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Teachers and Faculty


  • Claire Wichelmann, Office Manager
  • Laura Cerda, Clerk


  • Room 1, x 23531
  • , Room 2, x 23532
  • Abby Heckman, room 30
  • Ms. Blaine, room 1

First Grade

  • Bonnie Janora, Room 10, x 23510
  • , Room 11, x 23511
Second Grade
  • Ulrika Bauer, Room 8, x 11582
  • Linda Zittel, Room 12

Third Grade

  • Steven Lucas, Room 13, x 23513
  • , Room 14, x 23514
Fourth Grade
  • Diane Hoy, Room 6, x 23546
  • Debbie Cruger-Hansen

Fifth Grade

  • Ms. Hamilton, Room 18, x 23518
  • Petria Ross, Room 19, x 23539
Sixth Grade
  • , Room 20, x 23520
  • , Room 21, x 23521

Seventh Grade

  • , Room 23, x 23523
  • , Room 25, x 23525
Eighth Grade
  • Valerie VanderMeer, Room 24, x 23524
  • , Room 26, x 23526
SH and NSH
  • Ellen Schnur, Pre-K SH, Room 4, x 23533
  • Melanie Santos, K-1st grade NSH, Room 3, x 23508
  • Sandra Keller, 2nd-3rd grade NSH, Room 15, x 23515
  • Erik Wallacker, 4th-6th grade NSH, Room 12, x 23512
PE and Music
  • Guy Sutherlin, PE, Room 28
  • TBD, Band, Room 28
  • TBD, Elementary Music, Room 28
  • Heidi Bartsch, Librarian, Room 16, x 23536
  • Max Driggs, RSP, Room 27, x 23527
  • Amee Evangelista-Marcayda, Speech, Room 03, x 23560
  • Bryan Maxum, After-School Program, Room 29, x 23529
  • Lindsey Nicholls, Speech, Room 5B, x 23544
  • Vanessa Rodriguez, Psychologist, Room 5B, x 23544
  • , RSP, Room 27, x 23527
Gabriel Chilcott was born in Richmond, California. His mother attended Mira Vista Elementary, and he takes great pride in working in his familial school. Mr. Chilcott graduated from El Cerrito High School in 1992 and received a degree in history from San Francisco State University in 1998. After graduating, Mr. Chilcott began teaching in WCCUSD. He was a history teacher for 10 years at Helms Middle School, where he was also the soccer coach, before moving on to administration at Richmond High School, Pinole Valley High School, Helms Middle School, a number of summer schools, and finally settling at beautiful Mira Vista. Mr. Chilcott received his master’s degree in education and administrative credential from the University of California, Berkeley. In his free time, Mr. Chilcott enjoys playing soccer and basketball, running, cooking, and gardening. You can reach him at GChilcott at wccusd.net.
Mrs. Carico is a lifelong resident of Richmond and an alumna of Mira Vista School. She attended UC Berkeley and received her teaching credential from College of Holy Names in Oakland. She has been teaching since 1979, including first, third, fourth, and fifth grades and three years of special education before moving into kindergarten. She taught full inclusion special ed for kindergarten for 17 years at Castro Elementary before coming to Mira Vista 5 years ago. Her background is in speech–language audiology, a skill set she uses every day in the kindergarten classroom. She continues to work closely with the special education kindergarten class to facilitate mainstreaming. Mrs. Carico is Mira Vista’s representative for the United Teachers of Richmond and a member of the school’s Leadership Team. She has three grown children and one grandchild. Outside the classroom, she enjoys reading and cooking. You can reach Mrs. Carico at j.cibula at yahoo.com.
Caralee Spafford is a Bay Area native and incredibly grateful to work at Mira Vista. She received her BA from UC Davis and her MAEd with an emphasis in digital teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University. Ms. Spafford is the Tech Teacher Leader for Mira Vista and greatly enjoys integrating technology into the existing curriculum. She loves to sing and dance (she has a background in musical theater) and incorporates these activities into her classroom. Ms. Spafford has taught in first, third, fourth, and fifth grade, but first is definitely her favorite! You can reach Ms. Spafford at CSpafford at wccusd.net.
