Skip to main content

New Staff to UHS

May 2019 - Mr. Esparza - Math

AlexisHi everyone! My name is Alexis Esparza and I am a new Algebra 1 Teacher here at Upland High School. A couple of things about myself, I am a newlywed. I am married to a beautiful woman who always helps me improve in each aspect of my life. I love sports. I am a huge L.A. Clippers fan, I am pretty much glued to the TV when there is a game on.

This is my 3rd year of teaching but have over 5 years of experience working with high school students. When I was in college, I started working as a College Advisor at Compton High School. Through that experience, I was able to help students succeed not only in their classes but have their dreams of going to college come true.

After graduating from Cal-State Long Beach with a Mathematics Education degree, I moved to Cleveland, Ohio to start my career as a Math Teacher. This was one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences of my life thus far. I struggled as a first year teacher, especially teaching in a school, in a city, in a state, that I knew nothing about. It was tough but with time, I earned the respect and trust of my students and learned that that is a must in order for students to work and learn.

I am grateful that in Cleveland and here in Upland I’ve had a great staff to help me reflect and grow in my craft. I believe students need a place where they can be comfortable, where they can be themselves, where they can laugh and ultimately, learn. I want that for my students. I want to be the teacher to my students that I growing up never had. I want them to be unafraid of trying new things. I want them grow and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I want to empower my students to be better each day because no matter what they are currently going through, they all have the power to do so.

This year has been an incredible learning experience and am proud to be part of the Upland Family.

April 2019 - Ms. Seward - English

Ms. SewardOh, hey! Didn’t see ya there. I’m Tomi Seward and I am an English teacher here at Upland High. This is my third year in education, but my first year teaching at UHS. I have the privilege of teaching freshmen and juniors. After community college, I earned a bachelor degree in English Education from Cal State Long Beach (Go Beach!).

My favorite part of being an English teacher is discussing and writing about themes that connect literature to our everyday lives. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know my students and encouraging them to succeed through their intrinsic motivation. I want them to know that I care deeply about them and hope that they lift each other up with kindness and empathy.

When I’m not in the classroom, I love spending quality time with my family that consists of my husband (Topher), toddler son (Atlas), corgi (Jovie), and rescue mutt (Marty McFly). I also love and appreciate great storytelling in the forms of books, movies, tv shows, and podcasts. I am always open and looking for new binge-worthy recommendations!

Thank you for welcoming me into the Highlander family! I look forward to sharing my passion and making memories with my esteemed colleagues and fabulous students! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @crazyboooklady !

March 2019 - Ms. Kyle - English

Ms. KyleHello everyone, my name is Desirea Kyle and I am so excited to be a part of the Upland High School family! Before coming to UHS, I taught English Language Development for 2 years in 7th/8th grade, and I absolutely loved it, but I am very excited to be working with this year’s Freshman English class. I have always been passionate about writing and literature, so I feel very blessed that I am able to bring what I love to my kids.

Before I decided that I wanted to teach, I was in a completely different world studying animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. I enjoyed what I was doing at the time, and I continued with this career path for about 3 years; however, I realized that I did not absolutely love where I was going and I needed a change. I ended up switching majors and transferring from CSU, Fresno to CSU, Long Beach where I received both my B.A. in English Education and Creative writing and my teaching credential. It was the best decision that I ever made, and I could not imagine being anywhere other than my classroom. It is where I feel most in my element! This is why I always try to encourage my students to explore what the world has to offer. What you set your sights for in the beginning may not be what life has planned for you in the end. It’s a wild journey but worth the adventure. 

I have an wonderful fiancé (wedding to come Feb. 2020!), and we have two fur babies, Thor the husky and Zeus the pit bull (dogs of thunder). In my spare time I like to go to explore pinterest, draw, write, read, watch football and basketball, pick up new hobbies (right now I am trying to learn the Ukulele), and go to Disneyland! I am also big on fitness, I am always at the gym lifting heavy. I am looking forward to building new relationships and memories with everyone in the Highlander family!

