SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION


Tim Warner

Director

 

 

Tim was on the leadership team that helped start Alder Grove in 2006 and has been with AGCS since. He eventually worked as an Advisory Teacher, the Assessment and Academic Support Coordinator, and was hired as Director in 2017 when our founder, Jenni, retired. Tim has a multiple subjects teaching credential and an MA in Teaching American History. While he misses teaching, keeping a school as unique as Alder Grove open and thriving is extremely satisfying. Outside of work, Tim can be found hiking, ballpark announcing for the Humboldt Crabs, DJing on community radio, and hanging out with his loved ones. He also loves the craft of fermentation.


Nichole Dollarhide

Director of Special Services

School Psychologist, MA, LEP, NCSP

(707) 572-0099

 

Nichole directs Special Services here at Alder Grove, and is also the McKinney-Vento Liaison. She helps students, staff, and families find the support they need in and out of special education. Nichole has been a nationally certified school psychologist for over 13 years (receiving her Master’s degree from HSU), has her Clear Administrative Services Credential (since 2017). She is also a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP). When not at work, Nichole loves spending time with her two children and husband, who is a CAL Fire Captain. They love to be outdoors and hike, fish, go clamming, kayak, camp, etc.! They also love their dogs, chickens, and ducks. Travelling, art, music, and eating good food are also among Nichole’s favorite things! She is so thankful to work for this amazing school. Please let her know how she can be of service.


Stefani Gambrel

Assessment and Academic Support Coordinator

Credentialed Teacher

Math Teacher

 

Stefani has been a part of the growing Alder Grove community since 2013. She received both her BA in math education and secondary teaching credential in mathematics from Cal Poly Humboldt. In 2017, Stefani joined the Alder Grove administrative team as the Assessment and Academic Support Coordinator. In addition to coordinating schoolwide and statewide assessments, as well as a robust academic support program, Stefani also facilitates Alder Grove’s Leadership Team, School Coordinator meetings, and is a member of the WASC team. Outside of work, Stefani loves to spend time with her friends and family camping, traveling, and experiencing live music.


Jennifer Burtram

College & Career Coordinator

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Jen has had the honor of helping AGCS grow since 2007. After maintaining a full-time credentialed teaching position for seven years at Alder Grove, she was offered the administrative position of College and Career Coordinator in 2014. Jen added a College Counseling Certificate from UC San Diego to her BA and teaching credential from Cal Poly Humboldt. She will have her Clear Administrative Services Credential in 2023 and is working towards completing her MA in Education, with a focus on College and Career Program Development. This dynamic position at Alder Grove allows Jen the privilege of guiding students in their exploration and navigation of their post-high school plans. Whether students are planning to attend college, vocational school, or wanting to start working right away, she is here to provide support and opportunities to help them reach their goals! Some programs which she has developed and overseen at Alder Grove include: Dual Enrollment, Career and Technical Education, and Work Experience. She is also an active member of our school’s leadership team, WASC team, and community member of the McKinney-Vento Executive Advisory Council, HCOE Internship Advisory Committee, and CalSOAP governing board. When she’s not working or going to school, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, seeing live music, kayaking in our awesome waterways, or finding fun and adventure exploring everywhere life takes her.


Kathy Yeager

Advisory Teacher / Coordinator

Credentialed Teacher

Science Teacher

 

Kathy began teaching at Alder Grove in 2008, and instantly enjoyed working with independent study students and their families. Over the years, Kathy’s job has grown to include teaching science and sewing classes, and working as a school coordinator training new teachers. When she is not at school, Kathy enjoys spending time exploring nature, gardening, beekeeping, doing home projects, and spending time wi7th her pets. Kathy loves traveling, music, food, and the constant adventure of being a teacher at Alder Grove.


