A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.
MR. tom bell
FILM Citizen Kane (1941)
FOOD Veggie Pizza
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior Year of High School
BOOK The Bible and any Scotch-Irish Histories
PASTIME Spending time with family and being outside
HISTORICAL FIGURES Alexander the Great, William Wallace
TEAM New England Patriots
MR. DANIEL BISH
Math + Science
Hello, I am Mr. Daniel Bish. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and stayed there until I graduated from Corona del Sol High School. I then moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. I graduated from UA with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics with minors in
Economics and in Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and rock climbing.
FILM The Shawshank Redemption
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior Year of High School
BOOK The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
PASTIME Sports and rock climbing
HISTORICAL FIGURE Dr. Seuss
TEAM Buffalo Bills
MR. RYAN BRAVIN
Hello, my name is Ryan Bravin!
This will be my first year working with the SACA team, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get right back into the classroom. Serving, leading, and loving on students are some of my life’s greatest passions, and I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to do so here at SACA.
I was born and raised here in Tucson, AZ, and decided to stay local after graduating from high school to attend the University of Arizona. After completing my degree in Communication and Creative Writing in May 2020, I joined the Teach For America corps to teach high school English
in rural North Carolina. While the difficulties of the pandemic undoubtedly made things challenging for my students and fellow teachers alike, the relationships I built and the lessons I learned during these two years made this experience truly life-changing.
One of the most life-changing events I experienced during the last two years was a personal one, as I married my lovely bride on January 1st, 2022! We had met many years earlier in high school youth group here in Arizona, began dating shortly before my move to North Carolina, and
endured 1½ years of long distance before tying the knot earlier this year. With us now expecting our first child, we decided to move back to Tucson to be closer to family. We are excited to welcome a new baby into the family in November 2022!
In my free time, I enjoy long-distance running, reading & writing, volunteering in church ministry, and spending time with my wife.
FILM La La Land–a cinematic masterpiece and a beautiful example of storytelling at its finest.
FOOD Anything Greek!
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior year at the University of Arizona. I had the chance to work with some amazing organizations, learn under some phenomenal professors, and step into the world of education at a critical moment for teachers and students
alike (the start of the COVID-19 pandemic).
BOOK The Bible, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton.
MISTAKE THAT MADE
YOU A BETTER PERSON Choosing to study architecture at the University of Arizona
as a freshman. Though I wasn’t very good at it, sticking it out and choosing to finish the semester before changing majors taught me about perseverance, determination, and the
power of grit.
PASTIME Going for long trail runs in the beautiful terrain of North Carolina.
HISTORICAL FIGURE Jesus Christ, C.S. Lewis, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
TEAM New Orleans Saints
MS. MANDY GARNIER
Hi there, my name is Mandy Garnier. I am number 6 of 7 siblings. I grew up in the small town of Franklinton, Louisiana. Shortly after graduating high school, I moved to New Orleans, LA to attend Cameron Business College.
A mother of 3 young adults; 2 girls and 1 boy, plus a grandmother of 2 handsome little boys who
call me "Noni" and steal my heart daily. It was the best feeling in the whole world when I became a "Noni"/Grandmother!!! I am a survivor and a lover of myself!!!
I have been working at SACA for 3 years and find it most rewarding working with the students
and being able to interact with them daily. If I can help one student, better yet if one student helps me to be a better person, I believe my day is well spent.
FILM The Notebook because it's such a beautiful love story.
Love is Life!!!
FOOD "Soul Food" although I love seafood and Italian food as well.
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior year
BOOK I don't have a favorite book but I love reading the Bible, fiction and non-fiction books. I also love the writings of
MISTAKE THAT MADE
YOU A BETTER PERSON My favorite mistake was not a mistake at all but a lesson learned. It taught me to evaluate my life, know my worth
and love me.
PASTIME Spending time with my family because family is so
important to me.
HISTORICAL FIGURE Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I love that he stood for peace,
love and equality.
TEAM My favorite team "by default" is the New Orleans Saints... but I may jump ship occasionally to Raider's Nation (LOL).
