Teaching & Learning Department
Certificated Staff Bios
Meet the members of our certificated team.
Emily Akinshin, Project Coordinator - Math, is committed to helping educators reimagine what the math classroom can look like, turning it into a place of joy and rigor where all students belong and thrive. Over the past twenty three years, she has worked in grades second through sixth in a multiple subject setting, and sixth through seventh as a single subject math teacher. During that time, Emily co taught professional development classes at SCOE focusing on re-engagement lessons, implementing instructional routines and practices for Common Core Math, and how to use focal student interviews to leverage in the process of continual improvement. She also managed a team of writers engaged in creating math tasks for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Most recently, Emily facilitated Lesson Study teams around the county to foster equitable teaching practices and teacher agency. She holds both a Multiple Subject CLAD Credential and an Administrative Services Credential.
In her spare time Emily enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts or Audible books, connecting with friends and family, hearing live music, and butting into her son’s life.
Rick Barlow, Project Coordinator - Math, understands the challenges students face in mathematics, having overcome his own struggles with the subject in his early education. Everything changed in college when he encountered an inspiring calculus teacher who ignited his passion for math. Motivated by this teacher's belief in his abilities, he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in math education. Rick’s journey to finding success in math drives his dedication to education and his belief in the potential of all students. A former high school math teacher, Rick now supports math teachers’ professional learning through lesson study, coaching, task development, and equity audits, helping them fully realize their potential to create lessons that enable all students to access rigorous mathematics. As an administrator, he supported teachers in the development of project-based units, effective group work strategies, and integrated support for English learners. Rick is a senior fellow with the Knowles Teacher Initiative and a board member for the California Association of World Schools.
In his free time, Rick enjoys wilderness backpacking, kayaking, tide pooling, and learning new things.
Kristen DelMonte, Project Coordinator - Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), is passionate that all students thrive in a classroom that is safe and nurturing. For the past 8 years, she has worked in early elementary school settings as a TK, kindergarten, and first-grade teacher. Most recently she was the Intervention Coordinator and Student Study Team Coordinator at Apple Blossom Elementary school. In 2016, Kristen was charged with developing the district’s Transitional Kindergarten program and built a play-based program that focused on individual student development. Throughout her career, she has held many leadership positions at her school including teacher-leadership, new teacher induction mentor, student-teacher mentor, and teacher-in-charge. In 2022, Kristen received her Administrative Services Credential from Sonoma State University as well as completed the SCOE Teacher Leadership Certificate Program. Kristen looks forward to being a part of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten team at SCOE and working with UPK teachers across Sonoma County.
Kristen holds a BA in Communication Studies, a Masters in Divinity, an Administrative Services Credential (preliminary), and is currently working on a Masters in Educational Leadership. Kristen’s family includes her husband Andy, a music teacher at Parkside and Brookhaven in Sebastopol, her four children, and their dog Pesto. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys hiking, riding bikes, watching her kids engage in various activities, and squeezing in a little time for exercise.
Jenn Guerrero, Specialist - Multilingual Learner , had her passion for working with english learners (ELs) and their families first ignited when she began her career in education as a teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. She then taught in the Roseland School District and served as a principal for Sonoma County Migrant Education summer programs. As the the Multilingual Learner Program Specialist, she works closely with K-12 teachers and administrators to support high-quality instruction for multilingual learners. She firmly believes in the limitless potential of every child and works with schools to design learning environments and leverage instructional strategies that allow this potential to be realized.
Jenn enjoys running and loves going on outdoor adventures with her husband and two elementary age children.
Ryan Kurada, Project Coordinator - Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), is dedicated to transforming educational environments where learning is relevant, meaningful, and interesting for all students. Before joining SCOE, Ryan taught TK, Kindergarten, and first grade at University Elementary School in Rohnert Park where he developed their school-wide project-based learning program. His passion for early childhood education led him to visit Reggio Emilia, Italy where he observed in their world-renowned project-based preschools. Ryan has collaborated with the San Francisco Exploratorium Tinkering Studio in developing statewide professional development opportunities and is also a PBLWorks National Faculty member. He holds an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University and a B.F.A. in Art Education. Ryan has presented at numerous national conferences including the U.S. Department of Education Teach to Lead Summit, National Science Teaching Association, and the California STEAM Symposium.
Away from work, Ryan enjoys traveling, exploring the great outdoors, spending time with family, and watching English Premier League soccer.
Kelly Matteri, Program Coordinator - Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Instructional Equity, has been at SCOE for three years, providing support to school districts and sites. Prior to coming to SCOE, Kelly worked as a classroom teacher for eight years, as well as a behavioral counselor in residential treatment centers. She believes that educators and students must engage together in meaningful learning in order to advance both student achievement and educator capacity.
Kelly enjoys singing, dancing, laughing and learning with her husband and son.
Jacob Ramírez, Project Coordinator - Multilingual Learner, serves in pursuit of reconstructing a public- school experience for all children; equitable in practice; dynamic in rigor; and, rich in cultural celebration. An educator of twenty years, Ramírez has taught English and ELD in several settings, among them, California’s public schools and international schools in China, the UAE, and Turkey. In 2021, his pedagogical experience earned him a position as instructional coach for the Cloverdale Unified School District. In his two years on site, he worked to provide staff with resources and training to implement effective ELD strategies while assisting district leadership with its initial implementation of the California English Learner Roadmap.
