Staff Listing

The 2015-2016 Staff at Canyon Charter 


USD. 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 am proud to say that the school’s Academic Performance Index increased to 951 in my time at Topanga. 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 live in Mar Vista with my chef husband, my son who will be starting kindergarten this year, my two dogs and a cat. When not working I enjoy hiking, gardening, spinning, yoga, cooking and home improvement projects. I am a born busy body and rarely find time to sit still.

I am excited to join the Canyon Charter Community where I know that I will continue to enjoy being part of a true community school where collaboration and community are strongly valued. I am looking forward to being a part of 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.


I am delighted to be your new Assistant Principal, Elementary Instructional Specialist. I come to you with over 25 years of experience working with special education, general education and gifted students at the elementary level, and 5 years of experience coordinating a federal grant working with at risk middle and high school students and their families to prepare them for high school success and enrollment in college.  I am a native Angelino and I attended Los Angeles Unified schools for grades K-12. My BA is from UCLA and my teaching credentials and Master’s degree are from CSUN.  I am married and have two wonderful sons. I live near Dodger Stadium and I am a big Dodger fan.  When I am not working I love to visit with family and friends, exercise, read, cook and garden.  I also love to travel.  I am excited to be a new member of the Canyon Charter community and am excited to work with students, staff and families!


Born in Hollywood CA, I was raised in Encino, with summers spent in Israel. I, too, am the product of the LAUSD school system, where I received a stellar education! I studied Business Economics at UCSB and worked in the corporate world for 5 years. I left to pursue my true passion, psychology and graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a M.A. in Educational Psychology. This will be my 4th year at Canyon and I am thrilled to be part of such a lovely community. The staff, students, and parents at Canyon are wonderful and truly make my job enjoyable and worthwhile. When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my friends and family (I have 3 adorable little nieces). I also enjoy reading, yoga, hiking, cooking classes, road trips, and interior design.


After numerous visits to beautiful California, I am excited to finally proclaim myself a resident. I was born and raised in New York and am thrilled to be joining the Canyon community. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. You could say it runs in the family as my mother is a special education teacher as well.

After receiving a dual Master’s Degree in Elementary Special Education fromNYU and a graduate certificate in Autism from Johns Hopkins University, I taught in both New York and Maryland. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling then helping students overcome challenges and witnessing that pivotal moment when they begin to understand a concept (that "aha" moment).

My favorite part of teaching is building relationships with my students and helping each of them believe in themselves and their ability to reach their own individual potential. I find it rewarding being able to have the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers in the school to find teaching methods that work for all types of learners in our classrooms.

When outside of the classroom, my passions are traveling, running and my adorable dog, Sophie. I have run five half marathons, each in a different state and am excited to explore new running trails in California (gladly taking suggestions). I’m looking forward to the new adventures ahead and enjoying the year round sunshine.

Visit Ms. Levin's Website 

Ms. Levin's Amazon Wishlist for Resource Room


Margarita Contreras: Administrative Assistant
Jackie Arabia: Office IA Assistant
Luz Cruz: Office Assistant
Greg Herd: Plant Manager
Michael Nicholes: B and G Worker
Sheena Washington: Cafeteria Manager
Barbara Blake: Librarian
Marilyn Schmitter: Nurse
Cara Tambellin: Language & Speech
Veero Derkarabetian: Science Instruction for Grade 3-5
Nicole Currie: Dance
George Glover: Crossing Guard
Susan Haskell: Art
Joey Medaglia: Physical Education
Sally Ahn: Music (Vocal)
Carlos Velado: Technology Li
Lily Velado: S.T.A.R. Director
Shawn Genut: Adapted PE
Cara Danielson: Speech Therapist
Oscar Gutierrez: Occupational Therapist

Room/Blog LLink
Teacher / Bil Link
Room K2
Kellie Howard
Room K1
Susan Hamilburg
Room 1
Tamara Gorman
Room 2
Lisa Riddle
1st Grade
Room 15
Olivia Lim
1st Grade
Room 16
Courtenay Pfau
1st Grade
Room 11
Maisha Harris
2nd Grade
Erica Lamb
2nd Grade
Room 17
Sherry Ikebe
2nd Grade
Room 8
Mona Huizar
3rd Grade
Room 6
Katje Davis
3rd Grade
Room 7
Steve Butts
3rd Grade
Room 5
Laura Goldstein
4th Grade
Room 9
Charlena TerVeer
4th Grade
Room 3
Cassy Cook
4th Grade
Room 4
Doug Stoll
5th Grade
Room 10
Akimi Sujishi-Watson
5th Grade
Room 20
Mara Wisen
Learning Lab