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 third year on the White Oaks team!

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.

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.

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 13th year teaching in the fall of 2020.   
  • 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, K/1

  • I began teaching in 1998 in Palos Verdes, CA.  I have taught for a total of 12 years, and 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 third 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.  
Sarah Schas

Sarah Schas, K/1 Connections

  • I started my teaching career in San Jose in 2000.  I’ve taught Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  
  • I earned my B.A. in Psychology and my Master of Arts in Education from San Jose State University. 
  • I enjoy spending time with family and friends, camping, going for hikes, and playing with my cat and 2 kittens.  I love the beach, the mountains and snow skiing.  

Debbie Cullinane, First Grade

  • I started teaching in 1991
  • Have taught a total of 15 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

Laurie Bishop, Second Grade

  • I began my teaching  career in 1986 as a 2nd grade teacher in Menlo Park.  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 am going on my 7th year teaching 2nd grade here at White Oaks.
  • This is my 21st year of teaching!
  • I earned my B.A. at San Diego State University and earned my Teaching Credential from SJSU.
  • I enjoy traveling, reading, walking, hiking, gardening, working out, eating at new restaurants, reading 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 a 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 6 years I have been teaching full time. I am starting my 24th year here!  
  • I enjoy reading, walking my dog, traveling, shopping, cooking, going to movies and plays, and spending time with my family, especially my 3-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 seventh year teaching full time and I am beginning my 25th year at White Oaks. I enjoy the beach, hiking, yoga, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.
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.

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 a 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

Veronica Hardie, Third Grade

  • I started teaching in Scotland graduating from the University of Glasgow (Craiglockhart). I taught all grades in elementary school before being seconded to the 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.

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.
Erika Meisenheimer, School Psychologist

Kim Arasato

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 21 years at the middle school and elementary school levels in OH, TX and CA. This is my 7th year as a school counselor for SCSD.
  • I have a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology and a MEd in School Counseling from Bowling Green State University in OH. I also 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

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

Noralie Pillon, Aide

  • I began working with children in 2007 in the Cambrian School District, ages ranging from preschool to 3rd grade. My educational background is in Business Administration and Early Childhood Education.
  • I love to travel, go to plays, listen to live music and enjoy 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 faces when they succeed.

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 are 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


Valeria Carias, SMARTE Program Coordinator


Carina Kyi, SMARTE Teacher