Our School » Our Staff

Our Staff

White Oaks is proud to have an excellent team of educators. A full list of the staff and email addresses can be found on the Contact Us page.

Allison Liner, Principal

  • I started teaching in 1993
  • Taught Grades 1-5 on the East Coast and in Redwood City, Newark, and Brisbane. I'm still a teacher!
  • B.A. from Rutgers University and M.A. from Stanford University
  • Worked as a school/district administrator in Brisbane, Menlo Park, and San Carlos
  • I enjoy spending time with my husband and two boys, reading, cooking, and hiking. I live in the White Oaks neighborhood, and I enjoy seeing my White Oaks friends around town.

Teresa Williams, Administrative Assistant

  • Began working for the San Carlos School District in 2014 as a Special Education Para-Educator and moved over to White Oaks School in 2016.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, listening to live music, eating at new restaurants, and relaxing in the mountains or on the beach.

Diane McGuigan, Transitional Kindergarten

  • I earned my B.A. from S.F. State and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont.
  • I began my Teaching Career with the San Carlos School District in 2000, first teaching 2nd grade, then moving on up to 3rd where I stayed for 13 years. In 2014, I started teaching Transitional Kindergarten where I am thoroughly enjoying the enthusiasm of young learners.
  • I enjoy reading, live music, travel, cheering on the Giants, and spending time with friends and family.

Angel Becher, TK Classroom Aide, Office Assistant and Noon Supervisor

  • I began my education at White Oaks attending kindergarten and continuing on through the San Carlos School District. I still live in the neighborhood.
  • I started working at White Oaks in 2008.
  • I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, sewing, gardening, and working with the kids here at White Oaks.

Rachel Eaton, Kindergarten

  • I started my teaching career in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2008. I taught Kindergarten for 6 years before moving to California with my husband. Since moving to California, I have taught 2nd grade (at Brittan Acres) and Kindergarten (at White Oaks). I am excited to start my 10th year teaching in the fall of 2017.
  • I earned my B.A. in Elementary Education and M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2013!
  • I enjoy spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, going for hikes, lounging on the beach, and exploring San Francisco. I love photography, travel, crafting, and ice cream!

Nikki Murgo, Kindergarten

  • I graduated from San Francisco State with a B.A. & Early Childhood Certificate. I then earned my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential & Masters Degree in Education from Notre Dame de Namur University.
  • After teaching Preschool for several years, I began my Elementary School Teaching Career in 2000 with The San Carlos School District...and have been here ever since!
  • I have a passion for choral singing and musical theatre, and have performed in, and directed numerous shows around The Bay Area - including several here at White Oaks.
  • My hobbies include cooking & baking, trying new restaurants, bike riding, reading, bowling, rooting for The Giants, and spending time with my family.

Andrea Andersen, K/1

  • I have enjoyed 37 years in the classroom- the first 16 in Mason City, Iowa, and the last 21 years in K/1 at White Oaks in San Carlos. What a great place to be! I have been a National Board Certified teacher since 2004.
  • I love working side by side with Barbara Cohen in our K/1 collaborative teaching environment. We love sharing the students, their families and the joy of teaching and learning.
  • I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends. I love reading, walking, music, theater, and I especially treasure the time I can spend with my 5 wonderful grandchildren!

Barbara Cohen, K/1

  • My first 8 years of teaching were in the East Bay. After receiving my Master’s Degree, I took a break from the classroom. I taught classes at CSUEB, supervised student teachers, presented workshops across the state, and ran the Reading Project out of SJSU. I currently teach education courses at NDNU.
  • My favorite job of all is teaching K/1 with Mrs. Andersen. We teach collaboratively and have so much fun each and every day.
  • I love to travel, read, and take walks on the beach.

Lisa Ratcliffe, First Grade

  • I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Business Studies and Economics in ‘92 and then worked in Biotech marketing for 5 years.
  • After having my oldest son, Luke, I decided to change careers and become a teacher.
  • Upon graduation from the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program from SFSU, I began teaching 5th grade for 2 years at White Oaks. I then taught 4th grade for 10 years.
  • First grade has been my passion for the last 9 years!
  • I enjoy traveling with my 2 boys and husband, running, reading, gardening and having fun with my friends.

