Our Staff

Administration

Rima Meechan (Superintendent/Principal; BTSA Coordinator)

Education: M.A., Counseling, Sonoma State University; B.A., Psychology, San Francisco state University
Credentials: Administrative Services Credential; Pupil Personnel Services Credential.

Biography: Prior to accepting her position at the School as Superintendent and Principal, Rima served eleven years as district school counselor for Roseland School District in Santa Rosa, three years as principal at Sheppard Elementary/Roseland Middle School, and concurrently taught in the graduate counseling program at Sonoma State University. She lives with her husband and son, and they enjoy traveling and being at the beach together. She loves working with people, and is very passionate about working with children!

Lisa Strom (Business Manager)

Education: B.S., Business Administration/Accounting, CSU, Chico
Biography: Lisa comes to the school with 6 years of experience as the River Oak Business Manager (when the School's business services were contracted through MCOE). Throughout college she worked full-time in the banking industry and after graduating from college became an Independent Auditor of school districts and colleges. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and truly appreciates the slow-paced and simple life that comes with living in this area.

Lucy Haynes (Office Manager; Registrar)

Education: B.A., Biology, UC San Diego
Biography: Lucy is one of the founders of River Oak, and has been employed by the School since it opened. She started out as an attendance clerk, and today she serves as the school registrar and office manager. Lucy enjoys reading, sewing, gardening, walking, and spending time with her family and pets. Her daughter Susan is a 2006 graduate of River Oak, and a 2014 graduate of Stanford University.

Teri Nelson (Attendance Secretary)

Education: Coursework, Accounting and Bookkeeping, Mendocino College and Santa Rosa Junior College; Attendance Accounting, California Association of School Business Officials training and Aeries Student Information System training.
Biography: Teri was hired as the Attendance Secretary, coming to the School with a strong background in business and school attendance accounting. From 1987-2001 she worked in accounting, bookkeeping, and banking. Later she worked as attendance secretary and librarian at Ukiah Unified School District. Today, she really enjoys working at River Oak where she can be around her first love: children.

Rhonda Gourno (Office Assistant)

Education: Coursework and training: fetal alcohol syndrome, child development, drug babies, reactive disorder, children and ADHD, autism, mental health disorders, behavior management
Biography: Rhonda was officially hired by River Oak in 2010, but she volunteered her time at the School for hundreds of hours before that. Prior to her employment at River Oak, she was the project coordinator for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency/Child Protective Services. She facilitated meetings and trainings around the county for doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, and lay people. She also worked as the co-trainer for the Mendocino County Foster Parent Training Program offered through Mendocino College. Rhonda has thirteen children, eleven of whom are adopted.

Kristin Mize (Curriculum Coordinator)

Education: B.A., Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Dominican University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa, CA
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Kris came to River Oak with a background in public school teaching. At Anderson Valley Unified School District, she taught junior high math from 1996 to 2003, fourth grade from 1994-1996, and she served as a resource assistant from 1986-1994. River Oak hired Kris to start-up and direct a new preschool, but the pre-school never came to pass. However, Kris was soon hired to teach a new first grade. Today she is still teaching the same group of students-now in eighth grade. Kris believes that teaching requires an open heart and constant striving. "I find I am always learning new things right alongside my students. In their eighth grade year, the students in my class fill me with pride; they are thoughtful, compassionate individuals who take their education seriously." Kris looks forward to the presentation of their eighth grade projects-a culmination of 50 hours on an extracurricular project and 20 hours of community service. She enjoys gardening, cooking, crafting, reading, swimming, and playing with her two young grandsons. She loves living in Mendocino County with its beautiful beaches, rivers, and mountains-like one giant playground!

Teachers

Kayla Meadows (Crimson Clover Kindergarten Teacher)

Education: B.S., Psychology, University of Iowa; B.S., Elementary Education, E.C.E. emphasis, University of Iowa; Waldorf Teaching Certificate (E.C.E. and Grades 1-8), Rudolph Steiner College, Sacramento; Course work: Working with the deaf and hard of hearing, Southern Oregon University;
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Kayla began her teaching career at River Oak by establishing the Crimson Clover Kindergarten classroom. She has been a Waldorf teacher for 28 years, and she taught more traditionally before that. She has taken much pleasure in mentoring nearly 20 teachers through the years, and she presently serves on a national advisory council with the American Federation of Teachers for Charter Schools. She has visited at least 44 countries and continues to love traveling. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and loving friends, family, and life.

