Our Faculty

Tesa Briles

Senior Director

Masters Level Certified Barton Reading Specialist, Certified in Educational Remediation, Certified Dyslexia Screener, Certificate of Completion in Wilson 4th Addition.

Tesa is one of 39 Master Level Barton Tutors in the US.  She has extensive experience working with students of all ages who cope with learning challenges. She has worked with public and private school students for the last 25 years. With credentials in Linguistics (UC Irvine), Art Therapy (Tobias School of Art England UK), Waldorf School Remedial Education (Steiner College), and Orton Gillingham based Reading Remediation, she considers the most important of all her learning experiences to be the raising of her three children.  Dyslexia is an integral part of her life, both personally and professionally.  Tesa successfully designed and implemented Full-Time School Programs, After-School Programs and Summer Programs in 2009 to help dyslexic students rejoice in their success with reading.  Those same programs are as successful today as they were from the start.

Stuart Demmy

Executive Director

Certified Educational Remediation Specialist, Certified Dyslexia Screener, Waldorf Class Teacher.

After graduating from Reed College with a B.A. in Philosophy, Stuart taught for some time in the Portland Public Schools.  Not finding quite what he was looking for, he began a music distribution company that specialized in recordings of Classical Music (a lifelong passion of his).   Years later, after selling that business, Stuart decided to give teaching a try again.  He received Waldorf Teacher Training and worked for many years as a Class Teacher in schools in Oregon and California, teaching many subjects to children in Grades 1 – 8.   But a common experience during these years was encountering children still unable to read well after years of instruction.  What was wrong?  Schools did not have an answer to this question.  Fortunately, research by his wife Tesa led them to the Barton Reading System, an Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading and spelling.  Trying it out, Stuart became convinced of its efficacy, and taught reading to numerous students over a four-year period.  

Stuart has been a beloved math teacher for decades.  Having taken almost all of the Making Math Real Courses through Algebra,  he uses its strategies and procedures enthusiastically in all classes.  He finds David Berg’s approach as beneficial to students struggling with math as the Orton Gillingham approach was to students struggling with reading.  It’s pure magic!

Melissa Emerzian

Director

Certificate of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute

After graduating from Harvard with a BA in Biological Anthropology, Melissa worked under a grant from NASA developing and teaching science lesson plans to elementary school teachers and students. This experience was the catalyst that led her away from medical school and into the world of education. She worked in the Governor’s office of the Secretary of Education and implemented the California Academic and Volunteer Mentoring Program throughout schools in California. From there, she took a position lobbying for public education associations. Motherhood inspired her to say home with her children and take an active role in their education, which eventually led straight to Loomis Gateway Academy. Her son and daughter entered the program 8 years ago, thus beginning her own association with, and love for, LGA. Seeing firsthand the success of the Barton Method and the Making Math Real program with her children, she wanted to help give other children the same opportunities. She returns to LGA as a math teacher and is now fulfilling that wish. She looks forward to working with your children, to help them gain a sense of accomplishment in learning.Tra

Andrea Sivillo

Director

Reading Instructor, Certified Barton Tutor.

After leaving the business world to stay home with her children, Andrea discovered and cultivated a passion for language and literacy.  Having gained many years of practical experience teaching her own dyslexic children and tutoring in a well-known homeschool program, she is dedicated to providing help and encouragement to other parents as they navigate their children’s learning difficulties.

Seeing firsthand the difference that the Barton Reading and Spelling System makes in the lives of children with dyslexia, she is a devoted follower of the Barton method.  Having guided her children through educational challenges, she has developed the patience, empathy, and spirit of encouragement that children with dyslexia and those who love them need.  She is enthusiastically supportive of Loomis Gateway Academy’s mission and finds immense joy in helping children with dyslexia thrive educationally.

 

Michele Lewis

Administrative Coordinator

Michele joined the LGA team the summer of 2021, bringing 10 years of Elementary Office experience to LGA.  Prior to arriving at our school, Michele worked in an area school district to support both the Health Office and then in Administration as the Principal’s Secretary. She is responsible for Registration, Student Files, Invoicing and so much more to support our wonderful staff and students. Michele enjoys building relationships with students and their families, and helping in all facets to best support children in their learning experience. When not at LGA, you can find Michele enjoying time with her 4 children and grandchildren, she loves volunteering in her community and hosting arts/crafts with her friends and family.

Aimee Scribner

Reading Instructor

California Credentialed Public Education Teacher

Regular Ed K-8

Aimee Scribner’s experience in education began as a classroom teacher in 1996, and over the years has included everything from serving as an elected School Board Member for the Eureka Union School District, working as a Senior Education Consultant for the assembly Education Committee, lobbying on behalf of California school districts, teaching a classroom of third graders, implementing reading intervention for Kindergarten to sixth graders, and serving as the President of the Parent Teacher Club at her daughter’s junior high.

Aimee’s entire career has focused on education and children because she believes education is essential to every person realizing their full potential.  She is a life-long learner, which is why after graduating from U.C. Berkeley she went back to school to earn her teaching credential, and then to Stanford University to get her Master’s in Education Policy Analysis and Evaluation.

Jenna Oskey

Reading Instructor

Currently Completing Wilson Level 1 Certification Process.

