Jesus Vaca, Ed.D. | Superintendent & Principal
Dr. Jesus Vaca is entering his 30th year in education. Having started his career as an elementary teacher in LAUSD in 1991, he has had the great fortune of working for the Los Angeles USD, Palmdale USD and Santa Monica-Malibu USD before returning to Ventura County. Over the past nineteen years he worked for the Ventura USD and Oxnard SD. Dr. Vaca grew up in Fillmore and currently lives with his wife Sandra and three sons (Christian, Alec and Oskar) in Northridge. He is deeply committed to providing every student with the support necessary to succeed. Dr. Vaca is honored to serve as the Superintendent/Principal for the Somis Union School District.
Sarah Kennelty | Executive Assistant & Transportation Director
It is such a pleasure to join the Somis School Family! I have worked in Education for the last 5 years and have found so much joy in supporting our community of teachers, students and staff. My favorite part of the day is hearing the student’s in Music class. I love how Somis honors the Arts and brings out each student’s creativity. I am also a proud mom of Somis School students. My husband and I were both born and raised in Camarillo and feel fortunate to raise our 2 kids here, along with our 2 cats.
Maria Gonzalez | School Secretary
I have been working here at Somis School for almost 8 years and I am so happy to be a part of this awesome and loving community! I love our students and families and it's a joy to come to work everyday! The students and staff have become a part of my life and I love watching the students grow up all the way from Transitional Kindergarten to 8th grade. Our children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. I am married and have two lovely daughters Tatiana and Annika. I enjoy traveling and spending quality time with them. I love life and believe in this quote, "There are no rainbows without rain, no stars without darkness." Enjoy every moment in life and give love and kindness to those around you! Mrs. Maria
Kim Charnofsky | Psychologist
Kim Charnofsky is a native Californian who earned her BA and MA degrees at UC Berkeley in Cultural Geography (1984, 1989), and her MS degree in Clinical Child Psychology/School Psychology at Cal State Hayward (1996), with dual specializations in School Psychology and School Counseling. Ms. Charnofsky holds a California license in Educational Psychology (1999) and a Memory Interventionist Certificate (2015). Ms. Charnofsky is beginning her 22nd year of service in the field of educational psychology. In 2015, Ms. Charnofsky was awarded a Ventura County Association of School Psychologists’ Meritorious Service award for her SELPA work related to the PSW model of Specific Learning Disability, as well as the California Association of School Psychologists’ Nadine Lambert Outstanding School Psychologist Award for Region VIII. Ms. Charnofsky was the lead author of the Ventura County COMPARES, a research-based document that helps school teams understand the relationship between how students process new learning and the impacts of their cognitive strengths and weaknesses on their academics.
Jean Bricker | Librarian
Mrs. Bricker has been part of the Somis School staff for more than 18 years. She has been our Librarian, among other various duties, for the majority of those years.
Mr Erik | Information Systems Specialist
An unexpected life path led me from college into the television industry. Which led me into the technology industry, then into the field of education, building high tech classrooms. I first appeared at Somis School around 2000 working on a state of the art science wet lab. I felt at home in Somis and never left. My timing allowed me to serve the students of Somis through a new era of technology in education and I am honored to have been and continue to be a part it! I live in Camarillo and have a wife and 5 beautiful children.
Lori Jarrells | Kindergarten Teacher
Lori Jarrells is delighted to be in her 18th year as part of the Somis School teaching staff. She graduated from the University of Toledo in Ohio with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She completed her CLAD certification and earned her Master’s degree in Special Education from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. She loves the joy, discovery, and excitement that teaching kindergarten provides. In addition to the role of teacher, Lori is married with three children and a black Labrador Retriever. Her hobbies include camping, running and playing softball.
Allison Brinkman | 1st Grade Teacher
Allison Brinkman is just starting her 16th year of teaching, and 13th year at Somis School. She grew up in Camarillo. After graduating from Adolfo Camarillo High School, Mrs. Brinkman earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Cal State Northridge. She obtained a teaching credential from Cal State Channel Islands and was in the inaugural class! Mrs. Brinkman then went back to Cal State Northridge for a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is having fun teaching first grade and loves to see the excitement on the students’ faces each morning. Mrs. Brinkman is also a Somis resident and proud parent of a Somis School student. Mrs. Brinkman enjoys traveling with her family and finding new ways to enjoy life
Maya Myers | 1st/2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Myers has been teaching at Somis since 2004. She loves working with children and she wouldn't have it any other way. Growing up in Camarillo, she attended a K-8 school. When she became a teacher, she hoped she would work at a K-8 school for the close-knit sense of family that small schools have. Mrs. Myers' hobbies include taekwondo, baking, performing arts, and relaxing with her sons. Oh, and she loves chocolate.
