Cohort 3: 2018-2019
Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School (IHM) is the hidden pearl in the bustling inner-city of East Hollywood, focusing on faith and moral formation, Performing Arts, Blended Learning, and Academic Excellence. IHM is home to immigrant and first generation Filipino and Latino families. Our school has become an institution that focuses on music and performing arts. The IHM choir competed at the World Choir Games and won two silver medals. Some students sang in the soundtrack of the movie, “The Book of Life” and have won in many competitions. Furthermore, the choir recently sang for Pope Francis in Rome, as well as in Carnegie Hall. We also offer piano, violin, voice lessons, and dance after school.
IHM implements Blended Learning, a student-centered structure, in which students are working in centers with technology (iPads, laptops, and desktops) as a tool to differentiate instruction. With small class sizes, the students each get the personal attention that they need. Furthermore, students are getting accepted to rigorous high schools and later colleges with merit scholarships. The students have placed extremely high in the Academic Decathlon, as well.
Angelica Izquierdo grew up in Diamond Bar, California with her parents, sister, and brother. Her passion for Catholic education began when she attended St. Angela Merici School in Brea, California. Angelica continued onto Rosary High School and the University of San Diego. In San Diego, she received her degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Literature and Special Education, and her California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Angelica joined the PLACE Corps at Loyola Marymount University. During her two years in PLACE Corps, Angelica taught fourth grade at St. Thomas the Apostle School and received her Masters in Special Education. Upon graduation, Angelica began teaching second grade at St. John Chrysostom in Inglewood. She also served as the Director of the Summer Academy and the Vice Principal while earning her Masters in Catholic School Leadership and Administration at LMU. After four years in second grade, Angelica began teaching in the Junior High as the sixth grade teacher. She spent a year of residency at Our Lady of Guadalupe in East Los Angeles with Mrs. Teresa Villarreal as her mentor principal.
Currently, Angelica is beginning her second year at St. Lucy School in Long Beach. St. Lucy School serves students on the Westside of Long Beach and is proud of the deep tradition of arts in their academic program. At St. Lucy School, it is our aim that each student grows in his/her love of God, learn according to his/her God-given ability, feel accepted, develop self-esteem and grow in awareness of the needs of others in our challenging and ever-changing society. We recognize the uniqueness of each child as we foster life-long spiritual, intellectual, social, psychological and physical growth, in a safe and stimulating classroom setting.
Keeping her faith at the center of all, Karina, then, followed her call into Catholic school leadership and became a part of the first Onward Leaders cohort. Karina completed her year of residency at St. Turibius School and was blessed to also begin her journey as Principal at St. Turibius. Karina looks forward to leading and learning with Onward Leader, Jessica Reddick at St. Turibius.
St. Turibius School is located in the heart of the Fashion District area of Downtown, Los Angeles and has been proudly serving families since 1949. St. Turibius school serves students from Transitional Kindergarten through Eighth Grade and is committed to developing the whole child by educating the whole child in body, mind, and spirit. St. Turibius School serves a predominantly Hispanic/Latino population and 99% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.The majority of families are working class parents who depend on tuition assistance to provide their children a Catholic education. St. Turibius School is committed to continued learning and growth to ensure that it continues to support all learners today and those in the future. St. Turibius School is a wonderful place because of the committed and hardworking students, parents, and staff that share their talents and gifts with the community.
In her thirty-year tenure as principal, she has seen many changes, both at ICS and in Catholic education in general. The community surrounding the school is predominantly a gateway for immigrants from Mexico and Central America, with high levels of poverty and crime, and low levels of literacy and formal education. The gentrification of DTLA has brought more diversity to the school community. However, the majority of the community served fits the same demographic as thirty years ago, with 90% or more of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. ICS has served the community for 100 years, and to this day, the school is an oasis in the desert of DTLA and proud to witness the many successes of its graduates, most of whom are first generation Americans. Currently three graduates of ICS are members of the full-time faculty; a 4th will be added in 2018-19.