Victoria Trevor, Head of School
Ms. Victoria (she/her) joined the Athena Academy team as Head of School in July 2022. She came to us from the Episcopal Day School of St. Matthews, where she led the Lower School and a staff of over 30 faculty members for 4 years. Prior to that, she was at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School in Saratoga, where she has served as Lower School Division Head for eleven years. She earned her B.Sc. in Geography from Lancaster University and her Master’s Degree in Education (PGCE) from University College of St. Martins, both located in Lancaster, England. Before becoming Lower School Head at Saint Andrew’s, Ms. Victoria taught Lower School, Middle School and High School-age students at various institutions in England and the United States. She brings over twenty years of administrative experience and has managed numerous challenges and projects in those roles.
In her spare time, she enjoys going to the movies, reading, travel, swimming, dining out and wine tasting. She has been married to Jonathan Trevor for 22 years, is a dedicated soccer mom to her children, Jack and Kate, and is a Liverpool Football Club supporter. We are thrilled with the expertise and positive energy Ms. Victoria brings to our campus!
Jill Andre, Specialist Teacher - Art
Ms. Jill (she/her) is a Bay Area native and a life-long artist, an observer of people who draws what she sees filtering details through her imagination, creating an irresistible composition that transports the viewer. “I love capturing those moments where you can feel people’s intensity.”
For Ms. Jill, time spent drawing is time spent really seeing. Years of sketchbooks stacked on her shelves illustrate this compulsion. As a fine artist, Ms. Jill mulls over her thousands of sketches, till one ‘speaks’ to her and begs to become a colorful painting. “I begin mixing colors till what I see is what I feel from the image in the sketch. The act of mixing colors is what links feelings to image.”
Ms. Jill’s color sense is informed by Matisse, Wayne Thiebaud, Milton Avery, and Mitchell Johnson to name a few. “I’m very excited about my limited color palette in my new series, Self-Contained. I meticulously develop color charts, intimately learning how pigments behave. I’ve found an unexpected color treat using phthalo pigments. I’m very excited to see what happens next!”
Ms. Jill has taught students all aspects of art from her studio - painting, illustration, animation; whatever art techniques the students are interested in learning, Ms. Jill will teach.
Aimee Bischoff, Classroom Teacher - Elementary School
Mrs. Bischoff (she/her) is originally from the east coast. She earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on elementary education from Boston College. As a graduate student, she worked in a fourth grade co-taught classroom where she created an inclusive learning environment by providing individualized instruction for each student.
She focuses on inquiry based instruction and commits herself to educating the whole child by fostering curiosity, growth and confidence.
Mrs. Bischoff joins Athena Academy as an elementary school teacher for the 22-23 school year. She looks forward to Athena’s unique project based education style and small group instruction. She is excited to learn the strengths of each student and to be a part of the Athena team!
While not at Athena, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
Isabel Delgado, Middle School - Math and Science Teacher
Mrs Isabel Delgado began her teaching when she moved to the West Coast in 2017 from the East Coast after graduating from Southern Adventist University. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts Education.
She has six years of teaching experience at a local K-8 school and enjoys working with students of all ages. Mrs Delgado grew up in New York and Massachusetts with two sisters, an older and a twin! She is bilingual in English and Spanish. Her interests include running half marathons, volleyball, baseball, and softball.
Her absolute favorite thing to do is to have game nights with her family and friends.
Joan Galdamez, Classroom Teacher - Elementary School
Ms. Joan (she/her) graduated with a BA in English, Language Studies from San Francisco State University. She has worked in various capacities in Education over the last 20 years supporting and teaching students. One of her most rewarding positions was being a Site Coordinator and Reading Intervention tutor for Reading Partners in a Redwood City Elementary School.
Ms. Joan’s son attended Athena Academy from the third through eighth grade and understands firsthand the challenges the students with learning differences face. She has a great appreciation and understanding of how the program at Athena positively impacts not only the students, but also their families. Ms. Joan joined the teaching team at Athena in 2021 (after her son graduated.)
Outside of work, Ms. Joan enjoys spending time with her son as well as her friends and family. She loves going to the beach, hiking, swimming, watching movies and reading a good book.
