MEET OUR BROOKFIELD PRINCIPAL
Principal Jo Gonsalves, Ed.D.
“Dr. Jo” became our school’s instructional leader in 2007. Dr. Jo was drawn to Brookfield School because of its reputation for excellence and its commitment to serving the area’s brightest and most motivated students, a population that is grossly underserved in most schools today, but is so important to the betterment of our society’s future. If you ask Dr. Jo what she sees as her personal mission as Brookfield’s principal, she would tell you, “My purpose is to provide a safe and happy environment, combined with a rigorous and creative academic program, and emotional and social support so my bright students have the best opportunity to reach their potential. I see each of my students as a future leader.”
President John Sittner
Mr. John Sittner, Owner, has a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Baylor University and did graduate studies at the University of Utah. He also has a real estate broker’s license in Utah and California. A life-long entrepreneur, Mr. Sittner founded Ethos Investments in 1980 and Ancestry Inc., also known at Ancestry.com, in 1983. He and Mrs. Sittner founded Pinnacle Schools in 2003.
Mr. Sittner also provided the vision and leadership for Salt Lake City’s preparation for the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics. Mr. Sittner is the Business Manager for the schools, which includes oversight of the long-term planning, financial, facility, payroll, and marketing needs of the schools. All major financial decisions rely on his approval. He is also involved in policy making for employees, students, and parents, as well as promotional activities and limited tech support.
Mrs. Kathi Sittner
Mrs. Kathi Sittner, co-owner with her husband, John, acts as our curriculum coordinator and personnel manager. She received her B.A. in German, a Minor in French, and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Beloit College in Wisconsin and taught German in grades 7-12. More recently, she received a national certification as a piano teacher from the American College of Musicians. She has lived in Germany and has traveled extensively throughout the world. Mrs. Sittner worked for many years as a professional genealogist and a published writer for genealogical magazines, and for the past ten years has been teaching private piano lessons. She was involved in the Utah public and private school systems for many years. She has done much research in gifted education, successful school techniques, and the best curricula in the various subjects. She believes in the wisdom of early childhood education, including instruction in languages, music, and general education. She also believes passionately in creating a superior education for her students, including making gifted teaching methodologies available to all students. Under her guidance, Brookfield’s students and teachers are truly “rising to the challenge!”
Ms. Valarie Bryan
1st Grade Teacher
Ms. Valerie Bryan joined Brookfield in 2021 as a 1st grade teacher. She has an expansive educational background and holds certificates in general education, special education, and speech and hearing. She taught in several school settings and grade levels over the years, from urban public schools, to GATE programs, to a Christian private school, and served for 17 years as a mentor for many beginning teachers, advising them on curriculum mapping, thematic instruction, and classroom management. She is known for providing parents with positive and regular communication and partnering with parents to help their child succeed.
“I love the challenges, unpredictability, fast pace, the constant curiosity and questioning, seeing their smiles and eyes light up when they ‘get it’…they are my kids and become dear to my heart.”
BA Speech and Hearing Science
MA Education, University of Washington
CA Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
CA Music Supplemental Credential
Ms. Gloria Moreno
Social Studies Specialist
Gloria Moreno joined Brookfield in the Fall of 2021 as a Social Studies Specialist. Born and
raised in Bakersfield, CA, Ms. Moreno moved to Sacramento to complete her education where
she studied social movements and race relations in America. She has experience teaching History
and English at the middle school, high school, and college levels. As a first-generation college
student, she quickly learned that education is at the root of growing as a student, worker, and
more importantly, as a person. Ms. Moreno believes that learning is a never-ending gift. With
this mindset, she teaches intersectional and multicultural history in a way that strengthens an
important life skill, empathy. She is dedicated to creating a fun, welcoming environment that
also challenges her students intellectually.
When sports fanatic Ms. Moreno is not teaching, she enjoys coaching and practicing Muay Thai,
playing softball, and making silly memories with her friends and family. She also has two fur
babies, Foxy and Cody.
