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Faculty

Faculty

Meet Your Staff

Teachers

NCLB Compliance: Our K-8th grade teachers are all highly qualified and credentialed in their subject areas.

John Foley, 1st Grade Lead Teacher: John is an OCS founding K-1 teacher. He is a graduate of Antioch University’s teaching credential program. Previous to becoming an elementary teacher, John taught preschool children in Santa Monica, was the national exhibits coordinator for the Whole Life Expo, he was Managing Director of a 4 house 99 seat theater complex in Hollywood and worked for various non-profit organizations. John is passionate about gardening and is the founder of the Garden Program at OCS to help make our world a greener place to be! John served for 2 years as the faculty rep for the OCS Board of Directors and is currently a mentor for teachers completing their Clear Credential programs both at OCS.

Vanessa Lopez, TK/Kindergarten Lead Teacher: Vanessa is a founding teacher of Our Community School. She completed her credential and Master’s program from Phoenix University. Prior to becoming a lead teacher she was a teaching assistant for many years and an after school program director. Vanessa, her husband, and two daughters (Samantha and Juliana) live locally. Samantha will be starting 2nd grade this school year. Outside of work, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and dancing.



Hien Le, 2nd Grade Lead Teacher: Hien joins OCS in 2015. Hien is a founding teacher of Yav Pem Academy Charter School in Sacramento as a first grade teacher. She has worked with kids in various capacities since 1994. Hien is a proponent of home visits as a means to bridge her students’ experiences between home and school. Hien worked with various grade levels and has been an intervention teacher to support students performing below grade level. Hien is energetic, warm and loves to share her enthusiasm and heart with her students. She is a graduate of Sacramento State University and received her Master of Arts in Teaching (Multicultural/Social Justice) from Fresno State University.

Kim Krell, 3rd Grade Lead Teacher: Kim has taught 3rd grade at OCS since 2009. She and Robin have a very strong partnership and they co-plan their curriculum. She taught at another charter school in 2002 and completed her teaching credential at CSUN. After taking several years off to take care of her young children, she returned to the classroom and joined OCS in 2008 as an assistant. Kim is married with 2 daughters; Sara and Emily.

Robin Greene, 3rd Grade Lead Teacher: Robin Greene received his California teaching credential from CSUN in May 2008 and became an OCS third grade teacher in the 2008-2009 school year. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Robin as he did his student teaching in our 2nd grade class in the spring 2008 with Hilary as his mentor teacher. Robin enjoys sports such as basketball, football, boxing, and bowling. Robin has grown up in the San Fernando Valley and he likes to spend time with his family on the weekends. He is currently enjoying being a parent to baby, River with his wife, Lauren, our 7th grade Humanities teacher.

Shawn Vasquez, 4th Grade Lead Teacher: Shawn has a BA in Economics and received her teaching credential from CSUN. She joined the OCS staff in 2011 as a co-substitute teacher for a long term maternity leave assignment. After that she continued on as an associate teacher in fourth grade before becoming a lead teacher in fourth grade at OCS in the fall of 2012. Prior to joining OCS, Shawn worked for LAUSD for 6 years with the majority of her time spent as a fourth and fifth grade instructional aide. In her spare time Shawn enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, and watching her sons play baseball.

Jenna Adoree, 4th Grade Lead Teacher: Jenna graduated from CSUN’s credential program in 2008 and graduated with a BA in Communications/Advertising from Pepperdine University in 2006. Jenna became the OCS lead teacher in 4th grade in the spring of 2011 when she took over for a teacher on maternity leave and has been there ever since. Jenna has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and played Division 1 soccer through college at Pepperdine University. Jenna was our first soccer coach at OCS starting in the spring of 2012. She is an involved aunt to twin nieces, enjoys the reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance (and says she wishes she had enough skill to be on it!) Jenna and her husband have a happy baby boy named Hudson.

Claudia Gutierrez, 5th Grade Lead Teacher: Claudia received a degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2009 and then went on to get her teaching credential at CSUN. She completed her student teaching in Cat’s 6th grade class in December of 2010 and then began working as an assistant teacher in the 4th grade. She co-taught a long term maternity leave position with Shawn Vazquez in the fall of 2011 before becoming the second grade Associate Teacher in the fall of 2012. Claudia supported the 1st grade when she took a long time sub position in the spring of 2013 before accepting the 5th grade position for the upcoming school year. Claudia enjoys baking during her free time. She has also competed and taught amateur level ballroom dancing since 2006 and hopes to teach ballroom dance at the elementary school level.

James Bisset, 5th Grade Lead Teacher: James joins OCS in 2015. He comes to us highly recommended as a student teacher in 1st grade at Community Magnet Charter School and 3rd grade at CHIME Institute. Also, James has been a substitute teacher in several grade levels at CHIME. James attended Aberdeen University in Scotland and received his credential from Cal State, Northridge through the Accelerated Collaborative Teacher Preparation Program. James has been a teaching assistant in India and worked in schools in New Zealand. James believes teaching should be a conversation and a process between student and teacher where questions are welcomed.

