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Teachers & Staff

Meet our Staff, 2022-2023


Ms. Dana Sudduth, phone (510) 597-4967

Dana Sudduth comes to us from Oakland Community Day School where she served as Principal. Prior to that she was at Oakland Technical High School where she was an Assistant Principal for 5 years.  Prior to that, she was an Assistant Principal at El Cerrito High School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District and an Assistant Principal at Newark Jr. High School in the Newark Unified School District. She earned her Administrative Credential and MA in Educational Leadership at Cal State East Bay.

She is a 30 year veteran in the OUSD. She has taught at both the elementary, and middle school levels. As the AP at Oakland Tech she had the honor of supervising the Upper Campus and the Fashion and Art Design Academy. 

Main Office

Shaniece Broach, Administrative Assistant, phone (510) 654-7365
Shaniece Broach is an Oakland native and attended OUSD schools and Oakland Tech. She graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2016, earning a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and Corporate Management. Ms. Broach  loves animals, and when she’s not working, you’ll find her singing, meditating or catching up on favorite tv shows.

Asha Washington, Attendance Specialist

Ms. Asha is a proud North Oakland Native who also attended OUSD schools. She loves working with children and has been a part of the Peralta Community for sixteen years.

Linda Jones-Bell, RN, Health Specialist

Linda Jones-Bell was born in Oakland, CA at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. She received her RN, PHN from the University of San Francisco and her MSN, Credentialed School Nurse from San Jose State University. She has been with OUSD since 2005. She has also worked at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for 20 years and continues to do per diem at Alameda Health System. When she is not working, you’ll find her sewing, crocheting, reading or traveling. She lives with her husband Chef Eric B. and their dog, Ghost.


Nina Behrsin, Kindergarten

Nina Behrsin grew up in the East Bay, attending school in Berkeley and Oakland. She has a BA in Art from UCLA and a MA.Ed and teaching credential from UC Berkeley. She has a background in curriculum design and using the arts to support English language development. She feels very fortunate to be a part of the Peralta community where she can integrate her passion for the arts and foster joy in learning. This is Nina’s 15th year of teaching and her 8th year at Peralta. When not teaching, she loves to walk her doggie Yoda, spend time with her nephews, and make art! When she was a kindergartener, her favorite things about school were reading, creating, and playing sports. She loves teaching Kindergarten!

Camille Calica, Kindergarten 

Camille Calica is an Oakland native. She has a BA in fine arts from UC Santa Cruz, a teaching credential and MA.Ed. with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education both from Mills College. In her 27 years of working in education, Camille has co-directed a preschool, was adjunct faculty at Merritt College in the Child Development Department, taught art to children pre-k through middle school, has coached teachers in project based learning and designed and led professional development for teachers all over the bay area. This is her 8th year teaching kindergarten at Peralta where she focuses on cultivating meaningful relationships with her students and creating hands-on, arts integrated learning experiences in the classroom. She is married with two children, ages 14 and 17. In her spare time she enjoys curling up with a good book, gardening and spending time with her family and friends.

Sonia Rio-Perez “Super Sonia,” Kindergarten 

Sonia Rio-Perez has been a part of the Peralta community for over 13 years, half of those years as faculty working with grades K-5. Ms. Perez enjoys cycling and loves spending time with her two daughters at the beach! 

Stephen Davis, First Grade

Stephen (pronounced Stefen) Davis was a Philosophy major in college and he now ponders how to best teach a classroom full of first graders. After 22 years in the teaching profession he has narrowed down his educational tenets to a combination of kindness, humor, rigor, novelty and joy. He is obsessed with playing music, performing magic and telling jokes in the classroom. Stephen loves to travel whenever he can, whether it is a day trip in the Bay Area or an international vacation. He has visited nearly 40 countries. Stephen’s favorite sedentary activities include playing guitar and solving a Rubik’s cube. His favorite physical activities include hiking, biking and playing basketball. He lives with his wife, daughter, dog and cat.

Pilar Beccar-Varela, First Grade

Pilar was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and raised in Oakland, CA., where she attended Peralta from Kindergarten through 5th Grade (class of ‘85!). She holds a BA in Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Hayward (now East Bay), an Early Childhood Specialist Certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and an MA in Education from Stanford University. During her 25 years in and around the classroom Pilar has taught grades K-2, coached teachers in grades pre K-5, designed and coordinated bilingual literacy curricula, and facilitated inquiry groups for teachers and school leaders throughout the Bay Area. Early in her teaching career, she became part of a cohort of teachers researching language and literacy learning in connection with project based, arts-rich curricula. Pilar has continued to be driven by these interests ever since. In her free time, Pilar enjoys singing with friends, drumming with her Japanese Taiko group, hiking, and savoring her time with her two teenagers before they leave home (where does the time go??). Pilar is honored to be part of Peralta’s vibrant and creative school community, and, as a Peralta alum, is overjoyed to be teaching in the very place where she learned what school was all about!

