Irina Arabagi, Russian Language Lead Teacher

Irina ArabagiMy name is Irina Arabagi, and I am incredibly honored to teach at Community Outreach Academy. Prior to teaching at COA, I taught in the public setting for several years. I graduated from Kishinev State Pedagogical University in Moldova with a bachelor degree in Elementary Education. When I came in the United States eight years ago, I took university courses, passed required exams, evaluated my diploma, and finally I obtained a Multiple Subject Credential and Single Subject Credentials in math and Russian language. I love teaching because I enjoy working with children and creating a safe and respectful environment for learning. It is so exciting to see what they accomplish by the end of the school year. I strongly believe that every child is a gift and every child is gifted. That's why my desire for my students is to blossom and believe in their abilities.

Lidiya Kurganskaya, Russian Language Teacher

Lidiya Kurganskaya Russian Language Teacher COA Elementary

My name is Lidiya Kurganskaya. I teach Russian Language at Community Outreach Academy. I received my bachelor's degree in Primary Education at the University of Ukraine, Zhitomir. I taught for 20 years in Ukraine prior to my immigration to the US in 1977. My journey at COA began in 2000 and I have been teaching here ever since. I have always wanted to instill a love for learning in young children and for them to discover the beauty of knowledge. Teaching is a great opportunity to do just that. As they say, "Knowledge is power." I love my profession! I love these little people! Children make one want to start life over again! I'm very excited and glad to be teaching at such a wonderful school.

Alena Nichyparuk, Russian Language Teacher

Alena NichyparukMy name is Yelena Nichyparuk. I have 20 years of teaching experience. I love my job. I enjoy teaching and spending time with kids, that is why I have 290 of them. I come from the family of teachers. My mom, aunt and my husband are all in teaching profession

Olena Golub, Russian Language Teacher

Olena Golub Para Educator Russian Language COA Elementary

My name is Olena Golub. From my early childhood I was lucky to have very gifted and talented teachers. I was inspired by them to become as great of a teacher as they were to me. My dream came true when I graduated from Kirovograd State Pedagogical University in Ukraine with a bachelor degree in Russian Language and Literature. After graduation I taught Russian at a local college. I am very blessed to continue doing what I love, which is teaching, after coming to the United States. It is a big privilege for me to be part of a professional, talented, and friendly team at COA. I love teaching our students Russian Language and Literature and keeping them connected to their cultural roots. I believe knowing the Russian Language will help them be more successful in the future. Our students are very capable and talented, so together, with a little help from parents, we can move mountains.  

Mahmuda Nuritdinova, Intervention Teacher

Mahmuda 2011Hello, my name is Mahmuda Nuritdinova and I am an Intervention teacher at COA Elementary School.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree back in my home country of Uzbekistan in 1996. From my early childhood I dreamed of being a teacher and I didn’t even consider any other profession for myself. I love working with children and making a positive difference in their lives. I love teaching students and my passion is to see every one of them succeed in school by reading fluently at their grade level and move on to be great citizens of our society. I believe that to be a teacher is truly a calling of not just the mind, but the heart as well. I am extremely happy to work at such a great school as COA. When I am not at work, I love spending time with my dear husband and three wonderful kids. I like to read books, cook, play on guitar, and travel.

Chue Cha, Intervention Teacher


Nyob zoo! That means “Hello” in Hmong. I have been a teacher for 13 years and have spent 12 of those years here at COA in first and second grades. Last year I was able to transition into a new role as a Reading Intervention teacher and absolutely enjoy working with small groups of students in improving their reading skills. During their time with me, students will know that it is okay to make mistakes because they are learning. My mission is to create a safe and comforting environment for my students as they learn their letters and sounds in conjunction with developing their vocabulary and comprehension skills through motivating, engaging and supportive lessons. Students need to understand that the letters and sounds and words on the pages have meaning. I am a wife and mother of two. My children often visit me on campus and we are always out and about in Sacramento, so if you see us, please stop and say “Hi!” We love going to downtown for the museums, parks, and all the delicious food - especially for the gelato!

Timmi Turner, Intervention Teacher

240X320 2My name is Timmi Turner.

