Faculty & Staff

A Word

From Our Director

As a parent and educator, I believe that every child can succeed, but success looks different for every child. Parents and educators are there to guide each child on their individual journey to discover personal success, growing them in both their strengths and struggles along the way.

– Jeff Cadwallader

Our Teachers

ELEMENTARY

Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams

kindergarten

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Coming soon!

Monica Poudrier

Monica Poudrier

kindergarten

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I’m an Atascadero native and love living on the beautiful Central Coast. My husband and I have two kiddos. In our free time, we love heading to the beach. Morro Bay and Cayucos are our favorites.

My Teaching Philosophy
I believe that my role as an elementary teacher is to nurture and encourage the lifelong learning of my students. I aspire to create a student-centered learning environment where students practice using voice and choice to guide their educational activities. I encourage students to learn in groups because I believe conversation with others helps students to express, challenge, and refine their thought processes. The philosophy in my classroom will honor the whole child – Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul.

Madison Van Meter

Madison Van Meter

1st grade

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This is my 3rd year on
staff at Almond Acres. After spending a fun year in first grade, I am delighted to
equip every student for what is to come and
foster a love of learning. I believe in teaching each child as an individual because we all learn differently!

My Favorites
Food: Sushi and Pizza
Hobby: Line Dancing
Flowers: Peonies
Subject: All of them!
Color: Pink and Orange!
Animal: Dogs and Anteaters

My Characteristics
Joyful, kind, persistent, silly, curious, adventurous, passionate, and devoted.

Lacey Kistler

Lacey Kistler

1st Grade

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Coming soon!

Jill Chavez

Jill Chavez

2nd Grade

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This is going to be a year of
growth, strengthening skills, and making fun memories being our BEST SELVES!

Classroom Experience
I love teaching! This will be my 21st year in elementary education and 2nd year here at Almond Acres Charter Academy. I’ve earned a Masters level in Child Development from Azusa Pacific University where I learned the importance of a love of life-long learning that I hope all of my students learn too.

My Family
I have been happily married for 27 years to Glenn Chavez, a self-employed general contractor, and we have three adult kids: Melody, Gabe, and Garrett. We have been gifted with three adorable grandchildren and a cute retriever-husky dog named Halo.

Kathy Hanson

Kathy Hanson

2nd Grade

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I have 20+ years of teaching experience and this will be my 9th year at AACA. I’ve
taught many grades, but 2nd is by far my favorite. As you get to know me, you will see that I truly enjoy children and appreciate each child’s unique learning styles and strengths.

About Me & Mine
My husband, Danny, and I are the parents of two boys who are ten years apart. Zach attends Chico State as an ag business major. Vaughn is here at AACA. We also have a cat named Orange Kitty, and a German shepherd named Auggie. Our family loves traveling together, watching the Dodgers/Lakers/Cowboys, skiing and snowboarding.

Things I Love
Travel, kids, comedy shows, biographies, All Things Bravo, seafood, Crate & Barrel, the beach, hanging out with friends, interior design, music, Dodgers, Saturdays, and family

Francisco Campoverde

Francisco Campoverde

3rd Grade

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I am proud to continue with y’all as a new teacher. This upcoming school year, I will have multiple roles as an Intervention, Recreation, English Language Development, and 3rd Grade teacher.

In the Classroom
I started my career here as a Paraeducator/Substitute teacher in 2017. Working at AACA inspired me to pursue my multiple-subject credential through CalStateTEACH in spring 2021. I am stoked to continue to work with students here at AACA.

I will be teaming up with some of the best teachers here at AACA to ensure that your student(s) have the best academic experience possible at this fine charter school.

Things I Love
I love coaching and teaching students the fundamentals of each sport.

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Coming soon!

Devon Grey

Devon Grey

4th Grade

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I am incredibly excited to be your child’s fourth-grade teacher! The philosophy of our school is so closely aligned with my own personal philosophy: each of us is unique, and our strengths should be affirmed, stretched, and celebrated.

In the Classroom
Each student deserves to have their strengths utilized to support their unique learning style, and I look forward to learning what makes your child unique and how I can help them reach their goals this school year. The disposition of each student is of utmost importance to me. As an educator, I aim to create a safe and engaging environment with a mixture of structure and flexibility. 

Things I Love
My interests include hiking, reading, photography and spending time with my sons and kitties.

