Sydney Mulkey - 12th grade ELA Teacher
Ms. Mulkey is an Oakland native, and grew up between here and Central Oregon. She has her Bachelor's in Sociology from Oregon State, and her credential from Cal State Monterey Bay. She began her teaching career in South Korea teaching ESL in 2012, and since then has worked in public and court schools around the Bay Area. She came to Castlemont last year and could not be happier to have found such a diverse and impactful place to call her school home. She is looking forward to many more years of working with our kids, because as the influential Huey Newton once said, "the revolution has always been in the hands of the young, the young always inherit the revolution."
Hisham Alibob - Teens on Target, Violence Prevention Educator
Mr. Alibob is on his 3rd year as a Violence Prevention Educator, helping run the Teens on Target afterschool program. He is excited to contribute to the growth of Castlemont's students
Phillip Jones - Care Manager
Phillip Jones born and raised in East Oakland, California. He was the valedictorian of his class when he attended Castlemont (Class of 2011) then he attended the University of California, Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare in 2015. Being a product of Oakland, California is what drove Phillip back to Castlemont to serve his community.
David Flores SUDA - 10th & 11th Grade ELA Teacher
David Flores is originally from Pasadena, CA and now resides in East Oakland. He specializes in teaching Gender and Ethnic Studies and is currently the Castlemont High School Boys' Varsity Soccer coach. David has taught in middle and high school settings in both Los Angeles and the Bay Area since 2013.
Ace Crow Newcomer - 10th Grade Biology Teacher
Ace Crow received his Bachelor's of Science in Biology in 2011 from SFSU. Shortly after, he began working in the field of environmental consulting and research in the Bay Area and beyond. He began his teaching career two years ago, teaching fourth grade (all subject curriculum) and is now excited to combine his passions: teaching and science.
Saun-Toy Trotter - Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland School Health Clinic, Behavioral Health Clinical Coordinator
Saun-Toy Latifa Trotter, MFT is a community healer and Program Director of Schoool Based Behavioral Health programs at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s School Health Centers in East and West Oakland. She is a graduate of the Counseling Psychology/Drama Therapy program at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). Saun-Toy was a facilitator and collaborator with Alameda County’s Center for Healthy Schools and Community Mental Health Consultation Training Institute. She brings over twenty years of experience providing services to adolescents and families, including working in residential treatment, providing groups in in-patient psychiatric units and directing youth development programs, and over ten years of practice at school health clinics. Through her participation with the Delinquency Prevention Network, she was a member of the Trauma Informed Care workgroup as part of Alameda County’s Juvenile Justice’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative focused on crossover youth. This year Ms Trotter is a trainer for Trauma Transformed a 7-county wide trauma-informed systems initiative. In addition to her work with Children's Hospital, Ms Trotter is an active member of the East Bay Meditation Center. Ms Trotter offers deep respect for the community and commitment to providing services that are culturally responsive and prioritize healing that address both individual and collective trauma.
Lekha Kanchinadam - Inclusion Specialist
Ms. Kanchinadam is looking forward to joining the Castlemont community this year. Originally from Plainsboro, New Jersey, she graduated from Princeton University with a degree in History, and has since taught 12th grade in Trenton, NJ and 7th grade in San Francisco. She is looking forward to co-teaching Biology, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Chemistry, and helping all students access the curricula.
Steven Reaves - Inclusion Specialist
Mr. Reaves was born in San Francisco and spent most of his childhood living in the Mojave Desert. He moved to Northern California during his junior year of High School. He graduated with a B.A. degree from the New College of California in San Francisco and graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton with an M.A. in Special Education. He has taught in public and nonpublic schools for 21 years. This is now his fourth year teaching at Castlemont High School. He hopes to get our Drama Club off the ground this year. His intention this year is to inspire every student to reach for excellence!!
"Excellence is the best deterrent to racism and sexism." ---Oprah Winfrey
Alison Nobrega - Seneca Classroom Therapist
Ms. Nobrega moved to the Bay Area last year from NYC and enjoys learning about the community. She enjoys running, cooking, dancing, and being outside.
