Leading the Way

Our skilled and seasoned staff are dedicated to teaching and helping every child, every day. Our staff goal is to work as a cohesive team to create an environment where students can truly thrive both intellectually and creatively. We foster an environment of collaboration with parents, and work to create a place where children can develop their lifelong love for learning.

Emilio Garza

Emilio Garza

Principal

Rey Munda

Rey Munda

Magnet Coordinator/ Title I Designee/ EL Designee / Testing Coordinator / Early Language and Literacy Plan (ELLP) Designee / Title IX Complaint Manager / Homeless Education & Migrant Workers Liaison / Foster Youth Advocate

Mr. Munda has worked for the LA Unified School District since 2002. Before then, he was a preschool teacher at the UCLA lab school while he attained his BA in Psychology. He graduated several times: in 1999 (HS), 2001 (Diplome de Pastisserie), 2002 (BA), 2004 (M.Ed - Elem Ed), 2006 (MA - Ed Leadership). He started teaching in LAUSD at the age of 20 back in 2002 (you do the math of how old he is now). Since then he has taught every grade level (K-5) and even a combination class. In 2009, he took on the role as an Instructional Coach, then as a Title I Coordinator, and currently is our Magnet Coordinator+ (+= many other roles). He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and making them laugh with his dry humor, sarcasm, and "dad jokes".

Courtney Diedrich

Courtney Diedrich

Kindergarten Teacher

“You are in control! You can do great things!”

Ms. Diedrich has started her teaching career at Elysian Elementary and is thrilled about how welcoming and positive everyone has been. She takes a student-centered approach to her teaching and makes sure to meet each student where they are. If she could be a crayon color, she would be yellow because she is a positive and cheerful person—just like the sun!

Kathryn Sutherland

Kathryn Sutherland

Kindergarten Teacher

“You are made of stars and a superstar you are!! :)”

Ms. Sutherland has been a teacher for 7 years, and we've been lucky to have her at Elysian for 5 years so far. Her favorite thing about Elysian Heights is the people. From the faculty to the staff, kids, and parents—they all bring her so much joy. She is a free-flowing, outgoing teacher that can bring any student out of their shell. If she could have any animal as a classroom pet, she would choose a big, funny dog to cuddle with the kids during read-alouds and play with them during recess!

Amy Treviño

Amy Treviño

Kindergarten Teacher

“Mrs. Trevino loves you, believes in you, and has great expectations for you because you are awesome!”

Mrs. Trevino loves being a kindergarten teacher! She enjoys helping her students grow, smile, laugh, and fall in love with learning. She uses her background in musical theater to help keep her students engaged and excited. She went back to school to get her Master's in Reading Instruction so that she has as many tools as she can to help all students on their personal reading journey. She is known to bring the dance party wherever she goes because she is the queen of celebrating success and has to move when she hears music. She loves the Elysian Heights Arts Magnet community so much that she brought her own son to attend school here, too.

Jaquelyn Bonilla

Jaquelyn Bonilla

1st Grade Teacher

“You are loved and always supported to be your true self inside our space.”

Ms. Bonilla has started her career at Elysian Heights and loves the connected community of families and staff. She's known for her patience and has a goal of always creating a teaching environment that is fun and filled with laughter. She wants all of the students to know she will be their #1 supporter, and that they can be free to be themselves. If she could have any classroom pet, it would be a baby pig so the students can have a silly, fun pet to run around with! 

msbonillasclass.weebly.com

Sarah Feigelson

Sarah Feigelson

1st Grade Teacher

“"Love is an action, never simply a feeling." - Bell Hooks”

Sarah has been teaching for five years and is thrilled to be joining Elysian Heights for her sixth this fall. She has a background in inclusive classrooms and believes that all children are capable of success in school and beyond. Her goal as a teacher is for all her students to feel seen and supported, and know that they are part of a community bigger than themselves.

