Meet our Teachers

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade


Kindergarten Web Site


Howdy Haynes Kindergarten Families…

Welcome to the world of KINDERGARTEN! My name is Mindy. I’ve been a teacher as far back as I can remember. Teaching is my passion, along with Golden Retrievers and horses. I welcome my kiddos to a world of art, drama, music, sign language, Spanish, numbers and writing. I find joy in their growth, as they empower themselves as learners throughout the kindergarten school year. My goal for each of the kiddos that come through the room 3 kindergarten door, and feel happy, successful, and always stay strong. I believe that with effort, hard work and persistence he/she can achieve anything!


Dayna Leo

Welcome to Haynes Charter! Haynes is known as, “The Best Little School in the Valley.” It’s a special place, and I’m so happy to work here.
Both my children attended Haynes. My son is currently a junior in high school, and my daughter is heading into 7th grade. This is my 9th year at Haynes, and my 21st year of teaching. Most of my years have been in LAUSD, either in the classroom or as an Instructional Coach in the areas of reading/writing and math. I have three CA credentials and a Masters in Educational Leadership. I’ve taught elementary grades TK-5 throughout the district and in schools ranging from special educational facilities to high performing. I LOVE teaching kindergarten–the foundation of all the grades. Please contact me at And my website is . Have a great school year!

Jennifer Best

My name is Jennifer Best. I have been teaching in LAUSD for 28 years. I have been teaching Kindergarten/Transitional Kindergarten for 13 years. Before joining the wonderful kindergarten team, I taught 1-6th grade, managed a high school special education/work program, and worked as a teacher/director with the extension classes at UCLA. I am originally from southern Oregon. I have a background in psychology, special education, and know sign language. I have 3 children, ages 18, 18, and 19 years old. My mission is to create a class of students who believe they are learners. I will provide them with guidance and support to become strong productive learners. Children will gain the skills they need to read, write, and compute as well as to be an effective communicator who can express their needs and assertively stand up for themselves. Students will learn to treat others with kindness and to believe in themselves.


1st Grade

Geri Wetanson

Hello Haynes Family,
I have been teaching at Haynes for the past 16 years. This is my second career, the first being in the restaurant business as a Pastry Chef and Food Purchaser. I have taught third grade for two years and the last fourteen years I have taught first grade. I am originally from New York and been in Sunny California for 21 years. I have two incredible daughters, Carly and Melanie.
As far as my teaching style, I allow children to explore and discover for themselves. I am a firm believer in children being developmentally ready. I treat every student as an individual and always try to reach everyone’s needs.

Looking forward to another wonderful year!

Melissa Gallegos

Dear Haynes Family,

My name is Melissa Gallegos. I originally joined the Haynes family in 2014, but my teaching background involves many years of previous teaching experience in Preschool (3 & 4 year olds), Kindergarten, Fourth grade, and First grade. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in history from California State University of Northridge.

Originally from Utah, I have grown up and lived here in the San Fernando Valley for a long time. I am happily married to my husband Scott, and have been for 16 years. We have three beautiful daughters, Chloe, Tayler, and Penelope. We love spending time with each other, family and friends.

As far as my personal teaching philosophy goes, I feel that education helps to build the very foundation of the lives and community we live in and around. As your child’s teacher it is my goal to maintain a positive attitude towards education. I will demonstrate the ideas, beliefs, and characteristics of acceptance and patience for each individual. I will provide an organized classroom full of comfort, and open-mindedness. I will keep all communication open as well. I believe that communication is one of the main factors in providing student success as well as my own. I will be a nurturer as well as a disciplinarian. I will provide guidance and support for all the families and students I work with.

I want this year to be fun and memorable. A smile translates a thousand words, and I want to encourage excitement about learning. To do this I will make sure that I always have an active role in working with administration, my peers, my mentors, the students, and you the parents to make sure that we are providing the very best educational programs.

I encourage you to take an active role in your child’s education, and know that our collaboration will provide your child and his/her peers with the optimum classroom environment.

Molly Preece

Welcome to Room 8! My name is Molly Preece, and I am looking forward to a great year together.

This will be my fourth year teaching First Grade at Haynes Charter. I am extremely passionate and excited about education. Being a teacher and impacting the lives of children brings me so much joy.

I was born and raised in Calabasas, California. I attended Calabasas High school and then went on to get my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Arizona. GO WILDCATS!

Every day will be a new adventure in Room 8. We will explore reading, writing, science, math and history. We will also be embracing physical education, the arts, computers, and much more. With your support, this will be a fabulous year and I am looking forward to watching our students shine!


2nd Grade

Allison Schneidewind

My name is Allison Schneidewind and I have been teaching for over 20 years. I have spent the last several years teaching second grade. I am married and I have two awesome children who keep me very busy outside of school. I enjoy trailer camping with my family, reading during school breaks, being involved with my church, and spending time with my dog. Feel free to check out our 2nd grade website at You may also email me at

Mrs. Olivia

Hi my name is Tracy Olivia. I was born and raised in a little town in northern New Jersey. I went to college in New York and earned my master’s degree in elementary education and special education. My first teaching position was in a 4th grade class at Westchester Day School in New York. I moved out to California and I started my student teaching at Haynes in 1999. I stayed at Haynes and continued to teach 1st grade for seven years before becoming a math coach. As much as I enjoyed helping teachers, I realized that I missed being in the classroom working with the students so I went back into the classroom and taught 1st and 2nd grade for five years. There was an opportunity to teach 2nd grade at Haynes and I came back a few years ago.

I love spending time with my husband, my daughter, and my little dog Ruby. My daughter Ashlyn is in high school and plays on the basketball team. My husband Jim and I enjoy being creative, building furniture, and remodeling our house. We also love to vacation in Lake Tahoe as a family.

