My name is Sophia
Silvas and I am so lucky to be a part of the Exceptional Student Services
Educators of Copper Basin K-8 for my first year as a special education teacher.
As a recent graduate of Arizona State University graduating with honors with 2
bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and also Early Childhood
Special Education, I knew that my dream of teaching students with disabilities
was becoming a reality. I have gained numerous skills being a part of the
iTeach program at ASU as well as part of the Council for Exceptional Children
honors program, I have never felt more prepared to stand here and help make the
change and difference in special education there needs to be for today. I
believe that every child matters regardless of their disability and when they
feel like every other student we are building the importance of inclusion
everywhere. With my supportive family, friends, boyfriend, and 2 dogs at home,
being able to call this my career is definitely a dream worth having.
am proud to be one of the Exceptional Student Services
Educators of Copper Basin K-8. I am also honored to be a member of
the Copper Basin community since the 2013-2014 school year. Prior to joining
Copper Basin, I served for three years as a 4th and 5th grade
substitute for general and special education teachers and as
a paraprofessional for students with disabilities at Durban Avenue
School in Hopatcong, NJ. In NJ I gained plentiful experience working with
students having various disabilities forging my way towards becoming a special
education educator. In the summer of 2012, my family and I moved to Copper
Basin where I excitedly took a position as a health aide at the Anthem K-8
Pathways program. This is now my fifth year as an employee of the
Florence Unified School District, where I worked as a Health
Aide, Behavior Technician, Long Term ESS substitute, and currently as
an ESS educator. I believe all children should be given every
opportunity to succeed in school and having a healthy rapport and
connection with their teachers is vital to their success. When students feel
empowered and that they are important members of a classroom and
school community, they have a greater respect for themselves,
their teachers, their peers, their academics, and their extracurricular
activities. One of my hopes and passions as a special educator is to guide
and witness children succeed academically, emotionally, and socially.
name is Lisa Maher, my family and I have lived in Copper Basin for 13
years. We moved to Arizona 14 years ago from the San Francisco Bay Area,
in California, where my husband and I grew up. We have two daughters
Madeline and Nora, a dog Wally and 2 tortoises Squirt and Shelby. This
will be my 16th year teaching and my 13th year at Copper
Basin. I taught Kindergarten for 8 years, 6 years in Second grade and 2nd
year in Special Education. I graduated from California State University
Chico with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies. I did my graduate and
credential work at National University and Grand Canyon University.
I am not teaching, I love spending time with my family and friends. We
love to go camping and working in the yard. I am learning how to sew and
love trying new projects.
Mr. Osses/Mr. Busby
My name is Alex Osses and I am the Occupational Therapist at
Copper Basin. This is my 2nd year at Copper Basin and my 6th year as an
Occupational Therapist in the school setting. Prior to the school setting I
worked in the rehab setting for 2 years. I am a native from Arizona, born and
raised in Scottsdale, and absolutely love this state! My wife and I have 2
beautiful children and we currently live in Gilbert. I graduated with my
Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Arizona State University in 2005 and
my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in
When I am not working, I love spending time with my family,
traveling, watching sports and movies, coaching soccer, and working out.
Behavioral Health Tech
Fashion institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science-Psychology
Hello my name is Sandra Santos and I am the ELL teacher here
at Copper Basin. This is my fourth year
teaching ELL at Copper Basin and I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by
already! Before joining the Florence
Unified School District, I taught in the Mesa School District for five
years. I love teaching ELL because I’m
able to teach all grade levels and support the different learning needs of my
students. I believe that having fun
while learning is important to motivate students and encourage them to succeed
in their academic development.
My name is Myla Bolton.
I have been teaching the Reading Intervention Program at Copper Basin
K-8 School for five years. This is my 11th
school year in the Florence Unified School District. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in
Elementary Education with an emphasis in multicultural education from Northern
Arizona University as well as my Master’s Degree with an emphasis in reading.
I love teaching and I especially
love teaching the children in Copper Basin - Go Dust Devils!
I reside in San Tan Valley.
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. In my spare time I enjoy doing crafts and
Hello my name is Donella Garcia and I
have happily served as a Paraprofessional at Copper Basin for 10 years. I’m a proud wife and
mother to three teenagers. All of which have attended Copper Basin. During my
time at Copper Basin, I have worked in ELL, Reading and Math Triage, even
cafeteria and playground aide on occasion when needed. My time at Copper Basin
has been amazing. They are so many amazing kids, parents, and staff I have met
through the years.
| My name is Mandy Patino and I have been a Copper Basin
resident for 5 years. I am happily married to my husband and we have 2 children
that attend Copper Basin. I began working at Copper Basin in 2015 where I
started as a Lunch Monitor and also helped as a playground aide. After a few
months I was given the opportunity to take to a Paraprofessional position in
the Title 1 department. I am now currently in the Exceptional Student Services
department. I have enjoyed all my different experiences with the kids and staff
here at Copper Basin and hope to continue to have many more.|