ATP Cohort 10 Residents Join the PUC Teaching Force

Our next cohort of PUC teacher residents have tackled two months already of co-teaching with their mentor teachers and on their way to becoming excellent PUC teachers! Most of the residents were graduates of PUC Schools and all are committed fulfilling PUC’s Commitment #3 by to giving back to their communities and teaching for a minimum of 5 years at PUC schools. This year’s cohort includes Luis Duran, Daisy Garcia, Juan Guzman, Maria Jimenez, Blanca Cuevas, Natalie Navarrete, and Andrew Rivera.

Luis Duran first stepped onto a PUC campus in August of 2014. He watched as PUC Lakeview Charter High School (LCHS) was built from the ground up, until it was ready to be his new high school. After graduating from LCHS, he earned an English degree from CSUN, and then decided, in the midst of the uncertainty that was the COVID-19 pandemic, that he would return to PUC as an ATP resident, and he has thrived ever since. He currently is under the mentorship of Mrs. Brandy Brown at PUC Community Charter Middle School (CCMS), and together they teach 8th Grade English. Luis hopes to truly leave a lasting impact on each and every one of his students, so that when they look back at their middle school years, they will hopefully remember that their beloved “Mr. Duran” played some role (however miniscule) in helping them reach their own dreams, endeavors and success.

Daisy Garcia has been a part of the PUC community since 2009. She attended PUC Lakeview Charter Academy (LCA) and graduated from LCHS in 2016. Right after, she attended UCLA and graduated in 2020 with a major in Sociology and minors in Global Studies and Labor & Workplace Studies. Daisy then returned to her PUC community that fall of 2020 to work as an office assistant at PUC Community Charter Early College High School (CCECHS). Daisy has always loved the sense of community that PUC embodies, which is what encouraged her to return to PUC and work with her PUC family in order to uplift their community together. Daisy is now an ATP Resident at her former middle school PUC LCA, where she works alongside her mentor Mr. Piehler in 6th grade Mathematics. Daisy hopes to become a Math teacher that supports her students towards succeeding academically so that they can excel in school, go to college, and hopefully one day return to PUC like she did. In her free time, Daisy enjoys listening to music and going to Target.

Juan Guzman began his journey with PUC in 2009, enrolling at PUC LCA followed by attending PUC LCHS in 2012 and graduating in 2016. Soon after, he attended UCLA on a full scholarship and would go on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Juan wanted not only to share his passion for science with students but also to help establish a culture where science can be learned by all. The ATP program allowed Juan to establish his passion to teach science to the younger generation. He is currently placed at PUC CCECHS, co-teaching 11th-grade Marine Biology with Mrs. Dana Beas. He hopes to inspire students from low-income communities to pursue a career in science. Some of Juan’s favorite hobbies are attending basketball and soccer games. Juan is currently training to run the LA Marathon in 2023.

Maria Jimenez is originally from Mexico, but was raised mainly in the San Fernando Valley. She is a former PUC Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy student. She graduated from Social Justice Humanitas Academy in 2018 and attended UC Berkeley in 2018 from which she earned her BA in Sociology in 2021. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Maria decided to come back to uplift her community by working for ERA behavioral solutions giving children with special needs the social tool and resources they needed to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible through ABA therapy. After her work with ERA, Maria returned to PUC and worked at PUC Triumph Charter Academy (TCA) where she found her love for education as a Teacher Assistant and later as an Inclusion Assistant. Maria continues to pursue a career in education through the ATP program working with Ms. Robin Nistico at PUC CCMS and hopes to become a science teacher in the near future.

Blanca Cuevas was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Blanca has been a part of the PUC community for over 12 years. Beginning at PUC TCA in 2009 and later moving onto PUC LCHS, Blanca has been an active member of the PUC community for a very long time through school, family, and work. After graduating from PUC LCHS in 2016 and continuing her academic career at UCLA, Blanca continued with PUC as a college liaison for 3 years. Over the course of her undergraduate career, Blanca worked in the K-6 setting as a teaching assistant where she discovered her love for teaching and being in the classroom. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Blanca proudly graduated from UCLA with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Education. She used her degree
and skills to continue supporting students during uncertain times and fell in love with Special Education. Blanca returned to PUC as a teaching assistant at PUC Community Charter Elementary School (CCES). Blanca is now back at LCHS under the guidance of Ms. Renee Terrebonne, her former teacher, and Mr. Jessey Duran. She hopes to continue serving the PUC community and make great changes for education.

Natalie Navarrete attended Ulysses S. Grant High School and earned her BA in Psychology at CSUN. With her psychology background, she was able to provide ABA services to individuals who needed behavioral and functional skills support both in their homes and in school settings. When she entered the school setting as a teaching assistant at PUC CCES, she saw the amazing work staff members were doing to support students with special needs and was very inspired. When she realized she could help students with disabilities in a much larger setting and be an advocate for them, she shifted and decided to pursue an education in special education. She is currently working with Ms. Fressia Delgado at PUC CCES to learn more about the work of Inclusion Specialists at PUC. She wants to continue being part of the change and ensure all students are being accounted for when developing universal learning for all.

Andrew Rivera has been a part of the PUC family for a long time and is a proud graduate of CSUN. Being the oldest of three and a proud alumni of PUC CCMS and PUC CCECHS, Andrew decided he wanted to come back to serve his community. After spending three years at CCMS as an Inclusion Assistant, he is now completing his residency year at PUC NECA under the mentorship of Ms. Delilah Garcia. His goal is to become an Inclusion Specialist and help support his students grow and reach their academic goals. His favorite hobbies include video games such as Halo, Gran Turismo and FIFA. His favorite sports teams are Liverpool F.C, LA Galaxy and the Scuderia Ferrari.

The Residents are an inspiration to their students and their colleagues, as representatives of the ultimate vision of PUC. The ATP program is open to PUC alumni and community members who wish to make an impact in the communities we serve. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the program, please visit our website: or contact Sarah at