Hilary Anderson, 6th Grade Lead Teacher: Hilary is a founding teacher of OCS. She is a graduate of Antioch University’s teaching credential and Masters of Education program. This will be Hilary’s 11th year of teaching. She has taught a combination K/1 class, straight 1st, and then 2nd grade. Hilary enjoys activities such as lazy Sunday afternoons with her husband Todd and son Colby, who attends OCS. She is also a fan of California Native landscaping, karaoke, and watching bad movies with friends.

Lauren Greene, 7th Grade Humanities Teacher: Lauren taught as a lead 6th grade teacher at OCS for two years before moving into the 7th grade Humanities 2014. Lauren is a graduate of Pepperdine University’s teaching credential and Master’s of Education program. She has two credentials one multiple subject and one single subject (History). She spent the 2010-2011 school year as an Associate Teacher helping in the 5th grade. Prior to working at OCS she had five years of experience working with students as a teacher’s assistant, student teacher, and associate teacher. She enjoys traveling with her family camping, fishing, and rafting during the summer vacation. She is mom to baby, River with husband Robin, our 3rd grade teacher.

Karen Orland, 7th and 8th Grade Math Teacher: Karen comes to us from Pinecrest Schools where Karen has taught for over twenty years. Karen has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to engage her students and share her passion for math. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSUN and a single subject credential in math from the University of La Verne. Karen enjoys crafting and attending sporting events.

Doug Fowler, Planet Bravo TK-8 Technology Teacher: Doug comes to us after serving two summers as youth coding instructor at PlanetBravo’s Techno-tainment Camp. Last year, Doug was the computer teacher at both Juan Cabrillo Elementary School in Malibu and Topanga Elementary. Doug continues his role at Cabrillo this year one day a week, but joins us Mondays through Thursdays teaching the technology curriculum at Our Community School. Doug graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from the Art Institute of California in Video Game Art and Design. He was with the Boy Scouts until he was 20, and has led numerous activities for students in both the Scouts and his church. Doug looks forward to joining the school and sharing his love for technology with the students.

Assistant Teachers/Paraprofessionals:

Rachael Heller, TK/Kindergarten Assistant Teacher: Rachael Heller is a returning teaching assistant. We were lucky enough to have her join our team in October 2014 where she worked in the fourth grade. Rachael is a student at Antioch University and did her first student teaching assignment in at OCS while in the fourth grade before taking on the 1st grade assistant position for this school year. Rachael will do her final student teaching assignment in the 1st grade and be a credentialed teacher by the end of the first semester!


Marlene Lopez, 1st Grade Assistant Teacher: Marlene is a graduate from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Marlene has worked in an array of child care facilities including the West Valley Boys and Girls Club. She worked with school age children, ages 7-9, and has a vast knowledge of child development through her experience there. She has also worked at a daycare center where she implemented developmentally appropriate educational activities for both indoor and outdoor learning environments for children ages 3-6. In addition, Marlene has experience in tutoring as she worked at an after school learning center for children. She was in charge of helping students in grades K-8 with math and English. Marlene is currently a volunteer for the CSUN Helpline in which she communicates and listens to people in need. Through Helpline, she has gained conflict resolution skills as well as the patience that is needed when dealing with difficult situations. Marlene is excited to be working with children and provide a safe learning environment for the students at OCS.

Johanna Calderon, 2nd Grade Assistant Teacher: Johanna has been working with O.C.S. for the last 3 years as a teacher assistant to the kindergarten and 1st grade classes. She works with students in the classroom and on the playground. Johanna enjoys working with the kids and making a difference in each one of their lives as she interacts with them daily on a one on one basis. She is married and has 2 children: Katheryne a student at Granada Charter High School and a graduate of OCS and Daniel is going into 7th grade here at OCS. She has been an active parent helping in our community and volunteering in different activities like our Spring Faire.

Candyce Bradley, 3rd Grade Assistant Teacher: Candyce is eager to join OCS this year. She attends Pierce College pursuing her General Education credits and plans to complete a degree in Child Development in the near future to prepare for leading her own classroom one day.

Josh Cabrillos, 4th Grade Assistant Teacher: Josh has a BA in Asian American Studies from Cal State Northridge. He was first brought in the spring of 2013 working with third grade. When he is not working at OCS, he volunteers at an open mic space in downtown LA as a volunteer coordinator. He has enjoying worked assisting with our OCS sports program.

Jennifer Diaz, 5th Grade Assistant Teacher: Jennifer Susana Diaz is a current graduate from the University of California, Riverside. Jennifer obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and aspires to further her education in the educational field so she plans to apply for the teaching credential program at CSUN. Jennifer’s journey in the educational field started during her high school years. She participated in programs such as the future teacher academy, leadership, and college summit were she actively engaged in coordinating events to get her peers interested in college and school activates. However, her involvement and enthusiasm for education did not stop there, during college she volunteered to mentor and tutor students at Sylmar biotech and the Cesar Chavez Community Center in Riverside. To widen her skills Jennifer is learning American Sign Language.