MR. NOEL JOHNSON
My name is Noel Johnson, and I’m quite certain I’m the oldest teacher hired at SACA this year. I was born in 1949 (the second to the last day of the WWII decade). I grew up in a second-generation Swedish family who migrated to America in the 1920’s. My dad fought in WWII as a US Navy intelligence officer and was a proud member of a team that broke a Japanese code leading to a US victory at the Island of Midway. My dad loved the opportunities he was given as his family’s first US citizen. He raised my brother and sister and me to love our land and to love God. He also instilled the importance of service to the community in each one of us.
I grew to love our history the way my father did as I studied the improbable but blessed founding of America and its up and down journey through the years to become an honorable world leader. As a result, I elected to be a US History & Government teacher as my life’s work.
I started teaching in 1972 and haven’t been able to kick the habit. I’ve tried to retire twice. I have taught in public and private schools. I have taught at the community college level and in the Orange County (CA) juvenile court schools. I consider myself to be blessed to have spent my entire life around people who were and are in the pursuit of knowledge. My prayer these days is that God would keep my wife Beth and my family safe, and that He might allow me a few more years to be involved in our nation’s learning process.
Beth and I have 5 children between us, 10 grandchildren, and a beautiful little Maltipoo girl puppy. We lived in California for 50+ years, raising our families there, and moved to Arizona in March of 2020 at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. I am pleased to be part of the SACA family, where I look forward to encouraging my students to love history as I do.
FILM Ben Hur 1959, Saving Private Ryan 1998
FOOD Swedish meatballs, potatiskorv, rice pilaf, and
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior year in HS and Junior year of college (both good football seasons for my schools).
BOOK The Bible, The Pioneers by David McCullough,
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
PASTIME Walking, hiking, and being an avid fan of my college &
HISTORICAL FIGURE Jesus Christ (1st and foremost), Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, George Washington, and Lt. Colonel &
Gov. of Maine Joshua Chamberlain
TEAM College- USC Trojans for my whole life, Pro- LA Rams since 1959, Calif Angels since 1961
MS. JENNIFER PEDROZA
Hi my name is Jennifer Pedroza.
I was born in Sierra Vista, Arizona, but I lived all my life in Douglas, Arizona. I graduated from
high school the year that the COVID pandemic took over our planet, 2020. As a student, it was extremely difficult and depressing, but as a teacher, that was the year that I fell in love with this profession. I started working as a teacher aide, however by the 2020-2021 academic year I was teaching Physics and Chemistry; both face-to-face and online. I loved it. By 2021, while working
as a teacher, I finished and graduated College with an Associates of Arts degree in Administration of Justice, and I am now working on my Bachelors degree in Literacy, Learning and Leadership at the University of Arizona. Recently, I received my teacher certification as a Spanish teacher as
well. I love reading books, and writing my own as well, and my biggest passion is to impact, promote and encourage engagement among the youth in our country.
FILM Dear John
FOOD Mashed Potatoes
YEAR IN SCHOOL Middle School years were the best!
BOOK The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
PASTIME Driving, singing, participating in Community Club
TEAM Arizona Wildcats
MS. SARAH RUIZ
Hello, I am Ms. Ruiz. I grew up in a very small town called Dudleyville, Arizona; it is located 60 miles northeast of Tucson. This is a rural community where I had a lot of space and time to enjoy the great outdoors. I have
one sister and two brothers and my parents still live in this small town. My memories living in
Dudleyville are very sweet and simple. I was always around family and enjoyed tubing down the
Gila River, riding ATV's, horseback riding, playing sports and tons of family gatherings.
I moved to Tucson, was married and started my beautiful family. I have two incredible sons. I was
blessed to stay home for several years to be with my children and also care for my nieces and nephews. When it was time for me to enter the workforce, I followed my passion and love for CHILDREN. It was natural for me to work in education and with children. I have spent the last 19 years working in education and have been at Southern Arizona Community Academy for the last
2 1/2 years. I have truly enjoyed the students and staff at this wonderful school.
FILM The Green Mile
FOOD Mexican Food; Tacos, Tacos and Tacos.
YEAR IN SCHOOL Freshman year of high school
BOOK The Bluest Eye
MISTAKE THAT MADE
ME BETTER Moving away from home too soon, I realized I needed structure in my life.
PASTIME Yard work.
HISTORICAL FIGURE Mother Theresa
TEAM San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Braves, these are my son's favorite teams since he was a little boy.