Working with children, on a daily basis, is both a passion and a privilege. I am thrilled to be a part of such an amazing community and doing a job that I love!

Sandi Black

I am so excited to be starting my (gulp) 31st year of teaching! I have taught all grades 1st through 5th, but 2nd grade has a special place in my heart. It’s a year of such growth and I enjoy watching my students mature and thrive. When I’m not at school I might be found at the Rose Bowl cheering on my UCLA Bruins football team, at Staples Center rooting for the Kings hockey team, or at Dodger Stadium celebrating a baseball win. I am an avid theater goer and enjoy all kinds of plays and musicals. My latest hobby is golf, which I find to be a great challenge and a lot of fun. I have a 26 year old son who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. I visit him as often as possible. I look forward to another amazing year!

3rd Grade

Mrs. Ali

Mr. Jim Lebovitz

4th Grade

Rhonda Richard

This is my 13th year teaching elementary school, after staying home for many years with my own children and then returning to school to get my teaching credential at CSU Dominguez Hills. I got my undergraduate degree at U.C. San Diego in Communications/Visual Arts with a minor in Political Science, and worked for many years in the video/film business in San Francisco and Los Angeles. I have taught kindergarten, first, second, and fifth grade, and am very excited to be teaching fourth grade for the first time this year. I find teaching a perfect fitand hugely rewarding for a lifelong learner like myself! My goal is always to make each day engaging, relevant, nurturing, and fun.

I have two children of my own, a daughter in college and a son just graduated. I love to travel with my family and explore the art, culture, and history of other countries. I revived my drawing and painting hobby this summer, and can’t wait to make art with my students. My other love is music. I play the guitar, ukulele, and the piano, sing in trios and quartets, and try to integrate music, the arts, and environmental awareness into our curriculum wherever possible.

I’m thrilled to be teaming up with my new fourth grade partner, Ms. Ohan, and look forward to sharing an unforgettable year with all our new fourth-graders!

Ms. Ohan

Salutations! I am so excited to be joining the Haynes family! This will be my first year as a Mustang, but my 10th year teaching fabulous 4th graders. I have a Master’s Degree in Education and two teaching credentials.

I love what I do; teaching is my passion! Very few people can say that about their job. I get to hear jokes, laugh, try experiments, get messy, and be around a wonderful group of children every year. I especially love the, “Oh, I get it now!” moment.

My favorite subject to teach is science! I am a big proponent of teaching STEAM to children; and strive to teach lessons that include hands-on experimentation, that incorporates inquiry and design-based learning, and pushes children to think critically about the world around them in a profound way.

I consider myself a lifelong learner, and I hope to instill this same love of learning in my students. My daily reminder to my students is to read every day, and to never stop learning! The mind’s capacity for information is limitless, and the best part of all is that you get to keep everything you learn!

When I’m not in the classroom, or looking up Pinterest ideas for my classroom, I enjoy reading leisurely, archery (traditional longbow and recurve), traveling to new destinations, hiking, and discovering new coffee shops with friends.

I am delighted to be teaching alongside Mrs. Richard, and I’m looking forward to a new and exciting school year!


5th Grade

Jessica Booth


Teaching is an absolute passion of mine. I am so excited to work with you and your parents this school year. It’s going to be a year full of fun, learning, and lots of adventures! I cannot wait to see what the year has in store for us.

I grew up in the valley attending schools in the Las Virgenes Unified School District and received both my Bachelors and Credential through the Integrated Teacher Education Program at California State University, Northridge.I have a five year old daughter named Olivia who is in kindergarten at Haynes. She takes up most of my time out of school, but in my free time some of my hobbies are archery, painting, drawing, playing board games, video games and reading.

This will be my second year teaching at Haynes Elementary School, but this will be my tenth year teaching fifth grade. In previous years I taught at a charter school for entrepreneurial studies, so all my lessons make real-world connections and most incorporate technology. I love Haynes Elementary School and being part of this amazing family!

Mrs. Isensee

My name is Mrs. Isensee and I am thrilled to be teaching fifth grade at Haynes. I live locally in West Hills and enjoy being a part of this beautiful neighborhood community. I am blessed to have a caring husband who I have been married to for 25 years. We share a love of the outdoors and enjoy hiking, kayaking, bicycling, and long walks in our neighborhood. We enjoy going to concerts, movies, theatrical performances, and playing cards with old friends. We have two lovely grown daughters who are both currently attending California universities: one is studying Marine Biology and the other is studying Communications and Environmental Studies.

Teaching is something I first dreamed of doing when I was a third grader, but which I came to later in my life’s journey. I have always loved exploring new concepts with others, experimenting with ideas and materials, and learning about changes in the world around me. Life is so very exciting and interesting and I find myself now realizing that childhood teaching dream.

Prior to becoming a teacher, I chose a different path. As a young adult, I received my bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University at Long Beach and worked for ten years as an Actuary in the insurance industry. I used mathematics in my job to make financial projections and evaluate the economy, solving real world math problems daily. However, that small voice in my soul kept whispering to me about making a difference in the world through teaching. While raising our two daughters I decided to listen to my heart and began taking night classes, eventually earning an elementary teaching credential and later a secondary mathematics teaching credential from California State University at Northridge. I have been a teacher for nine years including six years at Haynes teaching first, third, and fifth grades, and three years in middle school teaching seventh and eighth grade mathematics. I love the variety of teaching multiple subjects in elementary school and exploring new ideas with my fifth grade students.

I feel a growing excitement and anticipation with the beginning of a new school year and a new class of students. Fifth grade is an amazing year filled with learning and activities: field trips, art, music, reading and writing, problem solving, exploring history and science, gardening, traveling to AstroCamp together, and learning to be leaders in our school community. I can’t wait to share this year’s journey with all of you!