Erica Alston

Advisory Teacher / Coordinator

Credentialed Teacher

Spanish Teacher

 

Erica attended Tufts University and School for International Training to earn a BA in International Studies. She lived in Mexico in 1990, working and studying in a community health project. In addition to gaining other skills, she became fluent in Spanish. In 1998, Erica and her husband moved to Humboldt, where they homeschooled their children until middle school age. They were motivated to create strong family relationships and a life-long love of learning. They incorporated a variety of methods (Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, Classical, and emergent curriculum choices), leading Erica to label herself an eclectic homeschooler. She returned to school to earn her Multiple Subject Credential from CalStateTEACH at CSU Monterey Bay in 2015. It is with great pleasure that she is part of the credentialed teaching staff at Alder Grove! She teaches onsite Spanish and is a CT for independent study students, as well as a Teacher Advisor.


SCHOOL FACULTY


Wendy Bade

Speech Language Pathologist

 

 

Wendy Bade is excited and honored to join Alder Grove as a speech-language pathologist. She earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, and has been working in the field since 2016. She loves helping people of all ages with their communication skills. In her free time, Wendy enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and hiking with her dog.


Marian Baker

Marian Baker

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

 


Sarah Bradshaw

Special Education Teacher

 

 

Sarah received her Bachelors in English Education and her Education Specialist credential at Humboldt State University. She started working at Alder Grove in 2019 after working as a middle school Special Day Class teacher, and feels so honored to be a part of this wonderful school. Sarah is passionate about collaborating and connecting with families, helping students find learning strategies that fit their individual needs, and bringing joy and motivation to learning. Sarah grew up in Humboldt County. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out at the river, cooking, gardening, hiking, and crabbing, but especially enjoys life with her husband, amazingly cute baby boy, and their dog Penny.


Steve Childs

Special Education Teacher

 

 

Steve is excited to be a part of the Alder Grove community. He received his Education Specialist credential from Humboldt State University, where he also completed a Master’s degree in Adapted Physical Education (APE). Before going into education, Steve directed the Hand-in-Hand foster youth program at HSU, and worked at the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods while he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration. Steve spent the first four years of his teaching career at Pine Hill Elementary, where he was in charge of the Learning Center, ran a Special Day Class, and facilitated social skills groups. In his free time, Steve enjoys watching hockey, gardening, road tripping, and backpacking with his wife Natsune and their dog Ralph.


Crystal Collins

School Psychologist, MA

 

 

Crystal comes with a passion for helping students, families, school staff, and our local community. She started out at Alder Grove as an intern through the Cal Poly Humboldt school psychology graduate program. She fell completely in love with Alder Grove, and is honored to have been hired as a fully credentialed school psychologist in 2018, after graduating with her Master’s degree. In addition to supporting students with a variety of mental health concerns, she works closely with our special education team to ensure that students with disabilities are receiving the accommodations and services that they need. Crystal is also the 504 Plan Coordinator, participates on the PBIS committee, and consults with teachers. She has also taught courses at Cal Poly Humboldt and continues to expand her knowledge through professional development. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the forest, beach, and river, walking her dog, and hanging out with friends and family.


Stephane Duncan

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Stephane is new to AGCS, but has been a local educator for 17 years. In that time, she has served as a one-on-one aide for special education, a reading specialist, and a Waldorf-Inspired class teacher for grades 1-3. For her, the most fulfilling aspect of teaching is nurturing foundation skills in reading, writing, and math, as well as supporting social-emotional intelligence. As a parent and teacher, she values creative exploration-based education that supports a child’s curiosity and feeling of worth in the world. She enjoys her family, spending time in nature, all things crafty, pottery, gardening, and music.

Jeffrey Gonzalez

Credentialed Teacher

Literature Teacher

History Teacher

 

Jeff is a veteran teacher who has lived on the North Coast for over 25 years. He enjoys teaching history and English at Alder Grove, and has also taught English at College of the Redwoods for many years. Besides teaching, Jeff loves spending time with his family, surfing, playing music, and backpacking. As a long time member of the Alder Grove faculty, Jeff’s goal is to bring more CR classes to the school in order to promote academic challenge and progress for our students.


