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Angela Cala - Bilingual Skills Specialist

Ms. CalaAngela Cala is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2001. She earned a Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Los Andes, completed an alternative certification program from the University of Saint Thomas, and a Masters in Education from the University of Saint Thomas.

Ms. Cala is from Bogota, Colombia and is interested in drawing, painting, designing, swimming, and traveling. Some of her favorite books include Si le das una galletita a un raton by Laura Numeroff and Cien anos de soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

She is curious about how the universe expands and how brains develop in children.

Contact her at aacala@aldineisd.org



MaryAlyson Crismon - Math Skills Specialist

 

Mrs. CrismonMary Crismon is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2002. She has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University.

Mrs. Crismon is from Houston, TX and enjoys reading and swimming. She enjoyed reading the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling and the Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien.

She is curious about other countries and best practices in education.

Contact her at mcrismon@aldineisd.org


 

Julia Cuthbertson - Literacy Coach


Ms. CuthbertsonJulia Cuthbertson is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2013. She earned a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Education from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Ms. Cuthbertson is from Buffalo, New York and is interested in reading, traveling, eating at local restaurants, spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills! Some of her favorite books include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.

She is curious about how to incorporate visual arts, math, and science into her class read alouds.

Contact her at jrcuthbertson@aldineisd.org



Kari Dierks - Math Coach

Ms. Dierks

Kari Dierks is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 1995. She earned an Associate Arts Degree from Austin Community College, Bachelors of Science from Mankato State University, and a Masters in Administration from Sam Houston State University.

Ms. Dierks is from Waldorf, Minnesota and is interested in traveling, puzzles, games, sports, reading, movies, and spending time with friends. Some of her favorite books include Oh, the Places You'll Go!! by Dr. Seuss and Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.

She is curious about places all over the world and what it will be like to go and visit them.

Contact her at kldierks@aldineisd.org


 

Scherica Dominguez - Special Education Staff


Ms. DominguezScherica Dominguez has been working at Smith Academy since 2010 and has been working in education since 2007. She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Community Development from Prairie View A&M University.

Mrs. Dominguez is from Houston, Texas and is interested in child development research, gardening, reading, Bible study, and spending time with her family. Some of her favorite books include Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Michelle by Lizy Mundy.

She is curious about research and development based on philosophies in childhood behavior.

Contact her at sstewart@aldineisd.org



Monica Donaldson - Librarian

Mrs. DonaldsonMonica Donaldson returned to Smith Academy in 2015 has been working in education since 1990. She was named Teacher of the Year at Bethune Academy. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from Sam Houston State University and is currently working on her Masters in Library Science.

Mrs. Donaldson is from The Woodlands, Texas and is interested in traveling and sports. She enjoys reading the Janet Evanavich series.

She is curious about skydiving and off shore fishing.

She can be contacted at mldonaldson@aldineisd.org



Alba Escobar - Math Specialist

Ms. EscobarAlba Escobar is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Ms. Escobar is interested in reading and music. Some of her favorite books include the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

She is curious about what it would be like traveling into space.

She can be contact at eyescobar@aldineisd.org



Marin Fons - Art

Mrs. Fons ImageMarin Fons is beginning her first year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of Houston and a Masters of Education in Counseling from the University of St. Thomas.

Mrs. Fons is from Houston, Texas and is interested in photography, being outdoors, and spending time with family. Some of her favorite book series include the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

She is curious about art therapy, spirituality, and creative self expression.

She can be contacted at mefons@aldineisd.org




Alicia Garza - Speech Pathologist


Ms. GarzaAlicia Garza is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2004. She earned a Bachelors in Spanish from the University of Houston and a Masters of Science-Speech-Language Pathology from Texas Woman's University.

Ms. Garza is from Houston, Texas and is interested in birdwatching, gardening, working with homeless cats, vegan cooking, and traveling. Some of her favorite books include The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

She is curious about what drives people to do what they do and daily mysteries.

Contact her at adgarza@aldineisd.org



Gillian Hemphill, RN, BSN - Nurse

Ms. HemphillGillian Hemphill is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2000. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Secondary Composite Science Teaching Degree from the University of Texas.

Ms. Hemphill is from Spring, Texas and is interested in traveling, relaxing, and supporting her kids in all types of sporting events. Loved the Twilight Book Series by Stephanie Meyer and her favorite authors are John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell.

She is curious about peoples' backgrounds and is passionate about lifelong learning.

Contact her at gehemphill@aldineisd.org


Laura Jacobs - Music

Ms. Jacobs ImageLaura Jacobs is beginning her first year at Smith Academy. She earned a Bachelors of Music from Baldwin-Wallace University and a Masters of Music from the University of Hartford.

Ms. Jacobs is from Houston, Texas and is interested in the culinary arts. Some of her favorite books include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey.

She is curious about how food influences society, politics, and culture.

She can be contacted at lljacobs@aldineisd.org



Kimberly Johnson - Special Education Staff

Ms. Johnson

Kimberly Johnson has been working at Smith Academy since 1998 and has been working in education since 1988. She has earned a Bachelors degree in Teaching Special Education/Reading from Sam Houston State University.

Ms. Johnson is from Houston, Texas and is interested in reading, movies, water sports, technology, crafts, history, and collecting teddy bears. Some of her favorite books include Miss Twiggley's Tree by Dorthea Warren Fox and The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

She is curious about how to benefit learning through the use of technology.

She can be contacted at kajohnson@aldineisd.org


Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Tanya KirbyTanya Kirby is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Kirby is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org


Alonzo Mims - Special Education Staff


Mr. MimsAlonzo Mims has been working at Smith Academy since 2013 and has been working in education since 2010. He has a Bachelors Degree in Theology and Leadership from the College of Biblical Studies.

