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Peter Abboud: career training education Teacher


Peter Abboud is NVUSD's Director of Data & Assessment Services. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant principal at Vintage High School and as a math/science teacher and instructional coach at New Technology High School. He holds a bachelors degree from UC Davis, masters degree from Touro University, and a doctorate from Brandman University. Peter is a Google Certified trainer and teaches the Google Apps course for Napa Valley Adult Education.


  • Ed.D. Organizational Leadership from Brandman University
  • M.A. Educational Technology,Touro University
  • B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Davis


Monique Aquino: Teacher's Assistant


Hi! My name is Monique Aquino and I am a Teacher's Assistant at Bel Aire. I have been working at this school for almost a year. I have worked hard to get where I am because I strongly believe in making sure all students succeed in life and believe in themselves. For children to make a change in this world, it requires us as educators to show them the path by creating an environment that is fun, and safe, in order for them to learn and grow.


  • Early Childhood Education AS-T Degree, College of The Desert, Palm Desert CA
  • Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, California State University, Sacramento CA


Diana Veronica Avina: English as a Second Language Tutor

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Tava Barber: ESL, Spanish GED, & high school equivalency Teacher          


Tava is a Napa native with nearly a decade of teaching experience ranging from K-12 to Adult Education. She began studying languages at a young age, and later pursued advanced studies in Spanish, French and English linguistics both in the US and France. She enjoys traveling (40 countries and counting!) and working with students from all cultures.


  • M.A. TESOL, University of Southern California, Los Angeles


Risty Begum, English as a Second Language Tutor

Rishtihana Begum

My Name is Risty Begum. I joined Napa Valley Adult Education last year and I have been working for Napa Valley Unified School district since 2016 in the Special Education Department. I like helping my students achieve their goals and I love to make a difference in someone's life. I enjoy hiking at Lagoon Valley or Rockville Park. In spring of 2021, I will start attending Sacramento State University to pursue My Master's Degree in Teaching with a Special Education Teaching Credential.


  • Arizona State University - BA
  • Solano Community College- AS


Janice Berousek: Computer & Business Training Teacher


I started my journey in Information Technology as a programmer for a bank in the Midwest. From there my professional experience grew to include consulting, project management, software development, and software quality assurance working in both the business and nonprofit sectors. Outside of the academic world I serve on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities. I also have a second role as their volunteer webmaster.



  • B.S. University of Illinois
  • M.S. Management and Computer Systems.University of Wisconsin


Madri Bienenfeld: adults supporting k-12 students & First Step Teacher


I have worked for NVAE for over 20 years teaching parenting classes, acting as Lead Teacher for ASK12, and was formerly a Coordinator for the Older Adults and Community Education programs. I am currently co-coordinator of the First Step summer pre-kindergarten program and Lead Teacher for ASK12. I worked for 23 years at Vintage High School as a counselor in the Peer Support Program.


  • BA. Psychology, California State University, Northridge
  • M.P.H. Behavioral Sciences, UCLA
  • PhD. Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda, CA


Sue Bohannan: English as a Second Language Teacher


I am a teacher dedicated to life-long learning. I love teaching my 4th and 5th grade students and adults. I started out as a Licensed Physical Therapist working with children. I then raised my family while working as a school librarian. I came to teaching later in my life, but have always been passionate about supporting others in their pursuit of education, regardless of age. I adore teaching and hope to do it for many more years to come!


  • B.S., Boston University
  • Teaching Credential, Touro University, Vallejo


Fredy Del Aguila: Adult basic education & Adult secondary education Teacher


Former Silicon Valley Systems Engineer. In 2001, destiny brought me to the field of education, where I found my profession of life.





  • M.S. Computer Information Systems, University of Phoenix, Pleasanton, CA.


