The team that makes it work

Staff Directory

Administrative Staff
Gail Ewell
Executive Director

Gail Ewell is the founder and Executive Director of HTS. She graduated from Northeastern University in 1983 with a degree in Education and an emphasis in Human Services. In 1998, she created an Exceptional Children’s Program worldwide, a non-profit project which empowers families through specialized classes and inclusion services for children with special needs. She has also helped start and run parent support groups, community conferences, and inclusive sports programs. In 2001, she founded Hope Technology School.

Tracey Howell
Director of Inclusive Programs

Tracey Howell has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Princeton University. After graduation she taught math, biology, chemistry and general science to secondary school students. She was given a fellowship to Columbia University for their Master’s Program in Curriculum. She worked for Teach for America, a non-profit group that matched Ivy-League graduates with inner-city schools for a two-year commitment to teach.

Jennifer Straw
Director of Instruction and Specialized Services

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Cal State Monterey Bay. She completed her teaching credential and Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Mild to Moderate Disabilities at San Francisco State University. She has worked in education since 2002 and has worked at Hope Technology School since 2006 as both a paraeducator and teacher.

Sharon Siu
Director of Administrative Services

Sharon has her BA in Psychology from Radford University. She began working at HTS when it began in 2001. She has worked in various roles at HTS in administration and in the classroom. The last several years she has served as a preschool teacher. She is a mother of 3 children, all of whom have attended the HTS program.

Mary Wilson, CPA
Controller

Mary Wilson graduated from the University of the Pacific, Stockton in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting. She has been a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California since 1985. She specialized in Auditing for-profit, governmental, and non-profit organizations. In addition she consulted with small businesses to develop computer accounting systems. Of note, Mary worked with the ownership group of the Sacramento Kings during the construction of ARCO Arena. She is involved in several business and community service organizations including Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Active 20/30 and Soroptimist International. Mary is a member of American Institute of CPA’s and California Society of CPA’s.

Cherie Schaffernoth
Administrator

Cherie received her Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California Berkeley. She has over 7 years of work experience with children with special needs in inclusive environments, volunteer programs, and in home settings. Cherie is dedicated to the advancement of inclusion and the success of students both academically and socially.

Preschool Teachers
Laura Garcia
Preschool Teacher

Laura Garcia has been working as a teacher in the Preschool Program since 2005. She has been directing the Hope Technology preschool program since 2006. She began working with both neurotypical children and children with special needs in 1998. Laura received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development with an emphasis in ‘The Young Child and Families’ at San Francisco State University. She has earned all of her Early Childhood Education units. Her experience includes teaching in after-school programs and working one-on-one with children with special needs. She has experience as a bilingual reading tutor and a teacher assistant in a kindergarten Spanish-speaking class.

Kristi Bodzioch
Preschool Teacher

Kristi Bodzioch earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University. She has been working at Hope Technology School since 2010. Kristi also runs the preschool after-school program. She is a mother of two boys, both of whom have attended the HTS program.

Taylor Christy
Preschool Teacher

Taylor received an Early Childhood Development Certificate from Merritt College. She has eight years of experience working with school-age children. For the past four years, she taught in a Montessori preschool working in an inclusive environment.This is her first year at HTS and she is excited to help teach the preschool.

K-8 Teachers
Tiffany Rivera
Kindergarten

Tiffany received her BA Degree in Behavioral Science at San Jose State University, and plans to pursue her teaching credential. This is Tiffany’s fourth year working at Hope and has volunteered at various inclusion programs serving both neurotypical children and children with disabilities.

Christian Trifforiot
First Grade

Christian will be the classroom teacher for the 2018 – 2019 school year. Christian received his B.A. degree in Psychology and his M.A.Ed with an emphasis in Special Education and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) from San Jose State University. He also received his teaching credential with a focus in mild to moderate disabilities. Over the past 9 years he has worked with children within various inclusive settings. He loves the outdoors and being physically active and enjoys helping students participate in a healthy lifestyle.

Kirsten Dillon
Second Grade

Kirsten has been working with children for over 10 years. She has worked in home-based, clinical, and educational settings. She also has spent many hours volunteering in an inclusive soccer program as a lead coach. Kirsten worked as a para-educator for several years and is currently the second grade teacher at our school. Kirsten received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cal State University East Bay in Human Development, with an emphasis in Childhood Development. In 2013 she also attained her Master’s Degree and teaching credential in Mild to Moderate Special Education from San Francisco State University.

