UCSB Teacher Education Program: Our current community of excellent teacher candidates

TEP Current Students

TEP Current Students

Alvarado, Natalia
Natalia Alvarado is a first-generation graduate student pursuing her Master of Education, as well as working on her Single Subject Teaching Credential for English in the Teacher Education Program. Natalia also hopes to earn her bilingual certification to teach classes in Spanish. She received her B.A. in English with minors in Spanish and Writing from the University of California, Merced in 2019. She has worked mentoring students at the undergraduate level as a Resident Assistant at UC Merced, also substituting in various elementary and high schools in the Merced District. As a high school English teacher, Natalia will ensure her students are exposed to various texts ranging from diverse backgrounds and cultures, including but not limited to Latinx, African-American, Indian, and Asian literature. Natalia can be reached at n_alvarado@ucsb.edu.

Andersen, Ryan
Ryan Andersen is a master’s student in the Gevirtz Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently studying mild to moderate learning disabilities. Ryan received his undergraduate degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles in the spring of 2018. After graduating, Ryan worked for Los Angeles Unified School District as a paraeducator and long-term substitute teacher where he discovered his passion for working with neurologically diverse kids. After graduating, Ryan hopes to work in the Bay Area with underserved children as an elementary resource teacher.

Arroyo, Gerardo
Gerardo Arroyo is a graduate student working to earn his Multiple Subject Credential at UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. Gerardo earned his B.A. in Philosophy from CSU Dominguez Hills. He also earned a M.A. in Philosophy from Long Beach State. Gerardo hopes to obtain a bilingual authorization in Spanish. He would like to teach in a dual language classroom

 

Banuelos, Christian
Christian is pursuing a Single Subject Teaching Credential for English and a Master of Education. In 2017 he received a B.A in German from UC Santa Barbara, along with a minor in Education and a minor in Art History and Architecture. Having experienced the difficulties and challenges of growing as a Chicano/Latino student whose parents had little to no education he would like to give back and help students in similar situations. After completing the master’s program he would like to go back home to the San Joaquin Valley and teach at a school with a large population of Chicanx/Latinx students whose parents may be immigrants and may not have the support or resources to help them succeed.

Barrett, Amanda
Amanda Barrett is pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a master’s degree in education in the Teacher Education Program. She completed her B.A. in History with a focus on Native American History at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. She previously worked in special education in the Goleta Union School District. Barrett’s current interests are exploring how people learn and inclusivity in the classroom. Her desire to foster an inclusive learning environment extends beyond a strict focus on special education. She would also like to create a strong classroom community that embraces people from varying backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, sexualities, and more.

Bicego, Katie
Katie Bicego is a teacher education candidate studying to earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with a B.A. in Film Studies and Music. During the time in between undergraduate and graduate school, Katie worked as a teacher’s aid at a wildlife rehabilitation center, earned a certificate in informal science education through a year-long program run by the science museum MOXI and UCSB Extension, volunteered in kindergarten classrooms, earned units in early childhood education through SBCC, and worked in the Explore Store at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Bruning, Jonathan
Jonathan is enrolled in the Teacher Education Program to receive his Master of Education and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in History/Social Science. He finished his undergraduate studies at UCSB with a major in Religious Studies and minors in Feminist Studies and Education. Jonathan believes that he can apply his background in Religious Studies and Feminist Studies to give a diverse perspective and interpretation of history. Currently he hopes to teach American or World History in a high school classroom in the Bay Area.

Cain, Alan
Alan Cain is a current student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education Teacher Education Program, pursuing a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science, and Master of Education. He completed his B.S. in Geology from UC Davis in 2008. Alan was inspired to go into teaching by his father, a former professor at Santa Barbara City College, and encouraged by his wife, also a teacher. Alan’s love of learning, knowledge and education as well as the wonder provided by watching his three year old daughter grow up and learn have all contributed to his desire to become a teacher as well. Alan hopes to bring his love of learning into the classroom and pass his enthusiasm onto all of his students.

Cantrell, Hannah
Hannah Cantrell is an M.Ed. candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, working towards her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She first earned her A.A. degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Education from Santa Barbara City College before transferring to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. At CLU she earned her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology. She is from Santa Barbara but resides in Santa Ynez, CA, where she completed her elementary and secondary education. She has been working in K-8 classrooms in the Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for the last five years. She wishes to teach at the 3-6 grade levels but is intrigued by the K-2 grade dynamics. Her interests include art, sports, music, and do it yourself craft projects. She may be reached at hlcantrell@ucsb.edu.