Julie Hochfeld

Credentialed Teacher

Art & Poetry Teacher

 

 

Julie has worked at Alder Grove since it began, and loves the creativity and flexibility it provides for its families, including a wide variety of curriculum, community vendors, on-campus and virtual classes, all tailored to each student’s needs. She also loves how this model allows Alder Grove’s teachers to be creative and flexible, teaching what they’re passionate about, have expertise in, and want to explore more deeply. Julie enjoys the diversity of families, as well as the opportunity to work with students for many years and watching them grow up. She teaches on-campus art, art history, literature, and poetry. This will be her first year co-teaching in the Writing Lab. A published poet, she has been a California Poet in the Schools for 16 years. In her spare time, she travels, hikes, and spends time with family and friends.


Tavia Huey

Tavia Huey

Credentialed Teacher

Safety Coordinator

 

 

Tavia has been a teacher for twelve years. She has a single subjects English degree and a K-8 multiple subjects credential. Before coming to Alder Grove in 2013, she taught kindergarten in Oakland, CA, and middle school at Redway, CA. While teaching at Alder Grove, she has had the opportunity to homeschool her own six children. In the course of balancing teaching and parenting, she has learned many skills to share with others. She is passionate about reading and learning through nature.  If you have questions on Moving Beyond the Page, she is the one to ask. While not working you may see her hiking, kayaking, or  doing construction work.  Most of all, she loves spending time with her family and making memories with them.


Tara Kajtaniak

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Tara is new to Alder Grove, but has been teaching for 18 years throughout Humboldt County.  She also currently works part-time at Cal-Poly Humboldt’s School of Education as a University Supervisor.  Tara is a Fulbright Fellow (Philippines, 2016) and a University of Texas-Austin Middle Eastern Studies Teacher Leadership Fellow.  Her interests include nature, environmental literacy, gardening, travel, music, and most recently, seaweed.


Debbie Lammers

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Debbie received her B.A. in English Literature and her elementary teaching credential from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Shortly thereafter, she landed a job in Oxnard, CA as a 3rd grade classroom teacher, while completing her ESL teaching certificate from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Four years later, Debbie packed up and moved herself and her son Noah to Humboldt County to attend HSU, completing a Masters in the Teaching of Writing.  Three months after graduating, she got a job teaching at Castle Rock Charter School out of Del Norte County as an independent-study teacher.  This was her first introduction to homeschooling and charter schools.  A year later, Alder Grove was created and established as the leading charter school in personalized learning in Humboldt County, so she signed up and joined the AG team.  This was 2006 and Debbie has been with Alder Grove, on and off, ever since then, sometimes as an administrator and sometimes as a 5th-12th grade teacher.  


Sunshine Lee

Credentialed Teacher

Reading Teacher

School Workshop Coordinator

 

Sunshine has been teaching at Alder Grove Charter School since it opened. Her job centers on inspiring Alder Grove students to find their interests and learning needs, as well as to help them set high expectations for learning and consistent productivity. This can be a real blast! Teaching enrichment and academic classes is her favorite thing to do. She also enjoys running the reading support program.. Please email her with any questions or suggestions.


Aly Lescht

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Aly has been a local educator for 23 years. She served as a classroom teacher at a local charter for 20 years, and is in her 3rd year with Alder Grove. Aly has a Master’s Degree in education from Cal Poly, and is a certified mindfulness instructor. She enjoys teaching mindfulness, art, and other subjects on campus. Aly loves travelling, enjoying our local forests, beaches, and rivers. She paddleboards and gardens, and creates art in her spare time.