Christine Fox-Sennett, First Grade

  • I started teaching in 1994 in Daly City, then moved south and taught in the Oak Grove School District in San Jose.
  • I earned my B.A. from UCSB and received my Multiple Subject, Learning Handicapped, and Resource Specialist credentials from SJSU.
  • I have taught every grade but 5th over my teaching career. I started teaching in San Carlos (my hometown) in 1997.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling, and hanging out with my Golden Retriever, Skylar.

Laurie Bishop, Second Grade

  • I started teaching in 1986 as a 2nd grade teacher in Menlo Park City School District. As I was raising my children here in San Carlos I was a substitute teacher for 7 years and taught pre-school for 2 years. I then taught 5th grade at Central Middle School here in San Carlos for 7 years before coming to W.O. to teach 2nd grade. I am home now!
  • I earned my B.A. at San Diego State University and earned my Teaching Credential from SJSU.
  • I enjoy traveling, the beach, reading, walking my dog, gardening, working out, eating at new restaurants and spending time with my family.

Melissa Brenner, Second Grade

  • I started teaching in 1977 in San Bruno.
  • I earned my B.A., Teaching Credential, Reading Specialist Credential, and Masters from S.F.S.U.
  • I taught K-4 in San Francisco and then began at White Oaks teaching a 2-3 with Mrs. M.-A. for 17 years. The last 3 years, I have been teaching full time, and this is my 20th year at White Oaks!
  • I enjoy reading, walking my dog, traveling, shopping, cooking, going to movies and plays, and spending time with my family, especially my 1st brand new grandbaby!

Tracey Mitchell-Ardwan, Second Grade

  • I started teaching in 1988, in Santa Clara.
  • I earned my B.A. from Fresno State, Teaching Credential and Masters from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont.
  • I taught 2nd, 2nd/3rd with Mrs.Brenner for 17 years, and 3rd. It is my 21st year teaching at White Oaks, with four years being a full time teacher.
  • I enjoy the beach, hiking, yoga, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.

Nicole Martin, Third Grade

  • I started teaching in 2001, in Millbrae
  • I earned my B.A. from S.F. State and Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont.
  • I taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades, before finding my "happy place", teaching 3rd grade at White Oaks.
  • I enjoy acting, seeing theatre, singing, photography, and spending time with my friends and husband.

Kim Norgaard, Third Grade

  • I started teaching in 1992
  • I taught grades K-5 and literacy in both Palo Alto Unified and SCSD. Additionally, I worked as an educational specialist with K-12 students at Ocean Grove School District.
  • I currently teach at both White Oaks and at NDNU School of Education. Teaching is my passion and I look forward coming to WO each day.
  • I earned my undergraduate degree at UCSB and Masters of Education at NDNU.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling the world, reading, writing, skiing and running.

Marianne Richards, Third Grade

  • Room 1 has been “home away from home” since 1997. During these years, I’ve taught every grade from K through 4th.
  • I enjoy exercising, the outdoors, coffee, interior and exterior design, and spending time with family and friends.
  • Graduate of UC Davis, as is my eldest daughter Paige, now teaching as well!

Veronica Hardie, First & Third Grade

  • I started teaching in 1976 in Scotland. I taught all grades in elementary school before being seconded to study for my Special Ed. qualification.
  • Following successful completion of my course, I worked with children with behavior problems in a special school where I held a promoted post.
  • My family arrived in CA in 2000. My son and daughter attended the local San Carlos schools.
  • I work in both third grade and first grade in a job sharing capacity.
  • I enjoy traveling and spending summers in Scotland.

Laura Macfarlane, Counselor

  • Worked as a school counselor in Boston, Portola Valley and San Carlos since beginning my career in 1990.
  • Also worked in community mental health agencies and most recently as a child therapist in private practice.
  • M.S.W. from Boston University, Pupil Personnel Services Credential from San Jose State University.
  • Passionate about social, emotional and behavioral development of children and how schools, families and communities can support that growth.
  • I enjoy yoga, live music, being outdoors and having fun with family and friends.

