Meet the Creekside Team

Jeff Kraunz

Executive Director

Creekside is a magical place to work.  Inspired learning at the base of Olympic Valley Ski Area.  It’s a dream come true to share my days with a community of people that care about academics, student relationships and the community as a whole.  Prior to joining Creekside Charter Management I taught, counseled, coached, and led in three of this country’s best school systems. (Newton, MA; Aspen, CO; York, ME) These combined experiences support my work in making Creekside the best school for our students.

Lynn Bohrnstedt

Executive Accounts Manager

I have been involved in the many phases of Creekside since 2003. I have seen it grow and evolve and couldn’t be more proud to now be heading its business department. I look forward to the future of Creekside Cooperative Charter School and working with the wonderful staff, parents and students.

Veronica Shipley

Transitional Kindergarten

I am ecstatic to be a part of the Creekside team. I have experience in kindergarten, second grade, and at the college level. I am passionate about the field of early childhood education and seek to create an environment in which your child grows socially, emotionally, and academically through play.

Theresa Anderson


A little about me… I enjoy paddle boarding, running, x-country and downhill skiing, biking, hiking, and spending time with my family. Teaching in Slovenia for a year awakened my love of travel and I plan to do as much as I can this year. My oldest daughter, Zoe, is working on her marriage and family therapy license in San Jose. My son, Aidan, is working on his degree online and working in town so I get to see him lots!  My youngest daughter, Hope, is attending school in Santa Barbara.  This is my 12th year at Creekside and I am so happy to be back with my friends and teaching outdoors.

Crystal McGuinness

First Grade

I have truly found my home at Creekside and I love teaching First Grade! I studied Exercise Physiology at Chico State and thought I would be a physical therapist. Come to find out, teaching kids stole my heart and I went back to school to get my Masters Degree in Teaching at Sierra Nevada University. I have worked in preschool, Kindergarten (both indoor and outdoor), and Special Education. I believe children thrive in an environment where they are seen, heard, and valued. A big focus in my classroom is connection and relationship building so students feel safe and part of their community. It is from this place where deeper learning happens. I am a proud mama of two amazing daughters, wife to an awesome husband, and dog mama to our husky pup. I love turning my phone off and hanging in the woods with my family, working out, snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, and paddleboarding.

Jenny Worthy

Second grade

I have experience teaching pre-K, K, and 6th grade over the last 10 years or so. I also ran a Bed and Breakfast Inn for 8 years and have a strong musical background. I sang in musical theater and opera productions prior to getting my teaching credential, so your children can expect some fun music and art projects as we progress through our core standards throughout the year. We learn a lot and have a great time in our classroom!

Jessica Loring

Third Grade

I’ve taught K-3 in diverse populations, and absolutely love what I do! My goal in the classroom is to use communication and compassion towards all students in order to create a positive environment where students treat one other with respect and kindness. I offer guidance and direction throughout the learning process, using differentiation, inquiry and hand-on experiences, while encouraging students to embrace their eduction and make it their own. I believe in the power of communication and collaboration, and enjoy working with Creekside’s amazing staff, students and families. 

Gillian Tomasini

fourth grade

I have taught with Creekside since 2001, teaching Kindergarten, Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades. Recognizing the importance of positive attitudes to encourage and inspire students to expect and reach their highest potentials, my teaching style incorporates inquiry, allowing students to develop and apply skills across through research, inference, problem solving, and reflective, critical and creative thinking.

Susan Bower

fifth grade

I bring my adventure racing experience, which is mainly about teamwork and pushing oneself, into the classroom.  Adventure racing is about working as a team to reach to a common goal. I create a class where everyone has a sense of belonging and has the skills to succeed, emotionally and mentally.  Inspiring each student to go beyond their limits in a safe, fun, exciting, and challenging environment is my main goal. Being on a successful team means everyone will grow, learn, and transform.

Heather David

sixth grade

I am so excited to be a part of the Creekside community as your 6th grade teacher! I have taught diverse populations in the Bay Area and my hometown, Sacramento. Prior to joining Creekside, I completed my M.A. in Education at UC Berkeley focused on equitable teaching practices. It is during my time in graduate school that I developed my focus on social emotional learning to help encourage students to reach their highest potential. I enjoy spending the day helping students develop a love of learning!

