The mission of University Preparatory School is based on the belief that all students, who are willing to commit to a rigorous course of study, can be prepared for a college education. U-Prep currently has 61 staff members, including 47 teachers, 3 counselors, 1 paraprofessional, 5 administrators including the school business manager, and 7 office/support staff. Full time teachers teach 6 classes daily; teachers for grades 6-10 also teach Advisory, Tutorial and some form of Enrichment. Teachers also have an extra-curricular assignment in the form of a club or coaching. Faculty are credentialed by the state of California, and U-Prep has met the standards for NCLB and California Board of Education certification each year. Among the staff are several teachers, classified staff and administrators with advanced degrees, credentials or certifications.
Mrs. Peterson feels very honored to serve as the Superintendent/Principal of University Preparatory School. She is excited about the journey ahead and looks forward to getting to know everyone in the U-Prep school-community. Her focus is on working with all stakeholders to ensure that the next chapter of the school’s history builds upon prior successes while maintaining a rich college-going culture of high achievement in academics, visual and performing arts, athletics, and activities.
Mrs. Peterson started her career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Nevada-Reno. Since then, she served as a middle and high school science teacher, earned a Master’s in Educational Administration from Chapman University, and contributed 13 years as a K-12 administrator. The 2015-2016 school year marks her 10th year as a principal, a position she truly loves since it affords the opportunity to work alongside school staff and families in developing each student’s innate potential for exceptional success in life and their chosen field of endeavor.
On the home front, her family includes four amazing and wonderful children ranging in age from 9 to 25. Mrs. Peterson and her husband are natives to Shasta County and, as such, are able to enjoy their children alongside extended family and friends. She is an avid reader who loves books. Her favorite quote is, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” by Leonardo da Vinci.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16501
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Mrs. O'Leary was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Psychology. In addition to her Administrative Credential she also has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Master of Arts in Education, both from San Jose State University.
Mrs. O'Leary has worked in education since 1982 and has had a wide variety of teaching and administrative experiences. She has taught at almost every grade level K-12, been the coordinator for programs for the Gifted and Talented, and has been an adjunct professor at Shasta College. Mrs. O'Leary began her career at U-Prep as a sixth grade Math and Earth Science teacher in the fall of 2004. This will be her 14th year at U-Prep and her 9th year as Assistant Principal.
Mrs. O’Leary has attended the Superintendents and Principals Academies offered by the Association for California School Administrators (ACSA). She also serves on the local board of the Shasta County School Administrators Association.
In addition to her fulfilling job, Mrs. O’Leary has three amazing adult children, Erin, Brianna and Connor and a wonderful husband Michael. In her free time she enjoys reading and photography.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16521
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Athletic Administrator/Assistant Principal
Monica Cabral is U-Prep’s new Athletic Administrator. She comes to us from Shasta Union High School District where she taught Social Science for 3 years before becoming a Counselor for 13 years. Monica acted as the Counseling Department Chair for Enterprise High School from 2006 to 2012 and was the SUHSD Department Chair (Counseling) from 2009 to 2012. Additionally, she coached volleyball at Enterprise High School for 17 years.
Monica grew up in Redding and attended this campus then known as Nova High School for 9th graders, before graduating from Enterprise High School in 1990. She went on to attend CSU Chico where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science along with a Secondary Teaching Credential. She obtained her Masters in School Counseling and Pupil Personnel Service Credential from the University of LaVerne.
Monica and her husband, John, have two children, Dylan and Kaitlyn. Monica enjoys attending U-Prep’s athletic events and is proud to be a Panther.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16528
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Athletic Administrator/Assistant Principal
Ms. Angley is thrilled to be back home at UPREP and is extremely honored to serve in her new role as an Assistant Principal! Ms. Angley was one of the lucky ones to help UPREP open its’ doors in 2004 where she coached high school athletics and taught sixth grade for ten years.
In 2014, Ms. Angley earned her administrative credential and master’s degree in Administrative Leadership and was fortunate to serve as a Junior High and K-8 Assistant Principal for the past two years. She is really looking forward to working with the wonderful students, staff, and families here at UPREP.
Away from school, Ms. Angley enjoys supporting her son who is following his dream of playing baseball at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. Ms. Angley also loves spending time with her family and friends and wants everyone to remember to always…Enjoy the Journey!
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16584
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School Business Manager
Molly grew up in Redding and is a graduate of Liberty Christian High School. She and her husband Josh were married in 2001 and have two sons, Trey and Spencer. When Mrs. Schlange isn’t at work she can usually be found cheering on her husband and sons at one of their various athletic events.
Molly began working in school finance at Shasta Union High School District in 2000 and joined the U-Prep staff in 2005. Molly is responsible for managing the daily operations of the office, coordinating events, and managing the school finances.
Molly is a member of both the California Association of School Business Officials and the Association of California School Administrators. Molly also serves as the Board Liaison to the University Preparatory School Educational Foundation.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16502
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High School Counselor
Kristen Haworth is U-Prep’s High School Counselor. Miss Haworth comes to U-Prep from Shasta College where she was an academic counselor. She also coached freshman volleyball at Enterprise High School for 3 years. Kristen was born and raised in Redding and graduated from Enterprise High School. Attended California State University Chico where she received her Bachelor’s degree in history with a social science credential option. Kristen started graduate school immediately after Chico State obtaining her Master’s in Educational Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Service credential from University of La Verne.
On her time off Kristen enjoys being active and outdoors as well as spending time with family and friends. She values education and is very excited to assist in each student’s journey at U-Prep. She looks forward to working with all the students, staff and families of the Panther team.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16549
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Junior High School Counselor
Matt Williams was born in York, Pennsylvania, but relocated to Redding in 1996, where he attended Columbia Middle School and Foothill High School. Although he didn't stay in town for college, Matt always knew he wanted to come back and be a part of the Redding Community. Matt received a bachelor's in English from Biola University in 2006, and a Masters in Counseling from Azusa Pacific University in 2009. Matt has worked at U-Prep since 2009 and is thrilled to be part of such an incredible school.
