Superintendent's Welcome Back Message and New Teacher Introductions

Dear LCUSD Families,

Welcome Back to School!  I hope each and every member of our LCUSD Community has experienced a positive and successful start to the new school year.  I have enjoyed being at the school sites to welcome you back and have appreciated the enthusiasm with which students, teachers, staff and families are greeting each other and the start of the new school year.

One of the District’s primary areas of focus over the summer was to hire a superior cohort of new certificated staff members to fill our instructional and counseling vacancies and to join our outstanding veteran staff in providing students with an exceptional educational experience in LCUSD.  In the midst of a statewide teacher shortage, we were able to hire outstanding educators – dedicated professionals who will continue the tradition of excellence in delivering instruction at our school sites.  I have mentioned our new hires in my talks with many of you, but I wanted to share with you a brief background on each of these amazing professionals so that you can help me in extending a warm and supportive welcome at LCE, PCR, PCY, LCHS 7/8 and LCHS 9-12.  Please see below a brief resume snapshot for the certificated staff we are proud to have join our stellar instructional teams at each site.

I look forward to working closely with you throughout the year to ensure the best for our students.

Sincerely,
Wendy Sinnette
Superintendent

Armstrong, Ted
Position in LCUSD: Adapted P.E. teacher at PCR and LCE
High School: Hesperia High School
College: Cal State San Bernardino (Played intercollegiate soccer at CSUSB)
Degrees: BS in Physical Education; MA in Education/Kinesiology
Credential(s): Single Subject Physical Education; Adapted P.E. Specialist
Other Professional Experience: LAUSD (Physical Education and Adapted P.E. teacher); La Canada High School Fitness Center Manager; Personal trainer/speed coach; US Soccer Federation “B” licensed coach.

Bontemps, Charisse
Position in LCUSD: 7th grade Math teacher at LCHS 7/8
High School: The Mary Louis Academy in Queens, NY
College: Long Island University (undergraduate); New York University and University of Phoenix (graduate)
Degrees: B.S. in Mathematics; M.A. in Math Education
Other Professional Experience: New York City Schools and Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (taught grades 6, 7, and 8); Served as a teacher coach in the Monterey Peninsula USD and taught Math for ALF this summer at LCHS. 

Brar, Ravi
Position in LCUSD: Kindergarten teacher at PCR
High School: Southern Okanagan Secondary
College: Okanagan University College and University of British Columbia (undergraduate)
Degrees: B.A. in History and Elementary Education
Other Professional Experience: Kindergarten teacher at Oliver Elementary School in British Columbia and at Proctor Elementary School in Castro Valley, CA (also taught first grade at Proctor), and taught 2nd grade at Marengo Elementary School in South Pasadena USD. 

DeSimone, Kevin
Position in LCUSD: LCTV teacher
High School: La Canada High School
College: California State University, Northridge
Degree: B.A. (Communication Studies)
Credential(s): Designated Subjects: Industrial and Technology Education (pending)
Other Professional Experience: LCHS Theater Paraprofessional, Summer Arts Conservatory at LACHSA, Manager and Instructor at the Theater Education Group, and Shakespeare performer/instructor at the Alex Theater in Glendale.

Geckle, Karl
Position in LCUSD: LCHS Chemistry teacher
High School: Somers High School, Somers, New York
College: University of Delaware (undergraduate); Mercy College (graduate)
Degrees: B.S. in Chemistry; M.A. in Adolescent Education (Mercy College)
Credential: Single Subject Chemistry
Other Professional Experience: Dulaney High School inTimonium, MD (Chemistry teacher). At Dulaney also served as Varsity Soccer Assistant Coach, Film Club Sponsor/Advisor, and Chemathon Coach/Coordinator.

Hays, Yvonne
Position in LCUSD: LCHS Counselor
High School: Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY
College: Dartmouth College (undergraduate); University of Pennsylvania (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in History; M.S. in Education (Psychological Services)
Credential: Pupil Personnel Services
Other Professional Experience: North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia and Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia (School Counselor); Maranatha High School in Pasadena, CA (College Counselor), St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, CA (Associate Director of College Counseling), Independent Educational Consulting and UCLA Undergraduate Admissions Reader, Publications Manager for Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

Kang, Andrew
Position in LCUSD: LCHS Math teacher
High School: Crescenta Valley High School
College: UC Irvine (undergraduate); California State University, Northridge and Talbot School of Theology (graduate)
Degree: B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior
Credentials: Single Subject Math and Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, CA (Math teacher, Boys’ Water Polo and Swim coach); Bancroft Middle School and Berendo Middle School in Los Angeles, CA (Math/Science teacher).

Kassarjian, Michael
Position in LCUSD: LCHS Math and Engineering teacher (Project Lead the Way)
High School: James Monroe High School, North Hills, CA
College: UCLA (undergraduate); Penn State University (graduate)
Degrees: B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering; M.S. in Ceramic Science (Crystal Chemistry)
Credential: Single Subject in Math, Chemistry and Physics
Other Professional Experience: Northwood High School(AP Statistics) and Lakeside Middle School (Math) in Irvine, CA; Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Leader, CPM Education; Educational Testing Service, AP Statistics Test grader; Engineer-Scientist, IBM Corporation

Kha, Christine
Position in LCUSD: 6th grade teacher at PCY
High School: Gabrielino High School, San Gabriel, CA
College: California State University, Fullerton (undergraduate); Cal Poly Pomona (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in American Studies; M.S. in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Aveson Global Leadership Academy in Altadena, CA (6th – 8th and Beginning Code teacher, Projects Lead Teacher & Instructional Leadership Team member); Oxford Preparatory Academy in Chino, CA (7th grade teacher); Code.org certified, Italy and South Africa Study Abroad. 