Gretchen Brugman


Literature, Writing, History, and the Joys of Middle School.

Steven Benesi

seventh/eighth grade

I’m so excited to spend each year learning with the students at Creekside. I look forward to the interesting discussions, activities, and experiences the year will hold!

Monica Caldari

World Languages Dept. Head, Spanish K-8

Approximately 15 years of my life have been spent teaching English, Spanish, and Social Studies at every grade level, at inner city public schools, in Puerto Rico, Connecticut, Northern California, and now in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Because of my multicultural background and extensive travel, cultural diversity has played a critical role in my teaching practice. It is an aspect within education that must be addressed in order to create a more compassionate, respectful and truly educated society.

Katrina Pilcher


From teaching ski school, after-school programs, 3rd and 4th grade, and Special Education, I have always found a way to work with kids. As an educator, I strive to create a safe, fun, caring, and collaborative environment where all students can learn their best and grow to their full potential.  I love working with the staff and students at Creekside in this beautiful valley that I originally moved to ten years back! 

Sandy Nern

3rd/4th/5th Aide

My job at Creekside is to make sure that the kids feel loved and safe.  I love that Creekside has a family feeling, where the kids come in as strangers leave as brothers, sisters, cousins.  My favorite thing to do is hike with my dogs (Boca and Katie) and my husband and son.  Something that most people don’t know about me is that I spent five years sailing around the world on a sailboat with my husband and son.   Cody was homeschooled from the boat from Kindergarten to 4th grade.  Panama was the best place we went – it has great fishing!

Kenzie Schweitzer

6th/7th/8th Aide

I help the kids stay focused in the classroom and keep them safe on the schoolyard.  I am also a Big Mountain coach at Palisades and love to surf and mountain bike and have a great passion for the outdoors. 

Emma Sheedy

Extension Learning Coordinator

I am so excited to be a part of the Creekside team! I was born and raised in Truckee and have a love for all things outdoors. I have taught in multiple countries and have experience in 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th grades as well as multiple years in alternative education high schools. I received my M.A. from UC Irvine which is where I discovered my passion for mathematics and STEM education. I believe that creation and challenge are important aspects of learning and I am excited to challenge your students into the creative thinkers and makers that they are!

Lisa Schussler

TK/1st/2nd Aide

My job at Creekside is to assist teachers in TK/1st and 2nd grades, both in the classroom and on the school playground.  I love the Creekside staff and kids so much – it makes me happy to come to work every day!  In my spare time, I love to mountain bike and hike and hang with my kids.  I am originally from Ohio, but have been living in the Tahoe area for 20+ years.  My favorite place in the world to visit is Costa Rica because of the weather, beach, people, food, everything!

Elea Bosque-Oliva

Art Teacher

I love learning about, exploring, and producing art with elementary students. They are little entities of inspiration and make the creative process so much fun! I have been honored to teach young children all over the area, as well as internationally, for the past 17 years. From a very early age, I have loved getting messy with art, and using recycled materials to create unique pieces.  I feel that all children need to be able to explore and express themselves through art, and I am excited to be able to focus primarily upon the arts this year at Creekside.

Jared Baker

Homeschool Teacher

Jared is excited to learn about the breadth of subjects and grade levels as the homeschool coordinator. He has been teaching for 15 years in a wide variety of places and capacities. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school level in various schools. He likes teaching science and social studies most of all. Jared is a life-long Californian and spent his childhood exploring the foothills near his grandparents home in Auburn. He loves helping students connect their awareness to nature and the big wide world. Creekside feels like a very welcoming school for Jared and he enjoys working with students and families alike.

Kathleen Ruffle

Place-Based Service Learning Coordinator

Teaching has truly taken me around the world. I started out as an ESL teacher in a rural village in Botswana, Southern Africa with the Peace Corps, and have since worked in schools in Boston, New York City, Rwanda, East Bay, and now here in Tahoe. While my path in education has led me in many different directions over the years, my experiences are woven together by a common thread–connecting with my students and finding out who they are, what motivates them, and how I can support them as they learn their role in both their own world and the world beyond.

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