Diploma Culver City High School, 1990
AA - Liberal Arts Santa Monica College, 1993
BA – English UCLA, 1995
MA – Education Loyola Marymount University, 1999
Ed.D – Educational Leadership for Social Justice Loyola Marymount University, 2010
As a native of Culver City, I attended Culver City schools from K-12, and as a graduate of CCHS in 1990, I am a proud to be a member of the Centaur family and of this outstanding community. After attending Santa Monica College and UCLA, I first started teaching in 1995 as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles Unified and later within the CCUSD. In the 96-97 school year, I officially began teaching Spanish for Culver City High School with courses in: Spanish 1, Spanish for Spanish Speakers I, II, and AP Spanish Literature. Through my own professional development, I also earned my master’s degree in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University.
In 2000, I transitioned to the English department teaching English 9 and English 9 (SDAIE). In 2002, I introduced Multicultural Literature & Practicum, a senior English elective course designed to introduce, study, and analyze contemporary issues of cultural diversity. Due to its popularity, I am proud and honored that the course today has expanded to eight sections.
In 2002, I accepted the position of CCHS Director of Student Activities in which I have had the pleasure of working with outstanding student leaders, colleagues, staff, and the community in providing CCHS a vibrant and exciting student activities program.
In 2010, I earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice, with my dissertation titled, “Toward a Pedagogy of Compassion: Extracting Principles of Education from Teaching a High School Multicultural Literature Class.”
Throughout the years, I have seen CCHS go through enormous positive changes. The faculty and staff are amazing individuals who have served, and continue to serve, as my mentors and role models. I am proud of being a part of the success of CCHS and I look forward to continuing to make CCHS one of the best!
It is my conclusion that the most important aspect of the educational experience is the interaction between the teacher and the student. The strength of these relationships serves as the foundation for learning.
My role as an educator is to help students find meaning in the teaching material; it is to go beyond assignments and exams and help students find the knowledge useful and valuable to their daily lives.
My aim is to develop the students’ personalities and empower them to fulfill their potential. This requires a deep understanding and appreciation for the knowledge, attitudes and ideas students already bring with them into the classroom. For this reason, I choose not to believe students are ‘empty buckets’ waiting to be filled, but rather, are treasure troves already filled with a wealth of information and experience; therefore, my job is facilitate their knowledge and experience into the learning experience, not only for themselves but for others.
I consider each instant of the day a ‘teachable moment.’ Each and every interaction with others is an opportunity to create value in my life and in theirs. This has allowed me to develop an authentic relationship of mutual respect, caring and compassion with students and colleagues.
This relationship of mutual respect, sincerity and compassion does more than simply deliver knowledge, but creates value from it. As a teacher, my role is more than simply filling their minds but also fulfilling their lives. I believe this type of interaction with students produces long lasting positive effects that go far beyond the school setting.
Finally, in my opinion, if we are to move toward a world of peace, culture, tolerance, understanding, and education, people must learn to live better with each other. For this reason, education is more than simply the transfer of knowledge, it is a human exchange of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, etc. that serve as a catalyst for positive change.
Hobbies: Learning, camping, watching the news, friends, reading, writing, soccer, Lakers, and Bruins!