Jenna Oskey began her teaching experience eight years ago as an educational associate in a reading support program in Illinois. She then went on to teach in a general education setting with kindergarten and first grade students for two years in Chicago. After receiving a master’s degree in special education, Jenna taught as an elementary inclusion special education teacher in Illinois for one year and in Hawaii for two years.
She is passionate about cultivating an environment where all different types of learners can flourish in a variety of ways and advocating for students and families to ensure that they get the support that they deserve. Jenna received her B.S. in Elementary Education and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M. Ed. in Special Education and English as a Second Language from National Louis University.

Melissa Camacho

Writing Instructor

Institute for Excellence in Writing, Certified Barton Reading Teacher.

Melissa has always loved reading and writing and graduated with a BA in English. She worked as a technical writer for many years before she had children. Several years ago, she found a true passion for teaching children with dyslexia when her own son was diagnosed with dyslexia in the 1st grade. She homeschooled him for two years using the Barton System and the IEW (Institute of Excellence in Writing) curriculums and he is now thriving and at grade level in the 6th grade. Melissa is a certified Barton tutor and, before joining Loomis Gateway Academy, privately taught the Barton System and IEW to children with dyslexia and ADHD. She has a sense of humor and a knack for connecting with these special kids. Her favorite thing is helping children with dyslexia build confidence and self-esteem by finding their gifts and focusing on every positive. She loves teaching them to read and write in the way that makes sense to them and thereby showing them how smart and gifted they really are. She is so excited to bring the IEW curriculum to Loomis Gateway this year and she knows it’s going to help writing composition really click for the students. In her spare time, Melissa loves spending time her family, running, writing her blog, and cooking. 

Julie Cooper

Math Teacher

California Credentialed Public Education Teacher

Julie holds a Special Education Credential, as well as a Multiple Subject Credential, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  With over a decade of classroom experience, Julie is a dynamic teacher who instills enthusiasm in her students. She brings the classroom to life with hands-on activities, musical instruments, personal stories from her travels, and a clear joy of teaching.  She brings creative problem solving techniques to provide individualized instruction and excellent classroom management skills. When Julie wasn’t in the classroom, she spent time in the Peace Corps as a volunteer and as a recruiter, and as an Air Pollution Specialist with California Air Resources Board in Sacramento, CA.  In that role, she collaborated with community members and team mates to improve overall program efficiency through her knowledge of emission control strategies for toxics. Her combined skills are a wonderful addition to the LGA faculty.

Stephanie Sparrow

Reading and Writing Instructor

15 years experience as a Substitute Teacher with RUSD

Social Studies, Science and Writing Teacher

Stephanie brings a comfortable atmosphere to her classroom.  Her years of teaching experience coupled with being a parent of Middle School aged children has allowed her to fit right in to Loomis Gateway Academy.  She has a gentle presence with the students and has an enthusiasm for teaching Social Studies, Science and Writing.  She is a wonderful addition to our faculty at LGA!

Dayna Wicks

Wilson Reading Teacher

Dayna developed a passion for working with children very early on in her life, and first came to LGA as a Barton Reading tutor in 2018. Having been born and raised locally, she has enjoyed amazing opportunities instructing in schools and learning centers all over the surrounding area. She is currently working toward her certification in Wilson Reading Systems. When she isn’t at school, you can usually find her in the garden, or in search of an adventure with her young daughter.

Megan Welsh

Math Aide

Megan started her college career in Yakama on a softball scholarship, returning home after the first year due to an injury. She is currently working toward transferring to Sacramento State University to get her degree in Education and her teaching certificate. She joined LGA end of 2020 as a Math aid and is currently tutoring a few math students as well. She loves to see the joy in a child’s eyes when they get a concept, it’s priceless. When Megan is not working or going to school she spends time with family, friends and her dogs.

Trena Beach

Art Teacher

Trena has a passion for Arts and Crafts and a limitless imagination for hands-on projects. Watercolor, Tissue Paper, Beading, building Fairy Houses, Drawing, Painting…the list goes on. Her background of giving art classes at Michael’s to students ranging in age from Kindergarten to adults has prepared her very well for teaching students at LGA.  Trena’s upbeat manner and enthusiasm for teaching is a true gift.  Trena will also be leading Physical Education classes, and will be teaching Nutrition classes as a special treat for the students.  She is grateful to be a part of LGA and LGA gave her a very warm welcome.

Jennah Richmond

Tutor

Jennah graduated from William Jessup University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Soon after graduation, she followed her passion for helping others and began coaching and teaching in a variety of settings. Currently, Jennah is also a paraprofessional at RUSD. When she is not teaching, she loves playing sports, hiking with friends, and spending time with family.

Jennifer Taketa

Tutor

Tutor since 2019, love working with my students B.A. in Communicative Disorders – Fresno State University Forever a SF Giants fan. In 2019 I got to be a balldudette.

Mia Leisten

Tutor

My name is Mia Leisten and I am greatly excited to be a part of the Loomis Gateway Academy Tutoring team! I am a recent UC Davis alumni and received my B.A. in Linguistics in 2020. I am currently a post baccalaureate student at Sacramento State University and am getting a second degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In the Fall of next year I will be starting my graduate studies to pursue a career in Speech and Language Pathology. If I am not studying or teaching you will probably find me cross country skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains or spending time on a beach somewhere along the Northern California coast

Shae Khan

Tutor

Shae Khan is a tutor dedicated to dyslexic students at LGA. She received a bachelor’s degree in Government from Sacramento State and a master’s degree in Communication from Central Michigan University. With a background in speech and debate, she is dedicated to helping students take the steps they need to find and use their voice.