Our Staff

Executive Team  
Mr. Anthony Saba
Executive Director
   
Mr. John Luker
Chief Finance Officer
   
Administative Team  
Mrs. Lee Fleming
Head of School
   
Miss Aimee Bilderback
Assistant Head of School
   
Mrs. Kim Dawson
Assistant Head of School
   
Academy Staff    
Mrs. Christina Abuel
English
Miss Gina Gonzalez
Virtual Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
Mr. Noah Palacios
English
Mrs. Jennifer Aceves
College & Career Counselor
Mr. Erik Pederson
Government & Economics
Mr. Ismael Aranda
Student Services Coordinator
Miss Jessica Gonzalez
College & Career Counselor
Mrs. Rebecca Perez
Mathematics
Mr. Wayne Armstrong
Campus I.T. Administrator
Mrs. Leticia Gonzalez
Student Development Coordinator
Mr. Vicente Perez
Biology
Mr. Devin Beliveau
History
Mr. Stephen Pink
Spanish
Ms. Tracy Boxeth
Instructional Aide
Mr. Jonathan Gunther
History
Mr. Nino Polizzi
Engineering Teacher
Mrs. Cristalle Callis
Chemistry
Miss Crystal Ho
Mathematics
Mrs. Angela Remirez
Spanish
Ms. Patty Caro-Rebon
School Secretary
Mr. David Janisch
Engineering Teacher
Miss Isabel Saldana
Campus Supervisor
Miss Stephanie Cuevas
Instructional Assistant
Mr. Blaine Jones
Earth Science
Miss Norah Sarsour
Director of Alumni Success
Miss Sarah Davis
Student Success
Coordinator
Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien
Design & Student Activities Coordinator
Dr. Adam Sheppard
Student Life Coordinator and Athletic Director
Mrs. Erica Diaz
School Secretary
Mr. Ray Kalbhenn
PE and Health
Ms. Sheena Somoza
Math
Mr. Martin Domiguez
School Office Manager
Mr. Douglas Lauder
Physics and Math
 
Mrs. Jessica Ta
Spanish
Mr. Jose Gallardo
Instructional Aide
Mrs. Dina Mahmood
Math
Miss Nyree Tramble
Work-Based Learning and Volunteer Coordinator
Miss Kala Gabler
Mathematics
Mr. Ben Mechler
Campus Facilities Supervisor
Mrs. Lesley Gaetano
English
Mr. Stefan Miller
Choir
Patricia Vining
Design
Ms. Natalia Gomez
Food Service Supervisor
Mr. Raul Ocegueda
Instructional Aide

 

Mr. Anthony Saba
Executive Director
ASaba@samueliacademy.org

Follow him on Twitter: @anthonysaba2

Anthony Saba (pronounced SAY-buh) brings over 15 years of high school experience, both in the classroom and in school administration.

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Mr. John Luker
Chief Finance Officer
JLuker@orangewoodfoundation.org

John Luker joined the executive team of Orangewood Foundation and Samueli Academy in July 2014 as CFO, replacing Chris Simonsen who was promoted to CEO. Prior to joining Orangewood, John worked as the CFO of the Orange County Rescue Mission for over 13 years. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Mrs. Lee Fleming
Head of School
LFleming@SamueliAcademy.org

Lee Fleming has been in education for over 20 years and is very passionate about helping young people grow and learn from their experiences. Prior to coming to Samueli Academy, Lee was the principal of Bonsall High School, a small neighborhood high school in North County San Diego, where she helped build and establish a new project-based high school including a partnership with a local community college for dual enrollment courses and a cohesive advisory program based on developing a 4-year post-secondary plan.

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Miss Aimee Bilderback

Miss Aimee Bilderback
Assistant Head of School
ABilderback@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Tuesday 7:00-8:00am
Room 101

I completed my first two years of university work at University of California, Santa Barbara, initially intending to major in Microbiology and continue to dental and orthodontic schools to fit people with braces.

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Mrs. Kim Dawson

Mrs. Kim Dawson
Assistant Head of School
KDawson@samueliacademy.org

Kim started as a math teacher and has had the opportunity to teach everything from Algebra to Calculus. She has co-created and co-taught math courses integrated with a variety of design and science courses. Kim’s favorite integrated project was a collaboration with the television show Little People, Big World.

