Our Faculty

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

Administrative 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.

Tesa Briles

Senior Director

Masters Level Certified Barton Reading Specialist, Certified in Educational Remediation, Certified Dyslexia Screener, Wilson Reading Instructor for the Non-responsive Reader, Certified Health Practitioner: Art-Waldorf Inspired

Tesa has worked with public and private school students for over 25 years. She has two passions, teaching reading to dyslexic students and art. Her passion for art is both as an art teacher and as a personal journey of self-discovery. Her love of the English language began with a major in Linguistics at the University of California at Irvine. Her pursuit of art took her to East Grinstead, UK for a training in Art Therapy at Tobias School of Art. In 2009, she created and implemented Full-Time School Programs, After-School Programs, and Summer Programs designed to help students with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia. She has taught reading using the Barton Reading and Wilson Reading Systems to 100’s of students, and has taught Art in Waldorf schools in Oregon and California.

Mary Cartwright

Administrative Coordinator

Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

My name is Mary Cartwright and I am very excited to be a part of the LGA team. I started working for the RCSD as an Instructional Assistant in 2010 to be more involved in my two son’s education. I have worked for 10 years in Special Education as a one on one aide and in both SDC and RSP classrooms. Following the pandemic, I found myself looking for a new challenge and began working in a Montessori school setting. Montessori gave me the opportunity to continue my hands-on approach with students. I love making connections with children of all ages and learning about their interests. Outside of work, I enjoy taking vacations with my family to MLB fields, paddle boarding at Folsom Lake, relaxing at the beach, or walking my Chihuahua/dachshund dog Pixie.

Sarah Schofield

After School Tutoring Program Director, Summer Program Director | Certified Barton Tutor

Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute , Barton Certified Reading Teacher

Sarah has years of experience working and volunteering in different youth programs, including summer camps, youth groups and youth community theater. She has worked at an administrative level as well as a teacher and small group leader. She has a passion for making students feel seen and welcome.
 
Sarah has an Associates Degree in the field of Elementary Education with the goal of earning her BA in Educational Studies. She has also spent the last several months training in the Barton Reading and Spelling Program. 
 
When she’s not working or in school, Sarah loves to travel, hang out with her family and take long walks with her dog, Charlie.

Jennah Richmond

Wilson Reading Teacher | Barton Certified Tutor

Wilson Reading Teacher, Barton Certified Reading Teacher, Certificate of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

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. Currently, Jennah is a highly qualified Wilson Reading Teacher with Loomis Gateway Academy. When she is not teaching, she loves playing sports, hiking with friends, and spending time with family.

Stephanie Sparrow

WRS Dyslexia Practitioner | Tutor

15 years experience as a Substitute Teacher with RUSD

Social Studies, Science and Writing Teacher

Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

Certified WRS Dyslexia Practitioner

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!

Hannah Castillo

Wilson Reading Teacher | Barton Tutor

Wilson Reading Teacher, Certificate of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from UC Davis, Hannah first gained a love for being in the classroom while working as a salmon restoration technician in Humboldt County. There, she found that visiting classrooms to educate students about conservation was her favorite part of the job. She went on to become an instructional aide at a K-8 school, and recently relocated to the Sacramento area to join the LGA team. Currently, Hannah is an experienced and highly qualified Wilson Reading teacher at Loomis Gateway Academy.

Trena Beach

PE | Art Instructor

Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

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.

Valerie Brown

IEW Writing | Social Studies Teacher

Institute for Excellence in Writing, Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

Valerie has a passion for helping children learn. She has extensive experience working with ASD students and has expanded her experience to working with dyslexic students in grades 1-8. Her classroom is calm and joyful as students practice their keyboard skills and write stories. She has incorporated the use of The Paragraph Book in her classroom. She is a highly skilled teacher and creates a comfortable and safe learning environment both in and out of the classroom.

Lauren Wilson

Math Teacher | Math Tutor
• grew up in Elverta, CA 
• Associates in social sciences 
• associates in mathematics 
• experience working with children began at 13, student teaching at the sacramento ballet, nannying in the summers until 18 years old. 
• began tutoring peers and K-12 students in mathematics in 2016. 
•I have won two math competitions in college.
• being dyslexic myself, I know firsthand the struggles children encounter in school and everyday life.
• have two kitties and I love to go fishing in Alaska 🙂

 

Jenna Oskey

WRS Dyslexia Practitioner | Tutor

Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, Certification of Completion – Dyslexia Training Institute 

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.

Kevin Murrell

Math Aide | Math Tutor

Kevin Murrell, has been working with students of all ages for over 20 years.  For the past five years he worked at Lake Tahoe Community College.  Kevin has a degree in Mathematics and enjoys helping his students achieve their math goals. He likes going to the ocean and visiting theme parks.  Kevin got married in April of 2023 and moved to Auburn where he lives with his wife, Katie and their three kids. 

Cori Brown

Social Studies | Science Teacher

Bio Coming Soon!

Nathanael Thomasson

Teacher | Assistant | Barton Tutor

Nathanael has worked with children since middle school in various after school activities and kids’ camps. He began to acquire teaching experience while in college where he began to work as a math tutor. After graduating with a BA in Liberal Studies he has continued to pursue a career in education. He first became interested in being an educator because of a teacher he had in high school, and this was fed by his college professors. Nathanael is passionate about education and helping students to not only succeed in their studies, but to love learning. During the summers he enjoys backpacking and fly fishing with his family.

Ramona Brockman

Barton Reading Tutor

Bio Coming Soon!

Amanda Dodson

Barton Reading Tutor

Bio Coming Soon!

Natalie King

Barton Reading Tutor

Bio Coming Soon! 

Sharon Garlick

Barton Reading Tutor
After receiving a B.S. in Education from Brigham Young University, I chose a career path that accommodated raising our five children.  I worked parttime or fulltime in a wonderful variety of jobs –most leading quickly to a teaching/training role within that business.  I retired from a Training Design and Development position with the State of California, EDD.
 
After a bit of “me-time”, I knew that I still wanted to use my teaching and creative skills to do something meaningful.  I found the perfect place at the Loomis Gateway Academy. The people here are skilled, passionate advocates for the children; and it is a daily delight to see each child under my care learn and master the tools that enable them to become more successful, confident readers. 
 
Life is good!  I enjoy fun times with family –sleepovers, birthdays, and outings.  I love spending time near the ocean –from Monterey to Humboldt!  I garden here in Auburn, happy for every small success. And I paint, because it’s a medium measured only in pleasure.

LGA (Loomis Gateway Academy), in utilizing Making Math Real® (MMR®) methods, is in no way affiliated with, a member of, or employed by the Making Math Real Institute (MMRI), and does not represent or reflect MMR® or David Berg in any way whatsoever. Neither the MMRI nor David Berg has trained, certified, licensed, monitored, endorsed, recommended, or sponsored LGA.  MMR® is a clinical methodology, not a program or a curriculum, and neither the MMRI nor David Berg monitors, endorses, or accounts for the quality of services provided by LGA.