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East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy
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Our Staff
EPAPA is able to attract highly qualified teachers with strong educational backgrounds. These committed individuals are the heart of our school's remarkable success.

Meet our Administration and Office Staff

Ashley Baker Ashley Baker, 7th/8th Grade Literacy
In 2003, Ms. Baker moved from Southern California to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she received a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a master's degree in Education (Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies). Ms. Baker fell in love with the EPACS community after tutoring middle school students there through a program called Closing the Gap. Needless to say, she was ecstatic that Teach For America placed her at EPACS in 2008. Ms. Baker is thrilled that the middle school is now housed on the EPAPA campus because it allows her to stay connected with her former students.

Jennifer Barber Jennifer Barber, Resource Specialist
Ms. Barber came to EPAPA in 2012 as a resource instructional aide. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, she graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelors degree in Psychology. She loves her role at EPAPA because she gets to build relationships with all of the students and help them in their goal of college readiness.

Joanna Bradshaw Joanna Bradshaw, 11th Grade English, English Lead, Dean of Students
Ms. Bradshaw teaches 9th and 11th grade English. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Psychology. Prior to joining the EPAPA family in 2008, she studied traditional African dance in Ghana, served a mission in Taipei, Taiwan and worked for two years as a special needs instructor and student council advisor at Beechwood School in East Menlo Park. Ms. Bradshaw is thrilled to be a part of the EPAPA family and is continually inspired by the passion and dedication of the staff, students and families with whom she works.

Greta Betteo Greta Betteo, High School Spanish, Family Programs Coordinator
Ms. Betteo originally joined our staff as an adjunct professor from Cañada College in 2008 and has since come on-board as a full-time Spanish instructor. She also serves as the director of our Family and College Resource Center for our families at EPACS and EPAPA.

Vivian Delgado Vivian Delgado, High School English Teacher
Ms. Delgado joined EPAPA in 2012 as an English 4 and Academic Literacy teacher. She was born in Bolivia and raised in Virginia where she earned her Associate of Arts degree from Northern Virginia Community College and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from George Mason University. Ms. Delgado relocated to California in 2011 and obtained a Master of Arts degree in education through Stanford’s teacher education program. Her passion for working with the Latino/a youth community and helping families succeed is illustrated by her previous work as a board member of Educacion para Nuestro Futuro (Edu-Futuro) in Arlington, VA. Through the organization's Emerging Leaders mentoring program she served as a mentor for Latino/a high school students since 2009. Ms. Delgado has also contributed to keeping the Latino community informed by co-facilitating parent information sessions through PARTICIPA and by leading parent/student training workshops on preparing for the college application process. Ms. Delgado feels lucky to have joined such an inspiring and welcoming community at EPAPA!

Vicky Evans Vicky Evans, College Counselor
Ms. Evans joined the EPAPA staff as a College Counselor in 2009. In that capacity she works tirelessly to guide our students and families through the college-going practice. Before joining the EPACS-EPAPA family in 2009, Vicky spent the previous 8 years at Downtown College Prep in San Jose, one of the first charter high schools in the state, where she developed the College Guidance program. Vicky received her BS in Human Development and Elementary and Secondary teaching credentials from UC Davis and earned an MBA from Santa Clara University. Our school's staff, students and families are the beneficiary of Vicky's years of experience and success preparing students to be the first in their families to attend and complete college.

Jon Felder Jon Felder BUILD, Geography, Government and Economics
Mr. Felder joined our staff in 2009 as a humanities instructor. Before coming to EPAPA, Mr. Felder taught Civics at Los Altos High School and worked as a researcher at an education policy organization. He has been a volunteer tutor at the Boys and Girls in San Mateo for the past three years and enjoys playing tennis. Mr. Felder earned his bachelor's degree in American Studies from Cornell University, a master's degree in Social Sciences of Education from Stanford University, and obtained his teaching credential from San Francisco State University. His favorite things about teaching at EPAPA are the energy and cohesion of the staff and the excitement students bring to the classroom every day.

Deepti Gupta Deepti Gupta, High School Math
Ms. Gupta joined our staff in 2011 as a math instructor. She currently teaches Algebra 2 and Geometry to our 9th and 10th grade students.