MR. TONY WEST
Science + Math
Hey, I am Tony West. Born in the Philippines, both parents were in the Navy and stationed in Subic Bay during my birth. I am the youngest of four brothers. Moved to Tucson when I was 3. Attended Van Horne Elementary School, Magee Middle School, and graduated from Tucson Accelerated High School in 2008. Spend the next 7 years working in Market Research before going to the University of Arizona. Graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017 with a degree in Astrophysics. Worked at BASIS as a subject expert math teacher before coming to SACA.
FILM Tremors 1990 and The Thing 1982
YEAR IN SCHOOL My first Quantum Mechanics class at the U of A
BOOK The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings
PASTIME Hiking, Backpacking, Stargazing
HISTORICAL FIGURE Alexander the Great
TEAM The SACA Team
Ms. Cyndi Cubillas
Bio Coming Shortly!
FILM The Godfather Trilogy, Miracle on Ice, A League of Their Own
and all of the Marvel movies
FOOD My Nana's Tamales
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior Year of High School
BOOK JFK: The Conspiracy of Silence
PASTIME Anything Softball
HISTORICAL FIGURE The Big JC, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Jr. +
TEAM The University of Arizona Softball team, Los Doyers and
Ms. Terrie Cubillas
Bio coming shortly!
FILM Gone with the Wind and the Lonesome Dove series
FOOD Tacos Dorados and Nana's Tamales
YEAR IN SCHOOL Senior year of high school
BOOK The Bible and The Fifth Seal and The Sixth Covenant by
Bodie and Brock Thoene
PASTIME Gardening and traveling to the White Mountains
HISTORICAL FIGURE Jesus Christ, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln +
TEAM The Yankees, Arizona Wildcats, the Dodgers and any team Cyndi
is on or coaching
MR. ABELARDO Cubillas, Jr.
As the Director and Founder of SACA, Mr. Cubillas has always had a vision to help students reach their highest potential. Graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Spanish and
Health, Mr. Cubillas went on to receive his M.Ed. Masters of Education at the University of
Arizona as well. Throughout his career in education, he has served as a classroom teacher, a department head, a baseball coach, a High School Dean of Students, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction as well as Principal. His love for education is combined with an entrepreneurial spirit as he also is President of Cubco, Inc., a General Construction and Roofing
Firm as well as Cubco Realty and Investments. He enjoys working outdoors, whether on his
backyard or on a construction project, as well as playing guitar, watching baseball and spending time with his family.
FILM McClintock! and The Sand Lot
FOOD T-bone steak at Lil Abners
YEAR IN SCHOOL Sophomore year in high school because the Dodgers won the
BOOK The Bible and El Corazón de Piedra Verde by Salvador de Madariaga
PASTIME Watching 50s and 60s Westerns and Baseball games
HISTORICAL FIGURE Christ Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Abraham Lincoln and
TEAM The Dodgers
Official Giver of Hugs
Hi there, my name is Ivy and I love this school. I get so excited on my way to work. I didn't always have this great of a life. When I was a baby, my brothers and sisters and I were found under the rubble of a fallen house. There was a big storm on our island, they called it Hurricane Maria
and it hit our island home of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands very hard. I owe my life to some wonderful people who found us and got us to the vet right away. Originally my sister was scheduled to fly to the America, but she got adopted on the island. So one of the nice vets
came in to visit our litter and said "who wants to go to the United States today?" and I jumped right up and ran into her arms! I was ready for adventure! So the nice lady got me a traveling
outfit and took me on three different huge, metal very noisy birds and we flew through the air,
all the way to my new life and family in Arizona. I was on TV and they call me a survivor and said there was no way I should have lived... but I did. I LOVE it here. I don't really like the heat, but I LOVE my family. I love going to my training classes and I most especially love the students at SACA. I am so lucky and blessed to be here.
FILM A tie between Lady and the Tramp and whatever my dad and mom are watching at the moment so I can be right on their lap.
FOOD I'm a big fan of steak and cheese. And I really love Carrots.
YEAR IN SCHOOL Every year.
BOOK I can't read... yet but we are working on it.
PASTIME I LOVE to be anywhere with my dad. I love to play ball and go on
walks and road trips.
HISTORICAL FIGURE Snoopy and John Wayne
TEAM The Dodgers and the teams at the Puppy Bowl over Thanksgiving