MUSE FACULTY & STAFF

Get to know our MUSE Global School Teachers, Advisors & Staff. They are the heart of our thriving community and love bringing out the most in each student.

MUSE Global School is hiring! We are currently seeking a Middle School Teacher. To learn more about our open positions and how to apply, visit https://musevirtualschool.betterteam.com.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION TEACHERS

Nicholette Issavitch

ECE

Nicholette was born and raised in Southern California. She has always felt a strong connection to children and feels inspired by their energy and excitement for the world. As an ECE teacher, Nicholette is passionate about creating an environment that supports creativity and social emotional development. She is eager to be a part of Passion-Based Learning and looks forward to exploring and expanding on each child’s passion.

Nicholette revived her BA in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College and her MA in Psychology from Phillips Graduate University. Her background has been in working in ECE settings such as large preschools as well as smaller pod groups. She also has experience in the mental health field working as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors camping and hiking. She is excited to share her love for nature and is thrilled to explore MUSE’s beautiful campus with children.


Cinthia Marroqiun

EK

Cinthia is a southern California native, born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles. Her Guatemalan roots are important to her as both her parents were born there and she still has a lot of extended family there that she visits frequently. Her inspiration to be a teacher came from having a teacher in the 1st grade that took the time to get to know her and foster a love for learning while challenging her academically. Cinthia believes social and emotional development are just as important as academics, which is why she is so excited to be part of the MUSE team. The MUSE 5 Pillars really speak to her and align with her personal teaching philosophy.

In her spare time she enjoys drawing, hiking and running 5ks and half marathons. She is a lover of the outdoors and is passionate about sustainability, not only in her personal life, but in the classroom as well.

ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

Kimmie Eggly

2nd & 3rd

Kimberlee and her husband Craig have been married for 27 years and have two children, Cole & Kayla. They absolutely love camping, off-roading, and boating. Thier favorite vacation spots include Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon, and Sedona. They had two dogs (Bentley & Bugatti), and now have two cats (Sweetie & Hagrid). Kimmie graduated from California State University Northridge in 1994 with a BA in Deaf Studies — Interpreting Option.  She worked as a Sign Language Interpreter at Moorpark High School from 1994 to 1998, when her son, Cole was born. Cole is now attending Columbia College Hollywood majoring in film editing and directing. Her daughter, Kayla was born in 2001 and is now attending Bethany College in Lindsborg College on a scholarship as a softball pitcher, majoring in Accounting and Business Management. In 2007, Kimmie started working at Maple Elementary School as an IMT/Librarian. In 2013, she taught American Sign Language during daily intervention at the elementary school. In 2016, Kimmie was a substitute teacher at CVUSD and in July of 2018, she started teaching third grade at Our Lady of Guadalupe School. Kimmie is very excited and honored to be teaching 2nd/3rd grade at MUSE Global School!


Megan Grieco

4th & 5th

Megan’s passion for sustainability, environmental and social justice, and teaching children how to listen to their minds and bodies is ever present in her classroom. With degrees in elementary education and a dual masters in literacy and special education, as well as certifications in mindfulness and Forest School, Megan has been practicing in the field of education nearly10 years. She has taught in a variety of environments and across all ages, including public schools, private school, day care, schools for children with multiple and severe disabilities, a high school for children with emotional disabilities, and even an un-school!

Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, Megan relocated to Southern California about 3 years ago to pursue opportunities in schools that align with philosophy on the role education plays in living in harmony with the Earth and each other. With those goals in mind, she is right at home at MUSE!


Erin Harrigan

Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Erin has been in the Education field for 10 years. She has primarily taught Pre-K through 2nd grade, and has additional experience working with 3rd through 12th grade. She is proud to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. Erin was particularly drawn to MUSE because of her shared values in communication, self efficacy, and passion-based learning. She is passionate about encouraging social and emotional development in her students as well as instilling a deep love of learning. In her free time, Erin enjoys going to the beach, hiking, practicing aerial arts, and hanging out with close friends and family.

MIDDLE & HIGH TEACHERS & ADVISORS

JoAnn AuBuchon Lane

Humanities

JoAnn began teaching at MUSE in 2016. She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and later moved to Tennessee. She graduated from the University of Tennessee  JoAnn lived in Anchorage and Kodiak, Alaska for a few years before returning to Tennessee to raise her two children on a farm where they raised sheep, llamas, swans, and miniature horses. JoAnn taught high school English and Journalism, and specialized in remedial reading programs for 15 years, before moving to Southern California. JoAnn embraces the MUSE Global School philosophy of passion-based learning. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, writing, theater, reading, traveling, and embracing new experiences.


