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Meet the Teachers

Ms. Farinas
Ella Farinas, AVID Coordinator and 6th grade AVID 
My name is Ella Farinas and I am thrilled to be a part of your child's education. 2020-21 marks the beginning of my 14th year with PUSD and my fifth year at Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy. I am a Nationally Certified STEM Teacher and Instructional Coach. My classroom experience includes teaching K-5 Science at Franklin and Cleveland, GATE Advisory and AVID 6-8 at WSMA. I received my B.A. in Child Development, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.A. in Education with an Option in Science from CSU, Los Angeles.
My goal is to develop agency and leadership in my students, and create memorable experiences to make their time at WSMA special. The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to innovate and find creative solutions to new challenges. Although we are sometimes out of our comfort zones, we are learning a lot and will emerge stronger as a result.  
I live in Pasadena with my husband and two children, who attend Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet. We are making the most of the quarantine by playing 8-bit video games on my Super Nintendo and storytelling every night. I've also taken up virtual 5K races. I try to participate in at least one race per month.
Byanka Haro-Banuelos, 8th grade AVID

My name is Byanka Haro-Bañuelos and I am honored to join the AVID team at Washington STEAM Magnet Academy. The 2020-2021 school year will be my sixth year as a teacher. I began my teaching career here in PUSD, at Jackson Dual Language Magnet Academy. I taught first grade in the dual language immersion program for four years and I currently teach in the dual language program here at WSMA . I received my B.A. in Sociology and Education from UC Irvine. In 2015, I earned my M.A. in Teaching, my teaching credential, and my bilingual authorization from USC. 

As a first generation college student, I had many questions that went unanswered for a long time. I wasn’t sure if I was “college material” or what I really needed to do in order to get there. I wasn’t sure who to reach out to with all of my questions. On this journey, I have learned that education is my passion and I hope to share all that I have learned with my AVID students.  I hope my students use me as a resource and truly understand that it is NEVER too early to start preparing for college or their future career. In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband, my family, my friends, and my dog, Nala. I love watching baseball games, especially when the Dodgers are playing! I am also a foodie and enjoy eating all kinds of yummy foods!