Our Coordinators

By Shannon Nellies, PV Science Coordinator

I am a certified school teacher (MA in elementary education) and I learned to love science years ago when I had to teach 6th grade science without a textbook. I was a first year teacher and my whole goal was to help the kids love science. My theory is that if you really enjoy science then learning the concepts is easy.

After I became a mom, I took a break from teaching, deciding to stay home to be with my children while they were young. Recently, I returned to the classroom, or rather – the Science Lab – started by Traci Jackson many years ago. Thanks to Traci, and the Park Village Foundation, I have this perfect place to focus my love of teaching science while being at school with my kids.

Our labs and science nights are all hands on and fun so that the kids can truly experience science in action while learning key concepts. The energy of the science lab is exciting: it’s loud and crazy but everyone is on task and I love it!

I am so grateful that the Foundation (funded by Park Village parents!) supports our science program. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!!


By Theresa Hirst, PV Meet the Masters Coordinator

In 2005, a Harris poll indicated that 93% of Americans consider the arts to be vital to providing a well-rounded education for children and a critical link to learning and success. In the same year, the Park Village Foundation identified the need to enrich our school’s art education, and the Meet the Masters program was developed. The goal of the program is to teach children to think creatively and to develop more innovative approaches to learning. It provides an opportunity for students struggling with academics to excel in a different way.

I became the Art Coordinator in 2014 and I love to see Park Village students excel in their understanding of art and the masters who inspire innovative thought and creativity. Through our rotating modules, children learn to appreciate the techniques of each artist and then practice similar concepts in their own work of art. My two children attended Park Village and have now moved on, but I continued with Meet the Masters because I believe in the importance of art in our schools.

My professional experience is as an interior designer and I enjoy helping my clients learn the value of art and creativity in their personal lives. It is my hope that sharing the art world with your children provides them inspiration in some facet of their lives, in any way that they find a connection to art.


By Jillian LaDow, PV Music Coordinator

I am a musician at heart and an educator by choice. I serve as a vocal coach, piano instructor, and elementary music educator dedicated to the art of teaching positive life-changing experiences through music.

New to San Diego, I hail from the great state of Indiana where I received my BM from Ball State University – School of Music in vocal/general music education. As a lyrical soprano, I studied voice under soprano Yoko-Shimazaki-Kilburn and piano under Dr. Lori Rohden. I was honored to be the recipient of the Sigma Alpha Iota Choral Scholarship as well as the Outstanding Future Music Educator Scholarship during my time at BSU.

I work with singers and pianists of all genres and experience levels. My teaching philosophy is rooted in developing correct singing and playing techniques, applying successful healthy vocal strategies, and helping students grow creatively in their own voice or instrument.

Previously, I taught in the Muncie Community School District for one year before moving to San Diego. At Grissom Elementary, I taught curriculum enhanced lesson plans that educated students about the fundamentals and history of music from the Kindergarten to 5th grade level. I created, planned, and taught daily lessons while maintaining student interest and discipline. During the year, I prepared students for various live performances while assisting with community outreach and after school enrichment programs. I assisted with parental relations and conflict resolution to serve the individual needs and learning styles of my students, while teaching an added life skills music class to enrich students with severe to mild exceptionalities.

I am thrilled to be joining for the Park Village Elementary School team of educators and look forward to serving my new community by making music education accessible to all people.


By Barb Mills, PV PE Coordinator

Physical Education was my favorite subject every year in school. It’s no surprise that I found my way into teaching the same subject that gave me so much joy during my school years! I have a B.A. in Recreation Administration, an M.A. in Education, and hold a current California Teaching Credential. With 22 years of teaching experience, both in the classroom (grades K-3rd) as well as out ‘on the field’, I have never been happier with my job. I am very excited about starting my fifth year here at PV.

When developing the PE program at PV, I made sure to focus on fun, but I also see Physical Education filling a very important role in the school day. I feel it’s important for obvious reasons associated with health and fitness but also for some reasons that may not be as obvious. It is a time for students to ‘play,’ to interact with their peers, to learn social skills such as good sportsmanship, and to provide self-esteem. Providing additional outlets for experience and success, such as through sports and team building activities, can help our students develop healthy attitudes as well as healthy bodies.

The current PE curriculum draws on multiple sources I have gathered over the years, including some from old Physical Education manuals, sharing and collecting new ideas from other physical education teachers and coaches, as well as others from the SPARK Physical Education binder provided to all of the PUSD teachers. Lessons differ by age, with younger students focusing more on locomotive development and ball-handling skills, and older students focusing more on developing skills to prepare them for team sports. My philosophy is for the kids to have fun and enjoy themselves while being physically active.
With a focus on helping establish a lifetime of healthy habits and an emphasis on fun, my hope is to help our students become more fully developed and well-rounded members of our community, setting them up for a lifetime of activity and health.