Our Staff

Adminstative Team  
Mr. Anthony Saba
Head of School
   
Miss Aimee Bilderback
Assistant Head of School
   
Academy Staff    
Mr. Christian Abson
Instructional Aide
Miss Kala Gabler
Mathematics
Mrs. Dina Mahmood
Math
Mrs. Christina Abuel
English
Mrs. Lesley Gaetano
English
Ms. Maritza Marquez
Spanish
Mr. Devin Beliveau
History
Ms. Natalia Gomez
Campus Supervisor
Mr. Ben Mechler
Campus Facilities Supervisor
Mr. Matthew Bell
Physics and Engineering
Ms. Rocio Gomez
College & Career Counselor
Mr. Stefan Miller
Choir
Ms. Tracy Boxeth
Instructional Aide
Miss Gina Gonzalez
Virtual Enterprise & Entrepreneurship
Mr. Raul Ocegueda
Instructional Aide
Mrs. Carolina Burgarin-Vela
Food Service Assistant
Mr. Noah Palacios
English
Mrs. Cristalle Callis
Chemistry
Miss Jessica Gonzalez
College & Career Counselor
Mr. Erik Pederson
Government & Economics
Mr. Diego Cervantes
Campus Facilities
Coordinator
Mr. Jonathan Gunther
History
Mrs. Rebecca Perez
Mathematics
Miss Mariela Herrera
School Secretary
Mr. Vicente Perez
Biology
Mr. Gabe Cheng
Design
Miss Crystal Ho
Mathematics
Mr. Stephen Pink
Spanish
Miss Stephanie Cuevas
Instructional Assistant
Mr. Hugo Jacobo
Student Services
Coordinator
 
Mr. Nino Polizzi
Engineering Teacher
Miss Sarah Davis
Student Success
Coordinator
Mrs. Dea Riha
English
Mr. David Janisch
Engineering Teacher
Ms. Carolyn Ruff
Math
Mrs. Erica Diaz
School Secretary
Mr. Blaine Jones
Earth Science
Miss Isabel Saldana
Campus Supervisor
Mrs. Sagui Doering
Student Development Coordinator
Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien
Design & Student Activities Coordinator
Dr. Adam Sheppard
Student Life Coordinator and Athletic Director
Mr. Martin Domiguez
School Office Manager
Mr. Ray Kalbhenn
PE and Health
Miss Nyree Tramble
Work-Based Learning and Volunteer Coordinator
Mr. Tom Fish
Campus I.T. Administrator
Miss Jill Linderwell
Spanish

 

Mr. Anthony Saba
Head of School
ASaba@samueliacademy.org

Follow him on Twitter: @anthonysaba2

Anthony Saba (pronounced SAY-buh) brings over 15 years of high school experience, both in the classroom and in school administration.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Aimee Bilderback

Miss Aimee Bilderback
Assistant Head of School
ABilderback@samueliacademy.org

I completed my first two years of university work at University of California, Santa Barbara, initially intending to major in Microbiology and continue to dental and orthodontic schools to fit people with braces. After a couple terms, I determined that I loved the humanities and wanted to study them instead.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Christian Abson

Mr. Christian Abson
English
Cabson@theaacademyoc.org

I was born and raised in Inglewood, CA then moved to Orange County to pursue an education. Having earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the California State University of Fullerton, I understand the importance of a positive, encouraging environment.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mrs. Christina Abuel

Mrs. Christina Abuel
English
Cabuel@samueliacademy.org

I'm a Southern California native, who grew up in nearby Costa Mesa. The day I learned to read in my kindergarten class, I came home and told my parents I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Unlike some of my other childhood ambitions (ballerina, firefighter, nurse, and, briefly, butterfly), the teaching goal stuck. After graduating high school, I attended Biola University for my BA in English, Secondary Education.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Davin Beliveau

Mr. Devin Beliveau
History
DBeliveau@samueliacademy.org

I am a veteran project-based social studies teacher, having taught for a combined twelve years both in California and my home state of Maine. This is my third year at Samueli Academy, and I'm thrilled to be a part of school that embraces 21st century practices in high school education.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Matthew Bell

Mr. Matthew Bell
Physics and Engineering
mbell@samueliacademy.org

I was raised near Ventura CA in a smaller town called Camarillo. Besides, Southern California, I have lived in Brazil, Alaska, and Utah. I graduated with a B.S. in Applied Physics from BYU and later completed my M.S. in Technology and Engineering. My personal interests are snowboarding, photography, fishing for wild Alaska salmon (not the dinky little fish around here) and BYU football/basketball. (Go Cougs!) Go Firewolves!

