The Little Things That Count. At West Valley Middle School, it all adds up.

From the academics and electives, our students and staff, to our sports and after-school fun, we are a school of great might. Not every school has what we have. Not everyschool provides the opportunity/enviroment to thrive.
They aren't Wildcats, but we are!

Administrators

Darci Gruenberg

Darci Gruenberg

Role
Principal

Experience
Bachelor's Degree in Bible from Baptist Bible College

Teaching Experience
17 Years, including 13 at ADPP/WVMS. Over the years have taught middle school English and Science, as well as K-8th PE Teacher and Athletic Director, Coached Volleyball and Basketball, 3 years as School Administrator, and now 1st year as Principal.

Goals for the Year
To foster a place of growth and responsibility among our student body, in an environment that allows them to feel the courage to keep striving to be the best they can be.

Favorite Quote:
"They don't care how much you know, unless they know how much you care"
- Pat Summit

Contact: darci@wvmiddleschool.com


Greg Vohs

Greg Vohs

Role
Vice Principal

Education
M.S. Educational Psychology; B.S. Psychology & Sociology

Teaching Experience
I spent the first 5 Years of my career working in a Student Services role at a middle and high school in the state of Wisconsin. Last year, I started working at West Valley as Student Support and Life Skills Instructor.

Goals for the School Year
Support all of the students in our school and help them develop academically and socially. Create a positive environment for students, staff, and families to have a successful school year.

Favorite Quote:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Contact: gvohs@wvmiddleschool.com


Melinda Gadduang

Melinda Gadduang

Role
Student Program Coordinator & Student Council Co-Leader

Education
BA in Child Development with a minor in Child Psychology

Work Experience
Melinda has over 20 years’ experience working in before and after-school programs. Prior to joining the WVMS team, Melinda directed Merryhill School’s before and after-school program along with their winter, spring, and summer camp programs for 9 years.

Goals for the School Year
Melinda is excited to assist the students in all aspects of camps and the extended day program. During the school year Melinda hopes to ensure that students will have a positive and fun experience here at WVMS. Melinda believes that every student is capable of being successful with proper guidance. She is committed to the philosophy and the goals of the school, empowered by the passion of the faculty, and inspired by the students that she has had the privilege of interacting with. Melinda believes that together, we will make a difference empowering and enhancing every child so that they will able to realize and achieve their full potential.

Favorite Quotes
"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."
- Maya Angelou

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
- Steve Jobs

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Stephanie Jones

Melinda Gadduang

Role
Office Manager

Education
24+ ECE units

Work Experience
- 10 years teaching Jr. k at Action Day
- 16 years with Action Day Primary Plus

Goals for the School Year
My goal is to promote a positive office environment, support our teachers, and meet the needs of both our students and parents.

Favorite Quote
"By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others."

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Academic Teaching Staff

Sarah Bianchi

Sarah Bianchi

Grade/Subjects Teaching
Spanish, 5th - 8th Grade; Student Council Teacher Adviser

Education
B.A.  Liberal Studies, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (2001)
- Minor in Spanish
M.A. Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, University of San Francisco (2003)

Teaching Experience
- 5+ years of teaching English in Spain to various levels and age groups
- 4+ years of teaching Spanish in the Middle School and high school setting

Goals for the School Year
My goals for the Spanish program here at WVMS are to prepare the students rigors and expectations of a high school Spanish course. I hope to instill an interest and respect for the Hispanic culture and how it has influenced our lives today.  I also would like students to leave behind any inhibitions they might have in the language classroom and feel confident in speaking Spanish!

Favorite Quote
"If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours"
- Dolly Parton

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Julieann Bryan

Grade/Subjects Teaching
6th, 7th, & 8th Honors Language Arts

Education
BA in Liberal Studies from San Jose State, Minor in English
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Single Subject-English from San Jose State

Teaching Experience
- 6 years of experience teaching High School English
- 2nd year teaching at West Valley Middle School

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Josh Cembellin

Josh Cembellin

Grade/Subjects Teaching
5th Grade -- 8th Grade Language Arts and the Creative Writing Elective

Education
MFA in Creative Writing, San Jose State University
BA in English, CSU Chico

Teaching Experience
Two years teaching composition at SJSU

Goals for the School Year
- To instill confidence in each student
- To help students have fun with reading and writing
- To equip students with the tools to thrive and succeed at the next grade level
- To help students develop effective learning habits they can take with them beyond the classroom

Favorite Quote
"The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt."
- Sylvia Plath

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Al Grisby

Al Grigsby

Grade/Teaching Subject
P.E., Basketball and Flag football coach

Education
UC Berkley / American Studies

Teaching Experience
-14 years at WVMS
-Director of West Valley Basketball Clubs Boys programs

Goals for the School Year
My goals for this year are to make sure P.E is enjoyable for the kids.  I would like them to leave P.E at the end of the year with love for exercise and a mental and physical appetite for hard work.

