Meet the TOSAS
Contact a TOSA for ongoing collegial support.
Deanna Watts, has been supporting students and teachers since she was in grade school. That love of learning and heart for service led to a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and countless continuing education certificates. She has been teaching since 1994, and joined the SCUSD team in 1998. Her first 15 years in the district were spent as a classroom teacher at Bracher Elementary, where she learned the value of collaboration and coaching. Since becoming a TOSA she has provided district-wide and site-based professional learning, led teams of teacher leaders, created curriculum resources, modeled best practices with students in our classrooms, contributed to grade level PLCs, and shared her knowledge as a presenter at national math conferences. Her greatest accomplishment, besides raising her two sons, was becoming an Add+Vantage Math Recovery (AVMR) Champion in 2018, which helped her to provide district teachers with the knowledge, assessments, and lessons to support Tier I and Tier II instruction. Adding AVMR to her repertoire of curriculum support and math workshop professional development strengthened her ability to support teachers as they strive to meet the needs and improve outcomes for all of our students.
(408) 423- 3228
Elizabeth’s love for learning, collaborating, and innovating led her to her position as an elementary TOSA. Elizabeth received her Masters in Education from Stanford. She taught third and fourth grade at Ponderosa Elementary in SCUSD and was a K-2 Literacy Intervention Teacher before transitioning to her current TOSA role. Elizabeth has led K-5 professional development on writing, reading, and oral language development in numerous bay area school districts and has presented at a National Literacy Conference. She received her National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood literacy, trained in Reading Recovery and is currently training in structured literacy practices. As an ELA TOSA, Elizabeth enjoys being a thought partner in designing instruction, co-teaching and collaborating around professional learning. She believes we need a variety of assessments and strategies to meet the needs of all of our students, and that above all literacy learning should be joyful and empowering. Outside of the classroom you probably won’t be able to find her, since in all likelihood she will be either lost or searching for her missing keys somewhere.
Julie Vazquez has a passion for planning curriculum and supporting teachers. She taught third and fourth grade for 21 years, teaching at Hughes and Haman Elementary schools in SCUSD. Julie received a Master in Education with a focus on teacher leadership. She also holds certifications in Math Recovery AVMR 1, AVMR2, and is becoming a Math Recovery Specialist. She loves collaborating with teachers, using data to design curriculum and learning experiences to help students meet learning goals. As an Elementary Math TOSA, she enjoys sharing best practices with colleagues and transforming classroom experiences for students and teachers. She helps teachers and school sites use data to determine the next steps for individual students or groups, as well as coaches teachers through planning lessons and units of instructions. When not at work, Julie enjoys spending time outdoors with her two children and husband, hiking or playing at the beach.
Laurie Jasso enjoys exploring best practices with colleagues and facilitating conversations that transform classroom experiences for all students, including those with disabilities. With over 25 years of teaching experience, Laurie began her career at SCUSD as a resource specialist at Westwood Elementary School 1999. Laurie’s time at Westwood taught her how to manage the demands of being a case carrier while working with teachers to support students with varying needs access meaningful instruction. Later, she became one of Special Educations part time LITs to help pilot and implement Leveled Literacy Instruction (LLI). As a Special Education TOSA in SCUSD for the last six years, Laurie has enjoyed supporting teachers with their implementation of sound practices using multisensory systematic instruction for reading. In addition, Laurie enjoys supporting teachers in assessing students and using that information to write IEPs that are both student centered and defensible. She enjoys being a thought partner in creating inclusive environments and has a passion for supporting teachers with developing classroom routines that encourage independence for all students. Laurie received her Multiple Subject and Mild/Moderate teaching credentials from San Jose State University, as well as her Masters in Educational Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction. When not immersed in IEPs and data, Laurie is usually found reading, searching pinterest, or at her three children’s many sports and theater productions.
