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Silvina Barna: Spanish GED Teacher

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Silvina Barna is a High School teacher at Camille Creek Community School and also teaches the GED in Spanish program at NVAE. In addition, she is a graduate and undergraduate writing tutor at Dominican University of California. Before moving to California, she taught High School and College in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her main areas of specialization are Literature, History and Culture of the English-speaking nations.

  • MA in Humanities, Dominican University of California 
  • BA in English, BA in Translation and BA in Education, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina 
  • Single-Subject Teaching Credential in English


Sheri Carey: Business Information Worker Program Teacher


Sheri has worked in Education for 15 years. Prior to this she owned her own Medical Transcription Business. Sheri has traveled extensively and has lived both in Southeast Asia and the United States. Sheri is an educator who loves working with students of all ages; however, her passion is to help adult students grow holistically and reach the goals that they have set for themselves. Sheri's credentials focus in CTE, ESL and ASE.

  • B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (Education/English/Social Anthropology) ,University of Central Florida, Orlando;
  • TESOL and TEFL Certification
  • Clear Adult Education Credential CTE, ESL, ASE


grant dinsdale: Adult Secondary Education Lead Teacher

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Grant is a Napa native raised and educated in Napa Schools and previously taught at Napa High for 20 years. He loves cycling, reading, the great outdoors, and spending time with his family.



  • M.A. Humanities, Dominican University, San Rafael
  • B.A English and American Literature, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz


kara dohring: english as a second language teacher

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Kara has over 25 years of teaching experience. She has taught in various languages settings designed for K-8 students and adults in California public schools. For the past 12 years she has been sharing her love of the Spanish language and culture with middle schoolers in St. Helena. This is her second year teaching ESL for NVAE while pursuing her TESOL Certificate from the University of San Diego. She dreams of living aboard again to immerse herself in language and culture.

  • B.A. International Relations/Spanish, University of California, Davis
  • Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential/ BCLAD: Spanish
  • General Subjects, University of California, San Diego
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential: Spanish


Maria Dowd: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Maria was raised in Dublin, Ireland. She has been an ESL teacher at NVAE since 2014. She enjoys learning about different cultures and has travelled extensively throughout South East Asia and Europe. She thoroughly enjoys working with adult learners and strives to make learning fun and interactive in the classroom.


  • B.A. Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Adult Teaching Credential, UC Berkeley


Gerid Eastman: Welding Teacher

Gerid Eastman

Gerid Eastman has been a welder for ten years and a teacher for 3 years. He served in the US Army for four years after completing high school and that's where he began is education journey. He is currently working towards his A.S. in Welding Technology. He hopes to answer all questions to make his class the best experience possible.




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Wayne has  taught English at Napa High School for the last 25 plus years. He has taught English Learners throughout his career. He lives in Napa with his wife and two daughters. He has been a staff member at Adult Education for the past three years and enjoys working with the adult English Learners in our community.

  • BA English, University Of California, Davis
  • Teaching Credential Sonoma State University, Sonoma, CA


English as a Second Language Instructional Lead and Workplace Training Institute Coordinator

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Kathryn has lived and traveled in many different places in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She has taught all levels of ESL in San Francisco, her native Napa, and Dallas, Texas. She loves to learn about cultures through language, food, and traditions. Her interests include theatre, British history, and cooking. Her goal is to make the classroom a fun and safe community of discovery for everyone.

  • Bachelor of Arts (English), Sonoma State University
  • Master of Arts (TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages),California State University Sacramento
  • Adult Education Teaching Credential, University of San Diego


Peter Halikas: Chef instructor

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Peter was formally trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and is also a certified sommelier. His broad work experience ranges from building the multi-unit national epicurean brand Dean & Deluca, overseeing large five star resorts in the Napa Valley, to establishing two of his own award winning restaurants. When Peter is not in the kitchen, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his wife Kendra, daughter Estelle, and dog Cody.

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier VT


Michele Keegan: English as a Second Language Instructional support assistant








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Tom has taught in California public schools for the last 16 years. He spent 12 years teaching 5th grade in San Rafael, CA and 4 years teaching Spanish in Kentfield, CA. Tom is an avid Spanish language learner and he and his wife Mollie sold all they had and lived in Spain for a year. They now live here in Napa and Tom is thrilled to be teaching students at NVAE.

  • Dominican University Teaching Credential
  • Cornish College of the Arts, BFA Acting


David Kirby: Notary Public Teacher


David is a certified loan signing agent and has been teaching  Notary Public for over 15 years. He's been recognized for an engaging style and passion for helping students learn and receive numerous student accolades after every course.