Sandy Lynn

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Sandy has been part of the Alder Grove community since 2013 working as a Math Lab staff member, a Credentialed Teacher, a math teacher, an advisor to the Student Council, and a math tutor.  Before coming to Alder Grove, Sandy received an Interdisciplinary Masters Degree in Mathematics and Education from the University of Oregon, taught math for several years at the community college level, raised two children, and took a number of years off from teaching to work in the business world, creating spreadsheets.  Sandy loves spreadsheets.  Those, and solving puzzles, and playing ukulele and singing, and also she loves kayaking but hasn’t done that in a couple of years.  Sandy’s first love, however, will always be working with students, and helping them find the joy that can come from learning mathematics.


Patty Marsh

Patty Marsh

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Patty has been a credentialed teacher at Alder Grove since January 2007. She has a Bachelor’s in wildlife biology from Cal Poly Humboldt. Working at Alder Grove has allowed her to graduate many students who would have fallen through the cracks. She primarily teaches high-school and really enjoys seeing her students thrive in our concurrent enrollment program with College of the Redwoods. Some of her favorite things about teaching at Alder Grove are the wonderful staff and the fact there is no bullying. How many schools can say that? We provide a safe learning environment for children. In her spare time, she runs her ranch and rides her horses in the wilderness.  Mostly, she enjoys family, friends, and a nice sunset.


Holly Matthews

Special Education Teacher

 

 

Holly started working at Alder Grove in 2020 after teaching middle school for many years. Helping students navigate their way through their high school years is what she is passionate about in her job as a teacher. Her role at Alder Grove is being an Education Specialist for high school aged students. In her non-teacher life, she fishes commercially in Bristol Bay, Alaska over the summers, enjoys our beautiful Humboldt beaches, and gardens (while trying to find humane ways to relocate snails). She loves her English Bulldog, Lyndah, cheese and the sun!


Jaime May

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Jaime is our resident art historian and loves teaching the history of art at Alder Grove Charter School. Jaime earned her B.A. degree and secondary teaching credential at Humboldt State University where she majored in art history and participated in two international study abroad programs in Greece and Italy. Jaime earned a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art History from the University of Iowa in 2007. Jaime loves bringing history to life through the study of paintings, sculpture and architecture. She is passionate about the field and strives to ignite a passion for history, art and travel in her class. Jaime also teaches US and World History at Alder Grove. In her free time, you can find Jaime at the beach with her two big dogs, Lucca and Vincent. 


Leslie McDonnell

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Leslie’s goal as an educator is to help cultivate wonder.  She sees wonder as the foundation of curiosity, the catalyst of creativity and the drive of discovery.  As your “guide-on-the-side” at Alder Grove, she encourages her students and families, who have this amazing opportunity to personalize their learning, to activate their imaginations, follow their curiosity and discover a love for learning. Leslie has worn a few different hats as an educator—early-childhood, forest schools, writing tutor for university level in Norway, and mother of two young wonder-filled kiddos, who she is also beginning to home-educate through Alder Grove.


Randi Golat

Randi Mead

Credentialed Teacher

Event Coordinator 

 

 

Randi has been teaching at AGCS since 2008. She attended Cal Poly Humboldt where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in liberal studies elementary education with a minor in psychology and also her multiple subject teaching credential. She has taught various elementary classes over the years. She has taught dance, flute, science, history and math. She is currently the Event Coordinator and also co-teaches Student Council. Some of the events that take place at AGCS are back to school night, author festival, Halloween party, holiday craft party, spelling bee, geography bee, prom, end of the year party, graduations, and various field trips all over our community.


Mary Meyer

Speech Language Pathologist

 

 

Mary is a veteran Speech Language Pathologist who received her Masters from Cal Poly Humboldt.  Following her retirement in June 2016, she joined Alder Grove part-time.  She finds Alder Grove to be a refreshing, educationally-rich school where individuals can experience success.  Mary enjoys spending time with her family, community and friends.


Cassie Moulton

Credentialed Teacher

Math & Science Teacher

GSA Coordinator

 

Cassie came to Humboldt in 2008 to attend HSU’s Geosciences program to have a direct transfer to the Teaching Credential. She’s a huge fan of the outdoors, loving to glamp and sit on the riverside. She currently lives in McKinleyville with her fiancé and three, very spoiled cat children that she adores. She’s an avid quad roller skater and used to play on the Humboldt Roller Derby team from 2012 to retirement in 2018. Now, she enjoys building legos and wooden models, as well as playing a lot of video games and board games.


