MEET THE RVC STAFF

Administration

Dr Page Hersey

Page Hersey, EdD

School Director

Page began her career as a multi-age classroom teacher and deeply believes in RVC’s philosophy of nurturing each student’s curiosity and development through a multi-age, inquiry-based approach. In her over 20 years in education, she has worked as a classroom teacher in grades 1-4, a literacy specialist, and most recently, as a professor of education preparing new teachers. She holds a Master's in Language and Literacy from San Francisco State University and a Doctorate in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. Page is a passionate human rights educator and integrates issues of human rights and social justice into her work. 
 
"As a leader, I believe relationship-building, listening, and collaborating are the keys to a thriving school. RVC’s wonderful team of teachers, staff, and families demonstrate that when we work together in service of our children, there is no limit to what we can achieve."
 
Page lives with her family in Fairfax, and her son is an RVC student. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and hiking in the Marin hills.
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Elizabeth Ellis

Director of Enrollment

Prior to joining RVC, Elizabeth served for six years as the Administrative and Communications Coordinator for the YES Foundation in Ross Valley. She has also served in various roles in Marin businesses and nonprofits. Her connection to the local area is strong, and she has much experience serving families in our community.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado. She lives in Fairfax and her two children both went through the MAP program.

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Marilyn Alfaro

Family Outreach Coordinator

Marilyn Alfaro is from El Salvador, C.A., and lives in San Anselmo. She has been working at the Fairfax San Anselmo Children's Center as an administrative assistance since 2003.  She has two children, a college-aged daughter and a son at Drake High School.  Marilyn graduated in 1989 from Luis Manuel Escamilla College in El Salvador and received her degree in Primary Education.

I like to work in schools because working with children is fun and I learn from them every day. Helping families is the most rewarding job I can think of and it makes me very happy. 

Currently, Marilyn is also pursuing an A.A. degree in Early Education at College of Marin.

Classroom Teachers

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Tatiana Bliss

Kindergarten / 1st Grade

Prior to joining our team, Tatiana worked for several years as a screenwriter, director, and producer. More recently, she has been writing children’s books that celebrate progressive activism. Tatiana has taught in both the Ross Valley and Lagunitas school districts, and she taught creative writing at the Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall for two years, which inspired her passion for teaching social justice and equity in the classroom.

“I am very excited to join the RVC community. I love that RVC values and nurtures both creativity and curiosity in children, and encourages teachers to make learning joyful. I can’t wait to meet all the wonderful families at the school and it is my priority to make this unique school year meaningful and special for my students.”

Tatiana earned her teaching credential from San Jose State University and she also has a Bachelor's Degree in Theater Arts and a Masters Degree in Film Screenwriting from UCLA.

Tatiana and her family live in San Geronimo.

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Natalie Smith

Kindergarten / 1st Grade

Natalie has been a classroom teacher through out Marin County the past 11 years. She has gained a deep perspective having taught all grades 1st – 5th and is passionate about integrating physical, social and emotional health into her classroom culture and curriculum. She especially loves teaching at RVC because of the collaborative team of teachers, the engaging inquiry approach and relationships with families and staff.

Natalie grew up in Mill Valley and now lives with her husband and step-son in San Rafael. She enjoys running the trails of Mt. Tam, swimming in the cold water of the bay, and spending time with her family.

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Natalie Swenty

TK / Kindergarten

Natalie is originally from England but spent most of her youth in Washington D.C. During her high school years she and her friends would spend their weekends protesting on the National Mall. She moved to San Francisco shortly after high school and put herself through college while performing with a 15-piece band.

“I’m so elated to be joining the RVC community! Before the shutdown I was taught in the K/1 classrooms and had the honor of working alongside Ms. Erika, Mr. Tim, and Ms. Rebecca. It’s very invigorating to work in a positive school environment that recognizes the value of collaboration and socio-emotional learning. I’m looking forward to working with an amazing team of teachers and getting to know all of you.”

She now lives in the San Geronimo Valley with family. One of her sons is a current RVC student and one is an RVC graduate.

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Amy McConnell

Kindergarten / 1st Grade

Amy taught for 11years in public schools, first as a classroom teacher in a dual-language immersion program in Southern California and then at Bacich Elementary in Kentfield. When she became a mom, she was a devoted volunteer in the schools her children attended. She worked in the Lagunitas School District as a resource aide, became Orton-Gillingham trained and developed a reading intervention program to help struggling readers. Most recently she has worked as private tutor. 
"I believe every moment spent with a child is precious. A good teacher nurtures every child’s desire to learn, and  success in teaching happens when the joy and excitement of learning lead a child to want more opportunities to grow and to stretch. I hope to create an intellectual—not just academic—classroom filled with deep thinkers and inquiring minds. To me, teaching means showing up every day with the energy it takes to follow children on their curiosity journey. How fortunate I am to be teaching in the beautiful learning community at RVC. I look forward to deepening relationships here and meeting all the wonderful families!"
Amy lives in the hills of Woodacre. She loves the beauty of the valley, the solace of her garden and most of all— her wonderful and supportive family.
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Emily Belo

2nd / 3rd Grade

Prior to working at RVC, Emily taught in the Ross Valley School District's Multi-Age Program for six years, and has 18 years of overall teaching experience, including being a 1st -6th grade classroom teacher, resource teacher, special education program aide, and an educator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

“I teach because I love nothing more than igniting a passion for learning in children. It is the greatest challenge and the greatest joy to figure out how to bring learning to life for each student. For me, this means I must know my students as individuals and I must know my subject matter deeply.

