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Administration & Faculty
DIRECTOR Mr. Ruben Diaz Ruben.Diaz@bridgescharter.org
CURRICULUM SPECIALIST Juliet Herman Juliet.Herman@bridgescharter.org
KINDERGARTEN Tina Lorch Tina.Lorch@BRIDGEScharter.org
A seed was planted in Tina in the early 70’s as a student in a team-taught 4th-6th grade "open classroom" in Oxnard, California. The walls of three classrooms were opened and the team was facilitated by 3 male teachers.
Before she knew it, she had graduated from the University of California at Davis with her BS in Child/ Human Development. She continued her education at San Francisco State University and earned a Masters Degree in Special Education and a Communication Handicapped Credential with an emphasis on teaching the Deaf and Hearing- Impaired. READ MORE>
KINDERGARTEN Tori Cervantes Tori.Cervantes@BRIDGEScharter.org
Tori always new she had a passion to teach children. As a child she spent much of her time mentoring children as a Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award. Before coming to BRIDGES, Tori taught in private preschool programs for fourteen years, which included several years as a Lead Teacher at Camp Amgen . Her philosophy of education is to make sure that she nourishes the whole child, which mirrors BRIDGES’ philosophy. Children learn more from hands on activities than from a book and questions. Teaching students how to learn and problem solve are key concepts. The role of the teacher is to facilitate a learning environment where children feel empowered to learn. Mutual respect amongst students and teachers with open communication are key components in maintaining an effective learning environment. READ MORE>
KINDERGARTEN Teresa Williams Teresa.Williams@BRIDGEScharter.org
Teresa has been working with children and their families here in the Conejo Valley since 1996. She was inspired to teach after working as a parent volunteer both in the classroom and through the parks & rec. programs. She taught primary physical education at Banyan Elementary for four years before enlisting in the AmeriCorps program. This two year commitment included training in the field of child development and family resource services. READ MORE>
1st GRADE Marsi Gore Marsi.Gore@BRIDGEScharter.org
Marsi was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and received her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge. She later earned her Master in Education in Crosscultural Teaching.
Many Bridges families know her from Horizon Hills where she started as a parent in the program and went on to teach there for 7 years. She often joked that her daughter moved on and she stayed. During her time at Horizon Hills, Marsi focused on the importance of whole child education, conflict resolution, S'cool Moves and Positive Discipline.
Marsi believes very strongly in creating a joy-filled, positive and experiential learning environment that will keep her students enthusiastic and eager to come to class.
Marsi enjoys hanging out at the beach, cooking and baking, reading and above all, spending time with family and friends.
1st GRADE Heather Wood Heather.Wood@bridgescharter.org
2nd/3rd GRADE Elena Perez Elena.Perez@BRIDGEScharter.org
Elena began working with children over ten years ago as a mentor and tutor for young teens in the San Fernando Valley while she was attending Pepperdine University in Malibu. Soon, Elena discovered a passion for working with young people and helping them meet their social, emotional, and educational needs.
After graduation Elena spent several years at the Multicultural Learning Center in Canoga Park, a Dual Immersion independent charter school with LAUSD. Elena also spent several years at MUSE School, a Reggio inspired project based learning school. At these schools Elena has been able to share her passions of languages, constructivist, and progressive education.
Elena is a spirited and knowledgeable educator who cares deeply about her students and the school community. Elena’s classroom is infused with a strong sense of community and mutual respect. She invigorates her students with her natural joy for life and curiosity.
Elena’s students become particularly excited about reading and writing, through Elena’s own passion and commitment to literacy. She has trained with Lucy Calkins at the Reading and Writing Institute at Columbia University since 2005. This year she is excited to share her passions at BRIDGES by training, collaborating, and working with teachers and students.
2nd GRADE Debi Greene Debi.Greene@BRIDGEScharter.org
Debi Greene graduated from Cal State University Northridge. She went on to earn her teaching credential at Cal Lutheran University where she is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Education. Debi spent the last few years teaching in the Moorpark Unified School District, including a K/1 classroom. She also has extensive background in the health food industry, and believes strongly that exercise and nutrition play a huge role in academic success. READ MORE>
3rd GRADE Heather Ryan Heather.Ryan@BRIDGEScharter.org
4th/5th GRADE Karissa Taylor Karissa.Taylor@BRIDGEScharter.org
Karissa somehow always knew that she would one day be a teacher. Throughout her childhood Karissa always loved school and would even create her very own classroom at home, complete with lesson plans and even snack time with anyone who was gracious enough to participate. Upon entering Pepperdine University, Karissa immediately enrolled in the Teacher Education program and loved it from the start! She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Sociology as well as a multiple subject credential and a single subject credential in English. READ MORE>
4th/5th GRADE Martin Cook Martin.Cook@bridgescharter.org
My name is Martin Cook, the new 4th & 5th Grade Math & Science teacher. I am an experienced educator with over 20 years teaching experience , 12 years in the Santa Barbara county area, and, before that, 10 years in the UK. I have taught 5th Grade for the last 7 years at Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, a K-8 school serving the Santa Ynez Valley community. I am very happy to be at Bridges Charter School.
I am a progressive, innovative, organized, and hard-working teacher. I have a child centered philosophy based on high expectations and building strong, trusting relationships with students and their families. I have extensive experience of meeting the high expectations of families in a variety of communities. I have taught in a range of schools, (De Anza Middle school, Ventura, Adams Elementary, and La Cumbre Junior High school, Santa Barbara), a K-8 private school (Ojai Valley school), and at Santa Ynez Valley Charter for the last 7 years.
As the 4th/5th Grade teacher, I provide a rigorous, innovative, and inclusive program, based on recognised best practices and the experience gained in over 20 years as an Educator. Additionally I am committed to serving the educational, social, and emotional needs of my students.
I actively practice 'Council' and conflict resolution techniques. I also have in my portfolio extensive outdoor education experience, 10 years as a PE teacher/Coach, a musical background (I used to be a professional musician), as well as a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from UCSB. Early in my career I travelled around the world and observed and participated in learning communities in Africa, Asia, and Central America.
Middle School- Humanities Jose Fernandez Jose.email@example.com
Middle School- Science Micah Hagan Micah.Hagan@bridgescharter.org
Middle School - Math Cindy Beard Cindy.Beard@BRIDGEScharter.org
Coming from Texas with her southern draw and warm smile Cindy brings with her over 25 years teaching experience at the Middle School level. One of her biggest strengths is her love and enthusiasm for working with children. She also realizes in today’s complex society it is important and critical to address the whole child. With such a highly competitive job market, she believes the educational system should work towards continual development of an environment, which inspires every participant to life-long learning as a responsible and productive member of an ever-changing world. She understands the need to not only address how society affects us but how we affect the world around us. She believe that educators should be caring, while having a high expectation of student success. As an educator, she believes in the need to accept that times are changing. That we must understand our students’ needs and be prepared to address and produce students that can think for themselves, are career and/or college ready, and have the ability to accomplish their goals. She believes it is her job to facilitate learning from experiences and engage her students in meaningful reflection. Each child comes to the classroom with their own unique experiences and will take away from the classroom what is relevant to them. As an educator she understands and believes she can be the backbone to each and every student’s success As a teacher educating 21st century learners, it has become her focus to be sure her classroom incorporates a project-based curriculum for life, aimed at engaging students in addressing real-world problems, issues important to humanity, and questions that matter. She is appreciative for children that walks in to her classroom and opens their mind, body, and spirit to her. She has learned so much from her students and looks forward to each and every knew learning experience that lies ahead. She will always treasure the lasting imprints they leave in her heart.
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