Aimee Landers (Golden Sun Kindergarten Teacher)

Education: M.A., Educational Administration, University of Arkansas; B.A., Liberal Studies, Spanish specialization, San Diego State University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Antioch University, New England; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Humboldt State University
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Before teaching in the Golden Sun Kindergarten at River Oak, Aimee worked as a grades teacher at a Steiner-inspired charter school in Sacramento. She has traversed to Europe and Mexico on several occasions, and she enjoys camping, swimming, and spending time with her son (3rd grade at River Oak) and her young daughter. Aimee has a love of languages, dance, and travel, and a passion for environmental issues and nourishing foods.

Robert Pegg (Grade 1 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Language Studies, UC Santa Cruz; A.A. Liberal Studies, Cabrillo College; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, California State University, Chico; Waldorf Teacher Certificate, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa, CA
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, BCLAD; Waldorf Teacher Certificate
Biography: Rob gained teaching experience in Spanish-English Dual Immersion and Open Structure classrooms in the first, second, fourth, and fifth grades before he joined the faculty at River Oak. He believes that "children learn best when they feel valued and respected." As a young adult, he spent several years travelling in Asian and South America. He loves learning languages and enjoys learning about different cultures and people. He has a special interest in form drawing and sacred geometry. Rob was born in Spokane, Washington, where most of his family still lives. He has lived the majority of his life in California and loves living in Mendocino County.

Dolly Oberti (Grade 2 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Liberal Studies (emphasis in Human Development), Sonoma State University; Santa Rosa Junior College; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, SSU; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa, CA.
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Prior to River Oak Charter School, Dolly held the position as the woodworking and middle school art specialty teacher for six years at SunRidge Charter School in Sebastopol, CA. Born and raised in San Francisco, one of eight children, she appreciates cultural diversity, a sense of community, and family. In 1979, she moved to Sonoma County, where all her children were born and raised on The Hill, in the home her husband and she built. Dolly was introduced to Waldorf education through her four children, who all experienced a Waldorf K-8 education. She loves children, enjoys family time and large gatherings at the dinner table, as well as gardening, building, and exploring the arts. Her travels so far have taken her to Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Costa Rica, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Patagonia, and the Virgin Islands. The deep family roots and multi-generational ties of the River Oak community have impressed her. It is an honor to be part of the River Oak team, with an opportunity to hold and guide the class children into becoming the best humans possible!

Carissa Sadlier (Grade 3 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Humanities, Natural Building and Communities Emphasis, New College of California, San Francisco; The Art of Teaching Grades 1, 2, 3, Rudolph Steiner College, Sacramento; Textiles studies, Mendocino College; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Rudolph Steiner College, Sacramento; University Intern Teaching Credential, California State University, Monterey Bay
Credentials: Multiple Subject Intern Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Carissa was initially hired at River Oak as a classroom aide, and then held the position of handwork teacher for five years until accepting the first grade teacher position in 2014. She embraces Rudolph Steiner's curriculum for Waldorf schools which is based on a profound understanding of child development, and that addresses the heart and hands, as well as the intellect. She loves all things creative-especially handwork. She has traversed through Europe, visited museums, lived in Paris, and she watched the Berlin Wall fall. She is an advocate of conscious parenting. Her daughter and older son are graduates of River Oak, and her younger boy attends the school now. Waldorf education spans the generations in her family; her husband attended the Waldorf School of Mendocino County.

Adam Williams (Grade 4 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Environmental Studies and Communications, University of Vermont; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Dominican University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa, CA; The Art of Teaching Grades 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, Rudolph Steiner College, Sacramento; Extra trainings in Waldorf education: high school level math, science, and English
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Adam joined the River Oak faculty as the eighth grade teacher and carried them through graduation. The following year he took the new first grade class and carried those students through their eighth grade year. Presently, he's on a new teaching cycle with his newest students who are in the second grade. As a boy, Adam grew up in rural Vermont, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. His childhood experiences helped to cultivate in him an active imagination and a deep respect for nature. He attended the University of Vermont where he majored in Environmental Studies and designed his own minor called "Integrated Communications". In 1998, Adam wrote a thesis about climate change that was published internationally by the "Earth Island institute". He also has a background in theatre, has tutored writing at the college level, and is currently working towards publishing his first children's book. Adam enjoys fly-fishing and snowboarding when he isn't busy enjoying time with his family.

Meagan McCabe (Grade 5 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Elementary Education, Humboldt State University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Meagan entered the School as the seventh grade teacher. She graduated her class from eighth grade two years later and returned the following year to take the new first grade class. She remains with those students today and finds it amazing to watch her them grow as scientists, artists, writers, and performers. In her free time she enjoys travelling, exercising, and spending time with friends and family.

