Brittany McElroy – Site Coordinator
Brittany grew up on the outskirts of Chico and has been a part of the local community her whole life. She attended Chico State with the intention of earning a teaching credential but decided she wanted to spend her life dedicated to alternative education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Community and Commercial Recreation Administration with a focus in Youth Involvement in 2014. She has more than 10 years of experience in youth development in an education setting and absolutely loves shaping the lives of youth. When she found Pivot, she knew right away that their mission and motto would be a good fit for her. She currently lives in Chico with her boyfriend and their two children, two dogs and a Betta Fish. They enjoy going to the snow, camping, hunting, and road trips!
Julianne Cochran – Grader (Math)
Julianne is a San Diego native and math nerd. She has taught math for 11 years, in 6 different schools, on 2 coasts. She holds degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education and Curriculum and Instruction. When she isn’t busy obsessing over numbers, she enjoys time with her husband and two boys, going to the beach, watching movies, campaigning for the clean beauty movement, baking, and exercising.
Brittany Daugherty is a graduate of Plumas Charter School. She works as the Director of Human Resources for all 4 Pivot schools. She loves being a part of the Pivot team and enjoys working with and meeting students and their families. She enjoys traveling and reading, as well as spending time with her family and friends.
Barbara was born and raised in New York and New Jersey and relocated to California to be near family. She earned a special education teaching credential and M.A. at Fresno State and taught special education for 18 years at Fresno Unified School District. Barbara was an adjunct professor at Fresno State University in the special education department for 8 years, preparing teaching candidates. She moved to Sonoma County to be near her two grandsons and joined the Pivot Team in the role of special education administrative assistant in November 2016.
Sarah Golden – School Counselor
Sarah has an MA in Counselor Education specializing in School Counseling grades K-12 from Western Michigan University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Walden University finishing her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. She has served as the Consulting School Counselor at Pivot for the past five years and was previously a counselor at a school in Los Angeles. Sarah is passionate about supporting students and their families and is excited to work closely with the students and families at Pivot.
Sarah is originally from the Midwest but has lived in California for the past 10 years. She enjoys hiking, running and stand-up paddle boarding. She is a marathon runner and competed in cross country while in college. She is passionate about working with youth and has traveled to Rwanda, Africa to volunteer with children 5-18 years old in various communities. She has two dogs, a French bulldog named Linus, and an English bulldog named Franklin.
Craig Hobart – Regional Director
As a teenager, Craig was the youngest instructor in ski school. He worked with and mentored under a Biology professor/ski bum who planted the seed of becoming a life-long learner by teaching others. After college Craig first worked in biotech, and later in computer technologies. One brave day he applied to grad school and earned a Master in Education. Like many students, he thinks he found the ideal environment at Pivot.
During the Summer, Craig is the guy who the backcountry trout laugh at. During the school year, Craig is often recognized at the tail end of a local cycling race. He lives in San Marcos with his wife, two kids, and his dog Fin.
Nicole has a passion for helping children reach their full potential, and is excited to be a member of the Pivot Charter School team. She has years of experience working to support children and families in school settings and brings her full energy, heart, and education to her role as School Counselor. She attended California State University, Chico, graduating with both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology, as well as her credentials as School Psychologist and School Counselor. In addition, she has personal experience attending an alternative high school program as a graduate from Butte County Home Study. She understands the great value of flexible school options and caring, individualized support, to meet students’ learning needs. Nicole has lived in Chico throughout her life. She loves spending time with her husband and two sons. She enjoys weekend adventures at the beach, in the city, or hiking in the mountains. She also spends a great deal of time in beautiful Bidwell Park, as well as running, watching movies, and reading.
Liz Jones – Chief Business Officer
Liz has always loved math, and she finds happiness in teaching others. Her favorite thing about Pivot Charter Schools is the ability to tailor students’ education plans to meet their individual needs and goals. Liz grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduated from UCSD with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science, and earned her teaching credential in Mathematics from SDSU. She loves rowing, music, cooking, puzzles, and backpacking.
As Chief Business Officer, Liz works with a wide range of staff and contractors to manage the financial operations that make Pivot Charter Schools possible. Liz has been with Pivot since 2010, and looks forward to serving Pivot’s students and families in many diverse ways in the years to come!
Danielle started at Pivot in 2018. She is a Chico State graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design Danielle is a proud mom of two beautiful kids, who both attend charter schools and are her whole world. She is grateful to be part of such a great team here at Pivot, and her favorite thing about Pivot is watching how students’ individual needs are met to help them be successful in their educational career. Danielle’s hobbies include crafting, softball, camping, going to the lake, going to the beach, spending time with her kids, and traveling.