Matt currently coaches the Junior Varsity Softball and 6th grade girl’s basketball. In the past, Matt has coached football, boys basketball, baseball, and the ski/snowboarding team. Matt also teaches two peer mentoring classes.
Matt is married and has two daughters. In his free time, Matt enjoys going to the lake, snowboarding, and playing music.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16533
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Junior High School Counselor
Joe graduated from Vanguard University of Southern California in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He received his Master’s degree and Credential in School Counseling from National University in 2009. Before coming to U-Prep Joe spent four years as a school counselor working for Trinity County Office of Education. He has been married for 9 years to his wife, Kristel. They have two children: Addison who is six and Isaac who is three. Joe’s hobbies are hunting, fishing, and coaching basketball.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16527
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Elizabeth has been a member of the U-Prep family in one capacity or another since 2005. In 2010 she accepted the Attendance Clerk position, serving there until 2013 when she became Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent/Principal, a position she enjoys immensely. Elizabeth is a proud Panther parent of Griffin and Blaire, both U-Prep alumni. When not in the office, Elizabeth enjoys spending time in the kitchen and the great outdoors with her husband and her dog.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16508
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Sandi Lanzi was born in Sacramento, California. She was raised on the beautiful North Coast, attended Eureka High School and College of the Redwoods. She moved to Redding in 1997. Sandi is married to her husband, Mark. They have four children, Erin and Austin (both 22), Ashley (15), and Colby (12). Sandi joined University Preparatory School in 2006 as the registrar/counseling secretary. Sandy enjoys working with the staff, students and parents at U-Prep.
When Sandi is not at work, she can usually be found cheering on the sidelines at one of her children’s sporting events, including soccer, volleyball and basketball. In her spare time, Sandi is a volunteer community leader for 4-H. Sandy also enjoys working side-by-side with her husband and kids on their ranch, raising sheep, landscaping, gardening and house improvement projects. Mostly, Sandy enjoys spending time with family and friends on weekends. When time and family allow, Sandy enjoys a relaxing day playing golf.
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ASB Finance Clerk
Laura is pleased to call Redding her home town, but also considers the north coast her other home. She is proud to be a part of the U-Prep support team, enjoys working in the historic building where she attended NOVA and is starting her 7 year! Laura enjoys photography, spending time with family at Trinity Lake, hiking and traveling. She wants to take this opportunity to thank U-Prep staff, parents and students for making the ASB Finance Clerk an enjoyable position. Come by and check out the “student store” in Room 183 and say Hi!
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16530
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Sarah Kendall is a native of Redding, CA who graduated from Shasta High School. She went on to Shasta College for two years and then earned her Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Simpson University. Sarah was an avid Volleyball player in High School and College, where she was named All-American Honorable mention for the NCCAA division at Simpson University.
Sarah enjoys spending her free time with her husband, son and their three dogs. She enjoys cooking, reading, walking her dogs, paddle boarding, and decorating. She is thrilled to be a part of the U-Prep team!
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16535
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Media Center Director; Alumni Project Coordinator
Mr. Bright grew up in Northern California. He attended Humboldt State University where he received a BA in Arts education with an emphasis in Ceramics and Art History. After graduation he moved with his bride-to-be to Vallejo Ca, where he earned his single subject teaching credential at Touro University. In 2007 he moved his family to Redding, to seek a safer place to raise his two boys. For several years Mr. Bright was a substitute teacher in the district before becoming part of the permanent staff here at U-Prep. His hobbies include photography, fishing, and the restoration of antique automobiles.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16299
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Kari Reed and her family moved from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Redding, California, in 2006. She worked for nine years as an instructional aide and speech aide for the Columbia School District before joining the U-Prep staff in 2015.
Kari is thrilled to be working with the students, parents, and staff of University Preparatory School. She has been a part of the U-Prep family as a parent since 2007. She is very proud of her daughters, Victoria and Alexandra, both U-Prep alumni, and her youngest daughter, Jacqueline, a current U-Prep Panther.
When not at work, you can find Kari helping her husband, Tim, and many other wonderful parent volunteers, building and painting the sets for U-Prep's amazing Fall Musicals. Her other interests include spending time with her family and friends, reading, kayaking, and biking along the river trail.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16507
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8th Grade Core, 9th Grade Honors English 1
Mrs. Adams grew up in McKinleyville and graduated from Humboldt State University. She has a Multiple Subjects degree, a minor in Computer Information Systems, and a Supplementary Authorization in English from Humboldt State University. She began her teaching career in her hometown, then transferred to Redding several years ago. This year she is teaching two sections of 8th Grade Core and two sections of 9th Grade Honors English 1. Additionally, she is the Cheer Advisor and Jr. High Cheer Coach, but also assists with the high school team. Mrs. Adams lives at home with her husband, Keith, along with their three beautiful and hilarious children. Payton, Caden, and Josie. It is a busy place at the Adams’ household!
In her spare time she enjoys riding her horses, reading, and gathering with her friends. She also volunteers with a friend as a 4-H co-leader sharing her love for horses and riding. The Adams family likes to spend time traveling, fishing, riding horses, and just enjoying life together.
Quote: Happiness depends upon ourselves. -Aristotle
Spanish I and II
Nicole is a Red Bluff High School Graduate. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing, with a minor in Spanish, from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo, in December 2002. In 2006 she earned her Spanish major and teaching credential from Chico State. She taught Spanish at Red Bluff High School for two years and is starting her ninth year at U Prep. Nicole has studied in Spain, and has attended several language conferences that focused on comprehension based teaching methods. She is extremely passionate about the Spanish language and culture AND about teaching it!
Nicole was born and raised in Northern California, and currently lives in Palo Cedro with her husband AJ, daughters Ryanne and Reese, and her three boys Jack, Jesse and Joe.
As a former high school and college athlete, Nicole enjoys athletics, fitness, yoga, health and nutrition, gardening, and supporting her kids in their activities.
