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District Specialists

Newport Mesa provides the following specialist support.

Greetings from the library! My name is Kathy Oldakowski and I have been the librarian at Andersen since 2018. I am thrilled to be able to work and give back to the same community where my own children attended elementary school! Prior to officially joining the team here at Andersen I served as a volunteer in classrooms, the library, and on the executive board of the PTA. I recently completed my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.

My passion is children’s literature and I truly get a kick out of sharing and discussing books with Andersen’s community of learners. I frequently tell the children that they are my greatest influencers and I love to learn what they are excited about! When I’m not busy hosting classes in our library I can be found working on collection development, supporting staff with classroom projects, or preparing for book club meetings and our annual Battle of the Books competition. I hope to see you all soon in the library!

Hello Families from Remy Carpino! I've been teaching elementary music since 2017. Prior to working in NMUSD, I spent 4 years in Orange USD as an elementary orchestra teacher. I hold a B.A. in music and M.A. in Education from Vanguard University. Helping students develop musical skills and a love for music is truly a dream career for me. 

At Andersen, students receive music education throughout their entire elementary school experience. These general music classes allow students to develop foundational musical skills in the areas of pitch, rhythm, form, and expression. These concepts are explored and developed through listening, movement, singing, and the playing of a variety of different instruments. Beginning in 4th grade, students have the opportunity to participate in a music ensemble. Andersen currently offers orchestra. In orchestra, students learn to read music notation fluently and perform on a stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). 

Physical education at Andersen is taught by Brian Gibson, a specialist whose lessons are well designed and organized sequentially, provide full inclusion of students, and allow maximum practice opportunities for a variety of skills. Different types of physical activities and motor skills are taught to help develop new interests, enhance teamwork and social skills, and enhance the physical, mental, and social/emotional development of every child.

In the Andersen Science Lab, students learn to think like scientists and engineers with Lindsay Goff. Students explore the world around them and the phenomena that occur. Students learn science skills and engineering practices to unpack complex ideas and curiosities through inquiry and hands-on learning. Learning in the science lab is guided by Next Generation Science Standards. 

Hello families! My name is Raquel Koch. I am very grateful to be a part of the NMUSD team as the school counselor serving Harbor View and Andersen Elementary. My educational background includes a BA in Psychology from UCI and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from USC.

As your school counselor, I work with all students to build on positive social-emotional competencies, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Just a few examples of what that might look like include: learning stress management techniques and coping strategies, developing a healthy mindset and positive self-esteem, identifying and managing strong emotions, building positive relationships, practicing mindfulness, academic and personal goal-setting, feeling, and showing empathy for others, etc. I visit classrooms of all grade levels to encourage ongoing discussion about social-emotional skills. I also may work with students in an individual or small group setting on a short-term basis (with parental consent).

When students are given the chance to develop these skills in their elementary years, they have the opportunity to enter middle and high school with a strong foundation of coping tools and strategies to become resilient learners and successful young adults! Being in a position to teach children SEL skills early on is truly one of the reasons why I believe I have the best career in the world. I look forward to growing with the Andersen community!