Principal - Evelyn Castro
Evelyn Castro received her B.A. in Sociology, Women’s Studies and Spanish at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her M.A. in Urban Education-Policy and Administration from Loyola Marymount University. Ms Castro is also an alumnus of Teach for America Los Angeles. Prior to joining Ednovate, Ms. Castro served as an Assistant Principal at Alliance Health Services Academy High School in Los Angeles, where she led teachers in implementing a rigorous curriculum, reinforced strong school-family communication, and led the school to full WASC accreditation. During this time she also founded several programs including RISE (Rising Inner-City Students through Education), a program dedicated to providing students and families with college support and guidance. For three consecutive years, Ms. Castro took three cohorts of high school students in RISE to the East Coast to visit top universities. Ms. Castro is a passionate school leader who believes in creating and nurturing environment where every child is valued and where a student’s strengths, areas of growth, experiences, and passions can inform a truly personalized learning experience that prepares them for college and to make Positive Multigenerational Change in the world.
“I grew up in similar circumstances as many of the students that I will serve in Santa Ana, and that has made me a school leader that approaches every situation with a great sense of urgency. My service work is driven by my sincere passion and commitment to student empowerment and freedom. In my eyes, education is the most important social justice issue of our time, and it is my goal to revolutionarily lead my school in developing students who are ready to conquer collegiate level work, have a strong sense of self-awareness, agency, and purpose, and effect Positive Multigenerational Change in their communities and the world.”
Assistant Principal - Fonda Held
Fonda Held is an educator from Des Plaines, Illinois - the "city of destiny." She has always felt pulled towards education and service, especially the belief that all individuals deserve the chance to feel heard and empowered. She received her B.S. in Social Studies Education from Miami University in Ohio before spending five years on the near-south side of Chicago at UIC College Prep, a member of the Noble Network of Charter Schools. She served there as an Americorps member (and later mentor), high school social studies teacher, department chair and advisor to a group of twenty-four your women. In 2013 she left UICCP to work towards her Masters in Education and Leadership Policy as a trinity Fellow at Marquette University. While there, served in the Carmen Network of Charter Schools in Milwaukee, WI, where she sought to connect her roles as an instructional leader and assistant to the head of schools with her academic engagement with social justice education and critical pedagogy. She is excited to serve the students and families of USC College Prep-Santa Ana as an Assistant Principal in the 2016-17 founding year.
School Operations Manager - Sharon Martland
Sharon Martland graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology. She is passionate about social justice and expanding educational opportunities for all students. In 2009, she joined Teach For America staff as the Assistant to the Executive Director in the Phoenix Region. Mrs. Martland has supported national diversity initiatives, operations and large scale identity-based events for the Staff Diversity and Inclusiveness team and most recently, had been responsible for operations, logistics, and communications for the Pre-Corps Development team and the Education 4 Justice pilot program. She believes in the importance of involving student's families and communities in their school environment. Mrs. Martland is excited to co-create a welcoming, inclusive, and efficiently operating space for learning and Positive Multigenerational Change at USC College Prep, Santa Ana.
School Counselor - Hera Kim
Hera Kim completed her B.A in Psychology from University of California, San Diego and her M.S. in Counseling from San Diego State University. After earning her masters, she served as the first Intervention Counselor at Salinas High School in Salinas, California focused on providing counseling and academic interventions to freshmen and sophomores. In this new position, she developed a systematic approach to early identification of potentially at-risk students, collaborated with the school community to create a tiered intervention program, and coordinated with a cohort of providers to ensure students and families were able to access the services they needed. Prior to ongoing USC College Prep, Santa Ana, Ms. Kim was a high school counselor at Shanghai American School (SAS) in China for three years. At SAS, she implemented a comprehensive model where she provided academic, social/emotional, and pre-collegiate counseling for freshmen. She was also the coordinator for the Link Crew peer mentoring program and the advisor for the freshmen student council. Ms. Kim is looking forward to being an advocate for all students and their families at USC College Prep, Santa Ana.
Resource Teacher - Alma Uribe
Alma Uribe graduated from the California State University of Long Beach with a degree in Chicano Latino Studies and a minor in Political Science. After graduating, she joined Teach for America and started her education career in Cincinnati, Ohio. There, she was the middle school math department chair at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies. Besides teaching 6th through 8th grade Mathematics, she also taught middle school Social Studies and Spanish. Through her teaching experience, Ms. Uribe has learned the importance of getting to know her students and their families. Ms. Uribe believes that in order for students to be successful they need a community behind them, which is why she is eager to work with students, families, and staff at USC College Prep, Santa Ana as the Special Education Resource Teacher to help students obtain a college degree and make their own Positive Multigenerational Change.
English Teacher - Victor Gonzalez
Victor Gonzalez graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012, where he studied English Literature and specialized in Mexican American/Chicano Literature. During that time, he volunteered as an after school tutor in Oakland. His experiences in Oakland, primarily working with the children of Chinese immigrants, reminded him of his own experiences as the child of Mexican immigrants living in East Los Angeles. He spent his last year in college preparing to enter the teaching profession through Teach for America. He has been teaching ever since! He chose to begin a new chapter of his life at a new school because he wants to be part of a school team that provides options and access for the youth of Santa Ana. He works hard so that his students can have the tools, mindsets, and character to choose the lives they want to live. He is overjoyed to have the opportunity to teach students at USC College Prep, Santa Ana.
