Every classroom has two highly qualified homeroom teachers. In addition to the classroom teachers, Carlthorp has specialty teachers in math, science, music, physical education, reading, Spanish, library, and art.

MEET OUR SPECIALTY TEACHERS

    • Elizabeth Zapler, Andre Morris, Amanda Sasso, Izzy King (not pictured)

      Elizabeth Zapler, Andre Morris, Amanda Sasso, Izzy King (not pictured)

Science & Math

List of 4 items.

  • Izzy King

    TEACHING ASSISTANT, MATH
    Izzy is a Carlthorp alumna, having graduated in 2009. She recently graduated from Santa Monica College with AA degrees in History and Liberal Arts. She currently attends CSU Northridge where she is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in both History and English. The 2018-2019 school year will be her third year working at Carlthorp School. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, and cheering on the Los Angeles Kings.
  • Andre Morris

    DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION AND UPPER ELEMENTARY SCIENCE INSTRUCTOR
    Mr. Andre Morris is eager to begin his 19th year of teaching joining the science department at Carlthorp School as Director of Innovation and Upper Elementary Science Instructor. Andre grew up in both Northern and Southern California.
    His father, a now-retired colonel and engineer in the US Army, and mother, a semi-retired hospice nurse, impressed upon him the importance of a strong work ethic and discipline at a young age. Andre attended multiple public schools on the West Coast and upon graduating, he chose to attend the University of California Santa Barbara, where he earned a degree in political science. Part of his undergraduate experience included a formative trip to Capetown, South Africa, where science and engineering combined with service to others became the focus of his work. Shortly after receiving his undergraduate degree, Andre arrived in Los Angeles and began teaching. His career path allowed him to work with communities in South and East Los Angeles, Highland Park, Venice, and Brentwood. During this time he became Nationally Board Certified (2007), served as a Teacher in Residence at the California Science Center, and worked as a consultant for STEM curriculum developers across the country. Andre has worked closely with the Los Angeles Urban Systemic Program, the National Science Foundation, the Lawrence Hall of Science, Carolina Biological, Delta Education, and the California Science Center to create curriculum and provide professional development in mathematics and science for teachers on the West Coast. Outside of school, he enjoys strategy games, attempting to play basketball and spending time with his wife and son.
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  • Amanda Sasso

    SPECIALTY MATH TEACHER (GRADES 3-6)
    Amanda, a Carlthorp alumna, possesses a zeal for teaching mathematics.  She begins her 17th year of teaching at Carlthorp School, her ninth year teaching mathematics as a specialist, following 2 years as a 1st Grade homeroom teacher, and 6 years as a 6th Grade homeroom teacher.  
    Teaching daily, Amanda works with the same group of 3rd through 6th Graders throughout the year during their mathematics workshop classes. She assists in managing the math program at Carlthorp School by providing resources and support to colleagues and assisting the administration with curriculum selection, mapping, and standards. Amanda is a Marlborough School almuna and a Southern Methodist University graduate with her bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and marketing. After working for Pacific Life Insurance Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amanda returned to school to obtain her multiple subject teaching credential through Cal State University Northridge. Amanda believes that all children have the potential to excel in mathematics to the highest levels and that the best way to learn is by grappling with concepts, making mistakes and learning from them.  Amanda is a member of the mathematics consortium of private school educators in Los Angeles, the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics and the California Mathematics Council. Amanda has two children, loves to cook, read, exercise, and be a “mom-ager” for her theatrical children.
     
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  • Elizabeth Zapler

    SCIENCE TEACHER

    Ms. Elizabeth Zapler, affectionately known as Ms. Zap, is thrilled to be joining Carlthorp School to share her passion and curiosity for all things science. A Chicago native who spent her teenage years working at Wrigley Field, Elizabeth moved to California to attend Pomona College. After graduating, she began a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. She loved the rigor and focus of the doctoral program but found herself wondering if she would be more fulfilled teaching young children than pursuing a career in academia. After earning an M.A. from the University of Chicago, Elizabeth took a year to travel throughout the Middle East and came back to complete a Master of Arts in Teaching from Colorado College. She has been happily teaching children ever since. She has built labs and STEAM programs at several Los Angeles area schools, including Warner Avenue School, Crossroads School, and Lainer School. Elizabeth loves butterflies, Star Wars, tennis, exploring tidepools, heart-shaped rocks, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with her three daughters.
    • Jordan Costa, Molly O

      Jordan Costa, Molly O'Hara, Matt Johnson, Suzanne Schneider, Chris Lemieux (not pictured)

Physical Education

List of 5 items.

