Learning Center Coordinator, Teacher, Academic Coach, Jay-of-all-traits
Jay grew up in the land of pizza, New Jersey. He began teaching at Parker Elementary School in Trenton, NJ in 2001. He has 17 years of diverse educational experiences and is looking forward to working with the Santa Cruz Learning Center community. Deciding that California living was the way to go, Jason began working with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education in 2003 as an Instructional Aide in the emotionally disturbed program. From there Jason taught Fourth grade at the Aptos Academy for two years before the school closed down. Since then he has worked for Club Z tutoring and has his own tutoring clients. Jason teaches in a relaxed and informative manner and loves to incorporate real-world life situations into his lessons. Jason heartily enjoys living in Santa Cruz county and loves the outdoors, frequently taking hikes with his rescue dog Cylus. He also loves to garden and grows killer eggplants, tomatoes, and squash. Jason also has a fondness for downtempo and trip-hop music. He is stoked to be a part of the Santa Cruz Learning Center community!
The real stars of the team
Class room helper for all ages
M.s. in Snorting
Bougie has been with the Learning Center for 4 years and has become an irreplaceable part of the team. When she first started at the Center she became Santa Cruz Snapchat famous but is now enjoying a more anonymous lifestyle. She enjoys being scratched behind her ears and if the sun is out, you will find her napping in a sliver of light shining through a window.
(deceased but always in our hearts)
Class room helper for all ages
M.s. in Cuddling
Marbles has been with the Learning Center from the beginning. He is a critical part of our team. He enjoys tail wagging and laying on backpacks.
Malika Bell, M.S.
OWNER, TEACHER, ACADEMIC CHEERLEADER
MS IN CHEMISTRY FROM UCSC
Malika teaches Math, Science, and SAT/ACT Prep at the SC Learning Center and is an academic advocate. She tutors in math, and science and works with students (of all ages) on organization and educational planning. Until recently, she worked concurrently at UC Santa Cruz as the Director of STEM Diversity Programs. Malika was a re-entry
college student (six years after graduating from Santa Cruz High in 1992) and transferred from Cabrillo College to UC Santa Cruz where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Chemistry. Her research was in marine natural products as well as bioinorganic chemistry involving the photochemistry of nitric oxide. Prior to starting college, she trained at the Santa Cruz Women's Health Center to be a phlebotomist and a clinical laboratory assistant. She worked at Unilab, Santa Cruz Medical Clinic, and performed home visits to do medical exams for life insurance applicants. Malika has been teaching and tutoring for around two decades and was raised by a local homeschooling consultant teacher for AFE (Patty Palazzo). During her time off, Malika enjoys spending time with her family in her hometown of Santa Cruz and on Lake Nacimiento. She has a fantastic husband (co-owner, Nate Bell) and two exuberant daughters (Leilani, 16 and Ruby, 11) who keep her busy traveling around the US for cheer competitions.
Melanie Clark, MA
Elementary, Middle School, High School Teacher & tutor
B.A. IN ART HISTORY, MA IN EDUCATION
My name is Melanie Clark. I am an Educational Therapist. I have a Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology and a BA is Communicative Disorders and Sciences with an emphasis in speech-language pathology. I have dedicated 20 years of my life to children as a behaviorist. I work with people to help them to gain a variety of skill sets. I use many different programs in my therapy like Theory of Mind, Emotion Regulation using The Zones of Regulation, Coping Mechanisms, Calming Strategies, Sensory Integration, De-escalation Protocol(s), etc. I have supported many families and children throughout my career and I am dedicated to continuing my work as an educator and a facilitator.
Spanish tutor and Afterschool program teacher
B.A. in Spanish and Communications
Monica Alvarez is in love with the Spanish language. She majored in Spanish and Communications at CSUS and took a year of credential classes to teach LEP and Spanish. After many years of work in Administration, she has found a home with Santa Cruz Learning Center where she can do what she loves, tutoring Spanish. Monica feels that the fundamentals of learning any language are sometimes challenging. She feels that helping a student understand these challenges, overcome them and succeed in completing their Spanish courses is exciting and a wonderful reward for both the student as well as herself. Many times the students she has tutored go on to complete the Spanish SAT subject test, which increases their chances of acceptance to college. Monica is ecstatic about tutoring Spanish at Santa Cruz Learning Center and she is happy to be a part of our community.
meet OUR TEAM of Talented Educators!