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Faculty & Staff

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ALICIA CAMINA

Elementary Music Teacher

I am a professional saxophone player, producer, and composer from Spain based in the USA. Currently living in Los Angeles, and I have toured different festivals in Europe, America, and Canada, including the tour with The Life and Music of George Michael performing in venues such as the House of Blues in Houston, Texas; the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California; Pikes Peak in Colorado Spring, etc. 

As an educator, I  approach music in a way where the students enjoy the act of playing music and the process of learning. Music is supposed to be something that you should feel passion for.

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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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CARLOS MOLINA

Environmental Services Coordinator/Spanish Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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CARLOS VERGARA

Elementary Teacher

Hi Argo family! I am a passionate educator, engineer, and lifelong learner whose journey has encompassed diverse experiences. I have degrees in aerospace engineering and physics, but most of my knowledge has been the result of venturing beyond traditional boundaries, exploring mechanical engineering, additive manufacturing, business management, and, more recently, the world of education! This multidisciplinary background has fostered my boundless curiosity, driving me to engage and inspire the minds of the future.

As an enthusiastic educator, I am committed to sharing my creativity and extensive experience with students and staff at Argo Navis. I firmly believe that education is a transformative force that empowers individuals to reach their full potential. My teaching philosophy centers on fostering a love for learning, encouraging critical thinking and promoting hands-on exploration. I am most excited to work with the imaginative minds of Argo students and help guide them through breaking through the limits of what is possible and how to explore their ideas in a safe environment.

Outside the classroom, I am a dedicated maker and tinkerer. Throughout my college career, I helped develop a makerspace at Long Beach State that eventually grew and became an independent organization. From creating movie props for YouTube sensations to hosting educational workshops for the community and even using 3D printers to create PPE for emergency workers during the pandemic, I learned most of what I know from running The Maker Society in Long Beach. Running this makerspace helped me solidify my passion for the maker culture and the unbounded creativity such a space fosters and I hope to bring this to Argo Navis.

When I seek a change of pace, I embark on adventures through the picturesque hiking trails of Los Angeles and Orange County. Exploring both remote wilderness and hidden city gems, I cherish the thrill of travel and discovery. On days when relaxation beckons, you might find me wielding an airbrush to create intricate abstract artwork. My motto is to live life as a testament to the unwavering pursuit of knowledge, creative expression, and a zest for the extraordinary.

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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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ELDA VASQUEZ

Preschool Teacher

I am honored and thrilled to be part of Argo Navis School. In fall 2022, I did my internship at Argo Navis and finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. It has been a pleasure to work with the children and the teachers as an intern and a substitute teacher, but now I will officially be a full-time preschool teacher.

 I have been married for fifteen years and I have two girls, ages of 11 and 9. I was born in Guatemala and raised in Los Angeles. I am a bilingual Spanish and English speaker.

I have worked as a babysitter, but when my daughters were at Head Start preschool, I became encouraged to finish my career. While volunteering at their school, I was able to build relationship with children which motivated me to launch my career as a preschool teacher.

In my free time I love to spend time with my family, watch movies with them, cook and go for a walk.

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ELIZABETH HERNANDEZ

Elementary Teacher

I am thrilled to be welcomed to Argo Navis! I'm looking forward to sharing my love for inspiring children in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) through beautiful and meaningful children’s literature. With over twenty years of teaching experience in elementary, middle, and high school education, I love helping, encouraging, and inspiring others in learning and in life!

Originally from Virginia, I attended VA Tech and then transferred to VA Commonwealth University (VCU), to complete both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master's of Teaching. Through Virginia State University, I participated in the National Writing Project. In college, I studied abroad in Spain and visited Pamplona, where I witnessed the unforgettable running of the bulls! 

In 2001, I made the move to LA, where I’ve enjoyed incorporating my varied and diverse educational experiences with teaching diverse student populations. Mentoring student teachers and working with programs like UCLA Young Writers and Pepperdine’s Master of Arts in Teaching program reflect my commitment to helping others succeed in education. 

I'm passionate about swimming from my years on the swim team, lifeguarding, and teaching swimming lessons to children. I love nature, mountain biking, and aerobics since it combines my love of music and dance with exercise. And, of course, spending quality time with my family and friends is a top priority, especially when it involves delicious food!

I'm excited to meet you all and begin a new chapter with Argo Navis! I can't wait to see the positive impact we can make together!