Cassandra Katz, Math Intervention Teacher

Cassandra Katz 3rd Grade Lead Teacher COA Elementary

Hi there! My name is Cassandra Katz and I am COA’s math intervention teacher for grades 2-6.  While growing up I spent a lot of time in my mother’s classroom and taught gymnastics. At a young age I loved helping those around me become successful in school and sports. This naturally grew into a desire to become a teacher. I received my bachelors in child development and my teaching credential from Sacramento State. I have taught fourth grade, third grade, and now am happy to take on a new role in helping students do all things math. My main goal is to have students feel confident in their math abilities and to love math. When I am not in the classroom, you can find me rock climbing in Tahoe, hiking/backpacking, playing board games with friends, and spending time with my family (husband and two dogs). 

Behzod Nuritdinov (Mr. Beck), ESL Teacher

Behzod Nuritdinov

My name is Behzod Nuritdinov and I am an ESL teacher at COA. To my students I am known as Mr. Beck. I came to the USA eight years ago from Uzbekistan where I graduated from the University as a teacher of Biology and Chemistry. As I began my teaching career there, in conjunction to teaching Biology I was also offered to teach English language. It was then that I discovered my passion for English language.   Since I was an ESL student at one point I know from my personal experience what a person has to go through while learning English: I know the struggles and the joy of learning. At this moment I am completely qualified to teach English as I earned my Teaching Credentials in California (Biology and Multiple Subjects). As I was working as a Substitute teacher with GCC district I enjoyed teaching and talking to the administration, staff and students of COA. This unique school gives opportunities to many people in our community and I am glad to join their ranks and say with them: “Whatever it takes, our kids are worth it!” In my free time I love to spend time with my wonderful wife and three great kids.

Roza Kibak, ESL Teacher

Roza KibakI'm glad to have you here! I want you to learn more about your teacher. First of all, I'm a mom too. With my husband we have a great family of three wonderful kids. From the age of 23 I have been working as a teacher of English, first in Chernovtsy, Ukraine, and now in Sacramento. I've got my bachelor's and master's degrees in the English language and literature and have had over than 15 years of ESL teaching experience when I came to the United States in 2004. In the USA I continued my education taking classes in the University of San Diego and National University. As an ESL teacher, I'd like to talk about ELL approaches how to increase background knowledge in the subject areas. Our ESL program is designed as a pull out program where the students leave the classroom to meet with the ESL specialist. This type of model may allow the ESL specialist to group students across classrooms or grade levels who are at a similar level of English proficiency for ESL support. This program model is especially effective for beginning ELLs who need to develop "survival" English skills. Working with English language learners, I realize that knowledge of words and ability to use language are essential to success. Your children participate in the program called Let's Go. This program helps build the speaking and thinking skills that are needed for children to do well in school. They will learn to listen carefully, say things well, and follow directions. The most important thing you can do is to let your children know that the work in Let's Go is very important. It shows them what school learning is and gives them practice with the language of school. It's a real pleasure to work with your children. I feel myself young as I'm always among kids.

Olga Navai, ESL Teacher

Olga NavaiI started my education and carrier as a teacher in Kazakhstan, Almaty where I received my master's and bachelor's degrees in speech therapy, special education, music and English. I've had over than 10 years of teaching experience when I came to the USA in 1999. I continued my education in America taking classes for my teaching credential and master's degree with National University. After I received my Multiple Subjects teaching credential and Master's degree in Cross -Cultural teaching I was hired as an ESL teacher with GGC. Having worked in American public schools for 4 years provided me with working experience in addition We understand what our children experience when they come to America and we put great effort in delivering the best learning experience for our students and helping them to adjust to a new country and environment. Let me tell you a few words about the program we are currently using for our ELL students. We have researched numerous programs that are designed for ELL and chose the one which we thought would be the best for our students. It is published by Oxford University press and has 7 levels that let students acquire various English skills step by step and provide a solid foundation for further learning. In addition to this program I try to use a variety of resources in order to provide enrichment activities and additional practice for development of English skills. Most of our students make faster progress if they have an opportunity to practice English skills at home. Your help support and encouragement is very important for their success at school.

Kate Rossle, PE LEAD Teacher


Hello, my name is Kate Rossle and I teach Physical Education. In 2015 I graduated from Sacramento State University with Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Right after, I enrolled in the Credential program to become a teacher and had a chance to work in COA as a teacher intern. I also got a Master’s Degree in Education in 2017. Being a teacher is in my heritage because my mother and father are both teachers, as well as my grandmother and my aunt. I work in COA since 2010, and I am very pleased with our family here. I enjoy being a teacher, and I feel so lucky that I have a chance to see how students grow and how much they can learn. I believe that each student is an individual and each one of them needs special attention, and this is what I try to do in my classes. And our school credo is very suitable here “Whatever it takes – our kids are worth it.”​

Pavel Golub, PE Teacher

032 774A0133My name is Pavel Golub.

