Educators

Lori Peters

Executive Director and Lead Educator: ELA, History, Geography

Lori Peters is the founder of One Spark Academy.  She wholeheartedly believes in the principles of teaching the whole child–meeting needs academically, socially, and emotionally– and inspiring students to be healthy, balanced, and globally aware. In June 2011, after 16 years in public alternative education, Lori decided to put her energy into helping students find their spark and enjoy the process of learning with like-minded peers in a truly unique learning environment.

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Laura Erlig

Lead Educator: Food Fascination, Science, Science Fair, Foundations Math

Laura Erlig is the mastermind behind the Food Fascination classes and our amazing lunch option at One Spark Academy; she also teaches many science classes, Foundations math, Book Club, and runs study sessions. A firm believer in whole child education, Laura’s experience includes 16 years in public education. She was a team member at CVUSD’s Open Classroom Leadership Magnet,

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Kalli Gedwed

Math, Science, Physical Education

Kalli has been teaching for more than 12 years and has served as a school administrator for four years. Kalli initially graduated with her BA in Psychology but was called to education while teaching skiing in Tahoe. She then earned her teaching credential and taught in Reno, Nevada for 10 years and two years in Ventura, specializing in middle school math and science. Upon getting her Masters in Educational Leadership, she worked as a school administrator in Oxnard for four years.

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Melanie Ware

Creative Writing, Book Club, Viewpoint

Way back in the day, when the birds sang a little sweeter and there was still a chance for your Hogwarts letter to come in the mail, Lori Peters had a student named Melanie. She ran wild, a barefoot child roaming the woods and the beach like some kind of fairy. She kept growing up, sprouting dreams, spanning miles until finally she ended up at UC Santa Cruz.

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Candice Renaker

Lead Educator: Core Math Courses, Math At Your Level, Enrichment Math Courses

Candice has been coaching, tutoring, and teaching for over ten years. Her passion for math began at a young age and continued through college where she earned her BA in Mathematics. While attending college she coached gymnastics and tutored math for schools and independently. She then earned a teaching credential from SDSU and 

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Mary Carrig

Improvisation, Actor’s Studio, Shakespeare

Mary Carrig is a classically trained actress, director, teacher and producer.  She earned a B.A. in Speech Communication as a theatre major at Bowling Green State University and has trained extensively with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.  Mary is the owner of Inside Shakespeare, LLC and artistic director of Conejo Valley Shakespeare Society Youth Shakespeare Company. Mary directed “The Wind in the Willows” and “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood”  for the Young Artists Ensemble at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts.

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Robin Lindsey

Body Talk, Crochet, Embroidery

Robin Lindsey loves to talk about anything dealing with how kids grow up, and appreciates the chance to present clear, factual, and honest information to teens. She has taught Our Whole Lives Comprehensive Sexuality Education for 11 years to students in grades 6th-8th privately and grades 4th-7th in public school. Besides Body Talk, Robin enjoys teaching kids to enjoy the art of crochet as much as she does. Her son Aidan attended One Spark Academy, and loved it! Robin, husband Tom Stough (who is a Board Member), and Aidan live in Thousand Oaks.

Dr. Steve Yoshinaga

Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science (CRPD classes)

Dr. Steve is an example of a scientist turned educator. He has taught science classes for the past ten years in the Conejo Valley, but he began his career in science as a researcher. Dr Steve received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA and worked as a research fellow at UCSF. He then moved to the Conejo Vallley to work at an eminent biotechnology company where he discovered novel genes and led a drug candidate into clinical trials.

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Helle Rasmussen

Fine Art

Helle Rasmussen is a local self taught artist and educator. She is originally from Denmark, but has lived in Newbury Park for 16 years. She has three kids of her own and has taught art to students of all ages over the past 10 years. She has worked with Art Trek and Art Masters programs teaching K-6th grade and has since developed many of her own lessons while teaching home school students K-9th grade.

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Tim Handley

Game Design, Botany, Ecology, Electric Art

Tim Handley believes that knowledge, beauty, and life are intertwined – that an understanding of the natural world is a key ingredient for creating new technologies, making good life choices, and appreciating the beauty in everything from apples to rainbows to zebras. He has a BA in physics and an MS in Ecology, has worked as a technician at JPL and as a scientist at the National Park Service, and now works as a combination educator and agent of educational change. When not at One Spark, he is the Founder and Chief Everything Officer at Mindful Mammoth, where he designs board games, mobile apps, and outreach programs to promote the understanding of science, nature, and life through play.