Brendan Boylan – mathematics – email:

From an early age I had a love of problem solving, numbers, and the process of coming up with the right solution. Influenced by great math teachers at Salmon Creek and El Molino Schools, math became a passion of mine and I am incredibly excited and grateful to be teaching it to my students at West County Charter this upcoming year.

I am entering my teaching career coming from one in web development and marketing management, which provided me with a wealth of experiences and knowledge that will transfer directly into my classroom.  Whether training new employees in programming and graphic design techniques or developing custom programs for clients, I’ve been able to find solutions for individuals based on their different needs and skill levels.  I look forward to doing the same for the students in my math classroom.

I currently live in Camp Meeker with my wife Kelly Anne and our two children, Clementine (8) and Bowie (6). When I’m not in the classroom, you’ll find me at the beach, in the redwoods, on the river, or at the golf course (whether hitting balls or throwing discs). I also serve on the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together Sebastopol.


Alex Finnegan – Science – email:

Alex Finnegan was born and raised in Sonoma County where he attended Analy High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Sonoma State University. He spent over 10 years teaching and practicing at Phas3 Martial Arts where he specialized in Muay Thai kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He worked with a variety of students from small children to adults. Something he learned early on is that the best teachers are also the best students, which is why he seizes new opportunities to learn and continue growing.

His passion for education comes from the simple truth that our greatest achievements in life can be attributed back to a teacher, parent, or coach who believed in us and pushed us beyond our limits. He hopes to bring this spirit into the classroom. He values hard work, resilience, and a good attitude. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife and their two daughters. If he is not playing with his family you will find him tinkering away in his workshop or brewing his next craft beer.

He is excited to join the WCC team and make this a great year for learning!

Remember students, in the lab, curiosity is key!


Nicole Ochoa – Social Studies email:

Hello students and families! My name is Nicole Ochoa and I am thrilled to be your 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher! My favorite thing about studying history is our ability to learn from the past; the good, the bad, and the complicated. My hope is that all students walk out of my classroom continuously feeling connected to a unique piece of our fascinating history.

Now for a little of my own history: I graduated from Analy High School and went on to study and play Division II softball at Holy Names University. There, I was able to almost perfect a curve ball, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Granada, Spain, and I became the first in my family to earn a college degree.

Outside of the classroom, I love hunting for a good coffee shop, hiking in the redwoods, and spending time with my family and friends. Now that you know a bit about me, I am eager to learn more about all of you as we embark on this West County Charter School journey!


Peg Sewall – English Language Arts – email:

Margaret “Peg” Sewall is excited to kick off her 16th year of teaching in the inaugural year of the West County Charter School!  Ms. Sewall will be teaching English Language Arts at WCC. Her previous teaching experiences include middle school English positions in San Diego, CA, Clinton, NJ, and the American International School in Bucharest, Romania, along with her most recent position teaching English at Analy High School in Sebastopol.  Ms. Sewall earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and her Master of Education degree in Cross-cultural Teaching from National University.  Before becoming a teacher, she worked for several nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC, and was also a project coordinator for an engineering firm in San Diego.  In her free time, Ms. Sewall enjoys reading voraciously, cooking, traveling the world, and being a “foodie” here in beautiful Sonoma County.


Kirsten Sanft – Principal – directora – email:

Greetings! I have worked in education in some capacity for over 20 years, from kindergarten to middle and high school to adult education. I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Master’s in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. But that’s not the truly important stuff. What’s essential is that I love working in public education and get a huge kick out of middle school students. Having the opportunity to support young people as they form their adult identities and deepen their understanding of the world is a joy, and the best kind of challenge.

When I’m not a work I might be rock climbing with my teenage son, doing yoga, or working in the garden. If I’m lucky, I might be travelling and learning more about our amazing and ever-changing world.

Saludos! He trabajado en educación por más que 20 años, desde el kinder hasta la educación para adultos. Gradué con mi licenciatura en antropología de la Universidad de Wisconsin, Madison, y de la Universidad de California, Santa Barbara con una maestría en educación. Pero eso no es lo más importante. Lo más importante es que me gusta tanto trabajar en una escuela pública, y me encantan los jóvenes de “middle school.” La oportunidad a apoyar los jóvenes mientras forman sus identidades adultas y hacer más profundo su entendimiento del mundo es mi felicidad, y el mejor tipo de desafío.

Cuando no estoy trabajando, quizá estoy escalando rocas con mi hijo, haciendo yoga, o trabajando en mi jardín. Cuando tengo mucha suerte, estoy viajando y aprendiendo más sobre nuestro mundo increíble y cambiante.

Hablo español, y es un placer servir la comunidad hispanohablante en Forestville.

Maureen Santori – Office Manager – email:

Hello! I am thrilled to continue my 28th year in education by joining the West Counter Charter Middle School team as the school’s Office Manager.  I come to you from San Francisco where I was born and raised, and have been enjoying my job as the counseling office secretary.  I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and working at this beautiful campus.

In my spare time I love to read, and I also spend a lot of my time working with and training my dogs for many different activities such as dog shows, obedience work, agility, rally, and even hunting.  The activity that we most enjoy together is the therapy work I do with them.  We visit hospitals, veteran centers, senior centers, schools, and libraries.


Lily Smedshammer – Spanish – email:

¡Hola! Yo soy Lily Smedshammer. You might have guessed that I did not grow up speaking Spanish at home. I started learning it in 9th grade and consider it a lifelong pursuit. I attended: Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, The University of New Mexico, The University of Puerto Rico and The University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico. I’ve taught: US and World History, Spanish 1-4 and English Learner classes in Santa Fe, Austin, Ukiah and Sebastopol. I love school, school supplies, Latin music and my own middle schooler and third grader. See you in class!



Sadie Sontag – Music – email:

Sadie Sonntag has been singing, composing, teaching, and performing (flute and piano) since she was 12 years old. She is classically trained with a B.A. in Music Education from Sonoma State University. She has performed as mezzo-soprano soloist as well as choir singer with the Sonoma Bach Society. Sadie has been the winner of several singing awards and scholarships. She is a professional music director in Sonoma County. Sadie as served as board member with the Santa Rosa Concert Association. She has also released several CDs in both rock and classical genres, performing works of classical composers and her own original music.


As a member of West Sonoma County High School family of schools, we have additional funding, resources and access to teacher training programs. Our faculty professional development program includes ongoing training in the highly regarded Design Thinking approach to teaching and learning. We are fully staffed with a group of dynamic and devoted teachers to serve West County Charter students.


After four years of collaboration with multiple stakeholders, school districts and concerned citizens, West Sonoma County High School District (WSCHSD) is proud to announce that its new middle school will open in the Fall of 2017. As a member of one of Sonoma County’s most reputable high school districts, West County Charter is uniquely positioned to prepare middle school students for high school. The school anticipates an initial enrollment of 100 students and is targeting an enrollment of 125 students by Fall 2019.

“Our teachers understand the uniqueness of the middle school student’s journey and possess the know-how to foster confidence, creativity, flexibility and curiosity in each student.”

- Steven Kellner
West County HS District

Strategically located in the town of Forestville in beautiful West Sonoma County.