About Our School

Meet Our Elementary School Team

Our elementary teachers have years of experience in online teaching and can’t wait to provide instruction and support to help your child succeed.

Suzanne McCarty | Director of Elementary, Grades TK-2

Ms. McCarty received her teaching credential from Concordia University in 1998 and then went on to acquire her master’s degree in education with a specialty in reading from National University. She began teaching in the classroom with a primary focus in fourth grade. Ms. McCarty began teaching with CAVA during the 2004–2005 school year. She has worked as a K–8 teacher, regional lead, as well as an Elementary and Middle School principal prior to becoming the Elementary Director of our TK-2nd grade program in 2022.  Ms. McCarty strives to provide our students with an approach to learning that involves connection and inspires lifelong learning. 

Lara Titizian | Director of Elementary, Grades 3-5

Ms. Titizian began her career in education in 1998. She earned her master’s degree in 2000 while teaching in the Bay Area. Ms. Titizian joined the CAVA staff in 2008 as a K–8 teacher. Since then, she has been a K-8 teacher, Testing Coordinator, Lead, and most recently a Middle School Principal. Ms. Titizian became an educator because she has a love for learning and wants to share her passion with the people who deserve it most, our students. Her focus, along with the schools, is to provide our students with the necessary tools to become well-rounded, well-grounded individuals who will lead us into the future.  She is most passionate about motivating and inspiring students and staff alike to reach their full potential, supporting them to accept new challenges, and nurturing them to help develop a growth mindset, while fostering a relationship built on trust.

Connie Wissner | Elementary Principal, Grades TK–K

Mrs. Wissner earned her teaching credential from CSU, Bakersfield in 1998, as well as a degree in forestry. She has worked in education for 24 years and this is her 17th year with CAVA. Mrs. Wissner worked as a kindergarten, first, and fourth grade teacher in the traditional classroom for eight years before coming to CAVA in 2007. Since joining CAVA, she has worked as a K-8 teacher, a teacher trainer, an elementary lead, and a principal. Mrs. Wissner looks forward to teaming up with the TK-K teachers and learning coaches to support our littlest learners as they engage, connect, and grow.

Latorria Powell | Elementary Principal, Grade 1

Mrs. Powell began her career in education in 2002. She holds an Educational Specialist degree in Elementary Leadership and a master’s degree in Reading Education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She taught students in grades K-12 in the brick-and-mortar before joining CAVA in 2018. With CAVA she has worked as a 2nd grade teacher and elementary lead. During her spare time, Mrs. Powell enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, baking, and going to the pool/beach. She believes that all students are valued and can become successful, well-rounded individuals. Mrs. Powell is passionate about equipping and encouraging staff and supporting parents and families, so students can excel and be successful at CAVA and beyond.

Mindy Dahl | Elementary Principal, Grade 2

Mrs. Dahl received her master’s degree in education, master’s degree in business administration, multiple subject teaching credential, and bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of La Verne. Before joining CAVA in 2017 as a middle school teacher, she taught across the grade levels in schools throughout Southern California. She has also served on curriculum and technology committees, been a mentor teacher, a lead teacher, and a master teacher for Cal State Teach. Mrs. Dahl served as a curriculum specialist before moving to her current role as 2nd grade principal.

Jenny Kuan-Johnson | TK–2 Program Specialist

Mrs. Kuan-Johnson received her Education Specialist credential and Master of Arts in Education at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. She began her career in Education in 2016 and has held roles as an ABA therapist, ASB advisor, and Resource Special Education Teacher for grades TK-8th grade. She has been supporting students and families at CAVA since 2020 as an Education Specialist, Lead Education Specialist, trainer, and now as a Program Specialist. During her spare time, she likes to hike, paint, weightlift and create stationary items. She resides in Fresno/Madera County with her husband Gabe, and three fur babies named Deku (Australian Shepard), Faye (Shepard Mix), and Calico (Short Hair Cat).

Lisa Magallanes | Elementary Principal, Grade 3

Ms. Magallanes has been an educator for over twenty years and holds a bachelor’s degree, multiple subject teaching credential and master’s degree in online instruction. She taught various elementary grades in the brick-and-mortar classroom before joining CAVA in 2017. Ms. Magallanes began as a Kindergarten teacher in our virtual setting and then became an Elementary Lead, Lead of Engagement and is currently an Elementary Principal. She has a passion for education and a strong belief in a growth mindset. Ms. Magallanes is dedicated to providing excellent support for our CAVA students, families, and staff to ensure all students succeed and achieve.

Rebecca Bean | Elementary Principal, Grade 4

Mrs. Bean received her Master’s Degree in Education/ Leadership from HOPE International University. She taught various elementary grades in a brick-and-mortar classroom for nine years before coming to CAVA in 2014. While with CAVA, she has been a K-5 teacher and a lead teacher for both general education and special education teachers. She is currently the 4th grade principal. She truly respects and enjoys working with our amazing educators and getting to support our phenomenal learning coaches and students. When she is not at work, she can be found having fun with her family of six.

Jennifer Acevedo | Elementary Principal, Grade 5

Mrs. Acevedo graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2001. She taught 2nd grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade in a brick-and-mortar classroom for six years before joining California Virtual Academies in 2007 as a K–8 teacher. Mrs. Acevedo has supported teachers and families within our Community Day program and then as a lead teacher. She resides in Southern California with her husband and five children.

Melissa Brizendine/ Program Specialist Grades 3-5

Mrs. Brizendine studied elementary and special education at Northern Arizona University. Upon graduation, she worked as an Education Specialist in Southern California for over 14 years as a moderate/severe Education Specialist, Intervention Specialist, and Teaching Assistant Principal.  During that time, she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Chapman University and took on various leadership roles. Special education is her passion, as she believes that all students are capable of learning and deserve to be active participants in their education. Mrs. Brizendine resides in Southern California with her husband and three daughters. 

Melissa Smith | TK–2 Curriculum Specialist

Mrs. Smith received her degree from Chapman University and began her teaching career in 1996. Her teaching experience in brick-and-mortar schools spans multiple grade levels, including kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 5th grade, in which she served her district as a department lead. She has been with CAVA since 2002, supporting students and families as a K–8 teacher, elementary trainer, regional lead teacher, regional program coordinator, and now as a curriculum specialist. Born and raised in Southern California, Mrs. Smith resides in Orange County with her husband Mike, and two teenage children.

Kim Hodgkinson | 3–5 Curriculum Specialist

Mrs. Hodgkinson received her teaching credential and her master’s degree in education from National University. She began her teaching experience in brick-and-mortar schools as a kindergarten teacher and served as a department lead. Mrs. Hodgkinson has been with CAVA since 2007, supporting students and families as a K–8 teacher, an engagement and support teacher, a regional lead teacher, and now as the 3–5 curriculum specialist with the elementary department. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two teenage children.