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SCA Staff

At SCA, we believe that a quality education is based, in part, on strong relationships.  We want you to know us and we want to know you so we can serve you to the best of our ability.  We invite you to begin this relationship by learning more about our staff.
Traci Burton
-School Counselor
Traci began serving the SCA community beginning with the 2018-19 school year.   Traci's duties including providing academic and social/ emotional counseling to SCA students and families. In addition to these duties, she is the testing coordinator for PSAT, CAST and CAASPP exams.  She enthusiastically enjoys the challenge of helping students succeed and reach their goals.

Traci served in the U.S. Air Force as a Medical Administrations Specialist at Travis AFB.  She earned her bachelor's degree from CSU, Sacramento in Business Administration and then completed her Masters in Educational Counseling from National University.  Previous to SCA, Traci worked at Sequoia Middle School in Redding for 3 years as a guidance counselor.

Her family provides her with love, support, and many adventures.  She enjoys the outdoors, especially skiing, hiking and playing golf.  She has two children who are her pride and joy.

A purple humming bird in flightKaren Chappelear
- Librarian
- Facilitator
- Study Hall Teacher
Karen started working at SCA in Spring 2014.  She has worked with many students in our school when she was a paraprofessional in the special education department.  She began facilitating students in the 2017-18 school year and currently works primarily with 10th and 11th-grade students.  She has great enthusiasm for history and is the school librarian.  

Karen grew up in an Army family, moving all over the world with her father's stationings.  She has lived in Germany, Panama and several states.  When it was time to settle down, her family landed in Redding, where she attended Central Valley High School and Shasta College.  She moved to the Bay Area to raise her twin boys, Logan and Derek. She moved back to Redding in 2008.  She completed her bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership in May 2010 and her Single Subject teaching credential in Social Science in May 2012.

Karen loves spending time with her boys, reading historical books, scrapbooking, card making, and embroidery. 

Portrait of April DixonApril Dixon
- Assistant Director
- Facilitator
- Classroom Art Teacher
April has taught Art at SCA since the fall of 2012.  She then became a sophomore faciliator as well, in Fall 2014.  She has great enthusiasm for what she does and is excited to lead as a facilitator in the years to come.  She teaches Art 1 and Art 2 in the classroom.

April has teaching credentials in Art, English, and PE and also has an M.A. in Education.  She has extensive coaching experience, as well.

She enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.  She enjoys shooting sports, art, and all things outdoors, especially soccer. 

Debbie Grigsby
- Facilitator
- Intro to Robotics Teacher
Debbie Grigsby believes the personalized learning model at SCA is a dynamic and wonderful way for high schoolers to learn.  She started at SCA in the fall 2018. Debbie also teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as the Introduction to Robotics teacher.

Debbie has been a teacher for 23 years in many different capacities.  She taught 5th and 6th graders at a site based, classroom charter school in Arizona. She traveled Shasta County for the past 13 years as a homeschool teacher for another charter school in Redding.   She also taught reading and math interventions, was a home and hospital teacher, as well as a substitute teacher. Debbie homeschooled her own daughters in English and history through SCA.

Graduated from Shasta High School in Redding then University of California at Davis in 1992 with a BS in Human development, Debbie went on to get her teaching credentials from Simpson University in 1996.

Debbie and her high school sweetheart husband of 26 years have been working on their fixer upper house for 10 years.  That is one of her favorite hobbies as well as hiking, kayaking, being outside and entertaining friends and cooking with her adult daughters (Kathleen, Hannah and Caroline) in her “new” kitchen.  

Portrait of Cathy LaughtCathy Laughy
- Facilitator
Catherine has had the honor of teaching math at Shasta Secondary High School from 2005 – 2009. She is currently a facilitator for grades eight and nine.

She attended Cal State University, Los Angeles, where she earned her B. A. and Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. She started her career as a third grade teacher in Southern California. She then had the privilege of homeschooling her two daughters through high school.

Catherine and husband Ryan love working with SCA’s wonderful staff and families. She still finds it hard to believe they live in Shasta County where they enjoy so many outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and cross-country skiing.

Portrait of Mike NeumeisterMike Neumeister
- Bridges Facilitator
Mike joined SCA in 2006 to work with students that have had a hard start of their high school careers and might be at-risk of not finishing their race for a high school diploma.  He came to design and build a bridge for these students, thus his program is called, "Bridges".

After graduating form Millikan High School in Long Beach, he attended colleges in Long Beach, Costa Mesa, and Westminster and majored in music and photography.  He attended the University of Disney (not really a college but definitly an education) where he was a dancer, PR ambassador, and a stage manager.  He completed a B.S. Degree in Business and earned his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Simpson College in 1996 after he moved to Shasta county with his wife and family.

Mike enjoys outdoor education, which nearly cost him his life twice.  He currently lives in Cottonwood with his wife, Cathy, and son, Joseph, where he enjoys raquetball, involvement at his church, and being a hard-core Mac user.

Lynn Peebles
- Facilitator
Lynn Peebles founded SCA, at the time Shasta Secondary Home School, in 1999, in coordination with Shasta Union High School District.

He founded a solid school in 1999, focused on the needs of students and strong relationships.  He served as Director of SSHS until he retired in the summer of 2011.  After two years of retirement, he rejoined SCA to operate the Cottonwood Resource Center, where he works with 9-12th grade students.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Carol, his two children and  seven grandchildren.  He enjoys working with his church, camping, kayaking, and driving his tractor.

