Our Team

We care about our students and community, and we are proud to serve all students. 

Meet Our Principals

Hello Constellation scholars, parents, and school community,

Hello Constellation scholars, parents, and school community,

Angela Carter Rodriguez and Melissa Annette Russell are proud  to lead Animo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School.  As lifelong educators, our goal is to provide a safe, equitable, rigorous, 21st century education to the scholars of AMJ.


As your principals, We Commit to keeping you informed of our evolving reality.  It is our job to keep our constellation safe and provide the most rigorous academic program available.  Our Constellation will “Rise Up” and advocate for social justice in the Watts and Compton communities.  Parents and guardians, please know that you are always welcome at AMJ and we consider you an essential part of our family.  We know that it takes a village to provide the best educational experience for our children. We invite you to actively participate in our school activities through our Coffee/Pizza with the principals, school committees and programming, while actively engaging with your child’s education especially during distance/hybrid learning.


At AMJ we have dedicated and talented staff, serving approximately 540 students in grades 6-8.  We believe in meeting the needs of the whole child.  This includes a rigorous and engaging academic program that includes targeted intervention and/or enrichment built into the school day.  We also have a daily advisory program that builds students' social-emotional skills, academic habits, and college awareness.  


This vision embodies our mission as a school community.  This vision articulates our hopes and dreams as a school community, and helps to define our path to get there. If you are new to the Animo Mae Jemison family, welcome, you have just entered into a very special place. A place where everyone believes in their heart that every child must be prepared for college, leadership, and life - and that this begins as soon as our students walk in our doors as 6th graders. A place defined by a social justice imperative to disrupt the narrative that says that students in our community will be defined by their zip code.  Together our constellation will “Rise Up” and prepare our scholars to be the professionals, entrepreneurs, visionaries, social justice warriors, and leaders of the future.


In partnership,

Dr. Angela Carter Rodriguez & Ms. Melissa Annette Russell


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Our Team

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First Name Last Name Position
Hillary Aispuro Community School Coordinator
Ana Alvarado School Operations Manager
Yolanda Amaral English Teacher
Leah Lamberth English Teacher
Marquinn Banks Campus Aide/Security Guard
Angel Beatley Math Teacher
Carolvee Beckstrand Math Teacher
Jessica Bravo Special Education Teaher
Patrick Crowley Assistant Principal
Jessica Espinoza School Operations Assistant
Daisy Estevez Social Studies Teacher
Amahni Freeman ELA Teacher
Brenda Garcia Office Assistant
Ephraim Gatdula Math Teacher
April Gonzalez Campus Aide/Security Guard
Erica Gonzalez Special Education Teacher
Sylvia Hernandez English Teacher
Jennifer Jacques Science Teacher
Andrew Khoury School Councelor
Luisa Lopez Science Teacher
Whitney Luigs Special Education Teacher
Javier Lujan English Teacher
Gryselda Luna Science Teacher
Andres Montanez Social Science Teacher
Jimmy Morales Counselor
Erin Nasry Social Studies Teacher
Noemy Ponce School Mental Health Supervisor
Arlene Quintero Parent Coordinator
Elvira Ramos School Psychologist
Miguel Reyes Math Intervention Teacher
Angela Rodriguez Principal
Fernando Ruiz Math Teacher
Melissa Russell Principal
Jessica Trejo ELA Teacher
Danny Sanchez Math Teacher
Jessica Trejo ELA Teacher
Brian Wang English Teacher