Photo: Christopher White
Kathleen Harper is a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach and certified massage therapist (CMT) for moms. She believes that at the heart of each of us, we know exactly what we need in order to be happy. As a life coach, Kathleen helps moms identify and let go of what's in the way of a meaningful, joyful life, so that they can enjoy motherhood, find balance, and live the life of their dreams. When Kathleen was a new mom she struggled with feeling confused, resentful, and overwhelmed. By focusing on the difficulties of motherhood, she missed out on so much joy. "After working with my own life coach, my life doesn't look all that different - same house, same family, same job - but it FEELS extraordinary," she says. "I experience joy daily. I am authentic in my relationships. I truly love what is. Life coaching changed my life. Let it change yours."
Christy Miller is a Martha Beck certified life coach who specializes in men’s issues. Over the last three decades, she has been an adviser, manager, and counselor to hundreds of male clients, coworkers, friends and family (including two sons). She loves working with men and has a gift for understanding the unique position they face in today’s world.
Christy guides adult men through the challenges and rewards of fatherhood, career life, personal growth and relationships so they can be happy and prosper while living their exceptional lives. She is on a mission to make the world a better place one man at a time!
Most men don’t feel there is a way to get support in a format that feels right. To “open up” feels too risky for lots of reasons. Caring women in their lives can see that they could use support, but often aren’t best placed to do that! That’s where Christy comes in. Through her direct, no-nonsense, high energy coaching, Christy is committed to providing confidential help to men who need and want a better life but don’t know how to get it. Christy helps men to sort things out and get what they want.
Kari Hugsted came to the massage field with many years experience working in traditional health care.
She transitioned to a career in bodywork when her interests started to center more and more on connections between thoughts, beliefs, and general health of the body.
Kari is a certified massage therapist (CMT) and Level 3 Reiki practitioner. Educated in Norway and California she draws upon training in several massage modalities to combine styles - and to personalize sessions with a safe, competent and caring touch.
Prenatal and perinatal massage therapy is Kari's main field of interest; always striving to be a skilled, compassionate and sensitive practitioner to women at this pivotal stage in their lives.
Reta Coolin is a certified massage therapist (CMT) who also works at the Stanford Cancer Center providing chair massage for cancer patients, family members, and caregivers, and at Stanford Hospital where she gives chair massage to staff members and family members of patients. She has been a licensed massage therapist for 17 years. In addition to her massage therapy work, Reta is a Reiki master, energy healer, and CranioSacral practitioner. Her skilled and supportive touch will help ease you back into physical, emotional, and spiritual balance.
Reta worked as a nurse prior to her career in massage therapy. She is also a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).
Julie Ann Randall
Julie Ann Randall is a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) with the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) as well as a birth & postpartum doula, prenatal yoga instructor, childbirth educator and life coach. Her nurturing and therapeutic bodywork draws on various modalities including Swedish, Deep Tissue/Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Release, Sports Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, Shiatsu/Acupressure, Lymphatic Drainage, and specific techniques for pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. Julie Ann holds certifications in bodywork for the childbearing year (including pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods) from both Kate Jordan and Carole Osborne. She has also completed advanced technique refinement coursework with Carole Osborne on supporting maternity clients with special needs (including women who are survivors of trauma, undergoing fertility treatments, carrying twins/multiples, and/or experiencing health complications, high-risk pregnancies, or bedrest).
Julie Ann is a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP).
Beth O'Boyle, NCTMB
Beth O'Boyle's massage career is 8yrs young; she became Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in 2006 and was licensed by the State of California in 2010. Her training started in Palo Alto in clinical deep tissue, Swedish, and sports massage. She was encouraged to continue her studies into pre- and postnatal massage, oncology massage, Ortho-Bionomy and lymphatic drainage therapy.
Currently, she has a thriving in-home massage practice, works as a massage therapist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and is proud to have joined Touch Blue Sky in San Mateo. Her massage work gives Beth amazing job satisfaction and she looks forward to sharing her passion with you.
Baby Sign Language Instructors
Photo: Christopher White
Bill White received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychobiology from University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the director of Touch Blue Sky’s Sign Language programs and a sign language instructor for Kaiser Permanente, Dominican Hospital, DayOne Baby Centers in Palo Alto and San Francisco, Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto, Children’s Creative Learning Centers, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, and many other locations. Bill is passionate about the benefits of signing with babies and is the proud father of two hearing sons who both sign.
In addition to teaching sign language courses, Bill works as a commercial print model and hand model in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has had 25 years of dance training and has taught dance classes locally to children and adults. He was also Director of Operations for Kidsfaire for five years and has been the Fashion Show Director for Modern Bridal Productions for the past eighteen years.
