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Support Staff




Diane Gunderson,    TOSA / Lead Teacher

The 2017-2018 school year marks the 20th year in Diane Gunderson’s teaching career, eighteen of which have been with Santa Rosa City Schools. Her fifteen years in the classroom were predominantly in kindergarten, but she has also taught first, second and third grade.  She has five years of experience as support staff.  This included support for students in English language development and early literacy instruction as well as support to teachers as an instructional coach.

Diane became fluent in Spanish as a part of a university student program in Oaxaca, Mexico and then later earned a degree in Spanish from Humboldt State University.  She has also traveled to El Salvador.

Diane grew up in Sonoma County and still considers spending time with family and community of the utmost importance.  She and her daughter love to play in local parks and explore our county regional parks.  Diane is excited to be a part of the CCLA team to help the school and community thrive and grow.



Katia Palacios - Art/PE Teacher

Katia Palacios was born in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Koreatown surrounded by different cultures and languages as well as delicious food. She attended public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and knows first hand the struggle of being the child of a family whose first language is not English. Her family migrated to the United States from El Salvador in 1982. She enjoys drawing in her sketchbook as well as painting on large canvases. In her free time she enjoys listening to oldies, reading a good book accompanied with a delicious cup of coffee, and watching Korean dramas. 

Katia received her Bachelor's Degree in Art Education from California State University, Chico and her Single Subject Credential from Sonoma State University. 

Last year she taught at a local middle school in the Santa Rosa City School District. 

Katia is passionate about teaching her students the art of self-expression through the usage of their creativity and imagination. Most importantly, she desires to teach her students the value of believing in themselves and their abilities.  


    Leah Tevesau, TOSA 

    Leah Tevaseu was born and raised in Mendocino County. She studied Sociology and Spanish at the University of California,            Davis and pursued her teaching credential there too. Leah began teaching at age 22 in Ukiah, CA and later in Windsor, CA. She      has spend her entire teaching career in a dual immersion classroom. After her seventh year in the classroom came to a close,      Leah decided to try something new and came to CCLA to be a TOSA and support teachers in the classroom.


    Carolyn Smith, Resource Teacher

    Carolyn Smith was born in San Diego.  She moved to Sonoma County to get her B.A. in Theatre Arts at Sonoma State                        University  in 1998.   After college she worked for several years with teenagers who had emotional disturbance in a residential      setting.   She also had the pleasure of working in Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program touring schools in                    Northern California. During this tour she was educating kids on violence prevention and conflict resolution.  In 2008 Carolyn          earned her Education Specialists Credential from Sonoma State University.

    Carolyn has worked for Santa Rosa City Schools for 11 years as an Education Specialist and most recently as a Special Day              Class Teacher at Lincoln Elementary.  She works with the North Coast School of Education where she mentors new Education        Specialists throughout the district start their careers in special education.   Carolyn’s philosophy of education is to educate the      whole child. She works tirelessly to make school a place for growth and happiness for every child regardless of their abilities.        In her off work hours she can be seen camping, hiking, and enjoying the bounties of Sonoma County.


   Lindsay Nash - English Learner Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA)

   Lindsay Nash lives in Windsor with her husband and two daughters, Mia and Abby, and their dog Scout. In her spare time she       loves to travel to the mountains and the beach with her family and to work outside in her garden.   Lindsay grew up in the             Walnut Creek area and moved to Sonoma County in 2003 to attend Sonoma State   University where she studied Liberal                 Studies and Human Development and received her Multiple Subjects   Teaching Credential. This is her twelth year teaching in       Santa Rosa City Schools and has taught at at Brook Hill   Elementary and Hidden Valley Elementary. She has taught                           Kindergarten, First Grade, Fourth Grade and Sixth   Grade. Last year Lindsay received her Preliminary Administrative Services       Credential through North Coast School   of Education and is currently working on Masters Degree in Applied School                         Leadership. She is very excited to   begin this next chapter of her career here at CCLA supporting teachers and students.