The 2021-2022 Staff at Canyon Charter
NICOLE SHEARD: SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
When I was selected to be Principal of Canyon in 2015, I felt like I won the lottery! Growing up in Pacific Palisades and spending my entire career working at schools within the Palisades Complex, I had always admired Canyon from the outside. When I joined the Canyon community, I knew that I was “home.” Being part of a true community school where collaboration and community are strongly valued is important to me. From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be in education. I spent much of my childhood in my mother’s classroom and enjoyed playing “teacher.” After graduating from Loyola Marymount, in 1995 I began teaching at Palisades Elementary and remained there for 10 years teaching various grades. My principal inspired me to go into administration and in 2006 I became an Assistant Principal, Elementary Instructional Specialist (APEIS).
As an APEIS, I traveled between 3 high performing westside charter schools where I supported the special education programs. I learned so much about special education laws and policies and supporting the individual needs of students became a true mission of mine. Since then, I have made it my goal to ensure that every child at my school gets what they need, whether additional intensive support, or further challenge.
After serving as APEIS for four years, I was fortunate to be selected as the principal of Topanga Elementary Charter School. It was at Topanga that I truly discovered the importance of a school community. In my four years at Topanga I thoroughly enjoyed the culture of collaboration and shared decision making. My passion for meeting the academic as well as social and emotional needs of students grew even more deeply as I strived to address the needs of the “whole child.”
On a more personal note, I currently live in Pacific Palisades with my partner, son, and 2 dogs. When not working I enjoy hiking, gardening, spinning, yoga, cooking, traveling and home improvement projects. I am a born busy body and rarely find time to sit still. I feel blessed to be at Canyon every day, carrying out the school vision to ensure that all students receive the best education possible. Canyon has made exceptional achievements and I am proud to be able to serve as this school’s Principal.
MONA HUIZAR: COORDINATOR/LEARNING ACADEMY
I’m passionate about teaching and building a community of learners in my classroom, Room 19.
In my administrative role as Coordinator and Learning Academy Teacher, I work with students who need a little extra support with reading. I enjoy working with students in small groups to ensure their academic success. I approach my work as an educator with great humility, understanding the awesome responsibility that it comes with. I believe in the importance of teaching the whole child. The role of the teacher is not only to teach, but also to help monitor and shape the social and emotional aspects of life at school. I pride myself in being collaborative with my colleagues, in being a life-long learner, and in developing a love of reading and learning in my students.
I hold a Bachelors Degree from UCLA, as well as a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration. I am also a National Board Certified Teacher. Besides being a teacher, I am the mother of two recent college grads. My experience as both a parent and a teacher has given me perspective and insight that I bring with me in my role as an educator. I look forward to working with you to make this year a very positive and successful year for your child!
Margarita Contreras: Administrative Assistant
Jackie Arabia: Office Assistant
Luz Cruz: Office Assistant
Greg Herd: Plant Manager
Sheena Washington: Cafeteria Manager
Elisa Rose: AEPIS
Barbara Blake: Library Aide
Nirit Levy: School Psychologist
Tonya Carlin: Resource Teacher
Scott LaFavre: Speech Therapy
Sharlene Natan: Occupational Therapy
TBD: Nurse (Mondays)
Courtenay Pfau: Science Instruction
Susan Haskell: Art Instruction
Joey Medaglia: Physical Education
TBD: Vocal Music Instruction
Rachel Galper: Drama Instruction
Anne Flanagan: Drama Instruction
Nicole Currie: Dance Instruction
Carlos Velado: Digital Learning Instruction
Lily Velado: S.T.A.R. Director
TBD: Adapted PE
TBD: Beyond the Bell
|1st Grade||16||April Walker|
|1st Grade||15||Olivia Lim|
|1st Grade||18||Erica Lamb|
|2nd Grade||11||Maisha Harris|
|2nd Grade||17||Sherry Ikebe|
|2nd Grade||12||Katje Davis|
|3rd Grade||6||Akimi Sujishi-Watson|
|3rd Grade||7||Steve Butts|
|3rd Grade||8||Stephanie Radulovich|
|4th Grade||3||Simone Spenner|
|4th Grade||5||Laura Goldstein|
|4th Grade||9||Charlena TerVeer|
|5th Grade||4||Doug Stoll|
|5th Grade||2||Travis Cantero|