Shannon Mallory – Registrar
Shannon came to Pivot in 2016 after working for 6 years at Plumas Charter School in the dual role of Special Education Aide and Administrative Secretary. She is the proud mom of a charter school graduate. She feels blessed to be part of the dynamic Pivot team whose sole focus is to serve their students in an individual/personalized manner. She loves cooking, crafting, spending time with her children, dogs, and family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
Andria McNamee – School Nurse
Andria serves as our nursing resource to support the health and safety of our students in all four resource centers. In addition to working with Pivot Charter Schools, Andria practices nursing in the hospital setting. She received her B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in the Natural Sciences from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and her nursing degree through Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. Pivot brought Andria on board in early 2016 to assist with immunization screenings, and her role continues to evolve. She loves reading, jogging, craft projects, and singing in the car. Andria finds working with the staff and Pivot families very fulfilling, and looks forward to helping keep our students safe and healthy!
Geri Ott – School Nurse
Bio Coming Soon!
Kristen is a Northern California native, growing up and going to school in the East Bay Area. Kristen earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) from San Francisco State University and a Single Subject English Teaching Credential from California State University Sacramento where a strong emphasis was placed on social justice and equity in education. She worked as an English and reading intervention teacher for two years, before leaving to pursue a career in alternative education. She is so happy to have found a home at Pivot and a new passion in MTSS, where a holistic approach to education leads every student on their unique path to success. When she isn’t working, she loves writing, playing and listening to music, hiking, catching up on her favorite shows on Netflix and spending time with her family and friends.
Kareen Poulsen – Director of Student Services & Title IX Coordinator
Kareen Poulsen is a fourth generation Santa Rosa citizen and graduated from Santa Rosa High School before attending U.C. Davis, where she played volleyball for four years, rowed crew for two years and still managed to receive a BA in English. After 25 years as the CFO for an Investment Corporation, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time teacher and went on to receive her teaching credential in Mathematics from Sonoma State University. She previously taught Math at Pivot and has now moved into the role of Director of Student Services for all four resource centers. Kareen also serves as the Title IX Coordinator for Pivot Charter School. For information on Title IX, click here. She enjoys spending time with family, going to the beach, hiking, traveling, reading books and watching good movies. As a part of the Pivot Charter School Team since 2013, Kareen is devoted to using her education and experience to help students succeed.
Cindy Spencer – Administrative Assistant/Accounts Payable Clerk
Cindy Spencer was born in Placerville, California and raised in Placer County. She was fourth among five brothers and a sister, so she grew up in a very competitive environment. She attended Sierra Junior College and after two years transferred to American River College for her English degree. Enjoying the best of many industries, Cindy worked both in the public and private sectors of the land use industry. After the building industry fallout, Cindy moved into managing a Chiropractic office for nearly five years. Through that experience, Cindy was sought out to close out a teaching program for the Sacramento Office of Education for three years. She taught the Medical and Chiropractic Assistance program to at-risk adults. This program was fulfilling in that after 300 hours of class and hands-on training, she was tasked to place each student in a medical/chiropractic office for 250 hours of internship. Her last graduating class was 86% employed at the time of graduation.
Cindy has two sons, both Placer County Deputy Sheriffs who live also in the Roseville area. She also has two grandchildren. Her non-working hours are spent hiking and kayaking, golfing and playing volleyball. Before accepting this wonderful position with Pivot, Cindy spent six months in South America, backpacking through Ecuador, Argentina & Chile, enjoying the adventure of a new culture.
Born and raised in Southern California, Lindsey Vining has her Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in Mathematics and her Master’s degree from Oregon State University in Mathematics Education. As a credentialed teacher, Lindsey has taught at the middle school, high school, and college levels. She enjoys working with students of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences to increase their understanding and enthusiasm to learn. At home, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and two chickens.
Tracy was raised in Saratoga, CA, and from a young age, she played on competitive traveling soccer teams. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from Humboldt State University in 1996. For over fifteen years she taught general education to elementary and middle school students in Northern California. In 2011, she began working towards her lifelong goal of working with students with special needs and received her Education Specialist Mild/Moderate Credential from National University. She believes with consistent expectations, unconditional respect, and clear goals, all students can be successful and achieve their goals! When Tracy isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, biking, skiing, and hanging out at the beach. She loves to travel and recently spent time exploring England, Spain, and Portugal.
Joanna Yoels – Grader (English)
Bio Coming Soon!