IVA Faculty

Lindsey Baur

b_342_513_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Baur-Lindsey-StudentID-01599.jpgMathematics Teacher

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Lindsey came to Long Beach for school from the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated with her BA in kinesiology from CSULB in 2021. While happily working at a local coffee shop, her passion for holistic health, wellness and development has led her to an intern position at Kevala Ayurveda Wellness and to IVA.

In her free time this past year, Lindsey has become an avid runner taking part in many SoCal race events. She is always up to some new activity as she seeks adventure and new experiences every day.

"I was drawn to IVA through its focus on the holistic development of their students as individuals, and their mission to teach habits of learning which supports students’ passions and lifelong exploration of themselves and the world around them."

Michele Bolanos

b_346_520_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Bolanos-Michele-StudentID-01138.jpgScience Teacher

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Michele graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelors in Environmental Science and education along with a single subject science/ biology teaching credential through their CalTeach program. She has taught middle school science for the past 5 years. Before coming to IVA, Michele was teaching 7th grade science at Beverly Vista Middle School in BHUSD.

Michele loves singing and making art. At the end of a long day, she will decompress with some video games or look forward to a fun board game night. She also has an escape room addiction and a love for anime and Disney movies.

"When I learned about IVA's 9 master virtues, I saw that they aligned very well with my personal teaching philosophy. They focused on growth and depth of learning and the real process of critical thinking. But even more than that, what made me want to be a part of IVA was the people. When I met the staff and faculty, I saw people who truly believed in their message and mission, people who cared about their students and each other. I am so thankful to be able to be a part of a school that is so diverse, welcoming, and passionate about learning."

Martha Esquivias

b_342_514_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Esquivias-Martha-StudentID-01518.jpgSocial Science Teacher

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Martha is a Cal State Long Beach graduate, with a bachelor's degree in sociology, and her single subject teaching credential in history. Prior to IVA, Ms. Esquivias worked with the Long Beach Public Library, as well as a K-12 substitute teacher in Compton and Long Beach. Ms. Esquivias truly enjoys working with youth and is passionate about helping students find joy in learning about history and becoming critical and deep thinkers. In her free time, she enjoys watching reruns of Gilmore Girls, spending time with her husband and their golden retriever Twix, cooking, and working out. 

"I was drawn to IVA because of their student-centered approach, which focuses on deep thinking and personal growth. Each of the virtues play a role in helping students build a sense of autonomy and confidence in their learning. In particular, I am a huge fan of the virtues of curiosity and open-mindedness because I feel like those really drive the social sciences. I am eager to be a part of IVA, and I look forward to playing a role in helping our students succeed and achieve their personal and academic goals."

Sherry Eutsey

b_352_470_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Sherry_Eutsey_Bio_Image.jpgPhysical Education Teacher

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Sherry Eutsey is a recent graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where she received her teaching credential in Physical Education. She also attended California State University, Fullerton where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. She has learned Montessori principles as a teacher in Newport Beach in which she feels compliments the way the virtues give the students an opportunity to grow as an individual in our community. 

Ms. Eutsey credits her curiosity in finding ways students are able to learn the benefits of being physically active throughout their lifetime. Ms. Eutsey loves to go on multiple adventures, where she is able to have a deeper connection with her family and find peace within her life. She is very creative and always finds a way to make each moment a time to enjoy and share and create smiles and memories.

“I was intringed to see how IVA connects their mission values to their different subjects taught at the school. I love the idea of having a team and a family and after meeting and getting to know the staff at this school they not only say they care about one another but show it through their actions. My goal is to help every student learn the importance of physical activity throughout their lifetime. Along with IVA’s virtues, my goals interconnect with helping the students find their own self through trial and error. I also like to participate in the games and activities to show the students movement is good.”

Ian McCurry

b_351_438_16777215_00_images_bioimages_ianmccurry.jpgLiterature and Composition Teacher

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Ian McCurry holds a master's in teaching from Azusa Pacific University. Prior to IVA, Mr. McCurry taught 2nd and 3rd grade at a private school in Downey, and 9th- and 10th-grade English/language arts at a Los Angeles charter school. Mr. McCurry has clear multiple subject and clear single subject English credentials. In 2013, McCurry presented on “Teaching for Intellectual Virtues in the English Classroom” at a summer conference at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

"I was drawn to the mission of Intellectual Virtues Academy before the school was even properly formed. In a pedagogy seminar with 15 other educators at Loyola Marymount University, hosted by Dr. Jason Baehr and Dr. Steve Porter, I caught the vision that education really could be about more than memorization, speed, and high test scores. I was reminded that learning to think well is part of learning how to live well and be a healthy, thriving human being. The qualities of good thinking (curiosity, open-mindedness, humility, courage) cause human flourishing. Teachers, classrooms, and schools can be places that encourage students toward this type of thinking. Almost as soon as I found out there was going to be a school focused on intellectual virtues I was eager to be a part of it in any way possible."

