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 59 staff members, including 42 teachers, 2 counselors, 2 paraprofessionals, 4 administrators, a school business manager and 6 office/support staff. Full time teachers teach 6 classes daily; most also teach Advisory and Tutorial and have an extra-curricular assignment. All 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. In 2014-15, eighteen members of the faculty have advanced degrees (Master’s or above), one is a National Board Certified Teacher, and faculty and administration hold 69 credentials in these areas: Multiple Subjects, Single Subjects, Pupil Personnel, and Administrative.
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
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 12th year at U-Prep and her 7th year as Assistant Principal.
Mrs. O’Leary is committed to developing her leadership skills to better serve the students, parents, and staff of U-Prep. She 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 terrific children, Erin, Brianna and Connor and a wonderful husband Michael. In her free time she enjoys reading and photography.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16521
Mr. Carlson was born in Montrose, Colorado, but grew up primarily in Redding and graduated from Enterprise High School in 1994. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources and worked locally as a forester in the private sector. Desiring to enter education, Mr. Carlson went back to school to earn a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science (2004) as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (2009), both from Simpson University.
Mr. Carlson has been at U-Prep since it opened in the fall of 2004. He taught various sciences at both the junior high and high school levels in his five years of teaching before moving into administration in 2009, he is now an Assistant Principal. Mr. Carlson has enjoyed an ongoing connection with U-Prep Athletics, five years of coaching track, cross country and basketball, and his most recent five years as Athletic Director and/or Athletic Administrator. This year Mr. Carlson handed off the oversight of athletics to Monica Cabral to focus on supporting the staff with an instructional and academic resource focus.
At home (and often at U-Prep events), Mr. Carlson enjoys spending time with his daughter Abigail and son Ayana, and his amazing wife Julie. For recreation he enjoys cycling, running and hiking.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16584
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
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
High School Counselor
Kristen Haworth is U-Prep’s new 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. Prior to Shasta College Kristen worked at Oasis Community School and completed intern hours at Mountain View Middle School. She was also a substitute teacher at many of the schools in the Shasta Union High School District.
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 be a part of this team and to assist in each student’s journey at UPREP. She looks forward to working with all the students, staff and families of the Panther team.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16549
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 varsity football team, 6th grade girl’s basketball, and the A softball team. In the past, Matt has coached boys basketball, baseball, and the ski/snowboarding team.
Matt is married and had his first child (a girl named Elsie Grace) in Novermber of 2013. In his free time, Matt enjoys going to the lake, snowboarding, and playing music.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16533
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
Elizabeth has been a member of the U-Prep family in one capacity or another since 2005 when her oldest child became a student here. In 2007 Elizabeth became a member of the U-Prep School Board, serving until 2010 when she accepted the attendance clerk position. Elizabeth presently serves as administrative Assistant to Superintendent/Principal Shelle Peterson. Elizabeth is a proud parent of son, Griffin and daughter, Blaire, both U-Prep alumni. When not in the office, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and her dog in the great outdoors.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16508
Sandi Lanzi moved to Redding in 1997. She married her husband, Mark, in 2000. They have four children, Erin and Austin (both 20), Ashley (13), and Colby (11). 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 the community leader for Foothill 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.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16513
Caroline grew up in Redding and began working at U-Prep in 2006 as the Athletic Secretary and After School Coordinator. Throughout her years at U Prep she has enjoyed supporting the athletic programs, attending amazing plays and musicals, and as a result, joyfully watch students grow both academically and socially. The talent show is one of her favorite events of the year as it is another venue in which to celebrate student talent and abilities.
Caroline is proud to be a part of her school and is looking forward to her 9th year at U-Prep helping students and parents in the counseling center. She is supported by a wonderful staff, and has a deep admiration for the aesthetic beauty of the building as well as for the crew that keeps it looking pristine. Roy is her favorite security guard ever.
When she is not at school being serenaded by the foreign language classes in the office, or viewing concert performances by the music department from her chair, or creating havoc among the staff with her mischievous antics, she is an adoring mom who enjoys being creative, especially when it comes to paying homage to the outdoors with her camera.
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16510
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 office team and enjoys working in the historic building where she attended NOVA! Now that her daughter has graduated from U-Prep, it will give her more time to mentor other students at U-Prep. Laura enjoys photography, spending time with family at Trinity Lake, being a part of the “Reluctant Book Club” (RBC) and has a love/hate relationship with cycling at the Y. She wants to take this opportunity to thank U-Prep staff, parents and students for making ASB an enjoyable position. Come by and check out the “student store” and say Hi!
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16530
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
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
Kari Reed and her family moved from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Redding, California, in 2006. For the past nine years, she has enjoyed helping students learn to read as an instructional aide and speech aide for the Columbia School District.
