Skip to main content

New Staff to UHS

March - Ms. Lou - Math

new staffHello --Upland family! I am the new Algebra I teacher located at the end of the J building (come visit!). It is a pleasure to be a new member at UHS and I am so grateful for the wonderful colleagues and the support that I received. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona majoring in Landscape Architecture, I worked as a freelance designer and spent several years in the interpretation industry. Later I received my Master in Education from UCI and worked at GGUSD. In my spare time, I like to paint, do floral arrangements, watch movies and hang out with family and friends. Traveling and trying out different cuisines is also another hobby of mine. 

December - Mr. Abbott - Principal

Principal John AbbottI am honored to serve as your new principal of Upland High School. Before arriving to Upland High School, I worked as an administrator at Colton HS, Colton MS, and most recently Corona HS. Prior to administration, I taught mathematics at San Andreas HS, San Bernardino HS, and Grand Terrace HS. I also served 8 years in the United States Army. I believe in public service and servant leadership. I believe that our work in education matters; we have a great responsibility to our students and the communities we serve, and I take significant pride in what we do. It is my hope that all of our students graduate Upland HS with the opportunity to pursue whatever it is they aspire to do in their lives. 

I have two daughters, Ariana (14) and Mya (12) who are actively involved in school. My daughters are examples of students who love their schools and their teachers. I am grateful to all of the educators who have made an impact in their lives. They are a part of our family as well, whether they know it or not! I also have three brothers and two sisters who live throughout the United States. 
When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my daughters and staying active. I am looking forward to a great school year this year!

November - Ms. Palisoc - English

Ma PalisocHi there!  What an honor it is to be a member of the Upland family!  My name is Kristine (Kris) Palisoc and I am thrilled to teach English here at Upland High School.  

If you ask me, literature is all around us – living and breathing in our everyday lives.  Not only do we learn to understand the characters we read about, but in them, ourselves – and it is making such connections between literature and our own lives, that we can begin to appreciate the meaning behind each novel we read!  I love bearing witness to a student who reaches an “a-ha” moment, the moment where he/she realizes that a conclusion has been drawn based on his/her own understanding.  It is that feeling that drives my teaching.

I attended Cal Poly Pomona where I earned a BA in English Education and received my teaching credential.  Before joining the Upland family, I taught Sophomore and Senior English at a nearby district.  However, I didn’t earn all my experience with teenagers solely from working with them.  On a personal note, my husband and I have been married almost 20 years and have three children. My eldest son is currently at San Diego State University studying Biomechanical Engineering, my “favorite middle child” is a senior in high school, my youngest is in 4th grade, and my 4 year old fur child is a professional napper.  Life can get a bit hectic sometimes, but I am here for the ride!  Thank you so much for welcoming me to the Highlander family.  I am looking forward to a great year!

October 2020 - Mr. Cantwell - Science

Mr. CantwellHello, my name is Robert David Cantwell; I normally go by my middle name, but you will probably know me as Robert at Upland High School. My goddaughter calls me Bob, and the middle name versus my legal name amuses my students; they are still my favorite thing at UHS (You're great to work with too, colleagues of mine!). This is my fourth school to teach at and my favorite among them.

Some teachers inspire but sometimes one electrifies us, and my first college science teacher, Harold Friedemann, was among the latter, but I did not answer the calling until thirty years past my college career. I was a field worker in public water distribution for a dozen years and then a scientific programmer for the next dozen when I worked with engineers and physicists at the Edwards Air Force Research Labs in the High Desert. I finally decided to come to teaching when the contracts at the lab ended and the contractor that handled us there closed its CA doors.

I live in Mentone with my wife Connie and daughter Arsinoe. I am a godfather and have two sisters. I own a motor cycle that I hope I will get back on the road in the next couple of years (my nephew who currently rides hopes so too). Aside from being a teacher, dad and goddad, I think my favorite role is being a student even these few decades after obtaining my first bachelors degree; I am still an avid reader of Ancient Mediterranean history, comparative religions, cultural anthropology and the philosophy of science. I hope that after I am more settled in my teaching career to draft and teach a history of science course at the school.

