Executive Director, Julian Charter School
As early as the fifth grade, Jennifer Cauzza knew she wanted to be a teacher. Committed to that goal, and much to the surprise of her parents, she graduated from Julian High School, attended San Diego State University and obtained her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with supplementary authorizations in English and Technology. Ms. Cauzza taught grades K-12, including GATE programs. In addition to teaching, Ms. Cauzza held various leadership positions including Union President, Mentor Teacher, and Friends of the Library Chairperson. In 1999, Ms. Cauzza accepted the position of Executive Director of Julian Charter School, moving from the classroom to the administration side of education, and went on to obtain her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University. During the past twelve years, Ms. Cauzza has expanded upon her passion in educating children through building personalized learning programs for students in the San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties.
Ms. Cauzza lives in Julian with her husband of 26 years, Adam. She has two grown children, Allison and Joseph.
Although her leisure time is limited, Ms. Cauzza loves to spend time with her family on their ranch, travel, and make memories with family and friends.
Amy Haseyama (Kindergarten)
Amy Haseyama is originally from New England where she graduated from Boston University with a BA in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. While teaching second grade in Seattle, Amy received her MA in Educational Technology. She taught a number of years in elementary school before deciding to spend some time at home with her three children. Amy continued to volunteer in her children’s classrooms and returned to school to receive her Crosscultural Language and Academic Development Certification. Over the last seven years Amy has taught at San Dieguito United Methodist Preschool while also substitute teaching in Encinitas Union School District.
Amy is very excited to share her love for education. She believes strongly in a community that provides a learning environment fostering confidence and problem solving and encourages children to reach their full academic potential while becoming life-long learners.
When Amy is not teaching you can find her with her family. She lives in Encinitas with her husband Todd and three children Darian, Kai and Blake. When she is not on the sidelines of the soccer field, track meets, or keeping score for baseball games, you may find her at the beach, reading, hiking or enjoying sports of all kinds.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560010
Mayra Gomez (First Grade)
Mayra was born in a small town in the central valley of California called Wasco, near Bakersfield. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master in Education. After completing her studies, Mayra began her first year teaching first grade in Bakersfield, CA. She then moved to San Diego where she taught Kindergarten and served as both a STEM and Reading Intervention instructor for K-6th grade.
Mayra is thankful for the paths life has taken her on her teaching journey because it has allowed her to arrive at such a caring place to teach first grade, Phoenix Learning Center!
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560064
Paula Hatch-Hemeon (Second Grade)
Paula Hatch grew up in Southern California in San Diego and the Inland Empire. She was educated at California State University San Bernardino where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Paula taught for three years in Riverside, California with special training in bilingual instruction and in a Spanish immersion class. After the birth of her beautiful daughter, she and her husband moved to Northern California to raise their soon-to-be three children on two treed acres in Hot and Sunny Redding, California. As her curious children began school, she engaged in various educational options beginning with traditional public schooling, then transitioning to homeschooling, and finally culminating with a commitment to charter school education. As her children entered Chrysalis Charter School, Paula’s passion and commitment to Charter schools began in the role of an enthusiastic parent. Later she was hired at Redding School of the Arts, a charter school with an emphasis on the visual and performing arts in Redding, California. She spent thirteen years there teaching grades first through fifth with an emphasis on thematic instruction, hands on math, and visual arts instruction. In addition, each year Paula coached or mentored her schools Odyssey of the Mind teams, a problem solving after-school program that emphasizes creative solutions to problems in visual and performing arts as well as Science and Engineering.
Paula comes to Phoenix Learning Center from Redding, California after raising three creative, artistic children. She comes with a passion for challenging scholars to create and communicate, to take risks and solve problems, and to delve deeply into subjects that interest them and share that knowledge in creative ways with their peers and others.
