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Mrs. Michelle AdamsMrs. Michelle Adams

I am the Title 1 Clerk here at Santa Susana Elementary. I've worked for the Simi Valley Unified School District since 2008. There's no place I'd rather work than in a school environment. I'm married and have a son and a daughter. In my spare time I enjoy camping, hiking, pickle ball and spending time with my family.

Mrs. Lindsey CrockerMrs. Lindsey Crocker

I have worked at Santa Susana Elementary School for more than 10 years and it is a place I call home. I graduated from University of California-Los Angeles in 2006 and earned my teaching credential from California State University-Northridge in 2007. In addition to teaching, I enjoy camping, boating and wake-boarding, and cooking. I volunteer as a Girl Scout Leader and as an AYSO Referee. I am married and have one daughter who is in elementary school.

Mrs. Cindy MillerMrs. Cindy Miller

I am one of the Title 1 teachers at Santa Susana Elementary and have taught as a Title teacher at our school for more than 15 years.  I very much appreciate being able to work with our students, their families, and our Santa Susana staff.  I graduated from CSUN in 1979 and received my teaching credential the following year.  After beginning my teaching career as a 6th grade teacher in Santa Clarita, I then taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  I live in  Simi Valley with my husband and have two adult children.  My daughter, her husband, and their family live in Wisconsin.  My son lives in Simi Valley.  I like to read, walk, and go camping in the mountains.

Mrs. Heather ColeMrs. Heather Cole

I began my teaching career as a preschool teacher and music and movement teacher.  After moving to Simi Valley, I began teaching kindergarten and continued in this position for four years. Then, I began working as a Title 1 Reading Intervention teacher at Santa Susana Elementary School. I now specialize in small group instruction using many different reading programs such as SIPPS, SOAR, and READ 180. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California-Los Angeles and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University-Northridge. I am married and have one son. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, walking, and spending time in my garden. 

Mrs. Cherice SpicerMrs. Cherice Spicer

2019-2020 marks my sixth year as a Title 1 teacher at Santa Susana Elementary School. Before working at this school, I worked at Lincoln Elementary School, Berylwood Elementary School, Crestview Elementary School, and Madera Elementary School as a Title teacher or Reading Intervention teacher; and at Wood Ranch Elementary School as a long-term substitute in a 1st grade classroom. I have been teaching for 11 years now. I am married and have three beautiful daughters who have all attended Simi Valley schools. I love teaching and seeing kids learn!


Programs offered at Santa Susana Elementary

Junior/Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Support

Reading support:

  • SIPPS (Grades 1 and 2): Systematic Instruction in Phoneme Awareness, Phonics and Sight Words (SIPPS) is a decoding program that develops the word-recognition strategies and skills that enable students to become fluent, independent and confident readers.  Levels include: Beginning, Extension, Challenge and SIPPS Plus.
  • Soar to Success: A small-group reading comprehension program fr grades 3-4.  It uses authentic literature, reciprocal teaching, and graphic organizers in fast-paced lessons to help intermediate-grade students accelerate their reading growth.
  • Achieve 3000: Provides the only patented, cloud-based solutions that deliver daily differentiated instruction for nonfiction reading and writing that are precisely tailored to each student's Lexile reading level.
  • Notice & Note: Introduces 6 'signposts' that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourages them to read closely.  This helps create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly and rigorously, and reflect on what it means to them.
  • Rosetta Stone

Math support:

  • Do the Math: A research-based mathematics intervention program that focuses on rebuilding the four core topic areas: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division and Fractions.Kindergarten to Grade 5 during the school day. Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 after-school. 

Who is eligible for services?

Kindergarten and Grade 1

  • SIPPS assessment
  • Early Literacy assessment
  • Teacher observation and assessments

Grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

  • SIPPS assessment
  • Basic Reading Inventory
  • STAR Reading assessment
  • CAASPP assessment
  • Teacher observation and assessments

You can help your child's academic achievement by supporting your child's learning at school and encouraging good study habits at home. Some tips are:

  • Agree on a time for homework.
  • Show respect for study time.
  • Arrange a quiet place for studying.
  • Allow breaks.
  • Be ready to help, but please don't do their work for them.

