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Our AFE Staff

Amelia von Gerer, Co-Principal
Phone Extension:  55228


Zari Lionudakis, Consultant Teacher
Phone Extension:  55217


Peter Deutsch, Consultant Teacher
Phone Extension: 55330

Ayala Younger, Consultant Teacher
Phone Extension: 55237

Crissy Hansen, Consultant Teacher

Phone Extension:  55339

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Dorothee Ledbetter, AFE Resource Center
Phone Extension: 55426

Michael Mendosa, RSP Specialist
Phone Extension: 55121

Brian Voenell, Paraeducator
Phone Extension:  55121


Additional Staff:

Pam Perkins.  Registrar (transcripts) 429-3898 ext.55201
Debbie Fennell  
|  Attendance, Health Clerk, & Work Permits, 429-3898 ext. 326
Jolene Kemos  
|  Library Media Teacher, ext. 55217
Fiona Sanguinetti  
|  Library Assistant, 429-3898 ext. 55236
Alex Fennell  
|  Senior Custodian
Eden Reinero  
|  Campus Supervisor
Gail Mabrouk  
 Principal's Secretary 429-3898 ext. 55214

Meet the AFE Teachers & Staff:

Dorothee Ledbetter

I have worked in our Resource Center for 15 years, first as a volunteer with Mollie Jarrow and part-time employee, and since 2016 as your RC specialist.  I love supporting students and families to follow your interests and dreams, and to help you find materials that assist you on your journey. Our own three very diverse adult children, Julia, Andi, and Erik, all AFE alumni, have inspired me to trust their development, and also to research learning differences and neuroscience (doctorate in biology from Germany, where I grew up). I also take care of roster and paperwork and streamline processes as much as possible.  Other than my part-time AFE library job, I work at Bonny Doon Farm, hang out with my fabulous husband Loren (who is a true Renaissance man and can fix anything), meet friends, read and research a lot, play games, hike & bike, bake cookies, make herbal remedies, face masks, and jewelry, edit videos, and generally have a blast.  I’m happy to serve all of you and I’ll ask your names at least ten times before I’ll remember them, especially in the time of face masks!

Zari Lionudakis

Zari Lionudakis has been an educator for over 25 years. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, she is passionate about alternative education and innovation in pedagogy and curriculum. Zari attended the University of Michigan as a Rackham Merit Fellow where she received her MFA in Dance, and earned her BA in Dance and Ethnic Studies from Mills College where she was invited to present scholarship at the National Association of Ethnic Studies Conference. Zari is thrilled to work with families in AFE, and provide support and encouragement on the journey of homeschooling!

Amelia von Gerer

As former homeschooler and homeschool teacher, I am passionate about supporting homeschooling families and thrilled to be your principal at AFE. 

I had the privilege of homeschooling at AFE from kindergarten through 12th grade. My post-homeschooling educational journey has included Cabrillo College, UC Berkeley, and a masters in education at Stanford University. I fell in love with teaching while living in Berkeley, and have been working with students of many ages in the Easy Bay, South Bay, and Santa Cruz. I have a background in mentoring new teachers, project-based learning, and digital innovation. In my free time, I love being outdoors: swimming, playing volleyball, hiking, and camping with my children and partner.

Peter Deutsch

I am starting my 15th year of teaching at AFE and I continue to feel energized, supported and very fortunate to be here! It is a very unique year and seems too full of challenges but the strength and kindness in this community will help us thrive as best we can. As always, I look forward to connecting with my consulting families, getting to know more students and families, and working with the Middle School Ecology class.

For those who don’t know me yet, my teaching background has focused mostly around science and experiential field study but has also included multiple subject teaching positions and coaching in basketball, volleyball and ultimate frisbee. I have also worked as a journeyman carpenter, a sea kayaking guide and trip leader (in Santa Cruz and the Sea of Cortez, Baja) and an Outward Bound instructor in the wilderness of Minnesota, Ontario, and Texas.

Away from work I love my time in nature. It is especially great when I get to share that with my family and our dog as well as with friends. For me it's all about backpacking, hiking, fly fishing, camping, gardening, rivers, mountains, forests, lakes, deserts, beaches, and oceans and caring for our environment.

Ayala Younger

I am excited to be back with AFE as a teacher!  Ten years ago, when I first joined AFE as a teacher, I was struck by the care of my colleagues, the support of the community, and the creativity of the students.  All of that still holds true today.  I love to be able to develop meaningful relationships and to learn every day from the families I serve.

In 2000, I received a B.A. in Multicultural Studies, Spanish, and Elementary Education from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.  Then, in 2003, I received my  Masters in Education from Stanford University.  In my time as an educator, I have worked in public, charter, private, and alternative settings.  This variety has given me great perspective on ways we learn and grow over time and how to support families in their learning journeys. 

My own two children attend alternative public schools.  We all love to be outdoors and active. I also enjoy theater arts, other creative artistic endeavors, baking, reading (especially historical fiction), and animals. 

Chrissy Hansen

Crissy Hansen is a veteran teacher of the Santa Cruz City School District. She began teaching in 2005 in elementary schools specializing in grades 2nd-4th  and English Learner Development. Crissy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters in Education and teaching credential from UCSC. Additionally, Crissy earned her preliminary administrative credential in 2010 and became a certificated Educational Therapist in 2014. Crissy enjoys spending time with her 2 young children, husband and friends. She enjoys gardening, time in nature, traveling, and serving her community as an educator.

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