Our Specialist Classes
Taught year-round in each grade, students thrive in our specialist classes where they study concepts with greater depth, breadth and complexity, while also helping students to develop their own areas of interest and strengths.
Spanish class is designed for students to develop a love and appreciation for the Spanish language as well as the many different cultures that come with it. Starting in Kindergarten, students are introduced to Spanish through song, games, movement, stories, conversation and lots of giggles. Students continue to expand their knowledge through hands-on projects and real life simulations such as going to the doctor's office in Third Grade, creating their own restaurant in Fifth Grade, researching a Spanish-speaking country in Sixth Grade, and taking the class on a virtual field trip in Eighth Grade. Spanish class at PHS is a unique experience that allows students to step outside of their comfort zones and gain confidence in all areas of learning.
Meet our Spanish Teacher, Ms. Allen
My name is Adeline Allen and I feel extremely grateful to have the role of teaching Spanish at PHS. I strive to foster every child’s unique skills and perspectives to create our own cultural experience in every class. I am a Los Angeles native and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) to pursue a degree in Communication Arts and Spanish language. While in college I decided to go even further from home and study at the Complutense University of Madrid. I fell in love with the country and the culture so I decided to return to Spain after college to pursue my passion of teaching. I taught English at Collegi Lestonnac Tarragona to students ages one to fourteen. I returned home to California to teach First and Third Grade in San Jose. I have been at PHS for three years now and have loved absolutely every minute of it. I am constantly learning from my students and my coworkers. When I’m not teaching you can find me tasting foods and seeing other parts of the world. When I’m home I am always outside soaking up sun h or spending time with my adorable pup!
Learning to code at a young age is a great opportunity for kids and teens to develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills while building the necessary focus and organization to see projects through to completion.
Coding empowers kids of all ages to become makers of technology by tapping into their ability to bring their imagination to life.
Kids and teens who code excel at school in math and science, even reading, while developing a useful skill.
Meet our Coding Teacher, Mr. Lechuga
I began working at Peninsula Heritage School in 2017 as an IT Associate. I have since become the Director of Technology and now teach 7th grade Geometry, 8th grade Algebra II, and Coding.
Along with teaching, I enjoy spending my time at home with my wife Keelin and our 2 dogs. We love traveling and experiencing the wonderful variety of cultures, cuisines, and landscapes around the world. I also love to hike, visit friends and family, listen to music, and watch sports and movies.
Our music classes improve self-confidence, enhance brain development, and provide opportunities for creativity and emotional expression. Students get exposed to a wide variety of instruments, learn about music history and theory, and create music with their classmates.
Kindergarteners enjoy singing seasonal pieces that often incorporate movement as well as learning musical notes with hand bells. As students advance through the grades, they are introduced to more musical instruments and progress with more challenging musical instruction and theory.
In the 1st and 2nd grades, keyboards, xylophones, and "bucket drumming" are added. Recorders and ukuleles are introduced in 2nd grade, 5th graders focus on musical instruments of the colonial era, and middle school studies music from various genres as well as an introduction to the guitar. In middle school, students are able to take home any of our instruments to practice.
Meet our Music Teacher, Mr. Miller
I was first exposed to music because my parents and other influential people encouraged me to try every instrument I could get my hands on, eventually finding out which instruments worked well for me. That's why music at PHS is a "hands-on" experience!
I received my B.A. in Music at Cal State Dominguez Hills and my B.S. in Organizational Leadership at Biola University. I joined PHS as a Music Teacher in 2006 and have loved every year of sharing the joy of music with these wonderful students.
Our Physical Education program is designed to give students a life-long love for fitness and wellness through a variety of team sports, interactive games, team building activities, and personal goal-setting challenges. The main goal each day is for students to tap into their mind, body and character, finding joy and socialization through sport and fitness.
Meet our Physical Education Teacher, Mr. Gabriel
I have been fortunate enough to teach Physical Education here at PHS for the last 4 years. I am a New York native, but have spent 8 years living in Belmont Shore (Long Beach) and I love living here in the South Bay. I have always had a passion for sports, the outdoors and staying active. Growing up, my mother was a 27 year P.E. teaching veteran, and I knew I also wanted to pursue the same career path. I moved to California to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education from Whittier College, while also serving as a graduate assistant lacrosse coach. I received my undergraduate degree from New England College, while playing both soccer and lacrosse at the collegiate level. In my free time, I am passionate about making music, hiking, hanging with my dog, and racing stand up paddle boards. My goal while teaching here at PHS is to instill a lifelong passion for learning through fitness, sport and wellness. It is such a pleasure working with these amazing kids!