Russ Mallen

Science Teacher

Russ was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago and spent a good portion of his adult life in that area. After majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in economics at MIT, Russ was a materials scientist specializing in microchips and circuit boards. During the stock market bubble, he put his math and economics education to work trading currencies, stocks, and options at the PHLX, CBOE, and AMEX. Russ changed career paths and went into private tutoring because he saw an opportunity to transform math and science education. He has been teaching math and science at all levels for over 10 years. He taught Algebra I at Muse this past year and was instantly attracted to the unique approach of the school. Russ is looking forward to integrating the Muse foundations of seed to table and sustainability in the science program. Russ finally left Chicago in 2012 to fulfill a dream of living in LA with his wife Annie. Together, he and his wife enjoy dog walks, hiking, and bike riding all over Southern California.


Jeffrey Martin

Humanities & Human Rights

Jeffrey started teaching at MUSE in 2015. He is an experienced educator, having taught in private, parochial, and public charter settings since 1996. Prior to joining MUSE, Jeffrey was a founding teacher and Dean of Academics at a charter school in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and English, and he completed a Masters in the Art of Teaching from the University of Southern California with a focus on teaching History.

Jeffrey’s passions include project-based learning, writing, curriculum design, meditation and mindfulness, and fostering community cohesion. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys road trips, camping, live music and theater, reading, writing, gardening and landscaping, and spending time with friends and family.


Edra Pantazea

Middle School Teacher

Originally from the northeast, Edra is familiar with the Los Angeles area, having come often to visit family while growing up. She has lived a nomadic life staying in places such as New York, Turkey, Miami, and now L.A. She taught special education for 5 years before obtaining a masters in political science. Edra took a 7 year teaching hiatus to work in politics followed by nonprofit. She returned to teaching 6 years ago.


Haven Reininger

Math Specialist

This is Haven’s first year as MUSE’s dedicated Math Specialist. Haven graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in Economics and a special concentration in Medieval History. After graduation, Haven transitioned from a career in marketing and analysis into high school math curriculum development. He has since co-authored and taught high school math courses to students in a variety of learning environments. Haven’s expertise includes using mathematics and quantitative social sciences as a means to furthering one’s understanding of her surroundings and passions. Haven’s outside passions include exploring the Santa Monica Mountains, interactive/collaborative story-telling, and game design.


Tressa Wyner

Middle School Teacher and All School Master Teacher

A dedicated middle school teacher for over 15 years, Tressa joined the MUSE community in the summer of 2015. She obtained her K-8 teaching license, as well as her BA in psychology, from Hamline University in Minnesota. Upon graduation, she completed her student teaching in Brazil, where she also backpacked around the country. Passionate about all the MUSE 5 Pillars, Tressa feels blessed to work in a school that encourages innovative life-long learners while teaching them to advocate for themselves. She invites her students to take risks, to play, and to think critically. Tressa became a certified PCM trainer in 2018 and loves to help students (and parents!) learn to communicate clearly and resolve conflict as they discover what makes them tick. In her free time, Tressa enjoys visiting family in MN, cooking, being outside, and spending time with her husband, three sons, and two dogs.

SPECIALIST

Natalie Backman

Leadership Teacher

Natalie Backman (Leadership/Ethical Entrepreneurship/Meditation) is an international yoga and meditation teacher in the Himalayan Tradition as well as the founder of Imagine Fest and the Bohemian Ball — two events which raise funds and awareness on behalf of children recovered from human trafficking, and co-founder of Sakti Rising — an ethical, sustainable yoga apparel label. Prior to teaching yoga, Natalie lived in New York and performed in various Musical Theater productions, including the 30th Anniversary of the musical, Annie, on Broadway. Natalie joined the MUSE community in 2016, offering yoga as an after school enrichment. Since then she has contributed elective opportunities to study Leadership, Meditation and Ethical Entrepreneurship for Middle/High.


Severine Faure

French Teacher

Born and raised in Paris, France, Severine has been the French Teacher at MUSE since 2018. She has a master’s degree in marketing that she earned at the Université Paris Dauphine, France. After working a few years in marketing in the food industry in France, she moved to Los Angeles with her French husband and fell in love with California.

Passionate about education, nature, travel, and language, teaching French at MUSE was a perfect fit. After raising her three bilingual and bicultural kids, Severine learned that cultural understanding is as important as language acquisition to better understand the world, and she implements this in her own classroom. In her free time, Severine enjoys camping, going to the beach, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, traveling around the world with her husband and 3 children, and visiting her family and friends in France


Rick Perillo

Seed to Table Manager

After graduating from California State University, Northridge in 2006, Rick traveled to New Zealand to work on organic farms where he discovered his passion for growing food using methods that give back to the Earth. Since then, he has earned two Permaculture Design Certificates, a Master Gardener Certificate, and a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA. Rick came to MUSE in 2014. He believes the garden is an ideal place for students to connect with nature and hopes his students are inspired by what they learn and that they become leaders in the sustainability movement.


