Exceptional Student Services

Ms. Silvas

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.


Ms. Hellmich

I 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. 


Ms. Maher
My 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.

When 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.


Ms. Leet

Mr. Osses/Mr. Busby
Occupational Therapy

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 2009.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my family, traveling, watching sports and movies, coaching soccer, and working out.


 Ms. Carlino
Behavior Technician
Behavioral Health Tech

Fashion institute of Technology

Walden University

Bachelor of Science-Psychology

Ms. Santos
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.  


Ms. Bolton
Reading Specialist

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 reading. J


Ms. Garcia

Hello my name is Donella Garcia and I have happily served as a Paraprofessional at Copper Basin for 10 years. Im 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.


Ms. Patino

 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.

Ms. Garner