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.
Leah Scholer

Leah Scholer, Principal

  • I started my teaching career in 2007.
  • Taught 2nd and 3rd grade in Burlingame for eight years before becoming a Response to Intervention and Instruction Specialist.
  • 2016 MERIT graduate from the Krause Center of Innovation at Foothill College and mentored teachers in the design and implementation of curriculum focused on 21st Century skills and student-centered learning.
  • B.A from Sonoma State University and M.A. from Notre Dame de Namur University
  • I love spending time with my husband and son, reading, baking, and being outdoors. I am thrilled to be starting my second year on the White Oaks team!

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, yoga, 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 12th year teaching in the fall of 2019.   
  • 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, Harry Potter, bowling, rooting for The Giants, and spending time with my family.
Lauren Steele

Lauren Steele, Kindergarten

  • I began teaching in 1998 in Palos Verdes, CA.  I have taught Kindergarten, 1st grade, and Montessori in CA and in MI.  
  • I earned my BA from UCSB, and received my teaching credential from St. Mary’s College.
  • I took a few years off to be at home with my children, both who have been students at White Oaks.  This is my second year at White Oaks, a great place to be!
  • I enjoy reading, traveling, walking my dog, hiking, running, the beach, being outdoors and spending time with my family.  

Andrea Andersen, First Grade

  • I followed my passion and began my teaching career in Mason City, IA after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa.  I moved to California in 1996 where I joined the White Oaks community.  What a great place to be! I earned  National Board Certification in 2004 and value the reflective process required to achieve and renew this certification. 
  • I look forward to a special year ahead learning along with my students and families. I am eager to develop new questions to provide the backbone of our learning. Many new adventures await! 
  • My free time is spent with my husband, my family and my friends. I love reading, walking, music, and watching softball and soccer games. I especially treasure the time I can spend with my 5 fabulous grandchildren in Iowa who range in age from 4 - 13 years of age!

Debbie Cullinane, First Grade

  • I started teaching in 1991
  • Have taught a total of 13 years in the Bay Area, K, 2nd, 3rd grade and special needs preschool.
  • Received my BA from St. Mary’s College in Moraga and my Teaching Credential at College of Notre Dame.
  • Tutored for 7 years and have been subbing in Menlo Park for 15 years and San Carlos for 7 years.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching my two children play soccer, reading, working out and traveling. Both of my children went to White Oaks school.

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

Laurie Bishop, Second Grade

  • I began my teaching  career in 1986 as a 2nd grade teacher in Menlo Park. I taught there 5 years. As I was raising my children here in San Carlos, I was a substitute teacher for 7 years and taught preschool for 2 years.  
  • I taught 5th grade at Central Middle School for 7 years before coming to White Oaks. I’ve been teaching 2nd grade here at White Oaks for 6 years now. I am home!
  • I earned my B.A. at San Diego State University and earned my Teaching Credential from SJSU.
  • I enjoy traveling, reading, walking my dog, gardening, working out, eating at new restaurants and spending time with my family and friends.
Melissa Brenner

Melissa Brenner, Second Grade

  • I started teaching  Kindergarten in 1977 in San Bruno.
  • I earned my B.A., Teaching Credential, Reading Specialist Credential, and Masters in Elementary Education  from S.F.S.U. 
  • I taught K-4 in San Francisco. 
  • While raising my three children in San Carlos, I taught preschool for 2 years and was a substitute teacher  for 5 years.
  • I taught 2nd, 3rd, and  2/3 at White Oaks with Mrs. M.-A. for 17 years. The last 5 years I have been teaching  full time.I am starting my 23rd  year here!  
  • I enjoy reading, walking my dog, traveling, shopping, cooking, going to movies and plays, and spending time with my family, especially my 2 year old grandson, Luka!

Tracey Mitchell-Ardwan, Second Grade

  • I started teaching in 1988, in Santa Clara.
  • I earned my B.A. from Fresno State and a Teaching Credential and Masters in Elementary Education from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont.
  • I taught 2nd, 2nd/3rd with Mrs.Brenner for 17 years, and 3rd. It is my sixth year teaching full time and I am beginning my 24th  year at White Oaks. 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 taught grades K-5 and early literacy in both Palo Alto Unified and SCSD. I also loved my part-time employment as a homeschool consultant for grades K-12. 
  • I currently teach at both White Oaks and  NDNU School of Education and Psychology. Teaching is my passion and I look forward to engaging my students in learning every school 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, Third Grade

  • I started teaching 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 am lucky enough to share Room 1with Mrs. Richards.
  • I enjoy traveling and spending summers in Scotland.
 Samatha Long

Samantha Long,  Resource Specialist

  • My first teaching position was at a high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. While there for 6 years, I primarily taught Health and Algebra.Upon moving to Santa Barbara, I was a Resource Specialist at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School for one year before moving back to Northern California.
  • For the past eight years, I chose to be at home while raising my three young girls. Now that my youngest prefers to attend preschool rather than stay at home with me (weep), I have decided to teach again and I’m thrilled to be working at White Oaks Elementary!
  • I have a B.A. degree in Geology from UCDavis and received my Education Specialist credential at Cal State Northridge. My family lives on the coast and we love to go exploring both locally and globally as much as possible.    