Erika Vetter fell in love with signing more than 25 years ago, when she befriended a Deaf girl in her Brownie Scout troop. This friendship continued for many years and led her to volunteer in the hard-of-hearing preschool during recess when she was still in elementary school. Erika received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology with Teacher Certification at Elmira College. She earned her Master's Degree as a Teacher for the Deaf for grades K-12 from Canisius College in upstate New York. Erika has taught both Deaf and hearing children for the past 10 years in schools such as the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and the California School for the Deaf in Fremont and currently works as an educational interpreter and ASL teacher. Erika's thesis on teaching ASL to pre-verbal hearing children, along with her recent coursework in bilingual education, has reinforced her belief that signing with children can produce amazing results. Her youngest daughter started signing at only seven months old and both girls still find signing very useful in many situations. Erika delights in seeing her children empowered with a tremendous ability to communicate effectively at a very early age and is eager to share her experience and enthusiasm with you.
Courtney graduated from Loyola Marymount University, where she studied business and screenwriting. However, she found true fulfillment through tutoring underprivileged children and acting as an academic mentor and role model. After working in the television and film industry for several years, she returned to the Bay Area to be close to her family and start a family of her own with her husband. Once their son was born in August of 2011, Courtney became active in the parenting community and involved herself in several baby-oriented activities—one of which was Touch Blue Sky’s baby sign language classes. She was so inspired by the program and impressed by the advantages of signing with her son, she decided to resume her love of teaching and become a baby sign language teacher.
Courtney studied ASL at Skyline College and looks forward to fueling her passion for sign language through teaching. She wants to help other mothers find a special way to communicate with their babies and ensure they reap the benefits of this magnificent developmental tool…all while having great fun!
Cynthia Phinn received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. She began learning American Sign Language as a hobby over 13 years ago taking classes at Cabrillo then going on to take advanced ASL classes at San Jose City and Ohlone Colleges. That hobby turned into a passion as she immersed herself into the Deaf Community. She went on to work as an interpreter at a camp for Deaf Children and for the Santa Cruz County Schools as a one on one aid for a young deaf boy. While at the camp she also taught horsemanship and horseback riding to the children. As the birth of her first grandchild approached Cynthia became very interested in baby sign language. Using the Touch Blue Sky program she taught her grandson baby sign language and knows first hand all the benefits that it can provide new parents. She is delighted to share this information with others along with stories and tips as a baby sign language instructor for Touch Blue Sky in the Santa Cruz area.
Erin S. Carper, an associate of Touch Blue Sky’s Baby Sign Language Program, has spent most of her life dancing professionally. For many years she has been teaching people of all ages movement through dance, Pilates, and the Gyrotonic Expansion System®.
As a child, she was introduced to American Sign Language through an elementary school diversity program, and knew that one day she wanted to be fluent. As a parent, Erin participated in Touch Blue Sky’s Baby Sign Language Program, and was thrilled at how easily her son Jasper embraced this natural form of communication. Erin became really excited about signing, and was encouraged by Bill White to pursue studying American Sign Language. Now, Erin is a student at Berkeley City College and is entering her third semester studying American Sign Language and Deaf History and Culture with plans to pursue becoming an interpreter. Erin has found a new passion in sharing sign language with her friends and family and is excited to bring signing to all families in the Touch Blue Sky community.
Heidi Locicero has spent most of her professional career working with children. She worked with youth and managed family programs at several YMCA's including residence and day camps. She also participated for 8 years on a Board of Managers at a small educational YMCA that provided academic and social education using the Socratic Method for school-aged children.
Heidi first discovered American Sign Language in preschool through a classmate. Heidi and her daughter took Touch Blue Sky's Baby Sign Language program and Heidi was amazed at how early her daughter communicated. Heidi has a form of dyslexia and she wanted to provide her daughter with more opportunities to communicate than just spoken word. With sign language, her daughter knows how words sound look and feel. Heidi has watched the transformation from frustration to joy in her daughter's eyes and body as communication took place at 10 months when she started signing. Heidi is very excited about signing as a way to combine her natural kinesthetic nature with her love of working with children.
Hilarie Hsu first discovered Baby Sign Language during the course of her studies at the University of California, Davis. Hilarie acted as an intern aide with Dr. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwin as they implemented the language basics and program with interested families. Her curiosity was throughly peaked through her contributions as the development of Baby Signing grew and she promised herself that when it was time for her to start a family, she would ensure that Baby Signing would be an instrumental part of her children's vocabulary. Graduating from UC Davis with a dual degree of Human Development and Psychology, with a minor in Communications, Hilarie went on to earn her law degree from Santa Clara University. Her daughter, Kylah was introduced to baby signing at 3 months and has been an avid signer ever since. Particularly growing up in a bilingual household, signing has become a great bridge between both languages and helps with explaining the new vocabulary. Pursuing her goal of sharing Baby Sign Language with other families, Hilarie began offering drop in classes for the community through weekly baby signing classes and is now delighted to join the Touch Blue Sky Team to continue to share her knowledge and passion for Baby Sign Language with fellow East Bay families.