Read More

TOP ↑


Ms. Tracy Boxeth

Ms. Tracy Boxeth
Instructional Aide
TBoxeth@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in nearby Silverado Canyon and graduated from El Modena High School in Orange. I graduated from California Polytechnic University, Pomona with a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management, with a minor in Business.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mrs. Carolina Burgarin

Mrs. Carolina Burgarin-Vela
Food Service Assistant
cburgarin@samueliacademy.org

I was born and raised in Santa Ana and am now living in Anaheim with my husband, 15 year old son and 22 month old daughter. I am currently attending Fullerton College to get my AA in Art. I love to paint, draw, party plan, and all kinds of arts and crafts. I enjoy working in the cafeteria with the wonderful students at Samueli Academy.

Read More

TOP ↑


<Mrs. Cristalle Callis

Mrs. Cristalle Callis
Chemistry
CCallis@samueliacademy.org

I am an Orange County native and I graduated from Fullerton High School. I continued onto San Diego State University where I majored in Cell and Molecular Biology. After five years in the medical device manufacturing industry, I decided to follow my passion for teaching. I received my teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach and have been teaching chemistry for the past 7 years.

Read More

TOP ↑


<Mr. Diego Cervantes

Mr. Diego Cervantes
Campus Facilities Coordinator
dcervantes@samueliacademy.org

I was born in Mexico but grew up a block away from Samueli Academy. I attended nearby Santiago High School where my love for the French language developed. I later went on to complete a bachelor's degree in French at Cal St. Fullerton.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Gabe Cheng

Mr. Gabe Cheng
Design
GCheng@samueliacademy.org

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland but grew up in West Windsor, New Jersey. After high school I moved west to attend UC Riverside where I majored in Film and Visual Culture. In college I was the vice president of my fraternity and I am still an active alumni volunteer to this day.

Read More

TOP ↑


Miss Stephanie Cuevas

Miss Stephanie Cuevas
Instructional Assistant
SCuevas@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Orange, graduated from El Modena High School, and received my B.A. in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton. I have always been extremely fascinated by human behavior and had the dream of pursuing a clinical and research career at an earlier age...

Read More

TOP ↑


Miss Sarah Davis

Miss Sarah Davis
Student Success Coordinator
SDavis@samueliacademy.org

Graduated from Cal State Long Beach with B.S in Criminal Justice, with hopes of a career in Probation. Beginning my career in human services/social services and I have shared 10+ yrs working with at risk families, youth and young adults within the Orange County/Riverside Communities and have a passion for helping others.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mrs.Erika Diaz

Erika Diaz
School Secretary
EDiaz@samueliacademy.org

In the past, while working in representing an Honorable State Senator in the 34th District as a District Representative, it helped me understand the needs of our community and become resourceful while developing enduring connections throughout Orange County. Volunteering has also brought me to where I am today. Previously, I volunteered several years as a member of the Anaheim Secondary Council PTA where I was President elect at one of the Junior High Schools empowering parents bringing the community together.
Read More

TOP ↑


Mrs. Sagui Doering

Mrs. Sagui Doering
Student Development Coordinator
sdoering@samueliacademy.org

As a Southern California native born in Orange and raised in both, Orange and Santa Ana, I am intimately related with the Samueli community. Having graduated from Valley High School, I set off to college as the first in my family with goals of becoming a successful lawyer. However, during my senior year at Cal Poly Pomona where I was completing an undergraduate degree in History, I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to being a part of the amazing world of education. So, upon graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, I transferred to Pepperdine University where I earned a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in teaching English as a Second Language, and earned a professional clear credential in secondary education.
Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Martin Domiquez