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Mrs. Christina Abuel

Mrs. Christina Abuel
English
Cabuel@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Mondays & Wednesdays 7:00-8:00am
Room 101

I'm a Southern California native, who grew up in nearby Costa Mesa. The day I learned to read in my kindergarten class, I came home and told my parents I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.
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Mrs. Jennifer Aceves

Mrs. Jennifer Aceves
College and Career Counselor
jaceves@samueliacademy.org

I was born and for the most part raised in Orange County. After high school, as a first generation student, I attended Santa Ana College and earned my associate degree in Liberal Arts then transferred to Argosy University where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

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Mr. Ismael Aranda

Mr. Ismael Aranda
Student Services Coordinator
IAranda@samueliacademy.org

Coming Soon

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Mr. Wayne Armstrong

Mr. Wayne Armstrong
Campus I.T. Administrator
WArmstrong@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday & Friday 7:00-4:00pm
Lunch 12:00-1:00pm
Tech Room lvl 2

Coming Soon

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Mr. Davin Beliveau

Mr. Devin Beliveau
History
DBeliveau@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
3:30-4:30pm
Room 102

I am a veteran project-based social studies teacher, having taught for a combined twelve years both in California and my home state of Maine. This is my third year at Samueli Academy...

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Ms. Tracy Boxeth

Ms. Tracy Boxeth
Resource Specialist
TBoxeth@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in nearby Silverado Canyon and graduated from El Modena High School in Orange. I graduated from California Polytechnic University, Pomona with a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management, with a minor in Business.

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<Mrs. Cristalle Callis

Mrs. Cristalle Callis
Chemistry
CCallis@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday & Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 213

I am an Orange County native and I graduated from Fullerton High School. I continued onto San Diego State University where I majored in Cell and Molecular Biology. After five years in the medical device manufacturing industry, I decided to follow my passion for teaching.

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Ms. Patty Caro-Rebon

Ms. Patty Caro-Rebon
School Secretary
PCaroRebon@samueliacademy.org

Coming Soon

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Miss Stephanie Cuevas

Miss Stephanie Cuevas
Instructional Assistant
SCuevas@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Orange, graduated from El Modena High School, and received my B.A. in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton. I have always been extremely fascinated by human behavior and had the dream of pursuing a clinical and research career at an earlier age...

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Miss Sarah Davis

Miss Sarah Davis
Student Success Coordinator
SDavis@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday 8:00-3:15pm

Graduated from Cal State Long Beach with B.S in Criminal Justice, with hopes of a career in Probation. Beginning my career in human services/social services and I have shared 10+ yrs working with at risk families, youth and young adults...


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Mrs.Erika Diaz

Erika Diaz
School Secretary
EDiaz@samueliacademy.org

In the past, while working in representing an Honorable State Senator in the 34th District as a District Representative, it helped me understand the needs of our community and become resourceful while developing enduring connections throughout Orange County. Volunteering has also brought me to where I am today. Previously, I volunteered several years as a member of the Anaheim Secondary Council PTA where I was President elect at one of the Junior High Schools empowering parents bringing the community together.
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Mr. Martin Domiquez

Mr. Martin Dominguez
School Office Manager
mdominguez@samueliacademy.org

I was born and raised in South Los Angeles, CA for the first decade and a half of my life, and now reside in Orange County. Before joining Samueli Academy, I was fortunate enough to incorporate myself with a diverse career background, which includes working with the Children’s Home Society of California, the Tustin Adult School under the Tustin Unified School District, the AB86 planning grant with Irvine Valley College and being a part of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs over at California State University, Fullerton.
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Miss Kala Gabler

Miss Kala Gabler
Mathematics
KGabler@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday & Wednesday
7:30-8:15am & 3:30-4:30pm

I grew up in a town in Southern California called Apple Valley and spent my childhood visiting the Roy Roger’s museum and hiking up Bell Mountain (famous Apple Valley landmarks). I moved down to Orange County in 2008 to begin playing college soccer and studying Psychology and Education.

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Mrs. Lesley Gaetano

Mrs. Lesley Gaetano
English
LGaetano@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 101

Originally, I intended to become a social worker, so I majored in sociology at LeMoyne College (Syracuse, NY). However, after spending many hours in the theatre, doing everything from acting to lighting design, I discovered my passion for theatre arts.

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Mr. Jose Gallardo

Mr. Jose Gallardo
English
jgallardo@samueliacademy.org

Coming Soon

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Ms. Natalia Gomez

Ms. Natalia Gomez
Food Service Supervisor
NGomez@samueliacademy.org

After six wonderful years of working with at-risk youth and staff at Orangewood Children’s Foundation, I was given the opportunity to become Samueli Academy Campus Supervisor in August 2013.

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Miss Gina Gonzalez

Miss Gina Gonzalez
Virtual Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
ggonzalez@samueliacademy.org

I am a native Texan that decided to move to "Sunny San Diego" in 2007. I originally went to school to be an elementary school teacher, then half way through the program decided that high school was a better fit for me. I first began teaching Graphic Design in 2009 then after receiving my business credential, I taught both design and business.

