Faculty & Staff

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ALICIA CAMINA

Elementary Music Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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BERENICE CRUZ

Preschool Teacher

I am excited to join Argo Navis and get to know all of you and your wonderful children.

To start off, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself both personally and professionally. I am an L.A Native and have enjoyed growing up in Los Angeles. I graduated from California State University, Los Angeles and obtained my Bachelor's of Arts degree in Child Development. I have been working with children and families for 6 years now. I have worked as a tutor, an after school program leader and preschool teacher. The last 4 years I have been working as a Preschool teacher and I can say preschool is my favorite age group to work with. I would like to work closely together with you. I believe keeping an open communication is key to helping the children explore, learn and grow. If you ever need to get a hold of me for any reason I can be reached via Brightwheel.  I look forward to working with you and your children. 

 

 In my free time I enjoy gathering with my family and friends. I also enjoy the outdoors, dancing and traveling. 

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CAROLINE SIRAND

Elementary Fine Arts Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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CLARA CRUZ

Elementary Teacher

I am thrilled to be part of the Argo Navis family!


I am excited to be part of a community where I will be sharing special moments with my fellow coworkers, parents, and most important the children at Argo Navis.
 

I have my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Development from National University and my Associates degree from Pasadena City College. Over the years I have worked with preschoolers, elementary students, and young adults. I believe that every person has a unique learning style. My vast knowledge of different teaching methods will allow me to help students with diverse backgrounds and give each student the opportunity to learn in a meaningful way.

During my free time, I really enjoy going on runs, hiking, and going to the beach. My favorite color is purple, I love pasta, and I enjoy binge watching shows.  I am a proud soccer fan and always support my team. #RealMadrid

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EMMA CONWAY

Preschool Teacher Aide

Bio coming soon...

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ERIKA COLIN

Preschool Teacher

I'm so excited to be a part of the City Kids community! I grew up in Lennox, California. I was fortunate to have received both a public and private school education and saw what a difference it made for my personal growth. I attended the University of Redlands and studied Spanish. I have worked with children in afterschool programs, classrooms, and tutoring. I love working with younger children because I love encouraging their curiosity. At City Kids we encourage every student to thrive in their own learning style which I am a huge proponent of. I look forward to getting to know you and your children and helping every student find happiness and success.

 

In my free time I enjoy going to coffee shops, surfing, playing beach volleyball, golfing and trying anything new! I love traveling to new cities and countries and trying new restaurants.

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ESMERALDA AGUIAR

Preschool Teacher

Born and raised in Southern Los Angeles, my interest in being around children flourished when I became aware that young minds need to have the proper guidance to develop. As a result, I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. Before joining the Argo Navis community, I was an intern here and felt like the children and staff at Argo Navis School were my family. I have worked as an aide teacher for children with special needs and as a substitute teacher at low-income preschools. 

 

I enjoy working with children because witnessing their growth is fun and exciting. Every day brings something new, as children are willing learners. 

 

During my free time, I like to spend time with my family, attempt to cook new recipes, and binge-watch shows. I am looking forward to working with you and your child!

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GABRIEL CRESPO

Elementary Music Teacher

I want to start off by saying, I am excited to join the wonderful team of educators at Argo Navis! 

I believe that music is a universal language that reaches all of us in a unique way. Even the youngest aspiring composers, musicians, producers, engineers and artists have one thing in common with professionals in the music industry, and that is passion and determination!  It is my life long goal to inspire, and discover the potential in others, so that we can make the world a better place. 
 
I am originally from the Washington, DC area, growing up in a bilingual and musical family, I found my passion for music, writing music on the piano at the age of four, leading me to receive formal classical music training at the age of nine and later followed my passion of performing professionally at the age of ten throughout the Washington DC Metropolitan area with various Jazz, Blues and R&B bands. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Production and Music Performance from American University and I am currently pursuing my Master of Arts in Music Industry Administration at California State University, Northridge. As a Singer-Songwriter, Producer and Multi-instrumentalist, I have worked with the likes of Grammy Award Winners such as - Michael Lehmann Boddicker (Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Earth, Wind & Fire) and John “JR” Robinson (Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton) to name a few.

I found my passion for teaching music upon moving to Los Angeles several years ago, when I started teaching at the School of Rock, private piano, guitar, bass and drum lessons, quickly taking on direction of their Rock 101 (Elementary School) Program, Summer Camps and additionally covering as the band director for their more advanced Performance Program including (Middle and High School) students. As an educator I emphasize proper technique, sight reading, music theory and ear training while always maintaining a fun, positive learning environment for students of all ages and abilities. 

