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First Grade


I grew up on the East Coast of Florida. I have also lived in the suburbs of Washington DC and Philadelphia.  I have lived in Ventura County for nearly 28 years. I graduated with a Lifetime Teaching Credential in Early Childhood from Rowan State University in New Jersey.  I also received my K-8 Teaching Credential from Rowan. I received my California Teaching Credential from California Lutheran University.  After teaching Kindergarten 13 years in New Jersey, I moved to California. I began teaching Kindergarten at Santa Susana in 1991. I have also taught Transitional First Grade and First Grade at Santa Susana. I have a love for teaching first graders!  I believe students learn best by doing and therefore I integrate a multi-modality approach into my teaching.  I hold 6 Yoga Certifications, 5 of which are for children and several meet the National Teaching Standards for Health and PE., as well as an Autistic and Youth Trauma Yoga Instructor. As a Certified Yoga Educator I offer yoga to my students. I also believe it is of utmost importance to educate the whole child! A child's social-emotional development is key to a successful school career and a happy life. I believe we are all lifelong learners!  With that being said, I continue to gain insight and wisdom from the precious students in my classroom, as each holds a special gift!  I have a passion for life and learning!  Along with teaching, I enjoy my daily practice of yoga, meditation, walks in the park, appreciation of nature, study of nutrition and eating organic foods. I feel blessed to have been part of the Santa Susana family for the past 26 years!



I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and am the youngest of six kids. I am a mom of three teenagers who keep me on the go. I have been teaching primary students for more than 20 years, and received my undergraduate degree from California State University, Northridge. I originally started working as a substitute for LAUSD in the San Fernando Valley. It was then that I truly fell in love with the profession and decided to go back and earn my teaching credential. I am an advocate for promoting lifelong learning and foundational academic skills while also helping to nurture students both socially and emotionally. I am currently enrolled as a graduate student and I will be receiving my Master's Degree in Educational Technology in May, 2018 from California State University, Fullerton. Some other things I enjoy doing include baking, reading, exploring and learning new things online, exercising, going for walks/hikes, taking trips, and most of all spending time with my family. 

FUN FACT: I got married this past summer and am now Mrs. Farina.  I also completed grad school and received my MS in Educational Technology.  Something silly to know is that I love thunderstorms and dark chocolate.



Backe, Jennifer
Real, Laura