Lisa Gonzalez - Teacher Lisa has been with UMCS since its foundation in 2012. Lisa has been committed to collaborating with and supporting public education since her first role as a kindergarten student in Southern California to her days as a banana slug at UC Santa Cruz earning her B.A. in Feminist Studies with a Minor in Education. Additionally, Teacher Lisa holds a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (K-8th), a Montessori 1 Credential (ages 6-9), and is completing a California Administrative Services credential program. Teacher Lisa has taught in Lower Elementary and Middle School humanities. Outside of school Teacher Lisa enjoys a good dramatic movie, sweet treats with her family, and neighborhood walks.
Katie Pitre - Miss Katie has been with UMCS as a parent since 2019, and on staff since 2021 as an Education Specialist and English Language teacher. She is a former teaching artist for 20 years in the multidisciplinary performing arts in CA, and previously in NY where she lived for 11 years to pursue the performing arts professionally as an actor, singer, and dancer. Ms. Katie holds an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU, a 100-hour Yoga Teacher Certification from Barefoot Movement, and now facilitates open-level yoga classes independently. Katie is also a teaching Intern while in the process of gaining her second MA in Special Education with a CA teaching credential. Katie approaches her work through the lens of neuro-divergence, equity, and creativity and enjoys the opportunity to support student’s growth and self-empowerment as a learner. She enjoys watching things grow, climbing trees, seeing into the distance from mountain tops, making large shapes with her body, singing in harmony, and laughing deeply. She is grateful to be in service at Urban Montessori.
Teacher James has been at UMCS since 2019. He began his career working in the Cognitive Behavioral field as a Registered Behavioral Technician for 3 years. He studied 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.
Elizabeth Bascom, MS, CCC-SLP holds an MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from CSUEB and a BS in Animal Physiology & Neuroscience from UCSD. Elizabeth, originally from San Diego, previously worked with OUSD as an SLP, stayed home full time with her kids for 7 years, became a UMCS parent in 2016, and began working at UMCS in 2018. She is a mother of four, a lifetime soccer player, and a former collegiate track and field athlete. If she has free time, Elizabeth enjoys playing soccer, reading, baking, and enjoying 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 the University of Maryland, and a Master’s in Education from Hunter College in NYC where she focused heavily on working with diverse urban populations. In her free time, Ms. Jess volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), likes to make art, enjoy nature with her dogs, see live music, and dance around in her living room.
Ms. Kimberly has been a reading intervention specialist at UMCS since 2014. She began her teaching career in 1999 as a third-grade teacher in San Francisco. She holds an M.Ed from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in World Religions from the University of South Florida. Ms. Kimbery is an Orton Gillingham Academy Associate, Linda-Mood Bell Seeing Stars, and Visualizing & Verbalizing provider, and is trained in Morphology by The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education. She is passionate about her work, her family, and loves all things ocean related.
Dezy loves kids and has been working with them her whole life, but professionally since 2017. She graduated from City College of San Francisco with an Associate of Arts in Arts and Humanities as well as an Associate of Science in Social and Behavioral Science. She then went to San Francisco State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies. She enjoys helping children through Social Emotional Learning and connecting with kids on a human level. The rapport that she builds with each child helps her succeed at her job and shape the lives of children. This is her second year at Urban working as a Student Support Aid with the RTI team. She has traveled to many countries outside of the United States including Haiti, Chile, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, Belize, and in the last year and a half Ghana and Nigeria.
Ms. Anna started working with children as a camp counselor in high school. After attending a travel study program she received a primary-level Montessori certification; a bachelor's degree in psychology and philosophy from Hampshire College; and a MA in Child Development from Mills College. Ms. Anna’s children started attending UMCS in 2013 and after volunteering at UMCS for many years while working in early childhood education she finally joined the UMCS team as a student support assistant in 2022.
Ms. Mariah has a natural passion and loves working with children. She ran her own, home-based Montessori preschool and daycare for over 5 years before closing her doors to focus more on her own family. Mariah has identical Autistic twins, which opened her up to the vast world of Special Needs. Mariah joined UMCS in 2023 both as a parent and as a Student Support Aid. She is dedicated to bringing her own experiences and education to helping our special students here at UMCS. She is also passionate about educating the youth about special needs, especially with unseen disabilities. When Mariah finds time for herself, she enjoys being in nature and advocating for social justice.