Beth Samuelson, Director

Beth Samuelson HeadshotBeth Samuelson’s work in educating and supporting teens, young adults, and parents spans more than 25 years, including the development of the unique SOS4Students model of one-to-one student coaching as well as workshops, advocacy, teacher training, parent workshops, and on-site school programs.

As the founder and director of SOS4Students, she is a frequent and sought after presenter at conferences, schools and educational institutes, former co-host of the radio show "Your Teen Matters," and columnist for Bay Area Parents of Teens magazine. Teens with ADD, learning disabilities, and executive functioning challenges are amongst those who have found academic success utilizing Beth's techniques.

Working with Beth and SOS4Students students and their parents develop customized strategies that help students stay engaged and focused in the process of learning. They become motivated, taking on their studies with confidence and independence. They learn to plan, prioritize and multi-task. Schoolwork that once seemed so overwhelming becomes manageable. Grades improve, frustration fades, and stresses at home and at school disappear.

Angela Tomada

Angela 320x320Angela is a senior coach at SOS4Students and a lead instructor and curriculum developer for our summer workshops.

Angela is a Bay Area native, born in Walnut Creek, and graduated from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. Angela lived outside the Bay Area for only 4 years, to attend UCSB and earn a B.S. in Physiology. Angela found her later years of high school, and all 4 years of college, exceedingly difficult. She realized during her freshman year at UCSB that some of her peers seemed to have knowledge of study and writing methods she had not been exposed to in her K-12 education. Angela made it her mission to seek help from these students in order to hone in on study skills that would work well for her to get her through her B.S. program. Angela returned to the Bay Area after college with an intention to complete a medical degree, but while working in a physical therapy clinic, before enrolling in grad school, she found that her true passion is to help people to learn, and to self-advocate.

Angela completed a single-subject teaching credential in Biology through Chapman University and taught high school science locally for 10 years. In her teaching experience, Angela found that most of her students who struggled with science were actually struggling with organization and the learning process itself. In addition to calling upon her own experiences as a struggling student, she began to research learning and brain development in order to find strategies to further help her students. She is very passionate about helping students find their "academic groove" earlier in their educational career than she did so that they will get more out of school and have a better time with it! Angela has worked with students of varying backgrounds and neurodiversity. She has experience with students with learning differences in general and advanced education classrooms, and with helping to formulate plans and accommodations to properly support them. A few years ago, Angela left the classroom to pursue academic coaching and motherhood.

When Angela is not "nerding out" on learning theory, brain development, and developing curriculum and support systems for her students; she enjoys boating, water-skiing, riding motorcycles, attending local sporting events, and playing with her little girl, Anna, and little man, Max.

Bianca Contreras

SOS Janet Harrison WebBianca Contreras is a middle school Special Education teacher who currently teaches English Language Arts and Study Skills. Study Skills is her favorite class as she has the opportunity to teach and share executive function strategies.

When Bianca first started, Study Skills was a study hall where students completed their homework in silence. School administrators supported her goal to design her own curriculum for a Study Skills class that focused on executive function. As a result, she has been able to see 6th, 7th, and 8th graders strive for success through the development of their EF skills.

"I find beauty in the idea that executive function skills work in harmony with one another. They are what make us human. We may have strengths in some skills and could develop a couple of others, but that’s what makes us unique. Executive functioning is not “one size fits all,” so I love supporting students on their journey to finding their uniqueness and success." (Bianca Contreras)

Bianca earned a Bachelor's degree in Communication (Public, Professional, Organizational) from Cal State East Bay and a Master's Degree in Special Education. Along with her Master's, she has received a Special Education teaching credential with a focus on mild/moderate disabilities.

Bianca is a certified yoga instructor as well as Social Emotional Wellness Champion. Bianca is a dog mom of a Pug and a Bugg (Boston Terrier/Pug mix). Bianca is a homebody. She loves cooking, DIY, singing, dancing, anything related to musical theater, and reality TV.

Janet Harrison

SOS Janet Harrison WebJanet Harrison earned a BS in Microbiology and spent the early portion of her career working in cancer and neuroscience research projects at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. She returned to school and received a master's in International Education with an emphasis on Peace Studies.

"I love coaching kids with executive function challenges because it is super interesting to see how each individual brain functions. Early on in my career, I worked in neuroscience and the pathways and processes in the brain still fascinate me. My approach to EF coaching is to try to do a deep dive and really understand the particular ways a student learns and then help provide opportunities to maximize learning utilizing those strengths." (Janet Harrison)

Janet has worked as a teacher, college counselor, and academic advisor and has worked very closely with high school students with learning differences. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, tennis, and building things.

