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Welcome to Alisal USD, teachers and counselors!

Welcome, new teachers and counselors! The Alisal Union School District has more than 30 new full-time educators and psychologists spread over our 12 schools. It is the lowest number of new teacher hires we've had in recent years, which means we're retaining more and more of our educators. Our district is a great place to work and educators are taking notice!

 

Maria Aguilera  

Maria Aguilera

Ms. Aguilera grew up in Mexico, then moved to Los Angeles and later to Oxnard. She graduated from Oxnard High School. She earned a B.A. in liberal studies from Cal State University Northridge. She felt called to teaching when she worked with migrant students in Mini-Corps. 

“Kids are the best part of my job. I want to challenge my students and show them that they can succeed.”

Ms. Aguilera has been assigned to Virginia Rocca Barton. 


 

Luisa Alvarez

Luisa Alvarez

Ms. Alvarez grew up in Salinas, and attended Kammann Elementary until October of her 4th grade and Bardin Elementary until she completed elementary school. She graduated from Alisal High School and earned a B.A. and B.S. from UC Davis. She knew she wanted to give back to her community since she was in high school, so becoming a teacher was a natural move. 

She’s looking forward to “seeing the students’ faces when they accomplish or learn new things.”

Ms. Alvarez has been assigned to Monte Bella. 


 

Candance Ambrose  

Candance Ambrose

Ms. Ambrose grew up in Michigan and attended Harrison High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University and United States International University. She went into teaching because she loves children and wants to make a difference in their lives. She has been assigned to Monte Bella.

 


Erick Berglund  

Erick Berglund

Mr. Berglund grew up in Fresno and graduated from Clovis West High School. He graduated from Fresno State and the National University, and went into teaching because he wanted to help students with special needs succeed. He looks forward to “seeing kids grow” and become stronger. He has been assigned to Monte Bella and Creekside. 


 

Steven Bolton

Steve Bolton

Mr. Bolton grew up in Arcadia, Calif., and graduated from Arroyo High School in El Monte, Calif. He earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Phoenix and an M.A. in education from the University of the Redlands. He went into teaching to serve his country through education, and he’s looking forward to “building relationships, inspiring students, and having a positive impact on young people.” 

He has been assigned to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy. 


 

Carmen Bravo

Carmen Bravo

Ms. Bravo grew up in Salinas and graduated from Alisal High School. She earned her B.A. at California State University Stanislaus. Having been taught that education is key to success, Ms. Bravo wants to share that with her students.

“The best part (of being an educator) is connecting with students and establishing a trust with families. I look forward to building relationships in the community I grew up in.”

Ms. Bravo has been assigned to Creekside Elementary. 


Karolina Camacho  

Karolina Camacho

Ms. Camacho grew up in Salinas and attended Everett Alvarez High School. She earned her B.A. and her teaching credential at Cal State University Monterey Bay, where she’s also working to earn her master’s degree. After having an unpleasant experience in school,  a teacher reached out to her and made an impact, something she would like to replicate with her students. 

For Ms. Camacho, the best part of teaching is “building relationships with my students. I look forward to facilitating projects with my students.”

Ms. Camacho has been assigned to Creekside Elementary. 


Paulina Candelario

Paulina Candelario

Ms. Candelario grew up in Watsonville and moved to Bakersfield when she was in the 6th grade. She earned her B.A. from Cal. State University Bakersfield, and went into teaching because, even though she moved around a lot, one teacher took an interest in her and she wants to do the same for her students. 

Ms. Candelario is looking forward to “helping students reach their full potential and grow.”

She has been assigned to Jesse G. Sanchez. 


 

Sarahi Cervantes  

Sarahi Cervantes

Ms. Cervantes was “cultivated in Alisal” as she attended Frank Paul Elementary and graduated from Alisal High School. She earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay and went into school psychology so she could help children maximize their learning potential. She’s looking forward to providing children with appropriate support and services. She has been assigned to Sanchez and MLK.  


Jonathan Dihn

Jonathan Dinh

Mr. Dinh grew up in Atwater, Calif., and graduated from Buhach Colony High School, He earned a B.S. in psychology from UC Davies and went into teaching to show students that they can succeed even if the odds are stacked against them. He is looking forward to “building relationships with students over finding and sharing their interests.”

Mr. Dinh has been assigned to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy. 


 

Martha Esquivel

Ms. Esquivel grew up in Salinas and graduated from North Salinas High School. She earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay and went into teaching because she loves working with children and wants to give back to her community. 