AP Literature & Composition and Honors English I
Cathy Armstrong teaches Advanced Placement Literature & Composition (12th grade), Yearbook, and is the Advanced Placement Department Chair. She loves being part of the U-Prep team! Originally from the small town of Moraga, in the Bay Area, Cathy earned her California Teaching Credential at Simpson University, where she continued on to graduate with her Masters in Education and earn her Administrative Credential. Cathy has taught in the Redding area for the past nine years, specifically with an emphasis on the Advanced Placement English Program. In addition to teaching English, Mrs. Armstrong is an Adviser for U-Prep’s Mock Trial, a club that works with the Constitutional Rights Foundation of California in which students prepare for and present a criminal legal case in a competitive setting against other schools in the area.
Mrs. Armstrong enjoys attending academic conferences to continuously challenge herself and stay current on not only academic standards, but current trends and teaching strategies. She enjoys spending time with her family. In addition to her own children’s many extra-curricular activities, Cathy enjoys the many sports and activities U-Prep offers. In her spare time, Cathy loves spending time with her family, walking, photography, reading, writing and traveling. As part of the U-Prep team, Cathy is passionate about U-Prep and she continuously looks forward to the high level of excellence and teamwork among U-Prep students and staff.
Brad Baker teaches Physical Education at University Preparatory School. Prior to U-Prep, he spent nine years at a boarding school on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, where he was a teacher, coach, and a head house parent for 40 high school boys. After graduating from Wheaton College in Illinois with a B.A. in Kinesiology, Brad earned his M.A. in Education from Stony Brook University in New York. He relocated to Redding and began teaching at U-Prep in August of 2008.
When the school day ends you can find Brad coaching JV Baseball or developing training protocols. During his time off Brad enjoys the strength and beauty of the outdoors. He and his wife Rebecca take pleasure in travelling with their family and friends and experiencing new places and cultures.
Honors 6th grade Math, 6th grade Earth Science
Mrs. Bird grew up in the Redding area. She graduated summa cum laude from The Master's College in Santa Clarita and received her multiple subject teaching credential from Simpson University in 2001. Mrs. Bird then earned her Education Specialist teaching credential from Chico State University in 2004. After teaching special education for 9 years she moved into the classroom to teach her favorite subjects, math and science!
When not at school Mrs. Bird can be found running the trails or working in her yard. Mrs. Bird also enjoys spending time with her three boys: Luke, Samuel, and her husband Mr. Bird, who also teaches here at U-Prep.When not at school Mrs. Bird can be found running the trails or working in her yard. Mrs. Bird also enjoys spending time with her three boys: Luke, Samuel, and her husband Mr. Bird, who also teaches here at U-Prep.
Google Certified Educator: Level 1
AP Computer Science Principles
Honors English II
Although Sean has lived in many places throughout California, it wasn't until he moved to Redding that he felt he had found his true home. Between the trails, lakes, and mountains, Sean finds plenty to love in the North State. Before teaching, Mr. Bird was a professional musician; however, his love for working with students eventually pulled him off the road and into the classroom. To this aim, Sean finished his Bachelor's degree in English at Simpson University, and then his Master's degree.
In the classroom, students often comment that Mr. Bird's love for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings is almost as legendary as his infamously bad jokes. When not in the classroom, Sean makes spending time with his sons and his beautiful wife a priority. Mr. Bird is very proud to be a part of the greatest staff in California, and can't wait to see you in his class. Go Panthers!
French & Prep Latin
Corinne Bourne leads the World Languages Department. She teaches French, levels one through Honors IV in high school, and prep-Latin for grade 7. In addition, Mrs. Bourne teaches 11th grade advisory.
Mrs. Bourne’s goal is to coach students to understand and be understood proficiently in their chosen world language. Their success reaching these goals is due largely to the brain-friendly Comprehensible Input based methods used in Mrs. Bourne’s classes. She is also happy for the chance this year to introduce students to the linguistic concepts that they will need to know when studying Latin or a modern World language.
Mrs. Bourne initially trained in translation, graduating from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland with honors in French and Russian Interpreting and Translating. Semesters in interpreting schools in Moscow and Geneva heightened her language skills. She moved to the US in 2003, earned her California Teaching Credential at CSU Chico, and joined the fabulous University Prep team in 2005.
She is also proud to be advisor of the long-running World Languages Club, which successfully organizes an annual event with an international flavor.
Outside of class, Mrs. Bourne loves the company of her family both sides of the “pond”. She also spends time relaxing with her two dogs, preparing healthy food and jogging round the Redding trail network.
Junior High Core & Prep Latin
Shannon Bright was born and raised in Northern California. She is a third generation Humboldt State alum that graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts with a Multiple Subjects degree, supplement in English. She received her credential through Humboldt the following year. Mrs. Bright spent the first eleven years of her career teaching middle school in the Bay Area. In 2007 the Brights began to search for a town where the kids can ride their bikes out in the front yard. They found that here in Redding and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. Mrs. Bright has two sons, Simon is a U-Prep student and Jackson is in elementary school not too far away. Outside of school you can find her cheering from the sidelines at the football games and at the soccer parks on Saturdays. Mrs. Bright teaches 8th grade as part of the junior high core team.
Economics /American Government / Drafting
John Cabral has lived in the Redding area all of his life. Prior to his teaching career, he worked in industry for 13 years as a mechanical designer. Mr. Cabral enjoys spending time with his two kids, Dylan and Kaitlyn, and wife Monica. He is an avid snowboarder and enjoys playing golf and watching the Raiders and Dodgers.
Mr. Cabral graduated from CSU Chico with a degree in Social Science in 2004 and received his teaching credential in 2005. At U-Prep he is the Senior Class Advisor.
Chinese I-IV, Step-Up Chinese, ROTA
Mr. Cheng has never left schools. He received his bachelor degree in English language and literature in China. After he had taught at the same university for several years, Mr. Cheng came to the United States and earned his Master's degree and a Ph.D in Education, both from Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, UT.