Roxana Franco - Oakland Kids First Site Manager
Roxana implements the REAL HARD program, Sister Circle Squad, and the Queer Student Union at Castlemont High School. Roxana started working at Oakland Kids First as an intern in the Meaningful Student and Family Engagement initiative supporting school committees, engagement forums, and Parent Leads cohort. From a young age, Roxana has loved building community and developed critical analytical skills to break down the social structures of capitalism and the impact on public education. Roxana has experience facilitating workshops including breaking down the Schools to Prison Pipeline, training the undocumented community to know their rights, and building awareness around Gender Justice.
Traivon Soto Johnson - Physical Education Teacher / Athletic Director
Mr. Soto Johnson was born and raised in the inner city of Los Angeles, CA. He received a scholarship in football to Arizona State University and earned his Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Justice Studies and Sociology. He earned his teaching credential in History/Social Science in Physical Education from Cal State East Bay, and later added a Supplemental credential in Physical Education. A couple of years later, he earned his Master's degree in Education Technology.
Mr. Soto Johnson is the department chair of Physical Education and adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to the department, while teaching students the benefits of health and fitness. He utilizes physical activity and sport to teach life skills like physical and emotional awareness, sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation, problem solving, and self-awareness. He also enhances locomotor skill and development and strives to teach students to understand their physical self better.
Vanessa Pope - Newcomer ELA Teacher
After teaching in Somaliland for a private boarding school called The Abaarso School of Science and Technology, Ms. Pope relocated to New Jersey and worked on social media, research, and new business development with the incredible Center for Supportive Schools in Princeton. The Center for Supportive Schools (previously Princeton Center for Leadership Training) has pioneered K-12 leadership programming and also provides climate and culture consulting in order to empower young leaders and make schools more supportive, engaging and inspiring.
Working with CSS led her to start work on her Master's degree in Education. She graduated in December 2015 with a degree in educational leadership. She's currently teaching ELA in the Newcomer Program at Castlemont High School. She hopes to stay at Castlemont for many years.
Timothy Bremner - Pathway Coach
Tim has been teaching for 16 years, the last 7 at Castlemont. He founded the Sustainable Urban Design Academy (SUDA) on campus and now, as Pathway Coach, is supporting to develop the Community Health Equity (CHEA) Academy as part of building out the two pathway programs on campus. Originally from Seattle, WA, he has lived and worked in Oakland for nearly 20 years.
Juliette Abaye - Intervention Specialist
World Traveler and Proud Mother of two, she joined the OUSD Team in September 2000. She answered the call of the Special Needs, and have been helping them cope since then. She is also a Language Specialist; and has been using that ability to expand horizons, and most of all, in today’s world, TO COMBAT PREJUDICE!
Leticia Manzanares - La Familiar, Licensed Clinician, MFT
Leticia Manzanares is a graduate from the University of San Francisco. She received her Master in Counseling Psychology as a Marriage Family Therapist. She has 14 years of experience in mental health and substance abuse. She has worked with the military providing counseling around the issues of PTSD and life stressors. Currently, Ms. Manzanares is part of the Castlemont culture. She is providing counseling and support to the newcomer students.
Krismin Inocentes - Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC) Regional Manager
Krismin was born in the Philippines and raised in the Bay Area. As a first generation college graduate, she attended UC Berkeley for her BA and Pace University for her MST. Krismin currently supports the college-going efforts at five OUSD high schools including the great work being done at Castlemont High. She resides in Oakland with her partner and their son, Benjamin.
Clifford Simmons - Teacher
Mr. Simmons teaches special education classes.
Jen Bender - Instructional Teacher Leader (ITL)
Ms. Bender was raised in Weston, Wisconsin and moved to the Bay Area in 2000. She Graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with degrees in Chemistry and English and has 2 masters degrees from UC Berkeley in urban teaching and educational leadership.
Ms. Bender has been working in Bay Area schools for over a decade in roles ranging from a high school ELA & ELD teacher to literacy coordinator at the district level. She currently is coaching teachers, supporting professional development and growth, and working directly with students on literacy development. When not working, she is raising 3 daughters and getting outside. This is her second year in OUSD and at Castlemont.
Brianna Alleyne - Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC) College Adviser Fellow
Ms. Bri was born in Brooklyn, New York and has lived in Albany/Richmond, CA for about 13 years. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Pre-Law and a minor in Ethnic Studies. She is currently at Chabot College preparing for her masters in Criminal Justice. She is one of two Destination College Advising Corps (DCAC) College Adviser Fellows supporting the college access and preparation efforts at Castlemont High School.