- MA in History – California State University, Sacramento
- BA in History – California State University, Sacramento
Ms. Haleema Kaifi
Ms. Haleema Kaifi first discovered Brookfield when she was searching for the best school for her son, Zayn. She joined our English faculty in 2021, the same year Zayn registered for Pre-first. Ms. Kaifi has held several positions in her teaching career working with many different types of learners, including high school English, adult ESL classes, tutor, corporate trainer, and adjunct professor. She is adept at course design, and has developed original courses in leadership, writing, and oration.
Ms. Kaifi has a warm smile and approachable personality. She shares that she enjoys getting to know her students. She seeks to understand how each student learns best, and tailors instruction to help each learner.
BA in Literature, Columbia University
MA in Teaching of English, Columbia University
Ms. Darth Clurman
Ms. Clurman joined Brookfield as the English Specialist in 2016, after moving to Sacramento from the bay area. Prior to joining our faculty, she taught Literature, Composition, and Interdisciplinary Humanities as an adjunct college professor and senior lecturer for 13 years. See is a dynamic, friendly, instructor who is effective at taking advanced level content and adapting it for our middle school students. Ms.Clurman lives in Fair Oaks with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs, and spends her spare time in the great outdoors or with the great books.
Mrs. Lisa Cullen
2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Cullen joined the Brookfield faculty in 2012 as a second grade teacher. Mrs. Cullen taught 1st and 2nd grade for the first five years of her teaching career in private schools in Sacramento, followed by grades K through 4 in local public school districts. Throughout her 11 years of teaching, she has taught a diverse population of students, including English language learners, students with learning disabilities, and both high and low academic level students. She is adept at using a variety of teaching strategies and techniques in her classroom to address the different learning styles of her students.
Mr. Stephen Davis
1st Grade Teacher
Stephen Davis joined Brookfield as our first grade teacher in August of 2010. In his 18th year teaching first, second and third grades, he has taught in private, public, and charter schools in Chicago and Sacramento. Mr. Davis specializes in language arts, and combines research based techniques with energy and humor, making first grade a fun place to learn and grow. Mr. Davis also enjoys moderating our “Junior Journalists” program, and serves as our first grade writing specialist.
Mr. Erik Boice
Mr. Erik Boice, Operations Manager
Mr. Boice, Operations Manager, was hired in August 2014 and has gradually been expanding his role as an aide to the Sittners and a liaison between the owners and the schools. He has a B.A. in Theater Performance and Video Production from Pitzer College and worked for many years as a manager of restaurants in Utah and Oklahoma. Mr. Boice oversees the financial aid program and the summer camp program, coordinates the school marketing, helps to oversee and develop the facilities, and interacts with staff and administrators concerning facilities, staffing, and student issues. He also acts as the lead in communication with parents as needed.
Ms. Souzie Fonte
Souzie has enjoyed working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 24 years. She loves providing children with opportunities to grow and develop the skills that will help them become successful students, while watching their love for learning continue to grow. Prior to joining Brookfield, she taught 4/5yr old children for 18 years, directed an after-school program for students in grades K through 6 grade for a year, served as a preschool director for 3 years, and was the lead teacher in a 2/3’s combination class. Souzie strives to provide a classroom where children are engaged with many hands on activities, and where their creativity and independence can thrive. She enjoys developing fun art projects, and sharing fun learning games, and reading stories to her students.
When she’s not teaching, she is at home with her husband of 24 years and their three children. The family includes a twenty-year-old daughter, eighteen-year-old daughter, and a fifteen-year-old son. The family pets include a Pit, a Rottweiler, and a cat. Ms. Souzie has a full, happy home! The family enjoys camping, hiking, biking and spending time by the pool. Additionally, Souzie enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and photography.
She is excited to be part of her students’ learning journey at Brookfield Preschool.
Mr. John Flolo
John Flolo joined the Brookfield Staff in 2004. During his tenure, he has served as our school’s Physical Education Instructor and Health Educator for all grade levels, Pre-First through 8th grades. He also Directs and Coaches all of Brookfield’s 13 Athletic Programs. Mr. Flolo challenges all of our Brookfield Students to “Always Do Their Best”. All of our Brookfield Students participate in daily, rigorous physical education activities and are tested weekly to determine improvement within the President’s Council National Fitness Testing Standards.
