Anthony Villaseñor, Principal
Hello, I am Anthony Villaseñor. Welcome to San Diego Cooperative. I am honored and humbled to lead our staff, parents, and students in serving and supporting this thriving school community poised on the cutting edge of education reform and innovation.
I am a native San Diegan. I’m proud of my roots as a San Diego Unified alum and I’m excited to offer an outstanding model of public education to children in our city. I attended the University of San Diego where I received a BA in Diversified Liberal Arts and a Master’s degree in Curriculum Development.
I became an educator to be a part of education reform. I committed to the charter movement to create new paradigms and perspectives to what effective K-12 education can be. I feel passionate about the charter school call for innovation and the integration of modern psychology and human development discoveries in school design. My journey began as a teacher, learning from kindergarteners. Students guided me to realize the power and potential of their own curiosities, creativity and perspective of the world. Work on the board of directors allowed me to learn the behind the scenes work done to support schools. It was that experience that propelled me into school leadership.
Teachers are amazing people and i’m inspired by the work they do everyday. My role as principal allows me lead an phenomenal group of teachers at San Diego Cooperative. Together we develop ideas and plans for student-centered learning and model a powerfully innovative multi-age program. Parents and support staff complete our school community. I’m proud of the Mt View Campus and I looking forward to continuing to work with this wonderful community to provide a meaningful learning experiences for our children.
Meet Our Staff
Lindsay Curtius, Education Specialist
Hello SDCCS family! My name is Lindsay Curtius and I am the Education Specialist at SDCCS – Mountain View. I am originally from Philadelphia Pennsylvania but have lived in San Diego by the beach for five years!
I have a very diverse professional background. For years, I worked on film sets successfully utilizing my undergraduate degree. Yet, I felt a pull and desire to help students with their individualized educational paths. I switched careers and for more then ten years I have educated, assisted and advocated for students with different learning needs. I now have a masters of special education with a focus on autism.
In my position at SDCCS – Mountain View, I have the opportunity to assist students with developmental, sensory, and behavioral needs. I love supporting children as they learn, grow, and thrive at the school I love.
When I’m not at SDCCS, you can find me at the beach or mountains. I enjoy being outdoors, reading, and all things crafty!
Rhea Brown, Dean of Students
Hello, my name is Rhea Brown. I’m excited to join the SDCCS – Mountain View community because I strongly believe that all students deserve access to an engaging, fulfilling education. I’m passionate about whole-child, progressive education and am proud to be supporting the wonderful teachers, students, and families at SDCCS – Mountain View as the Dean of Students.
I moved to San Diego last year to complete a master’s degree at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education, and spent the year studying restorative practices and project-based learning. Before coming to San Diego, I taught seventh grade science and led a school-wide STEAM program in a traditional public middle school outside of Boston, MA. I’ve also taught math, social studies, engineering, and chemistry in classrooms ranging from fifth grade through high school. As a teacher, I am passionate about creating and supporting student-centered environments, in which we are actively asking questions, solving problems, and growing together as a learning community. In my free time, I enjoy horseback riding, reading a good book, spending time with my friends, family, and my cat, Chloe.
MaiAda Carpano, Bridging / Middle School
My name is MaiAda Carpano and I am so excited to be part of SDCCS – Mountain View as the Bridging/Middle Humanities teacher! I am so grateful to be part of a school-wide team that shares the same passion for student-centered, hands-on, creative learning, and that works so hard to help every child to feel accepted, loved, and empowered.
I received a B.A. in International Affairs from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. I then spent some time working in the nonprofit sector and taking part in social justice work. I eventually returned to graduate school to earn a single subject teaching license in Social Studies and then a K-8 Multiple Subject license. I bring my passion for both local and global issues to the classroom, and hope to inspire all my students to discover their inner Changemaker!
When I’m not at SDCCS I like to relax with my friends, family and pets, as well as squeeze in as many hobbies as I can in my free time including: music, roller derby, travelling, eating, reading, playing nerdy board games, and doodling
Lissette Ryan, Music / Arts Integration / Bridging-Middle School Teacher: Coming Soon.
Emily Murray, Elementary Multiage Teacher
Hello SDCCS – Mountain View Community! My name is Emily Murray. I am proud to be a teacher at SDCCS – Mountain View where I bring my experience with constructivism, multi-age classrooms, and project-based learning together with my love of children. I treat each child as an individual so that I can best meet their social, emotional, and learning needs. I love making curriculum to fit the needs of each learner in the classroom. It is so exciting to be part of a child’s educational journey!
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Child Development from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I also hold my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State San Marcos. I am a native San Diegan and feel lucky to be one! San Diego has plentiful resources and locations that are great for field trips and exploring. I live at home with my husband and our fur babies, Opal the Dog and Bazel the Cat. Besides teaching, my passions include reading, fishing, camping, and yoga.
