Welcome to Orion International Academy


Bryan Dopp

Mathematics Department Chair


  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History, University of California Riverside



Mr. Bryan Dopp comes to Orion after teaching at private Catholic high schools around Southern California.  As a graduate of UC Riverside, he earned degrees in Political Science, History, and was part of award-winning journalism staffs at the Highlander (student newspaper) and KUCR (radio station), winning several local and state awards.  In addition to teaching our Social Studies curriculum and Calculus classes, he is a member of the Pastoral Council at his local church, and works on lobbying efforts and Faithful Citizenship campaigns through the Diocese of San Bernardino.  In his spare time, Mr. Dopp enjoys cooking, working on his mortgage business, playing political strategy games and rooting for the US Soccer team and the Dodgers, as a life-long  Southern Californian!

 Performing Arts

April Thomas
Performing and Fine Arts Coordinator

• Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts/Dance, Howard University

April's headshot-new[2][2]Ms. April Thomas is a native of Spartangurg, SC and began her training at Howard University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Arts/Dance. She studied with Walter Nicks, Joan Myers Brown, Sandra Fortune-Green, Dr.Sherill Berryman-Johnson, Kevin lega Jeff, Harold Pierson, Assane Konte, Pat Thomas, Luther Fontaine and many others. April received a scholarship to study at the American Dance Festival and interned with prominent dance companies including David Rousseve/Reality, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, and Garth Fagan Dance Company. She joined the Lula Washington Dance Theatre in 2001 where she still performs as a guest artist, and serves as a Dance Instructor and Assistant Booking Manager. She has since landed roles on, BET’s Comic View,”That’s so Raven”,”Something New”,”Avatar”,”Bolden”,” Walk Hard”,”Raiding the Rock Vault”,and”The NFL Show on FOX.” She has performed with Mary J. Blige, Usher, Beyonce, Shakira, Missy Elliot, Destiny’s Child, Snoop Dogg and Internationally with A.I. April is also an assistant to acclaimed choreographer Hi Hat in which she has assisted with various artists such as Pink, Shakira, Rihanna, Willow Smith, Selena Gomez, Starshell and for television shows “Victorious” and “Big Time Rush”. Her choreographic credits include the film ” Watermelon Heist” and “Testing”, an excerpt fromof “the production of “You Don’t Know Me-An Urban Musical”,produced by Cedric the Entertainer and Bruce Willis. April began working for Celerity Nascent Charter School in 2012 and will now be a Dance Teacher at Orion International Academy starting 2013. She enjoys the oppornity to share her God given talent and knowledge with her students and to watch them grow in the arts and excel in their personal growth and accomplishments. April’s greatest achievements are the blessings that come from her two children,Tyler Wilkins and Kerrick Wilkins II. She believes that she “can do all things through Christ who strengthens her.”

Fun Facts:
What’s your favorite dish? I love good food….lol
What’s your favorite movie? The Grinch and Ace Ventura. I love Jim Carey
What’s your favorite book or author? Fred Price, Creflo Dollar or Joyce Myers
What’s your favorite Poem? Strange fruit and Four Women- Nina Simone

[quote align=”center”]“It is easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.”
-Frederick Douglass[/quote]


Erick S. Ramirez

Humanities Department Chair


• Master of Arts in English, La Sierra University
• Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Vocal Performance


Mr. Erick S. Ramirez joins Orion International Academy after having taught internationally for many years both in Europe and Asia. He was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He attended La Sierra University in Riverside, CA where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Vocal Performance, and a Master of Arts. He loves learning about music, and reading anything that comes his way.

Discovery and communication are probably my two biggest passions. I strive to learn all I can: whether it’s a new recipe, how to surf (I’m still pretty bad, but getting better), playing the guitar, or learning a new language. I try to help my students embrace a broader worldview where they seek to participate rather than simply being observers. I look forward to working with the Orion students, and hope they will also challenge me to keep learning about the world around me.


Arvin Ghazarian

Science Department Chair


• Master of Science in Medical Genetics, Tehran University
• Bachelor of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology, Tehran University


Arvin Ghazarian was born in Tehran, capital of Iran. As a kid he was fascinated by science and flight, and dreamed of becoming a pilot. But over time his interest switched from the air to the living world, and he decided to become a doctor. After taking an advanced biology course at high school, he rediscovered his true passion and decided to become a geneticist, despite being accepted to medical school. He graduated from Tehran University, the highest-ranking university in Iran with a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology, and decided to earn a master’s degree in medical genetics. In order to do so, he had to be among the top 3 in a nationwide entrance exam, which he ended ranking second. During his master’s program, following a short conversation with his professor/mentor one afternoon after class, he changed his whole course of life and instead of graduating as a geneticist and becoming a scientist, he decided to move to The United States and become a science teacher. In order to do so, he had to move to Vienna, Austria, where he lived for almost a year. After moving to The United States in 2011, Mr. Ghazarian immediately started working for several companies as a tutor and eventually he started a full-time teaching career at a small private school in Los Angeles, California.
     Apart from teaching, Mr. Ghazarian also writes educational books, with a focus on test-preparation. He has written several books on biology, and one of his e-books, which is on genetics, is available on Apple store and has sold internationally. Arvin Ghazarian is proud to be among the first group of scientists who have shown the anti-cancer properties of soybeans due to a specific chemical, called genistein, which has been shown to block the spread of human lung cancer cells to other parts of the body, and have published their results as an article in a scientific journal. Mr. Ghazarian’s hobbies include watching cartoons and movies, long walks on the beach, driving, listening to music, and dining at various restaurants. His long-term goal is to become part of the inner circle at Collegeboard, and start creating the Advanced Placement (AP) tests as well as training AP teachers, and also start a company that creates online apps and games that teach science.
Fun Facts About Mr. Ghazarian:
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Drink: Water
Favorite Car: Lamborghini Gallardo Performante
Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Show: South Park
Favorite Book: Harry Potter series
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings
Favorite Topic to Teach: AP Chemistry
Favorite City: Santa Monica
Favorite Animal: Dog
Favorite Student: All his students!
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