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Faculty: Special Education Program


Ms. Castaneda Teacher

My philosophy of education is deeply rooted in the belief that all learning is rooted in relationships.  If you build rapport with your students and their families, as an educator there are no limits to what you can accomplish.  I also believe that rigor, equity, and discourse should be at the root of instruction with the appropriate scaffolds to make learning accessible to all learners.  I am proud to be a part of the LRA family.  Teachers at LRA are very innovative and collaborate extensively. 

Education: I received my BA from CSULB and my Education Specialist Credential from CSULA.  I am currently pursuing my Masters at CSULA in Special Education.  


  • Making learning engaging and accessible to all learners

  • Social Justice

  • Educational Technology Integration

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Ms. Espinoza Teacher

My educational philosophy centers on the belief that all individuals possess amazing strengths, skills, and the ability to make meaningful contributions. As a teacher, my goal is to provide a safe and supportive classroom in which students can unlock their potential and learn to value the views of others. I use inclusivity and collaboration as tools in helping my students both learn from their peers and teach them as well. I also believe that connecting with families is an integral part of education. By including and working with families, I am able to gain a deeper understanding of the strengths and needs of my students and we can, together, celebrate even the smallest success their child has made. I enjoy having the ability to share classroom strategies with parents that they can in turn use at home to reinforce and support their child’s learning. Connecting with families is vital in my role as an educator as I believe that the role of a teacher goes beyond academic education. We are mentors, liaisons, role models, and community members. 

Education and awards 

I earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, an Education Specialist Credential in Moderate to Severe disabilities, and a Masters in Special Education from California State University, Los Angeles. I am a Common Sense Educator (2019-2020) and I am Future Ready Certified. 


  • Inclusivity

  • Social Justice 

  • UDL


Ms. Gonzalez Teacher

My educational philosophy Is grounded in creating meaningful and engaging experiences in order to meet the needs of ALL learners. I truly believe that the idea of differentiating instruction to accommodate the different ways that students learn, allows a teacher the opportunity to create an environment for kiddos to feel successful in their learning. As a special education teacher, I am challenged to tailor my instruction to meet the unique ways students interact with academics. I take great joy in being present in a child’s “aha” moment and feel very fortunate to have the chance to support students in early childhood education.

I received my B.A from Loyola Marymount University and Masters from California State University, Fullerton.


  • Positive Behavior Support
  • Differentiation
  • Parent Engagement

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Ms. E. Alcaraz | Bilingual Psychologist

My educational philosophy stems from the belief that all students are capable of learning. All students are unique and have something special that they can bring to their own education. Not all students learn the same, but with different supports, strategies, and methods it is more than possible. Every child has potential for success; educators are just a vital part of the effort to unlock this potential. As educators, our role is to act as a guide and students should be able to make choices and let their curiosity direct their learning. I am also a true believer in the importance of building strong connections with students and their families. This collaboration between school, home, and community is essential for student success. I chose to become a school psychologist because I strive to make a positive, lasting difference in all of my student’s lives.

I received my undergraduate degree (BA) from Cal Poly Pomona and my Masters degree (MA) from Azusa Pacific University. I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) who also has an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) and a Pupil Personnel Credential (PPS).


  • Mental and Behavioral Health (Social Emotional Learning)

  • Access to Learning Opportunities

  • Family-School-Community Collaboration and Consultation


Ms. C. Navarro | Resource Teacher

My educational philosophy is deeply rooted in the belief that all students can learn. If you get to know each student’s individual learning style and their individual needs, all stakeholders can help students reach their academic potential as a team. I earned an A.A. in Child Development at Los Angeles City College, B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Psychology in CSU, Dominguez Hills. I also have Multiple Subject Clear Credential and an Education Specialist Clear Credential with an Autism Spectrum Disorders Added Authorization.  


  • Making Learning Fun and Accessible 

  • Integrating technology to make curriculum accessible for all learners 

  • Working collaboratively with teams to accomplish student academic success

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