Our Staff

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Administrators

Elin Bradley
Director of Therapeutic Schools and Residential Programs
BS California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Elin is the Director of The Help Group’s Therapeutic Schools; Westview School, North Hills Prep and Parkhill School. She also provides oversight to Project Six/The Commons, The Help Group’s residential treatment program. She received her B.S. in Social Work. After graduation, she began working as a Program Administrator in a residential treatment center with foster youth and provided oversight for a Foster Family Agency. For the past 19 years, Elin has served as an Administrator for non-public schools. Elin has been with the Help Group since 2011.

Alicia M. Jennings
Director of Education
BA Brigham Young University
MA National University

Alicia is the Director of Education at Westview School for The Help Group. She received her B.A in English Literature from Brigham Young University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from National University and also holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English. Before joining The Help Group, Alicia served as Director of Education for a non-public school and residential treatment center and has advanced to promoting non-profit institutions of learning and nonpublic school programing as well as serving for six years in local charter school programs where she specialized in curriculum development, accreditation and licensure, and teacher stewardship.

Cheryl Myers
Administrative Principal

Christa Occhiogrosso, LMFT, ATR
Assistant Clinical Director 
BFA Otis Art Institute, LA
MA Loyola Marymount University

Christa studied at the School of Visual Arts, NY from 1979-1982 and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990.  She received her MA in Marital and Family Therapy/Clinical Art Therapy in 1997.  Christa began working at The Help Group Child and Family Center in 1999 as an outpatient therapist and day treatment coordinator.  She transferred to Village Glen West School in 2003 where she provided psychotherapy services, clinical supervision and trainings on the Clinical Applications of Art Therapy.  In her current position at Westview she oversees the clinical department, provides clinical supervision and facilitates coordination between the clinical and educational teams in order to best meet our students’ social and emotional needs.

Annette Semedo Jordan
Dean
BA California State University Northridge

Annette has been the Dean of Westview for 29 years.  She has always had a knack for knowing exactly what is required in order to motivate youth to make life altering decisions that propel them into a more positive academic future.  She has implemented a behavioral management system called the Level System that monitors student behavior and rewards students with success.

Faculty

Julie Franzen
Administrative Teacher
BA Luther College

Julie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work & Sociology.  She moved to Los Angeles in 1997 where she began working as a teaching assistant and earned her Teaching Credentials from California State University, Northridge.  She has been teaching in special education since 1990. She is now in her 3rd year as a teacher at The Help Group.

Fshaye Woldemichael
Mentor Teacher
BA California State University, Northridge
MA National University

Fshaye has his B.A. is in Film Directing. He earned his level one teaching credential from Cal State University Northridge and level two from National University.  He has been teaching for the last 20 years in the special education environment.  He taught for 17 years with Westview School and the last two years with The Help Group’s Westview School.  He has served as head coach for varsity soccer team for the last 8 years.  In his spare time, Fshaye volunteers with Eritrean Sports Federation in North America for 10 years to help develop young people’s interest in healthy living through organized sports, healthy eating, and regular exercise.

Adrian Pop
Teacher Specialist
BA University of Cluj, Romania
MA California State University, Northridge

Adrian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English.  After graduation, he taught English in his hometown for twenty years.  After moving to the United States with his family, Adrian began working as an English teacher at the Westview School in Los Angeles and earned his Level II Credential in Special Education, as well as a Master's Degree in English.

Steve Goltra
Teacher Specialist
BA Biochemistry-Temple University

Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.  His first job out of college was with the Philadelphia Water Department, where he did water testing and monitoring for the City of Philadelphia.  He went on to become a forensic scientist for the Philadelphia Police Department crime lab, specializing in processing clandestine drug laboratories.  He began his teaching career working with children with special needs in Roswell, Georgia at The Cottage School.  In addition to his full time position as a science teacher, Steve also tutors students in biology and chemistry at several local community colleges. He is interested in horticulture, and along with his students, has constructed raised bed gardens.  The garden was recently outfitted with an automatic sprinkler system, and he and his students are constructing a greenhouse so they can grow vegetables year-round.  Steve volunteers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Condor Recovery Program, during his summers.

Antonesha Jackson
Instructional Assistant
BA Howard University
California State Preliminary Multiple subject CTE credential
Antonesha earned her BA degree in Computer and Information Systems from Howard University.

Charlena Young
Assistant Athletic Director/Teacher’s Assistant

Charlene has been working for Westview School for over seven years. She has had a variety of roles including Assistant Athletic Director, Coach, and Instructional Aide. Charlena has a passion for mentoring kids. She likes to keep students motivated and encouraged. She keeps positive relationships with students and staff. Charlene's motto is "athletic success cannot be achieved without academic success".