Amanda Truesdale, Elementary Multiage Teacher
Hi! My name is Amanda Truesdale. I’ve lived here in San Diego County most of my life and currently live in the College Area with my husband and two children. I love teaching! When I am not at school you can find me relaxing with a book, being active outdoors, dancing, hanging out with my family, or doing anything social with my friends. My undergraduate years were spent at the University of Redlands where I earned my BA in Liberal Studies. I returned to San Diego to get my teaching credential from San Diego State University. Since 2003, when I began teaching, I have enjoyed a wonderful mixture of teaching full time, part time, and being a full time mom. I started my teaching career in a traditional public school, worked in a progressive charter school, and have taught my kids at home. I feel an inclusive, kind, engaging, thought-provoking classroom/school environment where we all feel connected, but also respected as individuals is essential. I feel so fortunate to be teaching at SDCCS – Mountain View where my personal education philosophy aligns with the school mission. I especially look forward to working with the other talented staff members and parents to continue being innovative and making our school the best place for children to learn and grow not just as students, but as people.
Erica Diamond, Primary Multiage Teacher
Hi, my name is Erica Diamond. I am a native San Diegan residing in Normal Heights with my husband, son, two dogs, and three chickens. I love spending time in nature, walking around the neighborhood, hiking, swimming in the ocean, gardening, doing yoga, and playing with my family.
As an educator, I believe teaching and educating is about empowering students as active agents in this world who have important contributions to make to our society. I aim to create an inviting, nurturing, and engaging learning environment for all students to thrive in. It is important to me to honor the different ways children learn based on their developmental stages of learning, what experiences they encounter, and what they already know about these experiences. I believe that children are changemakers in this world and that developing emotional competence is the way to fuel children’s motivation and imagination so that they can learn to solve problems and drive positive change. I strive to create an environment where every student is respected and acknowledged for their contributions to the learning community and our society as a whole. I believe that a hands-on, minds-on, constructivist approach to education will provide students with the necessary experiences to develop a love of learning that will last throughout their lifetimes. I absolutely love our amazing school and can’t imagine teaching or learning anywhere else!
Amanda Czochara, Elementary Multiage Teacher
I’m excited to be returning to our wonderful school for a second year in Primary Multiage! It is truly an honor to be part of the SDCCS – Mountain View family and the amazing things we do for kids. I’ve had the privilege to work with teachers who are passionate, loving, and dedicated to serving students aligned with our mission and philosophy.
I’m a Chicago native and have lived in San Diego for 6 years. I attended college at Eastern Illinois University and earned a B.A and B.S. in Psychology and Education. I hold Multiple Subject and Site Supervisor Child Development permits in California.
Besides teaching, I love spending time with my family, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. My husband and I share a love for following just about every sport there is.
Megan Smith, Primary Multiage Teacher
My name is Megan Smith. This is my second year working at SDCCS – Mountain View in PMA. I love working with the kiddos here and one of my favorite things about the school is the multiage collaboration that happens throughout the year both in our classrooms and through families. I love teaching all of the students in their own unique style and ability. It’s exciting to see their growth throughout the year as they learn and develop in community with us.
I grew up in Coronado and still currently live there. I got my love for teaching through homeschooling and getting many different hands-on experiences. I went to college and got my teaching credential at Fresno Pacific University. I went there as a swimmer and coached swimming for a couple of summers. I started my teaching career in the Central Valley.
When I am not teaching you can find me doing lots of different things. I volunteer at my church and a bible study a few nights a week. I love exploring every new place I can find in LA and San Diego. I love visiting my sisters in LA and spending time with my family. I am so excited to get to spend the year with you all!
Andrea Gudmundson, Primary Multiage Teacher
Hi, my name is Andrea Gudmundson and I am so happy to be part of the SDCCS Mountain View family. I am originally from Northwest Washington and now love living in San Diego with my husband Ryan, our two boys Xavier and Lexan and our basset hound Ginny.
I am passionate about workshop model hands-on teaching and learning, and believe that every child is capable of learning in this organic setting. Our classroom is a place where we can explore, create, question, invent and grow together as learners. I am an avid believer in getting students reading with excitement and interest and applying their reading skills to all learning settings. I’m always looking for new books and ways to explore literacy. Talking and conversation are essential elements of effective education so I want my classroom to buzz with the voices of children actively engaged!
When I’m not at school you can probably find me playing trucks and Legos with my two boys Xavier and Lexan, splashing on the beaches, walking in my neighborhood, and sitting on my back patio relaxing. I am honored to teach your child and share in this journey with you!
Sonia Bouchard, TK – Kindergarten Teacher
Hello, I am Sonia and I am thrilled to be working at SDCCS – Mountain View. Though 2014-2015 is my first year as a classroom teacher, I am not new to educating young children. Prior to teaching TK/K, I taught for six years in the VAPA (Visual & Performing Arts) Department as a Dance & Theater Teaching Specialist with the San Diego Unified School District. Working primarily with students in grades K-2 and their teachers, I modeled teaching strategies that used dance and theater to support academic learning. My work with the district inspired me to seek a credential at PLNU and through my own research as a parent I knew SDCCS was a good fit for my teaching style. To deepen my knowledge of constructivist practice I requested placement at SDCCS Linda Vista for my student teaching study. There I witnessed first hand the way a constructivist, multiage classroom supports individualized learning, and how social and emotional development is integral to academic achievement. I appreciate the opportunity to spend each new day with these beautiful children helping them to discover the amazing world around them and their own powers of love and creativity.
