The School Office: (415) 469-4726:

  • Can store special medication for your child.  Please inquire for details.

  • Files an Emergency Card for each student. KEEP THIS INFORMATION UP-TO-DATE.

  • Administers general first-aid for boo-boos (typically ice packs and bandages).  We do not have a school nurse.

  • Will notify you if your child has an injury or falls ill while at school.

  • Prepares and distributes weekly Blue Parents Folders.

  • Gratefully accepts and stores new and gently worn uniforms.

  • Provides Spanish and Chinese translators upon request.


Staff Bios:

Benjamin Klaus



My name is Benjamin Klaus and I have been an educator in SFUSD for the last 14 years. I am originally from Fresno, CA. I studied Socio-Cultural Anthropology at UC Irvine with an emphasis in West African Cultures and Ethnomusicology. My studies led me to live in Ghana, West Africa for two years, immersing myself in their rich cultural traditions. My love of travel has taken me on journeys through 16 countries, over 5 continents. I received my Master's of Education in Teaching from UC Santa Cruz and my Master's of Education in Administration from UC Berkeley.

When I am not at school, you can find me spending time with my family and friends, taking hikes, listening to music, cooking, or exploring new places. My focus in leadership lies in three realms: Validation-we must acknowledge the legitimacy of all our students' home cultures. Empowerment-we must develop students to become active participants of their education. Transformation-we must build on the existing strengths each student brings with them to create a self-empowered citizen. I really enjoy being a member of the Jose Ortega community and working along side such amazing and thoughtful students, teachers and families.

Ms. Tiffany



Ms. Young


Hi my name is Tiffany O’Neal. I am the pre-k SDC teacher. I have been working in this classroom for nine years. It is my passion to work within the early education realm and introduce fun and hands on opportunities for learning. My other passion is spending time with my son. He always makes me laugh and I enjoy watching him learn and grow. Finally, I like traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Ms. Griffith



Ms. Li


My name is Sarah Griffith. This is my seventh year at Jose Ortega as a Kindergarten teacher. I am originally from Sonoma County, but I went to UC Santa Barbara for my undergraduate degree in psychology. I received my credential from SF State in 2009 and finished my Master's of Elementary Education in 2012. I take guitar lessons and love to read at home cuddled up with my cat. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. I love teaching Kindergarten because it's an opportunity to build enthusiasm for school and a love for learning. I enjoy teaching social-emotional skills that my students can take with them throughout their lives.

Hi. I am Ms. Li (aka Li Laoshi). I have been teaching First Grade since 2008. In First Grade, we work hard and play hard.

Ms. Chang


Hi. I am Ms. Chang (aka Chang Lao shi). I am one of the new additions to the awesome JOES teaching team, my name is Angelica Chang. I started my teaching career in 2006 as the first Mandarin Immersion teacher at SFUSD. I previously taught at Starr King and also served as the Mandarin content specialist for the past few years. I was away from the classroom for a couple of years working with a publishing company developing resources for Mandarin Immersion programs statewide.   I obtained both my BA and teaching credential from San Francisco State University. I was born in Taiwan and came to the States when I was 14. I enjoy talking (yes, that is a hobby), painting, baking and cooking. Of course, last but not least, I am also a proud member of the JOES parent community!

Ms. Ashe


MS. Sawamura


I am lucky enough to have been teaching at Jose Ortega since 1988. I love teaching first graders!

Ms. Guillen


Jiang-Xiao Guillen (aka Xiao Lao shi), 2nd grade Mandarin Immersion

I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5 years old. It runs in my family. I enjoy teaching and sharing my life experiences with my students. It’s an honor to be a teacher and I take this responsibility seriously. I have been working at Jose Ortega for seven years and appreciate all the support from the staff as well as parents. Jose Ortega is indeed a caring community. “Be a friend to me and I’ll be a friend to you.”

Ms. Mendieta


I have been a part of the Jose Ortega community since 1993. I couldn’t be happier working with my wonderful students and their families. Teaching second grade, I find that we are always working hard and busy, busy, busy! Please check out the hallway walls and bulletin board outside our classroom and see what we’ve been doing.

Ms. Serra



Ms. Song


Molly loves teaching 2nd graders! She has a M.A. in Education from  USF and is a graduate from the San Francisco Teacher Residency. She enjoys practicing yoga, dance, and mindfulness with the kids at JOES.



Ms. Foreman


I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I could remember. I have had the pleasure of being taught by many great teachers and I am honored to have the opportunity to return the favor to the world. For the past four years I have been a substitute teacher in two Bay Area districts while I studied to become a teacher. In 2006 I graduated from San Francisco State University with the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I returned to San Francisco State University in 2012 and I recently received my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in December 2013. My future goals include returning to San Francisco State University for my Masters in Education as well as becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.

I have spent my whole life in the Bay Area and I come from a big family. I am the middle child of five - two sisters and two younger brothers. I have been living in San Francisco for the past 2 1/2 years and I love exploring various neighborhoods, checking out different eateries and visiting different bookstores. In my spare time I like to cook and bake as well as play board games, video games and being an overall geek. 

Ms. Moore


I was assigned to teach at Jose Ortega School twenty-five years ago, and I knew I was lucky to be a part of this faculty right away. All my classes have been second or third grade--this is my favorite age group. I love working with kids and doing art projects. I do art on my own when I'm not teaching.

Ms. Harris

4th - 5th

Ms. Cheng

4th - 5th


Mr. Calubaquib


Hi. I am Ms. Cheng (aka Cheng Lao shi)I am a native standard Mandarin speaker with twenty-eight years of experience teaching English as a second language to students in China in grades 6 through 12. I achieved the status of Senior/Head Teacher of High School in Shanghai----the highest level of certification awarded to high school teachers in China.

Mr. Ellingson


Mr. Ellingson is a native Californian, raised in the Sierra Nevada foothills. He's is an alumnus of UC Santa Cruz where he studied Fine Arts and Education. He also competed on the NCAA Swim Team in freestyle and backstroke. Later he received his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. In the classroom he loves teaching literacy, specifically writing, as well as science. He takes pride in preparing 5th graders for middle school through reinforcing study skills and social skills. In his free time his interests are coaching water polo and swimming, surfing, snowboarding, camping, playing Masters water polo and watching Giants games.

School Staff:

In addition to our experienced and committed team of teachers, the JOES staff includes a variety of support staff to assist families. Including Resource Specialists and Paraprofessionals who assist and support students with special needs.

Ms. Ginny Fraire-Fong, Administrative Assistant
Ms. Allison Garcia, School Social Worker

Ms. Mary Wong, Librarian
Ms. Ilana Barth, Literacy Coach
Mr. Matthew Calderon, YMCA ASP Coordinator
Ms. Amy Sullivan, Resource Specialist
Mr. Paul Choppi, Resource Specialist
Ms. Candy He, Paraprofessional
Ms. Melanie Khuon, Paraprofessional Pre-K
Ms. Alice Fung, Paraprofessional Pre-K
Ms. Michelle Dockery, Speech Teacher
Ms. Paige Nittler, Science Consultant
Ms. Caitlin Aherns, Science Consultant
Mr. Jonathan Turner, Noon Monitor
Ms. Sue, (evening) Custodian
Ms. Pei Situ, (daytime) Custodian
Ms. Helen Huang, Cafeteria Worker
TBD, School Psychologist