Outside of school, Paula enjoys spending time with her loyal, witty friends and amazing family eating, hiking, traveling, and laughing. She enjoys reading novels, newspapers, periodicals, and biographies. She enjoys creating art and viewing art, experiencing live music, perusing museums, and trekking through state and national parks enjoying rivers, lakes, and oceans.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560042
Jane Shimizu (Third Grade)
Jane Shimizu was born and raised in Los Angeles County. She received her BA in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She taught 3rd and 4th grades for seven years at schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and Walnut Unified School District until she decided to be a stay at home mom for Brian, Janelle and Jonathan. She continued to volunteer teaching in her children's classes and Sunday school for over eighteen years thanks to her supportive husband, Dean. For five years, Jane substituted in the Encinitas Unified School District and received her California Teaching of English Learners certification. She attended the USC Summer GATE Institute with Dr. Sandra Kaplan during the summer. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, camping and watching her kids sporting events.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560018
Allison Scher (Fourth Grade)
Allison has been actively involved with working with children from an early age and has always enjoyed learning new things. Her enthusiasm for teaching and sharing her love of learning was fostered by her own educational experiences.
Born and raised in Carlsbad, CA, Allison moved up to Santa Barbara, where she graduated from Westmont College with a degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Credential. For two years she taught third grade in Santa Barbara before relocating back down to Carlsbad in 2017. Since moving back, Allison has enjoyed being a substitute teacher in various school districts in the North County area and has loved having the opportunity to work in different schools, districts, and grade levels. She has been, actively involved with San Dieguito United Methodist Church working in Children’s Ministries for many years teaching Sunday school, VBS, and directing Christmas Pageants.
Allison is excited to be joining the Phoenix Learning Center team! It is through teaching that she seeks to help students further develop and discover their passions through instilling in them the tools of having a growth mindset in their journey of learning. She believes that imagination, creativity, and curiosity can help fuel the excitement that comes with learning and discovery. Most importantly, Allison loves the enthusiasm that students bring into the classroom and the opportunity to share in teachable moments.
With her enjoyment of singing, theater, and ballet, Allison loves to incorporate music and theater into the classroom atmosphere. When she is not teaching, you will find her swimming, reading a good book, hanging out at the beach, or exploring the outdoors with her friends, family, and their two Labradors Sammy and Abby.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 755004
Ashley Pirrello (Fourth/Fifth Grade)
Ashley Pirrello is living her dream having the opportunity to work with the scholars at the Phoenix Learning Center. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2003, with a BS in Retailing and Consumer Sciences, Ashley moved back home to San Diego to help run the family retail business. After ten years, she walked away from a successful endeavor to answer her true calling in life and enrolled at Cal State San Marcos, to obtain her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She is NCLB certified as a Highly Qualified Teacher and looks forward to continuing to grow with JCS.
Mrs. Pirrello is focused on creating meaningful learning experiences for each of her scholars and the success of her scholars is what keeps her passion alive. As she continues to feed her hunger for knowledge, she plans on learning as much from her scholars as she hopes they will learn from her!
When Ashley isn’t focusing on education, her life revolves around her two beautiful children (aged 9 and 6) and her husband, cooking, traveling, fishing, and anything to do with our local beaches.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560016
Tabitha Cronin (Fifth Grade)
Tabitha Cronin grew up in Sound Beach, New York. Her love of teaching started while teaching dance and coaching cheerleading. When she decided to pursue a career in education, she moved to New Jersey and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education/Special Education and Anthropology. She taught preschool, second grade, and third grade while living in New Jersey. During her time living in Manhattan, she worked as a home instruction teacher, catering to students with special needs and abilities. She did a great deal of pondering before deciding to leave busy (cold) Manhattan and head to the west coast.
This will be her second year teaching at PLC, where she plans to continue to build a community of lifelong learners. She is excited to see how the scholars have grown over time and what new ideas and challenges are ahead!
When she is not in the classroom, or planning awesome lessons, she enjoys spending time in the sand, hiking, reading, learning, traveling, dancing, camping, journaling, playing the guitar, cooking, and laughing with family and friends.
"Every moment is a teachable one and a learning opportunity."