Jay Gluckman, Middle School - Math and Science Teacher
Mr. Gluckman (he/him) holds a Social Science Field Major degree from the University of California at Berkeley and completed two years of Post Baccalaureate studies in mechanical engineering at San Jose State University. He has been a multi-disciplinary educator in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math ) for two decades and has implemented a variety of award-winning projects to support STEAM (art infused STEM) learning in the community.
Mr. Gluckman honed his skills as a STEM educator working as a Lab Instructor for the Tech Museum of Innovation and as an Educational Specialist for Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT).
His colleagues describe him as being “passionate about teaching science and technology” and they describe his classes as being “fun, interactive, inclusive and accessible”.
Outside of work, Mr. Gluckman enjoys being with his family, leading scouting activities, creating animation, playing piano and guitar, biking, hiking, camping and cooking.
Lori Hobbie, Middle School Teacher - Language Arts and Social Studies
After completing her Bachelor's degree in education at Johnson University, Lori began her teaching career in DRC, Central Africa. She returned to the states to continue her education at University of Texas at Arlington studying Cultural Anthropology and Applied Linguistics before returning to Africa.
Taylor Hovish, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Teacher and Academic Program Coordinator
Mrs. Hovish (she/her) holds a dual Bachelor of Science in elementary education and special education as well as two New York State teaching credentials. As an undergraduate, she attended The College of Saint Rose where she created a successful learn to swim program for children with autism spectrum disorders. Mrs. Hovish joined Athena Academy in 2015, excited to nurture the strengths of dyslexic learners.
Later, Mrs. Hovish earned a Master's degree from Harvard University in the Mind, Brain, and Education program. There, she conducted research on how children understand various teaching methods and presented her findings at the American Educational Research Association annual conference.
Most recently, Mrs. Hovish has been taking courses to become a Certified Yoga Instructor, with a focus on how the connection between mind and body impacts adolescent mental health. She is looking forward to integrating mindful movement practices into Athena’s holistic Social Emotional Learning curriculum to further benefit students’ overall wellness.
Mrs. Hovish’s students describe her as “humorous and kind” and appreciate her ability to “make learning fun!” As a teacher at Athena Academy, she enjoys using her skills to draw out the creative ideas and insights of her students to make their thinking visible.
In addition to being in the classroom, Mrs. Hovish assists the faculty in developing curriculum and supporting instruction. Her efforts enable Athena Academy to have a unified approach to our teaching methods across classrooms and teachers.
Lis Imhof-Ackerman - Classroom Teacher Assistant
Ms. Lis (she/her) graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature and holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she joined the Peace Corps where she taught English at a University and worked with health volunteers to develop a HIV/AIDS Education Program in Morocco. After her time in the Peace Corps, Ms. Lis attended Mills College and earned a Master’s in Education. She taught middle school English and Social Studies for several years in the East Bay. Additionally, she taught a variety of support classes, including reading intervention and social emotional development. She became the school’s literacy coach and also provided district wide support for teachers and curriculum development.
Ms. Lis learned a huge amount about teaching younger students when she volunteered at her children’s elementary school. She also experienced the frustration and stress of navigating the IEP process and fighting for services. As a result, she began helping parents advocate for their children and started tutoring and mentoring students with learning differences. She especially loves figuring out ways to help students learn and understand themselves. Ms. Lis looks forward to joining the Athena community doing what she enjoys most, supporting students and teachers however she can.
In her free time, you can find her hiking, traveling, reading, and working on puzzles–something she has recently discovered that she enjoys!
Louisa Jerome, Middle School - Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
Shai Maor, Classroom Teacher - Elementary School
Ms. Shai (she/her) got her BA degree in Child Adolescent Development from San Jose State University and her Masters Degree in Education from the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining Athena Academy she worked as a preschool teacher for many years and also in Israel with at-risk children in an after school program.
As someone who has learned to thrive with her own dyslexia and dyscalculia, Ms. Shai has a deep understanding and a special place in her heart for dyslexic and twice exceptional learners. Shai joined the teaching team in 2021 and loves working with the talented staff and faculty at Athena Academy. She enjoys getting to know each student in her class. Ms. Shai’s love for teaching continues to grow everyday.
