Meet the Team

Our collaborative professional community supports CWC’s teachers with ample planning time, training, resources and autonomy. Teachers are able to continually develop their skills, collaborate with one another, and create, evaluate and refine curriculum that best fits their students utilizing a variety of ongoing assessments to track students’ progress.

Meet our team

School Leadership

Jirusha Lopez

Principal

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jlopez@cwchollywood.org

Jirusha Lopez received her B.A. in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in American Sign Language, and Teaching Credential in 2007 from California State University, Northridge. After several years of teaching elementary school in the San Fernando Valley, she returned to C.S.U.N. and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and an Administrative Credential.

Throughout her years in education (both in Los Angeles District schools and at a Charter School in the San Fernando Valley), Jirusha has taught Third Grade, Fifth Grade, substituted in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade classrooms, and has worked out of the classroom as a Reading Intervention Specialist and Physical Education Coordinator. She has also spent approximately one year teaching moderate to severe special needs students at LAUSD. Along with teaching and leading, Jirusha is a Google Certified Educator and engaged in public speaking supporting Arts Integration and Teacher Funding at the 22nd and 24th Annual Charter School Conferences in Sacramento, California.

Jirusha is a life-long learner herself, and loves that the field of education allows her to continue to develop her own interests and skills while fostering and supporting the ever-changing interests of the children and teachers she works with. After over a decade of educational service in the classroom, she was thrilled to accept the Assistant Principal position at CWC Hollywood in the 2018/19 school year and the role of Principal the following year. She whole-heartedly believes in the vision that today’s youth and educators must be supported in unique and responsive ways that develop their minds, souls, and emotional well-being equally – especially in this ever-changing world. Jirusha’s leadership style is one of open communication, positivity, support, and constructive feedback. She vows to evolve and change as the professional role requires to support the staff, students and community alike. After the past few years we’ve all experienced, Jirusha, along with the entire CWCH community, have proven to embody our core values of ‘Change’ and ‘Authenticity’.

In her spare time, Jirusha enjoys spending time with her husband, young son, family, friends, and her dog, Levi. She enjoys staying active, and can often be found playing softball, cooking and baking for her loved ones, or watching football (Go Dallas Cowboys!).

Ashley Shaw

Assistant Principal

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ashaw@cwchollywood.org

Ashley has had a myriad of different positions that have helped to shape her as an educator. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, she moved away from the cold winters to begin her teaching career in Atlanta in 2007. Ashley taught 2nd and 3rd grades as a lead teacher in both public and private schools for many years. Her Master’s in Childhood Education and her experiences with diverse populations of students engendered a strong passion for and understanding of curriculum analysis and creation.

In 2014, Ashley took on the role of Curriculum Coordinator and began to help analyze her school’s data and direct professional development initiatives. In 2016, she left the classroom to pursue her passion as a Curriculum Specialist before taking on the role of Director. In this role, Ashley led many initiatives and worked with teachers in grades ranging from Kindergarten through eighth grade in all areas of the curriculum. Most noteworthy was she had the opportunity to co-lead the development of a Makerspace and STEAM program as well as a schoolwide Social Emotional Learning program.

It was during her time as Director of Curriculum and Instruction when she realized how many components of a school need to work seamlessly in order for it to be an effective and happy place for all community members to thrive. In order to continue to pursue her passion for supporting teachers and their students’ learning, Ashley sought out a position in higher administration. It was in August 2019 that Ashley came to CWC Hollywood as Assistant Principal. She has been throughly enjoying being a part of a community that truly embodies her philosophy of education.

In her spare time, Ashley loves to spend time with her husband and two children. They love being outdoors together and staying active by swimming, dancing, biking, and gardening.

Susanne Park

Assistant Principal

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spark@cwchollywood.org

Bio coming soon! 

Cara Cleveland

Director of Special Education

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ccleveland@cwchollywood.org

Cara Cleveland received her B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University. She started her career as a case manager assisting families with securing housing after experiencing homelessness. After a few years of working in that capacity she realized her passion was working with children and specifically with children with disabilities. She began her teaching career in Lynn, a large urban district outside of Boston. After two years in the classroom, working with students in a substantially separate setting, she returned to school and received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Moderate Disabilities. 

She continued her teaching career in Lynn and moved through a variety of special education programs over the years. It was during her time in the Life Skills program that she found her passion for creating curriculum around community based instruction. She worked to create pre-vocational experiences for students at the middle school level. She is passionate about inclusive education and making all students feel like valued members of the school community. In her time as a classroom teacher she also coached cross country, track and field and basketball for middle school students. 

