Los Angeles Unified School District Local District 4

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A. SAGE Design Team

I. Design Team Members:
1. Max Mackendrick Lead Teacher/English Literature

2. Walter Pineda   Coordinator/Social Studies

3. Rosa E. Campos Coordinator/English Literature

4. Mike Parker Administrator/Counselor

5. Eileen Bustos English Literature

6. Alonso Rolland-Estrada   Foreign Language

7. Rosa Parra Foreign Language

8. Elena Dontsova   Foreign Language

9. Yubani Sosa Pineda   Social Studies

10. Gloria Lewyn English Literature

11. Katharine Carver Art

12. Nancy Le ICS/Chemistry

13. Veronica Galang Science/Biology

14. Elmerito Sy Mathematics

15. Jamoon Song Health/Life Skills/Mathematics

16. Alberto Castro Mathematics

17. Chantile Emerick Special Education

18. Benjaman R. Mendoza Special Education

19. Ron Ayson Special Education

B. Additional Facilitators:
II. Student Advisors:
Crystal Rivera Student Advisor/Student Governor

Andy Hernandez Student Advisor/Student Governor

III. Parent Advisor:
Manuel Herrera Parent Advisor
IV. Supplemental Faculty Higher Education and Community Support:

Mr. Jose Camacho Resource Opportunity Program Educator

C. SAGE Design Team Member Biographies:

Max Mackendrick Lead Teacher/English Literature

Currently in his fourth year at Belmont Sr. High, he graduated with a full teaching credential, and a strong interest in Linguistics, from the College of Education at California State University Northridge in 1992. “Young people are of special interest to me because of the changing world of communication technologies and the effects migrants have on everyone in our community.” Max believes that culture and heritage are important aspects to how we learn and grow and cannot be separated from teaching.

Walter Pineda   Coordinator/Social Studies

Mr. Pineda obtained his B.A. in Social Science with a Minor in History as well as a Professional Clear Credential from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1995 and 2004, respectively. In 2002, he graduated from The University of Texas in Austin with an M.A. in Latin American Studies and Minor in Government. Currently, Pineda teaches World History and Geography, United States History, and U.S. Government at Belmont Senior High in Los Angeles. He is also one of two coordinators for the School of Awareness and Global Education (SAGE), the latest small learning community at Belmont.

Rosa E. Campos Coordinator/English Literature

Rosa E. Campos has been teaching English at Belmont High School for two years. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in English and Spanish Literature from the University of California, San Diego. She holds a Single Subject Credential with a BCLAD emphasis from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she continues to work on a Masters degree in Education. “I am excited about Small Learning Communities because of the great potential for personalization, cooperation, and ownership of the teaching/learning experience for both teachers and students.”

Yubani Sosa Pineda   Social Studies

A graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, Sosa received a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in history from Occidental College in May 2000. Sosa holds a BCLAD credential in Spanish from Cal State University, Los Angeles. He has been teaching Social Studies at Belmont for 5 years. At Belmont he has been involved in the Social Justice Academy, Shared Decision Making Council, as an advisor to the Social Justice Club, and served as co-sponsor of the Journey Club. He has served as the Co-chair of the Social Studies Department since 2005.

Michael J. Parker Counselor / Administrator liaison

In the past, Michael has served as teacher, Dean, and Counselor at various school sites in LAUSD. He is currently SAGE’s Counselor and Administrator / liaison. He has an A.A. degree in Business Administration and a B.A. degree in Communications, from California State University, Los Angeles. His Masters degree in Educational Counseling and PPS credential were received from National University in Los Angeles. Mike also possesses an adult teaching credential for English as a Second Language. He feels very dedicated to helping ALL students reach their real and true life potential! Go Belmont! Go SAGE!!

Eileen Bustos English Literature

Eileen has been an English teacher for eight years, both in the middle and high school setting. She received her Bachelors degree from California State University at Fresno and a Teaching Credential with a CLAD emphasis at California State University, Los Angeles. Ms. Bustos is a strong believer in SAGE being “a positive step for future adulthood success.”

Alonso Rolland-Estrada   Foreign Language

Alonso has been teaching Spanish at Belmont High School for three years with a Spanish and French teaching credential. He has a Masters Degree in Spanish Literature from San Diego State University and a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle. “All students deserve to have a broad choice of opportunities.” Rolland-Estrada plans to be involved with parents so they can be part of our SAGE team as a smaller learning community.