Cox, Connor
Connor is a teacher education candidate, working towards a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Connor graduated from Boise State University in 2015 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Before entering the teaching credential program, Connor worked for Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation in the after school program at Mckinley Elementary, and worked in their summer camp. Connor’s goal is to be an elementary school teacher for the middle elementary grades.
 

Craig, Teresa
Teresa Craig is a Teacher Education Program candidate pursuing her Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and Master of Education. In 2014, Teresa earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a TEFL certification from ITTO Guadalajara in 2015. Her past applied experiences include teaching English as a foreign language in Nicaragua with an NGO, employed as an instructional aid and 4th grade math teacher at a dual immersion Spanish-English charter school in her home town of Redding, California, and teaching English with the online company, VIPKID. Teresa has goals of working in K-3 grade levels with hopes of continuing to be involved in underserved communities both locally and abroad. Teresa can be reached at tcraig@ucsb.edu.

Cruse, Jason
Jason Cruse is a master’s student and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential candidate at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Art Studio. He lives in Goleta with his wife and son. He can be contacted at jasoncruse@ucsb.edu.
 

 

Cruz, Alex
Alexandra Cruz is a master’s student and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential candidate. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Criminology, Law, and Society, and in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has been living in Carpinteria for the past year and a half, working as a Substitute Teacher for the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Alex has pre-professional experience in classrooms ranging from TK classes to twelfth grade AP classes, and worked in classrooms of all subjects. In the past, Alex has interned for the UCI Police Department and was very involved in her high school leadership program. Alex is interested in working with K-2 grade classrooms and will be pursuing a supplemental Single Subject Credential in English. Alex Cruz can be reached at alexandracruz@ucsb.edu.

Daniels, Carley
Carley Daniels is a Teacher Education Program candidate pursuing both her Master of Education as well as an Education Specialist Credential to work with students with mild-moderate disabilities. Prior to entering the program, she attended undergraduate school at UCSB, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and a minor in Linguistics (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Her interest in Special Education was sparked by volunteering at Special Olympics events in high school, working as an Instructional Assistant for the Goleta Union School District, and her desire to see even the children who are often overlooked provided with the opportunity to feel loved, believed in, and pushed to reach their full potentials. Carley can be reached at cmdaniels@ucsb.edu.

DiPierro, Nicholas
Nicholas DiPierro is a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, pursuing a Master of Education as well as an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate disabilities. Nick received his Bachelor of Arts, Music Studies along with a minor in Educational Studies from UCSB in the summer of 2019. He credits college as the time and place that allowed him to pursue his passion for learning. He wishes to take this passion to those who continue to be neglected: special needs students and English Language Learners. It was during pre-professional work at Santa Barbara High School when Nick had the epiphany that the realities of most of these students did not align with the realities of the kids he went to high school with, and that the instruction in many general classrooms did not offer much to the non-traditionals. He will also seek to mix his knowledge and love for music with his instruction, something he believes is overlooked in most schools. He will be working with the Santa Barbara High School Marching band and their special needs students this upcoming year. He can be reached at nicholas.dipierro1@gmail.com.

Dreesen, Becky
Becky Dreesen is a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Master of Education with an emphasis in Teaching. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Global Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. Becky is passionate about providing a meaningful education alongside an emotionally stable and deeply connected classroom community for students, and desires to impact the lives of future generations by creating a space for students to feel known and cared for. She has spent pre-professional time in various elementary classrooms ranging from 1st to 5th grade, in both public and private education settings, in Goleta, Carpinteria, and San Diego, CA. Becky can be reached at rdreesen@ucsb.edu.

Elster, Katie
Katie Elster is a candidate in the Teacher Education Program (TEP) within the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, pursuing her Master of Education, along with her Multiple Subject Teaching (MST) Credential. In 2014, she received two Associate Arts degrees in Liberal Studies (Arts and Humanities & Social/Behavioral Sciences) from Santa Barbara City College. From there she transferred to Loyola Marymount University to attend their prestigious School of Film and Television, where she graduated in 2016, Cum Laude, with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Screenwriting, with an emphasis in Feature Film Writing, and a minor in Theatre Arts. After graduating from LMU, she spent a year interning and living the “struggling artist life” in Los Angeles, CA. During this time she worked as a Trainee at Columbia Pictures, within Sony Pictures Entertainment, in their Creative Production/Development Department. While she still loves the world of film and television, Katie elected to move back to her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA to pursue her career in teaching. She worked as a Lead Teacher and Dance Instructor at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center for two years, where she was also the Assistant Director and Choreographer for the My Gym Dance Program’s annual showcase. For the 2018-2019 school year, Katie held the position of the Dance/Music Specialist at El Camino Elementary School, where she simultaneously worked closely with Kindergarten, 3rd grade and 4th grade students in Learning Teams, Language Teams and Math Intervention groups. Katie can be reached at kelster@ucsb.edu.