Ms. Claudia Gonzalez
My love for children lead me to pursue a career as an early childhood teacher after earning an AA Degree in Early Childhood Education from Sacramento City College. I’ve been teaching for three years and have learned so much about how young children learn through this experience.
I have two “fur babies,” Lex and Buddy. We love to go to grandma’s house and we especially love kayaking. I’m excited to be a part of Brookfield School and look forward to what’s in store for me.
Ms. Renee Janota
Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Renee Janota comes to Brookfield from the state of Michigan where she taught Social Studies for 18 years in private and public middle schools. She was born in Oregon, raised in Alaska, and has lived in many of the states in the U.S.A., as well as 3.5 years in Frankfurt, Germany. Ms. Janota earned her Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Technology in the Classroom through Walden University. Ms. Janota returned to the west to be a part of her three grandsons’ lives in the Sacramento area.
As a middle school teacher, she has used a variety of educational techniques to engage, educate, and empower her students to reach their full potential. Ms. Janota believes in creating a classroom community based on respect for each other, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow. Her warm smile, and words of encouragement have helped her connect with thousands of students in her previous classrooms.
In addition to teaching U.S. History and Government, Ancient World History, and World Geography in grades 5 – 8; Ms Janota has served as a Junior Honor Society chaperone for field trips, planned many dances, sponsored two high school classes, co-coached Mock Trial teams for three years, invited many speakers to her classroom, and planned grade level field trips. She is excited to get to know each new class and embracing our school culture.
I am the mother of four wonderful young men and the grandmother of four amazing grandsons and a beautiful granddaughter. I have a wonderful husband of 28 years.
I have worked with children in many aspects of the field of early childhood education for over 24 years. I have extensive training in my field, including First Five, S.C.O.E, Preschool Bridging Model Plus, P.I.T.C, as well as training through the Sacramento Office of Education.
I believe in blending curiosity, creativity, with emergent teaching. One of the greatest rewards of teaching young children is taking a moment to pause and observe a child and seeing the world through his or her eyes. Children grow so quickly in preschool, and there is so much to learn. My goal is to help children develop an appreciation for education and reach their highest potential. I believe that each child is unique and holds the future in his or her busy, curious little hands.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide your child with quality care in a nurturing environment.
Mrs. Michelle Schumacher
Mrs. Schumacher came to Brookfield in 1999 and has been the Office Manager for 13 years. She is responsible for the every day operation of the school, assisting parents, students and faculty in various ways. She is the first person you see when you come into the office and is always ready to lend a helping hand.
Ms. Erin Kahle
Kindergarten (Pre 1st)
Miss Erin Kahle has been an educator since 2003. She joined Brookfield in 2017 with experience teaching a wide range of ages, from toddlers through third grade. She most enjoys teaching Pre-k children, and prides herself in creating a classroom culture that celebrates and nurtures a child’s ability to explore, discover and learn. Erin holds a BA in Liberal Studies and a Primary level Montessori Teaching Credential. Outside of the classroom, Erin enjoys relaxing with her husband and two dogs, reading, spending time with good friends, and rooting for the Oakland Raiders.
Madame Claire Michelet
Primary Level French
Claire Michelet was born and grew up near Paris. During her high school studies, she received a solid foundation in French language and literature, which were strongly emphasized, as were classical studies such as Latin and Greek. She moved to the United States about 22 years ago, and also studied at CSU Chico, where she got her Master of Fine Arts. Claire became an American Citizen in 2000, and now resides in Sacramento, and goes to France regularly to visit. In addition to her love for literature and the arts, she enjoys teaching. She finds it a rewarding experience and takes great pleasure at the daily interaction with students, responding to their innate curiosity and monitoring their learning process. She has taught French for years, giving group and private lessons for all ages. Claire is enthusiastic about sharing with her students the French language, culture, and lifestyle which are so familiar to her.
Mrs. Afiya Moore
3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Afiya Moore first began her teaching career in 2002, in East Palo Alto for Ravenswood City School District. After pursuing other career endeavors, she relocated from the Bay Area to Sacramento and returned to the field of education in 2012. Mrs. Moore is stern, yet fun and loving and treats each of her students as if they were her own. She believes every child has the innate desire to learn and also craves the guidance needed to reach their fullest intellectual capacity. Mrs. Moore has taught grades K, 1, 2 and 5, and has even served as an instructional coach for other teachers. She is organized and has strong classroom management skills.
