We Help Students and Their Families Master the Process of Learning

SOS4Students coaches have extensive experience working with middle school and high school students, families, educators, and clinicians to identify issues affecting student academic performance and to develop clear step-by-step plans for the way forward. Many have expertise in special education, school psychology, educational therapy, and advocacy.

Meet Our Coaches

Bianca Contreras
Bianca Contreras
“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)
Read Coach Bianca Contreras's Profile

Bianca 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.

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.

Vivian Fritzler
Vivian Fritzler
“I am deeply committed to instilling in students a love for learning. I believe that given the right environment all learners have the ability to thrive.” (Vivian Fritzler)
Read Vivian Fritzler's Profile

Vivian Fritzler 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, leading a team of high school teachers as English Department Chair, and developing curricula for English language learners.

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.

Vivian’s favorite executive function tip is related task initiation for essay writing. Vivian recommends that students work on learning to develop organized, detailed and thorough outlines because this is half of the work and leads to great writing. In addition, Vivian believes that it is important to recognize that each student has to find organizational strategies that work for them. Sticky notes, planners, and color-coded systems work well for some students. Whereas relying on systems such as Google Calendar can be an amazing tool for students who are more technologically-inclined.

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.

Janet Harrison
Janet Harrison
“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)
Read Janet Harrison's Profile

Janet 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.

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.

SOS Coach Chelsea Hite
Chelsea Hite
“Given the right tools and attitude, I believe all students can achieve success in learning. What I love about working with students with executive function challenges is that we get to utilize our creativity when coming up with solutions to the issues we face. We can customize strategies with your students so that they are empowered and prepared to be their own advocate.” (Chelsea Hite)
Read Chelsea Hite's Profile

Chelsea Hite’s love of travel and teaching has led to nearly 10 years of experience working with students from all over the world. Most recently, she was in China teaching students English and organizing summer camps that blend traditional learning goals with on-stage performance. She believes that focusing on transfer skills like leadership, ownership, and organization leads to higher achievement in any classroom context.

A native Californian, Chelsea grew up on the Central Coast and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Sonoma. She has a Master’s degree from University of Alabama Birmingham in Instructional Design, so she can help hack into cognitive strategies that keep students motivated, organized, and focused. In addition, she has multiple Teacher Knowledge Test Certificates from Cambridge English, and an Authoring Accessible Documents Certification from The Department of Homeland Security.

When she’s not coaching you can find Chelsea catching up on crochet and reading. She lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bigcat, who are always lying about whether they’ve been fed.

Rosa Huezo
Rosa Huezo
“Executive function skills embolden students to understand how they best learn by knowing their learning strengths and areas of need. EF skills enable students to be successful in and out of the classroom to reach their full potential.” (Rosa Huezo)
Read Rosa Huezo's Profile

Rosa Huezo is a Los Ángeles native. She began her educational career as a paraprofessional before moving to San Francisco in 2009. She has worked as a bilingual (English and Spanish) Learning and Education Specialist in both public and independent schools. She has taught various Study Skills classes for middle school and high school students.

Rosa has a Master’s in Education from San Francisco State University (2015) with an emphasis on assessments and instructional best practices for students with neurodiverse learning needs. She enjoys teaching students organizational skills, note and test-taking skills, work and time management strategies, and how to set and achieve academic and personal goals. Rosa believes all students have the capacity to learn and thrive given proper support. She also enjoys designing and presenting workshops to help parents and caregivers best understand how their students learn.

A few tools that she can’t live without are her reMarkable 2 Paper Tablet and the Stay Focused app. The tablet helps keep all her notes organized and diminishes the need for multiple paper notebooks. Her favorite executive function tip is to plan for the week ahead. Every Sunday morning or afternoon, get your planner and log onto your school’s online platform where assignments are posted (Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, etc.) and write down any and all upcoming assignments and/or events. If you have things in your planner from the previous week(s), make sure you transfer them over to the upcoming week. Write down upcoming doctor appointments, practices, etc. This will allow you to start your week with your best foot forward and hopefully prevent any surprises.

In her spare time, Rosa she enjoys reading non-fiction and science fiction books, listening and collecting records, cooking and learning new recipes, taking walks, biking, or skating in and around the Bay Area.

Kelsi Kane
Kelsi Kane
“Executive function coaching is an incredible process of customizing systems to fit the individual. I love helping students find their new favorite planning tool, organization strategy, and workflow; it  can create a powerful sense of agency for them, which means they are more likely to stick with it!” (Kelsi Kane)
Read Kelsi Kane's Profile

Kelsi Kane grew up in the Bay Area before heading off to CSU Long Beach for her B.A. in education. She spent six years as a classroom-based teacher in Richmond and San Lorenzo before transitioning into graduate school.

Kelsi attended CSU East Bay and obtained her Master’s in counseling as well as her Associate Marriage and Family Therapy license. She now works as a mental health counselor in public schools in addition to her role as a coach at SOS4Students.

Some of Kelsi’s favorite resources are relevant videos from TikTok and YouTube! Finding resources made by and for young folks has been a game-changer in helping students identify and understand their experiences as well as take ownership of the process. One great resource to check out is the “How to ADHD” YouTube channel, which features great videos on executive function and life tips from an individual with ADHD.