Sharing a love of learning by:

  • Setting a good example.
  • Making learning fun.
  • Taking advantage of resources.
  • Reading to your child.
  • Asking your child to read to you.
  • Limiting TV/screen time.
Contact Our Title 1 Staff
  Michelle Adams Staff
  Lindsey Arledge Teacher
  Mary Carstensen Teacher
  Lindsey Crocker Teacher
  Leslie Hoolihan Teacher
  Cynthia Miller Teacher
  Cherice Spicer Teacher

Mrs. Michelle McManigal

As Santa Susana’s Title 1 Literacy Coach, I am responsible for overseeing the intervention programs that help our students succeed in reading and math. I love working with our wonderful team of teachers to provide the support that each student needs. Before coming to Santa Su, I was an elementary teacher for 20 years and an elementary principal for 9 years, all here in Simi Valley. I currently live in Ventura with my husband. We have four young adult children and two grandchildren. My hobbies are playing competitive tennis, reading, hiking, walks on the beach, traveling, and spending time with my family.

Mrs. Lindsey ArledgeMrs. Lindsey Arledge

I started teaching at Santa Susana Elementary School in 2011 after receiving my Bachelor's of Arts degree from San Diego State University, and my teaching credentials from California State University-Northridge. I began my teaching career as a second grade teacher here in Simi Valley. When the opportunity arose to teach Title, I jumped on board. I love working with small groups on phonics, comprehension, and math. When I’m not teaching, I’m enjoying hiking, running, camping, and spending time with my husband and two kids.

Mrs. Mary CarsesenMrs. Mary Carstensen

I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1972 and obtained a lifetime teaching credential in 1979. I have taught for 35 years, 29 of them as a Title 1 teacher here at Santa Susana Elementary School. Santa Susana is definitely my second home and family. I am lucky to work with teachers who love what they are doing, and children that are excited about learning. I work every day with all of the Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students.

I am married and have one daughter, who has two beautiful sons. In my free time I love reading, crocheting, and spending time with my grandsons.

Mrs. Leslie HoolihanMrs. Leslie Hoolihan

I received my Bachelor's degree from California State University-Northridge in 1999. I worked as a substitute teacher in Simi Valley and Moorpark while working on my  teaching credential through CSUN. In 2006 I began working as a Title I teacher at Santa Susana Elementary School. I truly love working with our students here at Santa Susana, and I consider our school campus my home away from home. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends during camping trips, school band performances, and family gatherings.

Ms. Sandra Lopez, RTI

I have worked for SVUSD since 2016. I received my Bachelor's degree from California State University-Northridge. I am a California-certified Teacher of English Learners. Before coming to Santa Susana Elementary as a Reading Teacher I was a 5th-grade teacher. Working with EL students is my passion, I was an ELD District teacher before I taught Gen Ed. Santa Susana Elementary is where my academic career began as a student teacher with Mrs. Hoffman’s Kinder class. When I am not teaching I enjoy reading books from a variety of genres. My husband and I enjoy camping trips and ohv riding. I have a cat named Leo and we both enjoy playing soccer. I love teaching because I get to hear the funny and silly things kids say and I love seeing their light bulb moments when they learn new things.

Mrs. Heidi Valdez

Mrs. Heidi Valdez

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, attending schools in Hollywood and Burbank. I received my Bachelor’s Degree at California State University Northridge (CSUN) in Liberal Studies. I also was very fortunate to study abroad in Florence, Italy for 1 year. After that, I earned my Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in School Counseling. I have been an elementary school counselor for 7 years and find it rewarding working with students, teachers, and families. 

This is my first year working for the Simi Valley School District as the Title 1 Counselor. I'm here to provide Title 1 students with bilingual social emotional support as well as support teachers and families to enhance and improve students' academic, personal-social and career exploration skills. I’m very excited to be supporting our community. In addition to counseling, I am married, have a doggie named Ellie, enjoy gardening, watching Disney movies and shows, and especially cheering for our favorite soccer team: LAFC!!!