A first-generation college student, he holds a B.A. in English from California State University, Fullerton. In 2019, he earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster (UK). He is currently in pursuit of his PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster. At the intersection of his creative writing research and practice, he plans to build writing opportunities for students to heal from trauma, through poetry, while celebrating their unique voices. In his free time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife and two children.
Lauren Ridgway, Project Coordinator - Language & Literacy, is passionate about creating equitable educational opportunities for all students. After five years of teaching in the elementary grades, Lauren moved into a consulting teacher role at the district level, first in ELA and then as the English Learner Coordinator. Most recently, she served as the Student Support Coordinator for Sequoia Elementary School in Santa Rosa. Lauren holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University and a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Cal State East Bay.
Outside of work, Lauren enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her two young nieces.
Emily Selim, Project Coordinator - Resources & Accountability is committed to supporting all schools and districts in their work to provide equitable education for all students. She has served Sonoma County schools for over 20 years as a primary teacher, site administrator, independent study program designer and leader, and most recently, she worked as a Continuous Improvement Specialist at Mendocino County of Education. Emily is passionate about creating a sense of belonging and social-emotional well being in schools for both children and adults. She is trained as a Resilience Coach and a trainer for Mental Health First Aid. Emily holds a Masters’ degree in Education as well as both a Multiple Subject CLAD Credential and an Administrative Services Credential.
In her spare time Emily enjoys photography, laser crafting, yoga, cooking, and travel.
Casey Shea, Program Coordinator - Expanded Learning, worked as a math teacher for twelve years before partnering with Dale Dougherty of Maker Media to start the first Project Make class at Analy High School and then joining the team at SCOE. Casey believes that maker education offers a tremendous potential to democratize education and to engage all students in creative problem solving. He is excited to work with TK-12 teachers to help integrate the practices and philosophies of maker education into their curriculum with both low- and high-tech activities. Casey also helps to manage the SCOE Design Lab classes and lending library through which schools can check out various tools and digital manufacturing equipment to use on their own campus.
When he is not making or tinkering, Casey enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, playing music, and whitewater rafting and kayaking.
Alejandra Solis-Pérez, Project Coordinator - Social Justice & Equity, prides herself on being a student centered educator. She believes that school should be a safe place for all students, where students know that everyone believes in their potential. Alejandra is a first generation college graduate, earning her B.A. in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Sonoma State University, after transferring from Santa Rosa Junior College. She taught at Dunbar Elementary School utilizing her training in Restorative Practices, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), as well as AVID College and Career Readiness Practices. As Social Justice & Equity Project Coordinator I work closely with school districts in supporting the implementation of Restorative Practices, source and create Ethnic Studies lessons, and facilitate the youth council at SCOE.
In her free time, Alejandra enjoys crafting, shopping, and reading anything mystery related.
Amanda Welter, Director, believes when a learning community is engaged, inspired, and empowered, they can come together to do incredible things. She enjoys working with educators to design meaningful learning experiences for students. Amanda is a Director in the Equitable Education Services Division with a focus on Elementary Education. Prior to joining the team at SCOE, Amanda was an elementary school teacher and Instructional Coach in the counties of Alameda, Sonoma, and Marin. She then served in a variety of administrative roles including Coordinator, Interim Director, and principal. As a learner herself, she attended Sonoma State and Saint Mary’s College of California to obtain her degree and credentials and looks forward to continuing her educational journey. She loves to share her passion for learning with others. Amanda Welter is appreciative of the opportunity to serve the students, educators, and leaders of Sonoma County!
Nzinga Woods, Project Coordinator - Equity and Ethnic Studies, VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) is known for her dedication to social justice advocacy and her commitment to transforming educational environments to make learning accessible, culturally relevant, and meaningful for all students. Nzinga enjoys working in partnership with K-12 teachers and administrators to support high-quality instruction through an equity lens.Before joining the SCOE community, Nzinga has held a diverse range of experiences in the field of education. She has worked internationally, in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. For over 11 years, she worked as a classroom teacher, and director for the ArtQuest Program at Santa Rosa High School. Through her leadership, she also held a foundational role on the Ethnic Studies ad-hoc and curriculum committee for Santa Rosa City Schools. As a seasoned administrator, Nzinga has previously served as an administrator in the Peninsula region and continues to work as an Associate faculty member in the arts at the Santa Rosa Junior College. She has earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership from CSU Fullerton, an M.F.A. from Mills College, credentialed in Single Subject, CTE- (Career Technical Educational), and Administrative Services.Outside of her professional endeavors, Nzinga enjoys a variety of interests and hobbies, including salsa dancing, traveling, learning about other cultures, karaoke, spending time with her family and watching science fiction series.
Brulene Zanutto, Specialist - Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), brings to SCOE a diverse background in teaching, instructional leadership and administration. Brulene believes that students learn best when they are doing. She is committed to supporting teachers as they implement strategies in their classrooms that support this active, hands-on learning. Brulene’s broad range of educational experience includes teaching all grades from Kindergarten through 4th; acting as an instructional coach, a professional development designer and facilitator, and a site-based program coordinator; and serving in a range of school and district leadership roles. In addition to supporting students in the area of literacy and cultivating the literacy practices of teachers, Brulene worked with the Lawrence Hall of Science and Delta Education to provide instruction to teachers around best practices in the area of elementary science education.
Away from work Brulene enjoys spending time with her family, especially in the great outdoors. She also enjoys cooking and reading.
"The mission of the Sonoma County Office of Education is to foster student success through service to schools, students, and the community."- Amie Carter, Sonoma County Superintendent