Maria Dowd: English as a Second Language Teacher

Maria Dowd

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


Darlene Dwyer: English as a Second Language Teacher

Darlene Dwyer

I began my teaching career as a substitute in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. I substituted for an ESL teacher long-term, who was ill, and there began my passion for teaching English as a Second Language. I worked in Fairfield from 2008-2017. I then began working at the Napa Valley Adult School teaching ESL. I am currently teaching multilevel ESL classes offsite.


  • Baldwin-Wallace College BS Psychology, minor in Sociology and French
  • Baldwin-Wallace College MBA coursework
  • University of Phoenix MBA coursework
  • University of California San Diego Teaching Credential


Chef Paul Fields: Culinary Training Teacher


I graduated from Diablo Valley College with my certificate in culinary arts. I have worked in the industry for nearly 20 yrs and I'm currently the Chef/Director of the Salvation Army Culinary training academy. I have my teaching credential and I over-see our entire program. We have partnered with Napa Valley Adult Education to bring some structure and teacher support to the program. We are currently in our 5th year of the Culinary Program.


Culinary graduate, CTE certified


Alicia Garibay: English as a Second Language Tutor

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I have taught English at Napa High School for the last 25 plus years. I have taught English Learners throughout my career. I live in Napa with my wife and two daughters. I have been a staff member at Adult Education for the past three years and enjoy working with the adult English Learners in our community.



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




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




I was born and raised in the state of Maine, where I began my career teaching elementary classes ranging from Kindergarten to Third grades. My family and I moved to California for warmer and more inviting weather. I continued my career in elementary education, and retired after 20 years of teaching. However, I missed teaching so much, I returned to the profession to teach adult education.


  • BS Health Education, University of Maine
  • Masters, English and Language Arts Education


Nancy Hale: English as a Second Language Teacher

Nancy Hale

Nancy has taught English for 18 years with the Napa Valley Unified School District. She teaches at both New Tech High and the Napa Valley Adult School. Believing that students must be the center of all teaching, Nancy approaches each student as an individual to differentiate student learning. Nancy lives in Napa with her husband and has 2 grown daughters and a grandson living in Los Angeles whom she adores.



  • BA Northwestern University
  • MA San Francisco State University
  • Teaching Certification Sonoma State University


Carmen Hernandez: English as a Second Language Tutor

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Monica Howard: CNA Teacher

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Michele Keegan: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Kathryn Lucas: Citizenship Preparation Teacher


I have worked as an educator in the classroom as well as in educational publishing. I also have a business as an artist: I am a bookbinder, paper- and print-maker, seamstress, knitter, and quilter. Other interests include yoga and music.




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


Chef Eric Magnani: Culinary Training Teacher


Chef Eric Magnani is a graduate of the esteemed CIA in Hyde Park, NY and is a Certified Master Taster. His work history boasts a who’s who of Luxury Resorts, Restaurants, Wineries and Private Clubs. His passion for the culinary arts paired with his 30 years experience has led him to teaching. He enjoys giving back to the industry by working with students overcoming trans-formative life challenges to become aspiring cooks.


  • A.O.S. Restaurant Management, Clark College, Vancouver, Washington
  • A.O.S. Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York


Cathy Margolati: First Step Teacher


I'm a 1st grade teacher by day & during the summer/evening I enjoy switching gears to teach parents in the 1st & 2nd Step Programs. I am lucky to live locally with my family (cats and dog included!)




  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies & Minor in Spanish Cal State East Bay
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with an emphasis in Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language Academic Development


Yvonne Mariko Martin: English as a SEcond Language Teacher


I have been working for NVAE for over 15 years. I taught for eight years at a residential care facility in American Canyon in the Older Adults Program. Then, I joined the ESL department to teach multi-level English classes to second language learners. Prior to NVAE, I 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). I am committed to my students' success daily.


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


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


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


Cynthia Meza: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Yolanda Montanez: English as a second language Tutor


I was born in St.Helena and raised in Napa. I 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. I’ve worked at NVAE since 10/2018 as a tutor and as an Assessment Assistant since 01/2019. I love working at NVAE because I have the opportunity to work directly with our students, help them in their education, and see their progress. I also enjoy 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


Kimberly Olson: High School & Academic Skill Building Teacher


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.