Felix, Stephanie
Stephanie Felix is a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.Ed. in Education. She graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in June 2019, with a B.A. in English and Sociology, and a minor in Education. Stephanie has volunteered as a student teacher for religious education at St. Mark’s University Parish, and has tutored at Isla Vista Elementary and Brandon School (grades 1-5). She has also worked for the Undergraduate Mentorship Program at UCSB, mentoring first-generation freshmen and helping them adapt to college-level coursework. Her research interests include the impact of student-teacher relationships and classroom environment, and the experience of first-generation and immigrant students. Stephanie is passionate about bridging the academic disparities between privileged and out-sourced schools.

Ferrer, Noelle
Noelle Ferrer is a Single Subject Teaching Credential English/Language Arts candidate. She completed her B.A. in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an English major Noelle was an Arnhold Undergraduate Fellow and studied intersections between moral philosophy and the 20th century American novel. She has worked closely with students throughout the Santa Barbara Unified School District as a college advisor at San Marcos High School and as an in-classroom aid at La Cumbre Jr. High School. She has also done nonprofit work with the local nonprofit CAL-SOAP Santa Barbara, where she assisted with programs aimed to help under-represented students find resources for college admission and attendance pathways.

Flores, Eric
Eric Flores is currently attending the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Teacher Education Program, with hopes of becoming a special education teacher for children and adolescents with mild to moderate disabilities. Eric began his education journey in 2015 at Santa Barbara Community College and transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. He graduated from UCSB in June 2019, with a BA in History and a minor in Education. Eric’s passion for learning and his drive to help kids had led him to volunteer one summer at a camp for kids with special needs. This experience was paramount in guiding Eric’s career path, as it applied his leadership skills gained from the Marine Corps, to actively and positively interact with kids with special needs.

Fujimoto, Lauren
Lauren Fujimoto is a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, pursuing a Master of Education with an emphasis in Teaching, as well as a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Life Science. She received her B.S. in Ecology and Evolution with a minor in Education from UC Santa Barbara in 2019. She has pre-professional experience in first grade, AP and Honors Biology, and AP Environmental Science classrooms. She hopes to one day teach high school Biology and/or Environmental Science. Her long-term goal is to help her students get excited about scientific exploration and become scientifically literate members of society. In her free time she enjoys hiking, painting, and exploring nature. She can be reached at: lcfujimoto@ucsb.edu.

Hamilton, Taylor
Taylor Hamilton is a Teacher Education Program candidate with the goal of receiving her master’s degree in Education with a teaching credential in English. She received her B.A. in English from UCSB in 2017, and has since been spending her time working as an instructional assistant and substitute teacher for elementary school level students. She looks forward to finding herself back in the classroom again, and is open to teaching any junior or high school levels.
 

Hamman, Chris
Chris Hamman is a Single Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education candidate in UCSB’s Teacher Education Program. Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Education. He is interested in understanding the role of a teacher as a community leader as well as creating opportunities for students to connect to their environment.
 

Hampson, Kelsey
Kelsey Hampson is a current student in the Gevirtz School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Immediately before attending UCSB, she earned a BA in English and a minor in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in June of 2019. Kelsey is pursuing her Master of Education and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential to become an elementary school teacher. Throughout college, Kelsey worked as a summer school teacher for low-income communities in her Southern Orange County hometown and fueled her long-held passion for teaching. Other opportunities she has had to participate with the field of Education include teaching vacation bible school classes for churches in her area, establishing free, monthly reading programs for elementary school children at a local library and authoring her own children’s book. Kelsey hopes to be a positive light in her future students’ lives both in and out of the classroom. She cares about creating a space of encouragement, growth and empathy where all students feel seen. Kelsey would be more than happy to answer emails at khampson@ucsb.edu.

Hargrove, Lindsey
Lindsey is a Teacher Education Program student pursuing a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science, as well as a Master of Education. Lindsey received her undergraduate degree from USCB in 2019, where she earned a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution with a minor in Secondary Science and Mathematics Education. She also has a background and passion for environmental education, which she hopes to incorporate into her future science classes. She can be reached at hargrove00@ucsb.edu.