February 2019 - Mr. Scott, Mr. Rodriguez, & Mr. Yearby - Campus Security Officers

CSSFebruary's new staff spotlight will be three new employees, UHS' new campus security officers. Rashaun, Ronnie, and Rodney are part of UHS' commitment to making the school a safe and secure place to learn. Join us in welcoming them to our Highlander family.

Rashaun Scott has been a secondary coach for Upland High School's varsity football team for a year. He loves fishing, going to the beach, spending time with his family and coaching the Upland Highlanders!

Ronnie Rodriguez has been in the Upland Unified School District in various departments for a year and a half. He's been working in youth ministry and mentorship for the past 15 years. He enjoys hanging out with his family, riding his motorcycle, going the gym and finding interesting coffee shops to visit. 

Rodney Yearby is brand new to Upland High School, but he's been mentoring kids and adolescents for 16 years working in group homes. He loves playing basketball with his friends and spending time with his kids.

January 2019 - Ms. Morales - English

Ms. MoralesHi, my name is Kimberly Morales and I'm excited to get to teach English at Upland High School! English is my favorite subject because it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us through storytelling, and it permeates all facets of life, no matter what your path is in life! 

My goal wasn't always to be a teacher; I originally went to college for business and received my B.A. in Business Management. I enjoyed working in business for 5 years, working in hotels and then doing marketing for a bank, but I discovered that my passion was in helping to build up others. It was challenging going back to school to receive my teaching credential and Master's degree in teaching. I can totally relate to my students' struggles of school life - balancing home-life, personal life, work, and a million assignments on top of that! I can say the balancing act is well worth it when you get to walk across that stage. 

My favorite part of being a teacher is getting to know my students and helping to motivate them to push their limits and be the best version of themselves! It's fulfilling to see my students realize their dreams, personal and academic. Outside of school, my favorites include: Disneyland to ride Indiana Jones; decorating cakes, and then eating them of course; reading sci-fi and thriller novels because obviously reading as a hobby is mandatory since I'm an English teacher; going to New York to visit my sister and nieces and nephew; and my four big, lazy pitbulls that fill up my photo gallery. I'm looking forward to my first year as a Highlander and learning alongside my students!

December 2018- Mr Taylor - English & AVID

TaylorHello!! My name is Derrick Taylor and I’m thrilled to be teaching here at Upland High School. My family and I just relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area where I taught a wide variety of subjects including: 6th and 7th grade English and world history; 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English Language Development; 10th grade world history; and 12th grade economics. Here at Upland High School, I’m proud and excited to be teaching 9th grade English and 10th grade AVID! I received my degree in history, and a dual credential in history and English from CSU Hayward.

Prior to teaching, I spent many years in business as a project developer in the renewable energy sector. Although fun in some areas, I needed a change and becoming a teacher has been a blessing. My small claim to fame was that during college, I had the privilege to work at Disneyland as a face character! Wonderful experience and many fun stories.

I am married to my beautiful wife, Crystal, and we have two amazing children: Mason (4) and Lillian (1 soon to be 2 on Christmas Day!) When I’m not teaching, and if there is time, I love to play golf and watch football (Go 49ers and Miami Dolphins!!). I look forward to this year and I’m proud to be a Highlander.

November 2018- Ms. Nguyen - Science

Ms. Nguyen
Hello! My name is My Nguyen and I am a new science teacher at UHS. This year I have the privilege of teaching biology and chemistry! This is my 8th year in education and I am loving every minute of it. I love science and I hope to be able to share that passion with the students. Everyone at UHS has been so helpful this year and I truly looking forward to a wonderful school year! When I'm not teaching, grading, and planning I love spending time with my family, going for walks with my 2 dogs, and reading science fiction books. Thank you for welcoming me to the UHS community!! 

