Teacher Profiles

Alma del Mar - Faustina De PinaFaustina Depina

Kindergarten Lead Teacher & Member of Alma’s Founding Teacher Team

“I joined the Alma team because I wanted to be part of a community of dedicated and enthusiastic professionals — a new school with fresh ideas. I see this school as an institution that will set a firm foundation for its scholars.

I love the energy behind the school. This school had the thought of putting kids on the path to college starting in kindergarten! I wanted to work for a school that already had the end game in mind.

Our school community was very small, so we had the opportunity to make personal connections with our scholars and their parents. The great thing about it is that the only element that has changed is the number of scholars attending the school — that personal connection still exists today. Being bilingual has given me the opportunity to assist scholars who are struggling with vocabulary acquisition and comprehension. I can make that connection by providing the word or concept in their native language.”


Alma del Mar - Joshua DaPonteJoshua DaPonte

Music Teacher & Member of Alma’s Founding Teacher Team

“I was drawn to Alma by an opportunity to work at a school where collaboration and close connection to the community were driving factors for scholar success. I was happy to work closely with a great group of teachers.

In the first few weeks of school I was given the time and encouraged to observe my colleagues teach. These initial observations helped inform my own teaching and directly improved my music lessons.

Watching Alma del Mar grow has been a wonderful experience. We have become a bigger community, but also more streamlined and efficient at what we do. There is more teacher involvement and collaboration now than ever before. At Alma, every teacher goes that extra mile to give our scholars the most high quality education we can provide. If there is a scholar who is struggling teachers will consult with every member of their teaching team to find a solution to help that scholar succeed.”


Alexa Teevens (2)Alexa Teevens

Third Grade Lead Teacher & Literacy Department Co-Chair
Started as Alma’s Literacy Specialist in July 2015 

“I worked at a few other urban charter schools before coming to Alma. When I arrived, Will said that he hoped I found my “Goldilocks school” — a school that was not too prescriptive and not too structureless, but just right. That has truly been my experience here, and I’m so excited to continue to refine both our strong school culture and engaging, content-rich curriculum.

As Alma’s Literacy Specialist I’ve had the opportunity to work with teams across grade levels. I have a unique lens for what’s happening across the school, and I’ve been able to support teachers in strengthening the vertical integration of literacy content across grades.

I also get to watch some of our best teachers every day, and I’ve learned more about creating highly effective culture and instruction by being in their classrooms than I had in countless hours of professional development.

I’m very excited to join the Curriculum Team as the co-chair of the Literacy Department this year. As we make shifts in our curriculum, away from skills-based literacy instruction to putting content first, I’m excited to step into the classroom and create and implement my own revised curriculum to best prepare myself to support other teachers in making this shift.”