Kassey Plaha, Specialist Teacher - Music
Ms. Kassey Plaha is a professional musician with a varied and accomplished career as a soloist, chamber musician, pedagogue and arts director. Committed to innovation and new music, Kassey is a founder of the award winning Areon Flutes Inc, and has premiered over 200 works by living composers for various chamber music combinations and as a soloist. She has performed extensively on the stage of Carnegie Hall, several International festivals and conventions and Universities and Conservatories across the US. Kassey holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from University of New Mexico and a Master of Music in Flute Performance from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Ms. Plaha joins Athena Academy as the music specialist for grades 1-8 in the 23-24 academic school year. She looks forward to leading a students into exploring the powerful world of music!
When not teaching or performing, Ms. Plaha is a busy sports mom taxing her daughter to soccer games across the state and her son to basketball and baseball across the Bay Area. She enjoys life with her husband and two children in Santa Clara and enjoys her spare minutes reading.
Asya Ramizova, Specialist Teacher - Physical Education
Ms. Asya (she/her) is a former gymnast and competitor in Aerobic Gymnastics who was born and grew up in Bulgaria. She is seven times National Champion in Aerobic Gymnastics and 2nd place in World Championship for 2002.
Ms. Asya holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education from the National Sports Academy in Bulgaria and a Master degree in Sports Journalism from the same University.
She is very passionate about fitness. Her smile is contagious and you can feel her positive energy right away.
Jane Rieder, Middle School - Math Teacher
Ms. Jane Rieder is joining our middle school team as a math teacher Fall 2023 after providing one on one math support to our advanced students last school year.. Ms. Jane has a BA in Classical Languages and Literature from UC Santa Barbara.
She received her teaching credentials in math, life science/biology, english and history in 2009 and has taught throughout the Bay Area, including personalized, project-based math programs similar to Athena’s.
Over the years, Ms. Jane has held a variety of different roles, including teaching math, botany, internship/independent studies, college readiness, and a life-skills/executive functioning class.
Ms. Jane is thrilled to be both an Athena parent and an Athena teacher!
Katy Siegel, Middle School - Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher and Lead Research Coordinator
Mrs. Siegel joined Athena Academy in 2013, excited to nurture the strengths of dyslexic learners. After a decade at Athena she still enjoys working with an incredible team to guide students through the academic and social-emotional adventures of adolescence.
Mrs. Siegel's classroom has framed art on the wall and books on every available surface, since she is a book-loving artist who earned her BA in Creative Writing and Fine Art from Macalester College. Mrs. Siegel received her MA in Teaching from Hamline University in Saint Paul, where she taught at a school focused on Hmong language and culture.
For four summers, Mrs. Siegel taught English and Arts at the JFK International School of Saanen, Switzerland, serving two additional seasons as director of the program. Working with students from around the globe fueled her desire to pursue education as a vocation.
At Athena, Mrs. Siegel has applied her love of arts and service to co-lead Athena’s Student Council and the award-winning Future Problem Solving team, design the beloved Makerspace, and begin a stop-motion animation elective. She also acts as Mentor Teacher to support our new and returning faculty in the areas of Social Emotional Learning.
By attending and presenting at educational leadership conferences, participating in research, and collaborating with professionals and families, Mrs. Siegel continually strives to improve how to best serve dyslexic students. A high point for her each year is speaking at the 8th grade graduation ceremony, when it is clear how much has been accomplished by Athena’s unique and inspiring students.
Aakash Trivedi, Classroom Teacher - Math and Technology
Mr. Aakash (he/him) spent several years working as a Software Engineer before joining Athena Academy. Mr. Aakash holds a BS in Computer Science and while completing his degree at Cogswell Polytechnic Institute, he also worked as a tutor. Through this work, he found his passion for teaching.
Mr. Aakash joined Athena Academy in January of 2021. He will be supporting our middle school math team in the 23-24 school year as well as teaching technology classes in the Elementary School, managing our Makerspace and substitute teaching.
Mr. Aakash connects with his students with patience and compassion and helps them find joy in learning. He loves getting to know each Athena student and learning about their interests. He especially likes to hear about the latest video and strategy games they are enjoying.
Shauna Yelnick, Specialist Teacher - Drama
Miss Yelnick (she/her) holds a B.A. in theater arts, a teaching credential in English, and an M.A. in theater arts. She recently earned an M.Ed. from Santa Clara University, completing a master's thesis that explored the gender gap in literacy skills. She is currently pursuing a credential in special education. The 2022-2023 school year marks Miss Yelnick's 8th year at Athena and her 12th year of teaching overall.