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JAZMIN MORALES

Preschool Teacher

I am grateful and excited to be a part of the Argo Navis community! I grew up in Pico Rivera, California. My first language was Spanish and I started learning and speaking English in the first grade. I am proud to say that I am a Bilingual speaker. I attended the California State University of Los Angeles and majored in Child Development. From middle school till now I babysit my niece who is now 8 years old. Seeing her grow up made me realize how much I wanted to be a teacher. Truly grateful to have witnessed her first time walking, saying her first word, smile, and hearing her first laugh.

 

I started working with children during my second semester of senior year in college at Argo Navis. I started off as an intern there, became a substitute teacher once I graduated from college, and now I’m officially a preschool teacher. I am thrilled to get to work with younger children because it fascinates me to see how much they grow and expand their knowledge as every school year goes by. I look forward to seeing your children grow, help them learn and develop new skills every day, and smile!

 

During my free time, I like to go try new coffee shops and hope they sell doughnuts there, and read a book there. I also like to go to Dodger games and Six Flags with my family and friends. I enjoy taking care of my niece and playing board games, watching movies, and doing arts and crafts with her. She is my whole world!

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JHULIANA SALAMANCA

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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JON MARKOWITZ

Elementary Teacher

I am grateful to have the opportunity to join the Argo community as an English and History teacher.  Before joining Argo, I taught middle school science for almost two years at a private school here in Los Angeles. I have always had a passion for teaching and sharing my knowledge. Beginning in high school, I spent my weekends as a volunteer educator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. From there, while studying geosciences at Skidmore college in New York, I tutored all introductory geology and oceanography courses and found the joy in seeing my peers succeed.

 

After college, I did not know exactly what it was that I wanted, but I did know I was extremely passionate about the ocean, conservation, nature, food, and sustainability. Thus, I found a job on an oyster farm where I learned how food can be used to help restore the environment. After that experience, I packed up my bags and hiked the John Muir Trail, which was about 300 miles, solo, with all my gear with me at all times. After that experience, I took my passion for the outdoors, sustainability, education, and smart food choices by working for various ethics-based companies such as Patagonia and a sustainable seafood company. Through those jobs, I found a further passion for education through non-stereotypical educational methods. 

 

Subsequently, I began teaching surfing and working my way up to where I was coaching others to teach surfing and running a beach camp for surfing education and ocean sustainability. This was the job that inspired me to take my love for teaching and bring my unique experiences into a more formal classroom setting.

 

No matter what it is I am doing, I am always looking for opportunities to teach and learn. Argo Navis is the perfect place to adventure, learn, explore, and inspire the students every day to pursue their love of learning and becoming their best selves. I am happy to be a part of the Argo community!

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JOSELYN BRISENO

Preschool Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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LESLIE VELAZQUEZ

Preschool Teacher

Born and raised in Orange County, California. I’m the first generation in my family to attend College. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach and obtained my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Family and Consumer Science. I have a minor in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising where I got the opportunity to experience, explore, and create. 

School has been an important part of my life. I want to teach and share the knowledge I have gained with the students. I want the students to gain confidence, grow, and have fun.

 

Argo Navis has been an amazing experience and I have so much joy interacting with the students, teachers, and parents. Everyday I continue to learn new things. I love to travel, discover new food and connect with other cultures.   

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LOURDES TRUJILLO

Preschool Teacher

Growing up in Beverly Hills, California as an only child, I was around adults almost all my life and that’s where I believe that my interested in the psychology of people grew.  I strongly believe that at a young age the foundation of a person is being is created.  I found school quite difficult up until college when I attended California State University, which is where I became interested in learning about children and graduated with a degree in Child and Adolescent Development.   I’ve had experience working with children in a variety of areas, including as a behavioral therapist with children with autism and as a lead Montessori teacher before joining City Kids LA. 

 

I enjoy working with children because it challenges me to think of ideas in ways to engage a child’s learning and allows me to have fun and act like a kid myself.  I enjoy working at Argo Navis because of the strong belief that children should experience and learn, not from within the classroom but from their environment and the world. 

 

During my spare time, I really love to hang out at home or with my friends, watching movies or going to dinner.  I enjoy traveling and learning the history and culture of other people and places.

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MARIA CRUZ

Preschool Teacher

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been a preschool teacher since 2013 in Los Angeles. Teaching is a passion for me. Listening and helping children to grow and express their imagination through project work is something I truly enjoy and it’s the reason I’m dedicated to working in education. I also learn from my students daily!  Each student is so uniquely different I get the opportunity to create new memories with all of them. Memories that will always stay with me.

