Meet Venice’s New Teachers

Julia Escobar and Jacqueline Sanchez

Emma Gallagher

Ms. Emma Gallagher is a new STEMM teacher leading classes on Biology, Human Body System and Medical Intervention. She attended UCLA and studied Human Biology and Society.

Ms. Gallagher is currently getting her Masters in Life Science Ethics and Social Issues. She taught at Mark Twain Middle School and fell in love with the students, before deciding that it would be the right time to transition into teaching high school.

She grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and then moved to Marin County in Northern California. She enjoys singing, playing guitar, and sewing. Ms. Gallagher said she is extremely grateful to be teaching at Venice and that she loves her students.



Marc Asselin

Mr. Marc Asselin is the new Health and Physical Education teacher. This year will mark his seventh year teaching. Mr. Asselin attended Springfield College and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Movement and Sports. He then received his Masters in 2009 with a Health and Education degree.

Mr. Asselin grew up in Connecticut and taught there for five years until moving to California last fall.

He loves being part of the community, whether he is coaching, teaching or volunteering at the local fire department, something he also did back in Connecticut. Some of Mr.  Asselin’s favorite activities include hiking, camping, and rock climbing. He hopes to make this year’s Health and Physical Education classes as fun as can be.


Tyler Fister

Mr. Tyler Fister is the newest edition to the Venice art community. He has been teaching for 10 years and is now teaching Intro to Art, Painting, and AP Art History at Venice.

He attended Humboldt State University and received his Bachelor’s degree in Art and double majored in Art Education and Studio Art. He went on to get his teaching credentials at San Francisco State University and then his Masters of Art Education at California State University of Long Beach last year.

He worked as an art teacher in Oakland until he moved to Los Angeles six years ago. He has taught all around Los Angeles but heard Venice was trying to grow their art program and was interested in supporting that process.

“So far I’m really happy to be a part of the Venice community both in terms of feeling there is room for growth for the art program but also having a really strong history of the arts,” said Mr. Fister.


Julia Bare

Ms. Julia Bare is one of the newest members of the Venice science community. She is teaching regular Biology, Honors Biology and AP Biology. She attended UCLA and majored in Biology. This is her first year teaching, but she has previously tutored in college and at Mark Twain Middle School. She enjoyed working with the students at Mark Twain and wanted to stay within the community.

In her spare time, she loves to read and write short stories. She is even in the process of writing a children’s book with a friend of hers. Her room is always open during nutrition and lunch for any students that need a safe place to relax.




David Calise

Mr. David Calise is Venice High School’s newest English teacher. He is teaching English 10A, American Literature and AP English Language and Composition. Mr. Calise attended Temple University and received his degree in Secondary Education English. He has been teaching for seven years all around the world. He started his career in Philadelphia then moved to Austin, Texas. He also taught at a small charter school in Los Angeles and even had the opportunity to teach abroad in China for two years. Mr. Calise enjoys singing and songwriting, playing guitar and piano, as well as playing tennis and coding.

“I think a hard part of my job is taking over for Ms. [Courtney] Lockwood,” Mr. Calise said.

Lockwood was the former-head of the STEMM Magnet and was integral in its creation. She was an AP teacher for a long time and left a huge legacy. Mr. Calise said he’s doing his best to try to uphold and be respectful to that.


Chinedu Ezeh

Mr. Chinedu Ezeh is the new English teacher for special education. He has been teaching high school, college and has been a substitute teacher for 16 years. He attended Cal State Dominguez Hills and majored in Law. He grew up in Nigeria but moved to the United States in 2004. Mr. Ezeh enjoys writing poetry, watching movies and swimming. He really loves that the school is so close to the beach. He said when he is having a stressful day, he can just walk on the sand and relax.






Mr. Patrick James

Mr. Patrick James is the new chemistry teacher at Venice High. Mr. James has been teaching for over 10 years, partly in Lynwood Unified School District, and has taught many subjects other than chemistry.

He went to Valencia High School and majored in Bio-chemistry and Cellular Biology at UC San Diego. He went to UCLA for medical school, but decided he did not want to do medicine anymore so he started teaching. He lives in Orange County, but is originally from a small town called Placentia near Disneyland. He taught at Venice two years ago and loves the school and once he found out there was a spot open, he came running to fill it in.

“My initials are PBJ just like Peanut Butter and Jelly,” he added.


Ms. Gloria Gonzalez

Ms. Gloria Gonzalez is the new ninth grade English teacher. Ms. Gonzalez started her first teaching experience tutoring for football players at UC Berkeley, where she was studying for her undergraduate to get her Bachelor’s degree in English. She is also a huge film fanatic and attended Film School at USC. She loves movies and is very interested in politics and history. So far she loves Venice and the vibe it gives off, and has been living here for 20 years.






Mr. Martin Kanshige

Mr. Martin Kanshige is the new Special Day Program teacher and is also an English teacher. He teaches grades 9 and 10. This is Mr. Kanshige’s second year teaching. Before he came to Venice High he was teaching at a middle school and said it is much easier teaching in high school. He went to Otis College of Art and Design and used to be a graphic designer before he became a teacher. He also does paintings and exhibited in shows before he started teaching at Venice. So far, he thinks “Venice has been great, students are great and I haven’t had any problems. Everyone is very helpful.”





Ms. Sarah Lucero

Ms. Sarah Lucero is the new twelfth grade Special Day Program teacher and English teacher. This is her third year teaching, but her first year teaching in Venice and Los Angeles. Before she taught here, she was teaching in Hawaii. She is originally from Colorado but went to Hawaii to study at the University of Hawaii and majored in Elementary Education and Special Education.

Ms. Lucero loves hiking, working out and being as active as she can. She also enjoys writing and reading. So far she really likes the school.

“It’s a great environment and my students are awesome,” said Ms. Lucero.  “It’s been fun getting to know them.”



Mr. Jon Weinberg

Mr. Jon Weinberg is the new librarian, Mr. Weinberg has been teaching for 26 years, he taught Math, Italian and ESL in middle schools and elementary schools. He is now working on library skills.

He went to UCLA and majored in Psychology and got his undergraduate in Italian Literature. He loves reading and computers, and is very focused on his children. He also works with students to help them succeed. He said  “It has been very nice, students are nice, everything is amazing.”






Ms. Emily Swanson

Ms. Emily Swanson is the new math teacher at Venice. She teaches Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Introduction to Data Science . Her experience at Venice so far has been good.

“There’s a great community, great staff, I’ve made a lot of good connections among other staff members, I have really good mentors that are helping me out.” said Ms. Swanson

She went to UCLA and majored in math. She is from Los Angeles. She likes to play tennis and basketball. She also likes to draw in her free tim.





Mr. Ahsan Minhas

Mr. Ahsan Minhas is the new Government, Economics, US history and Constitution Law teacher at Venice.

He went to UC Santa Barbara for his undergraduate degree and majored in Global Science, then he went to University of Oxford for his first Masters and was there for two years, then went to UCLA and majored in Education. He’s been teaching for four years since he got out of school.

In his free time he loves to play soccer, he also likes to go to live jazz shows. He loves reading fiction as well as non fiction books. He even tried to write one of his own, but it didn’t work out as planned.