Staff & Faculty Directory

Rio Plaza Support Staff

(Rollover an image to access their email, websites and social media.)

Jake Waltrip

Jake Waltrip

Principal

• Principal with Rio since 2012
• BA, Liberal Studies with a minor in Special Education, CSU, Chico
• MA, Educational Leadership, CSU, Northridge
• I enjoy spending time with my wife and two children. I also love to read and play golf.

Brenda Bravo

Brenda Bravo

Assistant Principal

- BA, Liberal Studies, CSU, Channel Islands
- BA, Spanish, CSU, Channel Islands
- MA, Educational Leadership, CSU, Channel Islands
- In education since 2010

I love spending time with my husband Walter and my three daughters, Maddy, Bella and Alice. I enjoy reading, baking and spending time at the beach.

Cynthia Rivera

Cynthia Rivera

Office Manager

I enjoy spending time with my family. I attended Oxnard College where I received my Associates Degree in Social and Behavioral Science and an A.A.T. in Sociology. I have been with the Rio School District since 2015.

Mari Rugerio

Mari Rugerio

Student and Family Support Specialist

I have an AA Degree in Management. I have been working with the Rio School District since 2015. I always try to make a positive difference in the lives of others and enjoy working with our staff, students, and parents. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family.

Juan Toledo

Juan Toledo

School Counselor

I was born in Mexico and came to the USA at the age of 12. In high school I ran cross country and track and played soccer. I like to listen to music, drama/theater, run, exercise, help at my church and community and of course spend time with my family. I received a B.A. from Cal State Northridge in Psychology, and a PPS credential from University of La Verne. I have being working for Rio School District since 2003.

Meagan Guenther

Meagan Guenther

School Psychologist

Trained in School Psychology at Miami University of Ohio and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I specialize in assessing cognitive, emotional, and social development to support children in preschool through elementary school. My goal is to help all children grow their competencies, creativity, curiosity, and power in order to access success. My professional interests include approaches to early childhood education, positive psychology, and social justice. My personal interests include photography, traveling, and volunteering. Most weekends I can be found at the beach soaking up saltwater and sunshine with my husband and daughters.

Rachel Aguilera

Rachel Aguilera

Resource Specialist

I grew up in Oxnard and attended school around the area. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from CSUCI and attended Cal Lutheran where I earned my Multiple Subject and Education Specialist Credential. I love watching students become readers and have been helping Rio students read since 2016. When I am not working I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.

Melissa Torres

Melissa Torres

Speech and Language Pathologist

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I received my Bachelors of Science in Biology with a Sub-concentration in Biomedics from the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus. I also have a second Bachelors of Science in Speech and Language Therapy and a Masters of Science in Speech and Language Pathology, from Carlos Albizu University, San Juan Campus. I enjoy running, biking, reading, studying, and working. I love animals and spending time with my family.

Julie Ellen Maria

Julie Ellen Maria

Nurse

I was born and raised in Oxnard and have lived here all my life. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree at California State University at Northridge, my Associate Degree in Nursing from Ventura College, and my School Nurse Credential from California State University at Fullerton. I have played in four "Scrabble" nationals and will definitely do more. I love to read. I absolutely love going to the movies. I especially enjoy visiting with friends. Most importantly, I love school nursing and love the fact that no two days are the same.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

Custodian

I began working in the Rio School District and Rio Plaza in 2016 as a long-term substitute and obtained a permanent position in 2017. I have experience in food service; as a noon duty supervisor; school office manager; instructional aide for physical education, Special Education, and Kindergarten; food service delivery driver; and as an after school program coordinator. I am currently working full time as the school’s day custodian.

When I am away from work I enjoy spending time with my family.

David Chavez

David Chavez

Custodian

I have worked in the Rio School District since 2005 and came to Rio Plaza in 2008. I have worked in grounds maintenance for a short time with the majority of my career in custodial work.

When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family.

Tania Andrade

Tania Andrade

Librarian

I received my B.A. in Sociology from CSU San Bernardino and have been working in the education field for 12 years. My husband and I moved to Ventura in 2009 and I have been working for the Rio School District since 2012. I love watching all my students grow and succeed in their reading goals. I enjoy spending time with my family, scrap-booking (when my son allows it!) and finding new creative ways to decorate my library. I love turtles, I have two Russian Tortoises at home. I enjoy visiting new places and hope to do more traveling in the future.

Caladaria Franco

Caladaria Franco

Kitchen Manager

I came from Mexico to the United States in 1999, when I was 19 years old. I obtained my high school degree in Mexico for typist and office secretary. I began working for the Rio School District in 2012 as a noon duty supervisor and moved into food service. I became the kitchen Manager in Charge in 2016.

When I am not working I love to travel and cook with with my family, and dance the salsa!

Irene Toribio

Irene Toribio

Preschool

Rio Plaza Teachers

(Rollover an image to access their email, websites and social media.)

Tracey Pearson

Tracey Pearson

Transitional Kindergarten Teacher

I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and reading books. I have a B.A. from California State University Long Beach. I attended Pepperdine University and received my Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and Masters Degree. I have been teaching with the Rio School District since 2015.

