Erika Gallegos, with a Masters Degree in Foreign Languages and Cultures, serves as a dedicated and reliable Spanish instructor of NOVA. Her latest contribution to Libro Libre, our adopted Spanish textbook, provides a sense of her extraordinary expertise in her field. Erika employs a wide variety of learning tools and she fosters a positive learning environment for all types of students. She uses creative strategies and real world scenarios to expand each student's language skills. Her collaborative spirit and passion for teaching is the foundation for her development as an educator. In her free time, Erika loves to spend time with her family, read novels, and work with photography.
Chris Reeves is an experienced middle school teacher, having taught both 6th and 7th grade curriculum. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He completed his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential through Chapman University and Graduate School coursework at California State University, Bakersfield. Chris made a career change to pursue an opportunity in the Financial Advisory Services obtaining his Securities Registrations Series 7, 63, 65 and 31. Chris also trained as a City Reserve Firefighter earning an associate's degree in Fire Technology from Bakersfield College and his Emergency Medical Technician license. Chris is married with three daughters. He enjoys skiing, fly fishing and backpacking with his family and cycling, swimming, and martial arts.
Mr. Birmingham grew up seeing firsthand the power and influence of teaching with heart and purpose, both through the work of his educator parents and through his own schooling experiences. He graduated from CSUN with a BA in Theater Arts, and he is thrilled to be teaching Film Appreciation at NOVA. Mr. Birmingham regards empathy as one of the most vital attributes to teach his students, and he leverages the theater arts to teach empathy through the importance of storytelling, artistic expression, and imagination. Art is the ultimate celebration of being human. It’s time to celebrate.
Ms. Engen is a homeschooling mom and credentialed teacher who is passionate about helping families discover fun, creative and educational learning opportunities. She helps students meet their academic goals through their own passions, needs and strengths. Justina lives in the Tehachapi Mountains. In her free time she spends time outdoors with her amazing family or in her family-owned pottery studio.
Caroline Nuttall Cross is an art teacher in San Diego, California. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, she has spent most of her educational career in online education as a Principal and later as a Director of Online Learning. As an artist herself, she enjoys being creative with her family, friends, and dogs every day! Her passion for education for all and educational technology brings her to NOVA to work alongside a wonderful group of educators.
Lisa Ruebush makes math magical! She holds a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in Math and Social Sciences, and a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on Brain Affect and Learning. She is an experienced K-8 teacher and administrator, and she also taught a master’s course called Brain Science and Teaching at La Sierra University. Lisa is truly passionate about working with middle school students in the content area of math and has devoted the majority of her career to this work. In her free time, you will find Lisa with her four children and husband, traveling around California or reading a good book.
Linda Rungwerth serves NOVA as a physical education content developer who is a lifelong educator and school administrator. She has served as teacher, department head; her career culminated as a public-school principal for preschool-8th grade students for 15 years. Mrs. Rungwerth knows that each student has a special gift that is just waiting to be discovered. Her mission as an educator is to get acquainted with each student and their family so that she can prioritize and honor the individual learning needs of each student via differentiated instruction. Mrs. Rungwerth incorporates mindfulness, diet, and exercise into her PE classes; and she helps each student set healthy, achievable lifelong goals. When Mrs. Rungwerth is not teaching, you will find her spending time with family, playing with her dog, cooking, reading, or traveling.
Caroline Beal is a vocalist and teacher living in Dallas, TX. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Music Education Summa Cum Laude, she worked as an Associate Choir Director at Blalack Middle School and as the Choir Director at Agoura High School. Her choirs consistently receive Superior ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest as well as top scores at local festivals. While also focusing on creating a healthy tone and encouraging musicality, she believes her most important job is to teach important life skills such as empathy, kindness, and self-directed learning skills using music as the vehicle. Caroline enjoys performing and recording music of different styles, such as choral, classical, pop, Broadway, folk, and A Cappella. Additionally, Caroline Beal writes a blog and manages a facebook group called “Love Your Voice” in which she inspires musicians to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. In her free time, Caroline loves to spend time with family, friends, her husband and two ferrets Coda and Pipe
Nilsa’s life is beautiful collection of eclectic educational experiences that feed her intellectual curiosity and passion for science education. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she learned the importance of community and concern for the environment. Her mother is a linguistics professor, stepfather an aerospace engineer and father a professional diver; all of whom enriched the ways that she experienced the world in exciting ways. Nilsa earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and minor in Bible Studies at Azusa Pacific University. To date, she has created a volunteer based NGSS Science Center that serves a title 1 school in LAUSD, and she produces workshops on how to empower all learners in science. As a science educator, she stands in awe of the world around her and shares her enthusiasm for scientific inquiry, knowledge and for all the wonderful opportunities that come with examining the universe.
Mandy Sanchez, Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education. Has experience working at both the elementary and middle school levels and expertise outside the traditional classroom. Teaching has always been one of her life’s passions, and she has honed this craft through the years in education in the public-school classroom, tutoring, and homeschooling. Mandy, her husband, and two kids are adventures in learning and life. They love to spend time together hanging out at home, taking care of their chickens, goats, gardens, and exploring the world through hiking, camping, and travel
Haley has an impressive teaching career in alternative educational settings. She began her career by teaching at the Open Alternative Elementary School in Santa Barbara. She then moved to Los Angeles and enjoyed a long and successful career at Fusion Academy where she taught middle and high school English/Language Arts, Wellness, Life Skills, and Psychology. She was also faculty director for the Student Council. Haley is passionate about community service and has volunteered at the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, Operation Gratitude, and Beach Clean-Up Days. She has also traveled to Southeast Asia twice where she volunteered at Cambodian orphanages to teach English and where she lived and worked at an elephant sanctuary. She is most proud of caring for her “designated rescue elephant” named Jumpy. To date, Haley fosters a Thai elephant and is eager to tell you all about it! Haley enjoys taking her dog Lady on hikes, spending quality time with friends and family, and traveling.
Eric Arthurton is fluent in French and Spanish, and continues to study languages. He is a graduate of University of California Riverside and holds a Master's Degree in Spanish Literature along with teaching credentials in Spanish and French. He has taught French and Spanish in middle school, high school and college for 15 years, and loves to hear about how his students have used their language skills, even years after taking a course with him. He enjoys camping, reading, and spending time with his wife and five children in Apple Valley, California