September 2020 - Mr. Diaz - Assistant Principal

Mr. DiazI am so excited to join the team at Upland High School and become a Highlander!  I began my career in education as a teacher and a coach.  I have taught many subjects including yearbook, technology, journalism and history. However, my primary teaching subject area was English. I have been a head football, girls soccer and softball coach at the varsity level. I have been fortunate enough to coach two CIF Championship Teams (Football and Softball)

I have served in several capacities as both a site level and district office administrator in the Tustin and Glendora School Districts. My role as Assistant Principal overseeing Student Services, Athletics and Activities allows me to follow my passion for supporting students in each and every endeavor they are interested in during their four years here at Upland.

Personally, I have been married to my wife, Erin, for 26 years and we have three great children.  Mackenzie (23) is a teacher in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Alabama.  Jackson (21) is studying Strategic and Corporate Communications at Chapman University.  Our youngest, Peyton (17) is currently playing softball for Glendale Community College.  

I am so very excited about the 2019-20 school year and look forward to meeting many of you at all of our amazing events this year.

August 2020 - Mr. Somers - Assistant Principal

Mr. SomersI am THRILLED to be a Highlander!
I taught English for over two decades and have had roles in WASC, AVID, EL, AP, PBIS, International Baccalaureate, ASB, CTE, ILT, and School Site Council both as a teacher and administrator. 
My role as Assistant Principal of Student Achievement and Special Projects allows me to follow my passion for supporting students, staff, and parents.

Personally, I am a married (29 years) with two kids, Kara and Justin, both going off to Grand Canyon University for Teaching (science) and Business (respectively). 
I graduated from CSU Long Beach and completed my MA in Organizational Leadership from Point Loma. My admin credential was completed at Redlands.
I love sports (Dodgers, Kings, Rams, and Clippers - yes, I've been waiting a long time), the outdoors and rollercoasters.
When I'm not on campus, you'll find me cycling the Pacific Trail to Rialto or down to the beach!

I can't wait to get to know and support each of you! Please share your best practices with me and all of your great ideas.

- Tim

March 2019 - Ms. Kyle - English

Ms. KyleHello everyone, my name is Desirea Kyle and I am so excited to be a part of the Upland High School family! Before coming to UHS, I taught English Language Development for 2 years in 7th/8th grade, and I absolutely loved it, but I am very excited to be working with this year’s Freshman English class. I have always been passionate about writing and literature, so I feel very blessed that I am able to bring what I love to my kids.

Before I decided that I wanted to teach, I was in a completely different world studying animal science and pre-veterinary medicine. I enjoyed what I was doing at the time, and I continued with this career path for about 3 years; however, I realized that I did not absolutely love where I was going and I needed a change. I ended up switching majors and transferring from CSU, Fresno to CSU, Long Beach where I received both my B.A. in English Education and Creative writing and my teaching credential. It was the best decision that I ever made, and I could not imagine being anywhere other than my classroom. It is where I feel most in my element! This is why I always try to encourage my students to explore what the world has to offer. What you set your sights for in the beginning may not be what life has planned for you in the end. It’s a wild journey but worth the adventure. 

I have an wonderful fiancé (wedding to come Feb. 2020!), and we have two fur babies, Thor the husky and Zeus the pit bull (dogs of thunder). In my spare time I like to go to explore pinterest, draw, write, read, watch football and basketball, pick up new hobbies (right now I am trying to learn the Ukulele), and go to Disneyland! I am also big on fitness, I am always at the gym lifting heavy. I am looking forward to building new relationships and memories with everyone in the Highlander family!

February 2019 - Mr. Scott, Mr. Rodriguez, & Mr. Yearby - Campus Security Officers

CSSFebruary's new staff spotlight will be three new employees, UHS' new campus security officers. Rashaun, Ronnie, and Rodney are part of UHS' commitment to making the school a safe and secure place to learn. Join us in welcoming them to our Highlander family.

