The Team » Our Staff

Our Staff

 Ms. Kara Schene
Principal (LCS)

Mrs. Schene has been an inspiring educational leader for over eighteen years. Our Lighthouse Charter core values of demonstrating unconditional positive regard, continuous self-reflection, and high quality collaborative efforts are aspects she values and embraces as our Principal of LCS. Mrs. Schene received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from University of Nevada Reno, and earned her Master's Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from University of Phoenix. Mrs. Schene holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with an authorization in English and an Administrative Services Credential. She is excited to bring her extensive experiences of mentoring/coaching, building effective systems for positive school outcomes and implementing comprehensive models of inclusive practices for all students at LCS. When not spending time with the school family at LCS, she enjoys camping with her husband and three sons, gardening, and snowmobiling with her family in Graeagle, CA.



Office Manager
Office Clerk
Office Clerk


Para Educators

Rachel Villanueva
Cathleen Garcia
Marina Lopez
Nayeli Herrera
Josafina Pontes

Special Education Paras

Noelia Rodriguez
Rodney Corpuz
Josafina Pontes
Cynthia Lopez de Romero
Michelle King

Ed Specialists

Maria Betts

 Brian Sherman
School Psych

Working with children has always been a passion of mine! Prior to my work here at River Charter Schools, I got my start in the school system working as a para-educator in mild-moderate and moderate-severe SDC classrooms. This is where I caught the bug to work as a school psychologist and haven't looked back since. Throughout my time in the field of Psychology, I have also held positions in the Veteran's Administration Hospital working with Veteran's who had experienced combat trauma (physically and mentally), as well as a community outreach center. During my time at the community out reach center I was working primarily in schools to provide outside resources for counseling in schools with primary populations of low socio-economic status, as well as substance abuse groups at the outreach center with people from all walks of life.
Kyla Gilmore
School Counselor 
Hi, my name is Kyla Gilmore and I'm honored to be Lighthouse Charter School Counselor.  I have been providing mental health services within the community for the last 6 years. I have worked with children, adolescences, adults, individuals, and families in a mental health setting. I am very passionate about creating safe, supportive, and nonjudgmental relationships with other. In my free time I enjoy spending time in nature, yoga , spending time with my family and traveling to new countries! 
Multi-Tiered System of Supports
Kathleen (Kat) Ellis is an excited and eager educator, who is always finding new ways to engage students and peers into being the best change-makers they can be! Her undergrad and credential are both from Sacramento State (go Hornets!) where she claims to have found her love for recreation! Kat loves the great outdoors, as she especially loves to continuously re-find her curiosity in the adventures of this world. She loves her plants, her two dogs, her two cats, hammocking, and backpacking.  She believes in the value of mindfulness and self-compassion.

Julianna Hess

Julianna is very excited to join the River Charter Schools team this year! Julianna has spent the past five years working with B Street Theatre and Marin Shakespeare Company as an Education Associate. Julianna loves finding ways to bring the arts into the classroom. Outside of the classroom, Julianna loves spending time with her puppy Sirius (Yes Sirius Black!), and building Harry Potter Legos with her boyfriend. 


Amy Cordova
John Silva
Lindsay Smith
Marissa Lopez

Maintenance/Janitorial/Lunch Aide


Food Service


Justin Lee
Site Information Technology Specialist

Hello, my name is Justin Lee. I was born in San Francisco, and I moved to Sacramento when I was 6 years old. In 2021, I graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering. This is my first time working in information technology and I am excited to take this opportunity to learn and provide my support. When I am not working, I enjoy hanging out with my friend and family, board games, and volleyball.