Hoch, Jared
Jared is a first year graduate student in the Teacher Education Program, and hopes to teach high school level physics. He attained his undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus in 2017. After completing this degree he left his lifelong home in the Midwest (Burnsville, MN) and drove to Santa Barbara to pursue a Ph.D. in Materials at UCSB. However, after spending time as a teaching assistant Jared decided his passions aligned more closely as an educator rather than a researcher. He attained his master’s degree in Materials with a focus on electrical/quantum materials and joined the credential program at UCSB. Jared hopes to make science attainable for everyone, and eradicate the phrase “I hate math” from the student’s vernacular.

Hudson, Alyssa
Alyssa Hudson is a Teacher Education Program candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is working towards an Education Specialist Credential with an emphasis in Mild/Moderate disabilities and Master of Education. Alyssa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with minors in Applied Psychology and Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2019). Throughout her undergraduate career, Alyssa worked as a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) educator for high-risk K-6 students at Harding University Partnership School. She also contributed to the START-YA autism intervention program at the Koegel Autism Center as a Research Assistant (2018-2019), as well as a captain of the Power of Play pro-social recess program led by Dr. Shane Jimerson (2017-2019). Alyssa’s research interests include improving intervention programs for children with learning disabilities through SEL strategies and expanding collaboration between general education and special education teachers. She can be contacted at ahudson@ucsb.edu.

Hutchison, Tessa
Tessa Hutchison is a first year Teacher Education Program student working on her Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics, as well as her master’s degree in Education. Her post-secondary education began at Allan Hancock College in Lompoc, CA. In 2017 she transferred to UCSB, and in 2019 graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Educational Studies. Tessa’s goal is to teach pre-calculus and calculus at the high school and community college levels. Tessa welcomes any and all inquiries at trh00@ucsb.edu.

Jaimes, Miranda
Miranda Jaimes is a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program through the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is pursuing her Master of Education with an emphasis in teaching while also working to complete her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara June 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Minor in Education. Miranda is a Santa Barbara native excited to work and learn in many of the same classrooms she grew up in and hopes to be as inspiring to her students as many of her early teachers where to her. Miranda can be reached at mjaimes@ucsb.edu.

Jimenez, Evely
Evely Jimenez is a Multiple Subject Teacher Education Program and M.Ed candidate in the Gervirtz School of Education. Evely Jimenez was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA. She is a first generation college student and completed her B.A. at UC Davis in Spanish and a minor in Education. Her experience as a Mentor for Wilderness Youth Project, mentor for the Program for Effective Access to College Program, and student support staff at Santa Barbara City College has helped her immerse herself in various educational settings, and has developed a diverse background in supporting children both in the outdoors and classroom. Her interests in language and community ignited a passion to support students in their education.

Jimenez, Makayla
Makayla Jimenez is currently a graduate student in the Gevirtz School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she will receive her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education. She recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies and a minor in Spanish in June of 2019. She hopes to become a primary school teacher within the southern California area. Through multiple educational and community opportunities, she has had the privilege of working with various children in diverse environments around the southern and central California areas. She is passionate about working with children and becoming a teacher, hoping to be a positive and influential role model to her future students.

Kausen, Ashlyn
Ashlyn Kausen is a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Candidate in the Teacher Education Program, also aiming to obtain her M.Ed. She received her B.A. in Mathematics with a minor in Educational Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019. She is from Exeter, California, a small town in the Central Valley. Ashlyn intends to return to the Central Valley to teach elementary students with the knowledge she gains from the Teacher Education Program. Ashlyn can be reached at akausen@me.com.

Keenan, Allison
Allison Keenan is a student in the Teacher Education Program through the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is pursuing an M.Ed with an emphasis in teaching, concurrent with a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She received her B.A. in Art History at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2002. She is pursuing a career in elementary teaching after a seventeen year career in residential lending. She can be reached at akeenan@ucsb.edu.
 

Leibelt, Gillian
Gillian Grace Leibelt is a master’s student and Single Subject Teaching Credential candidate in the Teacher Education Program at The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences with a minor in Educational Studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2019. She plans on teaching science, specifically life sciences, after she graduates in 2020. Gillian plans on staying local, hoping to teach somewhere along the Central Coast. She wishes to teach and learn whilst engaging and inspiring. Ultimately, she also desires to take her future students on adventures so that they can see the world in a whole new way.

