Ayse Kaya--School Director
Mrs.Ayse Kaya is one of the co-founders and the Director of Mission Hills Middle School. She is in charge of developing the school curriculum and ensuring that the academic needs of the students are met. Her B.A. Degree in Psychology from Stanford University, her numerous teaching credentials, and 23 years of teaching experience have enabled her to create a unique and truly well-balanced curriculum for the students of MHMS. Mrs.Kaya always goes the extra mile for her students, the parents, and the development of MHMS.
MHMS MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM (grades 6-8)
HISTORY & ENGLISH
The Middle School History Program is run MHMS by Mr. Kavanaugh. With a strong background in the social sciences, a B.A. in history, and many years of teaching experience, he is ready to make this an amazing year of learning for his middle school students. Mr.K will also be the core teacher for the 6th graders (English & History).
In her 3rd year at MHMS, Ms.Liptac is thrilled to be teaching the 7th and 8th grade English classes in addition to the art classes. She is planning on making her English classes as engaging and colorful as her art classes, giving the students many opportunities to debate what they've read about and write their thoughts. She plans to divide the week into grammar sessions, writing workshops, and literature days to insure that students are covering all the basics.
MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE
Mr. Robbins joins MHMS this year and will teach Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Science and computer classes to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. He is a graduate of Cal State East Bay and holds a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with an Early Childhood Studies option. For the past six years, he has worked in the public school system, most recently teaching middle school mathematics and science in east Oakland. He completed his Multiple-Subjects Teaching Credential while at Cal State East Bay and has taught kindergarten through 8th grade. In his free time, Mr. Robbins enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, playing soccer and spending time at the beach.
Ms.Meenu looks forward to teaching Algebra, Geometry, and some of the science classes to the 6th-8th graders at MHMS. She will partner up with Mr.Robbins and Ms.Leon to make sure that each child is studying the math level that suits him/her and is being challenged. In science, she is excited about holding science lab every Friday and making sure that the students have a hands-on experience. Ms.Meenu has over 5 years of middle school teaching experience. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her husband and 2 children.
MHMS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM
With over 25 years of teaching experience in the private school setting, Ms. Allender has been passionately teaching the 1st grade at MHMS for three years. She is not only a great team player, but also an amazing leader. She has a desire to provide quality education to her students which will allow them to succeed in all academic areas. Mrs.Allender adapts her lessons to fit the needs of her students and their abilities. Her classroom is always organized and ready to show each child's creativity. When she is not teaching or developing exciting lesson plans, Mrs.Allender enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Rebekah and Amber.
is very excited to be teaching one of the 1st grades at Mission Hills Middle School.
Ms. Tran has a B.A from the University of California, Santa
Cruz in Psychology, as well as a Masters in Education from the University of
Southern California. She has also obtained her Multiple Subject Teaching
Credential from USC. Becoming an elementary school teacher has been her dream
since she herself was in elementary school. She has three years of experience
working with students in a private school setting. Her goal in the classroom is
to provide a safe and challenging environment for students to learn in.
Ms.Cavanaugh is very excited to be teaching the 1st graders for the second year in a row. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and an MA from Holy Names University. She has many years of experience working with children ages 6-12 years in different school settings. Mrs.Cavanaugh is also very familiar with the system of using tasks to level a class of children into reading and math groups. As a mother of a 1st grade daughter herself, Mrs.Cavanaugh totally understands what it's like to be a working parent. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family.
This will be Mrs. Mary Ann Parker's 2nd year teaching at Mission Hills Middle School. She has taught Kindergarten & 2nd grade for five years in a private school setting and brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to her 2nd grade classroom at MHMS. Mrs. Parker holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for the State of California. Her goal is to meet and exceed state standards for all her students. When not in the classroom, she also volunteers as a Meet Official for USA Swimming, where her daughter is a competitive swimmer.
Mrs.Wardle looks forward to teaching one of the 2nd grade classes at MHMS. She graduated from California State University of Fullerton in 2005 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies. She went on to National University where she completed her Multiple Subject credential courses as well as completed the courses for her Masters in Diverse Education. She has been working with children for 16 years and has been teaching grades Kindergarten and second grade for the past 11 years. She has the ability to teach, motivate, and direct while maintaining the children’s interest and their achievement. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her 2 year-old daughter Bella and her husband. She enjoys going on bike rides and absolutely loves the ocean. She is excited to be a part of Mission Hills.
