Language Arts: Patricia Marquez
Ms. Patricia Marquez received her Masters degree in English from CUNY Brooklyn College and her Bachelors degree in writing and literature from Sarah Lawrence College. She studied literature and philosophy abroad at King’s College London. With five years of classroom teaching experience, including SAT, ACT, AP, and Common Core test preparation, she is also a published author of short stories and poems. Currently editing her first novel, Ms. Marquez enjoys challenging her students rigorously in reading comprehension, composition skills and strategies, persuasive argumentation, and creative writing.
Social Studies: Robbie Williams
Mr. Williams will be a vital part of the middle and middle and High School Team. He will be teaching 6th – 8thgrade social studies in addition to high School AP Human Geography and AP World History. He holds a significant number of teaching certifications including: 7th -12th grade social studies, AP World History, Gifted and Talented Training, IB Extended Essay Supervision.
He has several years of teaching experience teaching Pre AP and AP world History, Sociology, Psychology and social studies in the public school. He is a very dedicated teacher and connects well with students and staff. It was his passion for teaching that enabled him to drive 1.5 hours daily one way for his previous teaching assignment. He believes in building an interactive and collaborative learning community and is very fond of technology integration. He utilizes a research –based social studies curriculum using up to date information. We are looking forward to benefiting from his young energy and enthusiasm and his leadership role with the middle and high school students.
Math: Jeffrey L. LaRoux
Mr. LaRoux has been a passionate educator since 1995. He is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and proven educator with a natural ability to inspire students. He has years of experience not only in the classroom, but writing curriculum and planning activities that promote the level of understanding that students need in order to be successful in a post-secondary environment. He has an “outside-the-box” approach that will engage and stimulate young minds, and a passion for teaching that is vibrant and driven. Between 1995 and 2015, Mr. LaRoux Taught all level Math classes for Middle and HS including Algebra 1, 2 , Geometry ,Pre Calculus and AP Pre Calculus . He also taught advanced college prep courses such as a Part of an IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program). He participated in a curriculum writing team that developed higher standards for the Math department. . Mr. LaRoux s was selected to serve on the Campus Leadership Team to improve the TAKS scores of the 7th grade students.. He Coached the UIL and TMSCA Mathematics teams. He has a proven record of increasing the students passing rate in the STAAR in his classes from a 50% passing rate to a 100% passing rate. Mr. LaRoux holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Math Education, with a minor in Computer Science.
Science: Christa Chagra
Ms. Christa Chagra brings with her a wide range of expertise and teaching credentials. She has a master’s degree in STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) form UT, Austin. Such a program is research based and focuses on hands on, inquiry-based science in addition to the connection between all 4 STEM disciplines. She is certified in Composite Science including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology. In addition to her master’s degree, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and an associate degree in General studies in Science. Ms. Chagra taught advanced science classes in public schools in the past including: Advanced Biotechnology/Environmental Systems .She has research background which se has acquired working as a Research Lab Assistant at UT, Austin. She is very passionate about conserving the environment and volunteers as Outreach Coordinator Texas Master Naturalist Lost Pines Chapter.
Physical Education: Cathleen Carothers
Ms.Cathleen Carothers brings with her a wide range of expertise as well as a high degree of relevant educational background. She holds a master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a thesis focus on Leisure time Physical Activities and the Perceived Quality of life. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.
Ms. Carothers holds a number of fitness certifications including: AFAA Primary Group Exercise Fitness Instructor, ASCM Personal Fitness Trainer, Turbo Kickboxing, 24 Cycle and Zumba fitness. Additionally, Ms. Carothers has completed training in the following areas: Yoga Teacher Training, Pilates, Soccer Coaching, and Volleyball coaching and Track only to list a few. Ms. Carothers has a lot of hands on experience both in school, university and corporate fitness settings. She is currently teaching PE in a private school in Austin. She also taught physical education classes for the Upward Bound program at the University of NORTH TX. While working on her master’s degree, she held the position of assistant to the campus fitness director managing and organization the administration of a wide range of fitness programs for students and faculty. She worked as a group fitness instructor and health promoter in several corporate settings. She took multiple classes in child development and behavior and classroom management.
Among her other distinctions are:
- Being a Presenter for Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
- Being a Presenter at Tex Fit Spring 2006
- Dean’s List University of North Texas
- Playing for Poteet High School Varsity Basketball Team
Arabic Department Head: Jilali Kattass
Mr. Kattass graduated with Teaching Certification from the Teacher Training Center in Taza, Morocco. He taught Arabic for nine years in various elementary and middle schools in Morocco, where he focused on the development of Arabic curriculum standards. He has 7 years of experience teaching Arabic in the United States and has been the head of the Arabic department for 4 years.
Arabic: Laila Khater
Ms. Laila received her Bachelors Degree from Mutaa University in English Language and Literature with a minor in Education from Amman, Jordan. She taught English for elementary classes for two years in Amman, Jordan. Ms. Laila joined Renaissance in 2012 and has now earned her teacher certification in Arabic.
Qur’an and Islamic Studies: Ariege Muallem
Sr. Ariege Muallem earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology (with a Minor in Chemistry) from the University of West Georgia and her Masters in Endocrinology Reproductive Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, her passion for Tajweed led her to earn her Tajweed Certificate from Al Azhar Institute in Houston, TX. She has taught Math and Science to Middle and High Schoolers, but has now decided to teach Quran and Islamic Studies as those subjects are closer to her heart. She has had students from ages 3 yrs to 18 yrs, teaching them either Quran/Arabic/Islamic Studies or Math and Science. Because of her science degrees, she always tries to incorporate science into the tafseer of the Quranic verses she teaches, in the hopes of instilling in her students an awe, love and respect for the Book of Allah.