A-B-C-Learning written out in colorful chalk

Our Staff

As educators, we are in it for the kids. At Tuscano Elementary, we are fortunate to have a team of professionals who are truly passionate about teaching and helping children to grow and flourish. Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss any questions or concerns. 

Administration

Rebecca Osorio
Principal
P: (623) 707.2300
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Biography

About Rebecca Osorio

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Kerrie Davis Byrn
Assistant Principal
P: (623) 707.2300
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Biography

About Kerrie Davis Byrn

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Preschool

Kianna Castaneda
Preschool Lead Teacher
P: (623) 707.2317
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Biography

About Kianna Castaneda

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Elizabeth Hernandez
Head Start
P: (623) 707.2328
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Biography

About Elizabeth Hernandez

Education

MA Early Childhood and Special Education

Experience

31 Years

Why I Teach

I chose to teach in the early childhood field of education because I have a passion for teaching young children. I became involved with Head Start as a parent volunteer and since have advanced through working as an assistant teacher, then a lead teacher, and now as a certified teacher through the state of Arizona.

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Ana Rivas
Preschool Lead Teacher
P: (623) 707.2345
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Biography

About Ana Rivas

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Kindergarten

Elizabeth Diehl
P: (623) 707.2348
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Biography

About Elizabeth Diehl

Education

BA Early Childhood Education - SUNY Cortland, MA; Special Education - currently working

Experience

This is my seventh year teaching kindergarten at Tuscano. Before moving to Arizona, I worked with preschool-aged children and was a substitute teacher for pre-K through ninth grade.

Why I Teach

Teaching is not just a job for me; it is a passion. I truly love teaching my students and seeing them grow. The progress, not only academically but also socially and emotionally, that they make from August to May is incredible. Our students make every day in the classroom a special one.

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Erika Fierros
P: (623) 707.2322
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Biography

About Erika Fierros

Education

BA and MA - Arizona State University, state licensed counselor and therapist

Experience

I have been teaching kindergarten for five years. Before teaching I was in the medical field.

Why I Teach

I love having the opportunity to watch my students learn and achieve the many skills and life lessons from kindergarten! Creating a safe and fun learning environment for each student is my first priority. I enjoy witnessing my students' excitement when they realize their full potential and when they take great pride in their work in class.

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Ann Marie Schilling
P: (623) 707.2335
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Biography

About Ann Marie Schilling

Education

BA K–8th Education (Early Childhood) - ASU, MA Curriculum and Instruction - Grand Canyon College

Experience

23 years teaching: kindergarten, PE, music, second grade, third grade, third/fourth/fifth combo class

Why I Teach

I teach because it's my passion in life. I teach because being a teacher is a major part of who I am. I teach to mold the minds of children so they will know how to become anyone they want to be. I teach so children can achieve their dreams. I teach because I want each child to know they are special and important. I teach because learning to read and write will change a child's life. I teach because I'm changing the world.

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First Grade

Elvera Castro
P: (623) 707.2344
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Biography

About Elvera Castro

Education

BA Elementary Education

Experience

Seven years in the classroom

Why I Teach

Teaching is a joy to me because I love children! Their little minds are alert and curious! It is a pleasure to get to know each little personality and watch them grow physically, academically, and emotionally! This work keeps me on my toes as I learn right alongside them! The connections are priceless! Although there will always be a challenging day, I show up knowing each student deserves someone who is patient and cares.

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Stephanie Markley
P: (623) 707.2346
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Biography

About Stephanie Markley

Education

BA Elementary Education - Arizona State University, MA Reading and Literacy - Walden University, MA Special Education - Grand Canyon University

Experience

I have taught for 13 years in Arizona (fourth grade, first grade, second grade, third grade, and fifth through seventh grade special education). I have taught first grade at Tuscano for four years.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love to learn. I learn from my students every day. I learn about their different cultures, their likes and dislikes, and what makes them happy or sad. I teach because I love showing my students the world around them through reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. I teach because I want my students to be happy and successful individuals.