Lenet, Whitney
Whitney Lenet is a member of the Teacher Education Program family pursuing a Master of Education and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and went on to teach English abroad in the Philippines. She returned to California to work in the publishing industry for several years, but Whitney felt called back to the classroom. A self-proclaimed “word nerd,” Whitney is excited to share her zeal for creative writing with her students. She also hopes to help her future classes understand the importance of language in their everyday lives, from formal presentations to digital messages. Whitney looks forward to making our schools a better place, starting with her classroom.

Limon, Alexia
Alexia Limon is a candidate in the Teacher Education Program at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is working toward her Master of Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She is a Santa Barbara native, and graduated from Dos Pueblos High School in 2012. She continued her studies at SBCC before completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at UC Santa Cruz in 2016. Alexia worked as a behavior therapist and case manager before she entered the Teacher Education Program. She is a first generation college graduate and interested in becoming an elementary school teacher at a dual-language immersion school. Alexia hopes to cultivate a holistic learning environment where she can inspire her students. She can be reached at alexialimon@ucsb.edu.

Lorenzano, Alejandrina
Alejandrina Lorenzano is a Single Subject Teaching Credential English candidate earning her Master of Education through the University of Santa Barbara Teacher Education Program. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Los Angeles in 2016. For two years, Alejandrina worked alongside the PEAC Program in the Santa Barbara School District, serving as a mentor and the PEAC site coordinator for Santa Barbara High School. As a first-generation Latinx student, Alejandrina is interested in working as a high school English and AVID teacher. She is the recipient of the PEAC Fellowship for Education. With support of the fellowship, Alejandrina hopes to close the achievement gap for low-income, first-generation students as they pursue higher education.

Lorenzano, Maria
Maria Lorenzano is a graduate student at the Gevirtz School of Education. She is currently working on her Master of Education and Single Subject Teaching Credential in English. A native Santa Barbarian, Maria attended San Marcos High School before pursuing a B.A. in English at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. After returning to Santa Barbara she worked primarily with K-6 grade students at Adelante Charter School as an A-OK (After School Opportunities for Kids) Leader for two years. During this time she has also worked at Girls Inc. and Summer Fun. However, she is currently a PEAC (Program for Effective Access to College) mentor for the sophomore A.V.I.D (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes at Dos Pueblos High School. She is a recipient of the newly started PEAC Fellowship and hopes to give back to the community that encouraged her love of teaching.

McLaughlin-Montero, Emily
Emily McLaughlin-Montero is currently a graduate student in the Teacher Education Program with an emphasis in Multiple Subjects K-6 education. She graduated in 2017 from UCSB with a B.A. in Sociology, where she gained experience in social and economic disparities. After graduating, she received her TEFL and taught ESL for two years to both children and adults in Madrid. Emily hopes to utilize her knowledge she has learned at both UCSB and abroad to inform her teaching. She hopes to introduce her students to both social and cultural issues to engage them in our increasingly global world.

McSwain, Ethan
Ethan McSwain is a master’s student in Education and a Mathematics Credential candidate in the Teacher Education Program. Ethan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with an emphasis in High School Teaching and a Minor in Mathematics Education from UCSB. He has pre-professional experience in local Junior High and High School algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, and AVID classes, and has been involved in Santa Barbara Community Church’s youth program for the last four years, mentoring a small group of nine freshman boys. In addition to teaching secondary mathematics, he has broad interests in Music, Graphic Arts, Athletics, and Board Games. Having both grown up in San Luis Obispo, California, Ethan and his wife, Taylor, now live in Santa Barbara. You can contact Ethan at emcswain@ucsb.edu.

Merritt, Daniel
Daniel Merritt is pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a master’s degree in Education in the Teacher Education Program. He completed his B.A. in Politics with a focus on Critical Theory at Whitman College in 2013. Prior to coming to TEP he worked for a year as a substitute teacher across all grades in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and three years as an AVID and ELD tutor in the Pomona Unified School District. Daniel is currently exploring how to integrate more project and community based learning into the classroom as well as promote dance and the arts in public schools. Daniel’s main goal as an educator is to serve students who are struggling. As an elementary school teacher, he hopes to create an inclusive and dynamic learning environment for his students that stimulates their curiosity and provides a strong foundation for success in their future academic and personal endeavors.

O’Neill, Liz
Liz O'Neill is a Teacher Education Program candidate pursuing a Single Subject Credential in Chemistry and M.Ed. She received a B.S. in Chemistry in 2017 from UCLA and an M.A. in Chemistry with a Chemical Education Emphasis from UCSB in 2019 under advisor Dr. Darby Feldwinn. Her M.A. work encompassed designing and piloting a 6th grade instructional module for a Santa Barbara science education outreach program called SciTrek. Through this work, she developed an interest in curriculum design, specifically targeting skills pertaining to analyzing and interpreting data. A Northern California native, Liz hopes to remain in California to teach high school chemistry and AP chemistry, as well as general chemistry at the community college level.

