Karla Massey – K-1 Grades
I graduated from Nogales HS in 1987 and went to Northern Arizona University and Pensacola Christian College and finished my degree in Education online. Teaching has been a passion for me since I was a child, where I taught anyone who let me. To see a child struggle with a subject and the see their eyes light up with a new gained knowledge is priceless. Travel is a classroom without walls and teaches an individual a new culture, history and language. I have gone to Wales, England, France, and China, as well as Hong Kong. Throughout my life I have either lived in or visited the following states; Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. The world is my oyster and I would love to see every country. I have been teaching K for 14 years and 7 of those years have been here at TIA West. I have 2 sons, ages 22 and 11 and have lived in Tucson for the past 7 years. “Education is the movement from darkness to light.” Allen Bloom and “Nine tenths of education is encouragement.” Anatole France
Heaven Acquart – 2-3 Grades
I graduated from Sahuarita HS in 2015, went to Grand Canyon University and received my bachelor’s degree in April of 2018. I am currently in my master’s program at Grand Canyon University as well. I played softball while I was in high school and for two years in college, and currently coaching a travel softball team here in Tucson. Since I played travel softball I have been to 18 states but have not traveled out of the country yet.
Mollie Ramos – 4-5 Grades
After thirty years of teaching elementary school in Valdez, Alaska, I was ready for a new adventure, and Tucson International Academy has proven to be a wonderful experience. I have an associate degree in developmental disabilities from Prince William Sound Community College, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alaska–Fairbanks, and a Master of Arts in teaching from Grand Canyon University. While in Valdez, I taught all grades K-6, with the exception of second grade. Most of my teaching, however, occurred in 5th and 6th grade, where I became known as the Grammar Queen, because of my love for language arts and all things related to theater. In fact, my fondest memories continue to be the end-of-the-year plays that my students would perform for the entire student body. It was exciting to watch my students perform for 300 plus students and faculty. More importantly, though, it was a great way to build a community of learners amongst my students. I hope to share my passion for learning and theater with the students at TIA West.
Timothy Butler – 6th Grades
I go by Mr. B. I am from a small town called Tulare, California. Went to college at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Favorite subjects in school were Math and P.E. I am a huge sports fan, my teams our the San Antonio Spurs, New York Yankees, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Favorite quote would have to be, “ The greatest leaders is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, but is the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan.
Luis Machado – 7th -8th Grades
I am originally from Nogales Sonora Mexico. I attended and graduated from Tucson High Magnet School. I was part of the varsity soccer team and the performing Folklorico dance group “Los Tucsonenses.” My favorite subjects are Math and Spanish. After high school I attended Pima Community College and University of Phoenix where I received my drafting degree. I have volunteered as a coach for soccer leagues and currently coaching high school soccer here in Tucson. I am still involved with Folklorico dancing and playing soccer. I spend my free time with my wife and three kids. We love to go hiking, attend UofA football games, and go camping as a family.
My favorite quote is “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Aaron Dionise – 9-12 Grades ELA/SS
I was born in a small town in Pennsylvania and moved to Arizona when I was very young. I attended and graduated from Rincon High School here in Tucson, Arizona. Later I continued my education and graduated from the University of Arizona. After graduating from the U of A I went on to complete my master’s degree at American Public University. While attending American Public University I also earned a certificate of Civil War studies. Prior to teaching, I spent a number of years working in the corporate world and I have been fortunate enough to be part of the management team of various major companies, as well as start up businesses. This experience will certainly help my students in their preparation not only for college but also for the working world that awaits them.
While not teaching I enjoy traveling, hiking and camping with my wife, three children and our dog. Our goal is to visit all 50 states within the next three years. We have covered much of the western region of the United States, but we have not yet visited many of the eastern states. Also, I am currently researching and writing my first book. This will be a historical non-fiction book addressing a series of events in World War II.
Gary Young – 9-12 Grades Math/Science
Xiuqing Sun – Chinese Teacher
I went to China Communication University and have a degree in Media Management. In China I taught Chinese to foreigners before I moved to the U.S.
I’ve been teaching Chinese at TIA since 2012. I have traveled to Thailand, Japan, Korea, China and around the U.S. I cannot give a direct translation but my favorite quote is something like this; “If I walk with two other people, I can learn from at least one of them.” It shows humility and the willingness to learn from different people, regardless of their age, background or beliefs.
Christian Massey West HS Typing
I did a small tour around Texas and went to several high schools, Keys HS, W.T. White HS, Trinity HS, Boswell HS, Watson HS and my associates at TCC. It never came to me as wanting to be a teacher as I was growing up. But seeing what TIA was all about, it inspired me to double up as not only the schools IT, but an educator to the children so they too could have the computer knowledge to open bright futures. I’m not much of a traveler due to life keeping me prone to one location at a time. But I have traveled to Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and lived in Texas for 22 years. Born and raised through technology, f there’s something someone can’t find, I’m there to help. I love getting to know those around me and am always offering a helping hand.
“If something is great, it can always be greater. If something is terrible, it can always be turned to the best.”
Armando Valenzuela- Spanish Teacher K-12th
Angie Meza – National School Lunch Program Coordinator
I attended school in Chicago and Vail Colorado. I love children and love to teach, especially those struggling to learn.
I love life and want to share my experiences as a learning tool. I’m gifted with four beautiful children, all college graduates or college bound. Education is rated highly in our hearts
Arlene Canez – West office
Nidia Rodriguez – West office
Maria Cornejo- West NSLP Coordinator
Jaqueline Velasco – West TA
Christina Giron – Admin Assistant
Teri Davis – Special Ed
Pearl Lane – TA
Carmen Valenzuela – SPED