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Laurie Sellers
P: (623) 707.3334
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Biography

About Laurie Sellers

Education

BA - ASU, endorsements ESL and Early Childhood ED

Experience

Eight years as an instructional assistant and 19 years teaching

Why I Teach

Education is a key to a happier and more fulfilling life. I teach because I believe every child can learn. All children learn differently, and my job is to help children discover the lifelong learner inside of them. I want to help children reach their true potential and have the best life they can.

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Nanette Swanson
P: (623) 707.2342
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Biography

About Nanette Swanson

Education

BS Education - Chadron State College, MAE Curriculum and Education - Chapman University, Endorsements ESL, Early Childhood, Reading - University of Phoenix and Chapman University

Experience

This is my 21st year in AZ public schools. I have also taught in the private school setting.

Why I Teach

Like most, I became a teacher because I love children and school. Being a part of a child's success is the ultimate reward. First grade is where the magic is. Students learn to read in first grade, and it is magical. Reading opens a whole new world for students. The children in my classroom keep me on my toes and loving life! They are the reason I am teaching!

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Second Grade

Josie Guillen
P: (623) 707.2336
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Biography

About Josie Guillen

Education

BA Elementary Education and Early Childhood

Experience

I have worked in the Fowler School District for 25 years. I started as a teaching assistant (SFA tutor) at Sunridge. I also worked as an ESL tester for a few years at Sunridge, Tuscano, and Suncayon. I taught third grade for half a year at Sunridge. Now I'm teaching third grade at Tuscano Elementary School.

Why I Teach

I teach because there is excitement and joy and suspense in the journey. The one and only compensation is to make a permanent difference in the life of a child. I have found that my students also teach me about different cultures, abilities, and perspectives. I have discovered that they are actually my teachers, and I'm the student. There is nothing better than having one of my students realize they are stronger and more resilient than they ever thought possible. For those reasons, and many more, I teach.

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Irma Olea
P: (623) 707.2316
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Biography

About Irma Olea

Education

BA Accounting

Experience

I have 18 years experience teaching ESL and four years teaching second grade

Why I Teach

I teach because it is my passion to share knowledge and inspire others. I teach to facilitate thinking, engage minds, and because I am able to cultivate dreams. I love to teach because while I am teaching I am also learning. Out of all the professions, I chose to become a teacher because education is a golden key that opens the door to bigger and brighter possibilities. I teach because it is a reward to see how students are able to reach their goals. I teach because it is a gift of a lifetime.

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Elizabeth Scott
P: (623) 707.2323
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Biography

About Elizabeth Scott

Education

BS Psychology emphasis Education

Experience

20+ Years, Reading Recovery training

Why I Teach

I teach because I love being a part of a student's development as a learner and a human. I teach because children deserve a good teacher. I teach because I love to learn and share my skills and knowledge with others. I teach because there is nothing else I would rather do. I teach because it connects me to something larger than myself. I teach because it is a calling.

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Julie Sytsma
P: (623) 707.2321
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Biography

About Julie Sytsma

Education

MA - Nova Southeastern University, BA - Concordia St. Paul

Experience

I was a preschool teacher for one year in Minnesota before moving to Arizona to teach first grade for eight years at Tuscano. I now teach second grade.

Why I Teach

I have felt a calling to be a teacher since I was eight years old. I enjoy working with children and can't imagine doing anything else! I have a love of learning and hope to instill that in my students. My favorite classroom moment is seeing that "a-ha!" moment that lights up a child's face.

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Third Grade

Marta Gontarz
P: (623) 707.2331
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Biography

About Marta Gontarz

Education

BA Elementary Education, MA Administration, endorsements ESL, Early Childhood

Experience

In 2001, I began teaching in the Fowler District. I started at Fowler Elementary then switched to Sunridge Elementary where I worked for three years. When Tuscano Elementary opened up in 2005, I decided to transfer here and have been here ever since. I have taught the second and third grades.