Lori Murphy | 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher
Lori Murphy has been teaching for 20 years and currently teaching a second and third-grade combination class at Somis. She earned her Master of Arts in education and reading specialist credential from San Diego State University. Lori and her family experienced 15 years of active duty military-Navy life. Their moves included New Mexico and Maryland, where Lori earned teaching credentials and taught primary grades. She is married and the mother of four children. Family activities include: boating on Lake Tahoe, water skiing, stand up paddleboarding, snow skiing, hiking, and many visits to Disneyland! Teaching at Somis is a blessing and a dream come true! She loves the students, families, and community.
Kyla Nolde | 3rd Grade Teacher
Kyla Nolde was born and raised in Ventura, California. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Education from California State University Channel Islands. She went on to obtain her teaching credential and a Master’s in Education at California Lutheran University. She has taught preschool, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades. She enjoys traveling and has lived in Hawaii, Indonesia and The Netherlands. She is happy to be home and working at such an amazing school. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, hiking, boating to the Channel Islands, going to the beach, and running.
Tom Wolf | 4th Grade Teacher
Tom Wolf has been teaching here twenty years. He teaches either third grade, fourth grade, or a 3-4 combination. This year, 2017-18 will be a combo class. He graduated Middlebury College with a B.A. in English. He received his teaching credential through the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he taught for three years before coming to Somis. He loves kids, dogs, and The Boston Red Sox.
Richard Acosta | 4th/5th Grade Teacher
Mr. Acosta was born and raised in Oxnard, California. He earned his BA in psychology, and his teaching credential from CSU Channel Islands. He loves spending time and traveling with his wife. This is his second year at Somis teaching 5th grade. He has a passion for reading, movies, technology, and of course coffee.
Kimberlie McDonald | 6th Grade Teacher
Teaching in her 20th year at Somis School, Ms. McDonald is an innovative science and technology teacher. Her passions include dance, travel, reading, motorcycle racing, health, running, her 4 children, spouse and 2 dogs. She is an award winning technology presenter for CUE Rockstar.
Carolyn Gass | 7th Grade Teacher
Carolyn Gass has been teaching for 14 years. Her background includes a Bachelors degree in Theater Arts and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis on Educational Technology. She is currently studying at California Lutheran University to earn a doctoral degree in the area of Educational Leadership. In our program, she teachers 7th and 8th grade English and History, as well as a class in the performing arts. Her goal is to ensure that all students are able to develop the tools they need to be successful in high school and beyond. By focusing on the whole child, and creating a supportive network, she believes all students can succeed.
Kit Arce | Music Teacher
I have taught music in all levels TK through college (music majors). Teaching elementary music classes are by far the most challenging and rewarding. I was born in the Philippines where I studied from K - College in an all girls German / Benedictine Catholic School. I came here in the US for scholarly / higher studies in music history and ethnomusicology in Bloomington, Illinois for a year at Illinois Wesleyan University. I came back here in the US in 2000 to settle with my husband in Oxnard. I love the privacy, freedom and space that everyone else enjoys in this country.
Sandra Canchola | Transitional Teacher ELD Coordinator
Sorry it took me so long.
Sandra Canchola was raised in nearby El Rio. After graduating from Rio Mesa HS, she went on to earn her B.A. in Chicano Studies, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Spanish from U.C. Santa Barbara. She earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a BCLAD emphasis from Cal. State Northridge and her Masters of Education in Administrative Services from University of La Verne. Mrs. Canchola is happy to be starting her 21st year of teaching. She has teaching experience in most grades but truly enjoys working with the little ones, especially TK. With little ones, there are no two days alike. Seeing them grow academically and socially is amazing. She is very happy to be working at Somis. In addition to teaching Mrs. Canchola loves camping, movie nights, reading and just hanging out with her husband, James, their three kids Jessie, John and Itzel as well as Lily their Maltese dog.
Joseph Grooms | Resource Specialist
Let me start off saying that Somis Union School is a great place to work and for students to learn. I bring 13 years of education from Cal State University Northridge into the school setting. I work as the Special Education Coordinator / Teacher. I raised my family here in Southern California and have a strong understanding of children's educational needs in our region. I currently hold credentials in general education, special education, and school administration. My early years in learning and degrees were in psychology prior to studying education at the University. I am easy to get along with and always feel free to approach me and ask anything.
Cathy Mier | Food Services
Kim Harris | Instructional Assistant & Noon Supervisor
I was born and raised in Camarillo. I have 6 beautiful children, all who have attended Somis School.I have been a volunteer for 10 years, and have been working here for 4 years. Somis School is a second home to me. I enjoy every moment I have with all the children here at Somis!
Erika Gil Torres | Instructional Aide