Setting the right environment is the key to his success. David strives to make the class environment personable and cheerful. He designs courses that acknowledge the knowledge and experience that students bring with them to our course.

He demonstrates commitment to student learning by always offering personal time to further clarify and explain any materials that a student would like to later review after class.

  • M.A.
  • B.A. 


Robert Kirtlink,: Basic Plumbing Teacher


Robert is a Vintage High School graduate. After high school he applied for enrollment into the Plumber and Steamfitters Union Local 343. He was accepted and served the 4 year apprenticeship program. He graduated from apprenticeship to journeyman. 



Kathryn Lucas: Citizenship Preparation Teacher

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Kathrn worked as an educator in the classroom as well as in educational publishing. She also has a business as an artist: She is a bookbinder, paper- and print-maker, seamstress, knitter, and quilter. Her other interests include yoga and music.

  • M.A. Latin American Studies, UCLA
  • B.A. Spanish, California State University, San Diego


Yvonne Mariko Martin: English as a SEcond Language Teacher

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Yvonne has been working for NVAE for over 15 years. She taught for eight years at a residential care facility in American Canyon in the Older Adults Program. She then joined the ESL department to teach multi-level English classes to second language learners. Prior to NVAE, She was a substitute teacher in the Vallejo school district for junior high, high school and adult school (adult with disabilities; GED; presently in ESL classes). Yvonne is committed to her students' success daily.

  • San Francisco State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • U.C. Berkeley Extension


Liz McAdams: Adults Supporting K-12 Success & Spanish teacher

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Liz McAdams is a native Spanish speaker who enjoys teaching all levels of Spanish. Liz has been teaching for 15 years for Parent Education. She was selected as Napa Valley Adult Education Teacher of the year in 2009. She also received an award in Excellence in Teaching in 2016 by the California Council for Adult Education. Her greatest pleasure is teaching. She has been doing this for 24 years.

  • AA Solanco Commuinty College
  • University of Guadalajara, Mexico


Kerasoula Millay: Certified Nursing Assistant Teacher

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Kerasoula is one of the instructors for the Certified Nursing Assistant Program. Her nursing career has been in long term care and skilled rehab. She has worked as a wound nurse for the past 12 years, and has been with NVAE since March of 2020. She enjoys teaching and mentoring our students to become the best CNAs that they can be.


  • A.S.N., Vocational Nursing, Napa Valley College 


Yolanda Montanez: English as a second language Tutor

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Yolanda was born in St.Helena and raised in Napa. She graduated from NVC with an AA degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Transferred to Sonoma State University and graduated with a BA degree in Liberal Studies. She worked at NVAE since 10/2018 as a tutor and as an Assessment Assistant since 01/2019. She loves working at NVAE because she has the opportunity to work directly with our students, help them in their education, and see their progress. Yolanda also enjoys working with such wonderful staff at NVAE.

  • B.A. Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park
  • A.A. Social and Behavioral Sciences, Napa Valley College, Napa


Soledad Narez: Instructional Assistant & Child Development Teacher






  • A.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences


emma nyberg: english as a second language teacher

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Emma student taught for one semester at a bilingual school in Petaluma, California. From there she was hired at a dual immersion school in Napa, California, where she taught both Kindergarten and 3rd grade (2019-2022) and worked as an English Coordinator at a bilingual school in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (2022-2023).


  • Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with a minor in Spanish and Education, Oregon State University
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with Bilingual Authorization, Sonoma State University


Kimberly Olson: High School & Academic Skill Building Teacher

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Kimberly Olson has spent a lifetime teaching and learning, but only began her career as a formal educator in 2013. She teaches Special Education, ESL, Academic Skill Building, and CTE Instructional Assistant courses. She is working on her doctoral dissertation on the topic of EMF and student behaviors, and lives in Napa with her dog, cats, chickens, bearded dragon, boa constrictor, and about 2,597 hummingbirds.

  • B.A. English/Creative Writing, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
  • M.S. Special Education, National University, La Jolla, CA
  • Ph.D. (ABD) General Education, Northcentral University, San Diego, CA.


Jack Paulson: Electrician Apprenticeship Training Director

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Jennifer Reagan: CNA instructional assistant

Instructional Assistant Jennifer





  • BS in Healthcare Administration, CNA


Helen Reavis: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Helen is a long-time Napa resident and has had family involved in the wine industry for even longer. Helen enjoys travel, cooking, dancing, spending time with family and friends, reading, and discovering new places. She really enjoys teaching at the adult school.



