Kindergarten Teachers

Autumn Rolfson

Ms. Rolfson
  • Room 109
  • rolfsona@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Rolfson has lived in San Francisco for 28 years, though she is originally from Los Angeles. She earned her B.A. and Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. This is her 17th year of teaching Kindergarten and 12th year at Daniel Webster.


Laura Braun

Photo of Ms. Braun
  • Room 108
  • braunl@sfusd.edu
  • My name is Laura Braun and this is my 14th year teaching. I’ve taught Kindergarten and 1st grade. I’m from Washington and received my B.A. from CSU in Ft Collins, Colorado. I moved to San Francisco last year from Austin, Tx and I love it here! Not only have I found the best city to live in but I am teaching at the best school! In my free time I love to travel, hike, see live music, surf and go out to eat.


Elise Martinez

Photo of Ms. Martinez
  • Room 105
  • dorame-martineze@sfusd.edu
  • Hola a todos! My name is Elise Martinez and it is my third year teaching. I recently moved from the Sacramento area and I have loved every moment of it! I grew up in the Napa Valley and I studied at UC Davis so I am a NorCal native! In my free time, I love to cook, travel, try new restaurants (please share any recommendations!) and workout.

First Grade Teachers

Kimberly Pedersen

Photo Ms. Kim
  • Room 103
  • pedersenk@sfusd.edu
  • Did you know that Maestra Kim is the tallest teacher in the school? She's from Pennsylvania and studied Elementary Education and Sociology at Penn State. For graduate school, she studied Culturally and Linguistically diverse Instruction at Western Colorado University. Masetra Kim is excited to begin her 2nd year at Daniel Webster. Previously, she taught bilingual Kinder in Colorado for 5 years and worked as an Environmental Educator for 4 years. She likes to travel and has spent time in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, & Spain. When she is not teaching, she can be found going for walks with her dog Walter, rafting, kayaking, birdwatching (let her know if you see anything cool!), and playing soccer & volleyball.

¿Sabías que la Maestra Kim es la maestra más alta de la escuela? Ella es de Pennsylvania y estudió educación primaria y sociología en Penn State. Para la escuela de maestría, estudió instrucción cultural y lingüísticamente diversa en la Universidad de Western Colorado. Maestra Kim está encantada de comenzar su segundo año con Daniel Webster. Anteriormente, enseñó Kindergarten bilingüe en Colorado durante 5 años y trabajó como educadora ambiental durante 4 años. Le gusta viajar y ha pasado tiempo en México, Honduras, Costa Rica y España. Cuando no está enseñando, se la puede encontrar paseando con su perro Walter, haciendo rafting y kayak, observando aves (¡avísele si ve algo interesante!) y jugando fútbol y voleibol.


Lidia Trespalacios

Photo of Ms. Lidia
  • Room 106
  • trespalaciosgonzalez@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Lidia was born and raised in Palencia (Spain), where she  received her B.A. in Musical Education and Pedagogy. Afterwards, she pursued a Master’s degree in Musictherapy.When she finished University, she lived in Ireland for a year where she studied English. She has been teaching for 9 years although this is her first year at Daniel Webster Elementary. She is really excited about that.In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music and singing. She also loves traveling and pursuing voluntary activities related to education. 

Ms. Lidia nació y creció en Palencia (Spain), donde ella realizó sus estudios de Educación Musical y Pedagogía. Durante este tiempo también ella hizo un Máster en Musicoterapia.Después de terminar de estudiar en la Universidad, Ms. Lidia vivió en Irlanda por un año donde estudió inglés. Ella ha estado enseñando por 9 años, sin embargo este es su primer año trabajando en Daniel Webster y por ello está muy contenta.En su tiempo libre Ms. Lidia disfruta leyendo, viajando y realizando actividades de voluntariado relacionadas con la educación


Yadira Zaragoza

Photo of Ms. Yadira
  • Room 107
  • zaragozaalcalay@sfusd.edu
  • My name is Yadira ZaragozaAlcala. This is my second year at Daniel Webster and first year as a First grade teacher. Prior to pursuing my teaching credential, I was a para educator with SFUSD. I am originally from Southern California and have lived in SF for a total of four years. In my free time I enjoy going on walks, exploring SF, watching a good movie/show, and spending time with my family.

Second Grade Teachers

Ronald Russo

Photo of Mr. Russo
  • Room 104
  • RussoR@sfusd.edu
  • Born and raised in Stamford, CT, Mr. Russo went to Parsons School of Design and then to the Fashion Institute of Technology for a B.F.A. in Interior Design and a minor in Art History. He has been teaching for well over 20 years, with the past 19 years at Daniel Webster. He remembers the very day he learned to read and strives to create those kinds of memories for his students. Mr Russo loves the diversity of San Francisco and the Daniel Webster community.  His favorite books are all the books in the Harry Potter series. Fun Fact: He has shaken hands with five US presidents.


