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 utilizes Making Math Real® - based strategies and methods.
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 completed nearly 300 hours of instruction in Making Math Real® to incorporate Making Math Real® based strategies and methods for primary grades through middle school.
Writing, Reading, Mathematics, Executive Functioning and Metacognitive Skills |
Dyslexia & ADHD Student and Family Coaching and Support
Tracie holds a BA in Art, a Masters of Science in Reading and Literacy, and is IMSLEC & IDA certified through the Slingerland Literacy Institute. She is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and the International Literacy Association, and is currently serving on the faculty senate for Slingerland Literacy Institute. As a dyslexic ADH’er herself, Tracie uses first person affirming language, identifying positive and empowering traits and growth with students and families. She uses a Multisensory Structured Literacy & Multisensory Math approach in 1:1 , small group, or whole class work.
Marlene is a graduate of San Jose State University with a B.A. in Social Science. She joined the Stellar Staff in 2001. Mrs. Castillo is Slingerland trained completing levels 1 & 2. During her time at Stellar, she has also taught language arts and math. Currently, Mrs. Castillo teaches Social Studies for all grade levels, and says the students here at Stellar make her job most gratifying.
Coach Amanda began her Stellar journey as a classroom aide and now serves as our Head PE Coach. She brings her joy and enthusiasm for athletics into every lesson she presents. As a genius with fiber arts, she has also periodically instructed our students in both 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.