IVA Staff

Jacquie Bryant


Founding Principal
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Jacquie Bryant, IVA's founding principal, regards personal formation and character growth and development as a primary goal in education for both students and staff. Ms. Bryant was previously an English teacher at San Pedro High School in LAUSD where she taught all levels of English Language Arts. As a teacher she appreciated classrooms where students engaged with the complexity of knowledge and awareness of their own learning at the same time. At San Pedro High, Ms. Bryant also worked as an instructional coach, helping lead professional development and the WASC accreditation process. 

While Ms. Bryant was teaching she earned a Master's in Rhetoric and Composition and a single subject credential in English from Cal State Long Beach and an Administrative credential from Cal State Dominguez Hills. 

Ms. Bryant has found value in the language of virtues and intellectual character and has become aware that language creates culture. She believes that intellectual character growth is personally meaningful for everyone involved at the school, and specifically seeks to support the culture of adults at a school as it has a direct impact on the culture of thinking that students experience. She finds meaning and purpose in the language of the virtues and its impact on teaching and learning and on her own continued intellectual character growth. 

Danielle Montiel


Program Administrator
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Danielle Montiel, IVA's program administrator, is a member of IVA's founding team and the school's first employee. Ms. Montiel worked closely with the school's founders to bring the charter middle school from an idea and charter to a physical space ready for students. Ms. Montiel's background in education extends beyond her multiple subject teaching credential and bachelor's in English with a minor in education from UCLA. She has been an English tutor/teacher to business professionals in Paris, a clinician at Lindamood-Bell, where she served kids with learning disabilities, a 1st-grade teacher for Long Beach Unified, and a teacher performance exam assessor at Vanguard University. She is a former participant in the Intellectual Virtues and Education Project at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Among her personal accomplishments, she has learned a second language, lived and worked in France for two years, and completed a half marathon. Ms. Montiel and her husband are both Long Beach natives and alumni of Long Beach Unified. Their three children attend LBUSD elementary schools, and their daughter will become an IVA fox this fall!

"I’ve often asked myself what I want my kids to gain as a result of their education. For me, the knowledge and skills they are developing is much less important than the kind of person they are becoming. I want them to be open, fair, innovative, careful, attentive thinkers. I want them to be curious about their world and how things work. I believe this can be nurtured in students, and I’m glad to contribute to a model/school where this can take place. I was also drawn to the notion that we all have an intellectual character that is shaped daily through our intellectual activity. Are we going to be active developers/contributors to our kids’ positive intellectual character growth while they are in school? Intellectual activity tends to center on the state standards. IVA’s focus on intellectual character growth, while teaching the standards, means that we will explore the content at a deep and intimate level. One of my favorite educational philosophers said, “We are educated by our intimacies,” and I love the natural connection to an intellectual virtues education: a person aware of her intellectual virtues (and vices) will have a different kind of relationship with her education. I believe she’ll be more “intimate” with her content and skills, and, as a result, be a better-educated person positioned to do the deep, critical thinking in the context of innovation and teamwork, which is an essential part of a productive citizen and more importantly part of a well-lived life."

Dama Perez


Program Administrator

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Ms. Perez comes to IVA with experience in teaching as well as in human resources, recruiting, training and development. She taught sixth-grade science for two years through Teach for America in South Texas, and then went on to be a manager of teacher leadership and development for TFA. She holds a certificate in HR Management and is currently earning her Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy through Pepperdine. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, and kickboxing.

Amos Mikaele


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Before joining IVA as the school's counselor, Amos Mikaele was advisor intern for ASPIRE, Access To Student Assistance Programs in Reach of Everyone, at Eagle Point High School in Oregon. He had been a learning specialist and interim case manager at Fit Learning, a private learning center for students with and without special needs, an instruction aide at a K-8 public primary school and an instructional aide, substitute, electives teacher and counselor intern at Aveson Global Leadership Academy in Altadena. He currently serves as a volunteer mentor and workshop facilitator for Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander youth through PILOT (Pacific Islander Leaders of Tomorrow) of EPIC (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities), a program initiative that empowers young Pacific Islander college students through cultural learning and leadership development.

Mr. Mikaele earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Southern Oregon University, where he also played football before pursuing his degree full time. He earned an MA in educational and clinical school counseling from Azusa Pacific University. He also holds a pupil personnel services credential.

"IVA’s mission offers students the skills to be successful, not only in education but in a holistic perspective. As a counselor, I often challenge individuals to work through difficulties and to thrive during their struggle. IVA creates a similar environment where students are challenged intellectually and encouraged to navigate their way within the tensions of learning by use of intellectual virtues. Students are empowered to embody these practices within their character and become equipped to overcome any obstacle. For students to exercise intellectual virtues at this critical stage of their lives serves as a larger purpose to the true meaning of education. I am truly humbled and blessed to be given the opportunity to counsel youth in a community surrounded by passionate, like-minded individuals."

Diana Bosetti


Administrative Assistant

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Diana Bosetti earned her B.A. in Political Science from Cal State Long Beach and her J.D. from Pacific Coast University School of Law. In addition to her work at IVA, she is an ice skating, hockey, and speed skating coach at Lakewood Ice, where she brings her extensive experience as a former competitive and professional ice skater in shows in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, Africa, and Japan. Ms. Bosetti has worked with the Legal Aide Foundation, providing legal assistance within the Domestic Violence Unit. Additionally, she was a business reporter at the Orange and Los Angeles Business Journals, Long Beach Business Journal, The District Weekly, and The Orange County Register. Diana has two teenage boys (one of whom attended IVA and is now beginning 9th grade at The Academy), and enjoys spending her free time playing roller derby as a jammer for the Badfish Roller Derby League.

Serena Buie


Community Liaison

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Serena Buie earned her B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Music from Westmont College. Before joining IVA, she worked as a a substitute teacher for Long Beach Unified, and as the academic coordinator for Adolescent Growth, a mental health treatment center for teenagers. She taught summer reading classes to grades K-12 with the Institute of Reading Development, and she tutored college level writing for several years during her time at Westmont. Ms. Buie is an avid musician; as a member of several choirs, she sang at Carnegie Hall twice and sang mass at the Vatican. She is currently working on her single subject English credential at Cal State Long Beach.