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Transitional Kindergarten BIO

Karen Young

I am thrilled to be a member of the Coyote Creek pack and feel very fortunate to be working in this wonderful community.

I have been teaching at Coyote Creek since 2005 and have taught Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Kindergarten/1st grade combination classes. In 2014, I was named SRVUSD Teacher of the Year and a Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Finalist. I love working with children knowing that I can make a difference in their lives. What I hope to pass on to my students is the love of learning and caring for others that will help them throughout their school career. Every day is exciting and full of new concepts or skills to learn.

I received my B.S. degree at Arizona State University and my teaching credential from Chapman University. My first career was in the Information Systems industry doing systems implementations and project management.  When my children were young, I decided to stay home for a few years to take care of them and I volunteered much of my time at their schools. This is where I found my passion for teaching. While I went back to school to get my teaching credential, I volunteered and substituted primarily in kindergarten and first grade classes in this district, learning from the best in preparation to teach my own class.

My husband and I live in this community and we have 2 terrific sons.  Nathan graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with dual degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering and Nicholas graduated from Penn State with a degree in Chemistry. Both are now working in research/development.  I have been very involved in the San Ramon Unified School District for many years as a parent, a volunteer, and a teacher.  I love to spend time with my family, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, going to the movies, and going on trips. 

I am looking forward to a fabulous year full of adventure and learning.

Amy Smoller

I am so excited to be a Creative Coyote with the wonderful community here at Coyote Creek! After one year of teaching preschool in Orinda, I came to the district in 1992 and taught first grade for five years. While living in Alamo, I took a six year leave to stay home with my three young boys. When I returned to teaching, I earned my high school social studies credential and taught history and government at Del Amigo High School for nine years. Never being one to gather moss, I returned to elementary school and have enjoyed teaching 5th, 4th grades, and TK.

Raised in Virginia, I spent my summers in Ohio, and lived and worked in Germany and Austria. I earned my undergraduate in Political Science at Virginia Tech. While working in the State Department, I attended Marymount University in Arlington Virginia where I earned my teaching credential and Master’s Degree in Education. Then, I promptly moved west.  

Now I live in Oakland on lovely Lake Merritt.  My three boys, Ethan, Brent, and Nate, are all attending post-secondary schools. We are foodies, sports fans, love to travel, and are passionate about music, animals, and of course- education!