(408) 423 - 1087
Nathaniel Petkewich is dedicated to helping all students, teachers, and families find positive outcomes. Nathaniel began the first 9 years of his career in education as an ESL teacher abroad. After repatriating, he began his work in special education with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education as a para educator and a teacher in preschool, elementary, high school, and post-secondary classrooms supporting students with autism, emotional disturbance, medically fragile conditions, and severe handicaps. Nathaniel joined the SCUSD team as a TOSA in 2017. In SCUSD, some of the work Nathaniel enjoys supporting teachers with is training, using, and planning with the adopted alternative curriculum; training and using evidence based practices (EBPs) for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as a member of the district’s C.A.P.T.A.I.N. cadre; training and using crisis prevention and de-escalation techniques as a Safety Care Trainer; supporting teachers, teams, and sites with inclusive practices and best practices in special education; Induction Coaching; and collaborating with and coaching teachers and small teams to support the specific needs of students at the individual level.
Sara Pérez has over 17 years of teaching experience and has a rich background working in a variety of contexts, including combination classes, transitional bilingual, dual language, structured English immersion, and inclusion classrooms. She has held numerous positions in supporting teacher capacity across all content areas, including Peer Mentor Coach, Instructional Coach, and Induction Coach. Sara is ready to work side by side with teachers and principals by providing staff or personalized professional development, data discussions, individual or grade-level planning, and demonstration lessons. She comes with a deep understanding of language learning and an unwavering commitment to English Learners (ELs). She is passionate in developing teachers’ ELD lens for intentional planning of instructional strategies and scaffolds that will best support EL access to the curriculum, while developing an environment where our EL students thrive. She is a life-long learner who is committed to both personal and professional growth and development. In her free time, Sara enjoys listening to podcasts, dancing, long walks, cooking, and time with family.
Vicki Pardini has a passion for early literacy. Vicki was a classroom teacher for 9 years and taught first, second, and third grade at Haman Elementary School in SCUSD. She is trained in Reading Recovery and structured literacy practices, and has also received her preliminary administrative credential through the REACH program, with a focus in instructional leadership. Vicki has enjoyed leading professional development around literacy and oral language development within SCUSD and in districts around the bay area. As a TOSA, she enjoys being a thought partner, designing instruction, co-teaching and collaborating with colleagues to help them transform experiences for students. When not at work, Vicki most enjoys spending time with her sweet 4 yr. old pup at the dog beach or going to the movies with friends.
Kelly began her career working as a para at a public middle school in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It was there that she came to love and learn from the kids with the most labels, and they were her inspiration to transition into teaching. She headed to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she earned her Masters in Education. While she has taught in San Jose, East Palo Alto, and Indonesia, Kelly spent most of her teaching career in Oakland Unified, where she continued to love and learn from her students. In 2018, Kelly joined SCUSD and has has led professional development on topics such as writing assessment, student engagement practices, social-emotional learning, lesson design and culturally-responsive teaching. Curriculum development is a passion of hers, and her Be the Change curriculum, a blend of SEL, Social Justice, and Youth Empowerment, is currently used in multiple programs throughout the district. She is also the co-author of a book of curriculum called Doing Good: Inspiring Activities and Ideas for Young People to Make the World a Better Place. Her favorite part of being a TOSA is that she gets to support teachers every day in their superhero work.
Kristina Flores is celebrating twenty five years as a master educator in the Silicon Valley and twenty years as a teacher-leader for SCUSD. Kristina’s educational vision has always aligned with the values of equity, social justice, and the academic success of English Language Learners. One of Kristina’s career highlights at SCUSD was serving as the first SCHS AVID teacher and site coordinator, graduating the first SCHS AVID class of 2010. From 2010- 2018, she wrote the first Ethnic Studies course curriculum in SCUSD that acquired UC approval. As a master teacher and instructional coach, she is passionate about collaborating with teachers and TOSA teams on ways to best serve our students. Kristina has a Master’s Degree in Academic Counseling and earned her Administrative Credential in 2018. Kristina’s vision to instruct and edify the whole student is one that is recognized by her peers and former students.
Rachel Fainstein has 12 years of experience teaching high school math in underserved communities in both Northern and Southern California. Rachel has taught every level of high school mathematics on both an integrated and traditional pathway and has extensive experience in implementing a discovery-based teaching model that puts equal emphasis on conceptual understanding, application, and procedural fluency. Ensuring that math experiences are equitable and engaging for students is Rachel’s true passion. Rachel bleeds baby blue and gold, having earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, M.Ed, and single subject teaching credential all from UCLA.
