August 18, 2021

New Faces at Oakwood School

A heartfelt welcome to the new members of our faculty and staff as we move Forward Together during the 2021–2022 school year.

Elementary Campus

Posey Feuer, Azra Rahim, Dawson Engstrom, Dominique Massoth, Elisabeth Shin (Not pictured: Emily Davis)

Adriana “Posey” Feuer (Classroom Assistant) joins Presli Guy in 3rd grade this year. She brings over six years of experience in various educational roles, including serving as a learning facilitator for elementary students and as an ACT/SAT tutor for high school students.

Azra Rahim (Classroom Assistant) joins Jessie in 2nd grade. She received her degree in psychology with a minor in child and youth studies. Azra has a wealth of experience in literacy instruction, serving for two years as a senior site coordinator for AmeriCorps and a lead literacy tutor at America Leads in San Francisco.

Dawson Engstrom (Classroom Assistant) joins the 5th grade team as Lily’s assistant. He began his Oakwood career last year during remote learning as one of our campus supervisors and assistant to Shane in technology. He has a degree in Comparative Studies Literature Culture and has spent time as a summer camp counselor in Vermont.

Dominique Massoth (Classroom Associate) joins Julie in Kindergarten this year after serving as a teaching assistant at New Roads. She holds a Master’s Degree in educational psychology as well as a multiple subjects teaching credential. Dom also served as a behavioral technician and has a strong background in educational therapy.

Elisabeth Shin (Classroom Assistant) joins Dana and Christy as the K-6 art assistant this year. She is a K-12 art educator with a specialty in teaching fine art, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effect. Elisabeth is a motion graphic designer and a graduate of Parsons, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.

Emily Davis (Classroom Assistant) will be part of the 2nd-grade team as Nicole’s classroom assistant. She was most recently a Program Assistant at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences. Emily received her degree in sociology with a minor in elementary education and has experience as an admissions counselor at McDaniel College and as an admissions representative for programs at Georgetown University.

Gabrielle Corse, Jared Ross, Jose Salguero, Karen Thomas, Lily Perry

Gabrielle Corse (Classroom Assistant) will partner with Therese in 1st grade this year. She received her degree in psychology and brings a broad range of classroom experience including a long-term 1st grade substitute role, math support at Echo Horizon, and an academic management position in educational services.

Jared Ross (Classroom Assistant) will be Carly’s 3rd grade assistant. He is an Oakwood alum and began working last year during remote learning as a campus supervisor and Kindergarten assistant. Jared spent the summer working in the Oakwood Summer Program, the Exploratorium, where he taught hand-drumming and karate, and our Kinder Camp.

Jose Salguero (Spanish Teacher) will be introducing world language instruction to the elementary campus as our K-4 Spanish teacher. He taught Spanish for many years at The Walden School in Pasadena and served on their Board of Trustees as the Faculty Member Trustee. Jose has a Master’s Degree in History and is the founding member, radio host, and producer at, hosting and producing weekly radio shows.

Karen Thomas (5th & 6th Grade Math Assistant) will be part of the 5th/6th grade team as Diana’s math assistant. Her Oakwood career began as Diana’s substitute assistant. Last year, she played an important role as the remote learning teacher for Kindergarten. Karen will also supervise the new afterschool Math Lab.

Lily Perry (Kindergarten Teacher), formerly Julie’s Kindergarten associate, will replace Carly as our new Kindergarten teacher. Prior to joining the Oakwood community, Lily taught Kindergarten at the Lycee Francais and was a therapeutic teacher at Mindful Heart Kids. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Development and has been an education consultant and tutor for students, Pre-K to 5.

Lyssa Ichikawa, Maia Morgan, Miranda Anette, Ramsey Merritt

Lyssa Ichikawa (4th Grade Teacher) will be joining the 4th grade team as Nicola’s new partner. She is replacing Lily Diamond who is moving to 5th grade. Lyssa comes to Oakwood from Westside Neighborhood School in Playa Vista, where she was the co-director of DEI. She also taught for many years in northern California at The Berkeley School and Presidio Hill School. Lyssa has a Master’s Degree in Childhood Early Education.

Maia Morgan (School Counselor) is stepping into a newly created position as our elementary campus Counselor. Her most recent experience was at The Brooklyn New School in New York, where she served as an Academic, Guidance & Wellness Counselor. Maia has a Masters of Arts in Counseling & Guidance for Grades K-12 and a number of certifications, including an Advanced Certificate in LGBT Health, Education & Social Services.