Mr. Cheng began teaching at University Preparatory School in 2006. Currently he is teaching Chinese I-IV, Step-Up Chinese for Junior High students and ROTA. In the past ten years, Mr. Cheng attended many national, state and regional academic conferences and networked with teachers from all over the nation. In summers, he has taken his students to China and enjoyed seeing them experience Chinese culture with their own eyes. Mr. Cheng also helped his students visit China under the sponsorship of various organiztions.
In 2013, UPREP's Chinese program was selected to be one of the 1,000 Confucius Classrooms around the world. The establishment of the Confucius Classroom (sponsored by the Confucius Institute) will immensely enhance our Chinese program through the annual funding and give students bountiful opportunities to learn and experience the culture, and enjoy the language that will benefit their life in the future.
8th Grade English and History
Romney Clements grew up in Redding and graced the halls of "Nova" in 1981. After high school Miss Clements moved to Chico where she attended CSUC as a Vocal Performance major. With a close circle of friends she founded Chico City Light Opera at the Eaton Road Opera House in Chico.
After moving to New York, where she lived for two years, Ms Clements moved back to Redding to finish school at Simpson College. Ms Clements is thrilled to be a part of the U-Prep family, and to give students the opportunity to perform on the same stage she first performed on.
Over the past 14 years at U-Prep she has directed 10 successful musicals and is currently looking forward to this year’s musical, The Wizard of Oz. In 2007 she was the U-Prep Junior High Educator of the Year nominee. In addition to teaching, Romney also serves as a member of the Principal Advisory Team. In her spare time, Ms. Clements enjoys spending time with her family and her miniature poodles, Cruz and Coco.
Jeanne Crawford grew up in Redding and graduated from Shasta High School. She earned a BA in Math and a minor in History from UC Santa Barbara. Mrs. Crawford earned her single subject teaching credential from CSU, Chico. She LOVES math and is excited to start her third year at U-Prep. In the 2017/2018 school year, she will be teaching Algebra 1, Honors Math 8, and Junior High Math Lab. Mrs. Crawford also helps with JH Cross Country and facilitates JH Odyssey of the Mind.
Besides teaching, Mrs. Crawford keeps busy enjoying her wonderful family which includes her husband, Toby, and 4 daughters. Annie is the oldest and is in 9th grade at U-Prep, Olivia is in 8th grade at U-Prep, Madelyn is in 5th grade, and Kayla is in 3rd grade. In her free time Mrs. Crawford enjoys spending time with her family, running, road biking, and relaxing.
Mr. Dean teaches two subjects at U-Prep: Latin and English. Born and raised in the area, he graduated from Central Valley High School and has returned to the campus as a Nova alumnus. Michael earned his Baccalaureate from UC Davis with a major in English Literature and a minor in Latin. He is currently preparing for certification in AP Latin.
Michael spends his free time playing and coaching as many sports as he can. He especially enjoys exploring the backcountry with his two boys and wife.
Rochelle Deter is a Redding native who graduated from Anderson High School in 1994 and began teaching at U-Prep in 2005. She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Simpson College, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2003. Subsequently, Rochelle received her teaching credential through Simpson University and received her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix in August 2010.
This year, Rochelle will be teaching Integrated Math 3, Integrated Math 3 Honors, and Trig/Precalculus. She coordinates the yearly Sophomore Class Trip, she is the high school adviser for the California Scholarship Federation, and the high school math department chair.
When not at school, Rochelle loves to read, cook, and garden. She enjoys travelling and camping with her husband, children, and dogs.
AP World History
Amanda Elliott graduated from West Valley High School and moved from Redding. After many years away, she returned to the area to pursue her dream of teaching and to be close to the numerous outdoor activities that she enjoys. Amanda received her Social Science degree and teaching credential from Chico State University and has earned her Masters Degree in psychology. Amanda participates regularly in the North State History Social Science project through CSU, Chico and has been a member of the Contemporary World History Project through UOP. She has been an advisor for the Mock Trial club and been involved in Model United Nations. Amanda loves to travel and spends time touring the US, Europe and has accompanied the Cultural Connection club on community service trips to Thailand, Peru, France and Spain. Amanda also enhances her AP knowledge every year by serving as an AP Reader.
Mr. Fowers has been teaching music at University Preparatory School since 2004 where he has continued to expand both instrumental and choral components of the music department. He holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Brigham Young University and Boston University, and looks to continue his educational and musical growth in the future. On a personal note, Mr. Fowers would like acknowledge the existence of his beautiful wife and editor, Betsy. Along with their wonderful children (Dawson, Jane, Emerson, and Darcy), the Fowers family is happy to be a part of the U-Prep family and Redding community.
Mr. Fowers teaches the following classes:
✔ Prep Band
✔ Concert Band
✔ Symphonic Orchestra
✔ Jazz Band
✔ Mixed Choir
✔ Concert Choir
6th Grade Core, Jr. High Student Gov't, Assistant Jr. High Track Coach &
JH Cross Country Coach
Jaspal Gaddy is a 6th grade Language Arts/History Core teacher, the Junior High Student Government Advisor, the Junior High Cross Country Coach, the Assistant Jr. High Track Coach, and Core Department Chair at U-Prep.
Mrs. Gaddy was born and raised in the small town of Gridley, CA. She went on to California State University, Chico where she earned her BA and teaching credential in Liberal Studies in 2000. She has been teaching ever since. She taught four years in Oroville before moving to her husband's hometown of Redding, where she has been teaching since 2004. Jaspal has been married to Nathan, an amazing husband and father since 2001. They have two adorable daughters, Grace and Emma, and a little boy, Noah. One of her favorite past times is watching her children’s many sporting adventures! Whether it’s soccer, basketball, or cross country, you can find her rooting on her kids and their teammates.
She also enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, running (you can always find her training for one race or another), hiking, biking, traveling, taking pictures, scrap booking, and above all spending time with her family. Mrs. Gaddy loves teaching at U-Prep and enjoys all the excitement and energy that go along with junior high!
