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Short School Staff

Short School Staff




               Vanessa Flynn 



Vanessa Flynn's passion for working with families and teachers and a love for school-life have brought her to Short School.  She enjoys her principalship in this dynamic community, which is staffed by collaborative and effective teaching professionals and attended by wonderfully curious children with a high capacity to achieve, think critically, and act creatively.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Flynn worked as an elementary school teacher and instructional coach for twelve years in Oakland Unified School District.  Then, she was admitted to New Leaders, where she was a fellow of leadership and administration.

As a New Leaders fellow at Lighthouse Community Charter School, she was a resident principal, co-leading the kindergarten through eighth-grade instructional program. This instructional leadership resulted in significant gains in student achievement at LHCC.

Thus, she was inspired to develop Read Think Apply, a comprehensive framework of literacy instruction that focuses on standards, differentiation, critical thinking, literacy, and content integration.  

In conjunction with coaching in instructional approaches, Ms. Flynn has worked with principals and teachers to develop leadership effectiveness.  These aims have moved schools toward becoming high-functioning organizations.  She brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the Short School community.

2018-2019 Short School Staff

2018-2019 Short School Staff

TEACHERS 2018-2019




Maggie Dawes  "Early Childhood Education is my favorite and my specialty.  I've spent over 20 years teaching Early Childhood, whether it's TK, Kinder, First, or preschool. I've worked at Canal Child Care Center, Bahia Vista, Gallinas (aka Venetia Valley) and Laurel Dell School for the past 30 years. My grandmother was the first female President of Students at San Rafael High (in 1927)"





              Jessica Ferrar

Hello Short School Community! I am so happy to be a part of the teaching team at our school! I have been an educator for 17 years and have taught in grades k-3. I received my bilingual teaching credential from Sacramento State University through a program in Mexico. I love to travel as it offers me an opportunity to connect with and people from all walks of life. I love to dance, arrange flowers, spend time with friends and family and get into the ocean whenever I can. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with children. It brings me great joy to see my students learn and grow. I strive to ignite curious minds and inspire a love of learning.





            DIANA MENDOZA 



            DANELLE FRENCH




                Nancy Morita 

            4th Grade Teacher 

It's wonderful to be a part of this vibrant and multicultural community at Short School. I appreciate the creativity, kindness and promise that I see in our students. This is my fifth year of teaching, and I have taught grades T-K through 4th. I enjoy nurturing a love of reading and an excitement for learning in my students. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family, especially in nature.





          4TH-5TH GRADE TEACHER 

                REBECCA FINLEY




Jenae Casalnuovo "I am a Marin County native and Dominican University of California graduate. When I'm not teaching, I love writing poetry, hiking, camping, and taking photographs. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing my students make a positive difference in the world around them!"                               

               NEW COMER TEACHER

Jen Griffiths has worked for the San Rafael City School District for ten years. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Education, a clear California teaching credential and a Single Subject Authorization in English. This is Jen’s third year at Short School teaching reading intervention and ELD. In her free time, you may find her hiking or cycling with family and friends or curling up with a good book and her cat, Yo-Yo. Jen adores watching her students learn and grow from year to year and is proud to be a part of Short School!


                   TEACHER COACH 
Susan B. Katz has served as Spanish immersion, Elementary educator and Instructional coach for over 20 years.  Ms. Katz is an award-winning author with five published children’s books. She is also a (twice) National Board Certified Teacher. From 1998-2002, she taught at Gallinas (Venetia Valley) before spending 12 years in Berkeley Unified as an immersion teacher and literacy coach. Ms. Katz travels nationally and internationally delivering keynote speeches and facilitating professional development.  She is at Short School 50% of the time coaching teachers in Guided Reading, Readers and Writers Workshop and Differentiating Instruction. 




Katie Marek  "This is my second year at Short School, and I love working in this community! I lived in San Rafael as a kid (live in Petaluma now), and Gerstle Park is not only a beautiful neighborhood, but there is a lot of local history here. I enjoy learning about the history of schools, and I learned from doing a little detective work that there has been a school on this site since the late 1800s. If I weren't a teacher, I would probably be a historian."

MCOE STAFF 2018-2019




               Mamura Fayzieva 

                 Para Educador 

                               Helen Driscoll                                                                                                                                        Para Educator 


Support Staff 2018-2019

Maria De Luna- Administrative Assistant 


Roxana Cruz- Community Liaison/Librarian 


Veronica Martinez- Intructional Assistant II


Daniel Sanchez- PE Coach 


Jennifer Venegas- LEAP Coordinator 


Yoika Danielly- Counselor 



Beth Bueker- Speech Therapist 


Denise Beck- Resources Teacher 



Kelly Hourigan                                                                                

School Psychologist