A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

                                                                                                                                -Brad Henry


Math + Science


*Photo + bio coming soon!




*Photo coming soon!

Ms. Mandy Garnier.png


Attendance Admin 



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 Toni Morrison.


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 


TEAM                                     My favorite team "by default" is the New Orleans Saints... but I may

                                                jump ship occasionally to Raider's Nation (LOL).

When Robert Frost mentions taking the "road less traveled," that definitely describes my path to becoming principal of SACA!!!!


After graduating from the University of Dayton in 1992, I took a marketing and publicity position at Rosecroft Raceway, a horse racing track located just outside of Washington D.C. I eventually became Director of Corporate Communications for the track and had my own TV show on the ComCast affiliate, a live radio show on Saturday nights on WTEM radio, the ESPN affiliate in D.C. It was an absolute blast. At the same time, I learned how to train racehorses and open up my own stable (check out my office wall). In 2002, I left the track to become head of the New Jersey Stakes Racing Program and in 2004, moved back to Maryland where I married my wife Jamie and would begin my teaching career in Math at Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. After earning my Master's Degree from Towson University in 2014, I was poised for an administration position and moved to Tucson where I became vice-principal at Santa Cruz and eventually held a number of administrator roles at St. Augustine High School. I was honored to be named principal of SACA in July of 2021.


The 2021-22 school year has been so important as we put the whole COVID period behind us. So glad to see the students make their way back into the classroom and excel. Next year, we expect a far greater number of students to be on campus.


I am so proud to work with such an amazing faculty and staff and have such awesome support from the directors of the school. And my students here? They are the absolute best. Period. End of story. Seriously, they have made my job here one amazing day after the next!





FILM                                      For the Love of Game, 50-1 & Miracle on Ice (my 3 loves: baseball, horses & hockey)

FOOD                                    Maryland Blue Crabs - steamed with Old Bay seasoning

BOOK                                    Go Dog Go (An absolute classic by Dr. Seuss); The Road Not Taken (Poem by Robert Frost)



YOU A BETTER PERSON     I should have listened to my good friend Jim Harrington who suggested an equipment change on my star filly for a stakes race in NJ. Had I listened, she likely would have won easily. Instead.....

PASTIME                                Going to the Kentucky Derby with my amazing bride

HISTORICAL FIGURE            Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I love that he stood for peace, love and 


TEAM                                      University of Dayton Basketball, Washington Capitals Hockey



Social Studies


*Photo + bio coming soon!

Mr. Omer Dax Moreno.png





Hello, I am Dax Moreno. After graduating High School in Nogales of 2003, life got a bit too real and too quickly.  Not only was I worried about attending college in another city, but my means of transportation was of concern.  Working a construction job gave me the funds to attain a vehicle. I departed for Tucson at the age of 19 with a ’91 Civic Hatchback and my wits (which weren’t fully developed at the time).  Pima Community College was meant to be a breeze for me, quite the opposite. Social life, work pressures, living situations and bills were among the few reasons to cause worries. Eventually, I wound up working dead-end jobs, which was a blessing in disguise.  The sheer necessity for a decent wage and opportunity for advancement was all I needed to pursue the next stage of my life. The age of 28 is around the time I finished up with PCC and began taking courses at the University of Arizona. I proudly graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and English in 2018.    

Yes, it took about eight years for me to complete my general education (surviving and educating myself was the toughest thing I had to overcome).  The multitude of knowledge and life lessons learned at the University will forever be ingrained in my being. In all honesty, no one can ever take my education away from me.  It not only fortified my mind but gave me a better sense to navigate in this chaotic world.  

As of lately, chess, reading, writing, hiking, running and spending time with my girlfriend seem to occupy most of my time.


FILM                                 The Matrix

FOOD                              Las Vegas Sushi Rolls

YEAR IN SCHOOL          The year I graduated, senior year at the U of A.

BOOK                              Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (1818)


A BETTER PERSON        Hitting rock bottom. Not being able to afford basic necessities.

PASTIME                          Enjoyment of nature.

HISTORICAL FIGURE     William Shakespeare

TEAM                               The underdog (I'm not a sports fan)

Ms. Brooke Otte.png


Academic Coach


Hello, I am Brooke Otte. I am a SACA alumni and now an Academic Coach (teacher/staff aid) at Southern Arizona Community Academy. My department is in Language Arts/History where I assist students and teachers with different activities and assignments. I also actively help lead, supervise, plan, organize and participate in events and fundraisers for the groups and clubs we have here on campus. I am enrolled at Empire Beauty School to study and become certified in Cosmetology. I hope to open my own salon and beauty school. I also enjoy long boarding, camping, hiking, drawing and coloring. I also am a huge animal lover! 


FILM                               Divergent/Insurgent

FOOD                            Steak/American

YEAR IN SCHOOL         7th + 12th grade

BOOK                            The House of Night Series

PASTIME                        Camping + hiking

HISTORICAL FIGURE    Amelia Earhart + Martin Luther King, Jr. 

TEAM                            Arizona Wildcats

Mr. Travis Ross.png


Academic Advisor + Test Coordinator


Hi there, my name is Travis Ross. Born in California, my family moved all over the country where we lived in Utah, Tennessee and New York. After graduating high school in New York, I moved to Phoenix, AZ where I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry at Arizona State University. My wife and I were married in June of 2018 and we moved down to Tucson so that she could start her new career as a Software Engineer at Raytheon. I am currently attending ASU online as a full time student where I will be completing my second Bachelors degree in Software Engineering. In our free time, my wife and I

enjoy hiking, camping and spending time with our five dogs. 


FILM                               The Dark Knight

FOOD                            BBQ Ribs

YEAR IN SCHOOL         Senior Year

BOOK                            Airborn by Kenneth Oppel or

                                      Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy


ME BETTER                   Taking too much advice to heart instead of trusting myself.

PASTIME                        Sports and Video Games

HISTORICAL FIGURE    Neil deGrasse Tyson 

TEAM                            ASU Sun Devils

Ms. Sarah Ruiz.png




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


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.png


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

FOOD                            Chinese

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.png

Ms. Cyndi Cubillas 

Entity Administrator


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. + Wonder Woman

TEAM                            The University of Arizona Softball team, Los Doyers and the Patriots

Mrs. Terrie Cubillas.png
Mr. Abelardo Cubillas, Jr..png

Ms. Terrie Cubillas 

Gifted Specialist



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 + Ronald Reagan

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 

                                       World Series

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 Albert Einstein

TEAM                            The Dodgers

Princess Ivy.png


Lead Cheerleader 

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.

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