Ellyshia Meling

Ellyshia Meling

4th Grade

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Although this is my first year at Almond Acres Charter Academy, this will be my 11th year teaching! I have just recently moved to Paso Robles from the Sequoia National Forest and I am exceedingly excited to start this new chapter!

In the Classroom
I have worked with children for over 25 years and have known that I wanted to become a teacher since the age of 9. Your children, and the environment in which they learn, are incredibly important to me and I strive to create an open and challenging atmosphere of learning within my classroom. I am looking forward to working with you and your child in order to help him or her reach their full potential.

Important to Me

  • Open and challenging learning atmosphere
  • Great parent-teacher communication
  • Parent involvement
Bethany Collins

Bethany Collins

5th Grade

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This year is my sixth year at AACA. I taught Pre-Kindergarten at the Paso Robles Cooperative Preschool for 7 years prior to coming here. Before that I worked for a number of years with children on the Autism Spectrum. Children and education are my passion.

In the Classroom
Like generations of teachers in my family, my vision is to help people of all ages develop a deep connection with self, community, nature, animals and music and to instill in them a passion for keeping the earth a safe, healthy and sustainable place for future generations. I am passionate about teaching children in a way that allows their gifts and interests to blossom.

Things I Love

  • Music
  • Playing guitar
  • Attending concerts
  • Camping
  • Biking & hiking
  • Traveling
  • Scottish history
  • Natural healing modalities such as yoga, massage therapy, sound healing and dance
  • Nature, birds & trees
  • Laughing and being silly
Diane Stensrud

Diane Stensrud

5th Grade

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This year is my sixth year at AACA. I taught Pre-Kindergarten at the Paso Robles Cooperative Preschool for 7 years prior to coming here. Before that I worked for a number of years with children on the Autism Spectrum. Children and education are my passion.

In the Classroom
Although I have taught all grades from K – Adult, I love to work with students in transition. For instance, 5th graders are “big fish in a small pond” moving toward middle school (the “estuary”). Transitions pose challenges, and the way we respond to challenges shapes our future. I believe communication, in all its various forms, helps us make informed choices as we progress to our “next steps”. I hope to be both coach and cheerleader as I mentor students through this transitional year.

Things I Love

I love to crochet, sew, paint, draw, and write books for my grandchildren. I also love to travel and learn about the wide world.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Joshua Holland

Joshua Holland

6th Grade ela/social studies

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Bio coming soon!

Richard Gallegos

Richard Gallegos

6th Grade Math/Science

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I am honored to be your 3rd-grade teacher this school year. I am “California Grown”, and I live in Morro Bay. Welcome to our classroom where we are committed to excellence!

Coming Home to AACA
I’m excited to be back at AACA! My teaching career started with AACA in 2018. Then, I moved and was a 6th-grade teacher for three years in the Central Valley. In 2023, I returned to AACA.

Things I Love
Color: Black
Food: Pizza
Movie: Avengers
TV Show: Star Trek
Sport: Football (NFL)
Music: Rock & Jazz
Animal: Dogs & Sharks
Hobby: Drawing
Goal: Visit every state in
the USA

Vince Walla

Vince Walla

7th/8th Grade ELA

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I have high expectations for my students. I will also do everything I can to help them succeed because I know that small wins lead to larger victories; a taste of success grows into a desire to succeed. And that desire is what will carry them through any challenge they may face throughout their lives.

My Philosophy
My goal for our middle schoolers is to get each student to internalize the idea of strength through struggle. I will gently push them beyond what they think their limits are so that they begin to understand that quitting is a bad habit, that success does not always mean being the best, and that adversity does not equal defeat. I want to instill in each of them an attitude of “I can’t yet, but I will soon.”

Fun Fact About Me

I learned that we are often capable of so much more than we believe if we could only get out of our own way. I ran the Wildflower Olympic distance triathlon (1-mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6 mile run) in 2012 without training. It was hard but rewarding.

Jillian Bilich

Jillian Bilich

7th/8th Grade Math

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Coming soon!

Robin Terra

Robin Terra

7th/8th Grade Science

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Coming soon!

Spencer Murray

Spencer Murray

7th/8th Grade SOCIAL STUDIES

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I love teaching history and want to share that with you so that you become better citizens who are knowledgeable about the world around you. I know what it takes to succeed in high school and am going to show you how to do that.

All About Me
I earned my BA in History from Biola University and was a part of their distinguished Torrey Honors College. I earned my MA in History from Cal Poly SLO and my MA in Teaching from the University of San Francisco.

