PCCS Welcomes New Teaching Staff

The Pacific School is excited to welcome new teachers for our 2021-22 school year.

Lili Hillscan, TK-Kindergarten-1st Grade Teacher.
 Lili earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus in Education from Humboldt State University and has taken courses on Natural Resources Management from Santa Rosa Junior College. She has been working with children of all ages since high school and has always planned on becoming a teacher. Lili has been a part of the Pacific School community for the past 12 years as a volunteer, parent and staff member. She has worked as a Classroom Aide, including with the Forest Kindergarten program, and most recently supported our administrative team as the K-8 Administrative Assistant. She has also put in lots of time in the K8 kitchen helping with our breakfast and lunch program. Lili enjoys the beauty of the coast and is excited to integrate the joy of being outdoors and lessons of the natural world with our TK-K-1 class. When she’s not working at the school, you can find her spending time with her family, being outside, camping, hiking, and sailing, as well as working on her small family farm.

Charlene Rowland, K-8 After School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) Teacher.
Charlene grew up farming in the beautiful Canadian prairie province Manitoba. Her mother was an artist and taught art at her elementary school. She was raised with a deep appreciation for nature and environmental health that she strives to share with her students. She has studied and worked in Agriculture for 3 decades. Charlene’s teaching credential is Career Technical Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources and she has been teaching Agriculture in Mendocino county for ten years. Charlene has taught at Anderson Valley Middle/High School, River Community School and Ukiah High School. During the past 5 years she has been teaching Plant Science and Agriculture at Point Arena High School and has been facilitating dozens of successful field trips, apprenticeships, job shadows and outdoor education experiences. Charlene enjoys backpacking, playing banjo and trail running in her free time.

Andrea Mazza, 4th - 12th Health & Wellness Teacher. Andrea earned her single subject teaching credentials in Physical Education and Health Science after a background of working in orthopedic therapies and education. Andrea earned her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with a concentration in Health and Wellness Promotion after earning an Associate of Science in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine. Andrea is an adventurous human and athlete, with a passion for water polo which she played competitively for many years. She’s played and coached many sports, including swimming, tennis, and beach volleyball. Andrea grew up in the foothills and valley of the Sierra Nevada mountains where she learned to love the outdoors. She joined us on the coast five years ago and was thrilled to live where she has been visiting family since she was a small child. Andrea is always up for a challenge – she once lived in Sitka, Alaska where she worked on a commercial fishing boat. Andrea would love to help develop an aquatics program here in Point Arena, because she feels it’s essential for every child to learn swimming and water safety. She’s also a certified EMT and EMR (Emergency Medical Technician/Responder), who trained at Coast Life Support District. Andrea approaches life with gusto and a true growth mindset – she believes in persevering through challenges with a sense of humor and strives to be an asset to every team she joins.

Susan Schaefer Bernardo, High School English Literature and Creative Writing Teacher. Susan brings real-world writing experience to our program, as well as impressive academic qualifications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA, a Master’s degree in English Literature from Yale, and did her teacher training at Pepperdine. She is a published author and poet who has also worked in public relations, television and as an arts facilitator and public speaker. Her picture books are used widely to help children cope with social-emotional issues. Notably, she co-authored The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm with actor LeVar Burton. That book was read aloud to military families by former First Lady Michelle Obama and also sent to the International Space Station and read aloud by astronaut Kate Rubins for Storytime from Space. Susan successfully co-created, crowdfunded and published three more picture booksSun Kisses, Moon Hugs, The Big Adventures of Tiny House and The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen. In 2018 she released Inspired, a YA novel about a girl who discovers she is descended from Muses. Susan moved to Gualala from Los Angeles in 2020. She’s dreamed about living on the redwood coast ever since attending 6th grade science camp here, and she’s looking forward to learning more about this spectacular area through the eyes of her students (and writing about it with them). When she's not writing or teaching, she enjoys tidepooling, sculpting, gardening, traveling the world, exploring museums, and romping through the woods with her two rescue mutts.