Kim Murray
Third & Fourth Grade

Kim Murray joined HTS staff in 2005. Kim studied Art at the University of Hawaii and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1995. She went on to earn her Elementary Teaching Certificate in Regular Education. After completing the program, she began teaching Visually Impaired students at a middle school while simultaneously enrolled in a state funded program training teachers in the area of Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities in Special Education. As a result, the State of Hawaii awarded her a Special Education Endorsement for her Teaching Certificate. She has also taught in the special day class setting in Hawaii and California for grades three through five. Kim is comfortable working with a range of students’ needs and abilities.

Gina Kiyuna
Third & Fourth Grade

Gina has been trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), TEACCH, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and in facilitating Integrated Play Groups. She has also been through a number of trainings and workshops for GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science), the California Reading and Literacy Project, and Tribes (fostering classroom community and inclusion). Gina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. She holds two California credentials: a regular education multiple subject CLAD (Cross-Cultural Language Academic Development) credential, as well as a special education communication-handicapped credential, with an emphasis in deaf education. In 1999, Gina received her Master’s Degree in Special Education, with an emphasis in deaf education from San Francisco State University.

Alyssa Barker
5th Grade & Middle School

Alyssa received her BA Degree in Psychology from Cal State East Bay. She also has a Master’s Degree and credential in special education with a focus on mild to moderate disabilities from San Francisco State University. She has over 7 years of experience working with children with special needs in inclusive environments. She is very passionate and eager to learn and apply various tools in order to help students to thrive both academically and socially.

Howard Kiyuna
Middle School

Howard has taught at Hope Technology School since its inception in 2001. Since then he has been nominated to the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” for three consecutive years.He has a Master’s Degree in Mild-to-Moderate Special Education and a teaching credential in Mild-to-Moderate Special Education from San Francisco State University. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development, with a minor in Music, from California State University, Sacramento. During his 13 years of working in Early Childhood Education, he has worked as a Head Teacher, Site Supervisor, and as a case manager for various county agencies.

Bob Moos
Middle School

Bob earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Portland State University. He has been teaching at Hope Technology School since 2002. Prior experience includes teaching 3rd through 5th grade at a school that specializes in working with children with Specific Language Disabilities. Bob is trained and certified to teach the Slingerland Method, which is a sequential, simultaneous, multi-sensory approach to teaching language arts.

Adelaide Vincent
Middle School

Adelaide is the 8th grade homeroom teacher and the math and science teacher for the 7th and 8th grades. She joined the staff at Hope Technology School in 2009. Adelaide graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with bachelor degrees in molecular and cellular biology and rhetoric. She has a master’s degree and teaching credential in special education from San Francisco State University.

Jeff Tuibeo
Adapted P.E. Teacher

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Education from San Francisco State University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and teaching credential to become an equipped Adapted Physical Education instructor. Jeff has experience working with collegiate athletes, but his passion remains embedded in creating dynamic inclusive physical activity programs for his students.

Sheree Lin
Vocational Education Instructor

Sheree received her Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from San Jose State University and has seven years of experience working with children with special needs in an inclusive environment, volunteer programs and home settings. This will be her third year working at HTS. For the past two years she taught social skills groups and this year she is excited to be teaching in Voc Ed.

High School
Stephanie Hendrickson
Lead Teacher

Stephanie is in her fourth year at Hope Technology School. She is a seasoned teacher with experience in inclusive education teaching all subjects from elementary through high school. Stephanie has taught Literature, Civics & World Civilizations in California High Schools as well as earth science, life science and physical science at the secondary school level. She has a M.S. degree in Education with an Emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Scranton and a B.S. degree in Political Science & Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University.

Courtney Peterson
English & Social Studies Teacher

Courtney Peterson graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in Humanities. She received her Single Subject teaching credential in English from SJSU. She has taught World Civilizations and Expository Reading and Writing at her previous high school in Sunnyvale, CA. Courtney also coaches our cross country and 5K running program for the middle school and high school students.

Matthew Morton
Math Teacher

Matthew graduated with a Bachelors in Applied Mathematics with a teaching option at CSUEB. He has worked with children over the last 6 years, which has included working with kids with special and typical needs. He currently coaches kids in soccer, which he has been part of for 6 years and has tutored children in mathematics for 3 years.

