Response To Intervention (RTI) Team

Katie Pitre & James Vargas, Educational Specialists

Elizabeth Bascom, Speech Language Pathologist

Jessica Meyer, School Counselor

Kimberly Chism, Reading Intervention Specialist

Eduardo Ortiz, Student Support Assistant

Teacher James is beginning his first year at UMCS. He’s worked in the Cognitive Behavioral field as a Registered Behavioral Technician for the past 3 years. He studies Psychology at San Francisco State University and intends to continue higher education up to a Ph.D. He is interested in Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Development, Human Potential and Moral Reasoning. In his spare time he enjoys Art (Classical and Contemporary), Philosophy, Offering unneeded help, Games (MMO/RPG/RTS), Camping, Metaphysics, Statistics and Dogs.

"Ms. Elizabeth" Bascom (she/her/hers), M.S., CCC-SLP holds a M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Cal State East Bay and a B.S. in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience with a minor in Linguistics from University of California, San Diego. Elizabeth, originally from San Diego, previously worked with OUSD as a Speech-Language Pathologist, stayed home full time with her kids for 7 years, became a UMCS parent in 2016, and began working at UMCS in October 2018. She is a mother of four (all UMCS students!), and if she has free time, Elizabeth enjoys playing soccer, baking, reading, and being in nature.

Ms. Jess has been the School Counselor at UMCS since 2017. She relocated to Oakland from Brooklyn NY in 2016 where she traded fast walking, subway performances, and fold-and-hold pizza by the slice, for stopping to smell the roses, off-leash hiking trails, and taco trucks. She has her B.A. from University of Maryland, and Master’s in Education from Hunter College in NYC where she focused heavily on working with diverse urban populations. Creating a welcoming and safe learning environment for students of ALL backgrounds is a top priority for her. In her free time, Ms. Jess likes to make art, volunteer as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a teen in foster care, enjoy nature with her dogs, see live music, and dance around in her living room.

Ms. Kimberly began her teaching career in SFUSD in 1999! She holds an M.Ed from San Francisco State University and brings her passion for reading and study of Orton Gillingham and LindaMood Bell to students at Urban Montessori. As a child, Ms. Kimberly struggled to learn to read and her time spent with a reading specialist, which began in third grade, greatly impacted her self-esteem and ability to achieve in school. This experience is ultimately what drove her to do the work she does. She is excited to begin her 5th year as UMCS Reading Specialist.


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