Lea Hartog Lea Hartog, World and U.S. History
Lea Hartog joined the EPAPA team in 2010 as an Aspire Teacher Resident co-teaching 8th-grade humanities. She now teaches world and US history at the high school level. Originally from Oakland, Ms. Hartog left the Bay Area to earn a Bachelor’s degree in international relations at Pomona College in southern California, where she studied Arabic and spent a semester abroad in Jordan. Despite her international travels, the beautiful Bay Area beckoned her back after graduation, where she worked as a freelance journalist and tech editor before turning to teaching. She now holds a teaching credential and Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Pacific. Ms. Hartog loves working at EPAPA because of the dedicated staff, supportive community, and, most of all, the inspiring students.

Sara Heaps Sara Heaps, High School Science
Ms. Heaps originally joined our staff in 2010 as a teacher resident co-teaching 7th and 8th grade Science as part of the Aspire Teacher Residency Program. A Bay Area native originally from Alameda, she graduated from Stanford with a degree in Human Biology and decided to share her love for science through teaching. She loves working at EPAPA for many reasons- but mostly because of the incredibly community of families, students, and educators that are so hard-working and inspiring on a daily basis.

Rebecca Horwitz Rebecca Horwitz, Math Lead, Pre-Calculus, Calculus and Mathematical Problem Solving Instructor
Ms. Horwitz is the Math Lead and currently teaches Precalculus, Calculus, and Mathematical Problem Solving to 11th and 12th graders. She joined EPAPA in 2010 has been inspired by the sense of community, family, and dedication she has found there. Ms. Horwitz's path to EPAPA is somewhat non-traditional. After studying math and political science at Rutgers University, she moved to Austin, Texas to attend the University of Texas Law School. After 3 years of practicing law, she decided to follow her passion for education reform and moved out to California to work at EPAPA. Along with teaching advanced math concepts, she hopes to inspire her students to develop a love for learning.

Kate Hyle Kate Hyle, 7th/8th grade Humanities, History Lead
Before joining the EPACS staff in 2010, Ms. Hyle was a Humanities teacher at Centennial College Prep, another high-performing Aspire school in Los Angeles.

Lea Hartog Erin Kohl, 9th Grade English
Ms. Kohl joined the staff in 2011 and currently teaches 9th and 10th grade English at EPAPA. Prior to working at EPAPA, Ms. Kohl attended the University of Minnesota where she earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Global Studies and Spanish. After college, she moved to California to escape the cold winters and found a job working with an educational non-profit in San Francisco called the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. In this role, she counseled and designed programming for first generation college bound students attending various high schools in San Francisco. When she realized that she wanted to deepen her work with underserved students, she decided to join the Aspire Teacher Residency Program. Ms. Kohl completed her Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of the Pacific and spent her residency year with her mentor, Ben Feinberg, at Aspire JCA in Los Angeles. She feels proud and lucky to be part of the EPAPA team and community.

Marcos Lopez Marcos Lopez, Assistant Dean of Students
Mr. Lopez joined the EPAPA staff in 2011, originally as Assistant Director of the After School Program, and now says he will never leave. Mr. Lopez was born in Mexico, grew up in East Palo Alto and graduated from East Palo Alto Academy High School (not to be confused with EPAPA). Mr. Lopez has been working with students since he was 16 years old and believes that is what he will be doing for the rest of his life. In his free time, he plays soccer in local leagues, loves painting, DJ’s at small parties, enjoys playing the drums, keyboard and piano and loves helping his community. He loves working at EPAPA because the hard work and dedication students and parents put forward to achieve success make him proud and happy.

Laura Martinez Laura Martinez, After School Program Director, Family and College Resource Center Director
Laura Martinez joined the Aspire community in 2010, when she began volunteering in 1st and 5th grade classrooms as a reading tutor. In 2011 she officially joined our staff to run the after school program at EPAPA, later taking on the coordination of our Family and College Resource Center. Ms. Martinez is a life-time resident of East Palo Alto and has spent over ten years working with local youth and families. She graduated from Palo Alto High School and earned her B.A. at Whittier College. Ms. Martinez is the youngest Council Member to be elected to the East Palo Alto City Council and has served as the Mayor. She was selected by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal as one of the top 100 Women of Influence for 2012. She is proud to work at EPAPA because, "our school is a community high school where students and families feel supported and can fulfill their dreams of going to college. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is dedicated to student success."

