Pre-K 3

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Yolanda Cuellar

Yolanda Cuellar, has over 20 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 

 

Pre-K 4

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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 lots 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... 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 

 

 

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Arturo Martinez

Mr. Martinez was born in Mexico and moved to the USA in 2001. Mr. Martinez graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2016. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Personalized Learning Methods from Texas Tech University in 2020. Mr. Martinez is currently pursuing a master's degree in Curriculum Instruction with an emphasis on Personalized Learning Methods at TTU. He has experience in Pre-K, second grade, and fifth-grade science/social studies for three years. He loves teaching and empowering students to reach their fullest potential in a personalized learning environment. 
 

Kindergarten

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Carmen Sanchez

Carmen Sanchez has been working with the Dallas Independent School District for more than 25 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

 

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Jasmine Harris

Jasmine Harris is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Ms. Harris graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and is currently working on her master's degree in education at Georgia State University. Ms. Harris is excited about designing lessons that will allow her students to explore and learn together.  Ms. Harris decided to come to PL Prep because she believes students thrive in learning environments that have been designed around their interests. 

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

 

 

First Grade

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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 

 

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Lisa McPherson

Lisa McPherson has over 25 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

 

 

 

 

Second Grade

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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 begun to craft an educational philosophy that drives what she does every day.  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

 

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Victoria Provance

Victoria Provance is a native Texan originally growing up in the Odessa, TX area. She went on to get her Bachelors in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting from Texas Tech University. Although she worked in the insurance industry, she always found herself drawn to the career of teaching. Through the Dallas ISD Alternative Certification program, Victoria was able to obtain certificates in Early Childhood through 6th-grade general education, English as a Second Language, Science of Teaching Reading, and Professional Pedagogy and Responsibilities. Hobbies include walking her two dogs, playing computer games, and trying new restaurants in the Dallas area. 

Favorite Quote " The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Third Grade

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Michaela Larry

Michaela Larry graduated from Texas Tech University (Wreck ‘Em, Tech!) with a Major in Early Childhood Education. She is very passionate about teaching and excited to continue her teaching journey at PL. 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: “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

 

 

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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 several years, she's 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 on their lives. 

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

 

Fourth Grade

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Crystan Barnes

Mrs. Barnes is originally from Chicago but moved to Texas as a teen. She graduated from Clark Atlanta University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She grew up as a competitive cheerleader and, for the last 6 years, has coached elementary-aged cheerleaders. Her hobbies include reading, eating, shopping, and spending time with her family. This will be Mrs. Barnes' 8th year as an elementary teacher in Dallas ISD. She is super excited to join the PL Prep Family.

Favorite Quote: "Teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts; it is acquiring understanding."—William Arthur Ward

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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, she received teaching certificates in SPED and EC-6 through Texas Teachers of America. Over the years, Merced has taught prekindergarten, kindergarten, second, and third 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

 

Third/Fourth/Fifth Grade Dual Language

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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

 

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Daniela Carrillo

Daniela Carrillo was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. She earned a bachelor's degree in Science in Education from the University of Monterrey, where she discovered her passion for teaching and her purpose in life. She worked for 5 years as a Teaching Assistant and Inclusion Assistant in Mexico. Mrs. Carrillo moved to Dallas in 2021 to start her journey as a Bilingual Teacher at Dallas ISD. She believes that a respectful, loving, and engaging environment provides students the opportunity to learn and grow in their own unique way. She is very excited to join the PL Prep family and will continue to learn and grow as a teacher in every step of the way. Mrs. Carrillo enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, reading, and traveling to new places. 

 

Favorite Quote: “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.” - Mother Teresa

Fifth Grade

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Dominique Willard-Ibe

Dominique Willard-Ibe is from San Antonio, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University, College Station. Over the past two years, Dominique is an experienced early learning educator and is excited to work with fifth-grade students this year. She has attained certifications as an EC-6 Generalist teacher, 4-8 Math/Science teacher, and EC-12 Health teacher. She is passionate about teaching and personalizing instruction for all learners. She enjoys working with students of all ages and seeing them excel. Dominique is excited about contributing to the growth of our PL Prep at Sam Houston community!

 
Favorite Quote: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” – Martin Luther King

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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 third year in Dallas ISD.

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

 

 

Special Education

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Trinity Tulloch

Trinity Tulloch has taught for four years and is excited about coming to PL Prep. Ms. Tulloch is passionate about special education and cannot wait to serve the students at PL Prep. As a neurodivergent, she tends to change hobbies pretty regularly, but her current favorite things to do when she's not at school are candle-making, video gaming, and woodworking. Trinity grew up in Dallas and attended DISD schools (Bayles, Greiner, Townview Law Magnet) and is super pumped to be coming back home!!

Favorite Quote: “Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.” —Michelle Obama

TAG

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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

 

 

Specials

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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 excited 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 fits 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

 

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Darren Rome

My name is Darren Rome and I am thrilled to be the music teacher at Sam Houston Elementary for the 2022-2023 school year!  I received my Bachelors of Music Education from Louisiana State University and recently a Masters in Music Education from Southern Methodist University.  This school year will be my year number fifteen of teaching music in Texas.  Personalized Learning has allowed 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