Loomis Gateway Academy Faculty

Tesa Briles
Senior Director: Loomis Gateway Academy
Masters Level Certified Barton Reading Specialist, Certified in Educational Remediation, Certified Dyslexia Screener
Tesa is one of 39 Master Level Barton Tutors in the US.  She has extensive experience working with students of all ages who cope with learning challenges. She has worked with public and private school students for the last 20 years. With credentials in Linguistics, Art Therapy, Waldorf School Remedial Education, and Orton Gillingham based Reading Remediation, she considers the most important of all her learning experiences to be the raising of her three children. Each one of them is dyslexic and struggled through school. She understands dyslexia from a mother’s perspective as well as a professional one. She has successfully designed and implemented Full-Time School Programs, After-School Programs and Summer Programs to help dyslexic students rejoice in their success with reading.
Stuart Demmy
Executive Director: Loomis Gateway Academy
Certified Educational Remediation Specialist, Certified Dyslexia Screener, Utilizes Making Math Real Strategies, Waldorf Class Teacher
Stuart worked for many years as a Waldorf Class Teacher in schools in Oregon and California where he gained extensive experience in teaching various subjects to children in Grades 1 – 8.   A common experience for him during these years was encountering children still unable to read well after years of instruction.  What was wrong?  The schools did not have an answer to this question. Fortunately, research by his wife Tesa led them both to the Barton Reading System, an Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading and spelling.  After experimenting with the system, Stuart became convinced of its efficacy.  
Stuart has been a beloved math teacher for decades.  He now finds the Making Math Real approach to teaching math as beneficial to his students struggling with math as the Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading is to his students struggling with reading.





Adrienne Kessler PhD, BCBA

Board Certified Behavioral Analyst 

Leadership consultant for Non-Profit Organizations


Adrienne has mediated in over 5,000 IEP meetings.  Adreinne has extensive experience with the California Public School System and with large non-profit organizations. Adrienne has worked for Easter Seals, and is currently the CEO for Speech and Language Center, Buena Park CA.  Adrienne is a consultant for Loomis Gateway Academy.

Jen McNairy

Making Math Real Teacher


Jen McNairy holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Sacramento State University.  After 15 years in the financial industry, including working for one of the nation’s largest global lenders, State Street Bank, she became a stay-at home mom to two sets of twins! Jen’s real passion arose from her journey with the identification of her own daughter’s dyslexia.  She has a deep and personal understanding of the challenges presented by the traditional public school system for dyslexic children.  Jen’s research in math programs that address the processing needs of dyslexic children lead her to the Making Math Real (“MMR”) program founded by David Berg.  Once she discovered that Loomis Gateway Academy offered the MMR method, she immediately enrolled her daughter in the program.   After seeing the positive results of the MMR methods with her own daughter, Jen was inspired to help other children.   Jen has attended multiple hours of instruction at the Making Math Real Institute, and has a real passion for helping students restore confidence and a life-long love of learning.

Lori Bassham

California Credentialed Public Education Teacher

Regular Ed K-8

Barton Reading Specialist

Lori feels she has a calling to help dyslexic students.  She is dedicated to helping as many students as she can hoping to give them an earlier advantage than her son had. She watched him struggle in public school and knew she had to find a place where he would thrive.  Loomis Gateway Academy has changed the way he sees himself as a learner. That is priceless!

Lori has taught in the Burlingame School District and the Frisco School District.  She currently has daughter in college and lives in Loomis with her son.

Leah Skinner, M.Ed.

Administrator: Loomis Gateway Academy

Master of Education: Dyslexia Specialist

Certified Wilson Reading Dyslexia Therapist

Advanced Level Certified Barton Reading and Spelling Specialist

Certified Dyslexia Education Advocate


Leah Skinner is one of the few Wilson instructors certified at the second level in Northern California.  She holds a bachelor degree in both psychology and biology.  She also holds a Master degree in Education as a Dyslexia Specialist.  She has over 20 years experience working with children from Kindergarten through 8th grade who struggle with reading, writing and spelling.  In addition to being a faculty member at Loomis Gateway Academy, she is a contributing board member to Dyslexia Alliance.  Her passion is to help children reach their fullest potential.  Leah lives in Roseville with her husband and children.

Kassie Hughey

Certified Barton Reading Specialist


Kassie is an excellent Reading and Writing teacher. She really enjoys working with people, especially children. She spent some time volunteering with the Placer County Reading consul in their English Second Language programs. Kassie is an English major at Sacramento State, and is planning to get her Masters Degree in Dyslexia.  We are fortunate to have her on our staff.  

The children describe  their reading experience with Kassie as fun!

Shelley Russ

Certified Barton Reading Specialist 

Shelley hadover 15 years of experience as a reading aide in the Rocklin Unified School District before becoming a Dyslexia Reading teacher with Loomis Gateway Academy.  Shelley has now been with LGA for 5 years. She has deep experience with children who have reading difficulty, has a warm heart, and is sensitive to all students' needs.  Shelley lives with her family in Rocklin.

Betsy Licciardelo

California Credentialed Public Education Teacher

Regular PreK-8

Special Needs PreK-8

Certified Barton Reading Specialist

Betsy was a retired teacher, having taught in the Roseville City School District for 25+ years, until deciding to take up teaching again at LGA.  Since retiring from Public School, Betsy's passion for providing children the tools they need for success continues on in her work with dyslexic students.  She consistently refers to the the Barton Program as "the missing piece" from her experience as a teacher in public education.

Maureen Moore

Credentialed Nutrition Consultant

Maureen brings Nutritional information to the students at LGA by offering healthy alternatives to sugar, food dyes, and other unhealthy additives.  The students learn about the ingredients, cook the food, and lastly they enjoy eating the food they make.  This is a favorite class to many.  We hear from parents that their kids are starting to read the ingredients on the packaged foods at the grocery store!