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Miss Jessica Gonzalezz

Miss Jessica Gonzalez
College and Career Counselor
jgonzalez@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from Ulysses Grant High School in Valley Glen. I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school and attend college. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge (Go Matadors!). During my years as an undergrad I was in a scholarship program called Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) U-STAR, where I worked as a research assistant in the psychology department. Through this program I had the opportunity to travel and present at conferences all over the United States. It was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate career.

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Mrs. Leticia Gonzalez

Mrs. Leticia Gonzalez
Student Development Coordinator
LGonzalez@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:30-4:30pm
Tuesday & Thursday by appointment until 6:00pm
Room 2

Coming Soon

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Mr. Jonathan Gunther

Mr. Jonathan Gunther
History
JGunther@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Monday 7:30-8:30am
Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 203, W Dhont Center

I am a veteran teacher with twelve years experience teaching social science. I began my teaching career at Cal State Fullerton where I was credentialed, and received a BA in History with Honors. I student taught at Tuffree Middle School in Placentia, and was then hired at Brea Olinda High School.


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Miss Crystal Ho

Miss Crystal Ho
Mathematics
CHo@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 7:30-8:30am
Room 14

I am excited to start my eighth year of teaching and fourth year here at Samueli Academy! Originally from Cerritos, CA, I ended up going to UC Irvine (Zot, Zot!) for both my undergraduate and graduate studies. I graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics with Specialization in Education and an M.A. in Elementary and Secondary Education...

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Mr. David Janisch

Mr. David Janisch
Engineering
DJanisch@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 7:30-8:30am
Room 10

I have over 30 years of experience in aerospace, data storage, semiconductors, medical devices and venture capital. This industry background coupled with teaching experience in both math and engineering technology enables me to participate in the development of a project based learning environment for our Engineering Pathway students.



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Mr. Blaine Jones

Mr. Blaine Jones
Earth Science
BJones@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:30-8:30am
Room 201

I grew up in nearby Tustin, California, where I attended Foothill High School. From there I travelled to Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where I received a B.S. in Ecology.

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Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien

Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien
Design and Student Activities Coordinator
Job@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday 7:30-8:30am
Tuesday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 314


When I was a junior in high school, I decided I wanted to teach art and teach at the high school level. I grew up in Bakersfield, CA and studied at Cal State University Bakersfield. I transferred to Humboldt State University, where I completed the majority of my art courses.

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Mr. Ray Kalbhen

Mr. Ray Kalbhenn
PE and Health
RKalbhenn@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday 8:00-8:25am
Room 17

Mr. Kalbhenn’s passion for health and fitness has followed him since high school and he has over twenty years’ experience in sports and nutrition. He was on his high school varsity wrestling team for 3 years, track team for two years and attended Cal State Long Beach...

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Mr. Douglas Lauder

Mr. Douglas Lauder
Physics and Math
DLauder@samueliacademy.org

Coming Soon

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Mrs. Dina Mahmood

Mrs. Dina Mahmood
Math
DMahmood@samueliacademy.org
Office Hours:
After Shool on B Days until 4:30pm
Room 8

I grew up in Southern California. After graduating from Laguna Beach High School, I went to UCLA where I earned my BA degree in Environmental Studies. At UCLA, I was part of a youth mentorship program that worked with high school students in inner-city Los Angeles.


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Mr. Ben Mechler

Mr. Ben Mechler
Campus Facilities Supervisor
BMechler@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Massachusetts where I enjoyed working for my father's home remodeling business and spent most of my time riding and showing Arabian horses for Edgewood Farms. I attended high school at Old Rochester Regional High School and after graduating I went on to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.

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Mr. Stefan Miller

Mr. Stefan Miller
Choir
smiller@samueliacademy.org

I hail from the San Francisco Bay area and have recently completed my MFA in Vocal Performance at UC Irvine. I graduated from the University of the Pacific, and have performed with numerous operatic and theatre companies in both Northern and Southern California and recently performed with Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, California. I was also an Education Artist with the Long Beach Opera last season. I also teach at Mater Dei High School and recently received an adjunct Professor position at Soka University.

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Mr. Raul Ocegueda

Mr. Raul Ocegueda
Instructional Aide
ROcegueda@samueliacademy.org

Majoring in civil engineering I am working on completing my P.L.S. (Professional Land Surveyor)and P.E.(Professional Engineer) licensing. I was born and raised in Santa Ana I would like to give back to my community by working with youth to support their learning experience.

