Ayse Kaya--School Director

Mrs.Ayse Kaya is one of the co-founders and the Director of Education at 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. In her free time, she likes to watch basketball with her family and tend to the many pets at MHMS.



Jodie Robbins

In his second year at MHMS, Mr. Robbins continues to teach Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Science 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. He has worked in the public school system for 6 years, 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. Mr.Robbins also runs the 4th-8th grade Soccer Club at MHMS. In his free time, Mr. Robbins enjoys spending time with his children, playing soccer, and spending time at the beach.

Mary Beth Bradford

Mrs.Bradford teaches math and computer classes to the 6th-8th graders at MHMS and truly helps them understand the difficult concepts. She partners up with Mr.Robbins to make sure that each child is studying the math level that suits him/her and is being challenged. She loves to make sure that the students have a hands-on experience in math and that they truly enjoy learning. Mrs.Bradford has over 12 years of middle school teaching experience.  In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family.

Ralph Gonzales

Mr.Gonzales joins the MHMS Staff to teach 7th grade Life Science classes and the 2nd-6th grade computer classes. Mr.Gonzales holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and has over 8 years of private school K-8th grade teaching experience. With his interesting ideas and nurturing ways, Mr.Gonzales has made it his goal to get his students to thoroughly enjoy their science & computer classes. When he is not teaching, Mr.Gonzales enjoys spending time with his family and watching sports, especically the Bay Area teams. 


Ann Tadena

This is Mrs. Tadena's 6th year at 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. After 5 years of teaching kindergarten at MHMS, she looks forward to teaching English for the 6th and 7th graders. She enjoys being able to grow with MHMS, and teaching reading is her passion, at any grade level. Mrs. Tadena lives in San Jose with her husband John, baby daughter Ella, and her dog Moose. She loves to read in her spare time.

Julia Wiersema

In her 3rd year at MHMS, Ms.Julia is very excited to be teaching English and history to the 8th graders. Ms.Julia 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 been teaching at the Middle School, High School, Community College and University levels in some capacity for over thirty years. She has also written four novels and has a blog about writing, music, photography, and life. Her 3 passions are music, literature, and history, and she intends to bring all these passions together to make her lessons fun and engaging for her students. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and follow sports. 

Jay Hsu

Mr.Hsu is very excited about teaching 6th and 7th grade history and 5th-8th grade art classes at MHMS.  Mr.Hsu holds a Bachelor’s degree for Applied Science in Motion Graphic Design from the Ex'pression College for Digital Arts Emeryville, CA. With a special love for history and a desire to teach both art & history, Mr.Hsu is currently working on his Masters in Education.  He has over 3 years of experience instructing children of ages four to fifteen. Mr.Hsu looks forward to bringing his knowledge and creativity to the students at MHMS. 



Denise Allender

With over 25 years of teaching experience in the private school setting, Ms. Allender has been passionately teaching the 1st grade at MHMS for four 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.      

Alice Cavanaugh

Ms.Cavanaugh is very excited to be teaching the 1st graders for the third 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 3rd 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. 

Amanda (Alexander) Contreras 

This is Mrs.Alexander's 4th year at MHMS. Mrs.Alexander has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education with a minor in mathematics as well as her elementary education certification. She has over 9 years of PreK-5th grade teaching experience. Mrs. Alexander loves to create a nurturing learning environment for her students and to inspire them to become lifelong learners. 

Christy Prouty

Mrs. Prouty is very excited to be teaching one of the 1st grade classes at Mission Hills Middle School. She has a B.A. in Information Management Systems and a A.S. in Business from University of Phoenix. She has over 5 years of experience working with students of all ages in a variety of settings. She strives to create an environment where students feel comfortable while learning to the best of their abilities.  Mrs.Prouty has a daughter in 1st grade and a son in the Pre-K program. In her free time she can be found spending time with her family and pets, reading books and bike riding.  

Laura Hannum
Ms. Hannum (or Ms. H as the students call her) teaches one of the 2nd grade classes at MHMS. She has a BS in Elementary Education from University of Idaho and a multiple-subject teaching credential. Although she has several years of experience teaching grades 2-8, she simply adores the curiosity and energy of 2nd graders.   
Stuart Pace

Mr. Pace has 17 years of teaching experience, including seven years teaching 1st/2nd Grade. 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.