Joe Groves earned his B.A. from the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. in Classical Studies from the University of Michigan. He also studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, spending a year traveling across Greece, Turkey, and Sicily, visiting as many archaeological sites as possible. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Hillsdale College, and Gustavus Adolphus College, as well as eight summers of intensive introductions to Latin and Greek for 7-10th graders through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Having grown up in southern Oregon, Joe is excited to be back on the west coast! Outside of the the classroom, he enjoys science fiction, playing the piano, and pestering his cat, Tauntaun.
Earth Science; CP Biology
Connie (Cogle) Hurley was born and raised in Old Shasta, California. Connie graduated from Shasta High School and then continued on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from California State University Sacramento, concentrating in Physiology. While earning her Single Subject Credential in Biological Sciences, Connie started her teaching career in Lodi, CA and taught CP Biology at Tokay High School. This will be Connie’s 8th year teaching and since moving to Redding, she has taught a variety of sciences at the high school level which include CP Biology, Conceptual Physics, Anatomy Physiology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Medical Biology. She’s also taught a semester of Physical Science at the junior high level.
Connie loves a variety of activities outside such as camping, hiking, and jogging. She plans on continuing her pursuit of checking off bucket list items with family and friends in tow. In the past few years she has checked off sky diving, completing a marathon, climbing Mt. Shasta, traveling to New York, seeing a Broadway show, and other exciting events. Her most recent bucket list item, and her greatest adventure would be giving birth to her baby boy, Hank who is currently 16 months old. Her life has been filled with excitement over the arrival of her little miracle and she, along with her husband, Nick sit in anticipation of every milestone. Connie, Nick, and Hank are active in their church and spend their time together with their friends and family.
6th Grade Core & Prep Latin
Christi Isheim grew up in Sacramento, California. She graduated from St. Leo University and earned her teaching credential from California State University Chico in 2009 with a multiple subject credential. She began her teaching career in Shasta Lake, California where she taught 5th grade. In 2014, she began her career as a U-Prep Panther teaching 6th Grade Core and Prep Latin.
Christi moved to Redding in 2004 with her husband, Loren (who is often found on the U-Prep Varsity Softball and Baseball fields) and her three children Bond, Alex, and Sami. Bond graduated in 2013 attending all 7 years at U-Prep and recently graduated from UC Davis studying mechanical and aerospace engineering. Alex graduated last year from U-Prep and attends San Francisco State University studying kinesiology and Sami is in her sophomore year here at U-Prep. In Christi’s free time she enjoys traveling and sharing the love of travel with others, reading, and spending time with her husband and children.
Elizabeth Johnson is U-Prep’s strings, drum corps and music appreciation teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Fresno State University and her Single Subject Music Credential from National University. Her extensive musical background includes classical violin, fiddle, marching band and choir.
Mrs. Johnson taught with Redding School District’s string program for seven years before coming to U-Prep in 2006 to found the strings program. In addition to developing a program that gives students the opportunity to begin a strings career from scratch and grow musically through their entire high school experience, she founded U-Prep’s Drum Corps in 2008. In 2013, Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Fowers established U-Prep’s full Symphonic Orchestra.
Mrs. Johnson brings her extensive experience from her outside hobby of theatrical production to the spring drama at U-Prep where she serves as director. The winner of Riverfront Playhouse’s Director of the Year for 2012 (To Kill a Mockingbird) and 2013 (The Women of Lockerbie), she has acted, produced and directed in shows at Riverfront Playhouse, Shasta College and The Root Theater for the last ten years and founded her own theatrical production company, Hub Productions.
Through music, theater and all things art, Mrs. Johnson seeks to enrich the lives and experiences of students and bring to them a heightened awareness of their world.
Gina began her teaching career in 2008 at a small charter school in Red Bluff. She joined the U-Prep family in 2009 and currently teaches AP Biology and Anatomy/Physiology. She is also the Pre-Med club advisor. Over the summer, Gina and an incredible group of U-Prep students embarked on an exciting scientific expedition to the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji where they collected data and studied conservation in remote terrestrial and marine sites, even studying marine life while scuba diving. What an experience for students and teacher alike!
Gina earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis and her teaching credential through National University. Before her teaching career began, Gina worked as an environmental chemist for six years at a Redding analytical laboratory. Desiring to find a more rewarding and community-minded career, Gina decided to enter into education and has loved it ever since.
Gina has spent most of her life in northern California and loves the area for its outdoor recreation, natural beauty, and dramatic geological history. Gina loves spending time with her husband, family, and pets. Gina’s interests include photography, running, snow skiing, wake boarding, gardening, camping, and stargazing.
Fitness for Life, 6-12th grades PE
Michelle Johnson moved from Connecticut to the Bay Area when she was three years old. Mrs. Johnson graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor's in Science: Kinesiology with a Minor in Health and Wellness. Mrs. Johnson moved back to the Bay Area after graduation where she met her husband. They have two daughters. She received her teaching credentials in Physical Education and Health Science as well as her Master's degree in Education from National University.
Mrs. Johnson has been the head coach of the junior high track and field team since 2009. She was the assistant high school swim coach from 2010-2013. She has been the head coach of swimming since 2014. Since taking over the swim team she has won the girls division (2014 & 2016), the boys league (2016), and division (2015 & 2016). Coach Johnson was awarded Swimming Female Coach of the Year in 2016. As of 2017, she is the NAL rep for swimming.
In March 2016 Mrs. Johnson attended the annual CAHPERD conference for the 4th time. She learns new games, skills, and ways to bring energy, learning and fun into the classroom. She will be attending again in 2018. Mrs. Johnson will be starting her 13th year at University Preparatory School. She is the Physical Education Department Chair.
This will be Mrs. Johnson’s 5th year of Fitness class. She is very excited to share her passion of health and activity with the students.