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Mr. Noah Palacios

Mr. Noah Palacios
English
NPalacios@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Monday & Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 101

I am the epitome of an introvert
Flipped into the pursuit of development
Working constantly like gravity
On the betterment of my mentality


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Mr. Erik Pederson

Mr. Erik Pederson
Government and Economics
epederson@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 7:30-8:30am
Room 204

I am very excited to be entering my tenth year as an educator and to be joining the staff here at Samueli Academy. I am originally from Northern California (Sacramento) but have resided In Southern California now for the past 20 years. Most of my time in Southern California has been in San Diego where I attended California State University San Marcos...

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Mr. Vicente Perez

Mr. Vicente Perez
Biology
VPerez@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday - Friday 3:30-4:30pm
Thursday 7:15-8:15am
Room 113

I grew up in the city of Lynwood, CA where I received my formal k-12 education. I went to Cal State University, Long Beach for my undergraduate education: Biology and Chicano/ Latino Studies, and my graduate education: Science education.

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Mrs. Rebecca Perez

Mrs. Rebecca Perez
Mathematics
RPerez@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30-8:15am
Room 15

I grew up in Anaheim, CA and attended Loara High School. After graduating from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics, I attended Bible school and worked as a christian worker serving college-age youth on a few campuses in TX. I loved working with and mentoring youth.


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Mr. Stephen Pink

Mr. Stephen Pink
Spanish
spink@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Monday 7:30-8:30am
Friday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 7

Native to Orange County, I spent 7 years of higher education at Cal State Fullerton to obtain my Bachelor's (B.A. Spanish), a Healthcare Interpreting certificate and a Teaching Credential. Additional endeavors in college included about 15 or so independent trips to central Mexico (Michoacán, Jalisco, Morelos, D.F.)...

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Mr. Nino Polizzi

Mr. Nino Polizzi
Engineering Teacher
NPolizzi@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Monday& Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 301

I bring 30 years of experience in the aerospace industry into the classroom to create an authentic engineering experience for students. Our Engineering classroom theme is “Working At Learning” which exemplifies the approach to college and career readiness.

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Mrs. Angela Ramirez

Mrs. Angela Ramirez
Spanish
aramirez@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm
Thursday after school by appointment.
Room 6

I was born and raised in Orange County and moved to Missouri after high school to finish college and to be closer to my mom. While there, I attended Missouri Southern State University and Central Missouri State University where I earned a BA in Spanish and received my Spanish K-12 teaching credentials.

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Miss Isabel Saldana

Miss Isabel Saldana
Campus Supervisor
isaldana@samueliacademy.org

I am excited to start my first year as Campus Supervisor at Samueli Academy. I was born and raised in the city of Santa Ana and graduated from La Quinta High School in Westminster. I was attending Santa Ana College and working towards obtaining my degree in Criminal Justice. Unfortunately, that had to be placed on hold because I got...

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Miss Norah Sarsour
Director of Alumni Success
nsarsour@samueliacademy.org

I knew studying education was my calling when I became a program coordinator for a UCLA based outreach project in 2006. By 2008, I functioned as a representative to the UCLA Admissions Advisory Board, all the while working within UCLA's Law admission office. After I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature, I was launched into a career of international affairs for education based initiatives that served refugee youth and developing countries.

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Dr. Adam Sheppard

Dr. Adam Sheppard
Student Life Coordinatoand and Athletic Director
ASheppard@samueliacademy.org

Graduating from UCLA, with a degree in physiology, I began my working career with a collaborative project between the YMCA of Orange County and the Santa Ana Unified School District. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, I was able to assist elementary school teachers develop physical activity programs for their students—in an effort to improve their health and well-being.

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Sheena Somoza

Sheena Somoza
Math
ssomoza@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30-4:30pm
Room 5

I grew up in Inglewood, California. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Music from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After completing my undergraduate degree, I took a year off from school and served as a tutor and mentor at John Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles.

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Miss Jesica Ta

Jessica Ta
Spanish
jta@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Wednesday 7:30-8:30am

I went to UCSD where I earned my Spanish<>English translation and interpretation certificate. I later earned my B.A. in Applied Linguistics at CSULB, where I was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) National Honor Society, the oldest and largest honor society. I am also a member of Golden Key Honors Society.

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Miss Nyree Tramble

Miss Nyree Tramble
Work-Based Learning and Volunteer Cooordinator
NTramble@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Weekdays 8:00am-5:00pm
Room 2

I grew up mostly in Orange County and received my Bachelor's Degree in Human Communication with an emphasis on Organizational Communication from California State University, Fullerton. I have worked for many large retail companies, assisting them in management skills...


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Patricia Vining

Miss Patricia Vining
Design
pvining@samueliacademy.org

Office Hours:
Wednesday 7:30-8:30am & 3:30-5:00pm

A life-long learner and native New Yorker, I was an elementary school teacher in my first life, earned an MFA in design and went on to launch an award-winning design and communications firm with four Fortune 500 companies as clients.

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