Mr. Pace has 17 years of teaching experience, including six years teaching 1st/2nd Grade, and he is excited to be joining the team of 2nd Grade teachers at MHMS. He has a BA in Classical Greek from BYU, and an MA in Classical Philology from UCLA. He loves languages, poetry, literature, art, music, science, drama, and films with subtitles. As an aspiring writer himself, Mr. Pace tries to help all of his students unlock their inner author. Although he is a talented singer, he admits to playing a very rudimentary guitar, and usually prefers to incorporate music into the classroom a cappella. When he is not teaching, Mr. Pace enjoys spending time with his wife, coaching his daughter’s soccer team and leading his son’s Cub Scout Pack on hikes throughout the Bay Area.
With over 25 years of experience as an elementary grade teacher in a private school setting, Mrs.Lamm has been the 3rd grade teacher at MHMS for 4 years. With her patience, warmth, and flexibility, she is able to make all of her students love learning and perform at the top of their ability. Parents seek her advice, colleagues respect her knowledge, and students always remember her. When she is not teaching or creating exciting lesson plans, Mrs.Lamm loves to spend time with her family and her pets.
Ms. Quintana looks forward to a year with her energetic 3rd graders at MHMS. Ms.Quintana has studied within the Child Development field, giving her the tools necessary to understand where children are capable of thriving. She is also very familiar with current study techniques and programs that are available to aide students reach their full potential. She has also been in various school settings in the past 10 years, allowing her to experience different school curriculums. She hopes to use her experiences to help her students become well-rounded learners. In her free time...well, with a full-time teaching position and 4 children, she doesn't have much free time. But she loves to be with her family when she is not working.
This is Ms. Rebekah Allender's 3rd year teaching the 4th graders at Mission Hills Middle School. Ms. Allender holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from CSU East Bay, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has also received her Master’s Degree in Educational Technology Leadership. Ms. Allender has experience teaching Preschool to 5th grade students in a variety of settings. She enjoys incorporating creative art projects and technology into curriculum to meet the learning needs of all students. Coming from a family of teachers has helped mold her into the teacher that she is today. In her free time, she enjoys watching Reality TV, going to many sporting events with her family (primarily A’s baseball and Sharks hockey), and playing with her two Yellow Labs.
Laura Scott is very excited about her 2nd year as one of the fourth grade teachers at MHMS. She has had a strong passion and desire to work with kids since she was in the 6th grade. She has over 5 years of experience teaching in different private schools settings. Mrs.Scott's favorite thing about teaching is when a student has a 'light bulb' moment, feels accomplished and proud. She has a very positive attitude and always strives to bring out the best in her students. In her free time, Mrs.Scott loves to be with her husband, her baby, and her puppy.
In his 5th year at MHMS, Mr. Mitch Lin is teaching the 5th grade students. Mr.Lin has a B.S. from California State University Hayward and a Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix. He also holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in the State of California. Mitch has over five years of experience working with students in a variety of settings. He strives to create an environment where students feel safe, challenged, and motivated to learn. Students look forward to having him as a 5th grade teacher and going to the Science Camp with him. When not teaching, Mitch enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 little ones.
MHMS PRE-K PROGRAM:
For the 4th year in a row, the MHMS Pre-K program is led by Ms.Mayette who has taught children ages 3-5 for over 20 years. With her educational background and extensive experience, Ms.Mayette meets the individual needs of the children in her classroom and ensures that they are well-prepared for kindergarten. Parents welcome her expertise and willingness to always take the time to talk to them. She provides such a warm, nurturing environment that the children are happy to tackle any new,challenging concept that she introduces to them. Her creative projects decorate the walls outside her classroom. In her free time, Ms.Mayette loves to spend time with her two sons.Megha Bodapati
This will be Mrs. Melanie Hoang’s 1st year as an assistant teacher at MHMS. She has taught in the infant/toddler classroom for 3 years in a private school setting. She brings her vast knowledge and expertise in the field of early childhood to her new classroom. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in early childhood. In her off time, she enjoys spending valuable time with her 2 daughters and husband.
This is Ms.Ann's 5th year as the Kindergarten Teacher for MHMS. She has a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in Cognitive Science and Education, as well as a Multiple Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. Little ones are her passion; she has worked with Pre-K and Kindergarten children for over 8 years. Her first class at MHMS began with 4 students. Today, she has a full class of students and an assistant! Ms.Ann lives in San Jose with her husband and adorable puppy 'Moose'. In her free time, she likes to go to the Giants and Sharks games to eat garlic fries and nachos! She brings her experience, creativity, and warm smile to give your children an amazing year!