Susana Villamarin

Susana Villamarin

1st Grade Teacher

“If you're always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be. - Maya Angelou”

Ms. Villamarin has been a teacher for over 25 years, with 22 of those years being at Elysian Heights!  She enjoys exploring the beautiful garden and other outdoor spaces with her class.  She's always open-minded to the needs of her students using humor and the arts to take risks in the classroom.  She strives to maintain a classroom atmosphere that inspires and encourages students to explore and express their ideas.  If she were a crayon color, she would be green because it is a reminder of the individuality, strength, peacefulness, and connectedness of a tree. 

 

Rachel Burt

Rachel Burt

2nd Grade Teacher

“Don't decide that you can't before you discover that you can.”

Ms. B. has been working with children for nearly two decades as a babysitter, nanny, camp counselor, and substitute teacher, so it makes perfect sense that she eventually sought out a career in education. She began her teaching career at Elysian Heights in 2019 and, given the pandemic, it's been a wild (albeit exhilarating) ride thus far! She is thrilled to be a member of such a supportive, caring community of teachers, students, and their families. Ms. B.'s classroom is a place where students not only learn academics, but life lessons that they will carry with them wherever they go. We don't say "We can't…" in Ms. B.'s room; we say "We can't…yet."

Sheryl Murakoshi Gallo

Sheryl Murakoshi Gallo

2nd Grade Teacher

“"Teaching is love in its purest form."”

Mrs. Gallo continues to love educating young minds. She has taught at Elysian since 1997 and is inspired by the inquisitive nature of children. She creates a safe and nurturing environment in the classroom where each child feels loved, supported, and heard. She loves incorporating ukulele instruction in her program and loves to sing with children. She was humbled to receive the honor of Teacher of the Year in 2020. Teaching is her passion and love and she is honored to be a part of children's growth. 

Adam Rager

Adam Rager

2nd Grade Teacher

“"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."”

Mr. Rager is so thrilled to start his teaching career at Elysian Heights. Mr. Rager comes to teaching with the belief in a classroom where students think critically about the world, and help shape and direct the curriculum based on where their learning takes them. He is focused on creating a safe and caring classroom community, and is so excited to see all of the amazing things his students will create together this year.

Luz Angelica Gomez

Luz Angelica Gomez

2nd Grade Teacher

“We make mistakes so we can learn. Every day, we can be a better version of ourselves.”

Ms. Gomez started her career with Elysian Heights and have been with us for over 3 years. She loves how welcoming the staff and community is. Her goal for her classroom is to be student-led. She sees the classroom as a place full of learners, including the teacher! She loves creating a sense of wonder in students and utilizes that for project-based learning. She meditates with her students every morning to set a calm and balanced tone for the day. If she were a crayon color, she would be cerulean blue. She remembers when she learned how to pronounce that word in the first grade, and it's stuck with her ever since as a bright and bold color. 

Elaine Kang

Elaine Kang

3rd Grade Teacher

“"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." -Walt Disney”

Ms. Kang has worked with children all throughout her life, from being a nanny to a youth events director, so it's only natural that she finds herself in a career where she can work directly with her students. She seeks to implement an inclusive classroom environment to ensure that her students and families are empowered throughout their learning experience in her classroom. With a love for the arts, the outdoors, and people, Ms. Kang looks forward to meaningful memories for, from, and with her amazing students.

Hannah Klein

Hannah Klein

3rd Grade Teacher

“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. - Roald Dahl”

As a teacher, Ms. Klein is all about building strong relationships, asking big questions, and cultivating a joyful learning environment. She values creative and critical thinking, collaboration, arts integration, and believes strongly in the capacity of every child to do amazing things. Ms. Klein loves teaching because she loves learning, and she is so grateful to learn new things from her students all the time! If she were a crayon she would be purple because she tried out being Harold's purple crayon on Halloween one year and it just felt right.

Cherry Miller

Cherry Miller

3rd Grade Teacher

“Be kind! Try hard! Aim for the stars!”

Ms. Miller has been a teacher for over 20 years, with 18 years of that time at Elysian Heights. She has gotten to know everyone so well—from the staff to the students and the community. She loves how it feels like home at the school. She is a very structured teacher but loves to pair planning with creative freedom. It's so fun to see the kids go above and beyond with projects, making the classroom so full of energy and color. If she could choose any pet for her class, it would be a giant panda to cuddle with during independent reading time! 