“The best part of my job is that I will be preparing our future by hopefully creating excellent students.”

Ms. Esquivel has been assigned to Monte Bella. 


 

Norberto Fernandez

Norberto Fernández 

Mr. Fernández is an Alisal “homegrown hero” as he attended Fremont from 3rd to 5th grades and Bardin for 6th. He graduated from Alisal High School and earned his B.A. at Cal State Long Beach and a master’s degree from National University. He went into teaching because he wants to make an impact on student’s lives and help them get on the right path to higher education. 

“The best part of my job is that no days are the same. Each day I get to learn from my students and peers. I look forward to providing all the tools, resources and skills my students need to be successful.”

Mr. Fernández has been assigned to Frank Paul. 


 

Julie Fluke  

Julie Fluke

Ms. Fluke grew up in the Pacific Northwest -- Oregon and Washington State. She graduated from Woodland High School and earned a B.A. from Washington State University. She also attended Cal State University San Bernardino. She looks forward to empowering students.

“I am working with an amazing, creative, supportive system, and a wonderful community.”

Ms. Fluke has been assigned to John E. Steinbeck Elementary.


 

Kathleen Fox-Tarzian

Kathy Fox-Tarzian 

Ms.Fox-Tarzian grew up in Washington State and attended Royal and Ephrata high schools.  She earned her B.A. from Central Washington University and a masters from United States International University. 

She went into teaching because she enjoyed working with children at camps and community functions, so going into the classroom seemed like a “natural step.”

Ms. Fox-Tarzian is looking forward to “the hugs from the children, growing as a teacher, and helping students have a successful year.”

She has been assigned to Creekside. 


Jadyn Hatch

Jadyn Hatch 

Jadyn Hatch grew up in King City and graduated from high school from K-12 Academy. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cal State University Monterey Bay and is working towards earning her master’s degree from Alliant International University. She chose a career in school psychology to help students with disabilities who are facing experiences similar to what she did growing up.

She’s looking forward to “giving students and families tools that build on their strengths and help them overcome the challenges they face with their disabilities.”  


Julie Hunter

Juliet Hunter

Ms. Hunter grew up in Ohio and graduated from Boardman High School. She received a B.A. in communications and political science from Ohio University, and a master’s of Special Education/Intervention from Youngstown University. She wants to help students realize their value and is looking forward to helping them succeed. 

Ms. Hunter has been assigned to Dr. Oscar F. Loya Elementary. 


Sharon Lee

Sharon Lee

Ms. Lee graduated from Pacific Grove High School and earned her B.A. from San Diego State University and her SPED credentials from  San Jose State University. She went into her profession because she loves to get students to learn and watch their joy when they “get it” for the first time. She’s looking forward to feeling “a sense of success for the students and seeing new faces at my job.”

Ms. Lee has been assigned to Bardin. 


 

 

Salvador Leon

Mr. Leon grew up in Arizona and Gilroy. He obtained his B.A. from UCLA, and went into teaching to help students reach their dreams 

“The best part of my job is seeing students discover a new skill or idea. I look forward to seeing students grow in their abilities.”

Mr. Leon has been assigned to Creekside

 


 Christina Mendoza

Christina Mendoza

Ms. Mendoza was “cultivated in Alisal” as she attended Cesar E. Chavez Elementary from K to 6th grades. She graduated from Alisal High and earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay. She went into teaching because the Alisal Union School District impacted her life  “in such a positive and meaningful way I want to do the same for my students.” 

“The best part of my job is interacting with families that are part of my community and knowing that they feel advocated for.” 

Ms. Mendoza has been assigned to Jesse G. Sánchez. 


 

Ashley Mundis

Ashley Mundis

Ms. Mundis graduated from Notre Dame High School in Belmont, Calif., and earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Mills College, and a B.S. from St. Catherine University. As the district’s nurse she will tend to the health needs to all of the students in the Alisal Union School District. 


 

Omar Nava

Omar Nava

Mr. Nava grew up in Salinas and graduated from Everett Alvarez High School. He earned his B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay and went into teaching to help the community. He’s looking forward to “helping students grow and discover, and becoming a great educator in my community.”

Mr. Nava has been assigned to Chávez elementary.  


 Victoria Newton

Victoria Newton

Ms. Newton grew up in Soledad and graduated from Soledad High School. She earned her B.A. from San Francisco State University, and is currently working towards a master’s degree at Cal State University Monterey Bay. She was inspired to teach at an early age by her third grade teacher: she was encouraging, caring and she fostered her love for reading. “I decided I wanted to do the same for others and teach.”

