David Fiore was 24 when he started his teaching career in the Central Valley in 2008. He thanks his mentor teachers for helping him along the way but quickly points to his students as playing a significant role in molding him into the educator and person he is today. Fiore was born in Berkeley, California, but grew up in Stockton. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from California State University of Fresno in 2007. He went on to earn a Master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Technological Integration from Concordia University Irvine. He has always taught middle-school, and appreciates this age group as students are not only impressionable, but can also appreciate his dry humor and outdated idioms. His “dad jokes” are also on the rise. Outside of the classroom, Fiore enjoys spending time with his family, dabbles in home improvement (much to his wife’s dismay), plays golf and appreciates the beautiful outdoors Sonoma County has to offer.
Tanisha Goudie was born and raised in Sonoma County. She attended the Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to Sonoma State, where she earned her Bachelor of Art in English. After college, she joined AmeriCorps working in local elementary schools. There, she realized her passion for Education and returned to Sonoma State for her teaching credential. While student teaching, she was placed at a middle school and fell in love with this wacky age group. Goudie loves reading, sleeping, and spending time with her four younger siblings in that order.
Spanish Literacy / Spanish / Spanish for Spanish Speakers
Yesenia Perez was born and raised in Sonoma County. She graduated Sonoma State University with a BA in English and a minor in Spanish. She has always loved the idea of teaching and has been involved in teaching in some way throughout her life. While in high school, she volunteered for A Special Place Preschool and later went on to work for California Mini-Corps, and Adelante in college. After graduating, Perez worked for the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma-Marin as a program coordinator and decided to receive her teaching credential from Sonoma State University soon after. There is nothing more rewarding than working with students for her. This is why she could not imagine working in any other field that was not teaching. Perez looks forward to learning more about her students, and can’t wait to see the collective academic and emotional growth that will be made this year.
Leadership / Drama / 8th Grade English
Cassandra Slagle grew up in the East Bay Area until moving to go to college at Sonoma State, where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts in both English and Theatre. After SSU, she went on to receive both teaching credentials through the University of Western Florida. Throughout her life, she has loved to act on stage and write creatively, and was able to find her voice and passion for public speaking as a middle schooler. It was her theatre teachers that inadvertently inspired her to go into teaching, because of the profound difference they made in her life. Slagle enjoys the challenge and joy that comes with teaching middle schoolers, who are at the age of realizing their passions and goals for the future. In her spare time, Slagle loves to cook healthy plant-based meals, work in her garden, travel, hike, do yoga, and spend time with her friends and family.
History Department Head
Kris Ackerman grew up in the South Bay and started her career in education before coming to Santa Rosa in 2014. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ackerman stated unequivocally that she wanted to be a teacher in Kindergarten and fell in love with Middle School students after landing a job in a 7th grade classroom. Being able to let your weirdness show as a Middle School teacher is definitely a perk of the job. In her free time Ackerman likes to read, crochet, bake, hang out with family, and play cards with friends.
Fun Fact: Ackerman has 5 cats at home. That's more cats living in her house than humans!
Ethnic Studies / History taught in Spanish
Erick Guzmán was born and raised in East LA. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science and history. Guzmán also obtained a teaching credential in social science and masters in history from CSULA. He has a decade of teaching experience and has served as an educator the majority of his life. Guzmán will be a role model at CCLA and offer our youth guidance whenever necessary.
Nick Veveiros was born and raised in Rohnert Park, California. He attended Rancho Cotate High School before attending Santa Rosa Junior College, a place where his love of education blossomed. After completing undergrad at SRJC, Veveiros transferred to UC Davis and graduated with degrees in History and Philosophy. Shortly after, he completed his teaching credential program at Dominican University of California. Veveiros feels incredibly lucky to be at CCLA. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, playing basketball, traveling, hiking, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Math Department Head
Chris Laberge grew up in Napa, California. He traveled across the country in middle school and high school racing road bikes and enjoys hiking, being outdoors and cheering on the San Jose Sharks! LaBerge studied at SSU in the Mathematics department where he found enjoyment learning about Hyperbolic Geometry, Combinatorics among other subsets of math. LaBerge earned his Single Subject Teaching Credential from SSU and has been teaching at CCLA since.
Andrea Munguia was born and raised in Dalton, Georgia. She attended Dalton State College and got her bachelors degree in Elementary Education with an ESOL endorsement. Munguia received her Master’s degree in Mathematics from Western Governors University . She taught 1st grade for two years in Dalton before moving to Santa Rosa.
Outside of the classroom, Munguia enjoys being in nature, whether it be hiking or just reading a book. She played soccer and volleyball in high school, so she likes to go out play every once in a while when possible. Her favorite thing to do overall is spend quality time with her family.
Munguia is very excited to form part of the community and looks forward to learning alongside her students.
Deborah Ramos has lived in Sonoma County her entire life, mostly residing in Santa Rosa. She attended Santa Rosa City Schools from elementary school through high school, attended Santa Rosa Junior College, and is a graduate of Sonoma State University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, a Single-Subject Teaching Credential, a Master’s Degree in Education with a Mathematics Emphasis, and a Supplemental Science Teaching Credential, and has been teaching for over 20 years. Outside of the classroom, Ramos enjoys traveling, sailing, kayaking, indoor rock climbing, and camping. She enjoys looking for interesting ways to enrich the mathematics curriculum and finding applications of mathematics in day to day life. One of her favorite movies is Stand and Deliver and she also firmly believes that “math is the great equalizer.”
