Art / Electives Department Head
Rainbow Ashton has been teaching middle school art since 2005. She has taught at 5 middle schools and 2 High schools in Santa Rosa and Fairfield CA. Mrs. Ashton was raised in Santa Rosa and graduated from Brook Hill Elementary, Slater Junior High and Montgomery High school. After graduating high school she attended the University of Miami in Florida, then returned home to attend Sonoma State University and SRJC. She studied Art with the sole intention of teaching middle school. Mrs. Ashton also helps coach Track and Field and runs a lunch Art club, Yearbook club, and Garden club.
Fun Fact: If you were wondering, Rainbow is her birth name. Even she thinks it ironic she became an Art teacher.
Katia Palacios was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Koreatown surrounded by different cultures and languages as well as delicious food. She attended public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and knows first hand the struggle of being the child of a family whose first language is not English. Her family migrated to the United States from El Salvador in 1982. Palacios enjoys drawing in her sketchbook as well as paint on large canvases. In her free time she enjoys listening to oldies, reading a good book accompanied with a delicious cup of coffee, and watching Korean dramas.
Palacios received her Bachelor's Degree in Art Education from California State University, Chico and her Single Subject Credential from Sonoma State University.
Palacios is passionate about teaching her students the art of self-expression through the usage of their creativity and imagination. Most importantly, she desires to teach her students the value of believing in themselves.
Kyle Thompson has been a member of the Santa Rosa community of music for over 25 years. He sang in the choral ensembles at Santa Rosa High School under the direction of Dan Earl and Dr. Paul Head, played cello in the Santa Rosa Junior Symphony under the direction of Eugene Shepherd (who also taught at Lawrence Cook Middle School), and then went on to receive his A.A. degree in music at SRJC under the direction of Dr. Curtis Sprenger. He received his B.A. at CSU Chico and just finished completing his Masters Degree at Sonoma State University. Thompson is excited about building a strong music program at CCLA, believes in music as a powerful force that can connect all people together, and has loved working with students in southwest Santa Rosa all of his teaching life.
In 2010, Thompson was given the honor of being the Elsie Allen High School Educator of the Year, was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award in 2009 and 2013, and received the Music Director of the Year for 2015 from the Northern California Band and Choir Director's Association. He also received the March 2019 Teacher of the Month from the Sonoma County Office of Education. Outside of teaching, Thompson enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, disc golf, woodcarving, and making music.