Honors English II
Paul Kaukonen has been a part of the community at University Preparatory School since 2005. In his first year, he taught 7th grade ELA and World History before moving to Prep Latin and Honors English II. Fresh from attending an AP workshop this summer, Mr. Kaukonen is excited to be back in the classroom to teach Honors English II and AP Language and Composition. Mr. Kaukonen enjoys working with young adults and is looking forward to explaining to a new group of students what actually happens to Finny.
When not in the classroom, Coach Kaukonen can be found on the west side of campus training athletes and coaching basketball. Some might say that coaching has combined two of Mr. K’s loves: preparing athletes for difficult challenges and using a whistle.
Paul married his high school sweetheart, Sarah, and they are in the process of living happily ever after. Their happiness has continued to expand with the addition of each of their four boys. The Kaukonens are reminded daily of the joys and challenges of parenthood.
Marissa grew up in Redding, graduating from Shasta High School in 1995. She then attended the University of California at Irvine, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Sociology. Marissa moved back to Redding and immediately began teaching dance at Redding Dance Centre and choreographing for Kids Unlimited, Shasta College, and a traveling competitive dance team. During this time, she earned a teaching credential from Simpson University. Marissa went on to teach fourth grade for 5 years at Verde Vale Elementary School in Anderson. Marissa was a part of The Dance Project for 5 years where she was a dancer, dance captain, and choreographer for the company.
Marissa is very excited to start her 9th year teaching dance at U-Prep. She enjoys choreographing U-Prep’s musicals and the 2 dance shows the department puts on each year. Marissa stays current with her teaching by attending numerous workshops and conventions throughout the year. Marissa started a competing dance team here at U-Prep two years ago and they are having a lot of success. They have won numerous awards including Gold, Platinum, Double Platinum, Judge’s Choice, and Outstanding Leadership. This year, the team consists of 15 dancers ranging from 8th-12th grade.
Marissa spends her free time with her husband Kip, and two boys Cayden (11) and Colton (9). They enjoy riding horses together, spending time at the beach, and are big 49er fans.
Currently, there are over 120 students enrolled in the dance department at U-Prep. This year, Marissa will be teaching 6 classes of dance ranging from Dance II-Dance VI.
Honors English I & II; AP Psychology
Tawni Kramer is returning for her fifth year teaching 9th Grade Honors English. In addition to her freshman classes, she is excited to be teaching Honors English II. Not only does she have a passion for literature and writing, but a fascination for the human experience. This year she is also teaching AP Psychology in addition to her English classes.
Tawni Kramer spent her childhood years not far from Yosemite National Park, in Groveland, CA., and then in the late 90s her family relocated to Susanville, CA. Tawni attended California State University, Chico where she earned a bachelor’s degree and went on to complete Simpson University’s California teaching credential program. Last summer she completed her Masters in Education.
When not in her classroom, Ms. Kramer can be found reading novels, coaching volleyball, sipping coffee and working on a new DIY project. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Bradd, and their dog, Tobey.
Mr. Lefler is the resource teacher at University Preparatory School. He moved to Redding when he was a toddler and has lived in the area ever since, save for the time period he attended Chico State University. He graduated from CSU with a degree in Geography and received his teaching credential from Simpson University.
Mr. Lefler has officiated numerous basketball and football games over the years. In his free time, he enjoys seeing the sights that the state of California has to offer, especially backpacking throughout the Sierra Nevadas. He plays an inconsistent game of golf, likes to get outdoors to hike or run, and is an anomaly in Northern California for cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers.
- Room 183
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16516
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8th grade Physical Science, AP Environmental Science
This is Matthew Love’s 5th year here at U-Prep. This year he will be teaching our 8th grade Physical Science, and AP Environmental Science.
Matthew moved to Redding 6 years ago, but after 35 years has finally found a place to call home. Matthew attended California State Chico graduating with a degree in Biological Science but with a passion for all sciences. After completing his credential program he received a teaching position at Rodriguez High School in Fairfield CA. There he spent five years teaching Integrated Science, Biology, and Environmental Science. Matthew is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher who likes to get his students active in their studies with interactive lessons. He also likes to bring professional community members into the classroom, and students out into the community to learn about science.
When Matthew is not engaged with his students you might find him at Whiskeytown Lake sailing his boat or up at McCloud or Hat Creek fly fishing.
6th grade Core, Music Appreciation, Guitar
Noah Mock joined U-Prep in the spring of 2013 as a member of the 6th Grade Core Team. He previously taught for 5 years in Belmont, CA. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music and Recording Arts from Chico State, and after a few year working in the Music Industry, he decided to pursue a more fulfilling career in teaching. He went on to earn his Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. Mr. Mock is excited for another year of teaching at U-Prep. Along with 6th grade Core subjects, Mr. Mock will be teaching Guitar and Intro to Music Production, Technology, and Industry.
When Noah is not busy entertaining his wife Paloma, son Landon (5), and daughter Harper (3), he can be found working in his garden or cooking in the kitchen. His greatest passion, which his wife would say borders on an unhealthy obsession, is writing and recording music. He also enjoys playing disc golf, basketball, hiking, and kayaking on Whiskeytown. He looks forward coming to work every day to share his love of life and learning with his students.
Brian Murphy has been the classroom since 1992. He has taught a variety of grade levels from middle school science to high school science and math classes. He earned his bachelor's of science from Fresno State and has his physical science credential as well as a math credential. In 1995 he was on the team that opened a new high school in Salinas which is where he was until moving to the Redding area in 2001. After moving, he worked in the environmental science field for three years but is glad to be able to return to the classroom.
He has two daughters and his wife works for the Department of Justice. They love to travel, attend concerts, the theater and to camp. Be careful asking Mr. Murphy about guitars.