Diane Colquhoun, Second Grade

Diane Colquhoun is a Bay Area native and grew up in Sunnyvale. She has a BA in English from UC Irvine and MA.Ed from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching elementary school for eleven years. She strives to help all of her students develop a love of learning through creating experiences where students have the opportunity to collaborate and engage in meaningful tasks. In her spare time, Diane loves to read and go hiking. She lives with her husband, daughter, and cat.

Stephanie Vollmer, Second Grade 

Stephanie Vollmer grew up in San Leandro and attended college in Oakland. She has a BA in Art and Psychology from Holy Names University and a MA.Ed and teaching credential from Mills College. She’s been teaching students age 3 to grade 3 for the last 14 years. She’s married and a mom to two girls, aged 9 and 6. Stephanie cherishes her students and enjoys getting to know each and every one of them. She believes in developing a life long relationship with her students, cheering them on, and rooting for their success far beyond their time in her classroom. In her spare time, she loves to be creative with everything from crafts and cooking to organizing.

Karen Famous, Third Grade 

Karen Famous is in her fourteenth year of teaching at the elementary school level. She completed her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Cal State East Bay in 2010. Prior to teaching, she was Executive Director of a local non-profit called Wardrobe for Opportunity and served as a Peace Corps. Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She loves volleyball and earned a scholarship to play at UC Berkeley where she completed her business degree at Haas. She is married with two school-aged children, and she loves the outdoors, dogs, and seeing that spark when children are engaged in learning.

Phoebe Sauter, Third Grade

Phoebe Sauter has a passion for working with youth and educational experience in a variety of roles. This is her second year at Peralta, during the 2021-22 school year, she was the school’s PE teacher. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and completed her Masters in teaching at USF with a focus on Urban Education and Social Justice. She was born and raised in Rockridge. When she can, she spends her time away from school baking, reading, hiking, skiing, playing ultimate frisbee, doing yoga, and trying to surf. Hopefully by the end of the year she will successfully stand up on the board!

Kate Besocke, Fourth Grade

Kate Besocke earned her Masters of Educational Leadership and teaching credential from Saint Mary’s College. She has 21 years of experience as an elementary teacher and educator. This is her fourth year at Peralta. She strives to create a classroom where students grow as creative and critical thinkers and embrace the joy of learning each day. Kate enjoys painting, long road trips with her family and fostering dogs in need of a good home.

Samantha Greenberg, Fourth Grade

Samantha Greenberg received her Masters of Education and credential from the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) and a BA in Art from UC Santa Cruz. She has taught in Oakland for over 6 years. She believes in creating a classroom culture where students feel comfortable to share their thinking and take on leadership roles. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys playing board games with her husband, cuddling with her cat Bodie, working on art and craft projects, or reading a good sci-fi novel.

Jeff Gaulin, Fifth Grade

Jeff Gaulin grew up in Massachusetts and started his college journey in Rhode Island. 9 years ago he traveled to the Bay Area to attend a UC Berkeley teaching program and still hasn’t left! He has taught for 7 years and is enjoying his 5th year teaching 5th grade at Peralta. Mr. Gaulin strongly believes that a classroom of empowered students will create an enriching, nurturing, and productive learning community. When not in the classroom, he enjoys hiking, gardening, and desperately trying to keep up with his two young kids.

Ron Kopiko, Fifth Grade

Ron Kopiko was born in San Francisco and he has lived in the Bay Area his entire life. He has been teaching elementary and middle school students for 21 years, receiving his credential through UC Berkeley Extension. This is his first year at Peralta, and he is excited to be part of the community! He strives to create a classroom culture of kindness and compassion. When not teaching in the classroom, Ron enjoys reading, taking long walks with his family including their dog Coco, and playing the piano.

Specialists and Support Staff

Lisa Beyer, Instructional Assistant

This is Lisa’s 7th year as a classroom aide and her 14th at Peralta (she started as a parent of Peralta students). Lisa has an MA in anthropology and museum collections management and loves how her past museum and fine arts work tie into Peralta’s art focus. When out of the classroom, she loves spending time with her family, walking her dog and reading. When she was a kindergartener, her favorite thing about school was asking questions!

Jennifer Everhart, K-5 Enrichment Teacher

Jennifer Everhart earned her BA in communications with a minor in Spanish from UC Davis and her teaching credential from CalStateTEACH. After working in the private sector for nearly a decade after college, Jennifer followed her heart to enter the education field. She quickly discovered a passion for developing student agency in the classroom and harnessing the power of technology. Jennifer taught 4th grade before joining Peralta in 2018 as the enrichment teacher, focusing on Social Emotional Learning, technology, and developing a maker mindset with the students. During the 2019-2020 school year, Jennifer was a teaching fellow with Agency by Design Oakland. Jennifer loves traveling and going on bike rides with her husband and son.

Michael Haddon, Instructional Assistant

At 15 Michael Haddon became a camp counselor in training (CIT) at Diamond-O in Yosemite.  For the next couple of years he was an aquatics counselor.  When he turned 18, he spent the summer as a counselor at Oakland’s Camp Kidd. 