Ms.Shafon partners up with Ms.Smith to make sure that their students have an amazing year! This is Ms.Shafon's 6th year as a kindergarten assistant. She enjoys working with children and looks forward to a successful school year. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Cal State East Bay. She is also a mother of a fifth grader. In her free time, she loves to dance, ride bikes, and go swimming with her son.
Ms. Yolanda is delighted to teach one of the kindergarten classes at MHMS. She has been working with children since 2007. She went to school in Sacramento, CA and worked as a preschool teacher for 7 years. Ms. Yolanda comes from a family of teachers and teaching is something that familiar and comforting to her. She lives in Fremont with her husband, Rodger and their daughter, Mia. Ms.Yolanda looks forward to meeting and working with all of her families.
This is Ms. Christine's 3rd year at MHMS, and she looks forward to working with Ms.Yolanda to help the students reach their full potential. Ms.Christine graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Child Development. She has been working with kids for over 5 years and loves every minute of it. She first started as a school aide/staff assistant/substitute teacher/tutor and now has moved up to Kindergarten teaching assistant. Her passions include working with kids, arts and crafts and The Golden State Warriors. You can always catch her playing with the kids, laughing, and running around.
In her 5th year as the counselor at Mission Hills Middle School, Mrs.Boisseree is excited about helping to build an environment that supports each child’s learning style, strengths, and talents. She adheres to a proactive and prevention model that empowers students to become active and responsible participants in their academic learning and social interactions. She loves learning, exploring ideas, and making connections. Her degrees in counseling, psychology, social welfare, and education are a testament to her belief in lifelong learning (B.A. in psychology and social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley; M.S. in counseling and child clinical psychology from California State University, East Bay; California license as an Educational Psychologist; California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in Counseling and School Psychology). For over twenty years, she has worked with students of various grade levels (from preschool through college), their teachers, and parents.
Tammy PachuraIn her 4th year at MHMS, Ms. Pachura enjoys serving as a mentor teacher for other Staff members, particularly grades K-2. She has a B.A. in Social Work with an emphasis in Child Behavior and Development.Teaching in different private school settings has given her the opportunity to teach a diverse group of students ranging from those who functioned on and above grade level standards, to students challenged with emotional or behavioral issues. She has in-depth knowledge of accommodating different styles of learning and incorporating effective methods to meet students' unique needs. No matter what the topic may be, Mrs.Pachura always finds way to spark the interest of her students and engage them in the learning process. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband, daughter, and son.
Ann Marisela Torres
In her second year at MHMS, Ms.Mary, as the students call her, is the Librarian at Mission Hills Middle School. She brings her passion, her laughter, and her creativity to the school's beautifully set-up library. Once the students hear the soft music playing, find a book they like, and sit on the comfy seats, it's almost impossible to get them out of there!
ART & COMPUTER
ANDREA LIPTACThis is Ms.Liptac's 3rd year at Mission Hills Middle School, both as a parent and a teacher. An artist with never-ending energy & creativity, Ms.Liptac makes sure that there is never a dull moment in any of her 5th-8th grade art classes.
Suzie Ghanem (grades 1-4)
In her 4th year at MHMS, Mrs.Leon runs the MHMS Physical Education Program with the uttermost enthusiasm and care, encouraging the students to always do their best and have fun. She sometimes holds her classes out on the field, timing the kids as they run and exercise. Other times, she takes them to the gym for basketball, volleyball, hockey, or indoor soccer. Mrs.Leon also teaches some of the middle school math classes.
As the assistant PE teacher and the basketball coach at MHMS, Coach Kevin brings smiles everywhere he goes. Students love his sense of humor, his inspirational words, and his encouraging ways.
This is Ms. Julia Wiersema's 2nd year running the MHMS Music Program. Ms.Wiersema has been teaching music in some capacity for over thirty years. She holds a B.A. in Music from University of California Santa Barbara. She has an M.A. (abt) in Piano Performance and Music Theory. She has taught at the Middle School, High School, Community College and University levels, as well as private lessons in piano, theory, voice and composition. With her creative lesson plans, she has brought the music program to a whole new level.
We are proud of our Mission Hills Middle School Staff—we work together to make education a positive experience for all children!
MHMS—Where Minds are Thinking While Faces are Smiling!