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!).
Meet Our Principal
Principal Arlene Canez
Special Education Teacher
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.
Teacher - 6th-7th Grade
Front Desk Administrator
Front Desk Administrator
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.
Jocelyn Manzanarez (Ms. Jocelyn)
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.
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.
Jem Herald A. Deliarte
Teacher – Grades 9-12 ELA & History
Using my humble beginnings as a lad who grew up in the hinterlands of the Philippines, I’ve gained international and global teaching experiences. I am seasoned with various sociological perspectives across diverse cultures and practices from the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand. I know that I do not need magic to change the world because I carry all the power I need inside myself already. My life mission is to inspire boundless, fertile imagination among my students and colleagues by promoting and exemplifying the universal attributes of being an effective communicator, critical thinker, and socially responsible Christian/citizen through diverse, purposeful educational endeavors on- and off-campus; educators and learners who are driven by the motto, “Carpe diem!” I impact the world by seizing every moment! As time has proven across the ever-changing seas of education, making change happens. I have confirmed that determination and imagination can get us anywhere we want. I am good at adapting to cultures, redefining norms, and bringing with me best practices from places I explored. I enjoy improving myself in every opportunity I encounter, growing, and thriving to become the best version of myself. Moreover, I can only do more to be more, ultimately for my family. I experience success in my mission when I embark on another, more challenging journey of life, bear the seal of being a Lasallian educator ever so proudly and make the future happen. Carpe diem!
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
Teacher – Grades K-1
Hello! My name is Ms. Laura. I am teaching Kindergarten and the 1st grade. Here is a little information about me. I have animals! A lot of animals. I have a ram, a lamb, two goats, ten chickens, and three cats. I also enjoy being outdoors. I spend most of my free time gardening and with my family, this time is very important to me. This is my first year teaching Kindergarten and the 1st grade. I am incredibly excited, and I love teaching! I have experience tutoring adults and children as well as teaching small groups. I worked in many different settings, including full-profit and non-profit organizations. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Park University and a Master of Science from the University of Phoenix. I also hold a few active certifications. This year I plan to return to school and work on a Ph.D. I place a lot of value on education! Pursuing a higher level of education has opened doors for me. My goal this year is to help every student see their full potential!
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%