Molly Gunn, PE Teacher

Picture2Hello, my name is Molly McAllister. This is my first year teaching first grade at COA. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and received my multiple subject teaching credential from CSU, Sacramento. Prior to teaching at COA I worked as a Student Advisor for a High School. I am excited to be teaching at such a wonderful school. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, walking my dog and spending time with my family.


Daniel Bubela, PE Para


Hello my name is Daniel Bubela. I am currently 24 years old, and a student at Sacramento State University. I am pursing my Bachelor of Arts in English. I am very close to finishing my BA program. After my program I wish to apply for a multi-subject credential program, where upon completion, I will work as a classroom teacher. I began at COA as an After School Para-educator, and now a day-time P.E. Para-educator. Enjoy my job, and the positive and healthy influence that I may have on the students at COA. For the past three years I have been the COA Sports Coordinator, and in this position I organize our COA teams to travel and compete in various sports. Some of the sports we are involved in is: GCC soccer league, TRUSD soccer league, GCC basketball league, GCC volleyball league, and the GCC Olympics. COA has currently been the champions in the GCC soccer league for the past 3 years, and basketball champs for the past 2 years. Last school year we also were the 2017 GCC Olympic champions. Overall, I am proud to be a part of a professional and healthy work environment here at COA.

Timothy J. Strauch II, Technology Teacher

Tim J.Strauch II

Tim Strauch, II is starting his 14th year at our school and is currently COA’s Technology Teacher and Student Leadership Advisor. 

Tim began his teaching career in 1997 teaching 7th through 12th graders before becoming a founding teacher of the Achievement Academy, which serviced retained 8th graders.  While working at the Achievement Academy, Tim went back to school to earn his multiple subject teaching credential and Masters of Education degree from National University.  In 2004, Tim was hired by Grant Community Outreach Academy (before it became Gateway Community Outreach Academy).  At COA, Tim taught 4th grade for seven years, was a Curriculum Technology Coach at the elementary site and part time vice principal at COA Middle School for two years, taught 6th grade for four years, and is now the Technology Teacher for the entire student body of COA.

In December of 2010, Tim was selected as KXTV News 10’s Teacher of the Month and was showcased on their channel throughout the month of January 2011.  He was also a candidate for News 10’s Teacher of the Year.  In 2012, NFL Films featured Tim in their “A Football Life” program honoring the life of its co-founder and president, Mr. Steve Sabol.  The show continues to be re-broadcast on the NFL Network.  In 2014, Tim was featured on FOX 40 News’s “Salute to Service” for his creativity and inspiration for his students.

Tim comes from a long line of educators in the Strauch family, as the Strauch’s were one of the first families to settle in Elverta, CA.  The David Strauch family donated land for one of the first schools in that area to be built.   Hazel Strauch School in the Twin Rivers Unified School District is named after Tim’s great-great aunt.   Tim’s father taught in the Grant High School District for 38 years.  He also has cousins that are teachers and one is even a professor at Whitworth College in Washington.

Before teaching, Tim has been involved in the entertainment industry working with his father (who was known as Timo the Clown) at many state and county fairs throughout California and Nevada.  Tim has performed at Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain theme parks as world famous characters.  He was also the mascot for the 4 time Pacific Coast League Champion AAA Baseball team, the Sacramento River Cats where he earned TWO championship rings!

Tim is happily married to his wife Susan and together they enjoy traveling and working on home improvement projects.

Alesia Ryazantseva, Technology Para

005 774A0019My name is Alesia Ryazantseva.

Laura Bennett, Resource Specialist


Hello, my name is Laura Bennett. Beginning in the fourth grade I knew I wanted to teach. My mother and grandmother were teachers and my grandfather was a college math professor. At Napa Valley College I received my Associate Degree in Arts and Humanities. At University of California, Davis, I received my Bachelor of Arts. In 2006, I graduated with my Education Specialist Instruction Credential and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with added Authorization in Art. Since August 2007, I have taught as a Resource Specialist at schools in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. My journey at COA began in 2013. My role is to provide individualized plans for students with mild disabilities, while finding the bridge that will help each of them make academic progress and feel more successful at school.   I thoroughly enjoy this challenge. Getting to know these students has been a wonderful privilege. Teaching and being a new mom at home has filled my life with happiness!


Anna Kanavalchuk, RSP Para

Anna Kanavalchuk Para Educator RSP COA ElementaryMy name is Anna Kanavalchuk.