Elizabeth Angel
PIP Teacher
BS Humboldt State University

Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. She volunteered at local schools in the community as an assistant teacher her first two years in college. During her last two years of college, she worked as a tutor and mentor through the Humboldt County Office of Education.

Pascal Nittis
PIP Teacher
BA University of Indianapolis
MA California State University, Dominguez Hills

Pascal has a Bachelor's in English from the University of Indianapolis and a Master's in Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills.  He has worked in education for ten years including coordinating a program for gap year students at a study abroad program in Greece, managing a tutoring center in Connecticut, and teaching and tutoring at various schools in Los Angeles.  This is his first year at Westview.

Mary Bassey
PIP Teacher
BA University of Indianapolis
BS Azusa Pacific University

Mary received her bachelors degree in Biochemistry from Azusa Pacific University. Her love for teaching others began during her first job as a high school freshman as a math tutor. Since then, she has over a decade of educational experience under her belt, both inside and outside the classroom. When she is not teaching at Westview, she is teaching students 1 on 1 who live in the US and students who live abroad. She also participates in various community initiatives to get kids excited and confident in their desire to pursue a career in the sciences.

Alessia Calita Calvaruso Stone, MMT
Music Teacher
BA Berklee College of Music
MA University of Padua

Calita graduated from Berkeley College of Music and went on to receive her masters degree in music therapy at University of Padua, Italy. She received an advance professional certificate and expressive therapies from Lesley University. Calita has been a Music Therapist and Teacher throughout Italy for the last 10 years. She recently moved to Southern California where she is enjoying her first year at Westview.

Clinical Department

Billy McGuire
School-Based Counselor
BA
MA Psychology- The Phillips Graduate Institute

Billy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been working at The Westview School for more than twenty years. Billy believes that respect for the student and taking the time to understanding their own unique process is essential to developing a trusting and supportive relationship. It is his goal to support students as they navigate the challenging tasks of meeting academic expectations and belonging to a school community. He enjoys watching students gain greater awareness about themselves and the people they want to become.

Craig Cacek
School-Based Counselor
BA      San Diego State University
MA     Pepperdine University
PPS     California State University, Long Beach

Craig obtained his BA in psychology, his MA in counseling psychology, and his Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a specialization in school counseling.  Craig started his counseling career with The Help Group, acquiring five years of residential treatment experience.  He has worked as a school counselor for the last 25 years, including seven years as an administrative consultant.

Einet Shukrun Samana
BA Academic College of Tel-Aviv - Yafo , Israel
MA Pepperdine University

Einat is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern who recently joined The Help Group. Einat came to us from Israel, where she was a licensed MFT and worked in various work environments with different populations. In her work, Einat taught the children to separate from patterns of behaviors that limit them, encourage them to be who they are, and teach them that every dream is possible and that choice exists at all times.

Justine Colazzo, MFTI
MA Loyola Marymount University

Justine is currently an MFT Intern who recently joined Westview’s clinical team. She received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. Justine believes in a client-centered, strength based approach while supporting students during a critical time in development. A passion for art, and a personal philosophy of the potential for healing through the creative process informs her clinical practice.

Teacher Assistants

Vanesa Rodriguez
Instructional Assistant 
BA University of California, Irvine

Vanessa graduated UC Irvine with a BA in Psychology. She worked as a project manager assistant at a market research firm, then switched careers to work with children with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities as a behavioral interventionist. Vanessa recently joined The Help Group as an instructional assistant. 

Christina Lopez

Mary Bassey

Vanesa Rodrigue

Support Faculty

Lisa May
Assistant Dean/Behavioral Interventionist
BA Loyola Marymount University

Lisa obtained her BA in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University, a Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California, San Diego, and a Certificate in Baking /Pastry from The New School of Cooking. This is her 12th year with Westview and her 3rd year with The Help Group.

Jeshanna Ray
College and Career Counselor
BA Texas Tech University
MA Lubbock Christian University

Jeshanna’s Bachelor's degree is in Exercise and Sports Sciences and her Master's degree is in School Counseling. She got her teaching credentials in 2003 and has worked in education for 9 years. Jeshanna will be at Westview on Wednesday's and Friday's. Jeshanna is looking forward to working with the students at Westview to find the direction they want to go when they graduate from High School.

Mally Badawi
College Counselor
BA California State University, Fullerton
MA Loyola Marymount University

Mally is the College Counselor at Westview. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton. She also has her Masters in Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Service Credential from Loyola Marymount University. Mally has been a college counselor for The Help Group for three years. She works with Westview students Thursday and Friday. She is happy to be working with the Westview campus and assisting students in plotting a post high school plan.