During her 23 years in education, Rachelle Burnside has been dedicated to ensuring quality, equitable instruction for all students by utilizing effective programs and strategies, such as AVID and Quality Teaching for English Learners. Before starting her TOSA position in SCUSD, Rachelle was an English teacher for over 20 years in both Campbell Union High School and Mountain View Los Altos School districts. She worked with a variety of learners in a variety of subjects, including journalism, AVID, world history, and EL 1, 2, and 3. Rachelle gained over ten years experience with the Advanced Placement program, teaching both AP Language and AP Literature and Composition, and serving as an AP reader for the AP Literature exam several times. Before leaving CUHSD, she served in a number of leadership roles, including ELA/ELD Department chair, ELA TOSA, and AVID site coordinator at Branham High School. She brings with her a broad range of experiences beyond the classroom, having served on the CUHSD Teaching and Learning Task force, the Standards-Based Grading Professional Development Committee, and the Teacher Evaluation System Research and Development Committee. Rachelle has received several awards for her teaching, including being named to an International Fulbright Exchange in 2009 and Campbell Union High School District Teacher of the Year in 2012. She holds bachelors degrees in English and history from Santa Clara University and completed her Masters in Liberal Arts from Stanford University in November 2021. Rachelle enjoys collaborating with teachers on implementing equitable best practices. When not at work or writing her master’s thesis, she makes bath and beauty products for her Etsy store and follows the dictates of her two cats, Prufrock and Bowie.
With over eighteen years of experience, Stephanie Rothstein is SCUSD new Ed Tech TOSA. Stephanie previously worked at Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District where she taught for thirteen years and served the last four years as a Teacher on Special Assignment supporting EdTech Integration, Professional Learning, Induction Coaching, Curriculum and Instruction Support, Communication and additional responsibilities. She has taught grades 9-12 in the subjects of English, Yearbook and AVID and she also chaired the LEAD Design Thinking Pathway at Los Gatos High School for over ten years. Her continuous love of learning led her to become a Google Innovator, Google Trainer, Google Coach, and Adobe Educator. She is founder of GlobalGEG, a free educator professional learning group; the creator of CanWeTalkEDU focused on collaboration support; a regular writer for Edutopia; and author of a chapter in George Couros' Because of A Teacher which was published in August 2021. Stephanie has had the pleasure of presenting at educational conferences around the world and she is very proud to have been named CUE’s Teacher of the Year for 2021. More information about her work and projects can be viewed at her linktree.
Aimee Heeren has been in public education for over 20 years and has been an English teacher, middle school counselor, high school counselor and college admissions counselor for the California State University (CSU) System. Aimee most recently worked in San Jose Unified as a founding member of the Consulting Teachers’ Equity Centered Evaluation System, a joint initiative between the school district and teachers’ union. She also coached and mentored all first and second year probationary counselors. Aimee is passionate about bringing greater equity through a multi-tiered multi-domain system of support (MTMDSS) and through the National Equity Project’s Liberatory Design Model. She also seeks out salient data to drive interventions. She has led professional learning on topics such as Solutions-Focused Counseling, presentation development and delivery, using direct instruction in counseling and equitable grading. Aimee understands the educational system as a parent of three daughters in middle school, high school and college.
Environmental Science TOSA
Kim Hunter is the K - 12 Environmental TOSA who is passionate about guiding students and teachers on their paths to better understanding and connecting with the natural world. She supports K-12 teachers with planning and leading field trips connected with grade level and subject specific curriculum. For over 15 years, Kim has led students and teachers through hands-on, engaging lessons in natural areas and organic farms as well as in classrooms and science labs. Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and her Masters of Science Education from Florida State University. She taught high school subjects: AP Biology, Biology, and Food Science in both Florida and Massachusetts before moving to Santa Clara with her family. In the bay area she assisted in developing school gardens, and began teaching 8th grade science at Peterson Middle School where, whenever possible, she led her 8th graders through the district’s Osborne Nature Area and Farm. Kim believes that all students should have the opportunity to learn about the natural world given the time and space to observe and wonder. When she is not supporting teachers and leading students, Kim can be found walking with her family in the woods or jogging along the streets of Santa Clara.