Mr. Nichols is in his tenth year of teaching at U-Prep and has taught: 6th grade - English, History, Math and Science, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and now is taking on the challenge of seeing each 9th grader as they participate in his Human Geography class. Having grown up in the area Mr. Nichols is able to bring a perspective on the needs and issues of the Redding area and how U-Prep can best meet those needs. An avid athlete in his younger days, now Mr. Nichols enjoys coaching and inspiring young athletes to meet their potential. He has coached at U-Prep for all 10 years in a wide range of sports: Jr. High Soccer, Track, and basketball as well as High School Soccer and Basketball. This year he will be coaching the Jr. High Soccer "B" team, 7th grade girls basketball and Varsity Boys soccer.
Michelle Oberlander was raised in Shasta County, graduating from Anderson Union High School with a healthy interest in mathematics. She attended Shasta College and continued on to Simpson University where she earned her degree in Mathematics for Teachers, and her single subject teaching credential. Since graduation she has participated in the Math Project (CSU Chico), North State NSTIR (CSU Chico), and SCMP2 professional development projects as well attending conferences and TI-Nspire training.
During the last ten years at U-Prep, Ms. Oberlander has taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Trig/Precalculus, Integrated Math 1, Honors Integrated I, Honors Integrated II, Integrated II, Honors Math 8, Math Lab and Computer Applications as well as advised the Robotics and MATHCOUNTS clubs. In 2009 the Robotics club team became a finalist (in top 8 of 27 teams) at the Botball competition and earned the KISS award. The 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 MATHCOUNTS teams won first place and had the opportunity to participate in the state competitions held at University of the Pacific and Stanford (respectively). During the 2017-18 school year she will be teaching Algebra I, Integrated II, and Honors Integrated II.
The best way to contact Ms. Oberlander is by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Science / Physical Science / Physics
Mr. Peck was raised and educated in San Jose, CA. He has a B.S. in Earth Science from UC Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in Education from the University of Phoenix. He has taught at a variety of schools in Northern California from the Bay Area to Redding. His work experience includes 9th grade Earth Science in Brentwood, CA, Santa Clara, CA and Hayward, CA (2 years), 7th and 8th grade Science in San Jose, CA and Magalia, CA (1 semester), and 6th grade Earth Science in Concord, CA (1 semester). Mr. Peck’s primary focus is on Field Geology, but he has a passion for all of the physical sciences. He has a strong background in Physics and the applied mathematics that accompanies it.
This is Mr. Peck’s fifth year at U-Prep. He is very excited to be back working at such a great school with such an exceptional student population.
Mr. Peck is currently living in Shasta Lake, CA, with his dog: Squiggy.
Mathematics & Physics
Cory Poole grew up in Oak Run, California and went to Foothill High School when it was housed in U-Prep's current building. He attended Shasta College, and earned a B.S. from California State University, Chico with a double major in Physics and Applied Mathematics. After graduating from Chico State, he moved to Maryland to attend the University of Maryland College Park, where he received his Master of Science in Physics. While at UMD, Cory conducted research in non-linear dynamics and chaos, with a specific focus on biophysics and cellular motility, as a member of the UMD Chaos Group. He also taught discussion and laboratory physics sections, which led to an interest in teaching. Cory taught Mathematics in Baltimore for two years, and was very happy to be able to come home to Shasta County to teach at U-Prep. He currently teaches Conceptual Physics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C, and AP Calculus BC.
When not at school, Cory spends time on several hobbies and interests, including photography, astronomy, woodworking, reading, playing video and computer games, and creating geometric origami and math-based art. Cory and his wife Liz live in Redding with their one-year-old son Micah and their dog, a Basset hound mix named Elvis.
6th Grade Geography
Junior High Athletic Director
Cory Reagan is entering his 11th year as an educator at U-Prep and his 18th overall. He started his teaching career in 1999 in Red Bluff, CA, but jumped at the chance to move to U-Prep in 2006, where he teaches 6th grade geography and 7th grade core. He is also in his third year as the school's junior high athletic director. Cory is excited to take on this role and looks forward to the many challenges that lie ahead as our sports department grows.
Cory also coaches the U-Prep Panthers varsity baseball team, and while not in the classroom you can find Cory spending time with his fantastic family. His wife, Kristen and children, Mackenzie and Andrew, can be found taking part in all things Disney. Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the Disney clan have become close friends.
In his spare time, Cory’s love of the great outdoors takes him on many great adventures all across Northern California with his aptly named dog, Rookie. Whether it is swimming, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, or hunting, Cory is most at home anywhere you can find mother nature. As a lifetime resident of Redding, he can be found cheering on the San Francisco Giants and enjoying all the great things the north state has to offer.
David Rickey has taught at University Preparatory School since 2004. He teaches 7th grade life science. In the past, he has taught freshman biology, and anatomy and physiology to juniors and seniors. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences from California State University, Chico and his teaching credential at Simpson University. Prior to coming to U-Prep Mr. Rickey taught for four years at Cascade School, a college prep boarding school in Whitmore, CA, where he also coached boys soccer, girls volleyball, and boy's baseball. He is currently the head freshman volleyball coach. His favorite sports are tennis, soccer, and baseball. His hobbies include birding and camping at the ocean.
Ms. Runyan is a Redding native. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Simpson University in 2007. She received her single subject teaching credential as well as a master’s in education from National University. After teaching middle school for 5 years in Redding, Ms. Runyan has been teaching in Pasadena, working with both middle school and high school students. She is excited to be back in Redding and joining the U-Prep family, teaching AP Statistics and Integrated Math 2 Honors.
In her free time, Ms. Runyan enjoys long distance running, cycling with family, reading and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Due to her love of running, she will be helping with the high school cross country team this year.
High School Athletic Director
Steven Schuster is entering his seventh year as part of the U-Prep community and will continue to teach Jr. High Physical Education and Basketball Specific P.E.. In addition to his teaching duties, Steven will continue to serve as the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Head Coach, while also starting a new role as the High School Athletic Director. Before joining U-Prep Steven spent five years working at La Mirada High School, working as a substitute teacher while also working with the Boys Varsity Basketball team.
Steven graduated from Foothill High School in 2002. After attending Shasta College for two years, he transferred to Biola University where he earned a degree in Physical Education. Steven recently completed a Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University, Irvine.
