The Literacy Guild Teachers


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Dr. Tina Tsai, Ph.D
Founder/Lead Instructor
Dr. Tina Tsai is the founder of The Literacy Guild (TLG) and manages curriculum and instruction for the program. She has a Ph.D. in Education from USC, a M.A. in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Claremont McKenna College. Along with 20 years of professional teaching experience at all grade levels including as a graduate school professor, she obtained a California Multiple Subjects Clear Credential with BCLAD (bilingual) in 2000. She also writes and publishes in educational research, print and online publications, and original novels. Her goal in life is to change the face of education so that all students have rich and truly productive educational experiences they can value and draw upon for life.


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Lisa Lu, M.S., LMFT, PPSC
Program Manager
Lisa Lu is currently the Program Manager for The Literacy Guild (TLG) and oversees scheduling, enrollment and program communications. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and also has a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) for academic school counseling. She received her B.A. in English Literature from UC Berkeley and has experience teaching English to middle and high school students. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and some Spanish. Besides working at TLG, Lisa also provides college counseling to help students succeed academically and prepare for college.  She enjoys working with students of various ages and believes that all students, with the right motivation and tools, have to ability to reach their highest potential.


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Christina Pham, M.A.
Teacher
Christina has experience teaching all grade levels, having taught English in China as well as tutoring at various universities and colleges in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Modern and Post modern Literature from University College London. She freelances as an editor for organizations such as the UN, ZSL, CIFOR, Daemeter and Aid Environment as well as for fiction publications. A hopeless idealist, she believes every child has something to offer.


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Samantha Cruz, B.A. (June 2017)
Teacher
Samantha Cruz is a double major in English and Art History at Whittier College, and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June 2017. In the past, she worked as a teacher’s assistant for both Honors and AP English classes at Calvary Chapel High School for two consecutive years. After graduating she plans to continue to teaching children and hopes to enter the publishing field working as an editor. When not reading, Samantha enjoys hiking, writing poetry, baking, and experimenting with different types of art. Through her teaching, she strives to encourage and ignite the same passion for reading and writing that was instilled in her when she was younger. Above all, Samantha is dedicated to doing the best she possibly can to support all her students in their own learning endeavors.


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Jessica Tso, B.A.
Teacher
Jessica Tso has a B.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She is also certified for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) with a specialization in Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) by the Coventry House International. Aside from TLG, she is currently also an after school teacher at Super Institute hosted at Wedgeworth Elementary School and has previous experience tutoring students of all ages. She has editing experience as an editor for GANMA Magazine, a bilingual social media and online lifestyle magazine and as a copy-editor for Rebel Lifestyle Magazine. Jessica enjoys traveling, discovering new music, learning new languages, teaching, and writing. She believes a teacher’s role is a fundamental building block in a child’s life and having a good teacher could make all the difference. Her next goal in life is to teach abroad.


Shirley Thao, B.A
Teacher
Shirley Thao graduated from Whittier College with a degree in English Literature in 2016. Shirley has worked in K-12 education in many different capacities such as education management at Amethod Public Schools, parent outreach to Great Oakland Public Schools, and in education advocacy in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has also been a researcher for documentary films and an assistant for academic professors. She was also awarded the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship and did analysis in the formation of Hmong Literature, Trauma Studies, and Diaspora. Currently Shirley is a Program Manager at The Library Foundation of Los Angeles where she works at the intersections of books, philanthropy, children, and civic engagement.


Cynthia Martinez, B.A (June 2017)
Teacher
Cynthia Martinez currently attends Cal Poly Pomona and is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies this coming June 2017. During her senior year of high school, she became interested in pursuing a career in education when she began volunteering at the after-school program THINK Together at her former elementary school. She then became a mentor at the After School Education and Safety Program at Student Success Institute. Cynthia is currently planning on attending graduate school to receive her Master’s Degree in Education and teaching credentials in the coming year. She enjoys reading fiction novels, indulging in movie marathons, and attending concerts with her brothers. She hopes to one day become a passionate teacher that can create a thriving and effective learning environment for all students.


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