“I find theater to be one of the greatest teaching tools in the classroom. To provide children with the opportunity to express themselves through singing, acting, and dancing opens up a whole new world for many of them. I have seen students blossom in ways I never expected by giving them access to a stage. Personally, I can’t think of a more interesting way to spend my days!”

As an educator at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Emily had the opportunity research, develop, and publish the interactive book, Awesome Adventures at the Smithsonian: The Official Kids Guide to the Smithsonian Institution.

Emily lives in Petaluma.  Her son is an RVC student.

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Emma Burtt

2nd / 3rd Grade

Emma comes to Ross Valley Charter after just completing her credentialing program at the University of Redlands. Prior to having her own classroom at RVC, she worked as a preschool teacher in San Rafael for two years and spent the 2020-21 school year working with Ms. Emily. Emma has a passion for social-emotional learning which she is excited to bring to her classroom at RVC.

“As a new elementary teacher, I feel so fortunate to have found RVC. I believe students learn best when they are allowed to take ownership over their learning. Because of this, I am passionate about including social-emotional learning into the classroom as well as sparking curiosity in my students. I am excited to start this school year and to meet all of the fantastic families that make up RVC!” 

Emma was raised in San Anselmo, and currently lives in San Rafael with her husband.

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Annadel Dong

2nd / 3rd Grade

Annadel began her career in the software industry. Her transition into education began with her three children, working at their preschool and later in their elementary school classrooms, where she was inspired by the teachers who pioneered the MAP program and founded RVC. After several years of teaching math to 2nd and 4th graders, she decided to become a full-time educator, which lead her complete her teaching credential at Dominican University.

"I’ve seen firsthand the joy children gain from student-centered learning where they develop the skills needed to become independent thinkers, curious about the world, motivated and engaged. My goal for every class is to meet the students where they are at, connect before I direct, and make learning attainable for all."

When Annadel is not in the classroom you might find her walking her dogs in the Loma Alta trails, or watching the girls’ varsity basketball games, go Falcons!

Annadel lives in Fairfax with her husband Matt and their three children (oldest a graduate of the MAP program and their 2 younger children graduates of RVC).

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Chris Lyons

4th / 5th Grade

Chris was a Multi-Age Program teacher for ten years, and has more than 20 years of teaching experience, in grades kindergarten through fifth, in Ross Valley and Dixie School Districts.

“I love learning with children. I find that I learn as much from my students as they learn from me! And we learn a lot together. I am always amazed at how each year the combination of individual students and the situations in which we find ourselves create a completely unique dynamic, never to be replicated. The last couple of weeks of every school year I find myself savoring the last moments I have with that class. Even though I’ll have half the same students the next year, I know they’ll be a year older, new students will join us, and we’ll be off on new learning adventures.

“I also cherish the relationships I’ve formed with the parents of students I have taught. Together with the children, we are a community of learners, supporting and encouraging each other.”

Chris lives in Fairfax with her family.  Her two sons both went through the MAP program.

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Nina Watson

4th / 5th Grade

Nina has taught for 15 years, almost exclusively in the Multi-Age Program.

“Teaching is where I belong. It allows me to be a consummate learner, to be creative, and to solve problems in this ever-changing world. I believe each child is capable of learning, and of teaching others. We all possess questions, interests, and capabilities that need to be honored and supported.

“In 2005 I began my work in reading and writing workshop with Lucy Calkins at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Reading and writing are integral skills for life: reading for knowledge, for new understandings, for passion and creativity, and writing to communicate knowledge, new understandings, and express our creative selves. I strive to give my students every opportunity to share their knowledge through student-designed lessons they design, implement, evaluate, and reflect on.”

Nina lives in San Anselmo. She is parent of an RVC graduate and a current RVC student. 

Instructional Specialists

Sarah Foley

Special Education

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Madeleine Pearce

Intervention

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Marcy Satzberg

Speech Language Intervention

Enrichment Teachers

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Josh McIntosh

Music and Chorus

Eileen Devaney Ross Valley Charter Art

Eileen Devaney

Art

Classroom Aides

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Rhianna Bostian

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Holly Stricklin

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Randy Sandoval