Rebekah Martinez (Grade 6 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Psychology, Chico State University; A.A., General Education and Basketball, College of the Canyons; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Sonoma State University; Waldorf Teacher Training, Center for Educational Renewal, Santa Rosa
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Rebekah started her career at River Oak when the doors first opened; she was hired as the director of the aftercare program. In 2003 she accepted the first grade teacher position and carried her students through their eighth grade year. She is now in her second teaching cycle with a new group of students whom she started with in first grade too. Rebekah's educational philosophy stems from her desire "-to bring balance in being, reverence for nature, and most importantly love for learning and life." Her interests include children, the natural world, music, health, fitness, and much more. She enjoys her family and community and hopes to make a difference in the world through love, reverence, and the balance that she brings to teaching and beyond.

Lori Stubben (Grade 7 Teacher)

Education: B.A., Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz; B.A., Southeast Asian Studies, UC Santa Cruz; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, California State University, Monterey Bay; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Rudolph Steiner College, Sacramento; Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco; Theater (shadow puppetry and Shakespearean studies), University of Oregon, Ashland
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Lori became a founding member of the River Oak faculty when she accepted the position of first grade teacher in the school's 1999 inaugural year. She stayed with her first class until they graduated from eighth grade in 2008, and then she left to pursue other interests. In 2013, she returned to accept the position of fourth grade teacher. She plans to stay with her current class through eighth grade too. Lori enjoys gardening, international and healthy cooking, dance, theater, singing, travel, history, and fiber arts (sewing, weaving, spinning, and knitting). She spent three years teaching English in Japan, 1 summer studying archeology in Israel, and two semesters studying Indonesian culture in Java.

Natalie Meuniot (Grade 8 Teacher)

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Specialty Teachers

John Cunnan (Woodwork Teacher)

Education: A.A., Biodynamic French Intensive Gardening, Riverside City College
Credentials: Vocation Education Credential
Biography: John is an inspiring and patient teacher for woodwork classes in the middle school. His students eagerly anticipate his classes each week. He is also beloved with the aftercare children where he teaches enrichment classes to grades 1-8. One can find aftercare kindergarten students eagerly looking on, awaiting their chance to join his classes when they reach the first grade. In addition to his regular teaching duties, John has created a beautiful master plan for the grounds of the school. He is also the proud grandfather of four River Oak students.

Holly Fagan (Stringed Instruments Music Teacher)

Education: B.M.E., University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music;
Credentials: State of Missouri, Lifetime Teaching Certificate, Instrumental and General Music, K-12
Biography: Holly comes to the School with a rich background of music experiences, including studio recording, performing at theme parks, and performing with professional and community symphony orchestras in St. Louis, Detroit, Kansas City, and Palo Alto. Currently she plays with the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra, Lake County Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony of the Redwoods. Teaching is Holly's passion. She has been teaching students of all ages, in private and public schools, and privately, for 38 years. Presently she teaches 65 string students at River Oak in grades 4-8. She loves to see her students become more familiar with their instruments and stresses to "practice with a purpose to get better and more comfortable."

Sue Maurer (Math Teacher and Games Teacher)

Education: B.A., Economics, UC Davis; Secondary Basic Teaching Credential, University of Oregon
Credentials: Social Science Secondary Credential, CLAD; College Admissions Counseling, UC Los Angeles
Biography: Sue says, "Educating the whole child forms the core of my philosophy." She loves teaching movement, music, and math, and at River Oak she takes full advantage of the opportunity to work with all ages. Her special talents include writing and performing math raps, fully appreciating each child's unique gifts, and coaching running and swimming.

Dorian May (Band Music Teacher)

Education: B.A., Music, Band, CSU, Long Beach; A.A., Music, Cerritos Community College; Single Subject Teaching Credential, Music K-12, Chapman University and Sonoma State University
Credentials: Single Subject Teaching Credential, Music K-12
Biography: Well before his career at River Oak began, Dorian was already an established music teacher. In 1998, he was the artist-in-residence for both the San Bernardino Arts Council and the Arts Council of Hesperia where he taught hand-drumming to elementary school children. He did his student teaching under the mentorship of Jeff Tower, director of the Hemet High School Concert and Jazz Bands. He taught at San Jacinto High School. Later he moved to Blue River, Oregon, to teach band and elementary music to K-12 classes. In 2002, he and his wife moved to Mendocino County where he has been teaching music and band to children of all ages ever since. In addition he maintains an active professional performing career as both a musician and band leader in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties.