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560044
OKathleen Blough (6/7/8 Team)
Kathleen Blough recently received her Masters in Teacher Leadership from the Graduate School at High Tech High. She spent time researching and collecting data on how cross-age dialogue journals and critical friend work develops students who are self-directed, life long learners. Her book, It Takes a Community: Developing Self-Directed Learners is available on Amazon. She also obtained her BA (Social Ecology) from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has a Professional Clear Multiple Subject Credential, a Cross Cultural Language and Academic Development certificate, and a Gifted and Talented Education certificate. She has taught grades 3-8, taught in Oceanside for 12 years, and has been with our program since its inception six years ago. She has been in GATE training for over 15 years. She has attended advanced Javits institutes for gifted education at USC with Dr. Sandra Kaplan. She has provided teacher training in Advanced Reading Strategies at the California Association for the Gifted (CAG) conference. She was a participating teacher at the Colonial Williamsburg Institute in Virginia. She was honored to receive San Diego County’s GATE teacher of the year and Teacher of the year at Palmquist Elementary School in 2005.
She lives in Carlsbad with her supportive husband, wonderful boys and pup (Rob, Tanner, Connor, and Angel). Her family is involved in many sports activities, and they are die-hard Angels and Chargers Fans! Quote to live by: "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can CHANGE the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560003
Cheri Campbell (6/7/8 Team)
Asst. School Director
Cheri Campbell has over 20 years of teaching experience, including the last eleven years at Phoenix. She spent over ten years teaching in Odessa, Texas. Her time there included six years in 4th grade classrooms, two years in a Kdg-6th grade science lab, a year in 7th grade advanced academic studies science, and four years teaching 1st-6th grade students in a GATE program applying Dr. Sandra Kaplan's methods. She holds California Multi-Subject and Reading Specialist certifications and held several Texas certifications, including a Gifted and Talented Supplemental and Science. She has attended Demonstration Schools along with numerous GATE conferences and trainings.
Cheri is excited to continue her work with the middle school team teaching 7th and 8th grade Math this year.
Cheri graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago and received a masters degree in Reading Education from the University of Cincinnati. She is married to Pat and has two grown children, Tiffany and Jason. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, Grace and Rowan, whenever possible. She returned to California after many years in Texas and is happy to be living so close to the ocean. Her loves are sunset walks with her husband and their Scottish terriers, scuba diving, traveling, and scrapbooking.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560005
Carrie Cox (6/7/8 Team)
Carrie Cox is very excited to join the amazing staff and scholars at PLC! Raised by a teacher, Ms. C knew she loved teaching, but there were other things she wanted to try first. After graduating from UC Irvine (ZOT!) with a BA in Psychology, Ms. C worked as a residential counselor in groups home across the country. When she had the opportunity to move to Florida, Ms. C decided to pursue a childhood dream to study marine biology. After completing her BS in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida (Argonauts, Ho!) with a newborn son, Ms. C and her family moved back to Southern California where she decided it was time to settle down and get into the classroom. She earned credentials in multiple subject education, and biological sciences from CSU Long Beach (where they have a shark lab...a SHARK LAB!!!) This will be Ms. C's eighth year in the classroom after taking time off to raise her family.
Ms. C loves to run, read, crochet like an old lady, and hang out with loved ones. And coffee... Don't get her started on coffee...
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560058
Tim Goldstein (6/7/8 Team)
Tim grew up in New Jersey where he was raised by a dad who always reminded him of how cool it would be to become a teacher. Both of his sisters took his advice and eventually, he did too! In New Jersey, Tim developed his love for surfing and the ocean, fishing and other outdoor activities, as well as reading, writing, and foreign language. He left for the University of Rhode Island with the idea of becoming an educator on his mind.
During his college years, Tim interned at a few different schools while majoring in Spanish with the idea of becoming a Spanish teacher. He traveled throughout Europe while studying Spanish abroad in San Sebastian, Spain. Immediately after college, Tim resided in Costa Rica, where he got his first teaching job at an international private school called The Country Day School, Guanacaste. It was during this year where his love for teaching grew rapidly as he quickly learned all of the challenges and successes that come along with the job.