 

I have been married for 6 years now and have 1 fur baby named Cheshire.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. On my free time I like to watch movies, watch DIY tutorials and go shopping.

 

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”. -Albert Einstein-

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MARIA FANTACI

Food Preparation Specialist

Bio coming soon...

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MYRNA GARCIA

Preschool Teacher & Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator

I am proud to call Argo Navis my new home. Go Argo Navis!  

My first language is Spanish and my second language is English. I come from a central American family in El Salvador. My Education background is in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Child Development. I have been teaching for 9 years and teaching children has been my passion and dedication.

I work at Argo Navis not only because it is an amazing school, but because it allows children to be innovative learners and allows children to learn through many different learning styles. Our school is filled with exciting learning activities and new adventures every day! I look forward to instilling in your child the same great love for learning that I have been developing over the years. One of my hobbies is painting! I love art. I am also a Makeup Artist. It’s fun to express your creativity!

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REBECCA TIONGSON

Preschool Teacher

I was born and grew up in the city of Manila, Philippines. I studied at St. Paul College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Married for almost 40 years now, I have a son and three daughters who are all degree holders and are professionals in their respective fields of work. I am also blessed with four granddaughters.  In my free time, I love to sing, listen to music and dance. I also enjoy cooking especially Spanish dishes like Paella and Callos.

I have been teaching for 15 years now and have been a teacher at Pilgrim School and St. James' school in Los Angeles. Early on in 2017, I had the opportunity to be introduced to Argo Navis School and I was fortunate to be offered a teaching position at a school that encompasses everything I believe our kids deserve. I have enjoyed every moment working at this school with this community.  The working environment is great and my co-teachers are fantastic, very accommodating and so helpful.  I have always loved preschool teaching and treat the children as my own grandchildren.

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PHIL CANNELLA

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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TASHA TAYLOR

Elementary Teacher

Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up knowing I had a love for learning especially when it came to life, nature, and numbers. I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Animal Science with a minor in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, while I was their feature baton twirler for the marching band. While there I found I loved not only learning and studying, but sharing it with others.


After college I went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida and did the Disney College Program followed by a Professional Internship with Disney’s Animal, Science, and Environment department as a conservation and animal educator. Not only was I able to share my passion there for animals, nature, and the wonderful work scientists do to help protect our Earth, I was able to make lifelong friends from all over the world such as Thailand, Indonesia, Africa, Japan, Canada, and India.

 

I decided then that education was my path and moved from Florida back to Southern California to teach outdoor science at an outdoor science school in Lake Arrowhead. It was great to be able to teach elementary students all about science and how math could be incorporated into it by making it hands on and nature based. I wanted to make it a mission to try and take these activities and experiential learning styles into the classroom environment, so I first became a substitute teacher for elementary, middle, and high school. During this time I started my teaching credentialing and Masters of Education program with National University.


In my spare time I am a baton twirling instructor, baton competition judge, and host announcer. I am a proud parent of a cat and two goats. I love Disney, surfing, snorkeling, running, animals, visiting museums, memorizing digits of Pi, and learning about genealogy and cultures. I am excited to watch the students engage, discover, question, and find out things that they find so interesting that get them hooked on being a lifelong learner.

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TXEMA PEREZ

Elementary Spanish Drama Teacher

I`m amazed by the creativity of City Kids School and I'm hoping my experience and background will keep pushing this unique pedagogical program.

Originally born in the Basque Country, North of Spain, I was raised in a pure bilingual environment using Spanish and Basque during my school years. That’s why I know that entering a second language at an early age, when we are still developing our basic verbal communication skills, makes everything more natural and organic.

Once I reached the University, I earned an M.A. degree in Media and Communication in Spanish. After a couple of years working as a journalist, I moved to London to get a postgraduate at the London International School of Performing Arts.

I worked with my own theatre company creating shows and teaching workshops in many countries. Always with the goal of erasing borders and connecting people from different backgrounds with our work, what I believe is part of the City Kids mission.

During all that time my pedagogical passion and career was always present. I foundied the London Physical Theatre School and tought hundreds of students from all ages. Preschool students are one of my favorite ages of children to work with. They are in an amazing period where the child is discovering themselves and their personalities and deciding how to relate to the outside world.

During these past few years, I have been focusing my work on early childhood education as a preschool teacher and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join this amazing team