FACULTY AND STAFF
Stellar Academy employs a diverse collection of education professionals, to teach strategies, discover and develop strengths, and foster success for children with dyslexia. Each teacher at Stellar Academy (and several of the support staff) has completed intensive postgraduate work in the Slingerland® approach.
Head of School
Heather Leyva is the new Head of School of Stellar Academy. She has a BA in Humanities with an Emphasis in Education, from New College of California, San Francisco. An AA in Liberal Studies (Hons) from Vista College, Berkeley, and an AA in Early Childhood Education with an Emphasis on Administration in School Age Care from Ohlone College, Fremont. She has been a preschool director for the past 20 years as well as having been a credentialed preschool teacher. Ms. Leyva has a passion for helping families not just survive, but to thrive and has presented several workshop seminars on different aspects of parenting. As the proud parent of a now-independent, dyslexic, young adult, the mission of Stellar Academy is personal. It’s her wish to see our program flourish and grow until every dyslexic child in the East Bay, and beyond, has the opportunity to maximize their true educational potential.
Anne has taught at Stellar Academy since 2006. Prior to Stellar, she taught at the California School for the Deaf for 14 years. Mrs. Roberts is fluent in American Sign Language. She holds a MA and a special education credential along with a California teaching credential, extensive Slingerland training, and Making Math Real training.
DR. MELINDA MAWSON
Teacher, ELA, Mathematics
Melinda holds a BA (Hons) from Monash University and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies/Critical Theory and Analysis from the Australian National University. She has presented papers and been published in her field and has taught students from university level through to elementary classroom, individualized homeschooling and tutoring. When her own children struggled in school because of language processing disorders and ADHD, Melinda re-dedicated her own passion for education to becoming trained in the academic and social-emotional needs of intelligent children who learn differently. After completing IDA & IMSLEC accredited Slingerland® Multisensory Structured Language Teaching Level 1, Melinda joined the team at Stellar Academy in 2017. She has since completed Level 2 and is the process of fulfilling the rigorous requirements for Slingerland certification. Over the past four years, Melinda has also accomplished nearly 300 hours of training in Making Math Real™ subjects to teach across multiple grade levels.
Primary Writing, Reading, Mathematics, Executive Functioning and Metacognitive skills | Primary and Middle School Art
Tracie has been working with neurodiverse students for over 10 years. Her experience includes 1:1 and group work in an Inclusion Preschool, in Private Tutoring, in Intensive Summer Training for students with Dyslexia, through Remote Teaching and in a Brick and Mortar Classroom. She has completed both the Introductory and Continuum Levels of training in the IDA & IMSLEC accredited Slingerland® Multisensory Structured Language program and recently completed the required Extended Practicum for certification through IMSLEC. She has completed an extensive number of hours in the Structured Multi-Sensory learning method of Making Math Real™ , holds a BA of Art in Multimedia, and is currently completing a MS in Reading and Literacy. Tracie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and the International Literacy Association.
Coach Amanda has been with Stellar as a classroom aide and now as our PE Coach. She brings joy and enthusiasm to us every day of the week. She is a genius with fiber arts and also instructs our students in knitting and crocheting.
Brenda has over 10 years of customer service experience. She enjoys interacting with other people and helping them. Brenda likes working with numbers and has experience with managing finances. This is her dream job because she gets to combine her love of customer service with her interest in finances and accounting.