Ms. Ruth Gonsalves

PALS Level I

My name is Ruth Gonsalves, and I am the new PALS 1 teacher.  I am new to PALS, but have been teaching 2nd grade in PCS since 2010. I have been job-sharing with Heather Espana in Room 16 for the past 5 years, and am now back to teaching full time. Prior to working at Parkmead, I've also taught in El Dorado Hills, Orinda, and at Walnut Heights Elementary. 


My husband Steve and I live in the Walnut Heights area, and have three children. Our oldest, Ian, is living in Oakland and is engaged to Erin who is a teacher in San Ramon. Our middle daughter, Claire, will be a Junior at San Francisco State. Our youngest son, Cam, just graduated from Las Lomas and will be attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.


I look forward to joining the PALS community, and working with such supportive teachers and families.

Ms. Jennifer Cousins

PALS Level I

I am entering my 17th year of teaching.  I have experience teaching Kindergarten, First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade.  I began my teaching career in Alamo, California.  Next, I took a job teaching elementary school in Rome, Italy.  What started out as a two year contract turned into a 12 year position!  Upon returning to the US, I found the PALS community.  I was attracted to the international component as well as the sense of community it provided.  I taught in the PALS Level 3 and now, most recently, in the PALS Level 1.  I am thrilled to be a part of the PALS program and enjoy getting to know my students and their whole families


I have two young children of my own.  They are preschool age at the moment but might begin the PALS program soon!

Mrs. Krista Schnepp


I have had the pleasure of teaching PALS Level II since 1996, the same year that my youngest son was born. My sons were PALS class of '04 and '07. I've always loved the wonderful sense of community the families create here and the connectedness that is available to kids as they move on through the years.

I earned my teaching credential at St. Mary's College, Moraga. After a few years other places, I found myself with PALS. Teaching second and third graders is the most rewarding teaching position I've experienced. I enjoy how inquisitive the children are and their enthusiasm for learning new things. I am always impressed with how much students grow during our two years together.

Ms. Caitlin Dadnia


Hi! I am Caitlin Dadnia and this is my 5th year in education. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, Teaching Credential, and Master’s in Educational from Cal State East Bay. I started my teaching career in Hayward where I taught first, second, and third grades.  

I am so lucky to have found the PALS community. PALS has been nothing but welcoming and helpful! I cannot wait to create many more fond memories with this amazing community of students and families.

Ms. Robin Reese


I have a BS in Business with a concentration in Information Systems from Cal Poly. I worked in the computer industry for several years before getting my credential from Chapman University.

I have three children who all have graduated from the PALS program. Even now, my closest friendships are from the strong PALS community. Now I get the chance to teach in the program that I love, with a great group of teachers.

Ms. Simone Stankus


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