Arch Academy Faculty

Private School Kids

Cheryl (Zak) Allcock, Head of School

Cheryl is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).  

She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Social Welfare and her Masters of Social Science Welfare degrees from The Ohio State University, and also did post-graduate work at Oxford University.  

Prior to founding Arch Academy, she was in private practice, then worked as Clinical Director at Mellusi and Wagner Counseling Center (now Psycare).

In addition to being the Head of School, Cheryl coaches (and is an active member of) the Arch Academy Zombie Patrol ocean swim team.

Private School Kids

Lin Viavada, Math

Lin earned a BA in Math Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and an MA in Math Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She has 40+ years of teaching experience, and holds a California Life Teaching Credential - Single Subject Math.

In addition to her direct teaching duties, Lin is engaged in a major update of the Math curriculum.  She is also the Faculty Advisor for the student Cooking Club.

Cooper Zak, Social StudiesPrivate school kids

Cooper earned his BA in Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He is currently working toward his California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Studies at the University of Southern California

In addition to his Social Studies teaching duties, Cooper is assistant coach of the Arch Academy Zombie Patrol ocean swim team.  He leads the Daily Oral Language/Skills Improvement activities, and is Faculty Advisor for the Book Club.

Private School KidsHeather Detering, Director of Special Education 

Heather received her BA in History from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA. She received her teaching credential from TNTP Teaching Fellows. 

She has a Teaching Credential with authorization in Moderate/Severe Disability in California and a Cross Categorical Credential in Arizona. Her teaching experience includes working with students on the Autism Spectrum, Moderate/Severe cognitive and physical disabilities, and Specific Learning Disabilities.  

Besides teaching, Heather also is responsible for IEPs and works with related services such as OT and SPL. She coordinates with district representatives, staff, and families. 

Amy Blasingame, Science Private school kids

Amy earned her BS in Biology at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, and her MA in General Education from Regis University, Denver, CO.

She has 10+ years teaching experience and holds a Colorado Teaching Credential. She is working towards her California Single Subject Teaching credential.

In addition to her science teaching duties, Amy is updating the science curriculum to include more hands on activities for the students to participate in. She also is involved in the physical education of the students.

Dan Simonelli - Swim Coach 

Dan Simonelli, whose nickname is Swimonelli, is an American open water swimmer, observer, and support paddler from San Diego, California who is the Founder and Director of Open Water Swim Academy, (OWSA) as well as the race director of the Scripps Pier-To-Cove Swim and coach of The Zombie Patrol. He is a member of the voting panel to decide the honorees of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. He won the 2015 Service to Marathon Swimming Award, given by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Simonelli grew up in Stockton, California and has been swimming since 4 years old. Simonelli swam on and off through school and some in college as he tired of the pool experience. Then, while in the Marine Corps stationed in Oceanside, California, he began swimming in the ocean and racing in triathlons. He was a WSSI instructor in the Marine Corps and later became an Ocean Lifeguard on Camp Pendleton and for the City of Oceanside, and the experience and joy of swimming in the ocean has never left him. 

•Simonelli began swimming at La Jolla Cove and became a member of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club 

•Subsequently he started swimming with the groups of marathon swimmers training for Catalina Channel, English Channel, and other great swims, and began to see the endless possibilities of the open water. 

•Simonelli is an Official Observer and support crew for CCSF and SBCSA 

•Simonelli has served as Observer or Support crew for more than 80 Catalina Channel and other open water swims. 

•Simonelli is the current President of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club and coach of the Arch Academy Zombie Patrol. 

•Simonelli has completed the 2014 and 2015 S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona; and was kayak support for Dave Van Mouwerik's SCAR 2016. 

•Simonelli has completed a solo one-way crossing of the Catalina Channel in 10 hours 15 minutes on 23 August 2015 

•Simonelli swam across the Catalina Channel solo again on 16 January 2016, the 89th anniversary of the first successful crossing by George Young, winner of the Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim in 1927, becoming the second person to swim on that date. 

•Simonelli has completed a solo one-way crossing of the English Channel on 25 August 2016 

•Simonelli won the 2015 Marathon Swimmers Federation Global Award for "Service To Marathon Swimming" 

•Simonelli won the 2016 Barra Award for Best Overall Year from the Marathon Swimmers Federation. 


In addition to their individual duties listed above, all Arch Academy staff participate in

  • Family Meetings
  • Culminating Projects
  • Presentation of Portfolios
  • Curriculum
  • Events
  • Mentoring
  • Global Trips
  • Mindfulness

              ...whatever it takes!

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