Leadership Team

Leadership Team

District Math Coordinator

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 
 
District Math Coordinator 
 
 
 
Tara Guerrero is the Math Coordinator for Crane Elementary School District.  A native to Yuma, AZ, she is currently in her 14th year as an educator having taught at both the elementary and middle school level.  Tara is also a board member for Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics, serving as the West Central Regional Vice President.  Aside from her deep passion for mathematics, she enjoys spending time with family … and shopping! 

Gary A. Knox Math Leaders

 
 
  1st Grade Teacher
 
 
Julie Almanza is a first grade teacher at Gary A. Knox Elementary School. Originally from Long Beach, California, she is currently in her 13th year as an educator having taught grades first though third. Julie is in her third year as a member of the district’s math leadership team and second year as a member of the ELA leadership team. She was a part of the site leadership team for 9 years at Valley Horizon Elementary serving on various curriculum committees.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Northern Arizona University in Elementary Education and has attended a multitude of professional development courses throughout her career. Aside from her passion and commitment to education, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and shopping.  
 
 
 
  2nd Grade Teacher
 
 
Lavon Sierra is a 2nd grade teacher, for Crane School District, at Gary A. Knox Elementary School.  She is currently in her 6th year teaching, having spent her first five in kindergarten. Lavon is a member of both the Math and English Language Arts District Leadership Teams.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves being outdoors- running, hiking, and fishing.
 
 
 
   6th Grade Dept. Teacher
 
 
 
Lorraine (Margie) Tanaka is a teacher at Gary Knox Elementary. After teaching 18 years in Blanca, Colorado, she has just completed her 18th year in Crane District. She is currently teaching 6th grade mathematics in a departmentalized setting. Lorraine is a veteran teacher with 36 years in education, teaching grades 3rd through 6th. She is a member of the Crane District Math Leadership Team as well as the Gary Knox Spelling Bee Coordinator. Lorraine is also a member of the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Being a mathematics teacher is Lorraine’s professional passion, but spending time with family, especially her three granddaughters, is what she loves doing most out of the classroom.

Gowan Science Academy Math Leaders

 
 
  1st Grade Teacher
 
  
 
Chellie Gordon is a first grade teacher at Gowan Science Academy. Originally from Fairview, Montana, she is currently in her 17th year as an educator having taught kindergarten and first grade. Aside from teaching insightful and inquisitive youngsters, she enjoys spending time with her family, and reading.
 
  
   4th Grade Teacher
  
 
Tamara Van Sickle is a 4th grade classroom teacher at Gowan Science Academy.  She moved to Yuma in 2002, from Northern Arizona, where she was born and raised.  She is currently in her 16th year of teaching, having taught 2nd - 5th (all subjects), and 7th & 8th grade science classes.  During her educational career, she has worked on numerous curriculum committees in both mathematics and ELA.  She currently is a co-chair for technology and co-advisor for the GenYes programs at GSA.  Besides teaching, Tamara enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with her family.

H.L. Suverkrup Math Leaders

 
   Kindergarten Teacher 
                                                                                                                                      
 
Rachel Mesa is a kindergarten teacher at H.L.Suverkrup Elementary School. She is a native of Yuma, Az and is in her sixth year of teaching. Rachel has an endorsement and experience in Early Childhood Education, and has had experience with junior high and high school students in an afterschool program. Aside from laughing and learning with students, Rachel enjoys family time and baking! 
 
 
 
 
   4th Grade Teacher 
 
 
Blanca Rivera has been a fourth grade teacher at H.L. Suverkrup for the past five years. This will be her seventh year in education.  She's been a part of the district math leadership team for the past three years. It is with pleasure and passion that Blanca seeks opportunities to learn new teaching practices that will help improve instruction. Aside from her profession, Blanca is also a  highly dedicated mother of four children with ages that range from 2 to 10 years old and baby #5 on the way!  She enjoys spending any and all of her extra time with family and children! 

Mesquite Math Leaders

 
   K-6 Interventionist 
 
 
 
Jeanine Brooks is the Reading and Math Interventionist at Mesquite Elementary School.  Originally from California, she is in her 35th year of teaching, having taught a 5th/6th combo class for one year in San Diego.  She has taught first grade for the Crane School District for 33 years.  She is looking forward to the new position where she can help support the classroom teachers in helping students to succeed.  Aside from her love of teaching children to read, Jeanine loves to read fiction, cook for her family, and see Broadway shows. 
 
 
 
 
   K-6 ESS Teacher
 
Danielle Allen is an ESS Math Teacher at Mesquite Elementary School.  She is originally from Chicago, Illinois where she worked in both self-contained and resource settings K-12th grade. Danielle is in her 3rd year as a special education resource teacher for Crane School District.  She is a member of the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics (AATM) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Aside from her passion for teaching special education students, Danielle enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends! 

Pueblo Math Leaders

 
 
   Kindergarten Teacher
 
 
Michalle Keiser has been in education for 15 years having spent most of that time teaching kindergartners, which she truly loves.  She's currently teaching kindergarten at Pueblo Elementary.  Michalle is originally from Lodi, California, but has lived in Yuma for 28 years now.  When she's not working she loves to read, kayak with her husband, and play with their dogs. 
 
 
 
 
   4-6 Grade GAP Teacher
 
Michelle Pienta is the GAP 4th -6th grade math teacher for Pueblo Elementary School.  She was born and raised in the most southwest corner of Arizona.  She is currently in her 21st year as an educator having taught every grade from 3rd to 8th.  Michelle has been a member of the Math/ELA Curriculum Committee, a mentor teacher, and team leader for several years.  Michelle loves her job, her students and most of all her family.  Math is always a part of her daily life. She believes, “Math for fun is the best past time during the summer months!"  
 