Janeka Jackson

With six years of teaching experience, Ms. Jackson finds herself at Mission Hills teaching Second Grade. The Bay Area native graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA in 2007 as a student-athlete with a BS degree in Child Development. Her love of teaching grew when she taught Seventh and Eighth Grade English for the West Contra Costa Unified School District for 3 years. She also enjoyed supervising the after school program at Peres Elementary and working as a camp counselor at the Richmond YMCA for two years. Her degree and intense passion for knowledge has led her to an immense amount of experience and success within the classroom. Her determination and positivity brings a raw and current perspective to her classroom. Ms. Jackson is not only a rockstar when it comes to teaching, but in her free time as well. She thoroughly enjoys playing the drums at church and also for different artists and groups.

Erin McGaw

Ms. McGaw is very excited to teach 2nd grade for her third year. She is originally from Reno, NV, and received a BS in biological sciences from UC Davis. After taking some time to travel and substitute teach, she went to the University of Nevada, Reno for graduate school and received her Master's in Elementary Education. After finishing graduate school, she went to South Korea to teach English for 2 years, then she moved to California and began teaching 2nd grade. She loves spending her time with her students and creating an environment where they feel safe to explore their curiosity and be themselves!  In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and traveling anywhere she can!

Adoralee Lamm

With over 25 years of experience as an elementary grade teacher in a private school setting, this is Mrs.Lamm's 5th year teaching the 3rd graders at MHMS. 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.

Stacy Quintana

This is Ms. Quintana's second year teaching 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.  

Amanda Bramlett

Ms.Bramlett is very excited about teaching the 3rd graders at Mission Hill Middle School. She has a BA in Human Development from San Diego Christian College. She is currently completing her Master's in Elementary Education. Ms.Bramlett has 2 boys, ages 13 & 7, and a little girl who is 8. With 3 children of her own and a full-time job, Ms.Bramlett can totally empathize with parents juggling their daily lives . In her free time (if she has any!), Ms.Bramlett loves to travel. Her favorite places are Disneyland and Hawaii. She loves to craft and spend quality time with her children. 

Rebekah Allender

This is Ms. Rebekah Allender's 4th 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.  

Melissa Jones

In her 1st year at MHMS, Ms. Melissa Jones is very excited to teach the 4th graders. Ms. Melissa Jones graduated with a B.A. English with a minor in theatre from the University of San Francisco and continued her education at Mills College in Oakland to receive her Masters in English Creative Writing. She has worked in various youth development programs and school settings that have focused on literacy, behavior management trainings and practices, physical education, enrichment activities, project based learning and STEM. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).  Melissa Jones is a singer/songwriter and published poet who likes to share her talents with her students. She loves to incorporate theatrics and music into learning to make a creative and enjoyable experience.

 Mitch Lin

In his 6th year at MHMS, Mr. Mitch Lin is teaching one of the 5th grade classes. Mr.Lin has a B.S. from California State East Bay 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. His students always look forward to going to the Science Camp with him. When not teaching, Mitch enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 little ones. 

Janeen Dillon 

Ms.Dillon is teaching one of the 5th grade classes at MHMS. Although this is Ms.Dillon's first year at MHMS, she has adapted to the philosophy of the school very quickly. Ms.Dillon has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from California State East Bay University in Hayward with a minor in human development. With over 20 years of experience in teaching elementary grades, Ms.Dillon is able to respond to different student needs and personalities. She loves to create an environment where the students feel safe and unique. In her free time, Ms.Dillon likes to spend time with her family. 


Mayette Losloso

For the 5th year in a row, the MHMS Junior Kindergarten program is led by Ms.Mayette who has taught children ages 4-5 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. She never runs out of energy! In her free time, Ms.Mayette loves to spend time with her two sons.

Megha Bodapati

As Ms.Mayette's assistant teacher for the 3rd year, Ms.Megha brings her expertise and creativity to the classroom. With many years of experience supervising K-3rd graders, Ms.Megha understands the importance of finding the balance between fun and structure in the lives of four-year-olds. Students, co-workers, and parents love her patience, nurturing character, and warm smile!   

Andrea Pulido

This is Andrea's 2nd  year as an assistant teacher at MHMS. She has several years of experience teaching ages 3-5 in private school settings. She brings her warm personality and experience in the field of early childhood to her new classroom. In her off time, she enjoys spending valuable time with her 2 children and husband.

Nayra Popal

In her 1st year as an assistant teacher in the Junior Kindergarten  , Ms.Nayra is very excited about working with a team of teachers to make the little ones' Junior Kindergarten experience a lot of fun and engaging. Ms. Nayra loves to not only teach and guide the students, but also to take the time laugh and play with them! Ms.Nayra is a mother of 4 children; her 2 younger ones attend MHMS.


