Faculty Biographies

Education Manager: Jason R. Frye PhD
Librarian / Admin Assistant: Shanta Millis
High School/Jr. High Faculty: Dean Mealing
Lead Faculty Pre-K to 6th grade: Joelle Fuller
Adult Education Coordinator: Cody Baker
Pre-K to 6th Grade Faculty: Catherine Atkins
Language Program Manager: Carlos Geisdorf
Language Program Assistant: Sunny Delgadillo

Dean Mealing: Born and raised in California, I chose my career path based on two factors: personal ability and a career that would allow me to live in the country, not the city. My first career was in construction. It was there that I learned the value of hard work and organization. I also enjoyed seeing the results of my work as I completed each task that was before me. After completing a Union apprenticeship as a carpenter apprentice, I returned to school to become a teacher. I had always enjoyed working with people of all ages and I enjoyed working with the books. After completing my education at Cal State East Bay, I began working at a school that had both a Middle School and a High School. I taught in both and really enjoyed the challenge. After about nine years I went back to school and got a Master’s Degree and then returned to teaching where I taught elementary school students and adult learners for the next eleven years. I am currently working with the Junior High and Senior High Students at the Blue House, continuing to do what I have enjoyed doing for more than twenty years.

Carlos Geisdorff: Lives on the Tuolumne Reservation and is a voting tribal member of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. He is the MeWuk Language Program Manager. Carlos has also received an American Indian Language Credential, where he teaches language to children and adults. He has attended Breathe of Life conferences in Berkeley, Language is Life conference at Marin Headlands, Davis and Wonder Valley, Living Language Circle sponsored by Yoche Dehe Wintun Nation and many other language conferences throughout the state. He is a member of the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Language Preservation Committee. As a child he learned traditional songs and dances with some language from a Miwük elder.

Sonja Delgadillo: Was hired by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk in 2017 as the Administrative Assistant to the language program and is a tribal enrolled member. Prior to working with Carlos and the MeWuk Language Program, she has worked for the tribe since 2014 in various departments: Tribal Recreation Department, Black Oak Casino Hotel, and Temporary Assistant for Native Families (TANF). She brings with her well-rounded administrative experience. She actively participates in tribal events, cultural gatherings, traditional MeWuk dancing, and currently in a beginner’s course learning MeWuk Basket Weaving. She continues to be a student in MeWuk language classes and has attended several conferences and training such as Language is Life, Living Language Circle, and many other California Native language conferences throughout the state.

Catherine Atkins: I work in the K-6 department, with a focus on third to fifth grade. I have been a teacher for more than thirty years. I have a degree in English from Cal State Stanislaus, and credentials in both English and General Subjects from Chapman University. I enjoy challenging myself with Math and learning languages. I am a fan of cats and abstract art. I enjoy working with our students every day.

Cody Ann Baker: Cody Ann grew up in Calaveras County. She moved to Tuolumne County as a young adult and began attending Columbia College at the age of 27, where she earned the following: Associates of Arts degrees in English, Liberal Arts, and Mathematics, and  Associates of Science degrees in Earth Science and Physical Science. While at Columbia, she worked in student support services for half a decade. She then transferred to UC Berkeley in 2013, where she earned a degree in Classical Civilizations with emphasis in Ancient Greek. She also took coursework in natural sciences, interning first with Pallud Soils Lab in soil phytoremediation and then with Berkeley Public Schools teaching forestry and mapping techniques to high school students. She in now completing her Master’s in Applied Anthropology through Humboldt State University.
Cody has served on a Federal, State, and Local level, working for the National Park Service, California State Parks, and San Francisco Recreation and Parks at Camp Mather. She has worked in education and recreation with every age group, from pre-kindergarten to college-level. She currently serves the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Tribe as the Adult Education Instructor, offering academic assistance to high school and adult learners and managing the scholarships program.
In her free time, Cody can be found hiking, exploring caverns and canyons, and studying the local flora and fauna. She has an affinity for the high mountain desert and the Southwest. She also enjoys a regular yoga practice, daily walking meditations, cooking, and gardening. She currently resides in Columbia, California.

