Staff

eet Our Team

Principal

Erick Fineberg

efineberg@tustin.k12.ca.us

A graduate of UC Irvine with a B.A. in psychology, a Masters in Education, and teaching credential from UCLA, Mr. Fineberg brings a wealth of knowledge, high expectations, and a commitment to insure that all students learn at the highest level. He has taught for Long Beach, Irvine, and Capistrano before joining Tustin Unified School District in July of 2009. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Fineberg has served as an instructional aide, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Among his accomplishments, Mr. Fineberg has been appointed to the California Department of Education’s Title I Committee of Practitioners, received the Order of Omega National Honor Society award, presented strategy workshops for teachers and has written several articles for various educational publications. Under his leadership, Mr. Fineberg’s schools have received multiple honors including, National Blue Ribbon, California Distinguished School, Title I High Achievement and CBEE Honors School. He was also named the 2021 California Continuation/Educational Options Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). 
 
Picture of Emily McCourtney

Lead Elementary Teacher

Administrative Designee
Emily McCourtney

emccourtney@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. McCourtney is a passionate educator who has worked in Tustin Unified since 2006. Before opening Tustin Connect, she worked for two years as a Digital Learning Coach. After completing the summer as a fellow in the UCI Writing Project Summer Institute in 2012, she quickly became an Associate Director and spends her summers coaching teachers in reading and writing at UCI. As part of her work at UCI, Mrs. McCourtney co-authored the book Thinking Tools for Young Readers and Writers: Strategies to Promote Higher Literacy in Grades 2-8. Mrs. McCourtney has presented her ideas at the annual Computer Using Educator (CUE) conference in Napa and Palm Springs, as well as the December Writing Conference at UCI. She is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, GATE certified teacher, and an Apple Teacher. Mrs. McCourtney also has microcredentials in Mindfulness and Grit & Resilience. Follow her on Twitter via @emccourtney. 
 

Lead Middle School Teacher

Naomi Halili-Dove

nhalili@tustin.k12.ca.us

Since 2000, Mrs. Dove has been an enthusiastic educator for Tustin Unified School District. Having been a product of TUSD schools, Mrs. Dove knew that she wanted to give back by returning to TUSD as a teacher. After earning her bachelor’s degree from UCI in just three years, she obtained her Master of Education degree from Pepperdine in 2000. Mrs. Dove has served as a middle school teacher in TUSD for sixteen years and has been involved in various leadership positions at the site and district level. She has also served as an honors, AVID, and ASB teacher, and has hosted several beginning teachers and international guests in her classroom. She received her second master's degree in reading and dedicates time beyond the classroom to refine her knowledge about educational technology, curriculum, and adolescent learners. Due to her commitment to her profession, she was recognized as a Teacher of the Year in 2004 and 2014. When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children exploring other cultures and learning about the world around them through books, food, museum visits, and travel adventures. 
 

Lead High School Teacher

Brian David

bdavid@tustin.k12.ca.us 

Mr. David is a dedicated and impassioned educator who is ecstatic about joining the Tustin Connect team. Before joining Tustin Connect, Mr. David taught various levels of English at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, where he also served as English Department Chair, Instructional Coach for Teacher Observations, and Senior Class Moderator. Concurrently, Mr. David joined the PLACE (Partners of Los Angeles Catholic Education) cohort (2012-2014) within Loyola Marymount University, where he lived in community with eleven other teachers and earned a Master of Arts in Reading Instruction. When he is not teaching, reading, or grading, Mr. David loves to hike, cook, and enjoy the beaches of Southern California. Follow him on Twitter via @bdavid12 

High School Teacher
Kimberly Fairburn

kfairburn@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Fairburn has been a passionate Mathematics teacher for the last 16 years. Mrs Fairburn joined Tustin Connect in 2016 and has found great joy in teaching Math to such an incredible group of students. Previous to Tustin Connect, Mrs. Fairburn worked in Virtual education as a Mathematics teacher, Department Chair, and Principal. She has also taught for Los Angeles Unified School District and Orange County Department of Education. Mrs. Fairburn has a Bachelors from University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters in Education. In her free time, Mrs. Fairburn enjoys cooking, paddle boarding, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.  

High School Teacher
Tara Bullock

tbullock@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Bullock is an enthusiastic educator who is excited to be teaching at Tustin Connect. She enjoys her interactions with the students and she especially enjoys seeing them succeed. Mrs. Bullock’s teaching career has included stops in Utah, Colorado and Hewes Middle School in the Tustin Unified School District before landing at Tustin Connect.  This is her 10th year of teaching science and her second year with Tustin Connect. Mrs. Bullock has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Brigham Young University. She is also a Level 1 Google Certified Educator. At her previous schools, she has served as ASB advisor and has coached multiple sports teams. Mrs. Bullock has four children and spends most of her free time volunteering, and running her kids to their various activities.