Why I Teach

My story of teaching began when I was 13. My sister-in-law, who taught first grade, invited me to come and help in her classroom. I absolutely enjoyed the experience. One of my goals in teaching is to make a positive impact on students and share their successes. Helping students prepare for their future and letting students know they can achieve anything they want is important to me. Being with students in school allows me to inspire my students.

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Gratia Maloney
P: (623) 707.2326
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Biography

About Gratia Maloney

Education

MA Early Childhood Education - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Experience

This is my first year teaching, but I had six classroom placements prior to being hired.

Why I Teach

I chose to be a teacher because I believe that in order to have a successful life you must start with a quality education. I believe that all children can be successful in the classroom. I became a teacher because I wanted to help students see that they can be successful and teach them strategies in order to do so. I value relationships with my students and believe that these relationships are the first step to take when figuring out how students can be most successful.

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Annette Markley
P: (623) 707.2327
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Biography

About Annette Markley

Education

BA Elementary Education, MA Special Education, MEd Teacher Leadership

Experience

15 Years of experience teaching special education, 20 years of experience teaching elementary grades two, three, five, and eight

Why I Teach

I chose to become a teacher because children are unique and inquisitive human beings. They surprise and challenge me every day to look at the world from their point of view and discover new aspects I had previously overlooked. I have found that I thoroughly enjoy helping them learn about themselves and the world around them.

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Karen Wagner
P: (623) 707.2347
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Biography

About Karen Wagner

Education

BS - Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota

Experience

While this is my first year in third grade, I have taught for many years. I started out teaching Head Start and later moved up to kindergarten. I have also taught first and second grades.

Why I Teach

I so much admired my own kindergarten teacher (yes, I remember her!) that I decided I would also become a kindergarten teacher! As I went through school, it became harder for me—I struggled. But I always had teachers who were willing to take the time to help me out. This stayed with me; what a great influence they had on me. I still love learning! And it brings me joy to pass that kind of positive influence on to the young students who I'm lucky to meet.

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Fourth Grade

Pamela Joe
P: (623) 707.2341
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Biography

About Pamela Joe

Education

BA Elementary Education

Experience

I am very excited to be a part of an outstanding school such as Tuscano! I am a graduate of SAGU University with a bachelor of arts in elementary education. In addition to my passion for education, I love taking lessons to the basketball court! This is my fourth year teaching at Tuscano, and I am loving our school and our community. For two years I taught seventh and eighth grade at Frank Borman Elementary along with assistant coaching seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball and taking my boys to the championship! I am looking forward to working with you and your child this year. I believe that this will be the best school year of our lives!

Why I Teach

I teach because my students deserve to know every day that they are valued for who they are and what they contribute to the world. There is nothing harder than finding out what will make a student turn around and work when he or she doesn't want to and nothing better than the celebration when you can say together, "You did it!" I love to see change happen in kids' lives. That's why I teach.

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Sabrina Kracke
P: (623) 707.2324
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Biography

About Sabrina Kracke

Education

BS Nutrition, currently working towards a teaching certificate

Experience

I am on my second year of teaching fourth grade.

Why I Teach

This profession allows me to help students create a stepping stone towards their future goals. I enjoy knowing that I am playing a small, yet important, role in each student's success. It is amazing to see the reaction of students when they finally grasp a concept. It is exciting and fuels my desire to teach.

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Antonio Olivera
P: (623) 707.2332
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Biography

About Antonio Olivera

Education

MEd TESOL

Experience

20+ Years

Why I Teach

I find it a wonderful opportunity to help to create our future leaders. It has always been exciting to reach into the minds of our children and watch them soar. If I can have a positive effect on one child, then I am doing my job. As an educator, I desire to help children who have lacked the opportunity to progress so that they can become excelling members of our society.

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Christina Quintero
P: (623) 707.2318
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Biography

About Christina Quintero

Education

BA Education, MEd

Experience

I've taught for 19 years in the Fowler District. I've taught kindergarten, first, third, and fourth grades.