Fatima Rios

Fatima Rios

Resource Specialist

“Always keep trying and practicing! Especially when things seem daunting and challenging.”

Ms. Rios loves the diversity and flexibility of Elysian Heights. Her teaching style is a balance of old school expectations, paired with restorative justice practices. She enjoys collaborating with her students and loves both teaching them and learning from them. She's been a teacher for 12 years, and at Elysian for 7 of those years. If she were a crayon color, she would be purple because eggplant is her favorite veggie! 

Vanity Amano

Vanity Amano

4th Grade Teacher

“The world around us is so big and needs big questions and creative answers!”

Ms. Amano just finished up her first year teaching at Elysian Heights and has had so much fun learning from the staff. She has discovered the students to be so friendly, accepting, and always willing to learn from each other. She enjoys a lot of discussion-driven lessons in her teaching so the kids can speak their minds. She wants to foster an ability for them to express their thoughts and opinions on topics they are passionate about. If she could choose any classroom pet, it would be an ocelot. This wild and unique cat would have fun hanging out with our city kids! 

Steve Szabo

Steve Szabo

4th Grade Teacher

“Find out what matters to you and spend your life pursuing it!”

Mr. Szabo has been a teacher for 28 years, with 20 of his years being at Elysian Heights. He has so much fun with the kids and loves all of their interesting antidotes. His teaching style has always been very flexible. He allows students to express themselves without fear of judgment. Students feel free to learn in their own way within his classroom. If he could have any animal as a classroom pet, he would bring his parrot…he could help with classroom management as he has a degree in Group Dynamics. 

Jason Garcia

Jason Garcia

5th Grade Teacher

“Fail if you must, win if you can, but under no circumstances do you ever give up!”

Mr. Garcia has spent the last 7 years of his 19 year teaching career with Elysian Heights. He loves the vibe of this school and attributes it to the good nature of the kids and the staff. He is honest, fair, patient, and motivational with his students. He relates well to the kids by sharing stories to help them understand things they are challenged within their lives. If he could be a crayon color, he would choose olive green because it reminds him of being outside—his favorite place to be! 

Allison Tuthill

Allison Tuthill

Music Teacher

“You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Always be your best self!”

Ms. Tuthill has been a music teacher for 9 years, and last year was her first at Elysian Heights. She loves how creative the students are. They always come to music class with new and great ideas. She tries to incorporate all students interests and values into the music room. She wants her classroom to be a space for students to express themselves. If she could have any animal in her class, it would be a songbird of course! 

Rebecca Maurer

Rebecca Maurer

Visual Arts Teacher

“"Art should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination, and encourages people to go further." - Keith Haring”

Rebecca Maurer has a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia PA. She moved to Echo Park in 2001. Since then, she has explored various art careers such as costume design and jewelry design. She also loves painting, tapestry weaving, and puppet making. This is Rebecca's sixth year at Elysian Heights. "Our students continue to amaze me! I love seeing the passion in their artmaking. It's truly a magical thing."

Emily Kosloski

Emily Kosloski

Theater Arts Teacher

“"Your story matters!"”

Emily has been teaching theater at Elysian Heights since 2017. She is also the theater education coordinator at Sacred Fools Theater and a professional actor who has appeared in regional theaters all over the country, dozens of television shows, and on Broadway! She attended Northwestern University, and has degrees in Music, Mathematics, and Musical Theatre.

Rachelle Belkin

Rachelle Belkin

Dance Teacher

“"Dance like nobody is watching!"”

Ms. Belkin is beginning her second year as a dance teacher at Elysian Heights after previously teaching in the classroom for 9 years. She has always found dance to be a wonderful mode of self-expression and a way to bring people together. She enjoys supporting students find unique and creative ways to move and express themselves freely and believes that dance is a universal language that can be appreciated and understood by all.

Curriculum
Inquiry Our classrooms are intentionally designed to promote inquiry-based learning...
Arts & Culture
As we believe that access to the arts is crucial to student-learning, Elysian Heights Arts Magnet launched a school-wide visual arts program in the fall of 2016. Our students access the arts both in and out of the classroom...