Emily Morgan Emily Morgan, Education Specialist
Ms. Morgan joined EPAPA in 2012 as an Education Specialist. She completed her B.A. in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego in 2002 and her M.A. and teaching credential through Santa Clara University in 2007. In addition, she has had extensive training in literacy instruction, English language development and autism. She worked in Palo Alto, Redwood City and here in EPA at Stanford New Schools before finding her way to Phoenix Academy. Ms. Morgan believes that education, and special education in particular, is a matter of social justice. She is a life-longer learner and is forever developing her teaching skills as well as practicing Spanish, yoga, meditation, guitar, writing and finding opportunities to travel. Ms. Morgan teaches to learn. She is excited to be a part of this thriving academic community.

Katie Noble Katie Noble, Chemistry and Biology
Ms. Noble joined the EPAPA staff as a Teach for America Corps Member in 2010. She graduated from Stanford University and hails from Oroville, California.

Elisa Romero Elisa Romero, College and Academic Counselor
Ms. Romero joined the EPAPA team in September 2008. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Chicana/o Studies with a focus on Chicana/o Education. She serves all of the EPAPA community as our Academic and College Counselor. Having grown up in East Palo Alto, Ms. Romero enjoys working with the students at EPAPA. Here she plans to give back to her community by helping students receive the education and experiences they need in order attend and succeed in college.

Karin Schlanger Karin Schlanger, Counseling Director Karin Schlanger, MFT, is the main coordinator of our counseling services at EPAPA. Karin is a leader in the field of brief therapy, which was developed and continually refined at Palo Alto’s MRI. Karin is the Founding Director of Grupo Palo Alto and has published several books and articles on brief therapy. Karin is also an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco and the University of Notre Dame. Karin will support the work of the FCRC by providing our students and families with counseling resources (by providing therapy herself and through supervision of other therapists). Eventually Karin hopes to open a counseling clinic in East Palo Alto that would provide support to EPACS/EPAPA families as well as community members.

Hank Sherwood Hank Sherwood, 7th/8th Grade Math
Mr. Sherwood joined our staff as a Teach for America corp member in 2011.

Brandon Teris Brandon Teris, Art 1 and Advanced Art
Mr. Teris received his undergraduate degree in art studio from UC Santa Barbara and loved the city so much he returned to UCSB to earn his teaching credential and Masters in Education. Mr. Teris is a professional artist and works heavily with watercolors and calligraphy, translating prose and poetry into a visual emotion and presents a type of art usually placed in historical contexts as contemporary fine art. He was a Resident Assistant for two years at a private residence hall at UCSB and taught Alcohol and Drug Awareness classes to college students, informing them of the risks alcohol and drugs have on the body, physically and mentally, as well as the social consequences of substance abuse. Mr. Teris joined the team at EPAPA and EPACS in August 2009 and is very much impressed by the high level of student expectations and the intensely strong support of higher education these schools offer their students. He leaves work every day with a smile.

Gary Tsang Gary Tsang, Building Manager
Mr. Tsang joined our staff in 2011. He is a jack of all trades who keeps our beautiful new facility gleaming. He can do anything, including installing the donor bricks in our quad.

Nicolas Valdes Nicolas Valdes, Resource Specialist
Hailing from Palo Alto, Mr. Valdes earned his undergraduate degree in studio art at the University of Redlands. Mr. Valdes came to EPAPA from Gunn High School, in Palo Alto, where he worked as a one-on-one aid for three years. During his free time, Mr. Valdes dabbles in all forms of art, from drawing and painting to cinema and screen printing. Mr. Valdes is excited to help students accomplish their goals by helping them exceed those of their educators.

Rosilda Williams Rosie Williams, Cafeteria Manager

Veronica Woodard Veronica Woodard, 7th Grade Science
Ms. Woodard started working at EPACS in 2008 as a teacher's assistant and served as our first Middle School Math Fellow at EPACS, a position that was funded with the generous support of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and served as a pre-cursor to the Aspire Teacher Residency Program. Ms. Woodard moved oo EPAPA in 2011 as the 7th grade science teacher and currently teaches 7th grade biology and 8th grade physical sciences. Ms. Woodard received my bachelors degree in kinesiology from Occidental College in Los Angeles. After college she moved abroad to Japan and lived there teaching the English language for two years. Upon her return to the United States, she obtained her teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Ms. Woodard works at EPAPA because she is from the same community as the students. “I grew up in East Palo Alto and I know what challenges our students face in the real-world. I am here working because they can rise above and be successful because they have all the abilities to do so!”

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» Meet our Advisory Board