Steven is married, to his wife Stefanie, and has two children, Kaylee and Easton. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, wakeboarding, and traveling.
Debbie Shipman, a graduate of Shasta High School, Shasta College and CSU, Chico, joined the staff at U-Prep in 2004. In addition Mrs. Shipman earned a master's degree from the University of San Francisco. She taught for 16 years at Quincy High School in Quincy, California. A California mentor teacher for three years, Mrs. Shipman was also a PAR Consulting Teacher and a BTSA Coach. She was an instructor at Feather River College, creating the texts for her Spanish classes. At the inception of U Prep’s World Languages Department Mrs. Shipman was instrumental in establishing comprehensible input as the key curriculum component for all language teaching. At U Prep Mrs. Shipman teaches several levels of advanced Spanish.
AP U.S. History
Bobby Shufelberger teaches 11th grade AP U.S. History. Mr. Shufelberger began teaching in 2001 and came to U-Prep in 2004. Mr. Shufelberger enjoys attending AP United States History conferences, talking sports, and especially cheering on the Giants, 49ers, and Kings. He also currently coaches Varsity Softball and Junior High Flag Football. In 2000, he earned his B.A. degree from California State University, Chico.
7th Grade English/World History & HS Student Government
Kent Smith is excited to begin a second year at U-Prep this year with 7th Grade English/World History and HS Student Government. Before teaching here, Kent was a regular substitute teacher and soccer coach at U-Prep for two years, and has thus been deeply invested in the Panther community for some time.
Kent grew up in Kenya and also worked with young people in Rwanda for 15 years prior to moving to Redding in 2013. He draws much of his identity and perspective from his years of international life, and is purposeful about broadening the worldview of all his students.
When not teaching or coaching, Kent most loves to be with his wife, Michelle, and their three children; Wesley (17), Cory (14), and Katia (10). Michelle is a Registered Nurse working with the County of Shasta. Together the Smiths love to explore the outdoor beauty of Northern California whenever given the chance.
7th Grade Core; Drama
Lonett Sowles will be entering her seventh year of teaching. This is her third year as a UPREP Panther! She is looking forward to an amazing year in 7th Grade Core not only with her students, but also with the dynamic 7th grade teaching team! Lonett is also excited about the opportunity to teach the Drama elective this year.
Lonett grew up in Northern California. She graduated from CSU, Chico in 1995. Her love of studying a foreign language led her to participate in a Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica. This experience cemented her desire to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Spanish as well as single subject and multiple subject credentials.
When Lonett is not in the classroom, you can find her spending time with her family. Her husband, Tim, is an instructor at Shasta College. Abigail, their daughter, graduated from UPREP in 2014 and will be attending California State University, Channel Islands in the fall. Nathaniel is a senior this year at UPREP and is looking forward to football and basketball! One of her favorite hobbies is running. She looks forward to her early morning weekend runs on the Sacramento River Trail where she is continually awed by the beauty of the area in which we live!
Lonett believes that teaching is a calling and a privilege. She is honored to partner with entire UPREP team to make this a phenomenal year!
Ms. Lura Wilhelm is the art teacher at University Preparatory School. It is her philosophy that art is a subject that allows students to innovatively explore artistic perception and creative expression. She believes through art, students are able to be creative and explore solutions to a wide variety of challenges. She believes that art is a skill that can be used cross-curricular. She feels art allows an individual to explore the world as a life-long learner.
In May of 2014, Ms. Wilhelm attained her MA in Art Education for Boston University. Prior to her MA, Ms. Wilhelm received her BA degree in Art Education with an Emphasis in Studio Practice and her teaching credential from San Jose State University (SJSU) in San Jose Ca. She began her career in education teaching part time as a K-12 traveling Art teacher in the Silicon Valley. In 2009 she began teaching art full time at Del Mar High School in San Jose Ca. There she taught high school art for 2 years. Currently Ms. Wilhelm is teaching her 5th year of art at University Preparatory School (7th year teaching). Ms. Wilhelm teaches 6th grade Art, Art 1-4, Honors art and Advanced Placement Studio Art. She also advises the U-Prep High School Art Club and Junior High School Art Club on Tuesdays after school.
Along with art, swimming is one of Ms. Wilhelm’s passions. She was a competitive age group swimmer, a high school swimmer and she swam in college at Modesto Junior College (MJC) in Modesto Ca and at SJSU. At SJSU she received a full ride swimming scholarship and during her senior year she was voted Team Captain, held the 200 IM school record and received the award for Most Valuable Swimmer. In 2010 Ms. Wilhelm accepted the honor of being inducted into Downey High School in Modesto Athletic Hall of Fame for swimming and water polo and in 2014 she was inducted in the MJC’s Hall of Fame for swimming and water polo.
Some of her favorite pastimes include drawing, painting, swimming, running, biking, hiking and fly fishing. Ms. Wilhelm still actively paints on her free time (mostly commissioned work). Her medium of choice is watercolor, but uses a wide variety of other mediums as well.
Ally Wimer was born and raised in Northern California and is a local graduate of Foothill High School. Following high school, Ally received her AA from Shasta College in 2014 where she continued her passion for softball. Miss Wimer then pursued her education and softball career even further, when she accepted an academic and athletic scholarship to Azusa Pacific University. After graduating from APU in 2016 with her BA in Mathematics, Miss Wimer was accepted into CSU Chico’s Credential program where she received her Single Subject Credential in Mathematics in spring 2017.
Being young and full of energy, Ally is a first year teacher with tons of energy and new ideas to bring to the U-Prep family. This year, Miss Wimer will be teaching Honors Math 6 and Honors Math 7.
Ally enjoys spending her free time drinking coffee, coaching and mentoring young athletes in softball and volleyball, hanging out with family, relaxing with her cat, Stella, and currently, planning her wedding. She will only be known as Miss Wimer for the 2017-2018 school year because in June 2018, Ally and her fiancé, Brandon Connolly, will be getting married and starting their happily ever after.