Miranda Anette (Classroom Assistant) will partner with Troy in 5th grade. She has a Master of Science degree in childhood education and extensive teaching experience across the elementary grades. She has a strong background in science and math instruction and is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association and The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Ramsey Merritt (Math Specialist) comes to Oakwood from New York and is the new elementary campus Math Specialist. He brings a broad range of experiences, including a Master’s degree in math and many years of both classroom and math leadership responsibilities. Ramsey has taught in Argentina and is bilingual in Spanish and, at a basic level, in French and Italian.

Secondary Campus

Carolyn Starks, Démian Pritchard, Jennifer Dakan

Carolyn Starks (Associate Director of College Counseling) comes to Oakwood’s college counseling office with several years of experience in highly selective admissions at Bates and Pomona colleges. Her work as a coach with the nonprofit Scholar Match informs her empathetic and student-centered approach to counseling. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys camping and testing new recipes.

Démian Pritchard (Social Studies) comes to Oakwood’s Social Studies Department with 27 years of classroom experience in a career centered around social justice, Ethnic and Gender Studies, and a globally-focused approach to teaching. She holds multiple degrees in Spanish Literature and Culture, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Culture Studies. Démian’s own passion for activism and civic engagement inform her approach to teaching as a radical act of change.

Jennifer Dakan (Humanities) is a veteran middle and high school teacher with over 20 years of experience as an educator. Dedicated to meeting students’ needs, she has a profound love of literature, writing, photography, and issues of social justice, and those passions inform her teaching practice. Most recently she served as Admissions Director at The Waverly School in Pasadena. We are so fortunate for her return to the classroom full-time as she joins the Humanities Department at Oakwood.

Kayla Hayden, Maria Vazquez, Monica Coorsh

Kayla Hayden (School Nurse) comes to Oakwood from, most recently, Beverly Vista Middle School. Prior to working at Beverly Vista, she worked as a Registered Nurse II in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Kayla has her Master’s Degree in Nursing from UCLA, and while in Graduate school, she was selected as the President of the Graduate Student Nurses Association.

Maria Vazquez (Admission Assistant) earned a BA from UCLA in Visual/Performings Arts and Chicano/a Studies. Her strong background in graphic design, technology, and community engagement serve as a welcomed addition to the secondary campus Admission team. Additionally, Maria possesses experience in the classroom as a former teaching assistant at the UCLA Lab School and in the office of Student Affairs at UCLA.

Monica Coorsh (English) loves the power of books and reading to open worlds and understanding to ultimately transform students. She has worked with Teach for America as well as independent schools in her career, and is excited to return close to home to teach in the English Department at Oakwood. Monica enjoys working with students to develop their own sense of purpose in their education and their lives.

Technology & Human Resources

Monika Bahroos, Petra Heffron, Stacie Muñoz, Toyin Augustus

Monika Bahroos joins Oakwood as the Interim Associate Director of Tech Services. A technology leader by trade, a photographer by passion, a foodie by nature, and a Canadian at heart, Monika most recently worked at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and looks forward to blending technology with education.

Petra Heffron joins Oakwood as the Director of Human Resources. Her first role in HR was as a recruiter for a travel company and since then she has worked in a wide variety of industries including online media, marketing, web development, food manufacturing, and hospitality. Petra came to Oakwood as a temporary HR advisor in September 2020 and was immediately drawn to the welcoming community. She became a full-time member of our team in November of 2020.

Stacie Muñoz is Oakwood’s new Director of Educational Innovation and Technology Services. Stacie is a native Angeleno and is very familiar with independent schools having attended Windward School. She studied filmmaking as a USC undergraduate but quickly determined that working with students in the field of technology and digital literacy was her true calling. Most recently, Stacie has spent the past 5 years in San Francisco working as the Director of Educational Technology at the Urban School while simultaneously earning her Masters in International and Multicultural Education.

We are excited to welcome educator, Olympian, and advocate, Toyin Augustus, to Oakwood as our new K-12 Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. While at Phillips Exeter Academy she served many roles including being a member of the Academy life and DEI Leadership Task Forces, coach of Interscholastic Track and Soccer, instructor in Physical Education, and founder of multiple student-facing social justice-related initiatives. Toyin has also worked as a consultant in the DEI space most notably as a member of the VISIONS (Vigorous Interventions In Ongoing Natural Settings) consultancy network. Toyin will be accompanied by her daughter, Haiven, who will be joining Oakwood’s 3rd grade.