People At The Heart of Change
We are fortunate to have a group of incredibly dedicated volunteers who have led the charge in designing, enhancing and financially supporting the Literacy Program. We are so grateful for their support!
We invite you to learn more about our Advisory Members below.
Char Bridenbaugh has been associated with the literacy Program since 1997. During that time she has worked both individually and in small groups as a tutor for ESL students and individually with basic literacy students, most of whom have had learning disabilities. In addition to tutoring, Char served as a tutor trainer for 15 years, and as chair of that team for ten years. In 2010, Char received the Faye Moreland Award honoring the spirit of service from the Volunteer Center. Char is currently tutoring two students and serving as a member of the Advisory Committee.
Char’s professional experience is in the field of education, beginning as a public school first grade teacher and later moving onto the field of special education, specializing in work with dyslexic children and adults. She has also taught courses in teacher preparation at the university level. Her hobbies include music (conga drumming and marimba), yoga, adventure travel, and gardening.
Carol Curlett has been with the Literacy Program for 10 years. After enjoying tutoring for several months she realized the value of our Literacy Program and wanted to involve more people by becoming a member of the Tutor Training Team. Carol also serves as Co Chair of the Mentor Committee, recruiting experienced tutors and mentoring new tutors. She also is a member of the Advisory Committee. She is the Leader of The English Language Ministry at St Joseph's Catholic Church where she tutors 12 students.
A retired science writer and radio producer, Rusten teaches small classes on science, math, history, and English skills in the downtown jail in Santa Cruz. He maintains an ongoing correspondence tutoring relationship with several of his former jail students who are now serving time in California state prisons. Rusten has taught math and science in a university in the Muslim area of the Philippines, chaired the science department at an experimental high school in Baltimore, and used his background in the history of science to teach science and technology in US History in a community college in California. His natural history radio series "California Bird Talk" has been broadcast on public radio stations around the state. Rusten is an avid tennis player, and he and his wife Donna (who is also a Literacy Program tutor) practice the sport of agility with their two now-no-longer-street-dogs, Shindychew and Oz. Donna is a very good agility trainer; Rusten tries and has fun.
Since joining the Literacy Program in 2005, Krissen has tutored individually with several highly motivated students and felt great satisfaction when one of her students achieved her citizenship as well as the job she wanted. For several years she also taught workplace literacy to employees in a nursing home as well as another small class in a church in Watsonville. In addition to her tutoring, Krissen has served for many years on the program’s Advisory Committee and heads the Tutor Training Team. Before she retired in 2004, Krissen taught elementary school for 27 years in the Live Oak and Scotts Valley School Districts. She finds it satisfying to be able to utilize her previous teaching skills along with new techniques for teaching adults that she has learned from the Literacy Program.
Linda Murphy has been a part of the Literacy Program for nine years. During that time she has had the pleasure of working with six students and been a part of three groups: Friends of Literacy, Outreach Committee, Mentor and Advisory Committee. She has reaped the rewards of getting to know her wonderful students and witnessing their progress and successes. She taught for 37 years at Branciforte Middle School where her main assignment was being "the Drama teacher" though she also taught English and History. Though teaching was just the right career for her, she has found that tutoring adult English language learners has added a whole other dimension to her work in education. Her interests include traveling, reading, playing tennis, and visiting her family and her friends, both local and far-flung.
Architect and retired Professor from SUNY Buffalo, she has been with The Literacy Program for six years. She serves on the program’s Advisory Committee, is the certified CASAS writing scorer for the program, conducts writing workshops, is a tutor mentor, and is part of the new tutor orientation team.
Carol has tutored with the Literacy Program since 2013. She enjoys working with adults one-on-one and bringing her 30 years of elementary teaching experience to the tutoring process. Watching a student take the Oath of Citizenship has been among her most memorable moments in the program. Since 2014, Carol has also enjoyed the collegiality of serving as a mentor to new tutors. Her interests include serving as a docent to school groups at the SLV Museum, traveling, reading, gardening, and the joy and delight of being a grandparent.
Allen Rozelle has been teaching with the Literacy Program since 2009. With a serious assist from Gisela Soto’s daughter, Marlise, he was chosen to teach a group of adults at the Nueva Vista in Beach Flats. That class is ongoing. He also teaches a weekly class at the Santa Cruz Day-workers Center. Allen started teaching ESL when he moved to Paris in 1968. He became involved in “the subordination of teaching to learning” developed by Dr. Caleb Gattegno and continues to use the Silent Way as his approach. He and his family moved to Geneva in 1979 where he taught ESL and Social Sciences in the Bilingual Middle School at the International School of Geneva until his retirement in 2006.
Sandy has been tutoring with the Literacy Program since 2006. In addition to tutoring, she has served on the Outreach Committee and the Advisory Committee. She also helps organize the ongoing workshops for tutors and supplies refreshments in the form of cookies. Her prior professional experience was in Medical administration and consulting. In addition to the Literacy program, she fills her retirement time with a few other volunteer activities, a book club, exercise class, and a weekly Mah Jongg game.