Mr. Mims is from Natchitoches, Louisiana and is interested in cycling and reading. Some of his favorite books include Visionneering by Andy Stanley and If You Can See You Can Be It by Jeff Henderson.

He is curious about history and epistemology (How do we know what we know?).

Contact him at ajmims@aldineisd.org


Randy Naylor - Physical Education


Mr. NaylorRandy Naylor is beginning his third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2013. He   earned a Bachelors of Science in Health and Physical Education from Mississippi Valley State University.

Mr. Naylor is from Vicksburg, Mississippi and is interested in traveling, sports, reading, and collecting old coins. Some of his favorite books include Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Hailey and Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey.

He is curious about how other cultures live.

Contact him at rjnaylor@aldineisd.org



David Niedzwiecki - Instructional Technology Specialist

Mr. NiedzwieckiDavid Niedzwiecki is beginning his third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2009. He has earned a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Ball State University and a Masters in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.

Mr. Niedzwiecki is from Dyer, Indiana and is interested in technology and being a lifelong learner. Some of his favorite books include The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and The Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore.

He is curious about the universe and the past.

Contact him at daniedzwiecki@aldineisd.org



Luellyn Onato - Special Education Staff

Ms. OnatoLouelynn Onato is beginning her second year at Smith Academy after earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Ms. Onato is from Houston, TX and is interested in visiting museums, trying different foods, and traveling. Some of her favorite books include Tiny Buddha by Lori Deshene and all professional journals psychology related.

She is curious about different cultures and the uniqueness of individuals.

Contact her at ldonato2@aldineisd.org



Kandace Ryan - Special Education Staff

Ms. RyanKandace Ryan is beginning her third year at Smith Academy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.

Ms. Ryan is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is interested in traveling, being outdoors, bike riding, going to concerts, spending time with family and friends, and trying new restaurants. Some of her favorite books include Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Album and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

She is curious about the human mind and all of its complexities, and the logic behind human behavior.

She can be contacted at kjryan@aldineisd.org


 

Trina Stewart - Dyslexia Interventionist

Mrs. Stewart

Trina Stewart is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 1994. She has a Bachelors and Masters from Prairie View A&M University.

Mrs. Stewart is from Houston, Texas and is interested in decorating, reading, traveling, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. Eric Jerome Dickey and Terry McMillan are her favorite authors.

She can be contacted at tmnewman@aldineisd.org



Lauren Syrinek - Literacy Coach


Ms. SyrinekMs. Syrinek has been teaching since 2010 and began working at Smith Academy in 2015. She earned a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Texas State University.

Ms. Syrinek is from Weimar, Texas and is interested in cooking, scrapbooking, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with family. Some of her favorite books include Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems and Otis books by Loren Long.

She is curious about best practices in education, other cultures, and brain research.

Contact her at lesyrinek@aldineisd.org

 



Maria Teresa Flores - Dyslexia Interventionist

 

Ms. Teresa Flores

Maria Teresa Flores is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2003. She has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Nuevo Leon, an alternative certification program from the University of St. Thomas, and a Master degree in Teacher Leadership from Lamar University.

Ms. Teresa Flores is from Zacatecas, Mexico and is interested in traveling, dancing, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends.

She is curious about the universe and the amazing capacity of the learning power of the human brain.

Contact her at mtfloresdavila@aldineisd.org




Helen Weigand - Special Education Staff

Mrs. Weigand

Helen Weigand is beginning her third year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 1993. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped and Elementary Education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Masters degree in Special Education with specialization in Autism from Lamar University.

Mrs. Weigand is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is interested in kayaking, painting ceramics, and gardening. Her favorite book is Special Education by Marilyn D. Friend.

She is curious about genealogy.

Contact her at hgweigand@aldineisd.org




Margaux Pierre - Literacy Coach

Margaux PierreMargaux Pierre is beginning her first year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2012. She has earned a Bachelors in International Studies and Anthropology from Spelman College and a Masters in Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Columbia University.

Ms. Pierre is from Baltimore, Maryland and is interested in reading, drawing, painting, trying new recipes, traveling, and salsa dancing. Some of her favorite books include What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada and Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown.

She is curious about how successful authors gather ideas and inspiration to write great books.

Contact her at mpierre@aldineisd.org


Margaux Pierre - Literacy Coach

Margaux PierreMargaux Pierre is beginning her first year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2012. She has earned a Bachelors in International Studies and Anthropology from Spelman College and a Masters in Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Columbia University.

Ms. Pierre is from Baltimore, Maryland and is interested in reading, drawing, painting, trying new recipes, traveling, and salsa dancing. Some of her favorite books include What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada and Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown.

She is curious about how successful authors gather ideas and inspiration to write great books.

Contact her at mpierre@aldineisd.org

Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Ms. SimienTanya Simien is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Simien is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org

Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Ms. SimienTanya Simien is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Simien is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org

Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Ms. SimienTanya Simien is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Simien is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org

Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Ms. SimienTanya Simien is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Simien is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org

Tanya Kirby - Special Education Staff

Ms. SimienTanya Simien is beginning her second year at Smith Academy and has been working in education since 2015. She has earned a Bachelor in Theater Arts, a Masters in Management, and a Masters in Human Resources Development from Webster University.

Ms. Simien is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and enjoys jogging and reading. Her favorite mystery series is In Death written by Nora Roberts.

She is curious about why some students dislike school and wonders about individuals' pet peeves.

Contact her at tksimien@aldineisd.org