Mrs. Moore is a published children’s book author and mother of two.
Masters in Educational Leadership from Cal State East Bay
Bachelors in Political Science and Minor in Mathematics from Chico State
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
Since 2001, my life has centered around children in a variety of ways. I have taught preschoolers and infants for 17 years. Everyday is different in my role as an educator, and it’s never boring. I love working with children, and enjoy the challenges and especially supporting the children to be the best they can be. I am both a Brookfield teacher and Brookfield parent; my son joined Brookfield School in the first grade! During my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and baking.
Ms. Penny Renaud
4th Grade Teacher
Penny Renaud begin teaching second grade at Brookfield School in 2000. She taught third and fourth grades, before deciding that fourth grade was where she was meant to be! Prior to joining the Brookfield faculty, she taught sixth through eighth grade at Merryhill Preparatory School and El Dorado County Office of Education. “My educational goal is to provide each student with an equal opportunity to succeed by promoting intellectual growth, creativity, self-discipline, cultural and linguistic sensitivity, democratic responsibility, and physical and mental health so that each student can achieve to his or her maximum ability.”
Ms. Veronica Roberts
Ms. Veronica Roberts joined Brookfield in 2019 and is teaching our young Pre-first scholars. Prior to joining our faculty, she taught Pre-kindergarten and Accelerated Kindergarten at Stratford School in Sunnyvale, CA. Ms. Roberts is an enthusiastic and creative teacher, who enjoys applying her creativity in lesson design, making our challenging curriculum more appealing to young students. She is a classically-trained dancer and believes in infusing the Arts into her students’ day. She is also our Peewee Cheer Coach! Go Eagles!
BA Child Development, CSU Chico
Currently in Credential/Masters Program in Early Childhood Education
Mrs. Meeker joined Brookfield with 9 years of teaching experience, primarily in middle school science. She has a BS in Zoology from UC Davis and she completed the Teacher Preparation program at CSU Sacramento. Mrs. Meeker holds three California teaching credentials: Multiple Subjects, Single Subject Biology, and Single Subject Business.
Mrs. Meeker hasn’t always been a teacher. In 2004, she did a crazy thing. She chucked her successful career as a technology industry technical writer and went back to college to become a teacher! She had worked for some established companies as well as some wildly fun, but ultimately doomed startups. Most of the time it was extremely interesting and satisfying work. Learning so much about how computers work and the software development process satisfied her innate geekiness. She even got to help design the user interfaces for a few products. She loved the challenge of finding ways to break down and describe complicated concepts so anyone could understand them.
After some time in the technology industry, she began to feel that she needed to do something to make a contribution to the future. If there’s such a thing as a career bucket list, teaching was in hers. She often told herself that, when she grew up, she would become a teacher. So, in 2004, it was time to grow up! She tells us,“It was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”
Mrs. Meeker loves helping young people learn about the world and find their own unique paths to their futures.
Mr. David Shackelford
2nd Grade Teacher
Mr. David Shackelford joined the Brookfield faculty in 2013. He hails from Odessa, Texas, where he taught undergraduate classes and served as the supervisor of the Literacy Center in the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. In addition to his experience as a primary teacher and tutor, Mr. Shackelford taught English Language in Taizhou, China. He is fluent in conversational Mandarin. Mr. Shacelford is energetic, friendly, and enthusiastic about his favorite subject, Reading! He is an avid reader and self-proclaimed Science geek, and has a background in graphic design.
Profra. Norma Faubelt
Middle School Spanish Teacher
Maestra Norma Faubert joined Brookfield in 2021 as our Middle School Spanish Teacher. She is native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Mexico City. She has worked as a Spanish teacher, English as a Second Language teacher, Preschool teacher, and currently also serves as government interpreter. She shares that “being bilingual is a talent! Strong language skills are an asset to anyone who wants to be an effective communicator.” She is excited to help shape the next generation as a teacher.