High School Teacher
Ashlee Romberger

aromberger@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Romberger teaches History and Spanish at Tustin Connect High School. For the past three years, she has been teaching History and Spanish at a public high school on a Native American Reservation in Northern California. She grew up in Brea in Orange County, and went to the University of Redlands for her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Single Subject Teaching Credential. She earned her Master’s degree in Human Rights from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. From there, she lived in Peru, Ethiopia, and Washington, D.C. When she is not teaching, she enjoys trying new food, going to the beach, and traveling with her husband. She also loves following current events, running, and listening to audiobooks. Her goal this school year is to bring a global perspective into our learning and incorporate food and music from the Spanish speaking world.

High School Teacher
Catherine Murashige

cmurashige@tustin.k12.ca.us

Hello! I’m Ms. Murashige (mur-ah-shigg-ee). This is my first year teaching at Tustin Connect! I also currently teach at Foothill. I am so excited to get started! I graduated from Stanford and have my Master’s in Science Education. 

In my spare time, I love hanging out with my two golden retrievers that we just got this summer!

High School Teacher
Stephanie Smith

ssmith@tustin.k12.ca.us

Stephanie Smith is an educator originally from Detroit, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate studies, and UCLA for her teaching credential. Working in West Oakland, Stephanie's passion for social justice led her to studying SEL and the benefits of yoga for teachers and students. Since then she has supported students with a diversity of experiences and backgrounds in both traditional and virtual settings. Stephanie's goal is to support her students in achieving their full potential! When Stephanie is not working you can find her at the dog beach with her husband, daughter, son, and their pug, Popeye.

Middle School Teacher
Kristen Paulson

kapaulson@tustin.k12.ca.us

Ms. Paulson has been teaching in Tustin, at various grade levels, for the past 25 years.  In addition to being National Board Certified, she is GATE Certified, a Cotsen Fellow, and has a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. She is a fellow of the UCI Writing project, and has completed four advanced reading and writing workshop sessions at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project summer institute in New York. She was honored to represent Tustin as Teacher of the Year for Arroyo in 2001, and for Orchard Hills in 2018. Ms. Paulson decided to become a teacher after an 18-year career in the arts, including 8 years as owner of her own corporate art consulting business. In the early 1990s she developed partnerships between schools, local businesses, and graduate arts colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area, to bring visual arts instruction back into elementary classrooms, especially in urban, low-income areas. A life-changing visit to Nairobi’s slums in Kenya, where she experienced overwhelming poverty and need, convinced her to begin a new career, where she could make a difference in children’s lives through education. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Paulson is an avid reader, a world traveler, and a devoted sister, daughter, and aunt to her seven nieces and nephews. She is a lifelong learner, and is delighted at the opportunity to grow as an educator at Tustin Connect.

Picture of teacher Kim Gullo. 

Middle School Teacher
Kim Gullo

kgullo@tustin.k12.ca.us

Kim Gullo is a dedicated educator who’s thrilled to be joining the accomplished teaching staff at Tustin Connect. Hailing from Vancouver, B.C., Kim has a BA from McGill University in Montreal, a teaching credential from UCI, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Pepperdine. She joined TUSD in 1995 and has taught at Orchard Hills K-8 for the past ten years. In addition to teaching, Kim is a district GATE trainer & frequent conference presenter and has been an adjunct professor in the credential program at Concordia for eight years. Kim has been honored as a TUSD Teacher of the Year twice, an LA Clippers Teacher of Excellence in 2020, and was selected as  a Top 25 Orange County Teacher by OC Parenting Magazine in 2021. An outdoor enthusiast, Kim enjoys paddle boarding, hiking and nature photography. Her favorite young adult author is Lois Lowry and favorite new apps are Master Class  and Lucid, which distills key concepts from thousands of current non-fiction books.  

 

Sharon_Maeda_photo.jpg

Elementary School Teacher

Sharon Maeda
smaeda@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Maeda is an accomplished and talented teacher, coordinator and principal  Over her 23 year career in education most recently serving as Principal of Tustin Memorial Academy, Mrs. Maeda has made the decision to return to the place where it all started, the classroom.   Mrs. Maeda began her career as a teacher and district coordinator in the Anaheim City School District where she was awarded the district’s Golden Apple Award and District Teacher of the Year Award. She was an Orange County Teacher of the Year nominee, and was nominee for the Disney American Teacher Award.

