Our Faculty

Tesa Briles

Senior Director

Masters Level Certified Barton Reading Specialist, Certified in Educational Remediation, Certified Dyslexia Screener, Certificate of Completion: 4th Edition Wilson Reading Instructor Steps 1-6 for the Non-responsive Reader.

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.

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.

 

Mary Cartwright

Administrative Coordinator

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

Administrative Assistant
Sarah Schofield has years of experience volunteering in different youth programs, including summer camps, youth groups and youth community theater. She has a passion for making students feel seen and welcome.
 
She is pursuing her education in the field of Social Justice with the goal of earning her BA in Sociology.
 
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.

Jenna Oskey

Reading Instructor/Tutor

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. 

Sophia Thomasson

Math Aide

Bio Coming Soon!

Stephanie Sparrow

WRS Instructor/Tutor

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!

Jennifer Maidl

Social Studies/Science Instructor

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her many years of experience working in schools makes her uniquely qualified for her role as an instructor at LGA.  She has worked with elementary and middle school aged students as a classroom aide for over 10 years.  Jennifer promotes an atmosphere of acceptance in the classroom.  Her love of history and science creates an environment where students are welcome to engage openly.  In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her two children, watching movies, reading, and going for walks. 

Trena Beach

PE/Art Instructor

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

Writing Teacher/Aide

Bio Coming Soon!

Hannah Castillo

WRS Instructor/Aide

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.

Marissa Lewis

Summer Math Aide

Bio Coming Soon!

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

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.

Nicole Camacho

Tutor

Bio Coming Soon!

Sariah Henke

Tutor

Bio Coming Soon!

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.