Mr. Martin Dominguez
School Office Manager
mdominguez@samueliacademy.org

I was born and raised in South Los Angeles, CA for the first decade and a half of my life, and now reside in Orange County. Before joining Samueli Academy, I was fortunate enough to incorporate myself with a diverse career background, which includes working with the Children’s Home Society of California, the Tustin Adult School under the Tustin Unified School District, the AB86 planning grant with Irvine Valley College and being a part of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs over at California State University, Fullerton.
Read More

TOP ↑


Mr. Tom Fish

Mr. Tom Fish
Campus I.T. Administrator
TFish@samueliacademy.org

I am an Orange County native and earned my B.A. in Business Administration and M.S. in Information Systems from California State University, Fullerton. After spending several years working in the computer industry, I decided to make my love of teaching, coaching, volunteering, and community service my primary focus.

Read More

TOP ↑


Miss Kala Gabler

Miss Kala Gabler
Mathematics
KGabler@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in a town in Southern California called Apple Valley and spent my childhood visiting the Roy Roger’s museum and hiking up Bell Mountain (famous Apple Valley landmarks). I moved down to Orange County in 2008 to begin playing college soccer and studying Psychology and Education. I spent my first year of college at Hope International University in Fullerton and then transferred to University of CA - Irvine.

Read More

TOP ↑


Mrs. Lesley Gaetano

Mrs. Lesley Gaetano
English
LGaetano@samueliacademy.org

Originally, I intended to become a social worker, so I majored in sociology at LeMoyne College (Syracuse, NY). However, after spending many hours in the theatre, doing everything from acting to lighting design, I discovered my passion for theatre arts.

Read More

TOP ↑


Ms. Natalia Gomez

Ms. Natalia Gomez
Campus Supervisor
NGomez@samueliacademy.org

After six wonderful years of working with at-risk youth and staff at Orangewood Children’s Foundation, I was given the opportunity to become Samueli Academy Campus Supervisor in August 2013.

Read More

TOP ↑


Ms. Rocio Gomez

Ms. Rocio Gomez
College & Career Counselor
RGomez@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in the City of Orange. I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Cal State Long Beach in 2009. GO BEACH! I studied a summer abroad at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain and must say it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Gina Gonzalez

Miss Gina Gonzalez
Virtual Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
ggonzalez@samueliacademy.org

I am a native Texan that decided to move to "Sunny San Diego" in 2007. I originally went to school to be an elementary school teacher, then half way through the program decided that high school was a better fit for me. I first began teaching Graphic Design in 2009 then after receiving my business credential, I taught both design and business.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Jessica Gonzalezz

Miss Jessica Gonzalez
College and Career Counselor
jgonzalez@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from Ulysses Grant High School in Valley Glen. I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school and attend college. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge (Go Matadors!). During my years as an undergrad I was in a scholarship program called Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) U-STAR, where I worked as a research assistant in the psychology department. Through this program I had the opportunity to travel and present at conferences all over the United States. It was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate career.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Jonathan Gunther

Mr. Jonathan Gunther
History
JGunther@samueliacademy.org

I am a veteran teacher with twelve years experience teaching social science. I began my teaching career at Cal State Fullerton where I was credentialed, and received a BA in History with Honors. I student taught at Tuffree Middle School in Placentia, and was then hired at Brea Olinda High School. While at Brea I taught numerous AP courses and every regular social science class except economics.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Mariela Herrera

Miss Mariela Herrera
School Secretary
mherrera@samueliacademy.org

Having grown up in Santa Ana, I feel I have a connection with Samueli Academy students. I received an Associate of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Irvine Valley College, transferred to California State University, Fullerton, where I will complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in December 2016.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Crystal Ho

Miss Crystal Ho
Mathematics
CHo@samueliacademy.org

I am excited to start my fifth year of teaching and first year here at Samueli Academy! Originally from Cerritos, CA, I ended up going to UC Irvine (Zot, Zot!) for both my undergraduate and graduate studies. I graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics with Specialization in Education and an M.A. in Elementary and Secondary Education, then went on to teach in several schools throughout L.A. and Orange County. Santa Ana was the first city I worked in, and I’m glad to be back!