Physical Education Teacher - Jenna Fujii
Jenna Fujii is an educator from the suburbs of Chicago. Her passion for changing lives and making a connection with students started very young. Jenna started coaching at the age of 17 and has done so for the past 12 years. She graduated with honors, while working full time from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Health Sciences. After graduation she worked as a wellness educator, coach, and personal trainer. Upon completion of her first year teaching Health, Jenna was made lead teacher of her department. In 2015 she earned her M.Ed in Health and Wellness Education from the American College of Education. Jenna focuses on incorporating technology to provide students with opportunities for self-learning, problem solving, and real life applications. Her passion for wellness, nutrition, and fitness is undeniable. For the last two years she has been teaching at a top 25 high school in Illinois and focusing her educational philosophy on implementing hands on learning and utilizing community resources. She set up one on one internships for her students at the local hospital to maximize their experiences and exposure prior to college. Jenna is beyond excited to inspire the students at USC College Prep, Santa Ana through her contagious love of everything Wellness.
Social Studies Teacher - Jenny Ham
Jenny Ham is a proud graduate and now educator of the Trojan family. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a dual degree in Public Relations and Psychology, she began her career teaching as a Teach for America Corps Member in the Iron Triangle of Richmond, CA. She taught English Language Development and 8th grade English in the city's most at-risk middle school. Having grown up in an immigrant household, Jenny was able to relate to, challenge, and inspire her students with similar experiences through literacy. This sparked a growing passion for English Language Learners, which led her to Taiwan. There she taught K-6 minority students in a rural town as a Fulbright Fellow. All of these experiences have culminated in her return to her hometown where she hopes to cultivate strong student voice through social justice this upcoming year.
Math Teacher - Alemar Brito
Alemar Brito completed his B.A in Sociology with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, and M.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Stanford University. While in the Bay Area, Alemar has had the opportunity to teach a wide range of subjects including Digital Art, Design Thinking, Biology, and Math. Aside from teaching, Alemar's passions center around social justice, community organizing, and creative expression. Alemar firmly believes that all students can learn math to the highest levels, and uses his versatile knowledge, interests, and perspectives to help students thrive in education and beyond. Alemar is excited to return to Santa Ana and join USC College Prep to continue making Positive Multigenerational Change.
Science Teacher - Michelle Leon
Michelle Leon received her B.S. in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Energy and Environment from Georgetown University and received her teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University in Secondary Science. Prior to joining Ednovate, she was part Teach For America in Los Angeles where she taught Biology and Physical Science at both the middle and high school level. She practiced an inquiry-based science teaching methodology in the classroom to promote students' exploration of scientific concepts. She believes in emphasizing the "why" in scientific education and making content relevant and accessible by validating students' background knowledge and differentiating content. Ms. Leon also worked as a Learning Facilitator for the Tiger Woods Learning Center where she was involved in developing a structure for informal/formal learning organizations and Out-of-School Time partners to collaborate and create a learning continuum in order to better prepare students for future careers in STEM. Now, as a Santa Ana native, Ms. Leon is excited to be coming back home and sharing her love of learning with her students. Ms. Leon is passionate about empowering students through their education to help them reach their full potential.
School Operations Assistant
Sonia Rosiles graduated from Chapman University with a B.A. in Dance. Born and raised in the city of Santa Ana, she graduated from Santa Ana High and attended a 4-year university directly out of high school. Her studies at Chapman University ignited a love for working with youth through her service at a private after school program. Upon graduation, she pursued a career as an educator and taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at a Montessori School in Orange. There, she built authentic relationships within her school community and managed school operations. She also has experience working in retail, where she honed her stellar customer service skills. Sonia is thrilled to be back in her hometown serving students who remind her so much of herself and creating parent engagement opportunities to strengthen the USC College Prep Santa Ana family.
Dean of Culture Assistant
Daniel Bates is from Long Beach, CA. He recently graduated from Azusa Pacific University with his B.A. in Communication. He emphasized in Interpersonal and Organizational communication, and it shows in his dedicated work to connecting with students. During his time at Azusa Pacific University, Daniel worked in the Discipleship Ministry office, where he trained leaders and developed curriculum, personalized for small groups on campus. Daniel has worked with students of all backgrounds, making him a diverse resource for our team. Prior to joining USC College Prep, Santa Ana, Daniel worked for the Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club of America, and AVID, giving him a well-rounded perspective around engaging with students in different aspects of education and personal development.
Megan Ahrens has worked with the Special Education population since 2009 as a paraprofessional and behavior therapist/tutor. With training in the mild to moderate populations, she also worked in the in-home setting with students between the ages of three and 22. Throughout these last eight years she has consistently worked in the school setting in both Santa Ana and Irvine. Megan received her BA in Communicative Disorders in 2014 from California State University, Fullerton, and is now in her MA program at California State University, Fullerton, working towards her Counseling degree to gain MFT and LPCC licensure. She is excited to be back in Santa Ana, and has a heart for personalized progress for our students that may need extra assistance. Building a community of love, support, and respect is something she feels strongly about, and incorporating a team effort for our special education population is her ultimate goal.