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Valley Academyof Arts & Sciences

Judith Quinones » About Ms. Quiñones

About Ms. Quiñones

My name is Ms. Quiñones (a.k.a. Captain Q). Welcome to my page! You might be interested to know that I am a 1st generation Costa Rican American, and I got my Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, majoring in Music. I then pursued a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, specializing in Tibetan Buddhist Ritual Music. Given this background, I am a fluent Spanish speaker, and have beginning/intermediate fluency in Tibetan.

After graduate school, I went to work as Assistant to the Director of the UCLA Hammer Museum. That gave me an incredible window into the fine arts world. When my tenure at the Hammer came to a close, I felt called to pursue a career in teaching. I joined the LAUSD District Intern Program and never looked back.

Even though I studied music, I started teaching English in July of 2014. I love working with students and am particularly passionate about interdisciplinary, project-based learning. I find it inspiring to provide students a context in which to practice hands-on college & career skills while learning academic content. As my students will attest to, I’m also something of a social justice warrior.

I will be teaching the following courses at VAAS for the 2018-2019 school year.

  • Minority Literature in America: I’m honored to be the inaugural teacher of this very important class. It is required for 9th graders as it fulfills the District’s ethnic studies requirement. This course features short stories, poems, and media texts by and about traditionally under-represented groups in America. There is an emphasis on cultural understanding and social justice activism.
  • Viper Tech Squad (Journalism): Think of this as our on-campus version of the “Geek Squad.” Students are taught several coding languages and how to troubleshoot technical issues involving computers, iPads, printers, etc. They help peers and faculty/staff with solving technical problems. The journalism piece comes in the fact that members of our Viper Tech Squad author investigative articles and reviews for our NewsViper.
  • Advisory: This is a class aimed at personalizing the high school experience for every student. Advisory is about community building, signature projects, digital portfolios, college preparedness, and anything else we dream up to do together!
If you are interested in reviewing any of my syllabi, you can find them below.
Thank you, and I look forward to working with your wonderful children!