Luisa (Smith) Horde

For the 2nd year in a row, Mrs.Horde excitedly takes on the responsibility of 24 kindergarten students at MHMS. She absolutely loves working with children of all ages; this is her 6th year of teaching and 4th year of teaching kindergarten.   Ms.Smith was born and raised in the South Bay Area. She received her B.A. from the California State University of Chico in Social Science and Education. She is currently working on her M.A. In Education and Leadership through University of Phoenix. She has taught infants, Pre-K, Kindergarten, and High School over the last 7 years of her career. She looks forward to a year of fun, learning, growth with the students at MHMS.  In her free time, she can be found traveling with her two kids and husband. 

Alexandra Myers

In her 5th year at MHMS, Ms.Alex will continue co-teaching one of the Kindergarten classes with Mrs. Horde. Ms.Alex has over 6 years of experience working for the Newark Unified School District, focusing mostly on children grades K-2.  She was especially involved in ensuring that students were not falling behind in their reading and language skills. She loves bringing her expertise and warm personality to the classroom at MHMS. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family.

Amanda Knew

Ms. Knew is extremely excited to be teaching one of the Kindergarten classes at MHMS. She has a BA in multimedia technologies from Lincolnshire University, UK and Earlier Childhood Studies teaching credential from Ohlone College.  She has 11 years of experience teaching Pre-K in the Cupertino School district.  Ms. Knew was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and speaks 5 languages fluently; English, Malay, Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien.  Doing arts and crafts is one of her passions, and she loves to incorporate this into her teaching style.  She is the parent two boys; one in the 1st grade, one in the Pre-K.  In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband and her boys.  They love exploring life and our natural environment through camping and traveling.

Shafon Johnson

Ms.Shafon partners up with Mrs.Knew 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 6th grader. In her free time, she loves to dance, ride bikes, and go swimming with her son. 

Yolanda Maharaj

This is Ms. Yolanda's 2nd year teaching one of the kindergarten classes at MHMS. She has been working with children since 2007. She went to school in Sacramento State, CA and worked as a preschool teacher for 7 years. Ms. Yolanda comes from a family of teachers and teaching is something very familiar and comforting to her. She lives in Fremont with her husband, Rodger and their daughter, Mia. Ms.Yolanda looks forward to an amazing year with her students!

Christine Reyes

This is Ms. Christine's 4th year at MHMS, and once again, she will be working as a teacher's assistant 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 6 years and loves every minute of it. Her passions include working with kids, arts and crafts, and the Golden State Warriors (NBA Champs!). You can always catch her playing with the kids, laughing, and running around.


Trish Boisseree


In her 6th 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 Pachura

In her 5th 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 and children.



Ann Marisela Torres

In her third 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! 



Jay Hsu (art, grades 5-8)


Suzie Ghanem (grades 1-3)

With her creative ideas, warm personality, and beautiful smile, it's not hard for Ms.Suzy to get her students to love French.  She teaches through games, oral drills, songs, and acting. This is Ms.Suzy's 4th year at MHMS.

Raouf Ghanem (grades 4-8)

In his 5th year at MHMS, Mr.Ghanem knows exactly what it takes to keep the older students interested in French. He teaches a lot of grammar and vocabulary, then uses games and projects to help the students apply what they have learned. He loves to have the students cook French recipes-- bon appetit! 


Ann Marisela Torres


Christina Leon

In her 5th 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 continuously looks for ways to improve the physical education program at MHMS.

Kevin Bellot (Coach)

In his 3rd year as the assistant PE teacher and the head basketball coach at MHMS, Coach Kevin brings smiles everywhere he goes. Students love his sense of humor, his inspirational words, and his encouraging ways.  


Julia Wiersema  

This is Ms. Julia Wiersema's 3rd 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. 

MHMS Supporting Staff

Ms.Reyes runs the MHMS After School Program. With all her energy and experience, she makes sure that the students are safe and happily engaged until their parents pick them up.

Ms.Lei (Hanilie Yadao)  runs the MHMS Lunch Program. With her beautiful smile, her willingness to go the extra mile, and her amazing ability to cook, she is loved by everyone. Ms.Lei is also the parent of a 3rd grader at MHMS!

Ms.Sandyha takes care of our front desk-- from phone calls to snack needs, she tends to students, staff members, parents, and visitors. If you stop by the school, she'll be sure to greet you with a big smile! 

Ms.Emma, Ms.Maria, Ms.Juana, Ms.Priscilla, Ms.Chris, & Ms.Luisa are the teachers' aides that are on duty during all recesses, lunchtime, and during the before & after school daycare. They supervise & guide the children, play with them, listen to them, and take care of them. They share many laughs, wipe many hands, and magically make many injuries disappear! We totally appreciate their hard work and dedication!


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!