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
7th Grade Core, 7th/8th Grade Reading Workshop
Mrs. Adams is starting her seventh year teaching at U-Prep, and 19th year of teaching middle school. This year she is teaching two 7th Grade Cores and the 7th/8th grade Reading Workshop elective. Additionally, she is the Cheer Advisor and Jr. High Cheer Coach. She has a Multiple Subjects degree and Computer minor from Humboldt State University. This summer she continued her professional development at a differentiated curriculum conference and a writing class through the Northern California Writing Project.
Mrs. Adams lives at home with her husband, Keith, along with their three beautiful, hilarious children. Payton is the oldest (16 years) and currently is in 11th grade at U-Prep, Caden (12 years old) also attends U-Prep in the 7th grade, and Josie (9 years old) is in 4th grade. They bring a lot of entertainment in the Adams household!
In her spare time she enjoys riding her horses, reading, weaving, knitting and gathering with her friends. The Adams family likes to spend time traveling, fishing, riding horses, or just enjoying life together. During the summer, the whole family spends time on both Whiskeytown and Shasta Lakes with friends.
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 eighth 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 Red Bluff 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, physical 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) and Honors English I (9th grade) and is acting 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 spent her first years of teaching in the Shasta Union High School District schools, teaching all grade levels of high school English Language Arts, with an emphasis on the Advanced Placement English Program. In addition to teaching English, Mrs. Armstrong is an Advisor 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. As part of the U-Prep team, she continuously looks forward to the high level of excellence and teamwork among U-Prep students and staff.
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.
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 the U-Prep football team where serves as the Head Coach for the Varsity Football team. In the off-season he is usually in the weight room challenging athletes to prepare for their upcoming season in our strength and conditioning program. During his time off Brad enjoys the strength and beauty of the outdoors. He and his wife Rebecca take pleasure in travelling with their growing family and experiencing new places and cultures.
Math 6 Honors, Math Lab
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 subject, math!
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 teaches 11th grade English here at U-Prep.
AP Language & Composition, Journalism/Yearbook
Although Sean has lived in many places throughout California, it wasn't until he moved to Redding in 1991 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 & Russian
Corinne Bourne leads the World Languages Department and teaches French levels one through honors IV, and Russian levels two through Honors IV. 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.
Mrs. Bourne graduated 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.
Outside of class, Mrs. Bourne loves the company of her grown-up family both sides of the “pond”. She also spends time relaxing with craft projects, preparing healthy food and walk/running round her neighborhood.
Junior High Core & Prep Latin
Shannon Bright was born and raised in Northern California. She is a third generation Humboldt State graduate. She 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 freshmen and Jackson is in third grade. Outside of school you can find her cheering from the sidelines at the football games and at the soccer park 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, ROTA & Computer Applications
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 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, ROTA and one course in Computer Applications. In the past nine years, Mr. Cheng attended many national, state and regional academic conferences and networked with teachers from all over the nation. He organized trips to China and enjoyed seeing his students 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 600 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 12 years at U Prep she has taught 8th grade English and history as well serving as the director of our musicals. Ms. Clements is proud to announce that this year’s musical will be Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”. In 2007 she was the U Prep Junior High Educator of the Year nominee and completed her Administrative Credential program this last June and will complete her Master’s Degree in Applied Leadership this December. Romney is also very proud to be a member of the Principal’s Advisory Team at U Prep. In her spare time, Ms. Clements enjoys spending time with her family and her miniature poodles, Cruz and Coco.
6th grade Honors Math, 8th grade Honors Math
Mrs. Crawford grew up in Redding and graduated from Shasta High School. She has a BA in Math from UC Santa Barbara and in 2015 earned her Single Subject teaching credential from CSU, Chico. Mrs. Crawford was fortunate to do her student teaching here at U-Prep in Math 6 and Integrated 1. She is excited to begin her teaching career at U-Prep and share her love of math with students.
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 7th grade at U-Prep, Olivia is in 6th grade at U-Prep, Madelyn is in 3rd grade, and Kayla is in 1st grade. In her free time Mrs. Crawford loves to run and road bike.
Mr. Dean is teaching two subjects in his third year at U-Prep: Latin, and English. He was born and raised in the area graduating from Central Valley High School, and like other U-Prep staff is returning 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.
Michael spends his free time playing and coaching as many sports as he can. He especially enjoys exploring the backcountry with his two young 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 2, Integrated Math 2 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 where she is currently pursing her Masters degree in the same area. Amanda participates annually 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, recently, she accompanied the Cultural Connection club on a community service trip to Thailand. In the spring, she serves as the Junior High Softball coach at U Prep. Also, Amanda 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
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!