O’Sullivan, Natalie
Natalie O’Sullivan is a Teacher Education Program candidate pursuing a Single Subject Teaching Credential for Life Sciences and a Master of Education. Natalie attended Moorpark College receiving associate’s degrees in Natural Sciences, Biology and Chemistry before transferring to UCSB. At UCSB she received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, while also receiving a minor in Secondary Science and Math Education. Natalie hopes to expand her skill set by adding on certifications in Earth Science and Mathematics. Natalie intends to teach in Santa Barbara/Ventura County. Natalie may be reached at nosullivan@ucsb.edu.

Ong, Ashley
Ashley Ong is a Teacher Education Program candidate currently working on her M.Ed. She previously earned her bachelor's degree in Physics at UCSB. As a single subject specialist in physics, she wants to bridge the gap between creative thinking and logical problem solving, and help her students do the same. She can be contacted at ashleyong@ucsb.edu.

 

Ortiz, Madison
Madison Ortiz is a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, pursuing a master’s degree in Education as well as an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate disabilities. She received her undergraduate degree in English from CSU Channel Islands in 2018 with a special interest in Chicano/a literature, memoir as a form of healing, and poetry. Ms. Ortiz welcomes being contacted at madisonjeanortiz@gmail.com.
 

Remy, Morgan
Morgan Remy is a graduate student enrolled at the Gevirtz School of Education specializing in Multiple Subject Teaching. She completed her B.S. at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Liberal Studies. During her undergraduate degree, she spent time working in a variety of classrooms from 1st to 5th grade, as well as tutoring emergent bilinguals and homeschooling a differently-abled child. Before pursuing elementary education, she had studied and created for two years an undergraduate degree in visual arts, and hopes to bring that creativity into her classroom, by forming new solutions and inspiring students to think innovatively.

Rojas, Samantha
Samantha Rojas is a Teacher Education Program student aspiring to get her master’s degree and credential in Mathematics Education. She received her bachelor’s degree at the University of California where she majored in Mathematics and minored in Science and Mathematics Education. She is hoping to work specifically with junior high students to help pave their way into a successful educational career. She is bilingual and hopes to be working closely with English language learners so that no one is left behind.

Rubio, Trenton
Trenton Rubio is passionate about the outdoors, especially as they relate to science. He attended UCSB for his undergraduate education, where he received his B.S. in Aquatic Biology in 2018. Trenton is a member of the 2019-2020 UCSB Teacher Education Program cohort, receiving his teaching credential in Single Subject Science. He has experience teaching elementary school through college level students about Santa Barbara’s marine ecosystems through UCSB’s Marine Science Institute as well as teaching middle school mathematics. He is looking forward to pursuing his passions for science and education, with the goal of inspiring more kids and young people to be excited about science and continuing their education. Trenton may be reached at: trubio@ucsb.edu.

Sandoval, Bridget
Bridget Sandoval is a Single Subject Teaching and Master of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program. She received her B.A. in English from UCSB in 2013 and worked in the private sector for 3 years before deciding to pursue a career in education. Bridget has most recently worked for the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) as a substitute teacher. She was also a member of SBUSD’s District Language Assessment Team (DLAT). As a member of the DLAT, she served as a lead examiner administering the English Language Proficiency Assessment of California (ELPAC) to all TK-12 English Learners in the district. Bridget looks forward to working closely with students as they explore the English language and the power of the written word. She can be reached at bridget_sandoval@ucsb.edu.

Saso, Heidi Belle
Heidi Belle Saso is a master’s student in Education and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential candidate in the Teacher Education Program. Heidi earned her B.A. degree in Women’s Studies from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. For the past 5 years she has been teaching in Madrid, Spain. In her third year in Madrid, she earned a master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education, at the University of Alcala. Heidi looks forward to using her prior knowledge of bilingual education along with the knowledge she is gaining today with her future students. You can contact Heidi at heidibsaso@ucsb.edu.

Sayre, Blaine
Blaine Sayre is a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential candidate in UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. He received his B.A. in Music emphasizing in Jazz Piano Performance at the University of California, Irvine in June of 2019. Previously Blaine has worked with students ranging from first grade to college graduates in music education, vocal training and composition. He can be contacted at bsayre@ucsb.edu.
 

