​Administrative Staff

Krista Croteau, Director

Krista Croteau is an educator with sixteen years of experience in the classroom; the 2016-2017 school year marks her first year as an administrator. Krista has had the opportunity to work in several school settings across the state within diverse settings and student populations.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and an Administrative Credential from Humboldt State University and a Multiple Subjects Credential from California State University Fresno. As one of the founders of Redwood Prep, Krista is deeply committed to the Mission and Vision of the organization. She embraces the philosophy that positive relationships serve as the foundation for all learning and are essential to developing and maintaining a strong and healthy school environment.

Tiara Brown, Chief Business Offical/ Human Resources Director

Tiara Brown, is from Fortuna and recently moved to Santa Rosa with her two children, remaining on the RPC team. She joined RPC in 2013 and has worked on gaining the knowledge and training to needed to serve as the Chief Business Official. Tiara completed a rigorous CBO certification in 2017 and is committed to being a lifelong learner. Tiara has always felt it was important to be a part of the local community. Tiara is a Rotarian, the CFO/Board Member of the McLean Foundation board, a past Councilmember on the Fortuna City Council. She enjoys spreadsheets, organizing everything, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.

Becky Scales, Secretary

Becky was born and raised in Ferndale.  She graduated from Ferndale schools and College of the Redwoods.  Becky has been employed as a banker for many years and spent the last 16 years at Ferndale Elementary School working in the office.  Becky’s two daughters are both in college.  Shannon attends Chico State University where she is studying to become a teacher and Sadie attends College of the Redwoods.  Becky loves spending time with her family and friends.  She is looking forward to being a part of the awesome Redwood Prep team!

Monica Holt, After-School Care/Enrichment Coordinator

Monica Holt aka "Miss Moe" was born and raised in the Fortuna/Ferndale area. Moe has been with Redwood Prep since we opened in 2011.  Miss Moe attended Ferndale Elementary School and graduated from Ferndale high. She attended College of the Redwoods to earn an Early Childhood Education Credential. Miss Moe has lots of hobbies such as being outdoors, gardening, spending time at her childhood cabin, and most of all spending time with her friends and family.

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​Teaching Staff

Shazia Steward, Transitional Kindergarten

Shazia Steward was born in Washington DC. Her parents had moved a few years prior from Pakistan. She grew up in Maryland and is the oldest of 3 girls. She always loved working with children and did so throughout high school and college. When she graduated with a psychology degree from Rider University, she began working with children at a day care. After 4 years, she began her graduate degree in early childhood education at Towson University. She taught 3rd grade for one year before moving to California with her husband Steve. She then worked in preschool for a few years and then stayed home with her children for their first few years. While at home, she first was a playgroup coordinator for MOMS Club and then the president for 2 years. She then went back to work first at Little Learners, then at Arcata Elementary School as a long term sub for a year and a half. She is absolutely loving working with the TK class at Redwood Preparatory Charter School. In her spare time, she loves to hike, watch movies and play games with her husband, 5 year old and 8 year old daughters. 

Morgan Drake, Kindergarten

Morgan Drake was born and raised in Humboldt County. She is a graduate of Fortuna Union High School and earned her degree/credential through Western Governor's University. She has extensive training in early childhood education and is passionate about teaching our youngest timber wolves. Morgan strives to bring creativity and ingenuity to all areas of the classroom. She can often be found designing and making, with the help of her loving husband, Adam. Morgan lives in Fortuna with her husband and two very spoiled dogs, Norman and Lola. Norman and Lola visit kindergarten regularly and are always happy to meet new people. Morgan is proud to be a part of the Redwood Prep family and is excited about the future of education here. 

Dawn Carroll, 1st Grade

It’s amazing to be starting another year at Redwood Prep!  When I think back on where we started 9 years ago and what we have accomplished through all of our love, sweat and tears, I am beyond proud and grateful to be a part of the Redwood Prep family.   I teach 1st grade and am also the athletic director… Go Timberwolves!  I have been teaching for over 20 years and am thankful every day that I get to work at a school filled with staff, students and families that I love and who inspire me to be the best educator possible.  I grew up in Arnold, a small town in the mountains outside of Sacramento.  I moved to Humboldt County to play basketball and study at Humboldt State University.  I graduated from HSU with a degree in liberal studies and Spanish and then received teaching credentials from Sac State (multiple subjects) and HSU (special education).

My family and I live in Fortuna.  My husband Chris is a forester and we have two daughters, Kate and Charlotte.  Kate and Charlotte started Redwood Prep as 4th and 5th graders when Redwood Prep opened in 2011.  They are now a senior and junior at Fortuna High.  They are very active in sports and other activities which keep us very busy.   My family and I enjoy spending time together camping, snowboarding/skiing, sports and travel. 

Faith Gittins, 2nd Grade

Faith Gittins is beginning her seventh year of teaching at Redwood Prep and she is excited to be the new 2nd grade teacher.  She grew up in Eureka and attended Humboldt State University where she received her degree in Elementary Education and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.  Faith's teaching focuses around creating a classroom environment where all students feel safe, valued, and encouraged to learn and grow.  She lives in Eureka with her husband, two children, and beloved dog.  When she's not teaching, she enjoys going for walks, getting coffee with friends, and spending time with her children.