Rosa Parra Foreign Language

Rosa Parra, a graduate of Complutense University of Madrid, has a Masters Degree in Contemporary History. Prior to her career in the United States, she taught high school History in Spain. Mrs. Parra holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Spanish, BCLAD and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University. She taught elementary school for nine years and is currently on her second year at Belmont High. “Every student can succeed given the opportunities.”

Elena Dontsova   Foreign Language

Elena is in her second year at Belmont High School and has fifteen solid years of teaching experience in foreign languages. She graduated from the State University of Odessa/Ukraine with a Masters in French and Education. Currently, she teaches French and sponsors the Belmont French Club. She also speaks six languages. “I believe that through the learning of languages and understanding of the cultures where they are spoken, we enrich our lives, opening ourselves to new worlds of ideas, relationships and opportunities that extend far beyond the school years.”

Gloria Lewyn English Literature

Mrs. Lewyn, currently in her eighth year at Belmont High School, received a B.A. in English and a Clear Teaching Credential in English and basic German from the University of California, Irvine; and a Masters degree in English/Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. “Having grown up in Honolulu and lived in Europe, I am particularly interested in and sensitive to the needs and potentials of our diverse student population.”

Katharine Carver Art Teacher

Ms. Carver has been teaching Art in both school and museum settings since 1986. She earned her Bachelors degree in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara and holds a Master of Arts in Arts Education from New York University as well as an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Cal State L.A. Ms. Carver taught Art at Berendo Middle School for eleven years, Wilson High School for three years, and is very happy to be finally teaching art in her own neighborhood: Echo Park! Ms. Carver’s goal is to create a fun, safe, creative, and intellectually stimulating environment, which inspires each student to explore their inner visions and life experiences through visual art. She looks forward to working with other SAGE teachers to bring a more global perspective of art to the students.

Nancy Le Science/Chemistry

Ms. Nancy Le, a product of 12+ years of LAUSD education, graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemistry and a Minor in Education. She is currently in her second year as a District Intern. Her previous education experience deals primarily with tutoring, mentoring and teaching middle and high school students in Oakland. She has also volunteered with elementary schools teaching science. 

Veronica Galang Science
Veronica Galang graduated from the Philippine Normal University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education major in Biology and earned a Master’s at Bulacan State University, Philippines. She has been in the teaching profession for fourteen years and currently a new comer in the Science Department at Belmont High School.
Elmerito Sy Mathematics

Elmerito Sy is in his first year at Belmont High School and has eleven years of teaching experience in Mathematics. He graduated from the University of the East, Philippines with a Degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering and Master’s in Teaching major in Mathematics. Currently, he teaches Algebra and Geometry.

Jamoon Song Mathematics/Life Skills

Mr. Song is a new comer to the Belmont community and brings with him years of teaching mathematical skills to youngsters. He currently teaches Mathematics.

Alberto Castro Mathematics

Alberto Castro worked as a Math teacher back in Peru for about 10 years. Upon his arrival to the United States, Mr. Castro embarked on acquiring enough experience to be able to teach in America. He dedicated much of his time to learn English to be able to use his Math knowledge in the classroom. He graduated from California State University at Dominguez Hills. His first assignment in LAUSD was at Berendo Middle School. After years of hard work, he decided to move to Belmont for a chance to teach higher-level mathematics.

Chantile Emerick Special Education

Chantile Emerick graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Education and has been a part of Belmont High School since 2004. She holds two credentials, one in Special Education and one in Elementary Education attained through California State University, Northridge. During the past two years, she has taught World History, U.S. History, Government, and Economics as part of the Special Day Program Services. “I believe strongly in raising the literacy levels of all students and meeting each student’s unique educational needs.”

Benjamin Mendoza Special Education

Benjamin R. Mendoza graduated from Belmont High School and has been teaching there since 1992 as a paraprofessional and as a teacher for the past six years. He attended Los Angeles City College where he received an AA in Electronics Technology and an AA in Liberal Arts. Then, he transferred to Cal State Los Angeles where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and a California Clear Credential in Special Education in mild to moderate disabilities. Currently, he is one class away from a Masters Degree in Special Education. “Belmont High School has always been my home.”

Ron Ayson Special Education

Ron Ayson graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Education/Special Education with specializations in Emotional Handicaps and Learning Disabilities. He currently holds a State of Florida credential and is at the Preliminary Clear Credential phase in the California process. He has experience teaching in self-contained settings with students with severe emotional disturbances and worked as an Intervention Specialist (Special Education Dean of Discipline) in his last assignment.

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