“The best part of my job is when children have a ‘lightbulb’ moment. Everything is clear and it makes sense in their learning. I’m looking forward to getting to know my students and accommodating their needs.” 


Briana Picazo  

Brianna Picazo

Ms. Picazo grew up in the east side of Salinas and was  “cultivated in Alisal” as she attended Alisal and Creekside elementaries. She graduated from Alisal High, obtained her B.A. from Sacramento State University and is currently working toward earning a master’s degree from National University. She went into teaching because, as the oldest of four, she grew up helping and being responsible. “I also wanted to come back to give back to my community.”

“I’m looking forward to accomplishing strong relationships with my students and learning about student needs” in the fifth grade.
Ms. Picazo will be teaching at Virginia Rocca Barton. 


 

María Pío-Oros

Ms. Pío-Oros grew up in Salinas and graduated from Alisal High School. She earned her B.A. from UC Davis, and was inspired to go into teaching while working with Mini-Corps during her undergraduate work at Hartnell College and Davis. 

The best part of being a teacher “are the children and seeing their progress. I’m looking forward to growing in my career with my first grade students.”

Ms. Pío-Oros will be teaching at Bardin. 


Jasmine Root

Jasmine Root

Ms. Root grew up in Watsonville and earned her B.S. from San Francisco State University. She attended MIIS for her master’s, which she is now completing at National University. She’s looking forward to empowering students. 

Ms. Root has been assigned to Fremont. 


 Claudia Sanchez

Claudia Sanchez

Ms. Sanchez spent part of her childhood in the east side of Salinas and attended Alisal Community School. She later moved and graduated from North Salinas High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal State University Monterey Bay and went into teaching because she loves children and being able to work with them and seeing them flourish academically and as human beings.

The best part of her job is “interacting with so many little humans a day and doing many activities during the day. I’m looking forward to making a difference in my kids’ lives.”

Ms. Sanchez has been assigned to Cesar E. Chavez


Ana Sandoval

Ana Sandoval

Ms. Sandoval grew up in North Monterey County, in the Prunedale area, attended Elkhorn School and graduated from North Monterey County High School. She graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, Calf., with a dual major in international relations and Spanish. She also received a law degree from Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York. She went into teaching because it’s a “very impactful and direct way to address social justice and equity issues in our city, our state and our nation.” 

“Everything is new to the students and it is exciting to help them learn about the world around them and understand that their brains are constantly growing as they learn.” 

Ms. Sandoval has been assigned to Monte Bella. 


Carmina Tirado

Carmina Tirado

Ms. Tirado grew up in Salinas and graduated from Salinas High School. She earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay and is currently working towards her master’s degree. She went into teaching to work with students and make a difference. “As a Salinas native, I want to inspire the children in my community.”

Ms. Tirado has been assigned to Virginia Rocca Barton Elementary.


Lucia Trujillo

Lucia Trujillo

Ms. Trujillo was born and raised in Watsonville, and earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay. She fell in love with teaching working as a substitute. 

“I want to become a strong, empathetic teacher. I look forward to being with my wonderful, cute, and sweet students.”

Ms. Trujillo has been assigned to Frank Paul. 


 

Sylvia Vasquez

Ms. Vasquez grew up in Salinas and was “cultivated in Alisal” as she attended Bardin and Steinbeck schools. She graduated from Everett Alvarez High School and earned her B.A. from Cal State University Monterey Bay. She fell in love with teaching as she watched the needs of the students in an after-school program. 

She’s looking forward to being a positive influence in her students’ lives.

Ms. Vasquez has been assigned to Fremont Elementary.


 

Lauree Alissa Willet

Lauree Willet

Ms. Willet grew up in Pineville, Louisiana, and graduated from Pineville High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, and was inspired to become a teacher by her high school world history teacher and a sorority sister. She’s looking forward to watching her students grow and learn.

Ms. Willet has been assigned to Fremont Elementary.


Marie Wood  

Marie Wood

Ms. Wood grew up overseas and later moved to Santa Monica, Calif., and graduated from Marymount High School in Los Angeles. She earned a B.S. from UC Irvine and a master’s from Chapman University. She’s looking forward to working in the community she lives in. 

Ms. Wood has been assigned to Creekside. 

 

Welcome, educators! Thank you for choosinig to serve the remarkable students of Alisal Union School District!