Catherine Nguyen

b_348_523_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Nguyen-Cat-StudentID-01546.jpgArt Teacher

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Catherine is a Vietnamese-American educator who has taught for seven years in Irvine, California; Biển Hoa, Vietnam; and Oakland, California.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English & Education from UC Irvine and a Master’s in Education from Brandman University. Catherine is passionate about helping all students thrive in and out of the classroom.  As a yoga teacher and fellow of the Resilient Mindful Learner program, she seeks to help students develop intellectual character, grit, and compassion for themselves and others. Catherine believes the arts play a critical role in helping students blossom into wonderful humans.  

“I’m honored to be a part of this robust program that helps students understand themselves, others, and the world in a deep and meaningful way. The virtues which this program and school were founded on align deeply with my own values and vision to help create a more open-minded and courageous world.”

Sarah Marsh


Mathematics Teacher

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Sarah Marsh teaches 8th grade Literature and Composition at IVA.  Before staying home with her five (yes, five!) children, Mrs. Marsh taught in Paramount Unified as a 9th grade English teacher and curriculum specialist.  During her hiatus from full-time teaching, she kept her foot in the door through teaching adult school, supervising student teachers, and substituting at IVA.  She holds a California Clear Credential in English, and has a Masters in Education with a curriculum emphasis.

"I'm glad to at last be a part of the IVA family.  The commitment to raising good thinkers and, more importantly, good people has been a personal endeavor of mine; I've tried it out on my guinea pigs (also known as my children), and I'm eager to put it into practice in the IVA classrooms.  There is so much to learn and do and investigate in this beautiful world of ours, and so much that we can easily miss if we're not paying attention. Curiosity, attentiveness, and carefulness make life so much richer, and I hope for rich lives for all the young people I encounter."

Cari Noble

b_350_438_16777215_00_images_bioimages_carinoble.jpgMathematics Teacher

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Cari Noble came to teaching after spending time at home raising three children. Her gradual entry into the profession included long-term substitute teaching positions at Newcomb Academy and Stanford Middle School. She also worked as an elementary science lab teacher at Newcomb Academy, during which time she developed curriculum for hands-on science lessons for grades K through 5. Ms. Noble has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Single Subject Math Credential, and a Foundational Level Science Credential. She has led and supported IVA Primes (IVA's math club), to compete in math competitions in Long Beach.
“I'm drawn to the rigor at IVA. In my previous math positions, my goal was to make the students think and understand the material at a deeper level. The thought of working at a school where this was not just a lofty goal, but a requirement for good teaching, is very appealing. Two virtues, in particular, resonated with me as a math teacher: carefulness and tenacity. To have the language to encourage these qualities in my students is amazing! For the students to know that these qualities are valued, not just in math class but by our whole school community, adds purpose.”

Linh Phan

b_348_464_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Phan_Linh.jpgScience Teacher

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Many years ago, when Linh was an undergraduate student with little idea of what to do after college, he saw a flier that read “Volunteer at local schools! Free Pizza!” Although he originally only went for the pizza, the meeting redirected Linh towards a meaningful path of teaching. At UC San Diego, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a masters degree in science education. He has years of experience from working in K-12 schools in San Diego, LA County, Orange County, and in places as far away as Beijing, China. His favorite part of the job is helping students grow and develop into the people they are capable of becoming. Outside of school hours, you can probably find Linh playing basketball, making music, or walking somewhere out in nature.

"I am grateful to work at IVA, a learning environment that promotes a love for learning and self-actualization. Furthermore, I believe that IVA advocates the skills, habits, and virtues that are needed to consciously participate in the beautiful, but complicated world that we live in today."

Alyssa Pritchett

b_345_518_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Pritchett-Alyssa-StudentID-01603.jpgLiterature and Composition Teacher

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Alyssa comes to IVA with a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Hope International University. She also holds a Single Subject Credential in English from Hope International University. Prior to IVA, Alyssa has taught at La Habra High School and worked as a substitute teacher for the Pomona Unified School District. Alyssa also has experience coaching boys and girls tennis at the high school level. In her free time she is either tending to her plants, trying new coffee shops, or trying new recipes in her kitchen. 
"I was immediately drawn to IVA's mission and vision. To equip every student with the skills to learn and live well is the exact reason I got into teaching. I want to empower my students to be the best versions of themselves. I also greatly appreciate that I can use literature as a tool to help students grow in their intellectual characters. From looking at different literary texts I can encourage students to be curious, thorough, and courageous in their thinking. I am so thankful to be apart of this amazing community where the virtues model is interwoven in every aspect of education." 

