West Campus

West Campus

Tucson International Academy West prepares students for their future! We love helping students discover their potential and helping families navigate college acceptance and scholarship opportunities (yes, college preparedness begins in Kindergarten!).

Click here to schedule a tour!

2700 West Broadway Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85745

Meet Our Principal

Principal Arlene Canez

Meet Our Staff and Teachers

Erik Cruz

Special Education Teacher

My name is Erik Cruz.  I am the new Special Education teacher for the West and Midvale campuses.  A little about myself:
I was born in New Jersey and raised between there and the island of Puerto Rico.  My alma mater is Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico where I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media Communication. I have lived in Arizona since January 2010.  I am married with three children (Ages 23, 10 & 8) and a crazy dog.
Before entering this field, I worked as an interpreter and translator for over 12 years.  Something many do not know about me is that I am also an ordained wedding officiant.  My familiarity with TIA goes back to 2018, as two of my children attended Midvale for the first years of their schooling.  I have been so pleased to begin this new part of my career with TIA.  This was an unexpected turn of events, but it has been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to the second part of this school year.

Mrs. Lyn Peterson

Assistant Teacher - Special Education

I am in my fifth school year with TIA Special Education. I work at both the Midvale campus and the West Campus. While I see students, I also coordinate all of the meetings for students in the district. I am also the parent contact for the meetings and the person that gathers all data so that the meetings with parents can be completed successfully.

My “sidekick” is Rocky. Rocky is my Labradoodle service dog. He comes with me to both schools. Rocky has grown up coming to TIA, and loves to spend time with the students. He has been coming to the school since he was three months old, so the students have had the opportunity to watch him grow up and learn his skills.

In my spare time, I coach youth bowling and am invested in my crafts. I have a 16-year-old at home, and two other pups (Buddy and Stella). I look forward to the school year and feel that we at TIA are the best place that students can find in any school system.

Mrs. Chavez

Teacher - Grades 4,5

If I were to be asked what was it that inspired me to become a teacher, I would firmly answer it was my teachers I had during my young years of school.

I attended school in Mexico where at that time, teachers didn’t have all the tools to facilitate lessons as we now enjoy to help us carry on our duties as educators; yet they knew how to reach students and expand their horizons.  More than one teacher became my hero.
My journey as an educator began in Mexico.  I completed my studies in Torreon, Coahuila Mexico.  I, then, obtained a  job as a teacher in Cananea, Sonora Mexico.teaching in an international academy for some years.  After that, I moved to Hermosillo, Sonora Mexico where I had the opportunity to teach in a Federal Secondary School for 7 years.
Later, I immigrated to the United States and continued my dream as a teacher and extended my profession to a new language.  I got accepted to NAU where I received my undergraduate degree in Education and continued my studies until I graduated with a Master’s degree.  It was also at NAU that I completed most of my classes for my doctorate degree.
I can truly say that teaching is not only my profession, but it is also my passion.  The type of passion that gives one the heart felt joy when seeing students reach their potential.  That satisfaction that comes from witnessing children’s light up.when they respond to challenging questions involved in true learning.  I love touching the future and changing young lives through teaching.

Jocelyn Manzanarez (Ms. Jocelyn)

Music Teacher

As a music specialist, I am honored to provide children at Tucson International Academy the opportunity to experience all of the benefits music education offers.  I received my BA from the University of Montana in Music Education and MA in Music Education from the University of Washington. I hold a certification as a k-12 certified music educator. 

The unique piece about teaching music at TIA is that the classes are virtual and I am teaching from my office in Seattle, Washington! In our weekly musical classes we play instruments, sing, dance and most of all have fun learning through music. I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing community of learners.

Denisse Leyva

Teacher – Spanish

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” -Frank Smith

I whole heartily believe that learning a second language opens doors to a whole new world. A new world of friendships, travel, traditions, cultures, foods, colors, and so much more. That is why I am a proud Spanish teacher. My name is Denisse Leyva, and I was born in Sonora, Mexico. I came to live in the United States at the age of four. Spanish was my first language, but it could have been easily forgotten if it was not for my mother’s insistence. She taught my sister and I the importance of never forgetting our native language. She taught us that our native language strengthens our ties with our culture and family, which I am very proud of. My biggest passions are teaching the Spanish language through music, dance, art, and food. When I am not in the classroom, I am with my family. I love long walks in the afternoon with my husband, three boys, and our dog. I am excited to continue with our adventures in the classroom.

Xiuqing Sun (Ms. Sun)

Chinese Teacher – All Grades & Campuses

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.

Lloyd Pio Apsay

Teacher – Grades 9-12 Math & Science

To Teach Minds, Touch Hearts, and Transform Lives is what my mission is all about. Most of my students call me Teacher Lloyd. I am a science teacher who was born and raised in an archipelago of 7083 islands in the Pacific, the Philippines. I grew up in a very large and financially challenged family with five brothers and two sisters; imagine how our family struggles to attain and achieve each of our successes. At the age of 20, I already started teaching Science and Mathematics to Junior High School students in one of the private schools in the Philippines. After serving my country for two years, I decided to explore and teach in Thailand in 2018. I taught senior high school students in government schools in Thailand, worked with different nationalities, taught different subjects, and contributed and gave honor to my schools by coaching and winning various competitions, which left an important legacy to my students. This year, I decided to explore another opportunity at TIA to enhance my teaching career’s growth and pursue my mission. With these experiences, I can say that I am exceptionally equipped with relevant knowledge and skills that a 21st-century teacher must possess who is ready to share this expertise with my future students. As an advocate of student development and capability enhancement, thinking critically, communicating effectively, and becoming a responsible global citizen, I can ensure my students’ future is one step closer to success.

Luis Machado

Teacher – Grades 8

I am originally from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. I attended and graduated from Tucson High Magnet School, where 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 the 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

Click this link to view or download Mr. Machado May 16 Newsletter

Average Teacher Salary

  • Average Teacher Salary FY24: $34,555.56
  • Average Teacher Salary FY23: $40,222.22
  • Average Decrease: $5,666.66
  • Percentage Decrease: 14.08%