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Our GS Staff

Our GS Staff


Marjan Jahanfard - Middle and High School Math Teacher

Marjan JahanfardMarjan graduated cum laude from University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Psychology with a minor in French. She then earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Pittsburgh. After working in the corporate world for several years, she received her teaching credential in K-12 mathematics also from University of Pittsburgh.  For the past 6 years, Marjan has taught a variety mathematics classes at the Hebrew Academy ranging from general math to pre-calculus. 


Shani Newman- Middle and High School Math Teacher

Shani NewmanBA - Mathematics for Teaching - San Francisco State University.

Teaching Credential- University of California, Irvine.

Masters in Education - University of California, Irvine.

A high school mathematics teacher who has taught a full range of class, including; Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Precalculus, and Consumer Mathematics.


Paul Sangha - Middle and High School Science Teacher

Yashpaul Sangha.jpgA STEM Science Teacher, Mr. Paul Sangha is an experienced and enthusiastic professional who is thrilled to join our community and prepared to provide students support, guidance, challenge, and engaged learning!  Mr. Sangha, joins us from Fresno where he has received outstanding training and mentorship as a Middle and High School science teacher. 


Lisa Lopez - Curriculum Specialist/Special Student Services

I am starting my 14th year in education at The Hebrew Academy teaching Social Studies.  I have served as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, and Academic Coach throughout my career.  I have a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in History and Liberal Studies and completed my Single Subject Credential Program in Social Sciences from California State University, Long Beach in California.  I earned a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and I am currently a doctorate student of Education with Concordia University.  

I began my teaching career at Paramount High School in Paramount, California.  After 11 and half years of teaching there my family and I moved to Colorado, where I continued my career in education.  We just recently moved back home to California and I am happy to continue my calling with The Hebrew Academy Family.  

I believe in teaching to the whole child, providing and supporting an environment of academic rigor, physical, moral, social, emotional, spiritual, and creativity.  I use a variety of researched-based practices to ensure I meet needs of all learners and ensure students receive the most meaningful education.  Thus, making my students college and career ready, the prepared for the day after high school and to become active member of the community.  

My personal interests include spending with time my family, including my husband and two highly energetic sons.  We enjoy traveling, musicals, museums, and spending time in nature.


Michelle Edelson - Middle School English Teacher

Michelle Edelson.PNGHi! I am Michelle Edelson and I live in Huntington Beach, California. My family relocated from outside of New York City where I have spent the past twelve of my 24 year career as a Literacy teacher, Mentor and Coach in the New York City Public School System. As an educator in the New York City schools, I have become well versed in the many requirements being placed upon our teachers and students on both the state and national levels to ensure success.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, a Master’s of Science degree in Education as well as a Master’s of Science degree in School Counseling. Most importantly, I love working with students expanding their worlds through Literature, writing and critical analysis.

Student Government and College and Career Counseling will be directed by Mrs. Michelle Edelson. Mrs. Edelson is excited to strengthen our student government program. She believes in empowering student voices in their school community. Mrs. Edelson will also be empowering students by helping to guide them in their post-HA pursuits.  

Heena Desai - Middle School Social Studies Teacher 

Heena Desai.JPGHello all! My name is Heena Desai and I am Hebrew Academy’s new history teacher. My husband and I decided last year to make Orange County our home for our growing family. I have taught history for the past 6 years in a coastal city in Texas. I have a Master’s degree from Texas A&M. I am extremely passionate about teaching and enjoy creating activities and trips that enhance the class curriculum. I have organized trips at a university, created programs for my student council members, and taken a group of students to Washington DC every summer. I work very hard to give students the skills they need to be successful in all classes in general. When I’m not teaching or thinking about teaching, I love to travel, spend time with my family and friends, go shopping, reading, and love watching various sports. I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you this year. Please do not hesitate to ask me anything at all about my class.




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