Shanta Millis: I am from the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe in Nevada. I grew up in the East Bay area. I moved to Tuolumne in 2002. My husband and I have six children that range in age from 25 – 7 years old. I decided to work with youth when I took a position as a children’s ski instructor at Dodge Ridge Resort. A few seasons later I was hired by The Band of Tuolumne of Me-Wuk in 2005 as a Recreation Aide. I worked as an Aide for the next couple of years. Then I slowly moved up into the Education department as the tribe was establishing a Tribal Library. I became a Library Assistant in 2009 when the Library officially opened to the Tribal community. In 2011 I became the Administrative Assistant /Librarian. This is still my current role in the Education department. I am an active parent on the Summerville Elementary Indian Education committee. I have been the Chair of this committee for the past several years and just stepped down to become the Secretary. I also serve on the Summerville High School Foundation Board as their Secretary. My goals are to be an example for the youth in the community and support them in becoming their best self. I am an active member in the tribal community involved in traditional dance, gatherings, Me-Wuk Language Symposiums and other tribal events.

Joelle Parker Fuller: I am a fifth generation Tuolumne resident. I just started my 21st year working for TMTC. I am currently the K-6th Grade Lead Instructor. I have an A.A in Psychology from Columbia College and a B.A in Psychology from Cal. State Stanislaus. I have always been interested in the psychology of learning. I love hiking, fishing and spending time with my family and pets. I also enjoy concerts, dog training and gardening! My goal is to help others feel successful. I feel honored to work with our good-hearted, bright students every day.

Jason R. Frye PhD: My family and I moved up to Tuolumne County in 1976 from Southern California. As boy growing up in this area, I watched the many changes we have gone through. From the rocks and the gentle slope of the hill that is now known as the Junction, to the Walmart shopping area that was once just a cattle field. When I was 21 I joined the United States Army as a Military Police personnel, upon departing from service, I lived in Springfield Missouri, then moved to Nevada where I became a Deputy Sheriff working for the Lander County Sheriff’s Office. After my employment with the Lander County Sheriff’s office, I moved back to Tuolumne County California where I eventually opened my construction company in 2003. After 8 years in business, the housing market crashed and I decided to move on to the counseling field. I started working at Rite of Passage where I was a coach/counselor working with Juvenile Boy’s that were sent to the facility to change their behavioral patterns, and eventually I became the construction vocation / shop teacher working under Eldorado Office of Education. I then worked for Center Point Inc. at the Jamestown Corrections Facility as a Substance Abuse Counselor, and later I worked as a Recovery Counselor II for the Tuolumne County Behavioral Health. It was at this time I decided to attend school to get my PhD in Psychology. I recently completed my PhD in Psychology and am attempting to complete my hours of professional experience to become licensed as a clinical psychologist. I have been teaching and managing in various private colleges for the last 12 years while attending school. I began my teaching career with Heald College in 2011. I started as an Adjunct Instructor for the Criminal Justice Program, and was moved around as needed between Business Programs, Criminal Justice, and General Education. In September of 2011 I was offered full time employment as the Psychology Instructor with Heald College. I taught psychology for the next four years until Heald Closed its doors in 2015. I then taught for Devry University in Folsom Ca, and I was a visiting professor for Chamberlain School of Nursing (a sister college of Devry also in Folsom Ca). In 2018 I applied for a position in the Electrician Training Program at San Joaquin Valley College in Salida Ca, and worked my way up to the Program Manager. In November 2020 I applied for your Education Manager, since it was closer to home and more in line with my desired goals in Education. I am proud and Honored to be a part of your Education Department, I hope to bring in new opportunities, and programs that provide new horizons for the Tuolumne Me Wuk Tribe.

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