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 four months old. Her last year 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 of Chico in 2009 with a multiple subject credential. She began her teaching career in Shasta Lake, California where she taught 5th grade. She began teaching at U-Prep in 2014 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 from U-Prep in 2013, while Alex is currently in her junior year and Sami is an 8th grader also here at U-Prep. In Christi’s free time she enjoys traveling to new places, reading, visiting Bond at UC Davis and watching her girls play sports.
Elizabeth Johnson is UPrep’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 UPrep 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 UPrep’s Drum Corps in 2008. In 2013, Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Fowers established UPrep’s full Symphonic Orchestra.
Mrs. Johnson brings her extensive experience from her outside hobby of theatrical production to the spring drama at UPrep 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 CP Biology, AP Biology, and Anatomy/Physiology. She is also the Pre-Med club advisor and the high school science department chair.
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 took on the junior high track team in the spring of 2008. She is now the head coach for the high school swim team, as that was her sport.
In March 2013, Mrs. Johnson attended the CAHPERD conference for the third time, where she acquired new games and received the current practices and trends in Physical Education. She is hoping to attend this conference again next year. Mrs. Johnson will be starting her 11th year at University Preparatory School and She is the Physical Education Department Chair.
This will be Mrs. Johnson’s 3rd year of Fitness class. She is very excited to share her passion of health and activity with the students.
7th Grade Core & High School ASB
Robyn Johnson has been proudly wearing royal blue and white for the past seven years in various positions on campus including; a long term substitute position in 6th grade math, Athletic Director, Athletic Secretary, and a volleyball coach at both the high school and middle school levels. Mrs. Johnson has landed what she would consider her dream job this year, as she has become a part of the seventh-grade core team. She is excited to be on this next journey teaching core and looks forward to many great years ahead!
Mrs. Johnson has a real heart for U-Prep culture, and she is ecstatic to be this year's High School Student Government Advisor. You will definitely catch her around campus helping coordinate the many events the students put on that will continue to build upon our amazing school culture. Go Panthers!
Mrs. Johnson is a local graduate of Enterprise High School. She then graduated from Shasta College earning her Associates of Arts Degree while also participating in women's basketball. She then continued her education at Chico State where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Child Development. Mrs. Johnson is currently working towards her Master’s in Education at Simpson University.
Away from school, Mrs. Johnson enjoys spending time with her husband Lucas and her dogs Cooper and Moose. She also enjoys cooking, DIY projects from Pinterest, taking walks, bike riding, and participating in a variety of sports.
Honors English II
Paul Kaukonen has been a part of the culture 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. He enjoys working with sophomores, 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 JV basketball. He is thrilled with the improvements in the weight room, and he looks forward to helping develop mentally and physically strong athletes. 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 sweet-heart, Sarah, and they are in the process of living happily ever after. Their happiness has continued to grow with the addition of each of their three boys. The Kaukonens are reminded daily of the joys and challenges of parenthood.
Greg Kfoury was born and raised in Virginia. He graduated from the University of Richmond with degrees in Latin and Business Administration. Mr. Kfoury began his teaching career in Virginia. For the last few years, he has been working in commercial real estate development. Having spent time working out of the classroom, he realized what he loves doing most, teaching Latin.
Mr. Kfoury has been a Latin enthusiast for most of his life. Having been introduced to Latin as a middle school student, he immediately developed a passion for the language, as well as for the culture, history, and mythology of the ancient Roman and Greeks. Mr. Kfoury became a teacher specifically to foster that same enthusiasm for the Classics in his students. He believes strongly in the benefits that an education in Latin can provide, specifically in regards to students’ English writing and speaking skills. Mr. Kfoury also encourages his students to participate in a number of different extra-curricular Latin activities, both competitive and non-competitive, including the U-Prep Latin Club.
Mr. Kfoury teaches Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin IV and AP Latin at U-Prep, as well as 11th grade Advisory.
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 Uprep. She enjoys choreographing Uprep’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 Uprep 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 Uprep. This year, Marissa will be teaching 6 classes of dance ranging from Dance II-Dance VI.
Honors English 1
Tawni Kramer is returning for her third year teaching 9th Grade Honors English. Not only does she have a passion for literature and writing, but a fascination for the study of human behavior. This year she is thrilled to be teaching AP Psychology in addition to her English classes. At the end of the school day, you can find Coach Kramer in the gymnasium, coaching volleyball.
Tawni Kramer spent her childhood years not far from Yosemite National Park, in Groveland, CA., and then in the late 90’s 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 teaching credential program. She is currently working toward a Master’s in Education with an Administrative Credential.