Paraeducators
Jesse Maumalanga
Paraeducator

Jesse attended San Francisco City College to earn a certificate in Early Childhood Development (ECD).  He has over 10 years of experience with typical children and children with special needs in classrooms and volunteer programs.  

Angie Perez
Paraeducator

Angie recently graduated from Cal State East Bay. She has worked with children for 9 years, both with typical children and children with special needs. For four years, she ran group activities including sports and arts and crafts at an after school program on the East Bay for over 100 kids in grades K-8. She has also been an ABA therapist for 2 children.

Chris Bisauta
Paraeducator

Chris received his Bachelor’s in Business at San Jose State University. He is currently pursuing a teaching credential in hopes of working with kids with special needs. Chris has worked with children with special needs in a housing and school settings for over six years.

Christian Giron
Paraeducator

Christian recently graduated from Saint Mary’s College with a degree in Kinesiology Health & Human Performance. He started the program E-Hoops at Saint Mary’s which is an inclusive basketball program for typical children and children with special needs. Previously he worked for the City of Lafayette as a Recreational Leader and helped run camps for the kids in the city.

Chris Chaffin
Paraeducator

Chris has volunteered in multiple programs working with kids of all abilities. Some of those programs include working as a coach for E-Soccer and providing childcare for a family with two kids both of whom have special needs.

Kevin Chua
Paraeducator

Kevin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University with Academic Honors, and is currently working toward his Educational Credential in Teaching. He has over 5 years of work experience with children with special needs in inclusive environments, volunteer programs, and in home settings.

Bridget Castillo
Paraeducator

Bridget Castillo graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor is Justice Studies. She has worked with youth for about five years. She has also worked as a treatment counselor for foster youth, providing therapeutic intervention to youth and families in residential and community settings along with helping teach legal education to youth on probation. She also led a program for 30 girls at Independence High School for two years.

Phoenix Coulliette
Paraeducator

Bridget Castillo graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor is Justice Studies. She has worked with youth for about five years. She has also worked as a treatment counselor for foster youth, providing therapeutic intervention to youth and families in residential and community settings along with helping teach legal education to youth on probation. She also led a program for 30 girls at Independence High School for two years.

Therapists
Michelle Fredrickson
School Counselor

Michelle has a Masters Degree in Counseling with a specialization in School Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Saint Mary’s College of California. She has experience in running groups for children with ADD/ADHD to help support students with executive functioning skills and motivation. She also facilitated groups for behavior management to help students social and academic performances.

Sandra Burke
Speech-Language Pathologist

Sandra Burke has been working with children and adults with communication difficulties for 15 years. She has worked in several settings, such as home health care, assisted living facilities, special day classes, public and private schools, and university clinics. She received her Master of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech and Language Pathology from San Francisco State University in 2005. She finished her clinical fellowship year in September 2006 at Hope Technology School. Sandra is a licensed speech-language pathologist, has her national certification through the America Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and obtained a California Credential in Clinical Rehabilitative Services. Prior to graduate school, Sandra studied Special Education and Linguistics at San Francisco State University. She has been trained in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), Integrated Play Group Therapy, Links to Language, Tomatis Auditory Re-Education Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Kokeb McDonald
Occupational Therapist

Kokeb McDonald has her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University and Masters of Science in Health Care Administration Management and Change in Health Care Option at Cal State East Bay. Kokeb believes strongly in the value of providing family education and training to help achieve optimal results with her therapeutic interventions. Kokeb is very enthusiastic about learning new treatment approaches, and expanding her current therapy box of tools. Kokeb has additional training and certification in Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI), Integrated Listening System (iLs), Advanced Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome (IM), and Handwriting Without Tears.

Karen Smith
Behavioral Therapist

Karen Smith holds a BA in Psychology and Literature from American University, for which she completed a visiting scholar year at Harvard University and a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health Neuropsychology Department. She received her MEd from the University of San Francisco in Counseling Psychology. Karen has 7 years of experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is in her 5th year at Hope Technology School as a Behavior Therapist. She has enjoyed teaching high school and college courses in Psychology through Canada College. At Hope Technology School, Karen is focused on helping students overcome barriers to learning in the classroom by teaching communication, self-regulation, self-esteem and leadership skills.

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