Meet Our Teachers & Staff

Teaching Staff

Kindergarten- Ms. Linda

1st Grade- Ms. McNeal

2nd Grade- Ms. Otsuka

3rd Grade- Ms. Martin 

4th Grade- Ms. Ong 

5th Grade- Ms. Smith 

K-1- Ms. Rosen

K-1- Mr. Debro

2-3- Ms. Grajeda

2-3- Ms. Buljko

4-5- Mrs. Gerena

4-5- Ms. Anderson 

P.E.- Ms. Impeartrice


Inclusion- Mrs. Meyer

Resource- Mrs. Everman 

Intervention- Mr. Matthew 



STIP Sub- Michaela Budde

Instructional Support Specialist- Mr. Strauss

Instructional Support Specialist- Ms. Castillo

Para- Ms. Maisha

Para- Ms. Terri

Para- Ms. Gaines

Para- Ms. Odell

Para- Ms. Susan

Para- Ms. Zuri

After School Program 

Line Staff- Ms. Nagat

Line Staff- Ms. Zuri

Line Staff- Ms. Mari


Health Team 

Speech- Ms. Ben

Speech- Ms. Houlson 

Occupational Therapy - Ms. Danielson


Lincoln Clinician- Ms. Jessica

Lincoln Clinician- Ms. Illana



Lincoln Clinician 

Jessica Wynn-Grant

Hello, I'm Ms. Jess, Fruitvale Elementary's mental health therapist. My passion is supporting students and families to better express their feelings and deal with the difficult situations in life. I grew up in the Bay Area and am grateful to call Oakland my home. You should know that I love to play all types of games (recreational, sports, board, and video!) When I am not in the play therapy room, I am probably running in Redwood Regional Park or playing with my bunny "Sassy".


Front Office

Ms. Denitza Popov

I began working at Fruitvale Elementary as an Attendance Specialist during the 2019/2020 school year. I love children, as I also have 3 of my own, and am truly blessed to be able to devote most of my time for the children and their needs here at Fruitvale. I hold 2 AA Degrees in Business Administration, with studies geared towards accounting, and Liberal Studies. My dream is to eventually continue my education and acquire a masters degree. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, music, the outdoors, and trying different cuisines. Yes, I am a foodie! Lastly, I am thankful for working among such awesome coworkers and students. Go Fruitvale Superstars!!!

1st Grade Teacher

Kindergarten Teacher


4/5 Special Education Teacher

Ms. Christina Anderson 

My name is Ms. Anderson. I am a San Francisco Native, Go 49ers!! I graduated from UC Berkeley with my BA in African American Studies, Social Welfare, and an education minor. I received my Masters from the University of San Francisco in Education. I have taught all grades from 3rd grade up to continuing education adult students. I love teaching because it allows me to work with amazing and brilliant students who inspire me, motivate me, and fill me with joy. I am interested in video games, reading, dancing, swimming, and good movies!

4th Grade Teacher


2nd Grade Teacher


Restorative Community Schools Manager

Carinne Salnave

Hello, I am the Restorative Community Schools Manager here at Fruitvale Elementary. I was originally the Restorative Justice Facilitator. I started my career in OUSD over 12 years ago as a teacher in the After school program at a Middle school here in Oakland.  I practiced RJ for 4 years before I became an RJ facilitator. I have a BA from Hayward State in Socio-Cultural Anthropology with a Minor in African American Studies. I also have a Certificate in Acting from the American Musical And Dramatic Academy. I love to cook, swim, walk, read and travel. I love creating community with the Teachers, Staff, Families and, Students here at Fruitvale.

Ms. Salnave at Your Service!

Teacher On Special Assignment

Angela Norton Tyler

Angela Norton Tyler has been involved in education as a college instructor, Instructional Teacher Leader (coach) elementary and middle school teacher, literacy coordinator, reading specialist and educational consultant and business owner. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wellesley College (MA) and Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Hollins University (VA). Angela believes in the power of education and has spent her adult life helping students, teachers and parents reach their educational goals. She has been a part of OUSD since the 2018-2019 school year.


Para-educator, Special Education

Terri Kaley

Terri has dedicated 3+ years to Fruitvale Elementary, assisting in the the inclusion program. It is her personal goal to instill in each student self-worth, confidence and the ability to master any challenge. Music is her "go to" art form. Terri enjoys partnering with the teachers, students and staff. She mirrors the Fruitvale community model that teaches love and respect for oneself and those around them. 


3rd Grade Teacher

Lilia Martin

My name is Lilia Martin and I was born in Redwood City, California. I was raised in Oakland and attended Fruitvale Elementary, Bret Harte, and Fremont High School. I’ve been a teacher for 23 years in Oakland Unified School District and have a passion for teaching children. I love to travel, hike, and spend time with my family. I’ve always had a strong connection to the Fruitvale Community and believe all our students can be successful. 


Inclusion Specialist

Bethany Meyer

I have lived happily in Oakland for more than 20 years with my husband and son, who has high-functioning autism and who has received excellent support in Oakland public schools through the Inclusion program. Since 2013 I have worked for OUSD, beginning as a Resource Specialist, transitioning in 2017 to Inclusion, and my personal experience as a special education parent informs my work with students and families. I am proud to advocate for special education through the Oakland Education Association Special Education Faculty Council and I also serve as the Secretary of OEA. My favorite “junk food” is cheeseburgers and my favorite healthy food is Brussels sprouts! In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my family and my dogs.


2nd Grade Teacher
Ms. Valerie Otsuka

I was born and raised in Oakland. I am a product of OUSD. I went to SFSU for my BA and Master's degrees. I have taught @ Fruitvale since 1992. I love Winnie the Pooh and bears.


Family Literacy/ESL Teacher

Mrs. Katherine Locke

I'm Kathy Locke and I teach Fruitvale's Family Literacy/ESL Class. In my class, I work with parents of Fruitvale students who want to be engaged in the school community, help their children succeed in school, and also basic English skills (like reading, writing, listening and speaking.) We also learn about how to actively participate in our neighborhood and community and how to use and help our children use relevant technology. We learn and have fun together, and try to help Fruitvale be a better place for our kids each day!

5th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Audry Smith

I was born and raised in Oakland, California. I come from a family of Oakland educators. As a child, I attended six Oakland schools. For over the past 20 years, Fruitvale has been my seventh. I love teaching in Oakland. 

Speech Pathologist

Mrs. Hazel Ben 

Hello Superstars! I am a Speech-Language Pathologist working with students who have difficulty with their communication skills that are impacting their academic performance within the school setting. We practice their sound production, comprehension skills and expressive language skills in speech therapy. We also learn how to produce smooth easy speech and use our social language skills to communicate appropriately with others.  I have been an SLP for more than 20 years. I have been a part of the Fruitvale Elementary School team since 2009. 

4th Grade Teacher

Keren Ong

Keren Ong Chipeco is in her 3rd year teaching at Fruitvale Elementary. Keren is part of the school's Instructional Leadership Team. As a teacher, she is committed to a collaborative environment where kids feel a sense of community with their classmates and teacher which she believes is where learning begins. Keren brings an open mind, positive attitude, and high expectations to the classroom every day.

Paraprofessional Educator

Maisha Smith

My name is Maisha Smith. I have been working with students for 20 plus years. I have worked at many schools like Lockwood Elementary, Carl B Munck, Horace Mann Elementary & Frick Middle School. I have been at Fruitvale Elementary for 5 years. I’m a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 3. My favorite colors are red & purple. My favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers.