Prekindergarten

 Yolanda Cuellar

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Yolanda Cuellar

Yolanda Cuellar, has over 18 years of experience teaching students in prekindergarten, first and second grade within DISD. She is excited for the upcoming school year and has a strong commitment to supporting her students. Ms. Cuellar is passionate about ensuring all of her students gain the fundamental skills to help them surpass their academic and SEL goals. She utilizes interactive strategies to engage all learners and understands how to meet the learning needs of all learners.  

Favorite Quote: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” - Mother Teresa 

 

 Cynthia Acosta

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Cynthia Acosta

Ms. Acosta is very excited to be a part of the Personalized Learning Preparatory at Sam Houston Elementary School! She feels it will be a fun year full of lot’s of learning and new adventures. Ms. Acosta was born in Dallas but was raised in Garland, Texas. She is the oldest of two, and has one sweet chihuahua-mix puppy. She was a Teacher's Aide in Pre K for a year and absolutely loved it! Soon after she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies, from Texas Tech University this fall... Go Red Raiders! Ms. Acosta can’t wait to spend the next year learning and growing with you!

Favorite Quote: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” - Jane Goodall 

 

 

Kindergarten

 Carmen Sanchez

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Carmen Sanchez

Carmen Sanchez has been working with the Dallas Independent School District for 24 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Arlington while working as a paraprofessional.  She began her teaching practice in 2003 as an Early Childhood educator. Since then, she has had the opportunity to mentor upcoming educators and taken on various leadership roles. During the 2017-18 school year she participated in the second cohort of the Innovation in Teaching Fellowship which focused on Personalized and Blended Learning.  She has continued her professional growth in Personalized Learning through a graduate program with Texas Tech.

Favorite Quote: “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” – Malala Yousafzai

 

 Shannon Furdon

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Shannon Furdon

Please welcome Shannon Furdon. She is originally from Denver, CO where she taught kindergarten for 6 years. The past two years she has been teaching kindergarten in Houston, TX. She will be moving to Dallas this summer and she is looking forward to making Dallas her new home as well as joining the PL Prep community.

Favorite Quote: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

 

 

 Alisa Kline

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Alisa Kline

Alisa Kline is a native Texan and was raised in the Dallas area. She attended college at TCU and is a BIG Horn Frog fan! She enjoys teaching students at PL Prep and helping them learn new lifelong skills. Teaching at a personalized learning campus is very important to Ms. Kline because she strives to cater her lessons to the strengths and opportunities of every individual child.  
 
Favorite Quote: "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston S. Churchill
 
 
 Katy Cotton

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Katy Cotton

Miss Cotton is from Midland, Texas. This is her 5th year of teaching. She is so excited to teach Kindergarten! This year will be filled with lots of learning adventures!  Katy started her teaching career in Waco, Texas. There, she taught Kindergarten for a year before moving to Fort Stockton, Texas and teaching 3rd Grade Math/Science for three years and will now be back to Kindergarten! She is so excited to be in Dallas, Texas and can’t wait for a great year filled with excitement and learning! 

Favorite Quote: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

 

First Grade

 Cynthia Meraz

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Cynthia Meraz

Cinthia Meraz Pantoja graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. Meraz feels very fortunate to be part of this great family at Personalized Learning Preparatory at Sam Houston. Personalized Learning is important to her because she is very passionate about helping students develop their strengths and their growth mindset while teaching them in a meaningful and creative way that addresses their specific needs, skills, and interests. She is very excited to start the upcoming school year and welcome all of her new students.

Favorite Quote: "A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers"-Hellen Keller 

 

 Lisa McPherson

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Lisa McPherson

Lisa McPherson has over 24 years of experience teaching kindergarten, first, second and third grade. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Mrs. McPherson moved to the Dallas metroplex after graduating from Sam Houston State University in 1991. She enjoys traveling to new places, spending time with her family and dog. 

Favorite Quote: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

 

 

 

 Mary Grace Eades

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Mary Grace Eades

Mary Grace Eades received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education from The University of South Carolina. After graduating college, she received her Lower/Upper Elementary Montessori certificate. This will be her 6th year in education, with experience in first and second grade. Mary Grace is originally from Ohio, but has lived in South Carolina for the past 16 years. She will be getting married over the summer and moving to Dallas. She enjoys running, crafting, and spending time with her family. Teaching has always been Mary Grace’s passion! She is extremely excited to begin this new journey in Dallas and at PL Prep! 

Favorite Quote: “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

 

 

Second Grade

 Angie Lee

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Angie Lee

Angie Lee moved to the U.S. from beautiful Mexico to major in Psychology. After graduating, she became a Teach For America Corps Member and began teaching in 2015. Throughout her time with students, mentor teachers, and leaders she has began to craft an educational philosophy that drives what she does everyday. Ms. Lee believes every child deserves to be educated, with unconditional love, engaging learning opportunities, and patience. She believes every child can succeed when given the necessary tools. Ms. Lee finds joy in growth through humbleness, kindness, and gratitude. 

Favorite Quote: “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo

 

 Merced Fletcher

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Merced Fletcher

Merced Fletcher graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Education. Upon moving to Texas three years ago, she received teaching certificates in SPED and EC-6 through Texas Teachers of America. Over the years, Merced has taught prekindergarten, kindergarten and second grade. Personalized Learning is important to her because it allows students to take ownership of their learning and grow in an environment that is tailored to fit their individual needs.

Favorite Quote: "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde

 

 Tevin Lloyd

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Tevin Lloyd

Mr. Lloyd is originally from New Orleans.  He moved to Dallas in 2017. Mr. Lloyd received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Business Management from Georgetown College in Kentucky. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Education Administration from Lamar University.  He is excited to grow and develop in his passion for personalized learning and work with some amazing scholars each day. Mr. Lloyd lives by the motto, “whatever it takes...I’m all in.”  

Favorite Quote: “Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.” Michelle Obama

 

 

 Jobrina Perez

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Jobrina Perez

Jobrina Perez graduated from Texas A&M University in 2018 with a bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. Post-graduation she joined College Advising Corps and served two years as a college advisor at Richardson High School. Though she loved helping students reach their post-secondary goals, she is overjoyed to begin her teaching career with Personalized Learning Preparatory at Sam Houston! Ms. Perez keeps close to her the belief that ALL students regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, background, or zip code deserve access to high-quality education. She is committed to helping the students at PL Prep reach their fullest potential. Jobrina enjoys all things fitness, cooking, baking, and serving her community. She is ready to learn and grow alongside the staff and meet the students and families at PL Prep!

Third Grade

 Aumber Effendi

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Aumber Effendi

Ms. Effendi graduated from Texas Woman's University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is very passionate about teaching and will be entering her fourth year teaching this school year.  The grade levels she has experience with are fifth grade, first grade, and second grade. When she is not teaching she is planning vacations with her family, binge-watching Netflix documentaries, and sitting down a good book to read. She is very excited to be a part of the PL Prep family and see the growth the students make this school year!

Favorite Quote: “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

 

 

 Emily Prieto

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Emily Prieto

Emily Prieto is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University and a Louisiana native. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education as well as a certificate in Early Childhood. She grew up as a competitive swimmer and for the past 6 years shes coached numerous swim teams of all ages and skill levels. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, traveling, and exercise. However, teaching is her ultimate passion and it has been a lifelong dream of hers to teach young children, watch them grow, and make a positive impact in their lives. Emily is excited to start this new chapter of her life in Dallas and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Favorite Quote: "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." -Alexander Graham Bell

 

 Sampson Ma

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Sampson Ma

Sampson Ma is a graduate of Texas Tech University. He loves writing, making music, and learning more about amazing things he didn't know about before. This will be his first year in Dallas ISD, and he is excited to join the PL Prep family.

Favorite Quote: "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." -Walt Disney

 

 

Third/Fourth Grade Bilingual

 Juan Moreno

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Juan Moreno

Juan Carlos Moreno Marban has a bachelors degree in business administration from Mexico and graduated from UVM-Laureate International Universities. He was awarded Premio Ceneval when he graduated college which is given to the top 3% of the field in the country. Mr. Moreno feels that we, as individuals have different aspirations, goals, mindsets and learning styles amongst other things, each person is unique and personalized learning allows me as an educator to tailor my instruction according to his students needs.

Favorite Quote: "Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value." -Albert Einstein

 

Fourth Grade

 Mary Huntzinger

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Mary Huntzinger

Mary Huntzinger worked in the social work field for several years before deciding that her passion was teaching. Since Ms. Huntzinger has a degree in education and a passion for helping other learn she decided that to become a ELAR teacher. Ms. Huntzinger wanted to teach at a personalized learning campus because she understands each child has unique learning needs that help them thrive. She strives to create an inclusive learning environment that teaches students how to become advocates of their learning.  