Ms. McLachlan grew up in Richmond and attended Mira Vista as a child—she has been a Magnificent Mira Vista Bumble Bee since 1980! Her two daughters now also attend Mira Vista. She is in her 16th year of teaching and her 5th year at Mira Vista. She has taught all grades from kindergarten through third and is excited to return to third grade this year. Ms. McLachlan has taught in three school districts in California and one in Virginia. She speaks Spanish as a second language, and her hobbies include playing piano and Zumba dancing. She loves teaching at Mira Vista and welcomes her former students and families to visit her in her new room—Room 14. Ms. McLachlan’s email address is RMclachlan at wccusd.net.
Ms. Chen was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States when she was in third grade. She grew up in Southern California and moved north to attend UC Berkeley. After graduating, she worked as a marketing assistant at the Walt Disney Company and then as a marketing manager for a Bay Area marketing consulting company. Ms. Chen then pursued a teaching credential and has now been teaching for 12 years. She lives in Oakland with her fun-loving family of critters: four demanding cats, two goofy dogs, and a clever husband who can fix just about anything. She loves to spend time hiking, climbing, and gardening. Ms. Chen is striving to walk 10,000 steps every day. Come join her in this goal! You can reach her at JChen at wccusd.net.
Ms. Phan was born in Laos and grew up in Richmond. She graduated from Richmond High School in 1991 and received a BS in human development with a minor in Native American studies from UC Davis. She has taught grades one through six in Oakland and Richmond. Ms. Phan speaks Mien and loves learning about different cultures. Her favorite thing to do is travel. You can reach her at LPhan at wccusd.net.
Ms. Madrid was born in North Carolina, then moved to San Diego for high school and traveled north for college. She received her degree and teaching credential from Sonoma State University. This is her second year at Mira Vista teaching seventh grade. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading and dancing. She grew up with a focus on ballet and studied for a brief period of time with Boston Ballet and continued her dancing career in San Diego. She is known for her love affair with Funyuns and pizza with green bell peppers. You can reach her at EMadrid at wccusd.net.
Mr. Lackey was born and raised in the Bay Area. He has taught in the East Bay for the last 7 years at various grade levels; however, he is loving teaching middle school in general and seventh grade in particular. He is passionate about integrating useful technology into his curriculum; mentoring and coaching the FIRST Lego League teams; and founding and teaching the MV STEAM after-school program. He also enjoys working in the middle school garden and demonstrating the practical applications of science in the outdoor classroom. Mr. Lackey continues to support the ever-growing number of readers at Mira Vista with the annual Book Exchange. You can reach him at BLackey at wccusd.net.
Mr. Tsugawa was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended WCCUSD schools from grades K-12. After graduating from El Cerrito High, he moved to Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA and Pepperdine University and received his BA in sociology, teaching credential, and master’s degree in education. He then taught 2 years of 5th grade in Los Angeles before moving back to the Bay Area to be closer to his family. Before coming to Mira Vista in 2010, he was a 4th/5th-grade teacher and math coach in the Oakland Unified School District for 4 years. In his free time, he likes to watch sports (go Giants, 49ers, and Warriors!), cook, and spend time with his family. He can be reached at RTsugawa at wccusd.net.
Ms. Rossi has worked as a Resource Specialist for 15 years with WCCUSD. She established and coordinated a thriving Learning Center model at Tara Hills School. She serves on the leadership team of Growing West County School Gardens, a collaboration of garden activists working to promote school gardens in the district. Now a retired teacher who lives in the neighborhood, she works half time at Mira Vista teaching K–4 students with learning challenges. She is establishing her own Educational Therapy practice supporting the whole child for academic success. Ms. Rossi can be reached at graciella.i.rossi at gmail.com.