Art class focuses on teaching the basic principles of art through a wide variety of grade level specific projects. Students experiment with materials, express themselves creatively, learn from their mistakes, and reflect on and appreciate the beauty of their own artwork while developing critical thinking skills and a sense of craftsmanship through technique. Each student is given the opportunity to work with many different mediums, which allows for an expansion of the imagination and increase in awareness and understanding of art. Students also learn to appreciate the historical and cultural aspects of art. Each year, art class features famous artists and their respective techniques. Lessons on line, color, value, form, shape, space, and texture are woven into the curriculum and there is an emphasis on projects related to art history and multicultural diversity as well as holiday themes.
Meet our Art Teacher, Ms. Christine
Throughout my childhood and into high school, I spent the majority of my free time drawing and creating. When I got older, I earned my BFA in Illustration from Cal State Long Beach and later I earned my Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art from Cal State Long Beach as well. Currently, I am working on a few projects for children: an illustrated novel and a maze book!
Art has always been important to me. It is where my mind and my heart work in harmony. When I am brainstorming ideas and creating pieces based on those ideas, I feel I am directly tapping into my genuine self and communicating it to the viewer. The journey from that first spark of an idea to the manifestation of bringing that idea to life is meditative, joyful and fulfilling.
Every month, a PHS class creates a video presenting a character quality using song, dance, and a fun skit! During rehearsals and performances, students are building self-confidence, working together as a team, practicing their memorization skills, and so much more.
Meet Deborah Wilcox, the Drama Specialist
For the past fifteen years, I have had the privilege of being part of the staff at Peninsula Heritage School. In rehearsals and performances I experience a true sense of inspiration and awe in directing and choreographing all of our young artists. It is such an enjoyable experience observing all the students develop into self confident, vibrant, imaginative and caring performers.
As a child growing up, my parents were enthusiastic patrons of the arts and exposed our family to a variety of films and live theater performances, and that is where my identity, destiny, and passion for the arts began. I started taking dance classes at Carole's Dance Theater in Long Beach, where I later had my first teaching experiences. I have trained in dance as well as theater at Long Beach State and City Colleges, and with various teachers and well know artists in the industry. I have been a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artist for over thirty years. I am a certified Teaching Artist from the Los Angeles County Commission for the Arts.
I have had the good fortune of having many of my dreams come true as a performer. I started my performing career at Disneyland and have performed at various theme parks. A highlight for me was performing in the classic movie musicals, “Grease”, and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, and dancing on the Academy Awards. I have also performed in various showcases and productions in the Los Angeles theater arts community. I find that working behind the scenes is equally as thrilling and gratifying as performing.
In our hands-on Science Lab, students engage in scientific reasoning, perform experiments, record data, analyze results, discuss their findings and more.
Meet Dr. Mary Wilson, Science Teacher for grades 4 - 8
I have been teaching hands-on science in our two science labs as a member of the PHS faculty for six years. Previously I was involved with presenting science experiments in the classroom for nine years when both of my children attended Peninsula Heritage (graduated 2003 and 2006). I attended UCLA and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. At that time, I was interested in becoming a veterinarian or a medical illustrationist. I love animals and have had menageries of pets from snakes to chinchillas. I was even a breeder of stick insects and supplied the Natural History Museum baby stick insects for their insect zoo.
When I worked as a lab technician in the histology lab at the UCLA School of Medicine for four years, I became interested in the field of dentistry and received my Doctorate in Dental Surgery from USC in 1981. After working for a couple of decades, I retired from dental practice and was fortunate to be offered a position at Peninsula Heritage School.
I love teaching our children and enriching their enthusiasm to learn about the wonders of science. Presenting scientific concepts in a fun and memorable way is very enriching to both the students as well as myself. I am a bit of a geek. I enjoy playing with gadgets that enhance scientific concepts (my home is full of them). I am addicted to Legos and building models. And I really enjoy playing board games with my family and friends - my favorite is Dominion.
Meet John Clement, Science Teacher for grades K - 3
Hi, I am John and it is a pleasure to be working at such a great school. I attended the University of New Hampshire where I received a B.A. in Zoology. I later got my teaching credential at the University of Massachusetts. Since then, I have been teaching science for over 20 years. In my free time, I like to play music and write songs.