Rashaun Scott has been a secondary coach for Upland High School's varsity football team for a year. He loves fishing, going to the beach, spending time with his family and coaching the Upland Highlanders!

Ronnie Rodriguez has been in the Upland Unified School District in various departments for a year and a half. He's been working in youth ministry and mentorship for the past 15 years. He enjoys hanging out with his family, riding his motorcycle, going the gym and finding interesting coffee shops to visit. 

Rodney Yearby is brand new to Upland High School, but he's been mentoring kids and adolescents for 16 years working in group homes. He loves playing basketball with his friends and spending time with his kids.

January 2019 - Ms. Morales - English

Ms. MoralesHi, my name is Kimberly Morales and I'm excited to get to teach English at Upland High School! English is my favorite subject because it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us through storytelling, and it permeates all facets of life, no matter what your path is in life! 

My goal wasn't always to be a teacher; I originally went to college for business and received my B.A. in Business Management. I enjoyed working in business for 5 years, working in hotels and then doing marketing for a bank, but I discovered that my passion was in helping to build up others. It was challenging going back to school to receive my teaching credential and Master's degree in teaching. I can totally relate to my students' struggles of school life - balancing home-life, personal life, work, and a million assignments on top of that! I can say the balancing act is well worth it when you get to walk across that stage. 

My favorite part of being a teacher is getting to know my students and helping to motivate them to push their limits and be the best version of themselves! It's fulfilling to see my students realize their dreams, personal and academic. Outside of school, my favorites include: Disneyland to ride Indiana Jones; decorating cakes, and then eating them of course; reading sci-fi and thriller novels because obviously reading as a hobby is mandatory since I'm an English teacher; going to New York to visit my sister and nieces and nephew; and my four big, lazy pitbulls that fill up my photo gallery. I'm looking forward to my first year as a Highlander and learning alongside my students!

December 2018- Mr Taylor - English & AVID

TaylorHello!! My name is Derrick Taylor and I’m thrilled to be teaching here at Upland High School. My family and I just relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area where I taught a wide variety of subjects including: 6th and 7th grade English and world history; 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English Language Development; 10th grade world history; and 12th grade economics. Here at Upland High School, I’m proud and excited to be teaching 9th grade English and 10th grade AVID! I received my degree in history, and a dual credential in history and English from CSU Hayward.

Prior to teaching, I spent many years in business as a project developer in the renewable energy sector. Although fun in some areas, I needed a change and becoming a teacher has been a blessing. My small claim to fame was that during college, I had the privilege to work at Disneyland as a face character! Wonderful experience and many fun stories.

I am married to my beautiful wife, Crystal, and we have two amazing children: Mason (4) and Lillian (1 soon to be 2 on Christmas Day!) When I’m not teaching, and if there is time, I love to play golf and watch football (Go 49ers and Miami Dolphins!!). I look forward to this year and I’m proud to be a Highlander.

November 2018- Ms. Nguyen - Science

Ms. Nguyen
Hello! My name is My Nguyen and I am a new science teacher at UHS. This year I have the privilege of teaching biology and chemistry! This is my 8th year in education and I am loving every minute of it. I love science and I hope to be able to share that passion with the students. Everyone at UHS has been so helpful this year and I truly looking forward to a wonderful school year! When I'm not teaching, grading, and planning I love spending time with my family, going for walks with my 2 dogs, and reading science fiction books. Thank you for welcoming me to the UHS community!! 

October 2018 - Ms. Sharma - 

Ms Sharma
Hi I am a new Math teacher at Upland High School, however I am not fresh in teaching. This is my 14th year in my second line of work. In previous life I was an Electrical Engineer. My aptitude for interaction and being an instrument for someone to become better version of themselves brought me to teaching. I have undergrad from India, my teaching credentials from Cal Poly Pomona and masters from APU. I am loving it at UHH, the staff and students are wonderful :)

At home we have two kids, college junior and high school freshmen. I am married for 21 years and have lived in 2 countries, 5 cities and 10 addresses. I can speak 3 languages and love to do a lot of other things; hiking, biking, gardening, drawing, reading, music etc.  I am looking forward to learn more and make memories as a Highlander :)

May 2018 - Ms. Estrada - Copy Cat

Robin Estrada
Hello, my name is Robin Estrada I am your "Copy Cat" here at UHS.  I have been with UUSD since 2000, I started at Valencia as a Noon Duty Aide and Classroom "Mom" when my son Anthony attended.  In 2005 I joined the District Office as Duplication Operator /Receptionist.  This past August I made the move here to UHS.  They say change is good, for me being now part of UHS I truly believe it can be.  