Physical Education Department Head
Natalie Villagomez Vigil was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. She attended Sonoma State University and earned a BA degree in Kinesiology with a minor in English. She then graduated from the University of San Francisco with a teaching credential and a Master’s in Teaching. She is a 7th/8th grade PE teacher and also teaches a dance PE class. Natalie played soccer growing up and now coaches the girl’s soccer team at Santa Rosa High School. Natalie is a foodie who enjoys reading, playing and watching sports, the beach, and traveling.
Fun Fact: Ms. Villagomez enjoys cooking.
Mr. Duerr was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He received his B.S in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University, M.S in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University, and Teaching Credential from Alliant University. Mr. Duerr participated in football and wrestling in college and is also currently the Head Wrestling Coach / Associate Faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, the outdoors, traveling, and eating.
Fun Fact: Mr. Duerr loves to cook.
Elementary & Middle School PE
Julian Rooney has lived in Northern California for the last 25 years. He loves the climate, redwood trees, and all the outdoor activities that Sonoma County has to offer. Rooney attended the Santa Rosa Junior College and then received his BA in Geography from Sonoma State University. He started off as an instructional assistant at Salmon Creek Middle School and at that point decided to pursue a teaching credential. He now holds a multiple subject credential, as well as a single subject credential for Physical Education. He has taught at Pivot Charter School and Technology Middle School and is now very happy to be at CCLA teaching PE. In his free time he spends as much time as possible with his daughter who is turning 3 in November. Rooney is also a lover of sports, who plays, watches and consumes it daily. His favorite sports to play are tennis, soccer and baseball but finds joy in playing them all. Rooney's goal as an educator is empowering students through knowledge and recognizing through experience how exercise and nutrition can contribute to a happy lifestyle.
Fun Fact: Mr. Rooney has gone white water rafting on the Nile River.
Gino Beccaria was born and raised on Earth, Gino Beccaria, self nicknamed “The Prodigy”, is actually a fairly average guy. Gino went to California State University Long Beach because he’s a big fan of pyramids (especially ones not made by aliens) and the Beach (shout out to Rosie’s Dog Beach which is literally the best place on Earth). While at CSULB Gino worked at In-N-Out for the free food and studied psychology, eventually earning his BA but never finding an answer to why he insists on writing biographies in third person. After college Beccaria worked at ANOVA as a paraprofessional while returning to school to earn his teaching credential. During this time Beccaria was scouted and picked up as a football and lacrosse coach for Rancho Cotate High School where he coaches to this day. Beccaria now works at CCLA full time teaching 7th/8th grade science and the mysteries of being an Earthling. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, chillin with his cats, and being a human.
7th Grade Science
Jacqueline Levy has spent the past 16 years as an educator, both inside and outside the classroom. She taught a variety of high school science courses including physical science, earth science, biology and environmental science. She has also done outdoor environmental education. She is most passionate about teaching ecology and conservation. She is looking forward to getting middle school students engaged in hands-on science.
Before she became an educator Ms. Levy conducted conservation research and received her master’s in Biology from San Francisco State University. She is a Santa Rosa native who has been fortunate to travel while pursuing her career in science. She is a proud nature nerd who also enjoys the arts and baking.
8th Grade Science / Maker Class
Science Department Head / Athletic Director
Jessica McNiff was born and raised in southern California before transplanting to Sonoma County after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz. She went on to earn her Single Subject Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University. In addition to teaching, she is also our Athletic Director, Volleyball and Track Coach, Science Challenge and Amor Para Todos Club Advisor, and regularly mentors new teacher candidates. McNiff loves teaching and giving every middle schooler the opportunity to succeed in the classroom and school community as a whole.
Melissa Shain was born in Santa Rosa, California, but grew up on an army base in Washington State. She moved back to Sonoma County at 10 years of age and has lived here since. She attended Rincon Valley Middle School and graduated from Santa Rosa High School. Shain attended college for several years at Santa Rosa Junior College before transferring to California State University, Chico where she received her degree in Recreation Administration. Before becoming a teacher, Shain worked for 20 years for Sonoma County Regional Parks as a Park Ranger Assistant, as well as Santa Rosa City Schools as a Yard Duty at Brook Hill Elementary. In 2019, she started her journey to become a teacher, first substitute teaching and then finishing her schooling to become a Special Education Teacher. This is her 4th year of teaching here at CCLA. In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her husband and three kids.
Briana Gutierrez is very excited to join the CCLA team. She is an Elsie Allen Alumni, class of 2021, and a current student at the Santa Rosa Junior College. She is a Child Development major and finds working with students exhilarating as she helps them learn and grow both academically and socially. Ms. Gutierrez hopes someday to become an educator and help bring the exhilaration she finds to those around her.
Jake Jestadt was born in the awesome (somewhat) western part of Marin County. He had a wonderful Spanish teacher in high school and has been studying Spanish off and on since the Early 2000s. During this time he travelled to Mexico twice and Spain once to have the opportunity to be surrounded by Spanish. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2018 Jestadt decided to look for work in education in Sonoma County.