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.

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 three 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”.

Emily LePage-Wu, School Psychologist

  • I began my career in education as a fourth grade teacher in 2000.  
  • After discovering my passion for working with children who have special needs and their families, I became a school psychologist in 2006.
  • As a school psychologist, I’ve worked with the early childhood population through middle school, with a few years in administration.
  • I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, traveling, and actively discovering the beauty of the Bay Area through hiking, biking, and camping. 



Kim Arasoto

Kim Arasato, Counselor

  • I started my career in education in 1991 as a teacher in OH.  I taught at the elementary school level for 7 years.
  • I have been a school counselor for 20 years at the middle school and elementary school levels in OH, TX and CA.
  • I have been a school counselor for SCSD for 5 years.
  • I have a BS in Elementary Education and a MEd in School Counseling from Bowling Green State University in OH.
  • I have PPSC credentials.
  • I love to travel and have been to 24 different countries. I also enjoy spending time with family, friends, and my two rescue dogs. I am an artist who enjoys creating portraits and pottery. I also enjoy hiking, beaches and nature.
Kate Ramacciotti


Kate Ramacciotti, Speech and Language Therapist

  • I began my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2007.
  • I earned a Masters in Speech & Hearing Science and Teaching Credential from the University of the Pacific.
  • I earned Certification in Augmentative & Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology from CSUN in 2016.
  • Since I began my career, I have worked with students ranging from preschool through middle school.
  • I love spending time with my husband and two children, reading, traveling, going to concerts and musicals, creating art & crafts with kids, and playing the ukulele.



Jesus Munoz, Head Custodian

  • Worked at Arundel School in 2001
  • Started working for White Oaks in 2010
  • I enjoy spending time and watching movies with my family.

Fernando Jimenez, Evening Custodian


SMARTE Preschool Staff

Sue Dawley, Director

  • After graduating with a degree in Child Development, I began my career teaching preschool in a private center. Worked as a Teacher and Director.
  • Taught parent education for 10 years.
  • Started working for the San Carlos School District in the fall of 2010 when we opened our first preschool classroom at Heather Elementary.
  • In the fall of 2019, SCSD will have 9 preschool classrooms, (two at HE, three at BA, two at AR and two at WO) offering quality early childhood education for 250 families.

Sue Fosgett, Site Supervisor

  • I began working for San Carlos School District in August 2013 as a Para-educator
  • Currently I am a Preschool Teacher at White Oaks
  • Received ECE certificate from Canada College
  • CTC Teacher permit
  • I have over 20 years experience working as a Preschool Teacher in the Bay Area
  • I enjoy reading, concerts, getting together with friends and spending time with my adult children

Noralie Pillon, Aide

  • I began working with children in 2007 in the Cambrian School District, ages ranging from preschool to 3rd grade. My education background is in Business Administration and Early Childhood Education.
  • I love to travel, go to plays, listen to live music and enjoys trying new restaurants with family and friends.
  • I love teaching kids and seeing them grow and develop into their full potential. I love to tell children they are a “Can-Do-Kid” and I love to see the look on their face when they succeed.

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.

Michelle Lau, Preschool Teacher

  • I have been working with young children for eight years, specifically at Heather Preschool for the last five.
  • Currently working toward receiving my Early Childhood Education certificate as well as an A.A. Degree.
  • I love the work I do with children. They continually bring joy and laughter to my day.

Iris Mateo, Aide

  • I started teaching preschool six years ago in Sacramento where I studied Early Childhood Education.
  • I love watching children grow and being creative with their surroundings. Hearing them tell stories are my favorite part!
  • I enjoy watching movies, going on hikes, spending time with my nephew and going out with my friends

Nicole Artale, Teacher

  • I have worked with children for the past six years, ages 3-6, and love every minute of it.
  • I am currently working on getting my Early Childhood Education certificate and Associate’s degree from Cañada College.
  • Some favorite things about my job is watching the children learn and discover new things as they play and doing yoga with the kids at afternoon circle.
  • In my free time I enjoy reading, painting, and going to the farmer’s market with my husband.

SMARTE After and Before School Care

John Schwab, SMARTE Assistant Program Coordinator


Carina Kyi, SMARTE Teacher