Seaman, Kalani
Kalani Seaman is a current Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.Ed candidate. She is from Yuba City, California and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Spanish. Kalani is passionate about helping children grow to love learning. The daughter of two teachers, Kalani has spent much of her life in the classroom where she was able to see first hand the impact teachers have on students’ lives. This year she looks forward to growing as a person and as a teacher. Kalani can be reached at kalanijan@gmail.com.

Serrano, Claudia
Claudia Serrano is a current student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is pursuing a Master of Education as well as a Single Subject Teaching Credential in History. Previously, she attended the University of California, Davis, where she earned her B.A. in History and Spanish as well as a minor in Education. Through her studies as well as her experience working with students in both Yolo county and Los Angeles county she was inspired to become an educator. Her interests include making the study of history more accessible, particularly to Migrant Students and English Language Learners in a secondary school setting. She hopes to instill a greater sense of community empowerment, and an understanding of intersectionality and social justice.

Simone, Kayla

Kayla Simone is a Teacher Education student, specializing in Multiple Subject Teaching for grades K-6 and pursuing a master’s degree in Education. She received her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education at CSU Northridge. While in Northridge, she spent time in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms, working with students to meet their academic and developmental goals. She also spent time at the Help Group center for autism, assisting classroom teachers with accomplishing IEP goals by mentoring students, leading activities and implementing lesson plans. She has directed and instructed in summer camps in California and abroad in Shenzhen, China. Through her experience, Kayla has become committed to providing a supportive and engaging learning environment tailored to students' developmental needs and learning styles.

Sleep, Paige
Paige Sleep is participating in the Teacher Education Program as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential candidate, while also pursuing her Master of Education. Prior to joining TEP, Paige completed her B.A. in Communication at UC Davis along with a minor in Education. This past year Paige had the opportunity to act as a TA in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms at Ellwood School. In the afternoons she co-led PE classes for K-6 grades. It was in these experiences, where she was challenged to be her best every day, that solidified her decision to become a teacher. She looks forward to more challenges and cannot wait for the year to come.

Spencer, Rhett
Rhett Spencer is a Teacher Education Program candidate, pursuing a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Chemistry as well as a Master of Education. He received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico in 2014. After his undergraduate work he spent two years teaching natural and physical sciences at AstroCamp - an outdoor education facility located in Idyllwild, California - and another two years working as a Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest Service in northern New Mexico. During this time he discovered that he is interested in student-focused and student-driven holistic learning, in fostering spaces for learning that are accessible to all students, and in connecting what students are learning in the classroom to personal contexts and communities. You may reach him at rwspencer@ucsb.edu.

Stark, Lindsay “Say”
Say Stark is a Teacher Education Program Candidate pursuing her M.Ed and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Chico, and completed many education courses at Cal Poly, before settling in beautiful Santa Barbara. She has worked in elementary schools for over 14 years as a substitute teacher, instructional aide, and after school program director. Most recently she worked for 5 years at Cold Spring School, and 1 year at Montecito Union before entering the program. Her desire to see that spark of excitement when a student works hard to learn something new and overcomes his/hers own challenges, is what motivates Say most. She feels that the classroom is her natural habitat and is looking forward to leading a classroom in the future that develops community and positive collaboration. Say is also especially interested in issues of educational equity, promoting safe learning environments, and curriculum development.

Stark, Tanner
Tanner Stark is a Teacher Education Program candidate working on his Master of Education with a teaching credential in History and Social Science. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and has a background in the military as an Army officer. He has spent eight years in the California National Guard serving as a Platoon Leader in Qatar and a Fire Direction Officer for an artillery battery in Lodi, CA. Before attending UCSB Tanner worked as a Substitute Teacher for the Lompoc Unified School district for eight months, teaching in classrooms ranging from 2nd to 12th grade, including Resource and Special Needs classrooms. He can be reached at ttstark@ucsb.edu.

Stepanek, Hannah
Hannah is currently enrolled in the Teacher Education Program as a candidate to earn her Single Subject Teaching Credential in Math, as well as a master’s degree in Education. She graduated from Cal Poly, SLO in 2018 with a B.S. in Liberal Studies and a concentration in Math, and hopes to teach math at the high school level. After spending a year substitute teaching in San Luis Obispo she feels inspired and prepared for the challenges associated with teaching. Her summers spent working at various camps as a counselor and instructor have developed her passion for working with teenagers and she’s excited to develop meaningful and nurturing relationships with her future students.

