Each and every staff member at RCS works tirelessly to ensure that our students receive the best possible education in California.  Nothing is more important than creating exceptional leaders and scholars!


Mr. Steve Lewis

After graduating from San Diego State University with an English degree, I decided to pursue the idea of teaching.  My love of travel resulted in my involvement with volunteer organizations in the former Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico and Guatemala.  I taught 5th and 6th grade for seven years and after receiving my Master of Arts Degree in Bilingual Education from CSUS, I accepted my first administration job as Director of a bilingual school in Antigua, Guatemala.

It was there that I met my wonderful wife and we began to build our home in Ciudad Vieja.  Before arriving at River Charter Schools, I was a principal for seven years in Sacramento.  As your Superintendent, I am proud to inform you that the DECS and Lighthouse staff is the best I have ever worked with as an educator.  We are committed to providing our students with learning opportunities that truly make a difference.  I look forward to working with you this year!

Mr. Peter Stone
Chief Business Officer (CBO)

After graduating from UC Berkeley with an Accounting degree, I joined the audit firm of KPMG where I had the opportunity of seeing how various companies handled their accounting, and from there moved to Ampex in various audit, finance and accounting positions.  Then, I joined Pearson, the largest textbook publisher in the world, and co-founded the Electronic Education division to take the new K-2 Waterford Early Reading Program to market in schools across the U.S.  I was very excited to help make a significant difference in the reading achievement for the most needy children.

I have a wonderful wife and four children, two of whom are married.  We moved here to the Clarksburg area in 2000 to a working farm and love the Delta.  I am very involved in our church as well.  I am excited to see the really great things that Steve and the whole team at DECS are doing to ensure the highest quality education for each and every child entrusted to DECS.


Mrs. Vanessa Belair

After graduating from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND I pursued my dream of becoming a teacher. Within a few years I went back to school and received a Master’s Degree in Education Administration with an Administrative Credential. Since graduating I have spent 12 wonderful years in education. As DECS principal, it is an honor to have 400 students who light up my life each and every day. What a true blessing!

I have an incredible husband and son who give me endless support. Though we don’t live in Clarksburg we have always felt a part of the community. The DECS staff is like family to me and I look forward to another outstanding year alongside each and every one of them.


Mr. Jeff Freeland
Interim Principal

Mr. Jeff Freeland has been the Principal at Lighthouse since 2016. With the help of his team, Mr. Freeland is responsible for planning, implementing, supervising and assessing all of the educational programs at Lighthouse. With over twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and River Charter Schools school board member, Mr. Freeland is uniquely qualified for this position. Mr. Freeland hold’s a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communication with a minor in public relations from the California State University at Long Beach. He has also earned a Master of Science degree in instructional leadership from The California State University at Sacramento. When he’s not out sharing with the public all the magic happening at Lighthouse, he’s likely spending time with his wife and four kids involved in Soccer, Scouting or Campfire.


Ms. Cody Marquez
Business Analyst

I worked for a small construction business as a manager and then a law firm as an assistant while obtaining my Business Administration degree. Then I joined another small business – an external CFO firm for which I specialized in Non Profit bookkeeping, general accounting, and controls for several local organizations. The opportunities I’ve had in working with a wide array of businesses and people have given me the knowledge to not only understand the accounting detail and the day to day issues that many organizations face, but also to take a step back and create solutions for broken or inefficient systems. I have also had some great mentors along the way who have given me invaluable skills. I am constantly striving to do and make things better.
Many of my family members are school teachers, including my husband who teaches high school so I have become very familiar with what it’s like to work at a school site. This and my prior experience has given me the ability to wear numerous hats for River Charter Schools. It is truly an exciting team effort to work for such a great community.


Ms. Elena Riolo
HR/Payroll Specialist

I was lucky enough to be born into a large, loud, loving Italian family. My grandparents set roots down here in the Sacramento valley because it reminded them of Sicily. While growing up our family had a cabin in Lake Tahoe and I consider this my second home. Graduated from Sacramento High School and Consumes River College and then entered the business world until I started my family. That’s when I became the CFO/CEO of our family, toughest and best job ever. During this time I worked 9 years for a company processing accounts payable and payroll. I have 3 smart, beautiful and strongly independent adult daughters who are out in the world helping make it better. As lucky as I was before with my family I now have a new family here at River Charter Schools.


Ms. Tasha Rowlett
Learning Center Coordinator

I received my bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and went on to Sacramento State where I received both my multiple subject and special education credentials. I have been teaching in the field of special education for the past 10 years. I have taught both in a special day class and as a resource specialist. My goal as a teacher is being able to work with students at their individual levels to meet their academic needs so that they can achieve success. I have enjoyed being able to collaborating with this incredible staff in order to help students reach their goals!


Mrs. Montzingo
Special Programs Coordinator

I have been involved with children in a school setting for over 20 years. I began working at DECS in 2010 and have been involved in all aspects of learning including the Accelerated Reader (AR) program and Homework Club.
It is a joy to work at DECS and I am excited to be working with English Language Learners as well as overseeing the AR program. You can find me all over the school from the office, to Homework Club, to the classrooms, and to the crosswalk in the afternoons–please stop and talk with me and ask me anything!
Our school is like a parade! Always changing, always interesting, always moving, fun and joyful, and very much being watched by the community around us–what a blessing to be a part of the DECS community and to be a part of the parade!


Ms. Aristea Walker
IT Specialist

As a Communications Specialist in the United States Air Force I trained in many facets of Information Technology. It was during my enlistment that I realized my passion for technology and the value of teamwork. My thirst for knowledge led me to receiving many industry leading certification such as CompTIA A+, Microsoft MCP, and MCSA as well as degrees in Information Technology and Management. I hope to inspire our young leaders and scholars to think outside box and to view technology as a puzzle that can be solved.