A Farewell and A Warm Welcome
Dear RHS Family,
I want to take a moment to introduce you to our new RHS Team Excellence teachers. But, first I want to bid a farewell to Ms. Chu, Ms. Fisher, Ms. Konecky, Ms. Gravelle, and Mr. Harrington. Last year I asked if they wanted me to announce their departure to the community but they said they would share this information on their own. But Ms. Chu departed most recently and wanted me to share the message with all of you that is below. I have deep appreciation for these teachers. They were loved members of our community and will be greatly missed.
Dear Wonderful RHS Community,
I hope you and your families had a restful and restorative summer. Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I will not be returning to RHS in the fall. Thank you so much for all of your support throughout the years. I've truly enjoyed my time at RHS and getting to know your children and working with your families. RHS will always hold a special place in my heart. If you or your child wants to keep in touch, you can send me an email at my personal email account: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can ask for my personal home address and I will write back. Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to work with your children. I'll miss RHS tremendously.
Thrilled to Introduce Our New teachers!
Please welcome Ms. Rogers, Ms. Singh, Mr.Flynn Rambo, Ms. Mathis and Ms. Lawton. Take time to read about them below:
Kindergarten Teacher: Becca Rogers
My name is Becca Rogers. I am a first-year teacher and
recently graduated from Cal State East Bay. I have spent
the majority of my life in different educational settings. I
taught at Reggio Inspired Preschool, was a teacher’s aid, a
nanny and a sub. Working with children has been my
passion for many years. I completed my Bachelors at SF
State and received my AA in ECE at Diablo Valley
Community College. I am very interested in integrating the
arts into the classroom as well as providing students agency
in their education. When I am not teaching you can find me
running the trails of the east bay or spending time with my
daughter and husband. I am thrilled to be joining the
redwood heights team.
Kindergarten Teacher: Tara Singh
I am so excited to be joining the RHS community! I have been in education since 2009 and teaching in Oakland since 2012. Over the years, I have taught grades 1-4, reading intervention, and worked as a literacy coach (working with K-2 teachers on their reading instruction). My husband and I both grew up in Berkeley and settled in Oakland in 2012. We have two daughters and try to travel, spend time outside, and with friends as much as possible. I love working with students and families to build a community. Growing up in a bi-cultural home, I understand the importance of books and curriculum acting as windows and mirrors for children to learn about others and see themselves represented. One book that represents my family is "Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas".
2nd Grade Teacher: Tyler Fynn Rambo
I grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois and despite my fondness for -25 degree winter days with lake effect snow, I moved to Oakland in 2017. I began working with children in 2000 as an undecided undergraduate student. I took my first child development class and learned the importance of early childhood education in laying the foundation for future success in education, relationships, and life. At the time I knew I wanted to do something professionally that contributed to social justice. I quickly realized education had the power to do just that, and I became a teacher to dismantle racism.
I have been teaching for sixteen years and this is my first year teaching second grade. I taught Pre-K for fifteen years and was an Art studio teacher for one year. Thirteen of those years were in Chicago where I taught in Chicago Public Schools and within a social service agency. I’ve spent the last three years in the Bay Area teaching Pre-K at the Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek and at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito. I believe all children should be given an opportunity to learn in a safe, engaging, and supportive environment. I also believe parents and guardians, as their child’s first teacher, should not only be allowed but encouraged to participate in their child’s learning.
Outside of teaching, music has always been a huge part of my life and is my biggest hobby. Traveling is a close second, and my wife and I are always planning our next adventure. I also enjoy hiking, painting, cooking, camping, playing guitar, and working with feral cats. I currently live in Oakland with my wife and three cats.
I also wanted to let you know I have had a little delay in setting up my email. They misspelled my first name (Tylerr.FlynnRambo@ousd.org) and I am waiting for HR to correct it. This happened Monday and hopefully, it'll be resolved asap.
I'm really looking forward to starting the year tomorrow and meeting everyone!
Have a nice evening,
3rd Grade Teacher: Maria Mathis
My name is Maria Mathis, and I will teach the 2nd-3rd grade combination class at Redwood Heights this year. I grew up in Castro Valley, but my family moved to Fresno when I was a teenager. I started teaching in 1990 in Fresno, and remained at the same school until 2002 when I left to run a bookstore and pursue my other dream of training horses. I returned to teaching full time around 2010, and came to Oakland in 2014.
Since I also love being outdoors, I like to incorporate gardening and life sciences in my class. I also love to read and write fiction, and I work hard to encourage every child’s creativity. The thing I like best about teaching is the variety. You get to meet so many different kinds of people with different skills and passions. I’m looking forward to working with you and your children, and having a great year.
Shelby Lawton is a music educator from Omaha, Nebraska with a deep understanding of inclusion and individualized instruction. A 2018 graduate from Doane University, she began her teaching career at Elliott Elementary, a Title I school in Lincoln, Nebraska. She moved to the Bay Area in the fall of 2019 where she taught music at All Children Academics, a specialized elementary school in San Rafael for students with social and academic learning differences. Shelby teaches music because she recognizes its vast potential to cultivate social, emotional, and cognitive growth. She is committed to creating a music classroom which provides her students with opportunities to build relationships, process emotions, experience culture, embrace diversity, and become their best selves.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do in the meantime!
Redwood Heights team.