Pivot Charter School provides instruction to students through a robust standards-based online curriculum supported by class offerings at our resource center, tutoring, strong oversight and academic support. The school is a “blend” of online curriculum with resource center support.
The role of the teacher at Pivot Charter School is to monitor student progress online daily, provide feedback, encouragement and support to students, provide academic support in their areas of expertise for students needing help and produce accurate, timely and compliant documentation of independent study attendance. Teachers do not necessarily provide direct instruction to a “class” of students on a daily basis but are at the resource center every day. The teacher, called an Educational Coordinator, counsels, mentors, provides oversight and direction and provides whatever support it takes to help students succeed in their academic endeavors.
The Educational Coordinators of Pivot North Bay:
After ten years teaching English at the high school level in both Santa Rosa City School District and San Marcos School District, Ms. Clopton is very excited to land at Pivot Charter School. Ms. Clopton received her Bachelor’s degree in English and a single subject teaching credential from Sonoma State and have professional development experience in everything from AP Language Arts to AVID. Ms. Clopton truly enjoys assisting all students with achieving their own personal academic goals as well as realizing their full potential and feels that Pivot provides both the structure and the flexibility needed to create independent learners. During the rare moments when she is not teaching, thinking about teaching, preparing to teach or reflecting on teaching, she loves to spend time outdoors with her family, go dancing with my friends, listen to all kinds of good music and read anything and everything she can get her hands on. She hopes to travel the world with her husband and young children and to help teach them the value of experience and the power of diversity.
Robert Brier – History
Robert grew up in Southern California and graduated from Cal State University Long Beach. He is passionate about teaching, and he loves to see history in person. He has lived and taught in Taiwan and studied Mandarin Chinese. This will be Robert’s twelfth year teaching.
John was born and raised in Sacramento. He moved to Sonoma County in 1993 to pursue his education at Sonoma State. He has a B.A. in Mexican American Studies and a Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University. As an advocate for youth, John has a passion for educating our diverse community by encouraging creativity and supporting ambitious endeavors. For 9 years he educated youth at Rancho Bodega School. This is his second year teaching at Pivot, and he is committed to our mission to provide an individualized educational program to each student. In his free time he loves to go hiking, mountain biking, spend time with his daughter, and play music with his band, Hoodwink.
Meghan Coffey – Science
Meghan’s love for science started in early elementary, and has been the driving force in her educational endeavors ever since. She was fortunate to have inspiring science instructors throughout high school and college who challenged her and supported her. She earned a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a Single Subject Credential in Biology from Sonoma State. She has 14 years of experience providing academic support to youth in Sonoma County through various programs and is thrilled to have found a place at Pivot Charter School. When Meghan isn’t catching up on science in the news, or chasing her toddler around, she enjoys crocheting, knitting, baking, decorating cakes and cupcakes for her friends and family, having impromptu dance parties in her living room, going to concerts, and spending time out doors with her family. In the near future, Meghan hopes to learn how to use her new sewing machine, do some traveling with her family, and start running again with the ultimate goal of running a marathon someday. Meghan is very excited to share her passion for science with students, and support them in becoming life long learners.
Born and raised in Southern California, John Buzan is a fixture in the educational, technological and public landscape of his community. He graduated from Golden West College, where he served as ASB President and receive the R. Dudley Boyce Outstanding Student of the Year Award. Following that, Mr. Buzan transferred to UCLA to study Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law and Economics. After college, Mr. Buzan followed his interest in information technology and networking. For most of his life, Mr. Buzan has performed private sector work in the medical, legal, manufacturing and transportation industries. Later in life, Mr. Buzan returned to school for a Masters degree at the prestigious University of California, Irvine School of Education. Mr. Buzan enjoys backpacking, basketball, cooking and volunteer service.
Tim Mehew is a Chico State alum and a Sonoma County local. He is entering his 5th year of teaching. He graduated with a BA/BS from California State University Chico, where he studied English Literature, and received his teaching credential from San Francisco State University. He has experience teaching English, SAT and ACT preparatory classes, and as an Independent Study Advisor. During his youth he was infected with the music bug and the pursuit of this passion has taken him all around the globe. His teaching philosophy is simple: teaching English makes for more effective communicators, more informed citizens, and therefore, a better society.
Christa’s education, experience, and love of teaching have led her to a career at Pivot. Her goal of teaching began in high school, where she interned in three elementary school classrooms. She pursued her dream, and is an honors graduate of Sonoma State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teacher’s Credential in Elementary Education. She has experience in a variety of classrooms, including first grade and sixth grade, and has worked as an Aftercare Program Coordinator in Sebastopol. Pivot Charter School’s dedication to supporting students to become academic achievers, critical thinkers, and personally responsible individuals reflects Christa’s core motivation in becoming an educator. She believes that teachers have the responsibility and the opportunity to make a difference in their students’ lives. When not working, Christa loves exploring the world through travel, playing with her puppy Kona, and taking photos of amazing sunsets wherever she finds them.