Eva Shantharam

Photo of Ms. Eva
  • Room 102
  • ShantharamE@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Eva was born in El Salvador but moved to San Francisco when she was one year old. She has a BA in Psychology from SFSU and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University LA. In her free time she loves to write poetry and short stories. She tries to bring this love of books and writing to her classroom since 2nd grade is the pivotal age when children are learning to fall in love with reading and writing. It is also the best time to use all the creativity they possess.


Jose Santanta

Photo of Mr. Santana
  • Room 101
  • santanaj1@sfusd.edu
  • Mr. Santana was born and raised in rural Jalisco, Mexico. He came to SF at 18  to join his parents and three sisters. Mr. Santana got his BA. in English Lit at Cal. He got  his teaching credentials at SF State. This is Mr. Santana’s third year at Daniel Webster and he is happy to be part of this community. Two books that have had a strong impact on Mr. Santana are El laberinto de la soledad by Octavio Paz and El llano en llamas by Juan Rulfo.

Third Grade Teachers

Thomas Gotte

Photo of Mr. Thomas
  • Room 206
  • gottet@sfusd.edu
  • I was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. Geaux (go) Cajuns! I attended college at University of Louisiana (UL) for my undergraduate degree and Louisiana State University (LSU) for my Master’s in Educational Leadership. I recently moved to SF and became a part of the Daniel Webster learning community teaching the third grade GE strand. It has been such an amazing and supportive transition. In my spare time, I love to go hiking, find local eateries to enjoy, and spend time with my Sphynx cat, Shirley. 



Manny Vargas

Photo of Mr. Vargas
  • Room 209
  • vargasj2@sfusd.edu
  • Mr. Vargas was born in Honduras, Central America but was raised in California’s Central Valley. He got his BA from Chico State and his MA in Education from the University of San Francisco.  This is his 16th year teaching 3rd grade at SFUSD, and his 5th year at Daniel Webster.  Mr. Vargas loves jogging along the Embarcadero with his Aussie Doodle, laughing with friends, and traveling with his husband.




Alejandra Milotich

Photo of Ms. Alejandra
  • Room 207
  • milotichmartina@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Alejandra was born in Valencia, Spain and it is her second year in San Francisco. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching in elementary school as PE and English as a Second Language from University of Valencia. She has been working as a teacher for the last 6 years. She loves teaching through collaborative projects using technology tools, artwork, experiential learning and exploration. She is very optimistic and active. Ms. Alejandra enjoys listening to music, dancing, doing gymnastics and all activities outdoors! She is very grateful to have the opportunity of being part of Daniel Webster community!

Fourth and Fifth Grade Teachers

Alyssa Shimoda

Photo of Ms. Shimoda
  • Room 202
  • shimodaa@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Shimoda grew up on O’ahu, Hawai’i and has lived in San Francisco for 11 years. She received her Bachelor’s in Japanese Studies as well as her Master’s in Education and Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco. This is her 7th year teaching in SFUSD and her 3rd year teaching 4th and 5th grade. When she’s not at school, Ms. Shimoda enjoys dancing, reading, and hiking with her dog and her husband.  She is so excited to be a part of the Daniel Webster community!


Arielle Garcia

Photo of Ms. Garcia
  • Room 205
  • garciaa10@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Garcia was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Stanford University and her Master’s in Education and Teaching Credential from the University of Southern California. This is her ninth year teaching at Daniel Webster Elementary! Her goals for this year are to engage her students in meaningful learning in the subjects she teaches and to inspire them to discover what will cultivate their love of learning. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin) She loves to dance, listen to music, read, and watch sports. She also loves anything and everything related to Marvel, Disney, Kpop, and Broadway Musicals. Her favorite food is anything with noodles and her favorite book series is Harry Potter. She is excited to still be part of this educational community. DW Owls – Hoot Hoot!

Xiomara Melendez-Cierra

photo of Ms. Xiomara
  • Room 203
  • melendezcierrax@sfusd.edu
  • Maestra Xiomara was born in El Salvador and has lived in San Francisco for the past 15 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in Political Science and International Relations. Before she became a classroom teacher, she served in the role of Parent Liaison and School Secretary at Daniel Webster. Maestra Xiomara joined the 4/5 team in the dual immersion program in 2018. She has worked closely with all our students and staff day in, day out for the past nine years.  She likes working at Daniel Webster because of its diverse community. Her favorite hobbies are reading, hiking, dancing and hanging out with her family and friends.


Iñaki Arriazu

Photo of Mr. Inaki


  • Room 201
  • anton-arriazui@sfusd.edu
  • Mr. Inaki was born in a small town in  the north of Spain and it is his second year in San Francisco. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the  University of Valladolid and his Master’s in Bilingual Education from the Valencian International University. He has been working as a teacher for the last 7 years. His goal for this year is to help the kids to be successful students and inspire them to become better citizens. Apart from teaching, he enjoys reading books, traveling and experiencing other cultures, and practicing sports, especially playing soccer, snowboarding and running trail races and marathons. He is so excited to be part of the Daniel Webster community! 