Aimee Simmons

Aimee Nicholson

Credentialed Teacher

Math Teacher

Food Service Coordinator

 

Aimee has been a math teacher in Humboldt County for over 20 years and enjoys her many roles at Alder Grove, including teaching on-campus high school math courses, working with her wonderful independent study families, tutoring, creating the staff newsletter, and running the school’s breakfast and lunch program. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her children, go for walks with friends, read, do puzzles, travel, and work in the garden.


Courtney Otto

Science Teacher

Special Education Specialist

 

 

Courtney enjoys the strong working relationships between Alder Grove students, their families and staff to support individual growth.  Before joining the special education team at Alder Grove in 2019, Courtney worked teaching botany and other science courses at HSU and CR while working as a field biologist.  She loves her family, spending time outside and eating good food.


Hilson Parker

Hilson Parker

Credentialed Teacher

Music Teacher

 

 

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Hilson Parker has taught at Alder Grove for over 11 years. In addition to being a credentialed teacher, he teaches music to all ages, including instrumental music, songwriting, and all levels of Alder Grove’s infamous Rock Band.


Raina Ray-Donnell

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Learning is a life-long endeavor. Raina believes in making learning fun, engaging and helping students to find a love for learning. She enjoys the relationships that are built in a one-on-one setting where learning can be individualized and modified. Creating a safe, and welcoming setting for students is one of her top priorities. When she is not teaching, you can find Raina in her art studio silversmithing and painting, thrifting, frolicking in the forest with her family, or rock hounding.


Rachael Riggs

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Rachael comes to Alder Grove with 7 years previous teaching experience in the public school system. She loves teaching students and seeing how much growth students can experience in the course of a school year. When not teaching she can be found beekeeping, gardening, enjoying nature, or reading a good book! Rachael has also enjoyed taking students to other countries on educational trips in the past!


Rebecca Salstrom

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Rebecca earned her English teaching degree from Humboldt State University in 2004 with specializations in ESL, journalism, and writing. She began her career teaching adult ESL classes. Later she taught English, Journalism, Math, and Science in Southern Humboldt junior high and high school classes. She has greatly enjoyed seven years teaching at Alder Grove. Her outside interests include fiber arts, kayaking, hiking, and photography.


Brooke Sayre

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Brooke has always enjoyed working with children but came late to her career as teacher after spending the first part of her adult life as an organic farmer, trail worker and wildland firefighter, and pedestrian/ bike advocate. At Alder Grove she loves teaching life and earth science, financial literacy, engineering, and leading the makerspace, but also treasures her one on one time with her independent study students. In her free time she has many hobbies that she enjoys such as mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, playing soccer, gardening, reading, knitting, and raising animals. She also loves coaching soccer.


Lorenza Simmons-Phillips

Piano, Choir Teacher

 

 

Lorenza has been a music teacher and performer in Humboldt County for over 20 years, focusing on vocal and piano instruction, primarily for youth and teens. She started at Alder Grove in 2011 as a private piano and voice vendor but went on to also teach choir and keyboard classes, as well as assist with music for theater class. She loves and appreciates being a part of the Alder Grove community!


Cedar Smith

Cedar Smith

Credentialed Teacher

    

 

Cedar has been a CT at Aldergrove for 10 years! She immediately fell in love with our unique school. Some of the things she enjoys most about our school includes working with the same students and families each year as they progress through their educational journey, the unique classes we can teach that reach learning styles and interests of a variety of learning types, and the amazing staff.  Over the years, she has taught enrichment classes on-campus to students in grades K-3. A few classes she has taught include math/P.E., math and logic, and yoga/science. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, reading and writing. 