Specialists:

Robin Hottenstein, Intervention Support Teacher: Robin earned her credential and her Master’s degree in Education at the University of Phoenix in Woodland Hills. She has worked in after school care and mentoring programs and has been an associate teacher in second grade while working at OCS. She is a strong small group teacher in the tutoring and remediation program. This year Robin will continue to work as an assistant and as our literacy support teacher. She is also the CELDT (California English Language Development Test) coordinator. She loves reading, hiking, dancing and playing tennis.

Justin Lowman, TK-8th Grade Art Teacher: Justin is an OCS parent and co-founder of PCA (Parents Collaborating for the Arts). He has served in various leadership roles at OCS. In 2015, joined OCS as a staff member. Justin received BAs in Art History and Classical Humanities from University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Special Education:

Annette Davis, Special Education Resource Teacher: Annette comes to us with a several years of experience working with students with special needs. She has a Multiple Subject credential and taught elementary grades before earning her Preliminary Mild to Moderate and Moderate to Severe teaching credentials. She is currently working on a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Inclusion. Annette provides curriculum support for students, teachers, and administrators in the area of both general and special education. She is part of the OCS special education team and is responsible for writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and assists with the implementation of IEP goals and objectives. She currently works with our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students and teachers. Annette is a big sports fan and can be found at various ice rinks around the States watching her son play junior ice hockey whenever she gets the opportunity. She loves reading, comedies, and being outdoors.

Samantha Mei, Special Education Resource Teacher: Samantha Mei, Resource Specialist- Samantha has been part of the OCS family since 2012 and started working as a Resource Specialist teacher in October of 2014. Samantha earned her B.A., Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Mild/Moderate Special Education Credential, and a Masters in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. Samantha taught for 7 years before taking a break from teaching to start a family. She is a proud mom of two boys that attend OCS.

Sonya Foster, Special Education Resource Teacher: Sonya grew up in Simi Valley, California. She attended California State University Northridge where she attained her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. She then attended California State University Los Angeles to complete a Multiple Subject teaching credential. Sonya went on to teach in the Los Angeles Unified School District as an elementary school teacher. She is always looking for new opportunities to learn so she left the classroom after 6 years and became a Math Coach. This position gave her the opportunity to teach other elementary teachers how to use manipulatives and exploration in the classroom during Mathematics. Sonya took a break from the profession to raise her young children. During this time she decided to pursue another credential in Special Education from California Lutheran University. She got the opportunity to work in a variety of settings in Ventura County, with her primary focus being on working with students in the Autism Spectrum. Sonya returned to the classroom where she taught at the middle school level in Simi Valley. She looks forward to the new school year and to sharing her love of learning with her new students at Our Community School.

Karina Ortiz, Assistant Teacher (SPED): Karina is a lover of education with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and is a member of CSUN’s History Honor Society. She is a returning employee to OCS working toward gaining more one-on-one experience in resource as a Behavioral Interventionist and resource aide. Last year, she helped Valerie and Janett as an office assistant and helped run the lunch program. She also assisted Annette as a resource aide for the upper grades. Karina has a son, Karmine, who is in the third grade attending another school. They love any opportunity to learn by visiting zoos, libraries, and museums. In her spare time, Karina also enjoys volunteering at a local high school tutoring students in English and History, as well as assisting them with college preparation such as essay writing, to filling out financial aide. She is looking forward to a great new year and is happy being a part of OCS staff.

Amber Batarse, Assistant Teacher (SPED): Amber has 16 years of experience working with children, including eight years’ experience working with children with special needs. Amber received her Associates Degree in Child Development from Moorpark College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from CSUN. Amber is married with four sons; Amber’s oldest has just begun his junior year of high school, her stepsons are beginning their sophomore year of high school, and her youngest is 20 months. Amber is excited to be joining the staff at OCS and is looking forward to a fantastic school year!

Facilities:

Plant Manager, Fred Casillas: Fred started with OCS as our super handyman and has been our Plant Manager since 2010. Prior to coming to OCS, Fred was a Facilities Manager at a temple here in the Los Angeles area. His primary responsibilities are to ensure that our campus is safe and that all repairs are done quickly, accurately and follow all compliance codes necessary. You can often see Fred zooming around campus while working on multiple projects all at once! He is creative, thoughtful, and very meticulous about his work at OCS and is a great asset to our school community.

Facilities Assistant, Sofia Guerrero: Sofia is one of our custodial staff members and goes above and beyond to ensure that our campus is clean and safe for our students, staff, and parents. She works evenings and never leaves anything untouched! You can often see Sofia interacting with the students and staff as she attempts to teach many of us a bit of conversational Spanish! Gracias, Sofia!

Facilities Assistant, Netty Mendoza: Netty is one of our night custodians and works hard at his job. He helps with the cleaning of the classrooms but can also be seen doing those extra jobs like cleaning out our rain gutters or retrieving balls and Frisbees that have made their way to our rooftops! He is incredibly friendly and never misses an opportunity to say hello or flash a smile! Netty is a busy man and also has a facilities day-job working for the City of Los Angeles.