Why I Teach

I've taught for many years in our district, and my own family has attended our schools. My mother, aunt, and uncles all attended school in the Fowler District. I enjoy seeing the families that have grown up here. I love knowing that I'm making a difference and preparing our students for their future. Every day is a new day to learn, to help a child to fall in love with learning, and to help them to reach their full potential!

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Fifth Grade

Kailey Berry
P: (623) 707.2319
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Biography

About Kailey Berry

Education

MA Elementary Education, minors Special Education and Psychology - Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota; Massachusetts - currently working - Concordia University, Portland

Experience

This is my third year teaching at Tuscano. My first year I taught third grade, and now I teach fifth grade!

Why I Teach

Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by wonderful educators, and when it came time for me to decide what to do, I knew teaching was my calling. I have always loved working with kids and witnessing as they navigate through things. Teaching allows me to not only be a witness to the wonderful things children are capable of, but it also allows me to be a cheerleader for them along the way.

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Darren Diehl
P: (623) 707.2349
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Biography

About Darren Diehl

Education

BA Elementary Education - Kings College

Experience

Substitute teacher - three years; personal care assistant for high school student - one year; K–2 ED aid - one year; seventh-grade learning support inclusion - one year; fifth-grade Tuscano Elementary teacher - seven years

Why I Teach

The reason I teach is because I truly want to make a difference in children's lives. I feel that every student is capable of being successful, and I find great joy in teaching students how to bring that greatness out of themselves. Teaching for me is helping to change the world one student at a time.

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Candace Hoff
P: (623) 707.2315
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Biography

About Candace Hoff

Education

BA Interdisciplinary Studies - Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado

Experience

I have been teaching for 12 years.

Why I Teach

I believe that children can change the world. My goal is to be a small part of helping them do that. I know that by taking a caring attitude, students will respect and work hard for you. I try to let every student who comes through my classroom know they are loved and cared for.

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Alyssa Woodward
P: (623) 707.2320
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Biography

About Alyssa Woodward

Education

Washington State University and Grand Canyon University

Experience

This is my second year teaching fifth grade. Previously, I spent three years as a paraeducator at an elementary school in Portland.

Why I Teach

I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember! I am passionate about the power of education and how it impacts a child's future. I love working with children and creating positive relationships that can impact how they feel about adults and school. Teaching is my dream job, and I am happy to come to work each day.

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Special Area Teachers

Jim Allen
Library Clerk
P: (623) 707.2306
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Biography

About Jim Allen

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Jose Herrera
PE
P: (623) 707.2329
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Biography

About Jose Herrera

Education

MS - Physical Education

Experience

Nine years

Why I Teach

I've always had a passion for teaching new concepts to children and adults. I have taught children at various levels in the school system from special education aide, reading interventionist, third-grade teacher, coaching sports, school bus driver, and now as a physical education teacher. My number one goal when your child comes to P.E. class is to keep them constantly moving through the various activities we do.

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Sydney Hoff
Technology Clerk
P: (623) 707.2313
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Biography

About Sydney Hoff

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Monica Jordan
Art
P: (623) 707.2338
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Biography

About Monica Jordan

Education

BA Fine Arts - Arizona State University

Experience

I have been in the education field for a total of 10 years—first as a teaching assistant and now a teacher.

Why I Teach

I have a passion for art and enjoy teaching it to those who are willing to learn. I have been creating art my entire life; since I was a young child, I was inspired by colors, shapes, and how to capture them in different ways. I look forward to teach this to each child that I have the privilege to have in my class.

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Shaun Stevenson
Reading Interventionist
P: (623) 707.2333
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Biography

About Shaun Stevenson

Education

BA Elementary Education, BS Broad Field Social Sciences, BA History, MA Professional Learning Communities, Certification-Endorsements Structured English Immersion, Gifted Education, Reading

Experience

I worked as a fifth-grade teacher at Tuscano for six years (2007 to 2013), and this is my seventh year as a reading interventionist at Tuscano (2013 to present).