 
  6th Grade Dept. Teacher
 
 
Alicia Cooke is a 6th grade teacher at Pueblo Elementary School. She is originally from Kelso, WA and has been teaching for the last 7 years. Alicia is a Team Leader and Student Council Advisor at her school. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her dog, Nigel.

Rancho Viejo Math Leaders

 
   5th Grade Teacher 
 
 
Jenny Kaste has been teaching for over 10 years in grades 4-6 while also being involved in coaching, teaching gifted and ELL classes, and leading student councils.  Jenny was a 2016 Rodel Exemplary Teacher Finalist and has been a district leader working to write curriculum and participate with ADE to review the current math standards. She is a past board member of Precious Treasures Mission, an active member of ADK, a philanthropic, professional organization, and a board member and education chair of the Children’s Museum of Yuma County.  Jenny and her family enjoy daily life by hiking, biking, playing at the local parks and traveling to visit family in Maine.

Ronald Reagan Math Leaders

 
   2nd Grade Teacher
 
 
Megan Weber is a second grade teacher at Ronald Reagan Elementary School.  Originally from Wisconsin, she decided to move to the desert after graduating college in 2014.  This is her 3rd year teaching and she's been fortunate to have the same grade level assignment and classroom location since her arrival at Reagan.  Megan loves teaching and sharing that passion with other Crane teachers! Outside of teaching, she enjoys spending time outside, hiking and walking her dog.  She also enjoys traveling and photography.
 
 
 
   K-6 ESS Teacher
 
Jan Boyer is the Special Education Resource Teacher at Ronald Reagan Elementary School.  Originally from northern Nevada, she has lived in Yuma for 12 years and has been a teacher for 17 years.   Jan worked in the elementary school as a 1st and 3rd grade teacher, reading interventionist, and special education teacher. She is currently attending college full time to complete a Master’s Degree in Special Education.  When Jan has free time, she loves to read, spoil her cat, and spend time with family.

Salida Del Sol Math Leaders

 
 
   2nd Grade Teacher
 
Nicole Rachlin is a 2nd grade teacher and team leader at Salida del Sol Elementary. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She is in her 5th year of teaching. She enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time outdoors with her husband and dog. 
 
 
 
 
 
   3rd Grade GAP Teacher
 
 
 Kirt Gordon is a third grade teacher at Salida del Sol. He has been teaching for 18 years. Math along with all other subjects are Kirt’s favorite. 

Valley Horizon Math Leaders

 
  Kindergarten Teacher
 
 
Irish Holtry has been teaching in the Crane District for 10 years.  She has taught kinder, first, and second grades at Valley Horizon Elementary.  She has held a variety of committee positions at both the site and district level.  Irish is a Yuma transplant from San Diego, California.  She is a member of Arizona Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority for Women Educators and a board member for Yuma Partnership Council of Arizona’a First Things First.  She is a dedicated wife and mother who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys the perks of living in Arizona. 
 
 
   4th Grade Teacher
 
 
Maritza Canales teaches 4th grade at Valley Horizon Elementary School.  She was born in Yuma, Arizona.  Maritza has been in the education field for twelve years, first as an instructional aide and then as a teacher.  The first four years of her teaching career began with 4th grade students at another site.  While at Valley Horizon, she taught 5th grade for two years, two years of 5th/6th, and this year she's back to teaching 4th grade.  Her focus when not at school is her loving family.

Crane Middle Math Leaders

 
 
   7-9 Grade Math Teacher
 
Josh Topp teaches 7th & 8th grade math at Crane Middle School as well as the high school Honors Algebra. He has taught for five years. Originally from Ohio, he moved to Arizona for adventure and the desire to play a big part in closing the achievement gap. When Josh is not teaching his students, you can usually bet he’s fulfilling his duties as math department chair, team lead, student council advisor, boys soccer coach, or working on Master’s coursework in Educational Administration at Grand Canyon University. Outside of school, he enjoys drinking coffee, eating food, running, going to the gym, hiking, and traveling to visit family.
 
  
   7th Grade Math Teacher
 
 
Andi Martinez is a 7th Grade Math Teacher at Crane Middle School.  She is 4th generation native from Yuma, Arizona, whose family has deep roots in the community.  This is her 14th year of teaching for Crane School District where she has taught at Crane Middle School, Gowan Science Academy and Rancho Viejo Elementary.  Andi is currently assigned to teach the 7th grade GAP students and loves challenging her students by providing them with STEM units that focus on investigating and discovering math concepts.  While she loves teaching, her favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband and children in the outdoors hunting and fishing.
 

Centennial Middle Math Leaders

  
   Deb Moss
   7th Grade Math Teacher
 
 
Deborah Moss is a 7th grade math teacher.  She also teaches a Geometry class and GAP classes.  Originally from Michigan, she is in her 11th year of teaching at Centennial Middle School.  She has taught both 7th and 8th grade math. Before this she was a pre-school director and pre-school teacher for fifteen years in Iowa.  Deborah is a math team leader, Prop 301 committee member, and a Crane communication committee member.  She enjoys hiking, bike riding, and spending time with her family.
 
  
 
   8th Grade Math Teacher
 
 
 
Angela Rico has taught in the Crane District for 23 years.  She began teaching at Rancho Viejo for 16 years before moving to Centennial Middle School  She currently teaches 8th grade math, but has taught 3rd through 8th grade.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish from NAU.  Her Master's Degree is in Bilingual/Multicultural Education with a Minor in Multicultural.  She also holds certifications as a Reading Specialist, SEI teacher and Middle School Math teacher.  She completed her National Board Certification in General Education.  She currently serves as Centennial’s Student Council Advisor, a 4H leader, and a member of the Southwest Performing Arts Foundation.
View text-based website