Michelle Burger, 3rd Grade

Michelle Burger grew up in Simi Valley, CA. She graduated from high school in 1998 and moved north to attend college at Humboldt State University, where she graduated with a BA in Sociology. Michelle met her husband, Nathan, at HSU, and they have remained in Humboldt since. Michelle has two sons, who both attend RPC. The Burger family lives in Fortuna with their two dogs, Daisy and Mika (who loves to visit the school), three chickens, and two snakes. Michelle began her journey at RPC in the After School program, and soon after became an instructional aide. For the last two years, Michelle has been substitute teaching. This year, Michelle is very excited to be joining the teaching staff in the position of TK teacher. She hopes to bring creativity and laughter to the RPC teaching team, and to foster and encourage the natural curiosity of the young minds in her classroom. 

Amy Eastman, 4th Grade

Amy Eastman is the fourth grade teacher at Redwood Prep.  She is a graduate of Humboldt State University and grew up in Ferndale.  Amy knew from the time she was in 2nd grade that she wanted to be a teacher.  Her passion for education and children shine through as she works with her students.  She has been teaching for nine years and has taught many different grade levels.  Amy provides an educational environment that promotes student growth and success and focuses on each individual child. She loves music and has a strong musical background.  She enjoys incorporating it whenever she can in her classroom!  Amy loves spending time with her friends and family and vacationing to new places when not in school.   

Miranda Head, 5th Grade

Miranda Head is in her 8th year teaching at RPC. Miranda lives with her husband in Fortuna and they have a 3 year old son named Hudson and an 8 month old boy named Bennett. She graduated from Sonoma State in 2012 with her BA in Liberal Studies and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She also attended Sonoma State for the Credential Program and completed it in 2013. She started her first year teaching at RPC in 2013 and has loved it ever since! She has enjoyed teaching and raising her children in the same town that she grew up in.

Melanie Downing, 6th Grade

Melanie Downing is a mother, teacher, and small business owner. She graduated summa cum laude from Humboldt State University and earned a degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. An educator since 2002, Melanie has taught nearly every grade K through 8th. She is actively involved in educational leadership and has served on a wide variety of committees ranging from STEM to Parent Council . Melanie is passionate about building classroom communities that nurture the whole child through real-world experiences, mindfulness, academic rigor, and Habits of Mind. She loves being part of a forward thinking and compassionate team of educators that embrace the unique gifts of every child.

Katie Dore, 7th Grade

Katie Dore is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and her teaching credential. Katie grew up in the Fortuna area and has been working in Fortuna schools for the past several years. She and her husband, Frank, have a full house with their two kids 4 year old son, Avery, and 18 month old Amelia. Katie enjoys reading, soaking up the sun, chasing her kiddos, and solving math problems (yes, that last part is true!) Katie's goal as a educator is to create lifelong learners through encouraging the excitement and enjoyment of learning and experiencing new concepts and ideas.

Kim Kendall, 8th Grade

Kim Kendall has been working in afterschool programs for 10 years and has been an afterschool program manager for the last five years. Fortunately for the students at Redwood Prep, she will be transitioning this year to a teaching position. Kim developed standards-based enrichment programs which were aligned with the school's mission and vision in order to offer a well-rounded educational experience after school. She looks forward to enhancing the education of the student's at Redwood Prep by bringing all of her enrichment experiences in to the classroom to support student learning and integrate lessons that uphold RPrep's core values.

Karissa Hall, Resource Specialist/Special Education

Karissa Hall was born and raised in Fortuna. She graduated from Humboldt State in 2013 with a bachelors degree in Psychology. She also received her special education teaching credential from HSU. She went in to the field of special education because of her passion for social justice. When not in the classroom, Karissa enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with her husband and family.

Lori Head, STEAM

Lori Head is the second grade teacher at Redwood Preparatory.  When her youngest son started preschool, Lori returned to college to pursue her passion and get her teaching credential.  She is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a degree in Liberal Studies-Elementary Education and a minor in California Social Science.  This is her ninth year as a teacher.  While it is hard for her to pick her favorite subject to teach, she loves project-based learning and crossing all areas of curriculum to cover a topic.  If you visit Lori’s classroom, you will often find a noisy buzz of activity while students are reading, writing, computing and creating.  Lori lives in Fortuna with her husband and sons.  When she isn’t at school, you can find her spending time with family, curled up with a good book, or digging in her garden.

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​Classroom Support Staff

Jill Petricca, Music

Jill Petricca took a first deep breath in Humboldt County and managed even more deep breaths pursuing good form with flute and graduating Eureka High in 1980.  Flute and saxophone are her primary instruments, yet now is branching out alongside her brilliant band students at Redwood Preparatory Academy.  You will find Jill performing regularly with Eureka Symphony, SquarPeg, Bandemonium, and Scotia Band, conducting that ensemble since 2011.  Petricca's BA in music was completed at CSU Northridge and Humboldt State University. Excitement is mounting at our school for all interested in pursuing music through vocal expression.  Two sessions of Rprep Chorus is being launched for grades 5 through 8 for the 2016-17 academic year! 

Susie Brisendine, Instructional Aide and Reading Interventionist

Susie, or "Ms. B" as many of the students call her, is an instructional aide at Redwood Prep. She has over twenty years of experience in education and is a highly valued member of our staff.  Susie has extensive experience with literacy intervention and early literacy development. We are so thankful to have her skills and talents supporting our students!

Cindy Misener, Instructional Aide

Dayna Kendall, Instructional Aide and Afterschool

Dillon Zahler, Instructional Aide and Afterschool

Bill Kirchman, Instructional Aide

Connie Ward, Instructional Aide

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​​Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.    -Margaret Mead