Jeffrey Yao, an associate of Touch Blue Sky's baby sign language program, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and minor in Photography from California State University Hayward. In addition, he loves inspiring others. He served as an assistant high school tennis coach and also instructed his own summer tennis camp lessons to children. Jeffrey is a child of a deaf adult (CODA) and sign language was the very first language he ever used to communicate. Experiencing firsthand how critical ASL was to his development he has always wanted to share his gift of sign language with the world. Jeffrey is elated to have an opportunity to positively impact the lives of babies and their families by teaching them the beauty of sign language in a fun and interactive environment.
Lauren Dugas received a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Human Development from UC Davis. While at college, she began taking ASL classes and fell in love with the language. Upon graduating, she decided her calling was to be an ASL interpreter and was accepted into Ohlone College's prestigious interpreter preparation program. During this time she coached cheerleaders at the California School for the Deaf. Lauren graduated with an AA in both Deaf Studies and ASL Interpreting and is currently working as a full time interpreter. When not working she enjoys camping, hiking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, and scuba diving. She also loves going for walks with her husband Scott, two dogs, and newborn baby Kellen with whom she is already signing.
Marni Sloves received her Master’s degree from Adelphi University in the field of Special Education. She has worked in a resource classroom for many years with students who have difficulties in reading, writing and verbal and non-verbal communication disorders. In addition, she currently teaches art in her children's classrooms using the Art-in-Action curriculum. Marni learned how beneficial it was to sign with her own two daughters when they were babies. She is a certified Signing Time Instructor who has also completed ASL courses at the college level, and is now pursuing her passion of education by teaching new parents how to sign with their children. Marni has grown professionally and personally with her ability to communicate both with the hearing and Deaf communities. Marni enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, traveling, reading, and doing arts and craft activities.
Shawna Spaulding became interested in sign language when she befriended a Deaf girl in high school. In 1991, while attending Cabrillo College earning a degree in Early Childhood Education, Shawna took her first ASL class. Eight years later, while Shawna was obtaining a degree in Child Development and Multi-Subject Teaching Credential, she took more advanced ASL classes. As a former elementary school teacher, she enjoys aiding families in creating a bond through early communication with the help of baby sign language. Shawna has been volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), working with a Deaf child. CASA helps to create stability for foster children during their journey through the court system, and with foster families, social workers, therapists, school systems, and permanent placement with families.
Shawna has been involved in the local Santa Cruz Deaf Community and helped start a Wednesday Deaf Pizza Night that still meets weekly. Shawna is also a licensed realtor in the Santa Cruz area. Her other passions besides ASL are travel, skiing, pottery and enjoying the coastal lifestyle.
Tiffany Sierra Trustman has been drawn to sign language for more than 25 years. She originally took up S.E.E. sign (signing exact English) in the 1980’s. When her children were born, it was only natural for her to look to sign language as a way to communicate with her children. Fast forward 13 or so years, Tiffany found herself taking ASL courses at Cabrillo College with her teenage son for his high school foreign language requirement. During her time studying ASL, she also began developing relationships in the Deaf community and now spends much of her time with many Deaf friends.
Tiffany has spent many years working within her community. She was a La Leche League Leader and breast feeding consultant and later became a hospice volunteer. She is currently a C.A.S.A., Court Appointed Special Advocate, working with foster children during their journey through the courts, foster families, social workers, therapists, school systems, and permanent placement with families; creating stability for a child who often feels none anywhere else. The courts have asked her to continue her studies in ASL and Deaf Culture to help her advocate for Deaf children who come through the juvenile and family court system. Currently she is working on a Social Work degree with an emphasis on Deaf Studies.
With her personal experiences teaching her own children to sign and continued studies and life in the Deaf community, Tiffany felt it was a natural step to teach ASL to parents so they can begin the exciting journey of early communication through ASL.
Teri Voorhes, an associate with Touch Blue Sky's baby sign language program, began using American Sign Language after her son Robert was born with Down Syndrome. She was advised to use this with Robert as a baby as his verbal speech would be delayed. The first time Robert signed “more” “music”at his Early Intervention class she was hooked. Robert is now fourteen but still using ASL to finger spell words he can't enunciate.
Teri has continued her education in American Sign Language and has been teaching in her sons school since 2005. She has had great success with spreading the magic of Sign Language through presentations at Ability Awareness Day, teaching songs to classes to perform at assemblies and general classroom instruction. In 2011 Teri became an Advanced Signing Time Instructor and began teaching in an After School Program and Baby Sign classes throughout the community. She has presented at many Special Needs conferences throughout the Bay Area.
Before the arrival of her two sons Teri enjoyed working as a Senior Manager of Store Technologies for Gap, Inc. She also received her Professional Designation Certificate from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.
Teri is very excited to join this wonderful network of ASL Instructors and to reach out to as many parents and babies as possible sharing the power of Sign.
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