CeCe Walters
- Administrative Assistant
CeCe joined SCA in April of 2016. CeCe went to Shasta College and then to Sacramento State University where she studied Spanish and French. She also studied abroad in Spain for a summer. She then married her high school sweetheart and decided to stay home with her 3 beautiful kids. She was a stay at home mom for 18 years, before entering back into the work place. Because of her passion for working with kids, she wanted to work in a school environment and enjoys her role as an administrative assistant where she can interact with students and families on a daily basis. 

She loves to spend time with her husband Don and their three kids. Her hobbies include playing volleyball, tennis, hiking, kayaking, skiing, camping, traveling, painting, and photography. She also enjoys volunteering at her church and coaching volleyball.

Portrait of Kelly BraceKelly Brace
-Special Education Secretary
Kelly began working for SCA in December, 2011.  As Registrar, her responsibilities include documenting and tracking attendance and entering grades on report cards and transcripts at the end of every semester.

Kelly graduated from Kingman High School in Kingman, Arizona and attended Shasta Community College with a focus on Early Childhood Education.  Kelly's work experience ranges from child daycare to office management at a local foster care agency.  In a school setting, she has worked as a teacher's aide and office clerk and volunteer for parent clubs.  She finds a lot of joy working with youth and their families.

Kelly loves spending time with her husband, Tim, three adult sons and her grandson.  In her free time Kelly enjoys gardening, cooking and watching movies.  An animal lover, she has 6 cats and a dog who thinks he is a cat.

Portrait of Benjamin ClaassenBenjamin Claassen
- SCA Director
Ben is the Director of Shasta Charter Academy.  He was hired as a facilitator in 2001 and has facilitated over 300 students, primarily freshman.  He also taught on-site Earth Science for six years.

Ben grew up on ranches on the Central Coast of California where he was homeschooled from preschool to 12th grade.  He then went on to earn a BA in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia in 1999.  He then earned his Single Subject teaching credential in Biology at CSU, Chico in 2002 and earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership from CSU, Chico in 2011.

He loves spending time with his wife, Erin, and their three children, Andrew, Jonny, and Audrey.  He also enjoys fishing, backpacking, and hunting in his spare time.

Portrait of Sammie FordSammie Ford
- RSP Facilitator
- Classroom Math Teacher
Sammie has three teaching credentials, a life standard secondary for math and social science, a life learning handicapped for special education and a Resource Specialist credential.

After graduating from CSU, Chico, her first teaching position was with Shasta County Office of Education where she taught at risk-students for seven years. She then moved to Central Valley High. In 2006, after 25 years at Central Valley High, she retired from teaching. After a year of retirement, she discovered that she really missed working with students and other teachers. She applied for a position and became a teacher at Shasta Charter Academy in 2007.

She is a parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. She loves spending time with her family and especially her wonderful grandchildren. She enjoys teaching Math and loves studying history and genealogies. She specializes in math tricks and it gives her great pleasure to share those delightful tidbits with her students.

Portrait of Chris IngersollChris Ingersoll
- Facilitator
- Work Experience Teacher
Chris has been with SCA since 2007. He started as a math and guitar tutor and then as a teacher’s aide in the classroom. He was hired as a facilitator in the 09-10 school year to work primarily with the Bridges program.

He came from a logging background, 16 years in the woods and at the lumberyards, and returned to school and graduated with credentials from Simpson University in 1999. Since then he has substitute taught throughout Shasta County, taught in the public school system in Tehama County, and has now found a career at SCA.

He has two boys, both schooled and graduated locally.  Music and his wife, Anne Marie, are his passions.  During the summer, he can be found at the 6,000 foot elevation, often on the Pacific Crest Trail as it winds through the Sierras and Cascade Mountains.

Portrait of Ryan LaughyRyan Laughy
- Facilitator
- Classroom Digital Art Teacher
Ryan was hired to teach at SCA in 2001, after successfully operating his own private school in Shingletown. He spends most of his time helping seniors get where they are going. The remainder of his days are spent developing and teaching the digital arts program.

In 1979, he graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, having majored in design and liberal studies. After receiving his teaching credential the following year, he taught fifth grade in both public and private schools, spent seven years as headmaster of a private school, and helped his brilliant wife Catherine home school their two daughters.

He loves living in the north state, which has proven to be a wonderful change from southern California. He enjoys hiking, camping, sailing, kayaking, and geocaching, as well as photography and painting. Life is good!

Portrait of Tina TaxaraTina Taxara
- School Secretary
Tina began working as a School Secretary at SCA in 2001. She coordinates with the administration, enrolls students and issues work permits.

She graduated from high school in Urbana, Illinois and the following year graduated from Patricia Stevens Career College in Chicago. She then moved to the Bay Area where she worked in the electronics industry for 10 years before moving to Shasta County. Before coming to SSHS, she worked in the Attendance Office at Shasta High School. Tina loves spending time with her 3 kids and 4 grand kids  She also enjoys riding her mare, Beauty, along with her golden doodle, Sophie.

Matt Wahlman
- Chief Business Official
- Math Department Chair
Matt is the Chief Business Official of Shasta Charter Academy. Since Matt also has been a math teacher at SCA, he is also the Math Department Chair.

Matt grew up in the Redding area, but received his degree in Economics and minor in Marketing from Pepperdine University.  He is credentialed to teach Economics and Physical Education as well as Mathematics.

Matt enjoys playing soccer, having meaningful conversations, camping, hiking, watching students succeed and spending time with his family and friends.