Leidy Sierra Pedre

Spanish Teacher

Leidy was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, where she graduated from the prestigious Havana University with a bachelor’s degree in Law. Leidy lived in Beijing, China between 2005-2009, where she studied Chinese language at Beijing Language and Culture University. Leidy has also participated in important international meetings sponsored by the United Nations Organization, related to the protection of the environment, among which we can mention the meetings of the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer. Her goal as a Spanish teacher is not only to teach that language, but also to stimulate her students’ interest in the culture, history and geography of Spanish-speaking countries. In her free time, she likes to go to the beach, read, paint, travel, visit museums and visit her family in Cuba.


Ivo Spirov

Art Specialist

Ivo Spirov is an exhibiting professional artist whose art has been featured in Japan, Europe and the US. Originally from Bulgaria, Ivo earned a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts and Environmental Science from New Bulgarian University. Ivo loves to share his passion for art with his students and encourages their creative expression. Whenever possible he likes to bring students to behind the scenes set-ups of galleries and art fairs and introduce them to various artists. Ivo has been part of the MUSE community for the past 5 years.


Robin Swallow

Head Chef

Robin has been cooking plant based food for over 30 years. In 1995, she and her husband bought Manna Restaurant, one of Europe’s oldest vegetarian and now vegan restaurant. When she returned to California in 2014, she was asked to become Follow Your Heart’s Executive Chef and develop plant-based recipes to help them transition into becoming a vegan restaurant. She loves helping people get excited about vegan meals and show them how easy and tasty it is to enjoy plant based meals.


Kirsten Wasson

College Counselor and Internship Coordinator

Kirsten Wasson has been a part of the MUSE Global team for 6 years in the dual position of College Counselor and Internship Coordinator. For two decades Kirsten was an English professor at Ithaca College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. She has degrees from Wesleyan University, State University of New York, Binghamton, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is excited about helping students to find valuable experiences in local communities, to help them navigate their way to college acceptance, and to explore other post-secondary options. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, writing, performing at storytelling venues, and spending time with her (grown) son.


Hilton Kiltzner

Sous Chef

STAFF

Melissa Cardoza

Operations Manager

Melissa has been with MUSE since February 2015. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Civic Engagement from UCLA.

Before MUSE, Melissa took some time off and traveled around South East Asia for 4 1/2 months. Melissa is extremely passionate about MUSE’s plant based and sustainability practices. Outside of MUSE, Melissa enjoys running, hiking, taking yoga classes, shopping for fruit and traveling.


Stephanie Cox

Virtual Learning Environment Manager

Stephanie double majored in political science and international studies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After completing her undergraduate studies, she immediately worked toward obtaining my Master of Arts in Teaching, and subsequently taught Kindergarten and 3rd grade for a total of six years. She spent some time working in adult education where I supported teachers in implementing curriculum and pedagogical skills.

Stephanie considers herself from Hawaii, Tokyo, and Texas, having spent significant parts of her life in each place. She enjoy traveling, cooking (and eating), crafting, and spending time with friends outdoors. Stephanie is so excited to join the MUSE team and look forward to being part of a passionate community of educators!


Coral Laolagi

Front Office & Virtual Support Coordinator

Coral was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, CA. As the youngest of three, Coral followed in her brother and sister’s footsteps by continuing her passion for sports as a dual-sport athlete at Birmingham HS in Van Nuys, CA. In high school, Coral also developed a love for coaching youth basketball in her spare time and it was then that she realized how much she enjoys working with children. After high school, Coral continued her education at California State University, Northridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.

Shortly after graduating, Coral worked as the Apprenticeship Coordinator at Local Union #761 to over 1,000 apprentices. Working for the Local Union made her feel a part of a team again and she was grateful to be given the freedom to establish more efficient ways of tracking and managing apprentice data while implementing her own organizational practices.

In August of 2017, Coral and her boyfriend fully transitioned to eating a plant-based diet after watching the documentary, “What the Health”. Her actions inspired her parents, who followed suit a few weeks later to start their plant-based lifestyle journey as well. In early 2018 Coral was offered a part-time office position at MUSE School, and in July 2018 Coral began working as the Global Task Coordinator for MUSE Global. It has been a blessing for Coral to work for and be a part of a community where the core values align with her own. Coral’s current role is as the Virtual Support Coordinator for MUSE Virtual School and she is committed to supporting all faculty, staff, students, and families with any tech-related issues and beyond. Coral also takes a special interest in the development of the MUSE DEI program by assisting with implementing new discussion topics and readings for the DEI continuing conversations subcommittee and for all staff members of MUSE Virtual School.

Outside of MUSE Coral loves spending time with her fur baby Great Danes, going to the dog beach, taking bike rides, reading, and spending time with her loved ones.


Jimmy Calderon

Facilities Manager


Cisco Argueta

Security & Facilities

MUSE Global School Silhouette