Iriana Olguin 

Ms. Olguin
  • Room 204
  • olguini@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Iriana was born and raised in San Francisco. She grew up in the Excelsior district. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from Mills College. She just completed the Urban Education & Social Justice Program at University of San Francisco. Ms. Iriana has previously worked at Daniel Webster as an ASEP teacher, paraeducator and substitute. Ms. Iriana is excited to be joining the 4/5 team this year as a teacher. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog Mochi, hiking, roller skating and eating mariscos. 



SPED Teachers and Team

Sofia Gonzalez-Dyer - RSP

Photo of Ms. Sofia
  • Room 208 
  • gonzalez-dyers@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Sofia has been working as a Resource Specialist at Daniel Webster for 9 years. Prior to becoming a Special Education teacher, she worked as a Kindergarten teacher for 17 years. Ms. Sofia was born and grew up in Mexico. She attended the “Escuela de Psicologia” in the University of Guadalajara and graduated in 1987. She moved to the USA after marrying her husband in 1989. She is the mother of 3 young men and an 18 year old girl.  Ms. Sofia is our Resource Specialist Program teacher, serving students who participate in our special education program. Ms. Sofia works with students in small groups in our learning center, and also supports students in class helping teachers differentiate instruction for all types of learners. Ms. Sofia conducts educational assessments, and designs Individualized Education Plans for students based on their learning needs. Ms. Sofia enjoys reading, swimming, dancing and biking.


Ginger Wilson - RSP

Photo of Ms. Ginger
  • Room 208
  • WilsonG@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Ginger grew up in Lodi, Wisconsin. Her love for wilderness brought her to the University of Montana, where she studied Cultural Anthropology and Spanish. She loves traveling, and was lucky enough to study abroad in Chile and Argentina. She now lives in Oakland, and enjoys rowing on Lake Merritt. Some of her other hobbies include practicing herbalism, cooking, running, dancing, and reading. Her favorite authors include Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut.


Dina Shresth - School Psychologist

Photo of Ms. Dina
  • Room 214
  • shresthad@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Dina spent most of her life in Arizona, and she moved to San Francisco, CA in July 2021. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Arizona State University, and her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology at Northern Arizona University. This is Ms. Dina’s 2nd year at Daniel Webster as a school psychologist, and she has really enjoyed working with the diverse and kind community. Her favorite hobby is roller skating. She also likes to hike, be outdoors, and explore new parts of SF in her spare time.


Julia Nemchuk - Speech Language Pathologist

Photo of Ms. Julie
  • Room 209
  • nemchukj@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Julia has been a Speech Language Pathologist in the public schools since 2008. After moving to the U.S. from Russia as a college student, she studied Linguistics at UC Berkeley and Communicative Disorders at SFSU. She is about to celebrate 5 years on staff at Daniel Webster, supporting students’ communication skills. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, and traveling the world with her family. Free Little Libraries around the city are some of her favorite things.


Specials Teachers

Art Teachers

Ms. Terri

Photo of Ms. Terri
  • Art Bungalow
  • scheidt@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Terri has been teaching visual art at Daniel Webster for 10+ years. Having had the experience of teaching art to various age groups, she can undeniably say that elementary kids are truly the best artists! She enjoys spending time outdoors  hiking, biking, and kayaking with her husband and son. And when not doing that, Ms. Terri is a practicing ceramic artist and has a teeny tiny art studio of her own in the East Bay.

Ms. Quiroz

Photo of Ms. Cristina
  • Art Bungalow
  • quirozc@sfusd.edu
  • Ms. Quiroz has been living on the hill for more than forty years. She began her journey working with the Daniel Webster community with ASEP 12 years ago. She has been teaching Kindergarten and First grade art classes here for the last 8 years. Prior to being an educator, she worked in book publishing. She still is very passionate about all things books and art. When she is not at Daniel Webster, she’s working at Star King Elementary.

Ms. Macias

Ms. Macias
  • Art Bungalow
  • maciast@sfusd.edu
  • Taylor is a new arts teacher who got her credential in elementary education in Humboldt County in 2021, and who studied art education at Humboldt State University in 2016. She has been working in classrooms and adult day centers as an aide, a substitute, a volunteer, a camp counsellor, and an arts instructor since she was, herself, a teenager! Taylor studied art at City College in 2012 and fell in love with the arts and their capacity to strengthen one's identity, self image, and comprehension of the world. She creates murals, community building art projects, and organizes art exhibits outside of her career as an art teacher at Francis Scott Key elementary, Commodore SLOAT elementary, and here at Daniel Webster as the Digital Media arts teacher. 


This page was last updated on October 30, 2023