Favorite Quote: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." -Colin Powell

 

 Thai Blyden

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Thai Blyden

Thai Blyden has taught for 8 years, she is so excited to be a part of an amazing team! She looks forward to learning from the PL Prep team at Sam Houston! Thai graduated from California State University San Bernardino with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Child Development. She earned her teaching credential at University of Redlands. She taught in California for 5 years then moved to Florida and taught for 2.5 years. She moved to Texas in December 2019. 

Her teaching philosophy is “Every student has the right to a quality education.” The way that each student learns varies from student to student. She believes that students learn best when they are highly engaged. With our 21st century technological advances, students have an abundance of tools to keep them engaged and allow them to learn successfully. Her goal is to teach with these tools with a focus on a standards based curriculum. She is looking forward to an amazing year!

Favorite Quote: "The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." -Barack Obama

 

 

Fifth Grade

 Mayra Valencia

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Mayra Valencia

Mayra Valencia is from Venezuela, but part of her heart belongs to Colombia as well since all of her family is Colombian and she lived in that beautiful country for many years. She moved to Texas about fourteen years ago and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Mrs. Valencia has taught elementary students for five years and feels fortunate to work at a PL campus since it is a great opportunity to accelerate students learning by differentiating instruction based on their needs, skills and interests.  She is always looking for opportunities of growth so she can serve her students better.

Favorite Quote: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Nelson Mandela

 

 Katarius Jones

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Katarius Jones

Katarius Jones graduated from Wiley College with a bachelor's degree in education. She has a passion for students and finding innovative methods to engage all learners. Over the years, she has gained experience teaching elementary students and strives to create an environment that allows students to become advocates for their learning. Mrs. Jones recently graduated with a master's degree in Instructional Technology from Grand Canyon University. Mrs. Jones is excited to integrate skills and interactive activities to engage all learners. 

Favorite Quote: "You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated." -Maya Angelou

 

Special Education

 Arlette Hinojosa

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Arlette Hinojosa

Arlette Hinojosa is from the Rio Grande Valley and moved to DFW area about six years ago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with emphasis in education from Southwestern Adventist University in 2015. After college, she joined Teach for America and worked in FWISD for three years. In 2017, she earned a master's degree in STEM education from SMU. Ms. Hinojosa believes in educating the WHOLE person academically, emotionally, and personally. 

Favorite Quote: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin

 

 

 

TAG

 Stephanie Ball

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Stephanie Ball

Stephanie Ball is the Talented and Gifted teacher at Personalized Preparatory at Sam Houston. Over the past five years, Ms. Ball has taught kindergarten, first, third, and sixth grades in both general education and gifted classrooms. She loves getting to know her students’ interests and watching them learn and grow. Ms. Ball is from Virginia near Washington, D.C. and a huge DC sports fan. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and loves to do yoga in my free time. She also enjoys spending time with her family including my two young nieces whom I absolutely adore.

Favorite Quote: "If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success." -James Cameron

 

Specials

 Mbemba "Coach" Nseka

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Mbemba "Coach" Nseka

Coach Nseka is the physical education teacher at Pl Prep. He studied Kinesiology at the University of Texas at Arlington, GO MAVS!!! He is very excited to work together this year to help you begin your journey to having a life long active lifestyle. He is ecited to learn and grow alongside you this school year! Personalized learning is important to him because every student deserves to be different and not one individual is like any other. It is only fitting that every student should learn the way that fit their needs, and that is exactly what we do at Pl Prep.

Favorite quote: “Every master was once a beginner; every Pro was once an amateur.”- Robin S. Sharma

 

 Darren Rome

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Darren Rome

My name is Darren Rome and I am thrilled to be the new music teacher at Sam Houston Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year!  I received my Bachelors of Music Education from Louisiana State University and am currently completing my Masters of Music in Music Education at Southern Methodist University.  This school year will be my eleventh year of teaching music in Texas.  Personalized Learning has allowed for both me and my students to experiment with songwriting and making music using modern band instruments (guitar, ukulele, keyboard, drums, etc.).

Favorite Quote: “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures in silence.” ― Leopold Stokowski

 

 

 Adam George

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Adam George

Adam George was raised in North Texas and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Saint Edward’s University in Austin. He began a career in digital marketing and photography but could not ignore the calling to become a teacher! Mr. George is proud to be a visual arts teacher and believes creativity intrinsically follows the personalized learning model. He creates a classroom that has the right balance of structure and freedom, so every student has the opportunity to truly thrive.

Favorite Quote:“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”- Thomas Merton