Faculty and Staff

Connect’s faculty and staff bring our mission to life.  Thanks to their creativity, energy, and commitment to our diverse student population, Connect offers students a personalized, engaging experience in the classroom and beyond.

Core Faculty

 Kathy Michael Bachicha, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Michael, “Dr. B”, brings over twenty-seven years of experience as an educator to Connect. He is committed to providing an educational program that is focused on the whole child.  Michael taught eleven years at high school and middle school.  He has served as  a school site administrator for ten years at elementary and middle schools.  He has also served in district and county office settings, most recently at the Santa Clara County Office of Education where his duties included serving as interim Director of Charter Schools.  He was attracted to Connect as a school that embraced his own philosophy of education in our mission and vision as he searched for a role that would bring him closer to students and schools.  He will serve as our liaison to the Redwood City School District, and provide administrative oversight for Connect.  He has a Bachelors Degree in English from Stanford University, a Masters Degree in Education from San Francisco State University, and a Doctorate in K-12 Urban Educational Leadership from University of Southern California.
Alicia
Alicia Yamashita
School Director
Alicia is one of the original founders of Connect, and a member of the founding faculty.  As our School Director, she leads our teachers, staff, and students and keeps Connect focused on its mission.  She is passionate about bringing an inquiry-based approach to Connect’s diverse student body, and excited to be part of a school that is focused on raising student achievement through developing the whole child.
 Brian Briana Wall
Seventh & Eighth Grade English Language Arts / Social Studies Teacher
Briana is excited to bring her passion for reading and writing to the Connect community. As a big proponent of “practice what you preach,” she loves reading and writing alongside her students. Her aim is to make her classroom a space for authentic, real-world learning whether that means making curricular connections to current events, incorporating new forms of technology, or experimenting with different genres of writing. In the past few years, her teaching experiences have taken her from the Central Valley to China. She holds a Bachelors Degree in English and Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of California, Irvine.
Vinicio Jacob Hodgdom    
Seventh & Eighth Grade Math / Science Teacher
Jeff Jeff Waldon
Sixth Grade Teacher
Jeff earned his regular and special education teaching credentials from CalState Sacramento. In the past 18 years, he has taught primarily at the middle school level, Grades 6-8.  For the past eight years, he has worked with second language learners and returns to Redwood City after 3 years at an international school in Shandong, China.  Jeff believes in establishing a safe learning environment where students feel free to take risks and he maintains high expectations for every individual’s academic, social and emotional development.  His goal for our new 6th Grade class is to integrate technology into and across the curriculum.
Jeff Kathy Quintela
Fifth Grade Teacher
Kathy is an east coast transplant from New York City and is happy to call California home. She is an alumna of Fordham University and Bank Street Graduate School of Education. She has eleven years of teaching experience and is passionate about cultivating a community of compassionate, self-directed lifelong learners who can confidently face life’s challenges.
She strives to create a warm and engaging learning environment that awakens students’ sense of curiosity and wonder; she sets high expectations for all learners and emphasizes the importance of adopting a positive growth mindset, both, inside and outside of the classroom.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, dancing Zumba, traveling and spending quality time with her loved ones.
 
“Courage starts with showing up and letting 
ourselves be seen.”  
 
Brené Brown 
Jeff Holly Walker
Fourth Grade Teacher
Holly earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Penn State University. She worked as a teacher in Philadelphia, India, and Tucson before coming to Connect. Holly loves learning deeply about subjects with her students. She aims to get students passionate about the process of learning, and proud of their accomplishments in the classroom. Outside of school, Holly enjoys swimming, reading, traveling, and making things!
Linda Tran
Third Grade Teacher
Linda is so grateful to be at Connect for a fourth year in the third grade.  She brings to the team a great passion for technology in education, as a means for access and equity.  She loves to designing, tinkering, and making in her classroom, as well as in her life.  Linda completed her teacher education at UC Berkeley and holds a multiple subject teaching credential with a Master of Arts in Education.  Her favorite moments at Connect are when students and teachers build wonderful learning experiences together.

Kathy Rebecca Heston
Second Grade Teacher
Ms. Rebecca is currently teaching second grade at Connect Community Charter School, and is quite excited to be part of this dynamic community!  She began her teaching career in Pennsylvania, and has specialized degrees in environmental education, natural sciences, educational leadership, and narrative research (which means using stories to learn about big ideas).  Her classroom always has plants, classroom pets to learn about empathy, quiet spaces, work spaces, and fun spaces. She believes that all students can learn about the world around them, but that all students must also learn about themselves.  This way, students can practice both kindness to others, and kindness to themselves!
Kathy Jessica Duncan 
First Grade Teacher
My name is Jessica Duncan.  I am a San Francisco native and have a love for all sports (especially baseball).  I am excited to begin my 2nd year at Connect Community Charter.  I am currently going into my 5th year of teaching and my 8th year in the field of education.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development and a Master of Arts in Teaching, specifically curriculum design and implementation.  I believe when students are surrounded by a strong sense of community they are able to take risks and obtain leadership roles to grow as individuals both socially and academically. I strive to support the emotional and academic development of all my students by encouraging them to explore the beauty of multiple cultures through reading, music, dance, and art.
Gina Gina Centanni
Kindergarten Teacher
In more than 20 years teaching kindergarten and middle school, Gina has developed her own unique style of teaching that includes movement, song, sound effects, puppets and a variety of project-based “quests” centered around the theme of superheroes. Her focus is to teach children to know themselves, to discover new strengths, to appreciate differences in others and in themselves, to practice self-control, to set priorities, to be flexible, respectful and kind, to see themselves as agents of change, and as vital members of their community.  Gina holds a multiple subject teaching credential and single subject teaching credential in English.

 

Other Faculty Members

Ivonne Watson and Mannish Chulani are school psychologists

Paul Foley is our resource teacher for all grades.

Manu Seitz-Hipkins is our speech therapist

Jessica Parlanti is our ELD coordinator and intervention specialist

Amanda Napier teaches art to students at all grade levels.

Anton Estaniel teaches music to all students.+

Staff

The staff at Connect supports our faculty in providing a rich experience for children.

  • Claudia Reyes, Business Director, manages the administrative aspects of the school
  • Yessenia Oseguera, Office Assistant
  • Saul Villatoro, Campus Supervisor
  • Karla Valenzuela, Parent Liaison
  • Maria Smith, Teaching Assistant
  • Lisa Greyson, Teaching Assistant and Wellness Coordinator
  • Kristina King Cohen, Teaching Assistant
  • Edith Garcia, Teaching Assistant
  • Derek Standard, Teaching Assistant
  • Irene Limon, Teaching Assistant
  • Milagros Cerpas, Teaching Assistant
  • Alicia Quilici, Extended Care Coordinator
  • Maurice Perez, After School Assistant
  • Tatum O’Dricoll, After School Assistant