MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS

Sixth Grade

Joanne Chen


Ms. “Chen”derson is a life-long learner. She started her schooling in Taiwan and then immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 8. Her first lesson in the U.S. was learning to bob for apples which she thought was gross and silly. Since then, she has earned a B.A. in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from UC Berkeley. Prior to becoming a teacher with WCCUSD, she worked as a marketing consultant launching companies in the digital space. This will be her 17th year of teaching the 6th grade. Ms. “Chen”derson lives in Oakland with her fun-loving family of critters: three demanding cats, two goofy dogs, and a clever husband who can fix just about anything. She loves to spend time hiking, climbing, reading and gardening.




Liutha Phan


I was born in Laos and grew up in Richmond, California. I attended Lincoln Elementary, Montalvin Manor Elementary, Downer Junior High, Helms Junior High, Kennedy High, and finally, Richmond High School. I studied Human Development and Native American Studies at UC Davis and graduated in 1995. I have taught grades 1 through 6 in both Oakland Unified and WCCUSD. This will be my 21st year. I love to travel and learn about different cultures.





Seventh Grade

Elise Madrid


I was born in North Carolina, then moved to San Diego for high school and traveled north for college. I received my degree and teaching credential from Sonoma State University. I have been at Mira Vista since 2013 teaching seventh grade. Outside of the classroom, I enjoys reading and dancing. I am known for my love affair with Funyuns and pizza with green bell peppers.




Brett Lackey


I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I have taught in the East Bay for the last 10 years at various grade levels; however, I am loving teaching middle school for the last three years, and seventh grade in particular. I am passionate about integrating useful technology into my curriculum; I have mentored and coached FIRST Lego League teams; and am the founder and teacher of the MV STEAM after-school program entering its fifth year. I also enjoy working in the middle school garden and demonstrating the practical applications of science in the outdoor classroom.





Eighth Grade

Valerie van der Meer


I have been teaching in WCCUSD for 20 years. I am currently teaching 8th grade US history and NGSS 8th grade Science. I like to read, knit, do art projects, and garden.




Ryan Tsugawa


I was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended WCCUSD schools from grades K-12. After graduating from El Cerrito High, I moved to Los Angeles, where I attended UCLA and Pepperdine University and received his BA in sociology, teaching credential, and master’s degree in education. Before I came to Mira Vista in 2010, I was a 4th/5th-grade teacher and math coach in the Oakland Unified School District for 4 years. In my free time, I like to watch sports (go Giants, 49ers, and Warriors!), cook, and spend time with my family.





Mira Vista School
6397 Hazel Ave. Richmond, CA 94805
Phone: 510-231-1416
Fax: 510-234-8739

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