Vivien Sessums, Exceptional Education Director
Ms. Sessums is currently in her 7th year of teaching full time. Two and one-half years were spent as an elementary teacher (grades 4, 5, 6) on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in Sells and three years as a highly qualified Exceptional Education teacher (grades 3-8). In 2005 after completing her first Master’s in Elementary Education, she was a recipient of Project REACH grant to teach in low income, Title I schools. In 2011, she received a TEACH grant award from the state of Arizona which allowed her to compete her second Master’s in Exceptional Education. During her teaching career she has worked with a diverse population of wonderful Native American and Hispanic populations in Title I schools. She understands their needs, socio-economic struggles, cultures and traditions as well as various learning styles. Currently she is working on a third Master’s in Educational Administration with a plan to become a charter school director. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her mom, 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
Patricia Urias, Office Manager
Katrissa Jantz, Middle School Writing
I am originally from Clayton, New Mexico. Its a small town in the northeast corner of the state next to the Oklahoma and Texas state lines. I earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree in elementary education with emphasis on math and language arts from Western New Mexico University in 2007. This will be my 6th year as a teacher. I have taught every grade from kindergarten to 8th. My first year as a teacher, I taught a 1st and 2nd combination class at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona. Then I moved to Tucson the following summer teaching at 2 different charter schools before coming to the Wildcat School. Last year I was the head girls' volleyball coach who made it to the first round in the Tournament. I am also the assistant coach for the co-ed basketball team who took 2nd place in the Tucson Independent Athletic League.
Donna Robison, First Grade
Arianna De La Ree, 1st Grade
Hello my name is Ms. De La Ree and I am currently teaching amazing First Graders! I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2010 from the University of Arizona GO Wildcats!!!! I am currently working to obtain my master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction. I have taught 2nd and 3rd grade. During my free time I enjoy exercising teaching Zumba, hiking, and spending time with my family. I enjoy every minute of teaching, I believe it is truly a life long adventure because it is exciting, every changing and could never be boring.
Simone Jolivet-Manuel, 2nd Grade
Mrs. Hermongena Slag, 4th-5th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies
K.C. Estes, 4th -5th Grade Math and Director of 4-H Plus Program
K.C. Estes is the 4th & 5th grade math teacher and math coach here at Wildcat as well as being the facilitator for the 4-H program. She graduated in 1984 with a degree in elementary education with an emphasis on mathematics. Most of her teaching experience has been with middle school children but is now enjoying working with the younger students and the elementary teachers. She has been trained by Pearson, the company that published our math curriculum, on implementation of the program and has also been trained on transitioning the school to the new Common Core State Standards. She has been involved in The Wildcat School since its inception and has been teaching here since 2007.
Tina Dupont, Middle School Project-Based Learning Team Language Arts
Ms. DuPont grew up in upstate New York. The weather in New York was too cold for her to handle so she moved to Arizona with her fiancé in 2007. She received her bachelors degree from Arizona State University in Elementary Education and is now in the process of getting her masters degree. Ms. DuPont is in her second year of teaching Kindergarten and enjoys every minute of it. In her spare time Ms. DuPont loves being outdoors, spending time with her friends and family and reading a good book.
Rick Taylor, Middle School Project-Based Learning Team Multi-Media Teacher
After completing a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Studies at Ohio University in 2008, Rick headed west for sunny Tucson to pursue his passions for teaching and exploring. Rick quickly fell in love with the beautiful Sonoran desert and believes it to be an extremely powerful place of transformation and healing.
Rick has been a classroom teacher for three years. During that time he has developed curriculum specifically designed to expand environmental awareness, utilize 21st century skills, and empower young people to become engaged leaders. He has developed a community-drumming elective course that teaches students traditional rhythms from West Africa while fostering creative listening skills and group cohesion. In addition to teaching and mentoring, music, hiking, and traveling also inspire Rick on a regular basis.
Quirina Brown, K-8 Exceptional Education Para Professional
Sandra Hurtado or Mrs. H. has almost 21 years experience working with children in Recreation and classroom settings. She enjoys working with children and young people in the hopes of helping them be successful. Outside of working with children she enjoys spending spare time with her family, especially her 3 hilariously-too-smart-beyond-their-years grandchildren.
Ms. Laura, Kindergarten Assistant
Ms. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University in Teaching and Learning and is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. Prior to moving to Arizona, she served as a resource parent for Tri-Counties Regional Center in which she provided information, training, and support for clients with developmental disabilities and their families. Ms. Laura has both professional and personal experience in collaborating with therapists, doctors, school and recreational staff to maximize a child’s full potential. She firmly believes little ones help us rediscover innocence and imagination lost, question everything we thought we knew, and make us strive to become better human beings. She is excited to be to be working with two fabulous kindergarten teachers and honored to be entrusted with life’s most precious gift – your children – each day.