Camille Meeker (Spanish Teacher)

Education: B.A., Anthropology and Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Sonoma State University; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Camille started as a class teacher at River Oak with a class of first graders. She and the children journeyed through the grades together and graduated eighth grade in June 2014. Her students entered high school as incredibly capable, creative, and kind-hearted individuals. After graduating her class, Camille accepted the Spanish specialty teacher position at ROCS, a position for which she is well-qualified-she taught Spanish bilingual classes at the Anne Darling Elementary School in San Jose before joining the faculty at River Oak. Camille states, "My goals in education are to teach cultural awareness, communication, creativity, and kindness towards each other and the environment."

Terri Nicholson (Math Teacher)

Education: M.A., Buddhist Education, Dharma Realm Buddhist University; B.A., Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara; "English Learners - Focused Approach", Ukiah Unified School District; College Preparatory Math, Dominican University and Mendocino County Office of Education
Credentials: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Dominican University; Reading Certificate Added Authorization
Biography: Terri teaches math to River Oak middle school students. Historically, she has taken a leadership role in local Education: Board of Directors, Dharma Realm Buddhist University; "Writing Cadre", Ukiah Unified School District; and Teacher Consultant for the National Writing Project.

Ann Maglinte (Art Teacher)

Education: B.A. Art, emphasis in painting, San Jose State University, Coursework and Training: Early Childhood Education, Mendocino College Kindergarten Assistant Training with Kayla Meadows Artist-in-Residence, Two Year California Arts Grant Program Classes in Education and Drawing: Sonoma State University Fabric Design, Watercolor, Printmaking, Drawing, Ceramics: Mendocino College
Credentials:Child Development Associate Teacher Permit California Arts Council Professional Arts Development Program Substitute Teacher Permit
Biography:For over 25 years Ann has taught art in all the schools in the Willits area, including La Vida Charter school, and the Willits Charter school. She has been the recipient of many grants to teach art in the schools, including several GASP Arts Grants that teach art through the curriculum. She has been teaching watercolor painting for Mendocino College since 2005. In 2009 she was honored as the the Mendocino County Art Champion in the category of artist. Each year this honor is given to an artist who demonstrates artistic excellence in their chosen discipline, and shows a commitment to strengthening their community by using their artistic accomplishments to benefit everyone. She is on the board of the Willits Center for the Arts. She has recently illustrated three books: Secrets of the Oak Woodlands, Composting Abbie: A Whale of a Story, and The Wind In Me. She has been enchanted with watercolors since she was given her first set of Prang watercolors as a child, and finds inspiration for her watercolor paintings in the beautiful Mendocino County countryside. She and her husband show their artwork at Northcoast Artists Gallery in Fort Bragg. She loves sharing art with children and incorporating the Waldorf approach to learning, and is so happy to be teaching at River Oak School. Both her daughters graduated from the Waldorf School in Calpella, and her grand-daughter is in the seventh grade at R.O. Some of her favorite things are being in the garden with her family and pets, and working with herbs and flowers. She enjoys singing and playing music with friends, and singing with local community choruses.

Catherine Hutchison (Games/Circus Teacher)

Education: B.A., Art, University of Colorado; Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento Credentials: Waldorf Teaching Certificate
Biography: Catherine attended Waldorf school in Colorado (K-12), an education which cultivated her love of learning and creativity. She has a passion for the playful challenge of circus arts, and loves to share this joy with children. She has taught circus arts for various different programs over the years, both aerial arts and ground skills. This is her first year teaching at River Oak, and she is excited about the opportunity to work with so many wonderful new students and teachers. Besides juggling with others and hanging upside down, Catherine also enjoys time in nature, reading, cooking, handwork, and painting.

Joseph Haggard (Games Teacher)

Prior to working at River Oak Charter School, Joseph attended Rudolf Steiner College where he worked on the farm at the school as an apprentice for one year. He attended college at UC Santa Cruz between 2010 and 2014 with a focus on sustainable agriculture and green building design. He has found a passion for the circus arts and currently works with his family on their farm in Willits when he isn't in the classroom. He loves building compost, juggling, fire dancing, disc golfing and working with children/young adults.

Steven Poor (Gardening Teacher)

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Gracie Bateman (Handwork Teacher)

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Other Staff

Eliazar Moreno-Vaca (Aftercare Coordinator; CELDT Coordinator)

Education: A.S., Mendocino College
Biography: Eli joined the River Oak staff as the kindergarten aide in Golden Sun Kindergarten. She is bilingual, and her dual language skills along with her talent for working with children soon made her an asset to the school as a communications specialist with the Spanish speaking families. She presently serves as the CELTD Coordinator and director of the aftercare program. She really enjoys working with EL students-reading and listening to them. Her hobbies include running, hiking and just about any outdoor activities.