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. David Janisch

Mr. David Janisch
Engineering
DJanisch@samueliacademy.org

I have over 30 years of experience in aerospace, data storage, semiconductors, medical devices and venture capital. This industry background coupled with teaching experience in both math and engineering technology enables me to participate in the development of a project based learning environment for our Engineering Pathway students. My focus is to provide real world connections for everything our students do as we prepare them with 21st century skills required to meet the demands of both college and the job market.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Hugo Jacobo

Mr. Hugo Jacobo
Student Services Coordinator
hjacobo@samueliacademy.org

I love this community. I am a product of it. I attended K-8 schools in Santa Ana and developed an intellectual curiosity. I had an incredible English teacher who taught us to find ourselves through literature. Thus, I decided to become a teacher and have not looked back much since. I have taught English and history at the secondary level for the past 6 years in Los Angeles.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Blaine Jones

Mr. Blaine Jones
Earth Science
BJones@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in nearby Tustin, California, where I attended Foothill High School. From there I travelled to Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where I received a B.S. in Ecology.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien

Mrs. Shelley Juhl-O’Brien
Design and Student Activities Coordinator
Job@samueliacademy.org


When I was a junior in high school, I decided I wanted to teach art and teach at the high school level. I grew up in Bakersfield, CA and studied at Cal State University Bakersfield. I transferred to Humboldt State University, where I completed the majority of my art courses.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Ray Kalbhen

Mr. Ray Kalbhenn
PE and Health
RKalbhenn@samueliacademy.org

Mr. Kalbhenn’s passion for health and fitness has followed him since high school and he has over twenty years’ experience in sports and nutrition. He was on his high school varsity wrestling team for 3 years, track team for two years and attended Cal State Long beach where he studied the anatomy and physiology of the human body.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Jill Linderwell

Miss Jill Linderwell
Spanish
JLinderwell@samueliacademy.org

I went to Fullerton High School, and I graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a double major in Public Relations and Spanish. I studied abroad in both Argentina and Mexico. I hoped to work in bilingual public relations and event planning, and I did, for two years. I learned a very important life lesson: I HATE being stuck in a cubicle all day! I need to interact with people and speak Spanish every day to be happy with my job.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mrs. Dina Mahmood

Mrs. Dina Mahmood
Math
DMahmood@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Southern California. After graduating from Laguna Beach High School, I went to UCLA where I earned my BA degree in Environmental Studies. At UCLA, I was part of a youth mentorship program that worked with high school students in inner-city Los Angeles.

Read More


TOP ↑


Ms. Maritza Marquez

Ms. Maritza Marquez
Spanish
MMarquez@samueliacademy.org

School has always been a second home for me; therefore, I knew I would end up working in the field of education. It was when I began taking Spanish classes and learning the language formally, that I found the way to contribute and make a positive impact with the youth.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Ben Mechler

Mr. Ben Mechler
Campus Facilities Supervisor
BMechler@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Massachusetts where I enjoyed working for my father's home remodeling business and spent most of my time riding and showing Arabian horses for Edgewood Farms. I attended high school at Old Rochester Regional High School and after graduating I went on to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Stefan Miller

Mr. Stefan Miller
Choir
smiller@samueliacademy.org

I hail from the San Francisco Bay area and have recently completed my MFA in Vocal Performance at UC Irvine. I graduated from the University of the Pacific, and have performed with numerous operatic and theatre companies in both Northern and Southern California and recently performed with Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, California. I was also an Education Artist with the Long Beach Opera last season. I also teach at Mater Dei High School and recently received an adjunct Professor position at Soka University.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Raul Ocegueda

Mr. Raul Ocegueda
Instructional Aide
ROcegueda@samueliacademy.org

Majoring in civil engineering I am working on completing my P.L.S. (Professional Land Surveyor)and P.E.(Professional Engineer) licensing. I was born and raised in Santa Ana I would like to give back to my community by working with youth to support their learning experience.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Noah Palacios

Mr. Noah Palacios
English
NPalacios@samueliacademy.org

I am the epitome of an introvert
Flipped into the pursuit of development
Working constantly like gravity
On the betterment of my mentality


I, a constant gardener
Have seen the seeds planted
By higher ed institutions
Unravel in the light of the sun
They unfurl projects at a time
Questions at a time

Read More


TOP ↑

Mr. Erik Pederson

Mr. Erik Pederson
Government and Economics
epederson@samueliacademy.org

I am very excited to be entering my tenth year as an educator and to be joining the staff here at Samueli Academy. I am originally from Northern California (Sacramento) but have resided In Southern California now for the past 20 years. Most of my time in Southern California has been in San Diego where I attended California State University San Marcos where I earned a BA in Political Science, and got my teaching credential in Social Studies. I taught for seven years at the very small school Julian Union High School and then went on to teach at Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar, Ca.