When not in her classroom, Ms. Kramer can often be found reading novels, playing volleyball, sipping coffee and working on a new DIY project. She 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
8th grade Physical Science, AP Environmental Science
This is Matthew Love’s 3rd year here at U-Prep. This year he will be teaching our 8th grade Physical Science, and AP Environmental Science .
Matthew moved to Redding just three years ago, but after 32 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. He completed his student teaching at Chico Junior High where he taught both 7th grade Life Science and 8th grade Physical Science. 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. Matthew has also traveled through most of the United States, as well as in England, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, and most recently Costa Rica. His future goals are to continue to travel and grow as a person and educator.
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 eight years at U-Prep, Ms. Oberlander has taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Trig/Precalculus, Integrated Math 1, 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, and 2015 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 2015-16 school year she will be teaching Integrated Math 1 and Honors Math 8.
The best way to contact Ms. Oberlander is by e-mail at email@example.com.
Earth Science/Math 7
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 year), 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 second year at U-Prep. He is very excited to be back working at such a great school with such an exceptional student population. This is his first year teaching Math, but he is confident that things will go smoothly regardless.
Mr. Peck is currently living in Corning, CA.
Special Education Paraprofessional
Mrs. Pion graduated from Shasta High school in 1971. In 1974, she graduated from Shasta College with a degree in Nursing. She worked in the operating room for many years, and also as a Dialysis nurse. She joined the field of education in 1996, working as a Paraprofessional for both the Enterprise and the Redding School districts, before becoming a staff member of University Preparatory. In her free time she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and most snow sports.
- Room 183
- (530)245-2790 Ext. 16183
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 UPrep. 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.
Jered Ratliff is a north state native. He grew up in Weaverville, graduated from Red Bluff High School and is an alumni of Simpson University, LeTourneau University (TX), and National University. Immediately following high school he lived in Brazil on a year-long foreign exchange, and has also lived and taught in Texas, the Bay Area, Siskiyou County and the California coast. He is regularly involved in workshops and academies to continue to learn about the ever-changing world of education and math learning, including those through Humboldt State, Boeing, CA Math Council, and more. He has also facilitated GATE programs and coached track, cross country, and softball.
Previously, Mr. Ratliff has taught Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and 8th grade Math. When not at school, he enjoys bicycling, running, and other ways of taking in the unmatchable beauty of the north state. He has three terrific children (10, 8, and 5). In 2015-2016 he is teaching Honors Integrated Math I and Integrated Math III (including honors).
Athletic Director; 6th Grade Geography
Cory Reagan is entering his 10th year as an educator at U-Prep and his 17th 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 is in his first year as the school's athletic director. Cory is excited to take on this new role and looks forward to the many challenges that lie ahead as our sports department grows.
Cory is also the head varsity coach of the U-Prep Panthers 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 varsity volleyball coach. His favorite sports are tennis, soccer, and baseball. His hobbies include birding and camping at the ocean.
Steven Schuster is entering his fourth year as part of the U-Prep community and will continue to teach Jr. High Physical Education. In addition to his teaching duties, Steven will be the Jr. High Flag Football Coach and continue to serve as the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Head Coach. 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 Program as an Assistant Coach from 2006-2010 before being promoted to Head Coach for the 2010-2011 season.
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 is currently working towards a Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University. 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, Human Georgraphy, Gardening
Bobby Shufelberger teaches 11th grade AP U.S. History as well as a Sustainable Living course. Mr. Shufelberger began teaching in 2001 and came to U-Prep in 2004. Mr. Shufelberger enjoys attending AP United States History conferences, as he just returned from another one at Sacramento State University in 2013 in anticipation of the major changes coming to AP U.S. History in 2014. In 2000, he earned his B.A. degree from California State University, Chico. You can always find Mr. Shufelberger cheering on the 49ers and Giants!
7th Grade Core; Drama
Lonett Sowles will be entering her fifth year of teaching, but her first as a UPREP Panther! She comes to UPREP from Junction Elementary where she taught 7th grade Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Spanish. 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 Drama electives 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 the University of Maryland in the fall. Nathaniel is a sophomore this year at UPREP and is looking forward to football, basketball, and Mrs. Sowles’ drama class! 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!
Lisa Taylor is a local graduate of Shasta High School. She attended Shasta College where she played Women’s Basketball. Ms. Taylor earned her BS in Mathematics From CSU Chico. She earned in Teaching Credential at Chico State as well before spending time working overseas. This year Ms. Taylor will be teaching Course 2 Honors Math and AP Statistics. When outside of the classroom, Ms. Taylor loves being the 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach and Assisting the Varsity Team. She also coaches Girls on Track and enjoys volunteering with the middle school track and cross country teams.
Ms. Taylor is looking forward to another great year at U-Prep, GO PANTHERS!
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.