Title: Science Teacher
Company: Orange Unified School District
Location: Anaheim, California, United States
Kasandra Mina Di Pieri, Earth Science Teacher at Canyon High School, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in science education.
Growing up with a learning disability, Ms. Di Pieri dealt with many teachers and trainers in jobs who did not know how to properly guide her through her challenges. Through these experiences, she desired to become a teacher in order to offer students who were struggling to keep up compassion and patience. Ms. Di Pieri received a Master of Arts in Science Education from California State University, Los Angeles in 2004 and a Master of Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2016. In addition, she earned a single subject credential in Introductory Music, Plant Science, Forestry and Horticulture, Geoscience and Chemistry, along with an Arborist certification and an Emergency Medical Technician certification. Having been a full-time student upon returning to school full-time gave Ms. Di Pieri a unique perspective on what it is like to be a student, and gave her the desire to return to the classroom.
Since 2020, Ms. Di Pieri has been an Earth Science teacher at Canyon High School in Anaheim, California. The previous year, she gained experience with the Capistrano Unified School District teaching Chemistry, building off one decade with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Prior to returning to her career in education, Ms. Di Pieri worked for a landscape design firm specializing in highway landscape design for two years, and was a forestry technician with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Presently, she holds membership with the California Teachers Association, the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Ms. Di Pieri attributes her successes to her former supervisor Bernard McDuel who served as a mentor, as well as her former administrators from Capistrano Unified School District, Ken Ezratty and Michael Hatcher, who gave her innovative ideas to use in the classroom and tips on conferencing with parents. With this sentiment, her most memorable time in the classroom was receiving teacher appreciation letters from her students, keeping in touch with them over the years, and seeing the students actively engaged in creative projects during her science “Workshops”. Looking toward the future, Ms. Di Pieri hopes to attain additional credentials in Biology and Physics. She also hopes to create and teach her signature elective class at the high school level, combining horticulture with landscape design to show students the therapeutic power of plants and empower them to design the spaces they inhabit.
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