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Ivette rodriguez, executive director

Ivette Rodriguez, Executive Director for Phoenix International Academy, has dedicated her career to serving the South Mountain community in Phoenix, Arizona. She began her time there as a bilingual teacher in 2002, at Davis School, where she became the Assistant Principal. Ivette then transitioned to Chavez School where she led a school turnaround and worked with the community to transform the school culture to one where student leadership and input are the focus. Ivette finished her time at Roosevelt as the Assistant Superintendent for Academics, where she supported school leaders in building strong community relationships and improving student outcomes.

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ERIN BARIL, DIRECTOR OF EQUITY AND INNOVATION

Erin Baril, Director of Equity and Innovation, at Phoenix International Academy, began her teaching career in 2007 in the South Mountain community in Phoenix, Arizona. She has served this community for the past 11 years as a teacher, school leader, and in district level staff development. In the role as Lead Staff Development Coach, Erin led district-wide professional development for teachers, worked closely with teachers to provide follow-up coaching, and led a team to implement changes to district-wide curriculum. Erin has earned two Master’s degrees from Arizona State University, one in Elementary Education and one in Educational Leadership.

 
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FELICIA SPARKES, learning community leader

Felicia Sparkes, 5th/6th grade Learning Community Leader at Phoenix International Academy, began her teaching career in 2009 in the South Mountain community in Phoenix, Arizona. She has served the community for 10 years as a teacher, Reading Coach, and District Literacy Specialist. As a Reading Coach and Literacy Specialist, Felicia led district and school-level professional development for teachers, provided coaching and support around literacy instruction, and facilitated conversations regarding data and root-cause analysis. Felicia has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Arizona State University.

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dannieka price, lead learning coach

Dannieka Price has 6 years of teaching experience working with students of diverse backgrounds. Two of those years she spent working in Germany, and the last four years she has taught 5th and 7th grade in the Roosevelt School District. Learning and sharing her love of learning is what drives Dannieka to inspire the students she works with. You can expect to see Dannieka working alongside your child and encouraging them to do their best. Dannieka holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Upper Iowa University in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix in Elementary Education. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family traveling and watching movies.

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sandy velazquez, learning coach

Sandy has served as an instructional assistant, librarian, and art teacher at Roosevelt School District for seven years. She has a bachelor degree in Fine Arts focused on Graphic Design. Currently, she is working as a Spanish teacher while completing her Masters program in Psychology.

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amanda van dusen, learning community leader

Amanda Van Dusen, 7th/8th grade Learning Community Leader at Phoenix International Academy, began her teaching career in 2008 in the South Mountain community in Phoenix, Arizona. She has served this community for 11 years as a 6th-8th grade English Language Arts teacher and Instructional Coach. As an Instructional Coach, Amanda helped guide district and school-level professional development related to Literacy and Math content. She worked closely with teachers to better their practices by analyzing student data and creating and implementing plans to best meet the instructional needs of students. Amanda has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Education with a focus on Reading from Grand Canyon University, and a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Boston University.

 
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david hake, student experiences coordinator

David Hake has served as teacher, physical education coach, and reading interventionist for the past 10 years in the Roosevelt School District.  He will bring his passion for teaching to coordinate experiences for students that enhance their learning.  Students at Phoenix International Academy will have the opportunity to get out in to the community to learn from professionals in the field, attend eye-opening field trips, work on service learning projects, and follow their personal passions for art, music, or whatever else they are interested in pursuing.  Dave will ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential through hands-on learning and real-life experiences. 

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kate lyons, lead learning coach and diverse learning coordinator

Kate Lyons began her educational career teaching Elementary General Music in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2007. She moved to Arizona to begin teaching Special Education in 2008. Kate taught special education in Glendale and Phoenix for 8 years before moving her career path to South Phoenix. For the past 4 years, she has served as a district level Staff Development Coach and Instructional Coach for Special Education in the South Phoenix Community. In 2014, Kate received her National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist – Early Childhood through Young Adult. Kate has planned and facilitated district-wide professional development and has provided coaching to teachers related to special education instruction and compliance. Kate holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master’s Degree from Arizona State University in Special Education. She will graduate in May 2019 with a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

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Yajaira Arriaga, community liason and office manager

Yajaira has worked in the South Mountain Community as a reading interventionist, instructional assistant, special eduacation analyst and administrative assistant among other roles for over 13 years. She is currently working towards her national certification for Spanish translations. On a personal note, she is a wife, mother of two children and a grandmother of an amazing little girl.

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karina velazquez, learning coach

Karina Velazquez has served as an instructional assistant, art teacher, and technology teacher at Roosevelt School District for eight years. She has her first Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, a second Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts focused on Film and Video Production; currently, she is completing her Master's program in Psychology.

 
 
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ann nichols, electives and substitute learning coach

Ann brings more than 20 years of teaching experience to the Phoenix International Academy. She has worked in a number of schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area, with much of her time spent in the Roosevelt School District. Over the years, she has taught a mix of elementary and middle school grade levels, including several years as an ESL teacher. Her undergraduate education degree was from Arizona State University, where she also undertook a range of post degree graduate work. One of Ann’s strongest skills is in connecting and engaging students in the learning process. She does this by creating a safe classroom environment that encourages everyone’s participation and  curiosity. In her spare time she also volunteers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and she enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with friends and family.