Julie Thi Underhill

Julie Thi Underhill head shotJulie has been a West Coast transplant since arriving in Washington State in 1994 to pursue her B.A. in Liberal Arts at The Evergreen State College. In 2009 she graduated with her M.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She then taught at UC Berkeley for six years, first as an assistant and later as a specialized Writing/Composition lecturer. In 2016 she began lecturing at the California College of the Arts in Writing & Literature, Critical Studies, and Diversity Studies. In 2017 she began lecturing at San Francisco State University in Asian American Studies. She’s skilled in curriculum development, classroom instruction, workshop facilitation, and one-on-one mentorship.

Julie has taught hundreds of students how to read carefully, think critically, and write persuasively while strengthening their executive functioning and college study skills. Julie’s dynamic teaching philosophy includes a holistic focus on each student. She prioritizes mutual trust and honesty, creating custom agreements for respectful communication and two-way opportunities for humor and improvisation. She accommodates differences of ability, personality, privilege, experience, confidence, and enthusiasm. 

As an artist, Julie primarily works in photography, film, essay, poetry, and performance. She belongs to two writing collectives and sits on the Advisory Board of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. She also loves films, books, music, hiking, camping, and creative collaboration. 

Kelsi Kane

Kelsi Kane HeadshotKelsi Kane is a Bay Area native. She graduated from San Ramon Valley High and continued on to California State University Long Beach obtaining a Bachelor's in Education and her teaching credential. Kelsi spent the next six years teaching in grades ranging from first through eighth in Richmond and San Lorenzo. Her favorite part of teaching was building relationships with students and being able to customize learning experiences to fit their needs and abilities.

In the Fall of 2019, Kelsi began graduate school at California State University East Bay; she is studying to become a school counselor and obtaining her Marriage and Family Therapy license. Her passion for education and mental health has helped her to develop a holistic approach to working with and advocating for students of all ages. She hopes to allow each student the space to grow while also challenging themselves.

In her spare time, Kelsi loves reading, hiking, running and spending time with family and friends.

Rosa Huezo

Rosa Huezo HeadshotRosa Huezo was born and raised in Southern California, moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. She earned her Master's Degree in Education in 2015 from San Francisco State University. She has worked as a bilingual Learning and Education Specialist in both independent and public schools for over a decade. During her 6 years working at Mission High School in San Francisco's Mission District, Rosa taught several study skills classes where students learned: organizational skills, project planning, note and test taking skills, work and time management strategies, and setting and completing academic and personal goals.

As an educator, she believes that in order for students to succeed, they must understand their unique learner profile. This helps students build on their strengths which in turn helps them tackle their areas of growth. Establishing a relationship of trust and respect, Rosa hopes to help her students develop self-advocacy skills that persist throughout their educational journey and beyond. She believes that all students can succeed when provided with the proper supports to meet their needs.

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading science fiction, watching films, and roller skating.

Vivian Fritzler

Russ Whismore HeadshotVivian Fritzler is a dedicated educator who is passionate about instilling in her students a love for learning. She believes that given the right environment all learners have the ability to thrive; she guides students to have positive and cognitively challenging experiences by setting clear goals and high expectations as well as providing meaningful feedback.

Vivian began her career as a Teach for America corp member and obtained her Master's in Education from Dominican University. She has spent over the last decade working in private and public school institutions with English language learners, teaching Language and Literature to elementary and high school students, and leading a team of high school teachers as English Department Chair. Additionally, Vivian has studied and worked in Iowa City, Chicago and Buenos Aires. These diverse fieldwork experiences have enabled her to quickly adapt to different cultures and objectives.

In her free time, Vivian enjoys practicing yoga, reading and listening to audio books, traveling, hiking in Patagonia, and spending time with her loved ones.

Zora Raskin

Zora grew up in Oakland and earned their Bachelors degree at UC Santa Cruz. Zora is currently completing their Master's in Special Education, with an emphasis in Trauma, at Holy Names University. They've worked the past 7 years in special education. Since 2014, Zora has worked at Crestmont School, in the Special education department both as a Teaching assistant and an Educational Specialist. They helped develop and design curriculum for students with different learning profiles, worked closely with lead teachers, and have sat in on IEP's for students, advocating for suitable goals and accommodations for students. They are passionate about finding creative solutions to help students access their education.

Zora is very personable and able to easily connect with people. They believe that forming genuine connections with students builds trust, and ultimately leads to students' success. They believe in a multisensory teaching approach, engaging both the mind and body in order to better integrate information. Zora grew up with dyslexia and uses that experience to approach their students with empathy and understanding. They believe in building students' confidence and flexibility, ultimately helping students develop a growth mindset that helps them take on challenges and advocate for what they need. Zora believes that every child can be a successful student and lifelong learner if they are given the right tools.)

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