Margarita Rivera, Ph.D., Board Chair
Education has always played a vital role in Margarita’s life. She lives by the maxim “learning never stops.” After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Oregon, she completed the fifth year requirements for a teaching credential while simultaneously completing a major in Spanish. She holds Masters degrees in Reading and Bilingual Education as well as Spanish Literature. In 1984 she completed a doctoral program at Stanford University with a specialization in Hispanic Languages and Literatures, but not before leaving with one more Master of Arts degree in Chicano Literature/Latin American Literature.
Margarita has experience teaching at the university level as an Assistant Professor at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the Modern Languages Department she taught classes for Spanish major and minor, and developed other classes as needed; she advised undergraduate students, supervised student teachers, was thesis advisor for graduate students, and participated in the Heritage Program, a sequence of core seminars taken by all incoming freshmen. As the Bilingual Resource Teacher at Sherwood School with the Salinas City Elementary School District, Margarita was assigned to second and third grade bilingual classrooms; co-facilitated the “Success for All” reading program; was an ELD facilitator, providing additional in-service training for faculty as they implemented the English Language Development program; and tested and placed incoming students by administering annual CELDT testing.
Margarita is very passionate about Montessori education, having served on the San Bernardino Montessori School Board, where her two youngest children attended.
Ken Wenham, Vice Chairman
Ken Wenham is the proud parent of two Rising Sun Montessori School students. He has prior experience with board governance and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Roebbelen Contracting, Inc.
Molly Mix, Secretary
Molly Mix is a former Montessori teacher who has worked as a lead teacher in Montessori schools in the Sacramento area since 2006. Her experience in Montessori programs included working with children with special needs in an after school integrated play group program where she ran social skills therapy groups, conducted annual staff surveys and wrote student assessments to submit to regional departments.
In addition to her direct instructional work with children, Molly’s extensive background as a marketing specialist has enabled her to play an active role in the creation of various children’s programs in the Sacramento area, including the set up and design of children’s indoor play space facilities.
Molly is the current Program Manager of the Sacramento Children’s Museum. With her background in working with children on the autism spectrum, Molly has been instrumental as the Program Coordinator for the museum’s ExplorAbility in which she manages the Beary Special Play Date program for children and their families.
James Stoops, Treasurer
James Stoops graduated from Monterey Peninsula College with an Associate Degree in University Studies. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor Degree in History and then entered their Teacher Preparation Program, earning his Single Subject Credential. While working on his Master Degree at CSUS he wrote a thesis: “Are Students with Disabilities Getting Quality Secondary Education in the State of California?” focusing on his research on the lack of training among educators who teach students with disabilities. James’ passion is to ensure students of all backgrounds receive a quality education. During his tenure as a graduate teacher assistant for California State University, Sacramento, he worked on a research project detailing the quality of supports former foster youth receive at CSUS.
James has worked with students for over 10 years, tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and teaching. While in Monterey, he worked for the City of Monterey Recreation Department as an afterschool program director where he ran a summer nature day camp for students from a variety of backgrounds. After his move to Sacramento he taught World and United States History at Laguna Creek High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. He facilitated four classes consisting of 40 students in grades 10 and 11. He utilized multiple assessments and innovative methods to produce effective learning experiences for his students. He currently works with Gateway Community Charter at their Sacramento Academic Vocational School (SAVA).
James continues to advocate for quality education for all learners. He is a member of many advocacy groups and organizations, and regularly attends conferences to stay informed on the latest in educational methods and research.
Joshua Divelbiss, Board Member
Josh Divelbiss is the President of DVB Architecture, a firm specializing in design-build projects across a range of sectors. Throughout his career, Josh has contributed to the design and construction of K-12 schools in California, gaining valuable insight into educational facility design considerations that impact today’s learning environments.
As a licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional and Green Globes Professional, Josh has developed proficiency in every aspect of the design and construction process for complex and sustainable projects that possess both high aesthetic value and design quality.
In addition to his professional career, Josh is actively involved within the community serving on the Sacramento County Design Review Advisory Committee, Cameron Park Design Review Committee, and the Daybreak Camp Master Planning Committee.
Cameron Lagala, Board Member
Cameron Lagala received is Bachelor’s degree in Finance from California State University Sacramento. During college he worked full time at Wells Fargo Bank, and upon completion of his schooling became a Financial Advisor. He currently runs a practice with New York Life, advising families on their personal finances.
Cameron comes from a family of educators; his father was a professor within the Los Rios Community Colleges and his mother was a preschool teacher. Cameron feels that education is underserved and will benefit from members of the community reaching out to provide support.