Everyone here has been so kind and welcoming and very cool to reconnect with those I have known since our Valencia days when our kids were so young.  It's no secret I have a huge passion for animals having 4 cats, 2 pups, and a bunny, they definitely keep me busy. Football season is always fun at our house with my husband a Rams fan and myself a Saints fan, it can be quite entertaining. I am so happy to be a Highlander !! 

April 2018 - Ms. Correa - Student Services Secretary

Elizabeth Correa
Hi my name is Elizabeth Correa and I'm the secretary in the Student Services/Discipline Office and I'm very excited and grateful to be working here. I graduated from Mission Viejo High School. I've only been in Upland for 14 and half years. I've worked in an office for many years. I took 4 years off work when I had my daughter and slowly started working again. I have been a noon aide, and a substitute cafeteria worker. I really enjoy what I do in the Discipline Office and working with a great team of Directors, Campus Security, AP, and my go to person Laurie Link. We are all in insync. 

I'v been married for 10 years and have 2 children in the Upland School District. My son is 14 and will be coming to work with me next school year. My daughter is 9, 4th grader still has some time before she joins. I'm very lucky to be able to work so close to my children. I look forward to beginning this journey at Upland.

March 2018 - Ms. McMullen - Discipline Director

Laura McMullenHello! My name is Laura McMullen and I am so excited to be the new Discipline Director here at Upland High School! I am a former UHS student and it was some amazing teachers from this school that made me want to begin my career in education. Right after high school, I attended Chaffey College and then transferred  to Cal State San Bernardino where I got my Bachelor's degree in Social Science and my teaching credential and eventually my Master's in Counseling and PPS credential. I taught History for 9 years in Rialto Unified School District before I became the Wellness Center Counselor at Rialto High School for the past 2 years. I have a passion for Restorative Practices and finding innovative interventions to build relationships with students. 

I've been married to my husband for almost 11 years who I met at Pioneer Jr. High and dated as a Junior here at UHS. We have two kids who are one of the biggest reasons I made the transfer over to Upland Unified School District. Our son Patton is 5 and our daughter Presley is 7. I love that I am able to work in the district that they will grow up in and in the community that I have known my whole life. I look forward to beginning this journey at Upland and picking up where I left off as a Highlander! 

December 2017 - Ms. Bizzell - Special Education Government and Economics

Ms. Bizzell

Hi there, I am Sheryl Bizzell and new to the UHS staff but have worked in the District since 1988 at Upland Junior High.  While at UJH, I taught English, History, Math, Science, and Study Hall.  I teach Special Education Government and Economics and truly enjoy coming to work.   Joining the crew at Upland High School has been a fantastic journey.  I look forward to seeing old friends and students and meeting new people around the campus.  I am happy to be a part of the Highlander Community.


Ms. Lora
¡Hola! My name is Jessica Lora. I am a Spanish I and II teacher. I have always had a passion for learning foreign languages. In high school, I took 4 years of French. I also took one semester of beginning Italian in college. I have always found learning a new language fascinating.  For this reason, I decided to seek a career in education to teach students a beautiful language, such is Spanish. I strive to educate and inspire students to realize the benefits of being multilingual.


This is my third year being a part of the wonderful Upland Unified School district. Being able to transition to UHS this year has been an amazing experience. I am excited to form a part of a strong team of staff, faculty, administrators, and students here at UHS. I am also very happy to be part of an outstanding and dedicated World Languages Department. I would like to thank everyone for the welcome I have received as a new Highlander!