Our Staff

  • Irene Lopez is committed to being an amazing community of high-school ready, learners, leaders and achievers on the path to success in college and career. 

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Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Herrera

My name is Michelle Herrera and I am the one of the kindergarten teachers at Irene Lopez School. This is my second year teaching in the Roosevelt School District. The new school year began different to what we would have like but I love the commitment and support the kindergarten parents have shown to their children and teacher (me). My favorite part of being a teacher at Lopez school is watching the children learn and grow. Please reach out to me if I can support you in any way: Michelle.Herrera@rsd66.org


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Third Grade Teacher

Ms. Ruiz

My name is Karen Ruiz and I am one of the 3rd grade teachers at Irene Lopez School. I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood and Special Education. This is my second year as a teacher at Irene. My favorite part about Irene is that it is a school with rich traditions and a close-knit community. My first priority this school year, despite all of the uncertainties, is to make sure the students feel a sense of security in my classroom. I am very passionate about providing the best academic experience for my students, while also prioritizing their mental well-being. Aside from teaching, I love painting, swimming, and cooking! I am looking forward to another great year as a Lopez Bull! Please reach out to me if I can support you in any way: karen.ruiz@rsd.k12.az.us


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Third Grade Teacher

Mr. Castro


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Fourth Grade Teacher

Ms. Hollender

My name is Nikelle Hollender and I am the 4th grade ELA and Social Studies teacher at Irene Lopez School. This is my first year as a teacher and at Irene Lopez. I already feel so welcomed in the school and by the community, and I have the best time working with the 4th graders! My favorite part about Lopez is the sense of community among everyone, students, families, and staff! Feel free to reach me at nadine.hollender@rsd.k12az.us Go Bulls!


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Sixth Grade Teacher

Ms. Brink

My name is Emily Brink and I am the 6th grade math teacher at Irene Lopez. This is my first year here and my first year teaching. I am so excited to be joining the Lopez family and working with all your amazing students, whether it be online or in person. I look forward to an awesome year! Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can support you in any way: emily.brink@rsd.k12.az.us


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Sixth Grade Teacher

Ms. Zavala

Hello, Lopez Bulls! My name is Jessica Zavala and I am your 6th grade ELA teacher. This is my third year teaching but my first year at Lopez and in the state of Arizona. I’m originally from Dallas, Texas, but I am already loving our awesome community in Phoenix! I’m so excited to learn about our Lopez traditions and to be part of the best school in town. I love reading, Harry Potter, and working with young, brilliant minds every day. Please reach out if you have any questions or need support: Jessica.zavala@rsd.k12.az.us Go bulls!


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Seventh Grade Teacher

Mr. Carlson

My name is Connor Carlson and I teach junior high social studies at Irene Lopez School. This is my fifth year as a teacher, all at Lopez. I'm excited to be a part of this amazing school to teach history, government, and economics to our middle schoolers. In addition to teaching, I run the Teen Court program, which is open to all students from grades 5-8. Please reach out to me if I can support you in any way: Connor.carlson@rsd.k12.az.us


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Seventh Grade Teacher

Ms. Johnson

Hello all! I am Darnesha Johnson, the 7th and 8th Grade ELA teacher. I'm an Arizona native and spent the first half of my life living in Phoenix and the other half in Tempe. I graduated in 2020 from Arizona State University with my Bachelors in Elementary Education with a focus in Bilingual and ELL education, as well as a certificate in Korean Studies. My goal every year is to make sure your child moves on to the next grade with more than a quality English education, but having learned different skills that will make them successful for life after middle school and high school. If you ever need to contact me, you can do so at: darnesha.johnson@rsd.k12.az.us.


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Social Worker

Ms. Cabanillas

Michelle Cabanillas, LMSW was born and raised in Puerto Rico. For the last 28 years she has lived in Arizona, which she now considers her home, along with her husband and three kids. Mrs. Cabanillas is a graduate of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University with a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Planning, Administration, and Community Practice. Mrs. Cabanillas has dedicated the last twenty years to the services of students and families in the Phoenix area through her role as a School Social Worker. She is currently the Lead Social Worker for the Roosevelt School District and the Social Worker at Irene Lopez School. She is passionate about assisting our students in developing their social and emotional skills, supporting their mental health needs, and connecting their families with needed community supports.


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Eighth Grade Teacher

Ms. Lofranco

I am Denise Lofranco and I am the 7th/8th Math Teacher at Irene Lopez School. I was born and raised in the Philippines and I moved here for work and to impart a new vigor to mind. This is my second year as a Junior high teacher at Lopez and I am happy to be part of this community. My favorite part about Lopez is its camaraderie towards each other. I love how they treat one another as their own family member.


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Eighth Grade Teacher

Mr. Estes

My name is Aaron Estes, and I am the Junior High Science teacher at Irene Lopez School. I am an alumnus of Arizona State University, a five-year Army veteran, and spent nearly four years living in South Korea. Whether classes are online or in-person, I am excited to have a fun year of inquiry and learning. If you have any needs or questions, please feel free to contact me at: aaron.estes@rsd.k12.az.us or through Google Voice at (925) 302-9355


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Band Teacher

Mr. Shaver

My name is Travis Shaver and I am the new music teacher and band director at Irene Lopez School. This is my first year teaching music, and what a year it is! It is definitely an odd and challenging time to teach music, but I'm excited to share the wonders of this beautiful and essential art form with the fantastic students in the Irene Lopez family. Music has taken me around the world and paid for both of my degrees, and it can do the same and more for those in our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me at travis.shaver@rsd.k12.az.us if you ever have any questions, needs, or concerns.


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P.E Teacher

Ms. Pineda

Hello, my name is Mayra Pineda I am the Physical Education Teacher at Irene Lopez School.I received my Bachelors Degree in Physical Education from Arizona State University in 2018. This will be my second year teaching and I enjoy sharing my passion for health, sports, and exercise. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of such an incredible community and I look forward to many more years teaching in the Roosevelt School District. Email : mayra.pineda@rsd.k12.az.us Google phone number: 669-258-4871 (Call or Text)


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Second Grade Teacher

Ms. Shapiro

I am a native of Arizona. I have 2 children, ages 13 and 10. I graduated from Northern Arizona University with my bachelors in elementary education and am currently in school to get my masters in teaching and leadership for adults. I have been teaching at Irene Lopez for 8 years. My first 2 years were in 6th grade and the last 6 years are in 2nd grade.


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First Grade Teacher

Ms. Damian

My name is Reyna Damian. I have been at Irene Lopez for at least 8 years now! I am currently the first grade teacher and have been teaching first for three years. Before that, I taught third grade, I have had a few siblings as students. That's the best part, I think, because I can see how much students have grown and make deeper connections with families. When it comes to education; I received my Bachelor's degree at ASU and my Masters degree from GCU. One emphasizes on working with students of English as a Second Language and the other focuses on Reading. Both are my passion. I am always wiling to learn more and help out, if you have questions, I am always willing to help! My email is reyna.damian@rsd.k12.az.us. Thank you!


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