Michael completed his multiple-subject teaching credential at Cal State East Bay in 2005 and spent most of his years as a teacher in Alameda.  His last two years of teaching were spent just outside Yosemite and he retired in 2020.  At Peralta, he has part time ‘office hours’ helping first and second graders, primarily with math and language.  He has found the teachers to be very supportive and the students to be delightful. 

Michael loves backpacking, for the most part in Yosemite.  Being outdoors is an important part of his life.  He is an active hiker, likes to bike, and he enjoys working in the garden and being supportive of his community.  He loves teaching and being with children.  

Jeremy Hansen, Instructional Support Specialist

Jeremy Hansen grew up in Richmond and graduated from Willamette University in 2017 with a degree in Psychology. Mr. Hansen originally got started working with children through being a summer camp counselor and after school teacher. He loves the joy and enthusiasm elementary schoolers bring to any environment or activity. Outside of school, he enjoys biking, reading fantasy books, and watching basketball.

Marvis Jones, Custodian

Marvis Jones has two kids and six grandkids, and she loves being around kids. She has been at Peralta for the past two years and believes in helping others whenever possible. With a heart of gold, she enjoys working with her church in Berkeley to make soup and help feed the homeless.

Supreet Kaur, Speech and Language Pathologist

Supreet Kaur (Ms. Supreet ) graduated with her bachelors in Human Development from Sonoma State University and her masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Chico State University. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Jovan (JoJo) Lowe, Paraeducator

Born and raised in North Oakland, Ms. Jojo is a product of OUSD. Working with children since 2002 , she has earned her para educators licenses and is currently working on obtaining her multi subject teaching credential in the UC system. When she’s not working she spends her time being a part of a number of fandoms including Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter. She also enjoys the creative process of film making and baking. She’s mom to a rambunctious tyke named Kaleb and his pet turtle Lionel.

Anne Marie Miguel, Resource Specialist

Anne Marie Miguel earned her Education Specialist credential from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. Known to her students as Ms. Anne Marie, she believes that learning and fun work best together. This is Ms. Anne Marie’s 4th year at Peralta Elementary. She enjoys being active outdoors, taking trips that include swimming in warm bodies of water and beaches with fine white sand, and being with friends and family.

Vanessa Nelson, Occupational Therapist

Born and raised in the East Bay, Vanessa comes from a family of Bay Area educators. She completed an undergraduate degree in Fine Art at San Francisco State University, and then went on to study Occupational Therapy at Samuel Merritt University here in Oakland. Vanessa has 8 years of experience working as a school based OT, with Mount Diablo Unified, West Contra Costa Unified, and most recently with San Ramon Valley Unified school districts. When not working, she spends time with family and friends, and enjoys dance, roller skating, jogging and being in nature. She is excited to support students and teachers at Peralta, and to be a part of the OUSD community!

Ellen Oppenheimer, Integrated Arts Specialist

Internationally acclaimed textile artist and educator, Ellen Oppenheimer, is recognized as one of the most important contemporary quilt makers in the country. Her work is well represented in both museum and private collections. She has a strong commitment to community and public art. Her belief in the value and quality of collaborative artwork has led her to seek and receive significant exposure and commissions for her work with elementary school students. The artist's original exposure to teaching was 26 years ago when she worked in a CETA program teaching ceramics to high school youth. Since then she has taught and worked with all age groups from preschool to senior citizens. Her superb work with Peralta Students has been very well received for over 20 years. She is beloved by Peralta students because she gives them lots of treats.

Jill Rogers, Vocal Music, Grades 3-5

Jill Rogers is a professional musician who fronts a little big band (Imperial Jazz Co.) and a honky-tonk band (Crying Time). She’s also a credentialed teacher who taught 4th and 5th grade for a number of years - including two at Peralta - and now tutors students 1:1. She’s been teaching vocal music at Peralta for three years, with a curriculum that includes grade-level specific songs and lessons, and a focus on “American Music” - music created and performed by immigrants, enslaved people and their descendants, and indigenous people.

Jennifer Rosen, Intervention Teacher, STIP Sub

Jennifer Rosen was in born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and received her B.A. in Fine Art from Wayne State University. After a long stint overseas, which included 6 years of teaching in Japan, Jennifer settled down in Oakland. Here, she spent some years as a photographer, and the past 3 years teaching grades K-2 in Oakland. Jennifer has a strong passion for Art History, studio art, and the local arts scene. She strives to implement art into curriculum whenever possible. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading, stand-up comedy, and painting and drawing.

James Saunders, Head Custodian

James Saunders came to California from Louisville, Kentucky. He has been working in OUSD for 26 years, with the past 6 at Peralta. Mr. James loves working with kids because they “keep him young.” He’s enjoyed doing the bumble bee dance in the multi-purpose room and likes building positive relationships with the kids. In his spare time, Mr. James enjoys roller skating and basketball. He used to do gymnastics and was a two-time Golden Glove boxing champion.

Sherice Tyler-Brown, After School Enrichment Program Coordinator, Noon Supervisor and Family Navigator

Ms. Sherice Rocks!

Melinda Vargas, Teacher on Special Assignment: Intervention Specialist and Literacy Coach