Stupar, Kyler
Kyler is a Single Subject Teaching Credential (Math) and M.Ed. candidate. She hopes to return to her hometown, Oxnard, CA, to teach math at her former high school, Pacifica, after completing the program. Before beginning the Teacher Education Program, Kyler graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Mathematics and an emphasis in high school education in 2019. During her undergrad, Kyler was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on campus and worked as the General Manager of Gold Coast Gymnastics in Ventura. She plans to continue involvement with both as she completes her graduate education. She may be reached at kjstupar@ucsb.edu.

Thomas-Tomala, Justine
Justine Thomas-Tomala is a Single Subject Teaching Credential (History and Social Science) and M.Ed candidate at Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Justine graduated cum laude with program honors in Anthropology from California State University Channel Islands in May of 2019. She also has extensive professional experience in mortgage banking and business management. Her research interests include Latino educational achievement, focusing on the intersecting challenges these students face and building social resilience. She hopes to teach ethnic studies and world history in her hometown of Oxnard, California. Justine can be reached at justinethomas-tomala@ucsb.edu.

Toomey, Hollyn
Hollyn Toomey is a student in the Teacher Education Program pursuing a M.Ed. and Education Specialist Credential, focused on mild to moderate disabilities. Hollyn received a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Education from UC Santa Cruz in 2017. Hollyn worked as an undergraduate research assistant in a developmental psychology lab at UCSC, which sparked her interest in child development. After graduating, she worked as a paraprofessional in schools for two years in Santa Cruz, and then in San Diego. She gained experience working with students with a wide range of disabilities and students who are English language learners. She also supported general education students as an assistant teacher. Hollyn is specifically interested in working as an Education Specialist at the elementary school level in an inclusion classroom or as a resource specialist. She is passionate about inclusivity and meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Valdez, Kevin
Kevin Valdez is a Single Subject Teaching Credential (Science) and Master of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Science and Math Education. He is driven to bring science literacy into his classrooms and also to provide his students with a sense of stewardship and appreciation with the world around them. Kevin can be reached at kevaldez@ucsb.edu.

Valdovinos Diaz, Patricia S.
Patricia S. Valdovinos Diaz is currently pursuing her Single Subject Teaching Credential in English and her master’s degree at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019 where she majored in English, specializing in Literature and the Mind, and minored in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Education. After completing her master’s degree, she hopes to go back to her hometown and work with high school seniors to guide them on the right path to their adulthood. She aims to create an all around inclusive classroom that encompasses students of all demographic backgrounds and identities. Her passion for teaching stemmed from a young age of five when she arrived to the United States and was helped by her very first teacher to understand and adjust to the American culture and learn the English language—this is when she noted the impact a teacher can have on a child’s life. She hopes to have this same impact on her future students by inspiring them to learn, helping them follow their dreams, and being a resource that they can count on in a time of need.

Van Riper, Michelle
Michelle Van Riper is a Teacher Education Program candidate pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Master of Education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in June of 2015. During her time at Cal Poly, she also worked as a respite caregiver for children with autism and interned as an instructional aide in a special day preschool classroom, which is where she found her passion for teaching. After graduating, she gained classroom experience by working as a paraeducator in a special day kindergarten classroom for two years. She took a break from teaching and began traveling and gaining some life experience but inevitably found herself back in the classroom, substitute teaching in the tiny, high-desert town of Bishop, CA. Her current goal is to gain the tools needed to be an inclusive and inspiring elementary school teacher through her coursework and student teaching in TEP at UC Santa Barbara. She is expected to graduate in June 2020 and hopes to return to the Eastern Sierra and teach second grade. Michelle can be reached at michellevanriper@ucsb.edu.

Walsh, Erin
Erin Walsh is a Single Subject Teaching Credential (English) and M.Ed candidate in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and a minor in English. She hopes to implement interdisciplinary practices in an English context, and is interested in the role of writing across all subjects. She worked for various departments across UCSB during her undergraduate career, including with Orientation and Parent Programs as an Orientation Leader, and as a Program Assistant with Gaucho FYI. Most recently, she worked in the Special Education field as a paraeducator at Dos Pueblos High School. Ultimately, Erin wants to work within the school system to advocate for educational equality, and give every student the opportunity to thrive.

Wiman, Kira
Kira Wiman is a recent graduate from California Lutheran University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology. This path led to the University of California Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program. She is currently pursuing a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education. Once graduated, she hopes to have the opportunity to teach one of the upper elementary grades in a public school setting. Kira’s teaching mission is to engage, mentor and inspire students, by creating a safe, open, inclusive and creative active learning environment that will always allow students to reach a world of infinite possibilities.