Suzanne Smith

Suzanne Smith

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Suzanne is a veteran teacher who enjoys working with middle and high school students in any subject. She is a graduate of UC-Berkeley and obtained her MA at Sonoma State. Her teaching experience includes grades K-12 in seven different school districts.


Susan Stein

Credentialed Teacher

Espanol

 

 

Susan is a quiet cat-person whose favorite things include running, writing, and being the parent of a remarkable teen. Time at home is golden for her, though she owes a great deal to her experiences visiting other places and cultures. She became a credentialed teacher in 1996 and spent many years teaching Spanish to elementary and middle school students.  Susan has been with Alder Grove for seven years and is continually seeking new ways to learn and grow while supporting our wonderful education community.


Felicia Treece

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Felicia has been a CT at Alder Grove since 2015. She graduated from HSU with a BA in Education in 2005. She received her teaching credential in January 2007, with an emphasis in music education. She moved to Humboldt County in 2000 and did a two-year volunteer program with the Ameri-Corps tutoring program out of College of the Redwoods, which helped her realize that she really loved teaching! She has been playing music all of her life, but for the last 10 years, she is proud to say that she has been playing in The Scotia Band and serving our community with musical talent. She loves AGCS because of the freedom to explore that it allows parents and students. Recently, she has been brushing up on her French. She hopes to continue and perhaps share her passion for language with her students. She loves traveling with her family and exploring sites and sights this bountiful planet has to offer.


Tanya Tur

Credentialed Teacher

 

 

Tanya loves teaching and working at Alder Grove! She attended Cal Poly Humboldt and studied elementary education. She has an amazing son who attends Cal Poly Humboldt, a sweet husband, and two black cats named Hazel and The Doctor. A few of her favorite things are spending time with her family, seeing live music, going on bike rides, and enjoying all the beauty this area has to offer.


SCHOOL STAFF


Jenifer Doane

Registrar

Administrative Assistant

 

 


Tatiana Ferrington-Golat

Instructional Aide

Office Support

 

 


Dave Gaddis

Campus Maintenance

 

 

Dave has a long history in maintenance, with over 15 years working with schools and commercial properties. He also has strong connections with vendors and contractors, enabling his anything-you-need-done-I-will-make-it-happen attitude! On his down time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, and time with his family.


Becky Garraway

Instructional Aide

Office Support

 

 


Rich Miller

Technology Coordinator, BS, MIS

 

 

Rich’s career in IT has been almost exclusively in schools where he feels he can make the biggest difference in helping others succeed. Rich has also been a journalist and coffee entrepreneur. He moved to Eureka with his wife in 2021 because they love the arts, clean air and Alder Grove Charter School, where he is Technology Coordinator.


Luana Nelson

Local Vendor Relations Secretary

SPED Scheduler

 

 

Luana’s relationship with Alder Grove Charter School began as a parent in 2009. She not only appreciated the ability to choose curriculum that reflected the specific needs of her child, but also welcomed being surrounded by a well-structured, individualized support system. After her son graduated in 2018, Luana was hired on as the Community Partner Relations and SPED secretary. She continuously enjoys the rewarding work environment at Alder Grove, as well as the flexibility to connect with families in a meaningful way. When Luana is not at work, she loves supporting the local businesses, gardening, and spending time with her family and pets.


Tony Persico

Campus Monitor

Instructor / Tutor

 

 

Tony joined Alder Grove in 2021. He monitors study hall, puts the newsletter together, and helps out in the office. He is also co-directing the school play and teaching theatre.


Becca Rocha

Inventory Account Clerk

Library Aide

 

 


Jasper Severn

Math and Science Resource

Study Hall and Math Lab Monitor

 

 

Jasper is an on-campus resource, specializing in upper level math. He is on campus daily in both study hall and math lab. He is working on finishing his teaching credential to be a high school math teacher.


Alexi Wagner

Alexi Wagner

Secretary

 

 

Alexi started part time at Alder Grove in November 2016 and took over the secretary position in 2018.