Simmi Hejmadi, RSP teacher

  • I began my career as a Special Educator in India, back in 1997. I've worked across varied settings as a resource teacher in a regular school to being a home tutor to students with special needs.
  • I came to the US with my family in 2010. I joined SCSD as a paraeducator in 2013, and this is my first year getting back to teaching after a seven year break. I'm grateful for my years as a paraeducator as I learned the functioning of the school system here. I'm presently working on getting my clear credential as a RSP teacher in parallel.
  • What I love besides my work (the kids I work with never fail to enlighten and inspire me) is photography, nature, being mom to my 13 year old (again enlightening and inspiring), my cat, and my husband's cooking on weekends!

Lisa Gonzales, Resource Aide

  • I have worked as a para-educator for the San Carlos School District since 2001.
  • I love working with the White Oaks students and staff.
  • I enjoy reading, hiking, knitting, weaving, gardening and spending time with my family and friends.

Alex DeMenno, Computer & Makerspace

  • Teaching at White Oaks since 2015.
  • I graduated from Loyola Marymount in 2012 with a degree in Psychology. During my time there I worked as a Teacher’s Aide at the Children’s Center on campus, where I really discovered a love for engaging with youth.
  • After college, I spent two years serving with AmeriCorps in both the City Year and NCCC programs.
  • In addition to my work here at WO, I also enjoy coaching and playing basketball!

Carol Griffin, Librarian

  • Started working for the San Carlos School District in 1990 and left to have my third child. All three of my children went through White Oaks School.
  • Came back in 2000 as the Librarian. I love seeing all the students at Library.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family and two beautiful grandchildren, going to art and music festivals, traveling, gardening, walking and completing projects around my San Carlos home.

Anne Karasky, Early Literacy Specialist

  • I began classroom work as a substitute teacher in 2007, and have been a Literacy Specialist since 2010.
  • I enjoy the time I spend with my students and marvel at their tenacity and hard work.
  • Some of my very favorite things are gardening, travel, cooking, good books and movies, and a nice walk with friends. My most valued time is anytime my sons are “in the house”.

Jesus Munoz, Head Custodian

  • Worked at Arundel School in 2001

SMARTE Preschool Staff

Sue Dawley, Director

  • After graduating from college with a degree in Child Development, started teaching preschool in a private preschool center. Worked as a teacher and Director before taking some time to stay home with my children.
  • Taught parent education for 10 years.
  • Started working for the San Carlos School District in 2010 when we opened our first preschool classroom in the fall.
  • In the fall of 2017, SCSD will have 7 preschool classrooms, offering quality early childhood education for 180 families.

Jeannine Solis, Assistant Director

  • I received my Associates Degree from Canada College in Early Childhood Education.
  • I have been working with young children from newborns-PreK ages for the past 20 years.
  • Started working in the San Carlos Preschool program in 2012.
  • I love being a part of such growth and development at this early age.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family and being involved with my children’s activities. We love camping and exploring the world around us.

Camille Cohen, Preschool Teacher

  • I have a BA in Psychology, with an emphasis on child development and education.
  • I have been working with children for 14 years, starting with babysitting and working my way up to teaching. From preschool to 5th grade, I have spent quite some time in classrooms.
  • My favorite thing about teaching is learning and laughing with the children.
  • When I’m not in the classroom, I love to read, go for walks, and spend time at my barre studio!

Rita Fischer, Preschool Teacher

  • I have been working with preschoolers since 2001. I am passionate about giving children a positive school experience!
  • I love taking walks with my husband, spending time in coffee shops, listening to jazz, and visiting botanical gardens.
  • I received my certificate for Early Childhood Education from Canada College.

Susanne Fosgett, Preschool Teacher

  • Began working for San Carlos School District in August 2013 as a Para Educator.
  • I have over 20 years experience working as a Pre School Teacher in the Bay Area.
  • I enjoy reading, getting together with friends and spending time with my two sons.

SMARTE After and Before School Care

Tracy Middelstadt, SMARTE Site Manager


John Schwab, SMARTE Teacher