Why I Teach

I teach because it provides me an unparalleled professional balance between fulfilling my own desire to learn and helping others to learn. It provides me with the challenges that I need to grow as a person within a community of learners that can appreciate discovery. Specifically, as a reading interventionist, I can use my analytical and verbal strengths to help the students that need it most.

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Rick Thomas
Music
P: (623) 707.2351
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Biography

About Rick Thomas

Education

BE, MEd, BA Theology - ASU

Experience

27 Years

Why I Teach

I teach because children and music are two of my passions. I hope I can instill a love of music in them as well. I am involved with a lot of children's ministries throughout the world because I care about the needs of young people. God has been good to me, and I want to pass it along to others. I feel sorry for people who work just to make a living. At this stage of my life, I work to make a giving and to pass along some of the many blessings that have been given to me!

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Special Education

Lawrence Adutwum
Special Education Resources
P: (623) 707.2337
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Biography

About Lawrence Adutwum

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Andrea Czoka
Special Education Self-Contained K-2
P: (623) 707.2350
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Biography

About Andrea Czoka

Education

BS Special Education, MA Special Education

Experience

16 Years

Why I Teach

I love to watch students grow academically and socially. It truly is amazing to see their development throughout the school year—not just in their academics, but with social interaction with their peers. One of my passions in teaching is advocating for students as well as teaching them to advocate for themselves. I believe this a very important skill needed to become a successful, functioning member of society.

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Maria Googins
Special Education Self-Contained 3-5
P: (623) 707.2339
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Biography

About Maria Googins

Education

BA Education emphasis Special Education and Elementary Education, endorsement Structured English Immersion - Arizona State University

Experience

August 2017 to present, Phoenix, Arizona, Tuscano Elementary, third through fifth-grade special education teacher; spring 2017, Glendale, Arizona, Sierra Verde Elementary, third-grade student teacher; fall 2016, Phoenix, Arizona, Stetson Hills Elementary, K– special education student teacher; August 2012 to May 2015, Litchfield Park, Arizona, Thomas Heck Middle School, sixth- through eighth-grade special education instructional assistant

Why I Teach

I believe that every child comes to school ready to learn, yearning to be part of a whole, to be part of a community, to belong, and to have a place where he or she can contribute. I believe that every little human has the ability to learn all the concepts and skills that are taught in school. I believe that every child deserves the best quality education in academics, computer science, social norms and real-life problem-solving in a nurturing environment. I believe that with patience, knowledge, and the delivery of solid lessons, a child can learn at his or her level of ability and accomplish what he or she sets out to do. I teach because I want children to believe in themselves. I teach because my students need me to create an environment where they feel part of the community and they can contribute in a positive manner. I teach because children want to be successful in school and in the world of tomorrow. I teach because I believe in my students and their future, and I want to be part of that.

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Stephanie Perry
Special Education Resources
P: (623) 707.2337
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Biography

About Stephanie Perry

Education

BA Special Education K–12, BA Elementary Education K–6

Experience

I went back to school after my older son started school. I was not sure what I wanted to do. I tried a class for elementary education and I loved it. I started at Estrella Mountain Community College, and after I received my associate's degree, I transferred to ASU in the I-Teach program. It was an accelerated program. I was supposed to finish in a year and a half. I ended up pregnant with my younger son. I changed to the regular program and was able to finish in two years.

Why I Teach

This my third year teaching in special education. I like working with students in a small group. I enjoy working with a team to help a student overcome a struggle. My favorite groups are my social groups. We practice how to recognize our feelings and how to calm down when we are upset. We also practice how to accept the word "no" and to get along with others.

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Support Staff

Mary Bowman
Secretary
P: (623) 707.2301
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Biography

About Mary Bowman

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Wendy Castanon
Attendance Clerk
P: (623) 707.2302
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Biography

About Wendy Castanon

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Bertha Mendoza
Cafeteria Manager
P: (623) 707.2353
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Biography

About Bertha Mendoza

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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Gisela Wirth
Health Clerk
P: (623) 707.2305
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Biography

About Gisela Wirth

Education

Experience

Why I Teach

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