Pre-K 3

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Yolanda Cuellar

Yolanda Cuellar has more than 20 years of experience teaching prekindergarten, first, and second-grade students in DISD. She is enthusiastic about the upcoming school year and is dedicated to supporting her students. Ms. Cuellar is passionate about ensuring all students gain the fundamental skills to help them achieve their academic and SEL goals. She uses interactive strategies to engage all learners and understands how to meet their learning needs.

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, born in Dallas and raised in Garland, is excited to learn and grow with you this year. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Texas Tech University and worked as a Teacher's Aide in Pre-K. Ms. Acosta is the eldest of two and has a sweet chihuahua mix puppy.

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, a Mexican-born educator, moved to the USA in 2001. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of North Texas in 2016 and a Graduate Certificate in Personalized Learning Methods from Texas Tech University in 2020. Mr. Martinez is pursuing a Master's in Curriculum Instruction with an emphasis on Personalized Learning Methods at TTU. He has taught Pre-K, 2nd, and 5th-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 worked for the Dallas Independent School District for over 25 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington while working as a paraprofessional. In 2003, she began teaching as an Early Childhood educator and has since mentored upcoming educators and taken on various leadership roles. During the 2017-2018 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 at 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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Dr. Alice Juarez

Dr. Alice, a native Texan yet nomadic soul, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cornell College and a Medical Doctorate from Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. She and her family thrive on spontaneous road trips and exploring the local scene, often making joyful memories at Six Flags or the Dallas Zoo. As we embark on this educational journey together, she is eager to create a vibrant and engaging space for our young learners. Get ready to "bee" inspired and discover the wonders of knowledge in Dr. Alice's kindergarten classroom!

Favorite Quote: “The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” - Dr. Maria Montessori

First Grade

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Cynthia Meraz

Cinthia Meraz Pantoja obtained a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at El Paso. Ms. Meraz is grateful to be a part of Personalized Learning Preparatory at Sam Houston, as she is passionate about helping students develop their strengths and growth mindset in a meaningful and creative way that caters to their specific needs, skills, and interests. She is thrilled to welcome her new students for the upcoming school year.

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

 

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Daria Cathey

Ms. Cathey, from Memphis, TN, has a Bachelor's Degree in Youth Studies and a Master's Degree in Teaching. She loves Kindred, Fall colors, Snickers, and Christmas. Her passion is helping every child reach their goals.

Favorite Quote:  "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X

Second Grade

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Angie Ringhauser

Angie Lee, originally from Mexico, moved to the U.S. to pursue a degree in Psychology. After graduating, she joined Teach For America in 2015. Through her interactions with students, mentor teachers, and leaders, Ms. Lee has developed a philosophy of education that centers on unconditional love, engaging learning opportunities, and patience. She believes that all children can succeed when given the right tools, and 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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Michaela Larry

Michaela Larry graduated from Texas Tech University with a major in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Larry is passionate about teaching and is excited to continue her journey at PL Prep. Ms. Larry is thrilled to be part of the PL Prep family and witness the students' growth this school year!

Favorite Quote: “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

 

 

Third Grade

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Emily Prieto

Emily Prieto is a Louisiana native and recent graduate of Louisiana State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a certificate in Early Childhood. Growing up, she was a competitive swimmer and has since coached numerous swim teams of all ages and skill levels. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, traveling, and exercising. However, teaching young children is her ultimate passion and a lifelong dream, as she strives to make a positive impact on their lives.

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

 

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Norma Cavazos

Norma Cavazos is thrilled to become a part of the PL Prep Family. While she was born in Mexico, she spent the majority of her life in Dallas, Texas. In 2016, she earned her bachelor's degree from Texas Tech, and in 2021, she graduated with a master's in education. Mrs. Cavazos has a wonderful family, including her supportive husband and two beautiful daughters, Elly and Emely. She enjoys spending time at the beach and with her loved ones. Mrs. Cavazos is excited to work in an environment where students are encouraged to monitor and measure their personal growth.

Favorite Quote: "Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be."– Rita Pierson

 

 
 

Fourth Grade

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Crystan Barnes

Mrs. Barnes originally hails from Chicago but moved to Texas during her teenage years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University and has been coaching elementary-aged cheerleaders for six years. Mrs. Barnes enjoys reading, eating, shopping, and spending time with her family. This year marks her ninth year teaching elementary school in Dallas ISD, and she is excited to be part of 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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Pamela Vargas

Pamela Vargas is thrilled to join PL Prep as she is passionate about helping students achieve their goals. Ms. Vargas is grateful for many things in my life, particularly for finding her calling: teaching! She started on this path nine years ago in her home country of Mexico, but a couple of years ago, she decided she wanted a new challenge and to continue learning. That's why she decided to try teaching in a different country. Ms. Vargas looks forward to applying everything she has learned over the years and continuing to learn more. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her family and friends, practicing wellness, and engaging in creative activities.
 
Favorite Quote: “Education is one thing no one can take away from you.” —Elin Nordegren
 

Fifth Grade

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Merced Fletcher

Merced Fletcher earned a degree in Political Science and a minor in Education from the University of Florida. She later moved to Texas and obtained teaching certificates in SPED and EC-6 through Texas Teachers of America. Throughout her career, she has taught prekindergarten, kindergarten, second, and third grade. Merced values teaching at a PL campus because it allows students to take ownership of their learning and grow in an environment 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

 

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Dominique Ibe

Dominique Ibe is an experienced early learning educator from San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station and is excited about working with fifth-grade students this year. Mrs. Ibe has 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 and enjoys working with students of all ages to see them excel. Mrs. Ibe looks forward to 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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Diana Molina

It is with great enthusiasm that Ms. Diana Molina became a part of the PL Prep community this year. Ms. Molina holds a degree in Childhood Education and Educational Psychology, as well as a Master's in Teaching Languages in Multilingual Contexts from Spain. She has been working as a bilingual teacher in Texas for the past ten years and lives with her husband and two children, who also attend Dallas ISD.

 

Ms. Molina is a dedicated teacher who firmly believes that every child has the potential to succeed with the right guidance. Her main objective is to cultivate a lifelong passion for learning in her students and be a positive influence in their lives. Ms. Molina is excited to work in a learning environment that aims to help students develop confidence, perseverance, and a strong foundation for their academic and personal growth.

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

Special Education

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Thai Blyden

Thai Blyden is excited to join the PL Prep team at Sam Houston after teaching for 8 years. She holds a BA in Psychology and a BA in Child Development from California State University San Bernardino and earned her teaching credential from the University of Redlands. Thai taught in California for five years before moving to Florida, where she taught for 2.5 years. She recently relocated to Texas in December 2019. Her teaching philosophy is that every student deserves a quality education. She believes that students learn best when they are highly engaged using 21st-century technological tools and a standards-based curriculum.

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 teaches physical education at PL Prep and holds a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Arlington. He looks forward to helping you start your journey towards a lifelong active lifestyle and believes in personalized learning for each student.

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

 

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Sampson Ma

Sampson Ma graduated from Texas Tech University and is passionate about writing, music, and learning. He believes that a positive learning environment at a PL campus can help students reach their academic and SEL goals.

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