For four years, Tim taught 6th grade Humanities in a project-based learning environment at High Tech Middle North County in San Marcos, CA. At HTMNC, he designed his own curriculum combined of ancient history, English language arts, social studies and geography through rigorous, hands-on group projects with meaningful real world connections, all while pushing students’ critical thinking skills and challenging them along the way. Tim also taught the Spanish elective in which students immersed themselves in conversation and put their speaking abilities to practice in the outside world in local Mexican restaurants.
Outside of teaching, he enjoys hobbies such as surfing, fly fishing, snowboarding, camping, reading, writing, speaking Spanish, playing music, and traveling to new and exciting locations. Tim combines his passion for these hobbies into the lessons he teaches in order to help engage his students in their learning. His ability to connect well with students, get them engaged in their work, and push them to think critically and creatively is what he loves most about teaching. Tim looks forward to doing just that at Phoenix Learning Center.
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560009
Audra Asadurian (6/7/8 Team)
Audra Asadurian (Johnston) was born and raised in Fresno, California. She attended CSU Fresno state where she received her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing Minor. After graduating, she decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and go back to school for a Teaching Credential at CSU Fresno State. Directly after graduating with her credential, she moved down to San Diego! She most recently worked in Chula Vista as a 4th grade teacher.
Outside of teaching, she enjoys reading and writing. Thankfully, she lives close to the beach in Pacific Beach and enjoys taking a great book down to the beach to enjoy the sun! When she's not in the classroom, she enjoys going to Crossfit, spending time at the beach, meeting new friends and yoga! Her passion is reading and writing, and she cannot wait to share her love of words with students this year!
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560059
Carol Smith (6/7/8 Team)
Carol Smith has been involved in teaching and learning for over thirty years, as a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, private tutor, educational business owner, and in curriculum development. She received her BA in Psychology, and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from UCSD, and later returned to complete her Masters in Teaching and Learning Mathematics Curriculum from UCSD. She taught for 14 years in Oceanside, grades first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth, before taking time away from the classroom to raise her two sons. She didn’t end up leaving the classroom and instead was a professional volunteer teaching art, science and math at her children’s school for twelve years, while she also privately tutored and ran educational camps. She has extensive experience working with diverse students and has several years of training and certification in Gifted education, mathematics and science. She is passionate about teaching and learning and is thrilled to be coming to this campus to teach and learn with the students, families, and faculty.
Carol lives in Encinitas and has two grown sons, a cat and a dog she inherited from her oldest son. She has spent the last three years volunteering with San Diego’s refugee community, helping them to feel welcome, to navigate the systems, find work and enroll in schools. She has tutored them and formed strong relationships within the community. Carol is from Colorado and enjoys camping and the mountains! She also loves Disneyland and ice cream. Her commitment to students and families, ensuring their happiness, success, and love for teaching and learning is her primary concerns. Her belief is that, who you are and what you do, makes a difference in the lives of others!
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 560068
Alisa Okamoto (Intervention Teacher)
Alisa Okamoto grew up in Southern California where she met her husband in the 2nd grade. She received her Bachelors Degree in Studio Art from U.C. Irvine and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from Concordia University, Irvine. Her experience includes teaching Kindergarten and First Grade in Newport-Mesa School District and San Diego Unified Schools. Most recently, she taught first grade at Innovation Center in Encinitas.
Mrs. Okamoto is honored to be a part of the team at Phoenix Learning Center. She is impressed with the dedicated families and nurturing community. She believes the most inspiring teachers are those that can learn and be reflective in the process of their own teachings. It is her passion and commitment to be a lifelong learner and to teach her students to be the same.
Mrs. Okamoto lives with her husband Cameron and three children in Encinitas. When she isn't teaching, you can find her reading on her back deck, practicing yoga in Cardiff by the Sea, or camping in her new trailer with her family!
phone: (760) 632-4989 ext: 565033