Things I Love
When I am not teaching, I spend a lot of time with my family and girlfriend. I love camping and being outdoors. I enjoy working out and playing soccer whenever I can. During quiet times, I read or play video games. You can also find me trying out new food places, so suggestions are welcome. I am glad to be home on the Central Coast.

ALL GRADES

Roberto Quintero

Roberto Quintero

Recreation Teacher

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Coming soon!

Sophie Young

Sophie Young

Recreation Teacher

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Recreation, movement, and the outdoors are very special to me and sharing my passion for teamwork, cooperation, creativity and self-growth through the many outlets of recreation brings me so much joy!

Growing Into Lifetime Movers
I have spent four full years teaching Recreation and enjoy watching students learn to appreciate progress, build sportsmanship skills, and enjoy many team-building and competitive games. This year, my goal is to start my path at Almond Acres off by building relationships with my students and establishing a very positive culture in my classes.

Fun Facts
I began my journey as a lifetime mover when I began to ride horses at a very young age. Not only did I grow up riding horses. I also gravitated toward athletics through my love for volleyball.

Sarah Sellen

Sarah Sellen

Rec Aide

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Coming soon!

Amanda Thayer

Amanda Thayer

Drama/Library Tech

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Coming soon!

Administrative Staff

Jeff Cadwallader

Jeff Cadwallader

Executive Director

Carrie Fiel

Carrie Fiel

Assistant Executive Director

Educational Programs

cfiel@almondacres.com

Yvette Soliven

Yvette Soliven

ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Educational Services

ysoliven@almondacres.com

Amy Baker

Amy Baker

Program Consultant

Amy Brabenec

Amy Brabenec

CURRICULUM COORDINATOR

Vacant

Vacant

Special Education Coordinator

Wendy Woodard

Wendy Woodard

MTSS Coordinator

Megan Zettle

Megan Zettle

MTSS Coordinator

Ashleigh Austin

Ashleigh Austin

Dean

Erin Colegrove

Erin Colegrove

Administrative Assistant

Leslie Almaguer

Leslie Almaguer

Administrative Assistant

Office Personnel & Support Staff

Edith Puga

Edith Puga

Site Secretary

Maria Gutierrez

Maria Gutierrez

Receptionist

Aaron Bailey

Aaron Bailey

Student Affairs & Facilities Supervisor

Ashley Dritsas

Ashley Dritsas

Program Supervisor

Yolanda Goldammer

Yolanda Goldammer

Food Services

Mary Ann Weis

Mary Ann Weis

Food Services

Eduardo Alvarez

Eduardo Alvarez

Maintenance / Transportation

Adelina Ruiz

Adelina Ruiz

Custodial Lead

Bertha Fuerte

Bertha Fuerte

Custodian

Ricardo Puga

Ricardo Puga

Custodian

Vacant

Vacant

Custodian

Jillian Martin

Jillian Martin

Campus Supervisor

Robin Scovell

Robin Scovell

Campus Supervisor

Vacant

Vacant

Campus Supervisor

Murray Price

Murray Price

Campus Supervisor

Sandra Cordova

Sandra Cordova

Support Teacher

Priscilla Cota

Priscilla Cota

Support Teacher

Maria Cuara

Maria Cuara

Support Teacher

Vanessa Espinoza

Vanessa Espinoza

Support Teacher

Brie Howenstine

Brie Howenstine

Support Teacher

Melissa Mendoza

Melissa Mendoza

Support Teacher

Carina Munguia

Carina Munguia

Support Teacher

Specialists

Claudia Renteria

Claudia Renteria

School Psychologist

Missy McFarlane

Missy McFarlane

Speech-Language Pathologist

Katie Chappell

Katie Chappell

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Joe Peckham

Joe Peckham

technology

Julie Newman

Julie Newman

Education Specialist

TBA

TBA

Education Specialist

Jessica Benzel

Jessica Benzel

intervention

Emilie Cronauer

Emilie Cronauer

intervention

Elsa Marak

Elsa Marak

INTERVENTION

Kirk Nordby

Kirk Nordby

INTERVENTION

Melissa Torgesen

Melissa Torgesen

intervention

Bob Bourgault

Bob Bourgault

Counselor

Join Our Team

If you love kids, align with our school philosophy, and want to be part of a fun team of leaders, join our team!