Chuck Peckinpaugh: Building & Construction Trades Teacher


Chuck ImageMy name is Chuck Peckinpaugh. I’ve been teaching here in Napa since 2006. I have held full time positions at NVLA, Capell Valley Elementary, Valley Oak HS and I am currently teaching Construction Technology at American Canyon HS. Helping high school students and adult education students in the completion of training that provides them with strong entry level skills for jobs in the trades is a passion of mine. I look forward to being involved in the continued growth of our construction program.



  • B.S., University of San Francisco
  • A.A., San Joaquin Delta Community College


Melissa Peraza: CNA Instructional Assistant

M Peraza Image For the past six years, Melissa has been running her own health and fitness business in San Francisco, CA. Working with clients of all ages and strength levels, her passion for helping others fueled her decision to pursue a career in nursing. Melissa completed the certified nursing assistant program at Napa Valley Adult Education and became certified in 2018. She enjoys assisting instructors and helping students master the skills they need to become successful nursing assistants.


  • B.S. Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis with Dual Minors in Psychology and Health Education, Humboldt State University, Arcata
Mark Portwood: English as a Second Language Teacher

Mark Portwood

I love to work with members of my community to improve their chances of success at work, at school, and everywhere they go in life.





  • BA, UC- San Diego


Dalila Hernandez Ramirez: English as a Second Language Teacher

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Krishna Lara Nino de Rivera: Teacher's Assistant


I was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I practiced my career from 2012-2016 in the area of special education within regular schools, working with children, training and provided workshops for teachers and parents. In 2016, I emigrated to Napa CA where I had the opportunity to start working within the school district in June 2019 as a Teacher’s Assistant, supporting GED students in Spanish at the NVAE school.


  • B.A. Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, México.


Ellen Schwartz: English as a Second Language Teacher

Ellen Schwartz

I have been teaching for about 35 years. I taught children with learning disabilities and in the regular classroom (elementary) for 7 years. I was a director/teacher of EFL in Costa Rica for 2 years. Since 1995, I have taught ESL in private language schools and adult schools in the Bay Area. I have been teaching at Napa Valley Adult since 2006. During my years at Napa I have 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


Jeff Scott: Adult Secondary Education Teacher


I have taught at NVAE since 2015 in the evening Adult Secondary Education Program. I also work for Napa COE teaching in the Court Community School Program teaching Napa County's most at-risk youth. I am a World Traveler and golfer.




  • B.S. Political Science/German Studies, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential,  Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA


Parise Shepherd: CNA Training Teacher


Registered Nurse with over 15 years of management experience within nursing administration.





  • BS
  • RN
  • MPA
  • DSD


Sam Shweiky: High School Diploma & GED Teacher


I'm 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! I love watching and playing sports with my 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


Carolyn Staats: Certified Nursing Assistant Program Teacher

Carolyn Staats

After retiring from Nursing from the State of CA for 34 years, I have the honor of being at NVAE. I have been teaching the CNA Program for 20 years, 4 years at NVAE. I also enjoy 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


Alejandra Soto: INstructional Assistant


I am currently an Instructional Assistant at Bel-Aire Park Elementary School and a Tutor for the ESL department at NVAE. I am passionate about teaching and supporting our students’ education. I have a bilingual Spanish/English educational background from Napa Valley College and Sonoma State University. I am obtaining a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Spanish and currently pursuing a Bilingual Teaching Credential. I am happy to support our NVAE ESL students and teachers.


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


Robin Thompson: First Step Teacher


I have been educating young children and creating curriculum for 25 years. I love the energy, curiosity, and joy little ones bring to the learning environment. It is truly inspiring to witness the laughter and the freedom young children find through play as they advance toward autonomy and learn to make sense of the world around them.



  • Bachelor of Social Work, California State University, Sacramento
  • Multiple Subject Credential, California State University, Sacramento


Eric Treskon: CNA Instructional Support

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