Born on the East Coast (Connecticut), Derek soon moved to the Midwest. There he attended Indiana University of Bloomington, where he earned two Bachelor’s Degrees, Psychology and Criminal Justice. He then returned to the East Coast to attend The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his Master’s Degree in Forensic Science. Afterwards, Derek started working for KPMG as a consultant for the Department of the Navy. His team built the software that allowed the Navy and Marines to order all of their IT products. After the software was built, Derek flew around the country to Navy and Marine bases to teach their personnel how to use the software. That experience sparked his love of teaching.
From there he attended Dominican University of California and earned his single-subject teaching credential in mathematics. He worked for a few years at a charter school in Ukiah, then moved to Lakeport and was a math teacher and head of the Math Department at a high school in Lower Lake. Now he works at Pivot Charter School in North Bay, where he loves his job. He also enjoys rugby, soccer, swimming, hiking, camping, and eating delicious food.
Ms. Bobey recently moved from San Diego, where she resided for 10 years. She moved to Sebastopol with her fiancée, three cats, and dog, Alfalfa. While living in San Diego, Ms. Bobey earned her Bachelor of Science in biology with an emphasis in ecology, along with her teaching credential and Master of Arts in Teaching at SDSU. After earning her credential, she taught one year of biology before moving to an independent study charter school, where she worked for five years. She was the head of the science department and wrote curriculum for the school, incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards. Ms. Bobey enjoys science and learning, and is excited to share that joy and interest with her students at Pivot.
Dan Shane loves Math. And what he loves more than math is teaching math! And what he loves more than teaching math is teaching math to math-phobic teenagers! When he is not curing Mathematical Anxiety, he enjoys playing piano, making hip hop beats, playing Dungeons & Dragons, or playing sports. He loves his wife Lauren and children, Jack, age 6 and Olivia, age 2. Born and raised in Sonoma County, Dan attended and taught at Cardinal Newman High School prior to coming to Pivot. Dan graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Mathematics. He earned his teaching credential and Master’s degree from WGU.
Bob was born in Missouri, but moved to southern California at a young age. Following his service in the US Army, he graduated with a BA in Political Science from Sonoma State University. His first career was with the United States Postal Service. He held a variety of management positions there in operations, engineering and budget and retired as the Manager of the North Bay General Mail Facility in Petaluma, CA, after more than thirty years of Federal service.
He then began his second career in teaching in 2004, as a substitute in Sonoma County. Bob taught almost exclusively at Healdsburg High School and Junior High. A good deal of his assignments involved Special Education classes, including several long-term positions. One of Bob’s younger siblings had special needs and his understanding of the challenges these students face developed through teaching. In January 2016, Bob had the opportunity to enter a Special Education Intern Teaching Credential Program with the Sonoma County Office of Education. He joined Pivot North Bay near the end of the spring 2016 school year. It was a great opportunity to get to know the students and become part of the Pivot team moving into an exciting new school year.
During his spare time, Bob and his wife Barbara enjoy spending time with their four children, four grandchildren, and their two labs. Bob is a freelance photographer and enjoys hiking on local trails, camping and sailing.
Kristen is a Northern California native, growing up and going to school in the East Bay area. Kristen began talking about being a teacher “when she grew up” from as young as four years old. The idea of teaching grew towards reality as she helped to teach and care for her younger siblings (14 and 16 years younger) as a young adult. In college she studied creative writing (her other passion) and earned her BA in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. It was during that time that she narrowed her interests down to teaching English at the high school level. After some time traveling and living in Europe, she returned looking for a change of scenery and a strong social justice agenda at California State University Sacramento for a Single Subject English Credential. She worked as an English and reading intervention teacher for two years at Armijo High School in Fairfield, where her interest in alternative methods of education began to grow. She is so excited to be here at Pivot, where students’ interests are always put first and there are many different, unique paths toward success! When she isn’t teaching, she loves writing and submitting fiction and poetry for publication, playing and listening to music, dog sitting, hiking, catching up on her favorite shows on Netflix and spending time with her family and friends.
Julie Smith – Elementary and Middle School
Julie Smith joined Pivot with over twenty-five years of experience in education. The majority of her experience has been in elementary education and includes public, private, and homeschooling. She is extremely excited to bring her experience to Pivot to help students! Julie will be spending time in all areas of Pivot North Bay, but she will mostly be in the Middle School and Elementary programs. Julie grew up in Santa Rosa and received her B.A. (Hutchins School of Liberal Arts) and multiple subject teaching credential from Sonoma State University, but she recently moved back to Santa Rosa after living in the East Bay (El Cerrito) for twenty-five years. During her time away from Pivot she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, Lauren and Grace, as well as their new puppy Rose. For hobbies she loves gardening, DIY projects, and art as well as entertaining friends and family.