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ERIKA COLIN

Preschool Teacher

I'm so excited to be a part of the  Argo Navis 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 Argo Navis 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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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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JEN DARAMOLA

Elementary Teacher

I have over 15 years of experience as an educator, having worked in public, charter, and homeschool co-op settings, as well as in special education with adults and children with disabilities. I am an ambassador and longtime coach for the non-profit organization, Girls on the Run, an organization which serves to enhance the social, emotional, and physical skills of school-aged girls. I am passionate about my work and am looking forward to sharing my natural curiosity and love for learning with our students.

 

During my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, listening to music, reading, and watching sports. I am an avid MN sports fan (except for football) and enjoy watching my home teams whenever I can. 

 

I am excited to bring my wealth of knowledge and experience to Argo!

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JON MARKOWITZ

Elementary Teacher / SCUBA Instructor

I'm thrilled to continue as a part of the Argo Navis community as a Math and Science teacher, focusing on TK and Kindergarten through our lower elementary levels. Before landing here, I spent nearly two years teaching middle school science at a private school in Los Angeles. Teaching has always been a calling for me. I got my start as a high schooler, volunteering at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and later tutored geology and oceanography courses while studying geosciences at Skidmore College.

Post-college, my passions for the ocean, conservation, and sustainability led me to work on an oyster farm, learning how food systems can contribute to environmental restoration. I also took on the challenge of hiking the John Muir Trail solo, carrying all my gear for the 300-mile journey. These experiences paved the way for roles in ethics-driven companies like Patagonia and a sustainable seafood firm, where I honed my knack for non-traditional educational methods.

I've also had the privilege of becoming a Master Scuba Diver Instructor through PADI and am excited to lead Argo's scuba program. Additionally, I'm an EFR (Emergency First Responder) instructor, adding another layer to my commitment to education and safety.

Before transitioning to a formal classroom, I taught surfing and eventually managed a beach camp focused on surfing education and ocean sustainability. These experiences solidified my desire to bring my unique background into a more structured educational setting.

I often commute to school by bicycle, embracing a sustainable lifestyle that aligns with my values. Argo Navis offers the perfect environment for me to inspire students daily, encouraging their love for learning and personal growth. I couldn't be happier to be part of this vibrant community!

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JOSELYN BRISENO

Preschool Teacher

I am very pleased and excited to join Argo Navis and to be apart of the community! 

 

Born and raised in Southern California, in the city of Pico Rivera. I am the first of my family to attend college. I graduated from California State University of Los Angeles where I received my Bachelors degree in Child Development. 

 

I started here at Argo Navis as an intern and now have the opportunity to be here as a teacher. School has always been something so important to me. I am very passionate about school and teaching. I enjoy working with children as I am able to be engage and  help them grow there knowledge with education and new adventures. 

 

During my free time I love to enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy working out and traveling to new places!

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KEYAIRRAH WATKINS

Administrative Assistant

I'm very excited to be joining the Argo Navis team and becoming one of the many helping hands of the school. 
 
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions that allowed me to develop my leadership skills and expand my ability to communicate with others from all walks of life. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Performing Arts at California State University Channel Islands. During my time in college, I made it a point to be a part of the community by working as a Peer Mentor Advisor, Behavioral Interventionists, and a Fitness Coordinator while also finishing a full course load. Prior to college, I started off by being a babysitter for three wonderful children and once I returned home I became a Primary Care Provider for a beautiful family while working as a Behavioral Analysts for children with disabilities part time. Amidst my positions I also started a small selfcare business called Thoughts of You Co., a company that aims to sufficiently provide potential customers true tranquility through natural body care, and 100% soy wax by products. What makes me truly happy with my small business is that I have created a variety of self care products as an alternative to the industrial ideals of only purchasing products for aesthetics, but rather for personal health.
 
In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with my amazing family and discovering new places to have fun. Every time we get the chance to hang out we always find the best restaurants, amusement parks, and shopping areas.  They really are my best friends. Not to mention, by enjoying those wonderful adventures with my family I have learned different ways to communicate with different personalities, understand different points of views, and discovered my passion for working with children. 
 
I hope this bio gives you a great insight into me and whenever you come by the office, just know that I will always greet you with warmth & open ears. Not to mention that whenever you have any feedback for the school, or any ideas, I would love to hear all about them so that I can then share them with the staff. Cheers to daily interactions, I can't wait to further discuss things with you! 

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LOURDES TRUJILLO

Site Supervisor / 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 Argo Navis. 

 

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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MELISSA DOMINGUEZ

Preschool Teacher

I am honored to be a part of the Argo Navis team! 

 

I was born and raised in East Los Angeles. I am a first generation college graduate. I attended California State University of Los Angeles where I received my Bachelors degree in Child Development. 