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

Angela Lucchese
Angela Lucchese
“Working as an executive function coach allows me to help students hone the skills they need to be successful in school and life. Content can be difficult, but I find that students are capable of tackling any subject when they have the strategies and tools that best utilize their strengths and preferences. I love watching students experience success they didn’t think was possible and helping them to work smarter, not harder.” (Angela Lucchese)
Read Angela Lucchese's Profile

Angela Lucchese is a Bay Area native. She was born in Walnut Creek and graduated from College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. Angela has a B.S. in Physiology from UCSB and earned a single-subject teaching credential in Biology through Chapman University.

In her 10 years as high school science teacher, Angela found that most of the students who struggled with science (her discipline) 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.

As a student, 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 develop 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. However, while working in a physical therapy clinic before enrolling in grad school, she found that her true passion was to help people learn and self-advocate.

Angela is passionate about helping students find their “academic groove” earlier in their educational careers than she did so they 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.

Angela is a mother of two elementary school aged children. She spends most of her spare time enjoying adventures with them. As a family, they love to camp and play water sports. Angela is a bit of a “sports nerd” and loves to watch local baseball, basketball, and football teams at the college and professional level.

SOS Coach Dominick McIver
Dominick McIver
Read Dominick McIver's Profile

Dominick McIver is an Education Specialist teacher who currently serves at a middle school in Oakland. Dominick was a part-time substitute teacher for four years before deciding to teach full-time.

He enjoys feeding off of the energy of his students and finding ways to engage their different personalities and learning styles. He is grateful that the opportunity to work in Special Education allows him the flexibility to provide instruction as both a classroom facilitator, in small group settings, and during 1-on-1s.

Dominick loves education because it can look different across cultures and contexts depending on the issue at hand. He believes that education should empower students with the ability to come to their own realizations and to solve their own problems.

Dominick earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. Dominick is in the process of earning his Special Education teaching credential with a focus on mild/moderate disabilities.

Dominick is an avid writer and family man who enjoys reading, being outside, watching TV, and trying new and old foods.

SOS Coach Mercedes Taylor
Mercedes Taylor
“Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” (Anatole France)
Read Mercedes Taylor's Profile

Mercedes Taylor taught middle school English for 19 years, and just recently left the classroom to work as an educational consultant where she now teaches teachers. Part of her decision to shift paths was to complete her doctoral work in the field of reading and literacy education.

Her students have always described Mercedes as firm but fair, but she always makes time to have a few laughs with them. She has high expectations for students and believes that every student can be successful with the right tools and support. Mercedes has extensive experience working with students who learn differently, and she has always enjoyed working with these particular students.

Mercedes was the academic center coordinator for before and after-school tutoring, and part of her work with students was to help them get organized and make plans for success in all of their classes. She liked having the time to work with individual students and get them to focus on goal setting and advocating for themselves.

She also served as the English department chair, as well as the Humanities lead for her school. This work led Mercedes to further her education through graduate school, as the work was centered on creating meaningful literacy experiences for middle grade students. She is in the beginning stages of her final project, where she will be researching how to guide students through evidence-based writing effectively.

Mercedes and her two cats, Lucy and Tuba, live in Oakland. Mercedes was born and raised in Sacramento. She moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University for her undergraduate degree. Her family still lives there, and she often visits to spend time with her two- and three-year-old nieces. When she has spare time, you can find Mercedes either working in her garden or riding her bike around town. Meditation and yoga keep her mind centered and balanced.

SOS Coach Marco Vieira
Marco Vieira
“Every student learns in a unique way. I believe these differences should be nurtured not hidden. If we can harness these individual abilities and channel them, any student can become a well-rounded learner.”(Marco Vieira)
Read Marco Vieira's Profile

Marco Vieira works as an instructional assistant at a medical high school in Antioch. After working in school administration for five years, he felt that he was too far removed from face-to-face student instruction. He left his position as an associate director of a non-public school to pursue his ambition in direct student instruction.

Marco started working in special education in 2010 working with a variety of students in achieving their educational goals. While working with students he was able to establish executive function strategies tailor-made for each individual’s unique learning style. Watching his students succeed in their organizational goals became his favorite part of the job and he has had the honor of watching hundreds of his students graduate.

In his personal life, Marco likes to collect comic books, play video games, and play with his three dogs. Other than working with students, Marco would love nothing better than to watch any live music. He practices mindfulness meditation and spends his spare time enjoying the outdoors with his daughter and wife.

Meet Our Office Manager/Executive Assistant

Samantha Okasaki
Samantha Okazaki
Executive function support is critical for cognitively diverse students and as a mother of 2 children with learning disabilities, the knowledge I have gained as part of the SOS team is integral in my ability to advocate for them and their academic success. It is empowering as a parent to walk into an IEP meeting and collaborate with the special education team rather than them telling you what your student needs.” (Samantha Okazaki)
Read Samantha Okazaki's Profile

Samantha Okazaki is a lifelong learner and believes that all people can enjoy learning, as long as they can find a connection that speaks to them and brings that idea in how to connect with others.

Samantha earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from San Diego State University and holds Associates Degrees in Humanities and Art History. 

She grew up in Walnut Creek and graduated from Las Lomas high school. In her sophomore year of high school, she started work at the local pharmacy, eventually earning her pharmacy technician license. She worked in pharmacy for more than 12 years, spending part of that time proudly supporting the men and women of the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Army in San Diego and Hawaii. 

Samantha returned to the Bay Area to raise her children Raiden and Keilani and make a career change to support small businesses. 

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys binge watching TV shows, working out, creating art, and brainstorming culinary ideas with her executive chef partner.

How We Can Help

For more information on how SOS4Students can help your student thrive, contact us today.

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