In 2019, she transitioned to a leadership role as Special Education Department Head. She oversaw multiple special education programs and supported over twenty staff members.  During this time she also led the first Inclusivity Panels within the school. She mentored students through the YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research) process where they studied the effects of implicit bias on student perceptions of school. Through this work she was able to elevate student voice and work to create a more inclusive school experience for all students. 

In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her husband and son.  She is excited to explore the west coast! 

Jessica Moy

Director of Social Emotional Learning

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jmoy@cwchollywood.org

Coach Jessie is a true Southern California native. She was born in Santa Monica, raised in Culver City, and attended CCUSD schools from K-12. She received her BA in Theater from the University of Southern California and her Masters in Education from Antioch University, Los Angeles. In the Summer of 2011, Jessie made a one-year commitment to serve as a Playworks Coach for CWC Hollywood, not knowing that this community would capture her heart forever. In her first three years at CWC, she developed an inclusive youth fitness program, infusing Social-Emotional Learning with Healthy Play. She also established a student leadership program in which 4th and 5th graders could serve as “Junior Coaches” at lower grade recesses. Junior Coaches (now known as Active Citizens) facilitate games, mediate conflict, and act as positive role models and mentors within the community. In Fall of 2015, Coach Jessie became CWC Hollywood’s first Director of Social Emotional Learning. As part of her role, she provides professional development for staff, coordinates SEL curricula across all grade levels and creates additional opportunities for student leadership on and off the playground. Her background in theater, fitness, and education give her a unique perspective on working with children, and she is beyond grateful to continue her work with this amazing community after over a decade of service.

Landy Esqueda

School Operations Manager

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lesqueda@cwchollywood.org

Bio coming soon!

Operations + Office

Matthew Dinh

Regional Director of Operations

Oscar Conde

Office Associate

Tim Hitpas

After School Program Coordinator

Christian Lopez

Community Coordinator

Susie Madrigal

Data Coordinator

Patty Marroquin

Lunch Service Associate

Genesis Torres

Office Associate

Teaching Teams

Transitional Kinder (TK) Lead Teachers

Omari Jinaki

Kindergarten Lead Teachers

Clarissa Shelley

Belle Vu

1st Grade Lead Teachers

2nd Grade Lead Teachers

Richard Gonzalez

Heidi Acosta (Sub)

hacosta@cwchollywood.org

3rd Grade Lead Teachers

Teacher Jen “TJ”

jgist@cwchollywood.org

4th Grade Lead Teachers

Rose Finkelsten

5th Grade Lead Teachers

TK Teaching Associates

Jessica Lopez

Claire Corddry

Kinder Teaching Associates

Liliana Macias

1st Grade Teaching Associates

Gina Kim

Ahava Jernigan

Trinity Banks

2nd Grade Teaching Associates

Yuri Yi

Yvette Torres

Mariah Pardo

3rd Grade Teaching Associates

Jessica Lim

Isaac Recinos

4th Grade Teaching Associates

Estefania Terrones

Ryan Socha

5th Grade Teaching Associates

Davis Cox

Enrichment Team

Jessica Aguilar

Multi-Cultural Studies Teacher
jaguilar@cwchollywood.org

Joshua Golden

Media Arts Teacher & Community Communication Designee
jgolden@cwchollywood.org

Shannon Green

Visual Arts Teacher

sgreen@cwchollywood.org

Marylin Winkle

Music Teacher

Valerie Greenham

PE Teacher

Student Support Team

Sara Bohnsack

Reading Interventionist
sbohnsack@cwchollywood.org

Daisy Policarpo

Resource Teacher

Lizzie Schwab

Resource Teacher

Julie Hoang

Resource Teacher

Rena Halu

School Psychologist

rhalu@cwclosangeles.org

Yvonne Johansen

Speech-Language Pathologist
yjohansen@cwchollywood.org

Niloo Yazdinian

Occupational Therapist
nyazdinian@cwchollywood.org

Marcel Emerson

School Counselor

Maria Rodriguez

Behavior Interventionist

maria.rodriguez@cwchollywood.org

Flor Cuevas

Behavior Interventionist
fcuevas@cwchollywood.org

Julie Lyons

Behavior Interventionist

jlyons@cwchollywood.org

Donovan Woods

Behavior Interventionist
dwoods@cwchollywood.org

Jason Harris

Behavior Interventionist

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