Erik Medina

Erik Medina is a bright and outstanding young man who is both a student as well as an Associate Professor as an Instructional Assistant. Erik did a phenomenal job supporting students as a volunteer for a quarter at CAA’s Digital Media Lab. Erik is so happy to be part of CAA – he loves his bosses, his CAA colleagues, and his fellow CAA students. CAA looks forward to continue helping Erik grow into an incredible leader, giving him an opportunity to be a successful contributing citizen through sharing his skills in computers, gaming, various content areas, and being in helpful and kind to everyone he meets.

Roland Schmidt

Armed with a degree in Communications from Sonoma state University in 2019, Roland began his career at CAA as an Associate Professor and site manager, eventually leading to his first role as the lead professor for the class “The Art of Healthful Cooking”. His passion for special education —among other interests—is immense and, without question, a driving force in his pursuit to make the world a better place than he found it.

Clarissa Thompson

Director – School of TV and Film

As the Director of the TV and Film Department, Clarissa is proud to share her love and passion for filmmaking with students. She also brings her photography, social media, and film editing skills to CAA. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz where she majored in Film and Digital Media. She won a coveted award for her senior thesis film, “92” before graduating in 2017. In her free time she is a social media influencer who is an advocate for body positivity, self-love, and mental health awareness. Clarissa is most passionate about allowing students to break boundaries with their talents and tell their stories through all forms of media at CAA.

Jennifer Hall

Last year Jennifer Hall was interning at CAA, but now she is a teacher’s aid in the Associate Professor Tech position for Music and Dance. When she is not working at CAA, you can find her as a bagger at Safeway, and if you asked her who her biggest supporter is she will most likely say her husband Steve Hall, who coincidentally also works at CAA as an Associate Professor.
In 2018, she tried out for America’s Got Talent along with Professor Jay Torres and because of that experience has returned to not only help the dance teacher but also spread her love for dance.

Julia Kayhan

Julia Kayhan joined CAA in 2018 as a volunteer, and in 2020 she was hired as an Associate Professor. Julia has been training as an Irish dancer for 10 years, and has been heavily involved in musical theater for 8 years, working as an actor, director, and choreographer. She loves sharing her passion for dance with the CAA students.

Lineth Jezek

Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training – Certified CCT© Educator

Lineth is honored to be CAA’s Professor of ‘Mindfulness and Compassion’ in the School of Health and Wellness. Lineth loves facilitating her ‘Mindfulness and Compassion’ class, meeting and interacting with CAA students.

Lineth is authorized through Stanford University’s Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education (CCARE) and the Compassion Institute to teach Compassion Cultivation Training – CCT. Born and raised in Costa Rica, she relocated to the United States in 2008 to continue working in global business. Lineth holds an MBA from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica.

Currently, she is the founder and president of Genuine Compassion, a company dedicated to providing Compassion Education and Mindfulness programs. She is honored to work with communities in the U.S. and Costa Rica, bringing the benefits of compassion to adults and teens teaching in both English and Spanish. Lineth has experience working with individuals with PTSD, chronic pain, special needs, victims of domestic violence, and those suffering of anxiety and sleeping problems. Her background includes training in meditation, nonviolent communication, and emotional wellbeing.  She is honored to facilitate compassion education in organizations in the United States and Costa Rica, facilitating training in English and Spanish.

When not teaching at CAA, you can find Lineth facilitating compassion training in other community organizations, supporting class participants develop genuine compassion, emotional awareness, and a deeper sense of happiness as a sustainable source of wellbeing. Learning, studying, and practicing compassion has enriched her life in so many positive ways. Planting the seed of compassion in her own life has helped her to rejoice in the beauty of our humanity, find strength of spirit and live with more joy. She keeps that experience and purpose at the core of her teaching. She wants others to learn how compassion cultivation can support them in their everyday personal and professional lives.

Teresa Montes de Oca

Teresa is a mother of 2 beautiful young women. She is the primary care taker of her youngest, Nathalie. For over 16 years Teresa has dedicated her life to serving her community. She has worked with parents of children with special needs to find and access valuable information and resources. Teresa believes that by supporting one another, we can all make the difference we want to see in our community.

Josh Burger

Josh Burger has recently joined the CAA Family as a resident photographer. His first encounter with CAA was in 2018 for the Golf Tournament Fundraiser. Ever since then, he has not be able to get enough with CAA. He loves what they represent and do for the community.

Nicole Matarangas

Nicole is a former medic who loves to help people. Now as dynamic Dance and Fitness/Wellness Professional she takes a hands-on approach. A Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Brains and Balance 60+ Specialist, Pound Pro, Zumba Instructor and Dance Instructor qualified by expertise in health, fitness and wellness. She has over 20 years of experience as a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Recognized for dedication to sharing knowledge of health and wellness along with a technical instructional style that fosters overall advancement in fitness of mind, body and spirit.  Having worked domestically and internationally in musical theater, commercials, music videos, concert events and carnival parades, Nicole shares this real-world experience in a way that is both inspiring and genuine.

American Dance Therapy Association Member

Dance Movement Therapy Student

SAG-AFTRA Member

Steve Hall

Steve is an Associate Professor in the schools of Music and Dance. He is concurrently a Lyft driver and husband of CAA student ambassador Jennifer Hall. Steve is an alumnus of Chandler-Tripp and now returns to the school with the Children’s Music Sing Along Troupe to help teach the children songs and promote inclusivity and joy. CAA is so honored and proud to have CAA on the Superstaff leadership team.