October 2018 - Ms. Sharma - 

Ms Sharma
Hi I am a new Math teacher at Upland High School, however I am not fresh in teaching. This is my 14th year in my second line of work. In previous life I was an Electrical Engineer. My aptitude for interaction and being an instrument for someone to become better version of themselves brought me to teaching. I have undergrad from India, my teaching credentials from Cal Poly Pomona and masters from APU. I am loving it at UHH, the staff and students are wonderful :)

At home we have two kids, college junior and high school freshmen. I am married for 21 years and have lived in 2 countries, 5 cities and 10 addresses. I can speak 3 languages and love to do a lot of other things; hiking, biking, gardening, drawing, reading, music etc.  I am looking forward to learn more and make memories as a Highlander :)

May 2018 - Ms. Estrada - Copy Cat

Robin Estrada
Hello, my name is Robin Estrada I am your "Copy Cat" here at UHS.  I have been with UUSD since 2000, I started at Valencia as a Noon Duty Aide and Classroom "Mom" when my son Anthony attended.  In 2005 I joined the District Office as Duplication Operator /Receptionist.  This past August I made the move here to UHS.  They say change is good, for me being now part of UHS I truly believe it can be.  

Everyone here has been so kind and welcoming and very cool to reconnect with those I have known since our Valencia days when our kids were so young.  It's no secret I have a huge passion for animals having 4 cats, 2 pups, and a bunny, they definitely keep me busy. Football season is always fun at our house with my husband a Rams fan and myself a Saints fan, it can be quite entertaining. I am so happy to be a Highlander !! 

April 2018 - Ms. Correa - Student Services Secretary

Elizabeth Correa
Hi my name is Elizabeth Correa and I'm the secretary in the Student Services/Discipline Office and I'm very excited and grateful to be working here. I graduated from Mission Viejo High School. I've only been in Upland for 14 and half years. I've worked in an office for many years. I took 4 years off work when I had my daughter and slowly started working again. I have been a noon aide, and a substitute cafeteria worker. I really enjoy what I do in the Discipline Office and working with a great team of Directors, Campus Security, AP, and my go to person Laurie Link. We are all in insync. 

I'v been married for 10 years and have 2 children in the Upland School District. My son is 14 and will be coming to work with me next school year. My daughter is 9, 4th grader still has some time before she joins. I'm very lucky to be able to work so close to my children. I look forward to beginning this journey at Upland.

March 2018 - Ms. McMullen - Discipline Director

Laura McMullenHello! My name is Laura McMullen and I am so excited to be the new Discipline Director here at Upland High School! I am a former UHS student and it was some amazing teachers from this school that made me want to begin my career in education. Right after high school, I attended Chaffey College and then transferred  to Cal State San Bernardino where I got my Bachelor's degree in Social Science and my teaching credential and eventually my Master's in Counseling and PPS credential. I taught History for 9 years in Rialto Unified School District before I became the Wellness Center Counselor at Rialto High School for the past 2 years. I have a passion for Restorative Practices and finding innovative interventions to build relationships with students. 

I've been married to my husband for almost 11 years who I met at Pioneer Jr. High and dated as a Junior here at UHS. We have two kids who are one of the biggest reasons I made the transfer over to Upland Unified School District. Our son Patton is 5 and our daughter Presley is 7. I love that I am able to work in the district that they will grow up in and in the community that I have known my whole life. I look forward to beginning this journey at Upland and picking up where I left off as a Highlander! 

February 2018 - Ms. Argueta - Special Education

Ms. ArguetaHey! My name is Briannon Argueta and I am teaching the Special Education English III class.  I am currently working on my Masters degree in Special Education and will be done with that this June. It is my first year working for the Upland district and I absolutely love it. Last year I taught elementary at a different district and I never pictured myself working at a high school, but here I am, and I’m enjoying every second of it. The students and staff make for a great environment and culture where Upland High School really feels like a family that is trying to help each of their members succeed.

I look forward to seeing my students every day and finding new and exciting ways to challenge them in a way that they can attain what is being taught while having fun doing so. I pride myself in building relationships with my students. Students are at school for about 7 hours a day and, as a teacher, I want to contribute the very most that I can in whatever way possible. I want them to know that I believe in them, along with the rest of the UHS staff. That’s what we’re here for, to make a difference in these kids’ lives.