Katy Lavine, TK – Kindergarten teacher
Hi, my name is Katy Lavine. I was born and raised in San Diego and am very happy to be living here again! I recently moved from the Bay Area, where I started my teaching career. I spent the last three years teaching kindergarten, and am excited to continue learning from kindergarteners here at San Diego Cooperative Charter School 2. When looking for a new school, it was incredibly important to me to find a place where I could help create a student-centered classroom where children are encouraged to explore, be curious, take risks and have fun while learning. I am so happy to have landed here at SDCCS – Mountain View and I find such joy in watching my students get excited about what they are learning.
I received my Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of San Diego, and returned a year later to work towards a teaching credential and Masters in Education. When I am not at school, I love to spend time with family, be outdoors, cook, and read.
Kelly Lonergan, USD Changemaker Student Teacher
Hi there—I’m Kelly! I am so excited to continue my journey at SDCCS – Mountain View, where I am stepping into a role as our first USD Changemaker Teaching Intern. I look forward to spending even more time in the classroom learning about constructivist, child-centered education from the incredible teachers at our school while I complete my Student Teaching this year. I received my Bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of San Diego, where I am currently working toward my Master of Education in Curriculum Design and my Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential. In my time at USD I have become extremely passionate about community engagement and social justice, and am so excited to continue my involvement with Changemaking here at SDCCS.
I feel most at home when I am surrounded by children learning and growing together, probably because I grew up playing with my twelve cousins on our walnut farm in California’s Central Valley. When I am not at school, I enjoy reading, practicing yoga, traveling, and visiting Moosie’s for some mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Kate Dickinson, Mentor Teacher / Differentiation Specialist
I’ve had the privilege of working at SDCCS since 2006 as a classroom teacher and inclusion specialist. I have been enjoying my role in the last two years as a Differentiation Support Provider and mentor teacher, working primarily at the Mountain View campus. I also work closely with the Start Empathy Initiative through the Ashoka Network— our schools are recognized as part of a national and international network of Changemaker schools. As a Changemaker school Change Leader, I work connecting SDCCS to other K-12 institutions and universities to share our work and learn from other passionate educators. I work at USD one afternoon a week as a Community Fellow through USD’s office for Community Awareness and Social Action developing and supporting our university partnerships.
I am passionate about building innovative programs, supporting nurturing learning environments that celebrate each child and honor their joy and their journey as learners. I have a background in Inclusion and Differentiation, and my M.Ed. in Special Education from USD. I am lucky to get to play and teach in many different classrooms alongside incredibly talented teachers creative and curious children. When I got my teaching credential 14 years ago I fell in love with progressive, multiage education.
I have lived, taught, and learned both in San Diego and in Portland, Oregon; I have spent half of my life in each city and I love them both. I am at home outside in the mountains and in the trees hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and breathing clean air. I love making just about anything: building, cooking, painting etc. I love sharing my days with children—with my SDCCS family and with my girls, Luella and Zora.
Kelley Herring, School Counselor
As a counselor, I seek multi-faceted opportunities to support kids by encouraging peer relationships, teaching communication and social skills, and by helping to develop self-awareness and build self-esteem. I feel so fortunate to be part of a team that approaches education from a whole-child perspective; where social, emotional and academic development are inextricably linked. I love being surrounded by people who work together to encourage every student’s individuality, creativity, and freedom of expression. As Mountain View celebrates the beginning of our third year, I am starting my third year with the Co-Op schools. I hold a Master of Science in School Counseling and a California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Counseling.
Although I have lived the past 9 years in San Diego, I am a Colorado native with a lifelong love of playing in the cold & snow- including skiing, snowshoeing & ice skating. Outside of school, I enjoy most any activity that I can do alongside my family, which includes two (very different) 7 year-old twins, Josh & Alex, my partner Amy, and our dog Indie. Together we love to hike, ride bicycles, scooter, play board games, plan surprises for each other, wrestle, read new books, travel, and go swimming.
Janna Hemphill, Extended Day Program Director
Star, Therapy Dog
Hello, my name is Star! I am the Service Dog for the Classroom at SDCCS – Mountain View. I am originally from New York State. I was trained by NEADS, National Education for Assistance Dog Services, in Massachusetts for 20 months before I met my handler Lindsay Curtius. We trained together in Massachusetts before traveling on an airplane back to my new home of sunny San Diego!
I was matched specifically with SDCCS to assist students off all ages both in and outside the classroom environment. Dogs at schools assist in the social development of children by teaching responsibility, compassion, self-esteem, and empathy. It has also been found that we decrease unexpected behaviors and promote positive behavior in students.
In my position at SDCCS, I work hard to perform all my tricks that I was taught to help children with all different kinds of needs. I enjoy being read to, talked to, and I love playing ball!
When I’m not working at SDCCS I enjoy camping, hiking, and running on the beach!
If you see me around campus, please say hello!