Alex Rosas

b_347_522_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Rosas-Alex-StudentID-01370.jpgSocial Science Teacher

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Alex comes to IVA from a non-profit background where she worked to provide housing for homeless veterans and families with Century Housing. Through this experience, she was inspired to follow her passion for teaching in an effort to provide a safe, supportive space for youth. Alex was born and raised overseas and speaks Romanian and Spanish. She enjoys traveling, dancing, taking care of her Shiba Inu puppy, Leo and spending time with her family, friends and husband, Gustavo.

Alex holds a Single Subject Credential in Social Science from CSULB, as well as BA’s in International Studies and Spanish from CSULB. Before IVA, Mrs. Rosas student-taught at Hughes Middle School in Long Beach and has been teaching dance for 13 years.

“I am so impressed with IVA’s commitment to deep thinking and developing lifelong learners and am so excited to be a part of this community. In a world where students are inundated with a variety of perspectives and media, social science and intellectual virtues play a vital role in teaching students how to sort through information and develop their own thinking. I am committed to being a lifelong learner and I want to encourage curiosity and autonomy in my classroom to help students take initiative in their own learning. I hope to empower students to see themselves as agents of change in their communities, enable them to use intellectual virtues to think deeply about the kind of world they want to see and tenaciously enact change.” 

Gaby Schmidt

b_350_438_16777215_00_images_bioimages_gabyschmidt.jpgMathematics Teacher

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Gaby taught math at Roosevelt Middle School in Glendale for 12 years before taking a long break from teaching to raise 3 kids with her husband, Andre.  She taught all levels of middle school math and coordinated her school's AVID program. She obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics/Applied Science from UCLA, and also has her teaching credential and Master of Education from UCLA. 

"I love IVA's focus on deep thinking.  Our math curriculum is so rich in problem solving, deep conceptual understanding, and mathematical communication, while still providing plenty of practice of essential math skills. I have been so impressed with the deep commitment to working together as a group of educators to do what is best for the students. I'm so excited to be a part of this team!"

Claudia Smith

Screen_Shot_2021-09-17_at_110309_AM.pngScience Teacher

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Claudia is Salvadorian American and grew up in Southeast Los Angeles. She is married and has a little baby named Emily who was born on a very snowy Colorado day. She loves hanging out with family, going to Farmer’s Markets and trying new foods. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University and M.A. in Education from Alliant International University. She taught high school and middle school chemistry early in her teaching career, then joined IVA where she taught middle school science and a year of Spanish. She was with IVA for three years before moving to Colorado where she continued to teach middle school science at Shaw Heights Middle School. She has now returned to IVA and we are so grateful!

"IVA has a personal and meaningful way of naming how we think and learn. Teaching students using intellectual virtues teaches students how to be meta cognitive, which empowers students. This is something that sticks with students and truly helps them become lifelong learners. I’m glad I get to be a part of a team that works to empower students in such a meaningful way."

Rachel Stanley

b_351_527_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Stanley-Rachel-StudentID-01485.jpgPhysical Education Teacher

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Rachel Stanley is a two-time graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where she received her bachelor's degree in Fine Art and her teaching credential in Physical Education.  She has been a substitute teacher with Long Beach Unified and Los Alamitos Unified School Districts since 2017, with a particular focus on middle school, and has also been a swim instructor for 13 years.  She comes to IVA after spending the past two years as a long-term substitute in middle school PE with Long Beach Unified.  Ms. Stanley credits her lifelong love of the water and the outdoors with sparking her passion for physical education.  In addition to swimming, she spends much of her time running, walking, and cycling around Seal Beach and Long Beach.  She also loves music and dance, and fits them into her PE classes whenever possible!
"I was drawn to IVA because I enjoy the chance to build relationships, both with my students and with other teachers, and realized a smaller school with a more tight-knit community would provide better opportunities to connect.  I share IVA's vision of helping students get to know themselves through identifying their own interests, strengths, and needs for growth, and equipping them to live well in their teen and adult years by teaching them how to develop their own fitness and health goals.  To help my students develop positive connections with physical activity, I teach a variety of skills and activities, and use games or music to make it fun and engaging.  When students find movement activities they genuinely enjoy, it empowers and motivates them to make exercise and fitness a part of their daily lives."

Tiffany Salazar

b_348_523_16777215_00_images_bioimages_Salazar-Tiffany-StudentID-00968.jpgLong Term Physical Education Substitute & Behavior Support Supervisor

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Tiffany was born in Los Angeles and raised in the city of El Monte. Earned my B.S in kinesiology from Cal Poly Pomona and was a member of the Women's Soccer Team for two years. She is in the process of pursuing her Physical Education teaching credential at CSULB. Tiffany plans to advocate the value of sports and movement, which contribute to living a healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity and healthy habits that can improve the quality of life.

"I was drawn to IVAs unique approach to teaching that invites students to explore, practice and apply a set of virtues to their study habits in an environment that is safe and allows room for individuality. The opportunity to know themselves and live well as the vision statement states which brings significance to their day to day life on and off campus."