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 was 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 has 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 her 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 third 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 15 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, she enjoys spending time with her child, 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.
Tim Mehew is a Chico State alum and a Sonoma County local. He is entering his 6th 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.
Three years ago, Lila relocated from San Diego to Sebastopol with her fiancée, three cats, and dog, Alfalfa. While living in San Diego, she 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. Lila enjoys science and learning, and is excited to share that joy and interest with her students at Pivot.
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 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 dog Rose. For hobbies she loves gardening, DIY projects, and art as well as entertaining friends and family.
Kat Hammer – Educational Coordinator
Kat is a Sonoma County native, having grown up in Petaluma and spent most of her professional years in Marin County. She knew she wanted to be a teacher when she started learning cursive in sixth grade. She has a multiple subject credential and Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from St. Mary’s College and Touro University. She also has a multiple subject credential and Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Sonoma State University. She has taught for Vallejo Elementary schools, 1st through 5th grade, at Marin Academy, Marin special needs and gifted schools, and has tutored elementary through college-aged students. Kat is grateful to be at Pivot because she believes that individualized education works to keep kids happy and engaged, and she enjoys helping her students become better writers and scientific thinkers. In her free time, Kat enjoys hiking, singing, dancing, writing books, playing softball in a local league, tutoring, singing in a community choir and volunteering at the Marin Humane Society.
Jennifer grew up in Redding, CA and attended California State University, Sacramento. She has worked in a few different educational teaching positions for the past 20 years in Sonoma County. She enjoys being on the cutting edge of educational projects and adventures, such as piloting one of the first live Lego Learning Projects, facilitating student lead and empowered government classes, and teaching classes live online when that was just beginning to happen in education. Jennifer went into education because she loves to see students inspired while learning. Jennifer believes that Pivot offers an inspiring opportunity in education by providing a unique and more personalized model to learning. Students have a regular opportunity to learn in small group settings, in addition to regular individualized assistance in their courses either at the learning center or at home with their families. When she is not teaching at Pivot, she is having a lot of good times at home, traveling with her two teenagers and fur-kids/small dogs, or teaching kid’s and/or adult Zumba dance classes.
Julian Rooney – Middle School
Julian grew up in Southern California before moving to Northern California in 1999. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and after transferring, earned his BA in Geography from Sonoma State University. He joined Pivot Charter School in 2017 and was very impressed with individualized education approach. He believes that we all learn differently, but that is something that should be embraced! He entered education because he believes strongly in empowerment through knowledge and wants to help children reach their goals in life though learning. Julian has previously worked at Salmon Creek Middle School and spent six years as a manager at Sports City Indoor Soccer. He loves to play and talk sports with anyone who is willing. He also enjoys traveling to new places whenever he gets the free time.
Ray Hammer – Educational Coordinator
Since high school, Ray knew that he wanted to help children and teens reach their potential. After high school Ray attended Santa Rosa Junior College but was unsure what to major in. He had been a math tutor and a big brother for at risk youth for several years, and eventually decided that the field of psychology would best prepare him for teaching and guiding students. Ray then went to Humboldt State University and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and his multiple subject teaching credential. He returned to Sonoma County, where he taught for five years. He then had a desire to go back to school and get his administration credential. After earning his credential from Sonoma State University, Ray worked as a principal for two years, where he saw a shift in education happening with Common Core and stricter regulations. Traditional school class sizes were expanding for grades 3 – 12 and students were starting to learn a new system in Common Core. Ray taught at several schools after his experience as a principal but wasn’t finding one that fit what he thought was best for students: and individualized education that meets their needs with a group of people willing to help them through their learning experience. Fortunately for us, Ray has found that at Pivot.
Stephanie Doucette – Education Specialist
Though Stephanie has been helping teenagers for over twenty years, teaching is actually her second career. After working with kids from all paths of life, from affluent summer camps to foster care group homes, Stephanie directed after school programs in the non-profit sector for three years before embarking on her teaching career. This is Stephanie’s ninth year teaching high school students, initially as an English teacher and later as an Education Specialist. She has a passion for laughing, literature, and all things culinary. When she’s not laboring over essays and equations with her students, she’s exploring the outdoors with her family or running around town experiencing all the art and music our area has to offer. Her goals are to write the great American novel, travel around the world, and inspire positive change in her community – not necessarily in that order, but possibly all at the same time. Stephanie finds great joy in working with teenagers and she especially appreciates teaching at Pivot, where she’s found a solid sense of community and a real opportunity to give her students high quality individualized attention.
Shelli Goldin – Education Specialist
Shelli is a native Californian with a passion for education. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. After a career as a marketing and event specialist and taking time to start a family, she pursued her Education Specialist credential at National University which, like Pivot, provides their curriculum online. In her free time, Shelli loves to read, do yoga, bake, take walks, and go on adventures (near and far) with her husband and two daughters.
Heather McGuire – Educational Coordinator
Heather grew up in Humboldt county and attended Humboldt State University, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, who graduated 56 years prior with his teaching credential. She started working with students at an early age, leading an after school program from her sophomore to her senior year in high school. Heather also found an interest in theatre while in high school, and she spent time as a stage manager at Redwood Curtain Theater when she lived in Humboldt County. She has taught all ages from kindergarten through 6th grade but has found that the upper grades really are the most challenging, yet fun age for her to work with. The energy they bring into the classroom is contagious. She has fallen in love with personalized education utilizing technology and is excited to bring that passion with her to Pivot. She currently enjoys spending her free time with her husband and her chocolate lab Woodford.
Johnathan Wright – Educational Coordinator
Johnathan is a born and bred Californian. He has attended junior colleges, art schools, and major universities, and is a living example of how patience and perserverance can lead students to success. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Curriculum Design/Education Technology, and teaching credentials in English and History. Johnathan is obsessed with stories; the only stories better than literature are those from history. He writes his own stories and games, and leads the Pivot Storyteller club, guiding students to telling their own stories. It is Johnathan’s goal to help students find meaning in what they study and to think critically about their lives and the world around them.
Cathy Petrick – English
Cathy teaches English and is the French grader. She also tutors students one-one in French. She has a BA in Psychology with a minor in French from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as well as an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. Cathy joined Pivot because the faculty works so well together and has a lot of fun together. She loves helping students with their writing and discovering grammar mistakes together. In her free time, she enjoys running up the mountain near her house and updating Instagram with wildflower photos.