Before joining the wonderful community of Athena, Miss Yelnick's previous theater teaching experience in the classroom was at a public high school and then later at a private K-8 school. From 2007-2017, she assistant directed productions for San Carlos Children's Theater and taught drama skills for afterschool enrichment classes. For seven consecutive summers, she taught speech & debate, improv, creative writing, and film critique at numerous enrichment programs for middle school students on the Peninsula and South Bay.
She joined Athena in 2015 and teaches play production, speech & debate, and theater design skills classes for the middle school grades. Miss Yelnick is a member of the California Educational Theater Association (CETA).
Miss Yelnick's goal this year at Athena is to enlighten and inspire her students to be the best version of themselves not only in the effort that they put into drama class, but also with their contributions to their school community.
Nicole Yozzo, Classroom Teacher - Elementary School
Ms. Yozzo (she/her) came to Athena Academy after seven years of living on the east coast in 2021. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Psychology. As an undergraduate, she attended Lehigh University where she played on the softball team and ran a mentorship group for underclassmen. While at Lehigh, Ms. Yozzo also earned her Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership.
After graduate school, Ms. Yozzo moved to New York where she began her career teaching twice-exceptional students at The Windward School. She finds this population of students to be resilient, creative, courageous, and bright. Ms. Yozzo feels honored to help them understand and capitalize on their unique strengths.
When not at Athena, Ms. Yozzo loves to spend time outside and with family and friends. She loves to learn new things and is always interested to hear about her students’ hobbies.
Ms. Anne (she/her) has served as Athena Academy's Director of Admissions and Outreach since our founding academic year. As the mother of two twice-exceptional sons, Ms. Anne brings to Athena her passion for positively transforming the lives of children and their families while understanding the path they are walking.
Prior to her role at Athena, Ms. Anne served as a residence dean and assistant dean of students at Stanford University. As an undergraduate, Ms. Anne attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has master’s degrees in education administration and counseling, both from Santa Clara University. An avid traveler and student of world culture, Ms. Anne tries to take at least one international trip a year and has sailed twice as a staff member with Semester at Sea.
Ms. Pam (she/her) has thoroughly enjoyed working at Athena Academy ever since she joined the administrative team in the summer of 2015 in the role of School Manager. She has worked for many years with children in a variety of roles. She worked 6 years as the Program Coordinator and coach for the Mommy, Daddy, & Me program at Kidz Love Soccer. She additionally spent 5 years with the City of Cupertino as a Pre-K preschool teacher and Summer Camp Director.
Ms. Pam loves learning, and her studies have run the gamut from Liberal Arts, to Child Development, to Film Production. Personally, a couple of her passions include being as eco-conscious as possible to help do her part in saving the planet, and a slight obsession with musicals.
Her biggest job, however, is Mama to her two incredibly amazing little girls.
Ms. Amar (she/her) is an accountant/full charge bookkeeper with extensive experience in accounting systems and HR administration. She joined Athena Academy April of 2017 as a finance manager, reporting to the Director of Finance and Operations. Ms. Amar is a native of Fiji Islands.
She is a certified payroll professional, certified CTEC and has AA in accounting. She has extensive knowledge of multi-state payroll and advanced user of many computerized payroll and accounting software. She keeps abreast of ever-changing laws and welcomes challenges and enjoys the latest and greatest computer technology.
Professionally, Ms. Amar enjoys the challenge of identifying and solving problems, listening to the needs of people.
Personal interests include traveling and learning about different cultures. She is an amateur hiker, loves outdoors, healthy lifestyle and family time with her daughter.
Jo Mutch, Director of Operations and Finance
Ms. Jo (she/her) was part of the founding team of Athena Academy.
She and Carla, Athena's founder, have worked together since 2008. When the pilot program in Carla's home was such an instant life changer she knew that this school had to become reality. She was on the ground setting up the campus, hiring teachers, putting into place financial process and procedures and assisting with admissions. Her role changed over the years she now wears many hats being responsible for all aspects of the finances of the school, along with fundraising, facilities management, and general operations. She also enjoys teaching the puberty classes and coaching Girls on the Run.
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand she has lived in the US for many years. She is mother to a daughter and cares deeply about bringing high quality educational opportunities to all learners.