Lora Jones


This is my 7th year here with the IB Program and my 19th year with SCUSD as a Credentialed School Nurse. I enjoy working with staff, students & families to promote the well being of all and encourage healthy choices for students that are empowering and assist them in realizing their goals. The school sustainability program is always evolving with this year’s focus for the Green Team to include recycling, garden harvesting and prep for lunchtime tasting, a new native plant garden area and the annual April Earth Day Celebration.

Cristina Jordan


Cristina Jordan has been the librarian at Umoja since 2009. She loves helping students find just the right book!  One of her favorite things to share is how to access all of the incredible resources through the Sacramento Public Library. In her own time, one can almost always find Ms. Jordan reading in her backyard. She loves to go walking with friends, hiking with her family, and having people over to share the food that she enjoys cooking and baking. She is so grateful for California’s abundance of beautiful produce!

Phonvilay Kham-Avone
RSP Math


bout Me: If you haven’t noticed, I am the tallest teacher on campus…Ok J/K, I just walk tall! My name is Phonvilay Kham-Avone. I live with 3 of my boys, Kouzion (21), Coco(105),  and Lucky (14).

I am a serious foodie and I enjoy playing candy crush on the weekends. Come find me in D-5 and we can get on that sweet streak! I’m on Level 8601…Beat that! 


Jed Larsen


I feel like a vital, relevant, and influential part of my family and community. Regardless of the class I am teaching, I hope to promote these same beliefs in my students. We learn the past, investigate our world, and derive meaning so that we feel empowered to build community. Through community, we promote the freedom, safety, and happiness of every person.

Andrea Mahoney


This is my 20th year here at Umoja International Academy! I have only ever worked here and I love my work family. 
I am married with two children. My son is 13 and is an 8th grader. My daughter is 10 and in 5th grade. To complete our family I have a corgi named Luffy and English pointer named Ellie. 
When we are not at sports, you might find us watching anime or playing Pokemon Go. I also love to read, do puzzles and take walks. You will for sure find Netflix on when I have a spare minute.
I love my students like my own and here to support them all!

Carmen Martinez
MYP Lang and Lit


My name is Carmen Martinez, I started as a student teacher here at Umoja, and now I am proud to be in my 2nd year of teaching! I I recently graduated from UC Davis with a Masters degree in Education, and also hold a Bachelor’s degree in English from Sacramento State. 
I am passionate about empowering students to be lifelong learners, and creating culturally sustaining learning experiences. 
Beyond my professional life, I love painting, drawing, traveling, and going on hikes with my partner and dog, Rosie. 

Da’monik Millan
Intervention Assistant


What’s up Umoja family! My name is Da’monik Millan also known as Mr. Dom! This is my second year here at Umoja International Academy and also my second year working in education. I have been working with youth and teens for over 12 years. I am also a mentor for an After School program called HAWK Institute. And last but not least I am the Head Boys Basketball Coach here! 
In my spare time, I love doing community service projects, training kids for basketball, and spending time with my family!

Eduardo Ortiz-Cortes
DP and MYP Spanish


My name is Eduardo Ortiz. I am one of the 3 Spanish teachers here at UIA. I recently graduated from Sac State with a Master’s degree in Education, and also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Arizona State University. I began my career in teaching here at Umoja as a student-teacher, and now I am going into my 3rd year in education. I am excited to continue to work with the students of UIA and help them progress in their language acquisition journey. In my free time I enjoy traveling, playing Pokemon Go and spending time with my wife and two kids.

Terina Rathbun
MYP and DP Lang and Lit


This is my third year at UIA and my 7th year teaching. I completed my student teaching here at UIA during the 2016-2017 school year. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Sacramento State. When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy reading, crochet, playing disc golf, Nintendo, and spending time with my friends, my husband, 16-year-old son, and our two dogs. During the cooler months, you can find me plodding around my backyard trying to keep plants alive (with mixed results).

Lindsay Rowe


I’m Ms. Rowe! This year marks my 4th year as a teacher at Umoja International Academy. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from UC Davis. I then went on to complete my teaching credential and master’s degree at Dominican University in San Rafael. 
In my free time, I enjoy reading, creating and listening to music, karaoke, long walks, needlepointing, knitting, playing video games, and of course, spending time with my cat – a 12 year old Siamese named Molly.

Luis Sanchez
MYP Science


My name is Luis Sanchez. I am the 8th grade science teacher here at Umoja so I have the privilege to interact with the entire 8th grade class. This is my first year at Umoja and my first year as a teacher! I received my bachelors of science in psychology and a bachelors of arts in Spanish. I then attend Sacramento state and earned my credential in secondary science. During my free time I enjoy watching or playing basketball, listening to music, or spending time with my friends. I look forward to working with staff, students, and parents. 


Sharmie Silva


Hello Umoja Students and Families. I’m Ms. Silva, the Middle School Counselor. I am passionate about working with teens, and helping to support them in their overall emotional, social and academic growth journeys. I hope to be instrumental in guiding students toward a life path that is happy, healthy, balanced, stable and fulfilling. I look forward to working with you this year to help you achieve your goals.

Shannon Smith


Salutations Umoja families! My name is Shannon Smith and like to go by Ms. Shannon. This is my third year as an RSP teacher and 13th year with Sacramento Unified School District. This year I am excited to be working here at Umoja. I look forward to working with the Umoja families.In my free time I enjoy crafting, sewing, and spending time with my family.


Laura Szeto
Year 2, 3,& 11th DP Visual Fine Arts Teacher


I’m Ms.Szeto! This is going to be my 10th year at Kit Carson/Umoja International Academy! I love working with the staff! The school is basically my second home. I graduated from CSUS with a Liberal Studies degree and art was my concentration as undergrad. I also got my teaching credential  from there as well. (Stingers up!)  I am the advisor for Anime and Drama club. I love empowering students to do better for themselves. I always tell them this, “The next generation needs to be better than the last.”