Faculty and Staff


English


Geoff Doute
English Department Chair

gdoute@orionschools.org

• Master of Arts in Teaching, University of Southern California
• Bachelor of Arts in English, Ohio State University


DouteAs an undergraduate at Ohio State, Mr. Doute was active and involved with many different clubs and organizations. He instituted The Ohio State University at Lima Student Senate where he served as class president for its inaugural year. He was also a member of the many OSU honor societies and clubs: Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, National Society for Collegiate Scholars, and the Buckeye Scholars. As for his literary talents, he has published poetry and photography in the OSU at Lima literary journal, The Hog Creek Review (2008), and he has developed comprehensive case studies on language acquisition while at USC.

Mr. Doute is highly qualified teacher with strong leadership skills. He has earned two degrees in Teaching and a single subject teaching credential in English. For the past two years, he has taught in the Los Angeles area, working to build the academic, social, and personal development of his students. He worked with students  one-to-one, and in small and large groups in order to develop the students’ verbal and written expression, including grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and all writing genres. He has prepared students for University study in all disciplines by training them in critical-reading, writing, and synthesizing ideas about topics across the curriculum.

“There is a strong need for teachers who are not only committed to using their leadership qualities to assist transforming student cognition and scholarship into professional development scaffolds, but to become agents of positive change for all students who come from socially diverse backgrounds.”

Fun facts
What is your favorite food dish? Colombian lengua with platanos meduros fritos and empanadas
What is your favorite sports team? The USC Trojans-Fight On!
What is your favortie book? Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, The Divine Comedy by Dante
What is your favorite Poem? Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Who are you inspired by? The Dalai Lama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and my students


History


Bryan Dopp

History/Social Sciences Department Chair

bdopp@orionschools.org

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

dopp

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Mathematics


George Ihara

Mathematics Department Chair

gihara@orionschools.org


• Bachelor of Arts in Geography, University of California at Santa Barbara

Ihara

Mr. Ihara has been a math teacher for the past ten years in the Coachella Valley, which is where he grew up. He attended UC Santa Barbara as a Geography major. After achieving his Bachelor’s degree, Mr. Ihara spent a year teaching in Higashi-Hiroshima Japan for the Nova Group teaching English. Mr. Ihara has spent time living in the Torrance CA area as well substitute teaching before becoming a fully credentialed mathematics teacher from Brandman University. At the present, Mr. Ihara is finishing up a Master’s degree from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law.

My name is George Ihara and I am excited to be teaching you this year. I have been a math teacher in my hometown of La Quinta California for the nine years. I am honored to be working in such a high achieving school at a wonderful site where our professionalism is the best of the best. With changes in education, we will be addressing new content standards and various ways in which material is delivered. Our focus is more geared toward problem solving with math and utilizing the high order thinking skills that will prepare our students for higher math classes, college, and the skills necessary for living a well rounded life. This will not be the Algebra class that your mother took in high school. The vision of the future down the road is to use the internet and other technologies to bring the classroom to the student and place the responsibility of learning on the person being taught. This will not be a process that will happen radically. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. As an educator my goal is to facilitate and apply my knowledge of what, when, and where, but it will be the responsibility of the student to answer why. There has never been a time where our way of thinking has been so multi-layered between content, creativity, problem solving, rigor, fluency, and accuracy. As we all adapt to this new wave of education I invite you to step up to the challenge and push yourself to the potential that got you this far. I know that you can do it. Thank you and I look forward to working with you throughout the year.


Science


Arvin Ghazarian

Science Department Chair

aghazarian@orionschools.org

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

Ghazarian

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!

 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

“It is easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men.”
-Frederick Douglass