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 fourth year on the White Oaks team!
Teresa Williams

Teresa Williams, Administrative Assistant

  • I 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.
Angel Becher

Angel Becher, TK Aide

  • 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.

Diane McGuigan, Transitional Kindergarten

  • I graduated from S.F. State with my B.A. and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont. In 2019 I earned my Administrative Credential.
  • 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.
Kaitlyn Sanders

Kaitlyn Sanders, Kindergarten 

  • I earned my B.A. in Human Development at the University of Nevada and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University.
  • I taught 3rd grade in Belmont and previously student-taught 1st grade at White Oaks and 4th grade in San Mateo. I have also worked at early childcare facilities and innovative camps. 
  • I enjoy being outdoors and traveling with my family. My favorite hobbies are playing soccer, organizing, and playing board games.

Nikki Murgo, Kindergarten

  • I graduated from San Francisco State with a B.A. & Early Childhood Education 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 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, rooting for The Giants, and spending time with my family.

Lauren Steele, K/1

  • I began teaching in 1998 in Palos Verdes, CA.  I have taught for a total of 19 years, and have taught Kindergarten, 1st grade, and Montessori in Ireland, MI, & CA.  This is my third year of teaching K/1.
  • 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 are graduates of White Oaks.  This is my fifth year at White Oaks, a great place to be!
  • I enjoy reading, traveling, knitting, spinning, hiking, the beach, being outdoors, and spending time with my family.

Debbie Cullinane, First Grade

  • I started teaching in 1991
  • Have taught a total of 15 years in the Bay   Area, K, 1st, 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 (my mom and two daughters attended White Oaks!) and friends, reading, traveling, and hanging out with my Golden Retriever, Skylar.

Tracey Mitchell-Ardwan, Second Grade

    • I started teaching in 1988 in Santa Clara. In 1996, I began teaching in the San Carlos District at White Oaks School.  
    • 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 have previously taught 2nd, 3rd, and 2nd/3rd. I am beginning my 26th year at White Oaks.
    •  I enjoy the beach, hiking, yoga, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.

Jayce Phipps, Second Grade


Kiyomi Arai, Third Grade

Nicole Martin

Nicole Martin, Third Grade

  • I found my "happy place" teaching third grade at White Oaks in 2003.
  • I earned my B.A. from S.F. State and Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont.
  • I have previously taught 1st, 4th, and 5th grades, have been an ELL Coordinator and a SMART-E Musical Theatre Camp Instructor.
  • I enjoy acting, reading, theatre, knitting, photography, watching classic movies, and spending time with my friends, husband, and dog.

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

Veronica Hardie, Third Grade

  • I started teaching in Scotland graduating from University of Glasgow (Craiglockhart). I taught all grades in elementary school before being seconded to University of Edinburgh(Moray House) to study for my Special Ed. qualification.
  • Following successful completion of my course, I worked with children who had 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 and Sequoia HS. I attended SJSU and Foothill College.
  • I am lucky enough to share Room 1 with Mrs. Richards.
  • I enjoy traveling, reading, and spending summers in Scotland.

Resource Specialist


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
Amy Ihde

Amy Ihde, Literacy Associate

  • This is my first year working for SCSD as a Literacy Associate. Before moving to San Carlos, I was a classroom teacher in grades 5-6 and K-1 and for 8+ years. I have taught in public, private, charter, and home school settings.
  • I earned my B.A. in English Literature from Stanford University and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University.
  • I spent most of the past decade at home with my two children, both of whom are White Oaks alumni. Much of that time has been spent volunteering at White Oaks and Arroyo Schools, helping the teachers and students whenever possible.
  • I enjoy traveling, reading, playing tennis, exploring nature, gardening, and spending time with friends and family.
Matt Steinborn
Matt Steinborn, School Psychologist
  • This is my 8th year as a school psychologist and 3rd year with San Carlos School District.
  • I’ve worked with students from TK through high school and enjoy consulting and collaborating with school teams so all students can flourish.
  • Born and raised in Minnesota, but enjoying the past 4 years of California’s beaches, mountains, and snow free winters.
  • When I’m not working I enjoy making things (cooking, baking, knitting, pottery, gardening).

Kim Arasato


Kim Arasato, Counselor

  • I started my career as a teacher and taught 6th grade for 7 years before becoming a school counselor.
  • I have been a school counselor for 23 years at the middle school and elementary school levels in OH, TX, and CA. This is my 9th year as a school counselor for SCSD.
  • I have a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology and an 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 am a portrait artist currently experimenting with abstract painting. I also enjoy hiking, beaches, nature, rescuing pets, family, and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Miranda Seto, Speech Therapist


Jesus Munoz, Lead Custodian

  • I started working for SCSD in 2001 at Arundel School.
  • I transferred over to White Oaks in 2010.
  • I enjoy spending time and watching movies with my family.

Felipe Hernandez, Evening Custodian



SMARTE Preschool Staff

Sue Dawley

Sue Dawley, Director

  • BA in Child Development.
  • Began 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 2020, SCSD will have 11 preschool classrooms, offering quality early childhood education for 220 families
  • Loves hiking, bike rides, reading, gardening and spending time with family

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 and Site Supervisor 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

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.

Iris Mateo, Teacher

  • 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