  • B.A. French, University of California, Berkeley
  • Teaching Credential, Sonoma State University


Sally Sabbagha:  INstructional assistant class teacher


Sally has been teaching at Napa Unified for the last 15 years. In her free time, she likes to  hang out with her son.



  • B.A., San Francisco State
  • M.A.. Cal State Hayward


Valerie Saribalis-Cole: English as a Second language teacher


Valerie retired from a 15 year teaching position as a Special Education Science teacher at Napa High (2023), and is happy to return to NVAE as an ESL instructor. She very much enjoys working with adult students because they are always positive about learning! When she isn't in the classroom she enjoys tending to her garden to create a more natural environment for wildlife, visiting the museums and the ballet in San Francisco, and spending time with her new grand daughter( born 2023)!


Ellen Schwartz: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Ellen has been teaching for about 35 years. She taught children with learning disabilities and in the regular classroom (elementary) for 7 years. She was a director/teacher of EFL in Costa Rica for 2 years. Since 1995, she has taught ESL in private language schools and adult schools in the Bay Area. She has been teaching at Napa Valley Adult since 2006. During her years at Napa she has taught classes in ESL- conversation, grammar, writing, pronunciation, and beginning computer skills for ESL students.

  • International Certificate in TESL/TEFL, St Giles College, SF, CA
  • M.Ed.Elementary and Special Education, Lesley College, Cambridge, MA
  • B.A. Psychology, Case-Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio


Sam Shweiky: High School Diploma & GED Teacher

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Sam is a proud Napa native who enjoyed working in the wine industry before being inspired to go back to graduate school to become a teacher. It was a great decision! He loves watching and playing sports with his son, especially when followed by post-game burgers.

  • Multiple Subject Credential, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
  • Education Specialist Credential, Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
  • MBA, Sonoma State University, Cotati, CA
  • B.S. Management, Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA


Karla Silva: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Karla has been a teacher for NVUSD for 17 years.




  • B.A Cal State East Bay
  • M.A Touro University


Alejandra Soto: lead esl teacher

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Alejandra is currently lead teacher for the ESL department at NVAE. She is passionate about teaching and supporting our students’ education. She has a bilingual Spanish/English educational background from Napa Valley College and Sonoma State University. She is obtaining a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Spanish and currently pursuing a Bilingual Teaching Credential. She is happy to support our NVAE ESL students and teachers.

  • B.A. Spanish, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.


Carolyn Staats: Certified Nursing Assistant Program Teacher

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After retiring from Nursing from the State of CA for 34 years, Carolyn had the honor of being at NVAE. She has been teaching the CNA Program for 20 years, 4 years at NVAE. She also enjoys traveling, being with family, tandem skydiving and playing bassoon in the orchestra.

  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Public Health Nurse, University of Phoenix, 2014
  • Designated Subjects Adult Education Teaching Credential, Sacramento State University, 2005
  • ADN Napa Valley College, 1989
  • Psychiatric Technician Napa Valley College, 1981


tamara steuck: english as a second language teacher

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Tamara moved to Napa in 1983 and worked as the Banquet Manager at Silverado Resort for 34 years.  She  also subbed for ESL classes at NVAE for about 10 of those years. After retiring, Tamara continued to substitute and is one of the teachers for the ESL classes in St. Helena, where she now lives.


  • California State University, Sonoma


Eric Treskon: CNA Instructional Support

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Sergio Valenzuela: Construction, Welding, and Tiling Instructor


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Sergio has been working in industrial construction for over 30 years.

  • Solano County Office of Education ROP Program Instructor




Zahid Vargas: Adults Supporting K-12 Instructor

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Zahid began his higher education at Napa Valley Community College. He was a Math volunteer tutor and always felt the passion of supporting students. That was his open door to start his career in teaching and supporting adult students. Zahid worked in K-12 education for seven years previous to working at Napa Valley Adult Education. He is really happy to teach and be part of Adult Education.

  • B.A Spanish, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park
  • M.A TESOL in progress, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park


Evelyn Wilson: Office Assistant Program Teacher

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Evelyn was an Instructor at Empire Business College before coming to Napa Valley Adult Education. She taught everything from Basic Skills to Law. Ms. Wilson has worked for many years in education. She has taught students from preschoolers to adults, in several subject areas, and has a variety of education management and administrative experience. She has worked as an entrepreneur in family businesses, as a volunteer in community organizations, professionally as an editor and manager in legal publishing, and practicing business law.

  • J.D. UC Hastings, B.A
  • Business Administration & B.A. History, University of Washington