Favorite Quote
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something, but I can’t accept not trying."

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Amy Keefe

Amy Keefe

Grade/Teaching Subject
Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, High school Preparation

Education
California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics
M.S. in Nutrition and Biochemistry

Teaching Experience
- Seven years homeschooling
- Seven years teaching math at private and public middle schools

Goals for the School Year
Preparing my students to reach their academic potential and goals and instilling within my students a love of learning and appreciation of math.

Favorite Quote
" Curiouser and Curiouser"
- Alice in Wonderland

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Chandler Mikles

Chandler Mikles

Grade/Teaching Subject
7th Life Science, 8th Physical Science, Engineering and Design, Movie Production

Education
AA in Liberal Arts & AA in Communications, West Valley College
BA in Biology, University of California Santa Cruz
MA in Education, Bethany/ Simpson University
California Credentials, General Science & Biology

Teaching Experience
3 Years Agricultural Science and 1 Year ELA Pull Out Volunteer for Branciforte High School
2 Years Substitute Santa Cruz County
6 Months Student Teaching 7th and 8th Grade Science for Scott's Valley Middle School
7 Years West Valley Middle School 6th-8th Science

Goals for the School Year
Creating a curriculum that is more in line with the evolving state and national standards for science. Creating fun investigative units with compelling and exciting engineering challenges. Creating new hands on activities that will enhance student learning of difficult concepts.

Favorite Quote
"Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think"
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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Gwendolyn Schimpke

Gwendolyn Schimpke

Grade/Teaching Subject
7th Grade World History, 8th Grade U.S. History, High School Prep, Intro to Art, Studio Art, Yearbook Advisor

Education
B.A. Literature- UC Santa Cruz- Emphasis and Modern Literature
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.A. Curriculum and Instruction- San Jose State University
M.A. Capstone Project- Qualitative Research Project on Social Studies and Civics Education in Grades 4-6.

Teaching Experience
Before coming to West Valley, I taught as a self-contained classroom teacher in Mountain View. I also have experience teaching reading from kindergarten to adults. In addition, I served as an AmeriCorps member running a reading center from 2012-2013.

Goals for the School Year
Make this year's yearbook even better than last year!
To take at least one field trip per grade level!
To bring cooking and food into the history classroom.

Favorite Quote
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
- Mark Twain

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Toni Scripps

Toni Scripps

Grade/Teaching Subject
Student Support and Life Skills

Education
BA in Psychology from Notre Dame De Namur University

Teaching Experience
- First year at WVMS-volleyball Coach
- Coached Competitive Soccer and High School Soccer
- Worked in youth development for over 7 years
- Worked at St. Claire School as the 2nd grade paraeducator and AD.
- Worked at the YMCA as a youth director.

Goals for the School Year
- Students to feel empowered and to set up short and long-term goals.
- Identify and implement how to reach their goals
- Build Self-confidence and self esteem
- Grow and Develop self-management skills

Favorite Quote
"Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
- Winnie the Pooh

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Ann Tadena

Chandler Mikles

Grade/Teaching Subject
5th Grade Math, 6th Grade Math, Pre-Algebra, Music Mania

Education / Teaching Experience
Mrs. Tadena is excited to join the faculty at West Valley Middle School. She has been teaching for seven years. Her degree is in Cognitive Science and Education from Cal Berkeley, and additionally holds her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from SJSU. She loves books, food, museums, and spending time with family.

Goals for the School Year
To be approachable and help each student feel confident. Incorporate projects that bridge the gap between math in the classroom and math in the real world. Teach students to be life-long learners: be responsible, be organized, and know that it's okay to fail!

Favorite Quote
"Smart is something you become, not something you are."

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