  • Suzanne Schneider

    P.E. DIRECTOR
    Suzanne has enjoyed teaching Physical Education at Carlthorp School since she joined our school community in 2005. She holds an Honors Degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education
    with a minor in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, both in Ontario, Canada.  Suzanne’s enthusiasm for teaching, along with her passion for instilling a love of physical activity in our students, has contributed to a diverse and dynamic Physical Education program at Carlthorp.
  • Molly O'Hara

    P.E. TEACHER
    Molly began teaching Physical Education and coaching after-school sports at Carlthorp School in 2015. She comes from a background rich in athletics. She graduated from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Physical Education. While at ESU, she served as the captain for the Women’s Lacrosse Team and was an All-American Midfielder.
    Before coming to Carlthorp School, she served as the Assistant Coach for the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team at The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA. Ms. O’Hara is constantly looking for ways to connect fitness and wellness with her students with great emphasis on following the ‘Code of Conduct’ and the mission of the Physical Education Department. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, snowboarding, cooking, and playing lacrosse with her adult league team.
     
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  • Chris Lemieux

    P.E. TEACHER
    Chris enthusiastically begins his 4th year teaching Physical Education and carrying out his coaching responsibilities at Carlthorp School. He came to Carlthorp School from the Northeast where he taught K-6 Physical Education at a school northern Vermont.   Chris earned his undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Vermont followed by a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Chris competed in track and field where he garnered the conference championship in the Decathlon. Post competition he helped coach the University of Illinois women’s track and field team to an indoor Big 10 championship. In his spare time he likes to play golf, go hiking, in the winter ski and snowboard. Chris is looking forward to finishing the Educational Leadership doctoral program in which he is currently enrolled at Pepperdine University. Most importantly he is looking forward to improving your children’s athletic abilities, creating confidence and instilling great sportsmanship in all the students in the Carlthorp School community.
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  • Matthew Johnson

    P.E. TEACHER
    Matt is from Walpole, New Hampshire and attended Keene State College in New Hampshire.  For the past seven years he has been teaching and living in Brattleboro, Vermont, and working as a P.E. teacher at Academy Elementary School. Physical activity has brought so much joy to Matt's life. He teaches Physical Education because he is passionate about sharing that joy with others.  
  • Jordan Costa

    P.E. Teacher
    In 2011, Jordan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland. Following that, he earned a master’s degree in Health Education. Immediately after college, he worked as a teaching assistant for students who have autism. That experience taught him how to adapt to a variety of student needs.
    For the past four years, Jordan has worked as a physical education teacher for Success Academies Charter School with students in grades K-4. He coached three different after-school basketball teams. The program was very successful, and they won the division two years in a row, but most important, many of the players improved their skills on and off the court.
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    • Jeannette Kowell, Mally Kusserow

      Jeannette Kowell, Mally Kusserow

Language Arts

List of 2 items.

  • Jeannette Kowell

    READING SPECIALIST
    Jeannette is a graduate of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as her learning specialist credential. She is the mother of two Carlthorp graduates and the grandmother of a current Carlthorp student. Jeannette began her career at Carlthorp as a kindergarten teacher and then became a reading teacher. She earned a reading and literacy certificate from USC in 2017 and is Orton-Gillingham trained. Outside of school, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren, reading, exercising and cooking.
  • Mally Kusserow

    READING SPECIALIST
    Mally is a graduate of the University of Arizona. She has a master’s degree in teaching reading, a reading specialist credential, and a reading certificate from Cal State Long Beach. She began her career at Carlthorp School as a 2nd Grade teacher in 2000. After a brief hiatus, she returned as a reading specialist. Mally earned another reading certificate from USC in 2017 and is Orton-Gillingham trained. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children, as well as reading, exercising and traveling.
    • Greta Williams, Rachel Adams, Jean Austin

      Greta Williams, Rachel Adams, Jean Austin

Art Department

List of 3 items.

  • Rachel Adams

    Rachel studied advertising and creative writing in college but pursued her passion for art through various classes, personal projects, and exhibitions. Primarily self-taught in multiple media, Rachel has always had a passion for art. She discovered her love of working with children during her time at LAUSD. She feels modeling a positive attitude in the classroom and giving each student a safe place to make mistakes and grow are vital, and believes everyone has an inner artist that just needs a supportive environment to emerge. She strives to connect each child in some way to art.

    In addition to producing her own art, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets.
  • Jean Austin

    TEACHING ASSISTANT: ART
    Jean graduated from Carlthorp School and some years later from Carleton College as well. She has many talents but has spent most of her 20+ years working at Carlthorp with students.  Jean is a gifted artist and designer who enjoys going to the movies, reading, and sampling fine food.
  • Greta Williams

    ART TEACHER
    Greta graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts and a Clear Teaching Credential in Art.  She is passionate about children’s art education and has worked with students from kindergarten through eighth grade. It has been her great joy to share the magic and wonder of art with our Carlthorp students for the past 20 years.  She delights in seeing art come alive as students explore famous artists and artwork, learn new skills, and discover their own creative spark. In her free time she enjoys nature, music, reading, and creating art. She also loves spending time with family and friends, and visiting her place of birth, Hawaii.
    • Sarah DeFrance, Nicky Meyer, Yvette Vasquez

      Sarah DeFrance, Nicky Meyer, Yvette Vasquez

Library

List of 3 items.

