Carmina Osuna, M.Ed.
Carmina Osuna is a native to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, and attended college at UCSD. Carmina began her career in education as a founding Spanish teacher with Alliance Charter Schools. She later helped open Camino Nuevo Charter Academy’s second high school. There, she served as a teacher, Dean and Assistant Principal. Carmina has experience using restorative practices for student culture and discipline and works closely with her staff to support student development and self regulation. Carmina has loved the San Diego community since her college years, and joined Thrive Public Schools as the founding Director of its secondary school.
Monica is a coach on growth: a board-registered intern for Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling, a yoga instructor and holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a Bachelors degree in Ethnic Studies. Monica will rely on her varied experiences (higher education, executive support, aviation industry, forensic treatment) to continue her journey as a holistic health practitioner. As she has always shared as her intention: “I want to serve where the need is greatest. I view those that I connect with as whole people: with pasts, a present & encouragement toward a brighter future. And, I am empathetic to others from the view of an integrated person: body, mind, and soul.” Monica is thrilled to bring this intention to her daily actions at Thrive Public Schools.
Patricia has a BA in International Relations and a Master Degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She worked for one of the most important development banks in Mexico for 12 years managing diverse departments such as Multilateral Organizations and Corporate Finance. Patricia moved to San Diego 5 years ago and when she heard about Thrive, she wanted to be part of the movement that is influencing educational practice and that she wants for her own children.
Science & PBL Teacher
Joe has a rich background as an educator, engineer and scientist. He has taught Advanced Placement Physics, Earth Science, Pre-Engineering, Math and robotics. Before coming to Thrive, Joe, was involved in several innovative programs including the creation of the Design and Technology Academy (D.a.T.A.) at Madison High School, teaching Math and Science at High Tech High North County and most recently helping start e3 Civic High in the new Downtown Library. In addition to being a staff member at Thrive, he is also a Thrive parent!
Srta. Melissa Gautier is a native Spanish speaker from Chicago. She loves to swim and go horseback riding. Her family is originally from Panama, which is where she spends Christmas every year. She's excited to live and serve the community of San Diego and leave those tough winters of Chicago behind!
Kristine graduated from Stony Brook University where she received a B.S. degree in Physics with a minor in Anthropology. As part of the Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Program at the university, she came to realize how important it is that young women are encouraged to succeed in math and science courses. This has led to a desire to work with students in STEM fields, especially math, at the late middle / early high school level.
Prior to working as a Math teacher at Thrive Public Schools, Kristine worked with 9th-12th graders as an Inclusion Specialist at High Tech High International. During this time she saw how providing time for students to work in groups and communicate their understanding of new concepts as well as progress at their own pace from their current math level helped students build their math skills. Bringing these lessons into Thrive’s blended learning environment, Kristine looks forward to helping all students see themselves as mathematicians over the course of the coming school year. When not convincing students that math is fun, Kristine can be found enjoying time outdoors with her husband and son, wandering the streets/trails of San Diego with her camera, or sitting in the shade with her nose in a book.
Elijah Gonzalez was born and raised in Chicago, IL in the Puerto Rican Humboldt Park neighborhood. He worked for a few community organizations such as the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering. After graduating he worked in a Chicago Public School as a Special Education Classroom Assistant. There her found his love for kids and education. He was the girls’ and boys’ middle school basketball coach and the girls’ softball coach. He is a huge sports fan and loves Chicago teams. His favorite team is the Chicago Cubs and his favorite sports to play are baseball and basketball.
Matthew was born in Monterey Park, California, which is located in Los Angeles County (neighboring city to East Los Angeles). He received his B.A. in History from San Francisco State University and has wanted to be an educator for most of his adult life. He has previously worked in the field of education in numerous capacities; first for San Francisco Unified School District as a AVID tutor/classroom assistant, and years after he worked at an Education based non-profit, Aim High for High School, both as an in classroom teacher and then transferred over into an administrative role in the Development/fundraising department.
Currently, he is completing his M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of San Diego. Matthew firmly believes in building a safe community within the classroom learning environment and is excited to be a part of the Thrive High School staff. In his free time, Matthew enjoys watching baseball (go Dodgers!), listening to live music, and exploring San Diego by trying new places to eat or drink coffee and tea.
Sean grew up in Chicago. After earning a degree in music composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he traded a backdrop of cornfields for one of ridges and coastlines in the Pacific Northwest. In southeast Alaska, Sean worked as a guide and educator for a wilderness program for several years. Upon arriving in San Diego, Sean joined a local effort, Outdoor Outreach, striving to provide equitable access for students to outdoor spaces and outdoor leadership training. He also worked in inclusion at High Tech High Media Arts and taught math and science at High Tech Middle in Point Loma.
Sean is a passionate advocate for the adoption of sustainable practices and the transformative power of the outdoors. He finds hope in community based work and youthful spirit. In his free time, he might be found rock climbing, spending time with friends and family or attempting to break dance.
Sean is grateful to be collaborating with such a thoughtful and innovative team of students and educators this year at Thrive!
Dr. Nara Franca
Nara grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Determined to be an academic, Nara obtained a BA in History, an MA in African Studies and a PhD in English Literature, but she later found true happiness teaching in a school environment. Her passion lies in supporting kids to think independently and critically. Nara discovered the innovative approach of Thrive through her son, who is a student at the 54th campus. Now, she is honored to be teaching in Thrive's high school. Nara embraces diversity and difference: before moving to California, she lived in Brazil, Mexico, Scotland, Nigeria and England. She has rescued two dogs, two turtles, a bearded dragon, and dreams of one day rescuing a giraffe.
Kendall was raised in Fallbrook, California, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Communications at Vanguard University. At Vanguard, Kendall played volleyball all 4 years of her college experience. Kendall wanted to apply her skills in effective communication to teaching students, when she started with Thrive last year as an Academic Coach and Exploratory teacher. This year she teaches Humanities and Health to our 8th graders.
A fun fact about Kendall is that she loves to make travel plans! She is currently planning a trip to Croatia next summer. When asked what she loves most about Thrive, Kendall states, “One reason that I love Thrive is the staff and community. We are all cohesive in our commitment to innovation and looking at the bigger picture. I have never met a harder working group of individuals.”