frances Santiago, Resource Specialist for grades 5-8 and Learning Center Manager for grades K-8


I found my passion for working with children at the age of 15 when I first started teaching kids to knit. That led me to volunteering at after school programs. I then worked as a classroom Mental Health counselor. Eventually, I was placed as a teacher. My passion continues to grow as I observe our students playing with peers, asking questions about life, and showing pride in their abilities. When I am not working, you can often find me knitting, gardening, or cooking up a delicious meal.




Graciella Rossi, Resource Specialist


Ms. Rossi has worked as a Resource Specialist for 20 years with WCCUSD. She established and coordinated a thriving Learning Center model both at Tara Hills School and Mira Vista. She is the project director of West County DIGS, a collaboration of garden activists working to promote school gardens in the district. She manages the Garden Education program at Mira Vista. Now a retired teacher who lives in the neighborhood, she has worked half time at Mira Vista teaching K–4 students with learning challenges for 8 wonderful years.





Mira Vista School
6397 Hazel Ave. Richmond, CA 94805
Phone: 510-231-1416
Fax: 510-234-8739

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