  • Sarah DeFrance

    ASSISTANT LIBRARIAN
    Sarah has worked at Carlthorp School for 13 years. After many years as a 3rd Grade pirate, she moved to the library two years ago and couldn’t be happier. She finds it a joy to support and guide the students in their love of reading. Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Russell Sage College in Creative Arts in Therapy with a concentration in visual art. Outside of school, when she’s not reading a good book, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and newly rescued shelter cat, Tobias. She also enjoys  photography, travel, yoga and hiking.
  • Nicky Meyer

    HEAD LIBRARIAN
    Nicky is looking forward to beginning her 20th year at Carlthorp. Over the course of those years she has held many positions. She began as a PE teacher, moved to 1st Grade for six years, followed by 3rd Grade for eight years and has now been the librarian for three years. Additionally, Nicky coordinates the Parent Education Workshop Series at CS. She holds an Administrative Credential, a Masters of Art in Elementary Education, a Clear Credential in Elementary Education, and a B.A in Sociology with a minor in Family Studies.  Nicky enjoys yoga, traveling and spending time with her friends and family. She has always been devoted to helping children achieve their potential, knowing that they need to be well prepared for the complex world in which they will live.
  • Yvette Vasquez

    Yard Supervisor, Late Care Supervisor & Library

    Yvette earned her BA in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. she has worked with children in different capacities, babysitting and also teaching Sunday school at her church.  She is a California native and was born in Santa Monica and raised in Long Beach. She is an avid reader and reads almost 50 books a year. When she is not lost in a book you can find her hiking with friends and family, traveling, hanging out at the beach or just finding new places to eat in Los Angeles.  
     
    • Nita Baxani, Jackie Lin Dale

      Nita Baxani, Jackie Lin Dale

Music Department

List of 2 items.

  • Jackie Lin Dale

    MUSIC TEACHER
    Hailing from Fairfax, Virginia, Jackie taught in schools around the Chicago and Washington, D.C., area before starting at Carlthorp. She holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in violin and music education and has worked with many musicians as both a performer and an educator. In the classroom, she has experience teaching orchestras, bands and choirs of all ages, from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. Outside the classroom, she enjoys hiking, tennis and making music with friends.
  • Dr. Nita Baxani

    MUSIC TEACHER
    Dr. Nita Baxani, who will be leading our music program starting this September, comes with a range of experiences not only as a musician but also as an educator and a researcher. Born in Hong Kong to a Chinese mother and Indian father, she immigrated to the United States at a young age. As a professional singer, Nita has performed in national tours. In her capacity as an educator she has held leadership roles in arts programs and schools in both the United States and Germany. Her Doctorate of Education (specializing in Music & Music Education) is from Teachers College, Columbia University. 
    In Germany, Nita taught Kindergarten through 12th grades and served as Music Director and Head of Elementary Education at a bilingual elementary school. She also later served as Head of Music at an international school. In the U.S. she has taught music to students in Kindergarten through 5th grades at both public and private elementary schools, as well as to students in middle school. While pursuing her doctorate, Nita became the music teacher for an early childhood center. As a teacher, her goal is for everyone to contribute and to have a voice. She is passionate in her commitment to engaging students through musical collaboration and strives to inspire students of all ages “to music” together. Nita looks forward to making music joyfully together with the Carlthorp community
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    • Mayra More, Stephanie Rivas, Claudia Zurek

      Mayra More, Stephanie Rivas, Claudia Zurek

Spanish Department

List of 3 items.

  • Claudia Zurek

    DIRECTOR OF SPANISH EDUCATION
    “Profesora Claudia” is a native of Colombia and a veteran teacher with experience both in South America and the United States. She graduated from university in Colombia with a major in Educational Leadership. She has a postgraduate degree in Second Language Acquisition, as well as a master’s degree in Education. Profesora Claudia is the creator of Hola Español - A Spanish learning program designed to teach and engage elementary school children. She enjoys singing, dancing and playing the guitar but is especially passionate about traveling and learning about new countries and their cultures.
     
  • Mayra More

    SPANISH TEACHER
    “Maestra Mayra” was born and raised in Chile where she graduated with a major in Elementary Education. After completing a minor in psychology at UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature, she relocated to Los Angeles, California. This is her first year at Carlthorp where she is excited to help students learn a new language and discover new cultures. When not at Carlthorp, she enjoys listening to music, reading, exploring nature and travelling to new countries.
  • Stephanie Rivas

    SPANISH TEACHER
    “Profesora Stephanie,” the oldest of the three children in her family, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California although her” parents’ native country is El Salvador. Stephanie attended Cal State Dominguez Hills and received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Human Development. Prior to Carlthorp she spent eleven years at LAUSD and the Boys and Girls Club which helped to build her expertise in education. This is her fourth year at Carlthorp School and she is delighted to be part of the Spanish team, where her role is to support the Spanish program (K - 6).