November 24, 2013

Meet the Faculty

Kat Snodgrass

Administrator/ K/1 Teacher

Katherine SnodgrassKat lives with her husband and four children in Escondido. She has spent many years teaching and inspiring children in different capacities. After receiving a scholarship to San Diego State University in cheerleading, she coached youth teams at West and Gold Gymnastics in San Marcos and through the national company, UCA. She has thirteen years experience in business working in the accounting department of TAG automotive company and is an equal partner with her husband in their business, North County Auto Specialists. She home schooled her own children for five years before starting Meridian Academy and was able to volunteer through the community in many different educational youth groups. She is thrilled to be able to develop an education environment where children are free to pursue their own interests and to inspire a lifelong passion for education. Katherine has always had a deep-rooted love for History and Language Arts and feels that it is through the classics that children can learn many of life’s most important lessons.


Emily Schaumann

5th Grade Teacher/ Music Teacher

Emily SchaumannEmily loves music and she loves children. She has spent much of her life combining these two passions. Her summers through high school and college were spent teaching music and drama in a 6-week summer program for elementary age children. After graduating from Brigham Young University with her Bachelors and Masters of Music, she taught music classes to children at private schools in Utah and California. When Emily started home schooling her children she discovered a new passion- education. She dove head first in research of curriculums, methodologies, learning styles, schooling styles, and read every book about education she could get her hands on. She homeschooled her four children for four years before opening Meridian Academy. Emily is co-teaching in the K/1 classroom with Elissa Reade and loves the time she spends with these fabulous students and families.


Jillene Rios

2/3/4 Teacher/Art Teacher

Jillene3Jillene is a 20 year veteran teacher of various home and charter school programs in North County as well as teaching and developing curriculum with Abrakadoodle Art Education.  Having taught her own three boys in all aspects and studies of general education from Kindergarten through the 8th grade, she has learned through study, experience and the pursuit of teaching excellence, methods of instruction that inspire and motivate her students to love learning. Due to the creative methods and skills she has acquired, she has repeatedly been sought out and hired by parents and schools to teach their students.  She is very excited about creating a program that will provide a leadership education that emphasizes creativity and different learning styles.  Jillene’s main passion is art and art history.  She feels that if you want your children to increase their overall brain functioning capabilities, improve cognitive and creative skills, raise their self-esteem levels, and increase their enthusiasm for learning, then have them involved in art! Jillene is currently teaching the 2/3/4 classroom and you can see a sample of her class’ amazing projects on her blog


Elissa Reade

Administrator/ K-1 Teacher

Elissa3Elissa has eleven years of teaching experience; two as a substitute in public schools, two teaching at Meridian Academy, and seven spent home schooling and teaching other children in our community. She is very passionate about teaching and individualized learning. She believes that no two children are the same, and as their teacher it is her job to help them seek out their own individual passions and talents. She studied biochemistry at UCSD earning her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. She loves the sciences and strives to help children find the joy in making scientific discoveries. As a co-founder of Meridian Academy, she loves to help children and families rediscover the joy in learning and working creatively. Elissa is currently co-teaching the K/1 classroom with Emily Schaumann. Elissa has four children, and is married to Frank who works for the City of San Marcos as a firefighter paramedic.