Patricia Alvarez

Patricia Alvarez

Kindergarten Teacher

I was born and raised in Oxnard. I received my BA in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subjects Credential with Bilingual Emphasis at UCSB. I began teaching in the Rio School District in 1987.

Katie Riggs

Katie Riggs

Kindergarten Teacher

My interests are running, hiking, baking, working with the youth group at my church, and spending time with my family and friends. The schools I attended include Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an undergraduate and Cal Lutheran University where I received my teaching credential. I have been with the Rio School District since 2014.

Martha Sheppard

Martha Sheppard

Kindergarten Teacher

I was born in Lima Peru. I truly enjoy traveling and camping with my family, reading, and doing artistic things with my granddaughter. I attended Moorpark College and received an AA as a Graphic Artist. I graduated CSUN with a BA in Sociology, and received my BCLAD teaching credential from UCLA/ CSUN. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2003.

Primitivo Garcia

Primitivo Garcia

1st Grade Teacher

I was born in Mexico. I have a BA in Liberal Arts from Cal State University Northridge and a B-Clad Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 1999.

Jacqueline Coronado

Jacqueline Coronado

1st Grade Teacher

I have been teaching since 1995 and in the Rio School District since 2000. I attended California State University Northridge where I earned my Bachelors degree in Child Development and my Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my 3 boys and attending their sporting events.

Sandra VonCannon-Legaspi

Sandra VonCannon-Legaspi

1st Grade Teacher

I began my teaching career in 1996. Since then I’ve primarily taught first grade with a few 1st/2nd combos. I transferred to the Rio School District in 2001. I have a B.A. degree in Art and I have a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; both obtained through CSUN. When not at school I enjoy time traveling with my family. The best thing about my job is seeing first graders blossom into readers.

Beatriz Acosta

Beatriz Acosta

2nd Grade Teacher

I began my teaching career in 1985 and have been with the Rio School District since 2000. I have an A.A. from Moorpark College, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a BCLAD Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from CSUN. I enjoy music, attending concerts,spending time with my family and playing with my grandsons.

Cheryl Molina

Cheryl Molina

2nd Grade Teacher

I enjoy reading, going to the beach, and spending time with my family. I attended Ventura College and graduated from CSUN. I have a B.A. in Child Development and a minor in Psychology and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. I have been in the Rio School District since 2002.

Richard Valdivia

Richard Valdivia

2nd Grade Teacher

I love spending time with my wife and our boxer dog, Pinky. I love sports (especially Angels baseball), and enjoy the outdoors. I have a B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSUN and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSUCI. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2004.

Robert Mitchell

Robert Mitchell

2nd Grade Teacher

I received my B.A. from UC Santa Barbara. I enjoy reading, nature, exercise, and spending time with my family. I especially like exploring and having fun in the Sierra Nevada mountains and at the beach. I have been teaching since 1993 and in the Rio School District since 2002.

Bernadette Cisneros

Bernadette Cisneros

2nd Grade Teacher

I enjoy being with family, traveling, and landscaping. I received my BA at the University of the Pacific and my MA in Educational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2004.

Vanessa Salas

Vanessa Salas

3rd Grade Teacher

I have a Clear CLAD Teaching Credential and a BA in Liberal Studies from Cal State Northridge. I have been teaching in Rio since 2002.

Erin Trujillo

Erin Trujillo

3rd Grade Teacher
Rocio Valadez

Rocio Valadez

3rd Grade Teacher

I enjoy music, attending concerts, and spending time with family and friends. I have a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State University Northridge, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, and M.A. in Education from Cal Lutheran University. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2001.

Megan Parker

Megan Parker

4th Grade Teacher

I was inspired by an Elementary teacher to become a teacher. I ran varsity track and cross- country at Rio Mesa High School. I continued running at Point Loma Nazarene University where I received a B.A. in Liberal Studies, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and a M.A. in Teaching. I enjoy traveling, being in the outdoors, spending time with family, and photography. I have been teaching in the district since 2013.

Nancy Ramos

Nancy Ramos

4th Grade Teacher

I enjoy art and dance. I attended Cal State Channel Islands University/Northridge and received my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSUN. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2000.

Crystal Calafati

Crystal Calafati

4th Grade Teacher

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University Northridge and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from California Lutheran University. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. Most of my free time is spent on the sidelines cheering my kids on at the soccer fields, baseball fields, and at the dance studio.

Ruben Castillo

Ruben Castillo

5th Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Oxnard. I love reading comic books and enjoy everything that has to do with Star Wars. I also bleed Dodger Blue! I have a B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSUN and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSUCI. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2005.

Denis O’Leary

Denis O’Leary

5th Grade Teacher

My interests are my family, civil rights, painting and writing. I have a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from CSU San Bernardino and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and BCLAD from Fresno Pacific. I have been teaching in the Rio School District since 2000.

Amber Gopalan

Amber Gopalan

5th Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Ventura, CA. I received my BA at Emory University and my MA at the Sposato Graduate School of Education in Boston. I have been teaching in the Rio School School District since 2016. Before that, I taught 3rd and 4th grade in Massachusetts. Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, running, and spending time with my family.

Jillian Ackerman

Jillian Ackerman

Kinder-2nd Grade Teacher
Saul Ulloa

Saul Ulloa

3rd-5thGrade Teacher