Meet the Benson Teachers
- TK Teacher
- Kindergarten Teachers
- First Grade Teachers
- Second Grade Teachers
- Third Grade Teachers
- Fourth Grade Teachers
- Fifth Grade Teachers
- TK-5th Grade Special Day Class Teachers
- SPECIALIZED ACADEMIC INSTRUCTORS (SAI)
- INSTRUCTIONAL SPECIALISTS
- SCHOOL COUNSELOR
- Coach C.
|TK Teachers||Teacher Email|
Sarah Lyons has taught Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade in her 19 years with Tustin Unified School District. She was also a Cotsen Mentor for four years where she was able to step out of the classroom and support other teachers. This will be her 4th year teaching TK and it is by far her favorite grade level to teach.
Mrs. Lyons is born and raised in Orange County California. After graduating from Mission Viejo High School she went to Hope International University in Fullerton and received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Child Development. She then received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at California State University Fullerton. After teaching for several years she returned to school to get her Master's Degree in Reading from National University.
"Teaching young learners is one of my greatest joys in life. It is a privilege to teach students who come to school with joy, energy, and excitement every day! I am so excited for this year."
|Kindergarten Teachers||Teacher Email|
Junka Ezaki (K/1combo)
Ms. Ezaki has taught grades Kindergarten through third grade as well as various combination classes within those grade levels. “Teaching students at the beginning of their journey in their path of education is so exciting and rewarding. It is incredible to see the growth in one school year that the children are able to gain socially, emotionally, and academically by working together with parents and our Benson Community.”
Ms. Ezaki received her Bachelors of Science, Psychology and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at University of California, Irvine. Through Azusa Pacific University, she received her Master of Arts, Education Administration.
She looks forward to another amazing school year at Benson Elementary School.
|Second Grade Teachers||School Email|
Mrs. Moran has over 30 years of teaching experience in TUSD, over 20 at Benson! She’s taught 1st-5th grades and combos at all grade levels. She earned both a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Long Beach. It’s probably not a surprise that her area of emphasis was Cognition & Play: she loves to have fun learning! She completed a Masters in Curriculum Development with an action report on Applications of the iPad in Elementary Science Instruction.
Since she loves learning, Mrs. Moran attends conferences and professional development workshops. Her favorites are the national science conventions and California Good Teaching Conferences. She has earned many certifications and served in numerous professional positions at the school, district, and county level. Some of these include subject area steering committees, peer coach, mentoring student teachers, safety committees, and curriculum development.
A fun fact about Mrs. Moran is that she was a student in Tustin schools. Her children were also TUSD students; her son was a Benson Bear! When she isn’t teaching and playing with her grandsons, she loves to explore nature, read, and paint. She is a proud member of PEO, a philanthropic women’s group, and a supporter of a local horse rescue foundation called Hanaleah. One of her favorite quotes for school is “In my class, everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher.”
Ms. Burns has been teaching for 23 years with 22 years at Benson! She has taught 1st & 2nd grade at Benson. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State Long Beach. She then went on to California State, Fullerton to earn her Clear Professional Multiple Subject credential and her CLAD credential ( Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development). Additionally, Ms. Burns wanted to obtain more training in supporting her students’ reading needs and decided to earn a Masters degree in Education with a Reading Emphasis. She also completed additional coursework and fieldwork to earn a Reading Specialist credential as well.
Ms. Burns was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium and moved to the US when she was 12 years old. She understands the challenges of learning a new language and finding your way in a new community. Ms. Burns believes that we are all lifelong learners. She enjoys finding ways to support all her learners with the use of technology. She is also a Seesaw Ambassador, went thru Google Educator certification, and was a TUSD Digital Fellow.
Ms. Burns believes is setting high expectations for yourself and working hard to achieve your goals. She knows that striving towards success means having a strong school and home connection, where every child feels valued and loved when they come to school.
|Fourth Grade Teachers||School Email|
|Mrs. Dana Tayloremail@example.com|
|Mrs. Allison Goodlander (4/5 combo)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Mrs. Taylor has been teaching at Benson Elementary for six years. She received her Bachelor's degree in psychology and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then went on to California State University, Fullerton to earn a teaching credential, bilingual authorization in Spanish, and Masters in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. She was awarded the Emma E. Holmes Outstanding Mathematics Project Award for her masters project on the integration of mathematics and physical education to support students with ADHD.
Mrs. Taylor is always looking for new ways to integrate technology in an authentic way. She is an Apple Teacher, Seesaw Ambassador and Google Certified Educator, Level 1. She is also part of Tustin's Tech Task force. She is also a member of the Orange County Math Council as well as the Orange County Reading Association (OCRA).
Mrs. Taylor loves inspiring students to have a growth mindset, take risks, and challenge themselves to the best of their ability. She believes that the key to a child's success in school is the connection between a student's family and their teacher. She strives to have open, consistent communication with families through events such as Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) meetings.
|Mrs. Cara Elms (TK-4th Grade)||email@example.com|
Mrs. Elms - Grades TK-4
Mrs. Elms grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and is a huge Bears fan. She went to college at BYU, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Mrs. Elms met her husband while attending BYU. He was born and raised in Tustin, so that's where they returned after college. Mrs. Elms was a stay-at-home mom for many years, but she knew she wanted to be in the classroom when her youngest started first grade.
Mrs. Elms has worked at Benson for the past nine years as a special education paraeducator. She recently went back to school to get her Master’s degree in Special Education. She loves working in the classroom and teaching so many exceptional students. She looks forward to working with students at Benson and helping them reach their potential.
|Mrs. Diane Gilbert (MTSS)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ms. Stephanie Davis (ILT)||email@example.com|
Ms. Davis (Intervention Lead Teacher)
~ Bio Coming Soon ~
Mrs. Gilbert (Multi-Tier System of Support Lead)
The last original staff member from Benson’s reopening in 1992, Mrs. Gilbert has taught grades K-2 during her tenure in Tustin. Starting the 2021-2022 school year, she will be working school-wide as the lead multi-tier system of support (MTSS) teacher for Benson. She has extensive training and experience in teaching reading and math and is excited to start this new teaching position.
Mrs. Gilbert earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a master’s degree in Child Centered Education. She looks forward to helping more children to become successful students and life-long learners.
Mrs. Siapin is so excited to join this wonderful school team at Benson Elementary and be the school’s very first School Counselor!
Mrs. Siapin was born and raised in Fresno, CA where she attended Fresno State for both her Bachelor's in Psychology and her Master’s in School Counseling & PPS. Go Dogs! In 2018, she got married and moved to Orange County and joined the TUSD’s counseling team.
As a School Counselor, Mrs. Siapin is passionate about helping students overcome barriers, build resiliency, and having the opportunity to advocate for her students. A large aspect of her role will be collaborating with teachers, administration, staff, families, and stakeholders to ensure that we are creating a positive, safe, and effective learning community for all of our students.
When Mrs. Siapin is not at Benson Elementary; she is probably creating a new recipe for dinner, travelling (prior to COVID), reading a mystery novel, or obsessing over puppies.
Mrs. Siapin looks forward to working with the students, parents, and families to help create a balanced and academically fulfilling life for students here at Benson.