Her career has also included stops as the GATE Program Coordinator and New Teacher Induction administrator in Tustin Unified School District. Prior to TUSD, she worked in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Education as the State's main consultant to gifted programs and districts throughout the state. She simultaneously worked for Houghton Mifflin Company delivering Professional Development to teachers and administrators nationwide. 

Elementary School Teacher
Erin Holewinski

eholewinski@tustin.k12.ca.us

Since 2001, Mrs. Holewinski has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her students and to the teaching profession.  She is thrilled to be joining the Tustin Connect team and is looking forward to utilizing her comprehensive knowledge of curriculum, pedagogy and education technology with her young Mavericks. 

Mrs. Holewinski earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certification from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She also acquired a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University.  Mrs. Holewinski has taught 2nd-5th grades at Guin Foss and Tustin Ranch Elementary schools and has also served as a Mentor Teacher for the Cotsen for the Art of Teaching Foundation.  During her time at Guin Foss, Mrs. Holewinski was chosen to represent the school at the district level as their 2006 Teacher of the Year.  She is GATE certified and was a demonstration teacher for TUSD’s GATE Summer Scholars teacher training for several years. Due to her extensive experience with Cognitively Guided Instruction, Reading & Writing Workshop, and EdTech applications, Mrs. Holewinski has led various workshops and demonstration lessons for teachers across Tustin Unified School District. 

When not in the classroom, Mrs. Holewinski enjoys traveling, attending musical performances, visiting Disney parks, and spending time with family and friends.  Follow her on Twitter at @eholewinskiTUSD.

 

Elementary School Teacher
Keelin Weldon

kweldon@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Weldon has been a dedicated educator with Tustin Unified since 2009. She earned her bachelor's at San Diego State and completed her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential through California State University, Fullerton. Mrs. Weldon started her teaching career at Beswick Elementary where she held a variety of positions including grade-level lead, technology lead, and GATE site coordinator. She then taught reading, writing, and social studies at Currie Middle School. Here, she discovered her passion for reading education. Mrs. Weldon attended the Reading and Writing Summer Institute through Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and has loved teaching reading and writing ever since. She is thrilled to be teaching at Tustin Connect. 

When she is not teaching, Mrs. Weldon enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Counselor
Gustavo Moreno

gmorenoomana@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mr. Moreno graduated from California State University, Fullerton with his Bachelor's in Human Services and received his Master's In Educational Counseling from National University. Prior to joining Tustin Connect, Mr. Moreno served as a high school counselor in the Antelope Valley. Being bilingual has allowed Mr. Moreno to connect with families from diverse backgrounds. Mr. Moreno's mission is to provide an equitable educational experience for all families and students as they pursue their personal/academic goals. In his free time Mr. Moreno enjoys watching sports, working on cars, and spending time with family.

Mental Health Professional
Yenyfer Bullock

ybullock@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Bullock is a compassionate therapist whose goal is to help students strengthen their socio-emotional resilience when life’s challenges interfere with academic growth. Trained at UCLA and UOP, Ms. Bullock holds a Master of Science degree and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As an Education-Related Mental Health Specialist, Mrs. Bullock implements an integrative approach to therapy, which includes Solution-Focused Counseling, TF-CBT, Play Therapy, Client-Centered/Experiential Therapy. Her specialties include Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, and Trauma. She works in collaboration with the school counselor and administration to ensure services are provided in the student’s best interest. Mrs. Bullock is bilingual in English and Spanish. She practices self-care by working out or watching a good game of ice hockey with her family. 

 

Paraeducator
Jennifer Lobato

jlobato@tustin.k12.ca.us

Ms. Lobato is a dedicated and skilled paraeducator who has made significant contributions to student learning at Tustin Connect. Ms. Lobato has worked with Tustin Connect for three years, and prior to joining the team, she worked in Tustin Unified as an AVID tutor. She is currently attending California State University Fullerton to earn her Bachelor’s in history.  Ms. Lobato is bilingual in English and Spanish. Overall, she is dedicated to helping Tustin Connect students have a highly effective blended-learning education. Ms. Lobato also serves as a volunteer for the Miracle League of North Orange County that focuses on assisting others in playing a great game of baseball. Follow her on Twitter via @MissLobato

Paraeducator
Maricruz Garcia

mramirezgarcia@tustin.k12.ca.us

Mrs. Garcia has been with Tustin Unified since 2015 and started working as a Paraeducator at
Heideman Elementary School where she served for 5 years. She’s thrilled to be a member of the Maverick family at Tustin Connect! She attends SAC and still continues her education and with a transfer to Cal State University Fullerton in the near future. Mrs. Garcia is bilingual in English and Spanish. Most importantly, she's committed to the Tustin Connect students and wants each and every one of them to thrive and be successful. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters taking sunset walks at the Newport Beach Pier at Balboa Peninsula.