Our School Board
Sara Chavarria, Education Outreach Director at the University of Arizona
Sara Chavarria coordinates the Project SOAR mentors that come to Wildcat School as well as the Wildcat School field trips to the University of Arizona. Dr. Chavarria also runs the Passport to High School Summer Institute all Wildcat School graduated 8th grade students participate in. This Texan turned Arizonan loves camping and hiking through our national parks (so far the running favorite is Bryce Canyon but the Grand Canyon is always close to heart) and visiting archaeological sites (favorite site is Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico). Traveling in the US is just the tip of the iceberg, Sara also loves to travel to other countries (Morocco, Italy, Portugal, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Spain, Mexico, Australia, and Israel) so much that she lived in France for 2.5 years. While there she taught at the International School of Toulouse and traveled throughout the beautiful country of France eating the mouth-watering foods and specialties of each region. Dream countries to visit someday are Egypt and China, where the archaeology is blow-your-mind awe-inspiring. To learn more about the College of Education outreach programs, visit their outreach page at http://www.coe.arizona.edu/community/outreach
Meet Our Staff
•Strengthen our community’s ability to offer quality education to students from grades K through 8, especially those who might be considered academically struggling
Cathy Ramirez, Administrative Assistant/NSIP Coordinator
Kelly Fowler, Kindergarten
Hello my name is Ms. Fowler and I currently teach Kindergarten. I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2008 and my master’s degree in special education in 2011. I have taught kindergarten, 1st grade, 5th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. I really enjoy teaching, and the most exciting part for me is when I see a student make a significant leap forward on a task that has been difficult for them. Seeing the student’s face light up as they realize that they have mastered something that they have been struggling with always makes my day.
Mrs. Robison has been teaching for seven years and is a graduate of the University of Arizona. She has endorsements in science, math, reading specialist, gifted, and is early childhood certified. She taught 2nd, 3rd, 4/5 combo, 7th and is now teaching first grade. Believing in her students and making them realize that they can achieve anything they want to, is one part of her goal. The other is making students into a great learner. Cooperative learning is apart of her classroom and encourages students to help others. Build a community with in the classroom is the basis of cooperative learning and students learn to work together.
Mrs. Jolivet-Manuel is a native Tucsonan; she comes from a family of educators and has chosen to continue in their footsteps. She graduated with a B.S. from Northern Arizona University and a Masters from University of Phoenix. What she loves mostly about being an educator is not only what she can teach kids, but the lessons she learns from them and what they can teach her. She believes that the object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their own lives.
Ms. Yolanda Two-Two, 3rd Grade
Mrs. Slag is a native from Bohol, Philippines. In the Philippines, she was trained in the Philippine Military Academy where she was a First Lieutenant Alpha Commander. She graduated from Divine Word College/ Holy Name University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She taught at St. Peter’s College for 4 years. She started to pursue becoming a Missionarian Nun, but changed course. She immigrated to the United States. She went to graduate school at New Mexico State University and obtained a Master of Arts in Education with specialization in TESOL (Teachers of English to the Speakers with Other Languages) and a minor in Linguistics. She felt that going to school in America is very interesting so she continued for a post graduate degree, Specialist in Education, (Ed.S.) with major in Curriculum and Instruction and specialization in Educational Technology. Mrs. Slag was not tired of going to school so she pursued more post graduate studies in Educational Management and School Development (School Administration). Following her passion for teaching she moved to Alaska and taught in a Chupik Eskimo Village. For a native rainforest girl, she could not bare the cold Alaskan winter so moved to Nevada, then California, and finally settled in Tucson which she calls home with her husband and 2 kids.
Mrs. Slag has been an educator for 17 years. She has been an ESL specialist (GFSD), District Program & Test Coordinator AZELLA & AIMS (GFSD), Computer /Technology Coach (TUSD), Remedial Reading Specialist (PUSD), Math Interventionist (SUSD), Technology Curriculum Specialist (TUSD), Technology mentor to college professor (NMSU), Program Coordinator (KUSD), Curriculum Designer and Title I facilitator (KUSD) as well as Principal Internship at (LCSD).
Mrs. Slag used to practice Tae Kwon Do martial Arts. She likes the outdoors and during her free time she loves to go to the shooting range to practice with her rifles. Mrs. Slag enjoys hiking in the wilderness, loves nature, plants and animals, and likes to spend time with family. Above all she loves teaching kids and prays for world peace. She wishes people to get along no matter what race or where they come from.
Ernesto Manzo, Middle School Project Based Learning Team - Science
Mr. Manzo is originally from Pomona, California. He graduated from Swarthmore college with a degree in biology and a minor in educational studies. While at Swarthmore, Mr. Manzo was part of the varsity soccer team and vice president of the Mariachi club. Following his passion for teaching and traveling, he taught low income children in both Ecuador and Ghana. Mr. Manzo has also conducted genetic research for the Amish and Mennonite population of Strasburg, Pennsylvania. He enjoys hiking, spending time with family, pistachios, recreational salsa dancing and hot sauce.
Quirina Brown or Miss. Q was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. She started working with children by volunteering for Tucson Parks and Recreation at the age of 14. She has experience working in a daycare and classroom setting, with children ranging from infants and 12 year old. Miss Q enjoys spending time with her family and friends. A few of her favorite hubbies include: taking her daughter and nephews to the park to exercise and play, playing computer games, arts and crafts, and messing around with electronics.
Sandra Hurtado, K-8 Exceptional Education Para Professional
Craig Scofield, English Language Development & 4th - 5th Grade Science Teacher
He studied Earth Science, and American History as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University, and has finished the course work for a Masters in Education Administration from Chapman University. He has completed train the trainer classes for English Language Leaner teacher training, and participated in a summer program at NAU doing cancer reasearch on yeast cells.
Mr, Scofield is a fan of science fiction as you can see, he is standing at this years trunk or treat event with Hans Solo. His passions are his family, especially being a grandfather, travel, and collecting. He has been to all fifty states, and has visited many foreign countries with his wife. He collects rhinos, model trains, rocks, minerals, Native American items, and sports memorabilia.