When she is not teaching or working as an interpreter, Maestra Norma is a Hockey Mom and Ultra marathon runner, so we know she is energetic, perseverant, and able to go the distance!
BA in Tourism Management and Development
Certified Preschool teacher & Spanish teacher
Spanish Analytic Linguist, US Govt
Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Ambassador (HOKA ONE ONE)
Mr. Matthew Cobley
Mr Cobley joined Brookfield’s faculty in 2020 as a Science and Math teacher. Originally from the United Kingdom, he moved to the US to work in paleontology with the University of Utah. Prior to joining our faculty, he taught science for ten years to learners of all ages, including graduate students at the University of Utah, public presentations at the World Museum Liverpool, elementary school students with the Natural History Museum of Utah, and high school students at Judge Memorial High School (Salt Lake City, UT).
He enjoys being outside in nature, and anything to do with fixing or riding motorcycles.
Bachelor of Science in Zoology – Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom
Master of Science in Palaeobiology – University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Dr. Caesar Cabading
Dr. Cabading, known to our students as “Dr. C”, first joined our school in 2019 as our middle school Math Specialist and Math Team Coach. He left for Philippines last year to be with his family during the height of the pandemic. But now, he is back again to continue the Math legacy he has started in Brookfield.
Dr. C believes that “travel is the best teacher and we must open our minds to become students of the world’. He brings with him 30 years of Math expertise having taught mathematics in all levels including Physics and Statistics, from elementary to university post graduate levels; and across the globe, from Florida to Guam and the Philippines, and now here in California. He has been a Math Coach for several years in the Philippines for Math Olympiad and the US Math Counts.
He has a close-knit family that enjoys traveling with him. His three grown children have also settled in the Sacramento region and are pursuing their careers in Software Engineering, Accounting, and Marketing.
His wife, Dr. Celine, is a Nurse-Professor and is currently pursuing a law degree.
He is a patient, kind-hearted, and encouraging person who inspires students to do their
best and helps them build confidence and self-efficacy in Math. He has successfully
prepared Brookfield students to successfully matriculate to Algebra II or the equivalent
their freshman year of high school.
PhD (Educational Leadership) University of Immaculate Conception
MA in Educational Management
BS in Mathematics
BA in Secondary Education with Math and General Science emphasis
Señora Jacquelin Anaya de Cory
Señora Cory joined Brookfield’s faculty in 2016 as the Spanish Teacher. She has a deep passion for teaching. As a native Spanish speaker, she knows the challenges associated with learning a new language. “I draw on my childhood experiences learning English to make Spanish classes fun for my students. I utilize games, songs, and art projects in my curriculum to ensure students remain engaged in the new language.”
Señora Cory is an experienced Spanish and ELL English and Science teacher, with several years of classroom experience working with middle school at Will Rogers Middle School and high school students at Bella Vista High School. She is a creative, engaging teacher, who learned how to create and deliver interesting lessons for younger students through her experience homeschooling her sons through the elementary grades. She is excited to return to classroom teaching where she can “embrace all the students with my enthusiasm, expertise, and energy. I will bring cultural awareness to my students through songs, games, and art projects that will help immerse them in the Spanish language and culture.”
Señora Cory enjoys travel, day trips to San Francisco museums with her family, and golf. She also enjoys art, film, reading, and adding new specimens to her growing succulent collection. .
Señora Cory holds a B.A. in Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Clear California Teaching Credential.
Mme Cat Laborde Lagrave
Middle School French Teacher
Ms. Amber Moore
Ms. Mai Xiong
Ms. Mai was born in Fresno, but spent most of her life in Sacramento. She is the 4th oldest child of a family with ten siblings! Ms. Mai has a BA in Child Development with a concentration in Early Development Education and Care from CSU Sacramento. She worked in the field of Child Development for more than six years before joining the Brookfield Preschool faculty, and she loves everything about it. Mai enjoys spending time to engage with her students, and finds that every day is an amazing day with many different things to learn and to teach. She enjoys spending personal time cooking, playing with her son, singing, and visiting farms with her parents, She also enjoys going on walks and traveling with her husband and her son. She hopes to hopefully, extend her family, so her son will have siblings!