Lee, Jeenie 
Position in LCUSD: 8th grade Math teacher at LCHS 7/8
High School: Arcadia High School
College: UC-Irvine (undergraduate); USC (graduate)
Degrees: B.S. in Biological Sciences; M.A. in Education
Credential: Single Subject in Math
Other Professional Experience: Young Oak Kim Academy in Los Angeles (8th and 6th grade Math and STEAM teacher); Administrative Director, Learning Edge Education Center in South Pasadena; SAT Math tutor, Focus Learning Center in La Crescenta.

Lloyd, Anya
Position in LCUSD: 4th grade teacher at PCY
High School: South Pasadena High School
College: University of Oregon (undergraduate); University of Oregon and Sonoma State University (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Sociology; M.A. Teaching and Curriculum
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Camino Grove Elementary in Arcadia (3rd grade teacher).

Messina, Adriana
Position in LCUSD: 1st grade teacher at PCY
High School: South Pasadena High School
College: Pepperdine (undergraduate); Azusa-Pacific University (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Interpersonal Communications; M.A. in Education
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Celerity Palmati Charter School in North Hollywood, CA (2nd grade teacher); Trained in the JumpStart Literacy Curriculum.

Munday, Jennifer
Position in LCUSD: String Orchestra Conductor at LCHS
High School: Fountain Valley High School
College: Chapman (undergraduate); USC (graduate)
Degrees: B.M. in Music Education and Violin Performance; M.M. in Music and Violin Performance
Credential: Single Subject in Music
Other Professional Experience: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Orange County Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, several years as a private music instructor in the La Canada and La Crescenta communities. 

Myers, James
Position in LCUSD: Instrumental Music/Band teacher at LCHS 7/8
High School: La Canada High School
College: San Diego State University (undergraduate); Bard College (Longey School of Music/graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Music and Classical Trumpet Performance; M.A. in Music Education
Credential: Single Subject in Music
Other Professional Experience: Music teacher for ALF, La Crescenta Adventist and West Adams Prep (Los Angeles); Jazz performances at San Diego State University and musical performances at various Southern California churches.

Rizzo, Chris
Position in LCUSD: P.E. teacher at PCR
High School: Taft High School
College: Wayne State (Nebraska)
Degree: B.A. in Exercise Science and Wellness
Credential: Single Subject in Physical Education
Other Professional Experience: Physical Education and Algebra 1 teacher and coach at Taft High School, Woodland Hills, CA; Physical Education teacher and Dean of Students at Animo College Prep (Los Angeles); Coach at Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth, CA).

Rogers, Esther
Position in LCUSD: Counselor at LCHS
High School: Meridian High School (Michigan)
College: Central Michigan University (undergraduate); University of Alabama-Birmingham (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Psychology and M.A.’s in: School Counseling, Education (Social Sciences), and Educational Leadership
Credentials: Pupil Personnel Services and Administrative Services
Other Professional Experience: Teacher in Carthage, NY; Teacher and MS and HS Counselor, Shelby County Schools, Columbiana, AL.

Sandoval, Michael
Position in LCUSD: PE teacher at LCHS 7/8
High School: Glen A. Wilson High School
College: California State University, Fullerton (undergraduate); University of Phoenix (graduate)
Degrees: B.S. in Kinesiology and M.A. in Education
Credential: Single Subject in Physical Education
Other Professional Experience: P.E. teacher at Giano Intermediate School and an intervention and P.E. teacher at Northam and Hurley Elementary Schools (Rowland USD). Has also worked as an Assistant basketball coach at Los Altos HS.

Stanley, Melissa
Position in LCUSD: English teacher at LCHS
High School: Crescenta Valley High School
College: UC San Diego (undergraduate); California State University, Los Angeles (graduate); International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan)
Degree: B.A. in Anthropology
Credential: Single Subject in English
Other Professional Experience: Judson International School (High School ESL teacher) and Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) (Assistant Language teacher)


Tseng, Anne
Position in LCUSD: 1st grade teacher at LCE
High School: Arcadia High School
College: Cal Poly Pomona (undergraduate); Pepperdine (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Liberal Studies; M.A. in Education
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Culver City Unified School District, Extera Public School and Crescendo Charter Academy (Kindergarten teacher) and a BTSA mentor.

Valdez, Erick
Position in LCUSD: 1st grade teacher at PCY
High School: John Marshall, Los Angeles, CA
College: California State University, Los Angeles (undergraduate and graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Urban Learning/Technology Leadership and an M.A. in Education
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: 1st grade teacher at Castle Heights Elementary School in Los Angeles (also taught 4th grade at Castle Heights), Kindergarten teacher at Dayton Heights Elementary School in Los Angeles, and a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Angeles Mesa Elementary School in Los Angeles. Erick has also served as Technology Coordinator, teacher representative on School Site Council, Grade Level Chair, UTLA rep and Common Core lead teacher, as well as organizing an annual student trip to Astronaut Camp. 

Walsh, Kerri
Position in LCUSD: 4th grade teacher at PCR
High School: St. Joseph High School
College: USC (undergraduate); California State University, Northridge and Vanguard University (graduate)
Degrees: B.A. in Communication; 
Credential: Multiple Subject
Other Professional Experience: Queen Anne Elementary, Los Angeles, CA (2nd and 3rd grade teacher); El Sereno Elementary School in Los Angeles, CA (3rd grade teacher), Top Learning Center, tutor.