 

Growing up, I helped my mom babysit infants and toddlers. I also spent a lot of time tutoring elementary aged children in my community. My passion for working with children started at a very young age. When I began my internship here at Argo Navis, I immediately felt a connection to the staff, children, and overall philosophy. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to become a preschool teacher here. Every day I learn from my colleagues and students. I love fostering curiosity and imagination among the young minds of these children. 

 

During my free time, I love spending time with my family, cooking, shopping, reading, and going to Disneyland!”

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MYRNA GARCIA

Preschool Teacher & Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator

I am proud to call Argo Navis my 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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PHIL CANNELLA

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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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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ROBERT MERJIL

Chef

Bio coming soon...

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SARAH AMADOR

Elementary Teacher

My past experiences as a student and the roles I have filled as an educator provide me with a broad understanding of learning spaces. Today, I integrate these experiences into my teaching methods to provide students with a safe environment in which to thrive. I have spent the last six years in education as a tutor, mentor, college counselor, academic and behavioral interventionist, secondary classroom teacher, and graduate teaching assistant.

 
I was born and educated in Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA. While I was there, I focused on the histories of the Americas, with an emphasis on human rights and genocide studies. I had the opportunity to spend time abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile to complete a program in Human Rights and Cultural Memory. I later participated in a community engagement program through the Public History Initiative as a volunteer docent for the Museum of Social Justice located in La Placita Olvera in Downtown Los Angeles. My undergraduate research focused on media as a form of resistance and intergenerational memory formation within the context of Indonesia's collective silence after the 1965-66 genocide. During this time, I worked with high school students at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles as a college mentor.

 
Having spent my whole life in sunny California, I moved north to experience something new. In 2018, I moved to Seattle, Washington to work at the historic Garfield High School to support students' growth as writers, historians, learners, and people. During the pandemic, I taught 9th and 10th grade English/Language Arts and AVID remotely at the same school. Last year, I taught 9th-grade history as a classroom teacher and continued to support many of my past students. I also have experience as a private K-12 tutor to students of all ages and abilities. Since then, I returned to UCLA to continue my research at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. My Master’s thesis focused on the historical relationship between LAUSD schools and the LAPD and how that relationship changed school and community spaces, student resistance, and family reactions through the lens of maternal activism in East and South LA neighborhoods.

 
As a person, I love food and the outdoors. I have traveled a lot throughout the Western US and love to camp, hike, and snowboard. I am excited to see our students integrate their experiences into their learning as storytellers and historians! 

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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.

 

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 then 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 and completed my teaching credentialing and Masters of Education program with National University with my thesis on the benefits of outdoor education and hands-on learning.I have started an introduction of agricultural management at Argo, beginning with raising Pigsley, our school pig. 

 

In my spare time I am a baton twirling instructor, baton competition judge, and host announcer. I love performing and have a love for musical theater, dance, and singing. I also love to be out in nature as much as I can. I am excited to watch the students engage, discover, question, and find out things they find so interesting that get them hooked on being a lifelong learner.

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TXEMA PEREZ

Elementary Spanish Teacher

I have more than twenty years of experience as a multilingual educator, theatre producer and cultural events facilitator. I'm passionate about using teaching as a vehicle for understanding between people, countries and as a mirror for the human condition. 

 

Originally born in the Basque Country, I was raised in a bilingual environment, where I was immersed in both Spanish and Basque during my school years. I know from my own experience that being introduced to a second language at an early age (when we are still developing our basic verbal communication skills) makes learning and retention more natural and organic.

 

I earned my Master of Arts degree in Media and Communication in Spanish. After a few years working as a journalist, I moved to London to pursue a postgraduate degree at the London International School of Performing Arts.

 

I started my own theatre company and I produced international tours and teaching workshops which toured around America, Canada, Europe, England, India and the Ukraine. During that time, my pedagogical passion was always present. I founded the London Physical Theatre School and taught students of different ages, backgrounds and cultures. I was fortunate to lead workshops at the University of Cambridge, Stockholm University of the Arts, Kharkiv National University of Arts, and the Drama School Mumbai, among others. 

 

During my tenure at Argo Navis, I’ve had the pleasure of focusing on immersion programs that incorporate the arts, and I’m thrilled to bring my experience and passion to my role. 

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PIGSLEY

Ambassador of Good Will

I am pleased to join the Argo Navis team!  I take my role very seriously in delivering good will and cheer to all the students of Argo Navis, and I am proud to offer my services.  I live on campus, which makes my morning commute very easy.

My hobbies include:  eating, sleeping, and chewing.

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