Read More


TOP ↑

Mr. Vicente Perez

Mr. Vicente Perez
Biology
VPerez@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in the city of Lynwood, CA where I received my formal k-12 education. I went to Cal State University, Long Beach for my undergraduate education: Biology and Chicano/ Latino Studies, and my graduate education: Science education.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mrs. Rebecca Perez

Mrs. Rebecca Perez
Mathematics
RPerez@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in Anaheim, CA and attended Loara High School. After graduating from University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics, I attended Bible school and worked as a christian worker serving college-age youth on a few campuses in TX. I loved working with and mentoring youth. So, upon my return to CA, I decided to go back to school to become a mathematics teacher.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Stephen Pink

Mr. Stephen Pink
Spanish
spink@samueliacademy.org

Native to Orange County, I spent 7 years of higher education at Cal State Fullerton to obtain my Bachelor's (B.A. Spanish), a Healthcare Interpreting certificate and a Teaching Credential. Additional endeavors in college included about 15 or so independent trips to central Mexico (Michoacán, Jalisco, Morelos, D.F.) in order to become fluent and informed on the language and culture.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mr. Nino Polizzi

Mr. Nino Polizzi
Engineering Teacher
NPolizzi@samueliacademy.org

I bring 30 years of experience in the aerospace industry into the classroom to create an authentic engineering experience for students. Our Engineering classroom theme is “Working At Learning” which exemplifies the approach to college and career readiness.

Read More


TOP ↑


 



Ms. Carolyn Ruff

Ms. Carolyn Ruff
Math
CRuff@samueliacademy.org

I graduated from The University of Notre Dame with a degree in business administration. After working as an assistant buyer for Macy’s department store in Newark, NJ, for a couple of years, I realized I wanted to do something more altruistic with my life.

Read More


TOP ↑


Mrs. Dea Riha

Mrs. Dea Riha
English
DRiha@samueliacademy.org

I grew up in West Virginia and Kentucky before moving to Ohio for high school, where I ultimately graduated with my Master's degree from The Ohio State University. Before moving to California last year I taught in North Carolina for 6 years where I was part of small, innovative high schools aimed at helping first generation college graduates from rural areas succeed in high school and beyond.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Isabel Saldana

Miss Isabel Saldana
Campus Supervisor
isaldana@samueliacademy.org

I am excited to start my first year as Campus Supervisor at Samueli Academy. I was born and raised in the city of Santa Ana and graduated from La Quinta High School in Westminster. I was attending Santa Ana College and working towards obtaining my degree in Criminal Justice. Unfortunately, that had to be placed on hold because I got...

Read More


TOP ↑


   
 



Dr. Adam Sheppard

Dr. Adam Sheppard
Student Life Coordinatoand and Athletic Director
ASheppard@samueliacademy.org

Graduating from UCLA, with a degree in physiology, I began my working career with a collaborative project between the YMCA of Orange County and the Santa Ana Unified School District. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, I was able to assist elementary school teachers develop physical activity programs for their students—in an effort to improve their health and well-being.

Read More


TOP ↑


Miss Nyree Tramble

Miss Nyree Tramble
Work-Based Learning and Volunteer Cooordinator
NTramble@samueliacademy.org

I grew up mostly in Orange County and received my Bachelor's Degree in Human Communication with an emphasis on Organizational Communication from California State University, Fullerton. I have worked for many large retail companies, assisting them in management skills, organizing management structure and promotion as well as many dedicated years in the sales arena.

Read More


TOP ↑


Apply Now







Attending (for my child or myself)
Employment
Donating
Join our mailing list (to stay updated)
Other: (Please describe)


fire wolves