 January 2018 - Math Teacher- Ms. Xa

Ms. Xa
Ms. XA is our January new staff member highlight. Ms. Xa teaches Algebra I in K213. Make sure the next time you see Ms. Xa that you welcome her to the UHS family. 


"I attended CSUF and earned my B.S. in Child and Adolescent Development as well as my Foundational Level Math Credential. After earning my credential, I was fortunate enough to be hired at Upland Junior High where I had a great first year experience. The students were great and the team was so supportive and welcoming as well. This will be the start of my second year in Upland Unified. Although I have only been here for about 1.5 months, it has been a pleasant experience. I just want to say thank you to those of you have have welcomed me with open arms. You have greatly helped me adjust to life as a high school teacher. I look forward to working to seeing what the rest of the year brings. Fun facts about myself: I have a twin sister, I am a Dodger Fan and I love Harry Potter."

December 2017 - Ms. Bizzell - Special Education Government and Economics

Ms. Bizzell

Hi there, I am Sheryl Bizzell and new to the UHS staff but have worked in the District since 1988 at Upland Junior High.  While at UJH, I taught English, History, Math, Science, and Study Hall.  I teach Special Education Government and Economics and truly enjoy coming to work.   Joining the crew at Upland High School has been a fantastic journey.  I look forward to seeing old friends and students and meeting new people around the campus.  I am happy to be a part of the Highlander Community.


Ms. Lora
¡Hola! My name is Jessica Lora. I am a Spanish I and II teacher. I have always had a passion for learning foreign languages. In high school, I took 4 years of French. I also took one semester of beginning Italian in college. I have always found learning a new language fascinating.  For this reason, I decided to seek a career in education to teach students a beautiful language, such is Spanish. I strive to educate and inspire students to realize the benefits of being multilingual.


This is my third year being a part of the wonderful Upland Unified School district. Being able to transition to UHS this year has been an amazing experience. I am excited to form a part of a strong team of staff, faculty, administrators, and students here at UHS. I am also very happy to be part of an outstanding and dedicated World Languages Department. I would like to thank everyone for the welcome I have received as a new Highlander!

October 2017 - Mr. Esparza - Spanish Teacher

Mr. EsparzaMr. Esparza is our October new staff member highlight. Mr. Esparza teaches Spanish II & III in G176. Make sure the next time you see Mr. Esparza that you welcome him to the UHS family. 

"Hi, I'm Antonio Esparza. I'm a third year Spanish teacher, but I am in my 9th year of working with high schoolers if you count the years I spent as an AVID tutor and as a substitute teacher. 


Teaching language is very fun for me, I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a high school student myself. This is what I feel was meant to do and I don't see myself doing anything else. 


I came to Upland to join the strong community here, I wish to be part of this great school and this great Foreign Language department. I look forward to becoming more active in the school community here and to building stronger bonds with students. I plan to keep becoming a better teacher, I feel that no matter how long you have been teaching there is always more to learn and more ways to improve. I strive to make my classes interesting, fun, and full of learning every day."

September 2017 - Jerry McCanne - Assistant Principal

Mr. McCanneJerry McCanne is our new staff highlight for the month of September. He's not new to UHS since he taught English at UHS for 17 years, but he is recently back with us as the new Assistant Principal of Curriculum, Instruction, and Testing.


"It's absolutely wonderful to come home to UHS, my previous home of 17 years. I love the terrific leadership team and the amazing staff. I'm looking forward to an exciting and productive year."

March 2017 Krista Link - Guidance Clerk

"I am truly thankful that I am now apart of the Upland High Family. After attending UHS 4 years, I have always known this was where I am supposed to be. I am excited for my future with all of the students and fellow employees of Upland High."Krista Link

February 2017 - Darryl "DT" Thomas - AP

Mr. Thomas

UHS' new AP of Activities, Athletics, and Academic Programs, Mr. Thomas


"It is a great day to be a Highlander. I am very thankful to finally be a part of the Upland family full time. I am really looking forward to working with the students, faculty, staff, and community for many, many years."