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Ms. Laura E. Gutierrez is our principal.  She has been a dedicated educator at the elementary level for over 18 years, serving students and their families from diverse backgrounds and needs.  She has been a teacher, Categorical Program Advisor, Elementary Instructional Specialist and an Assistant Principal.  Ms. Gutierrez is not only a magnet educator, she is also a magnet parent, with both her sons attending LAUSD magnet programs.

Ms. Gutierrez has a Master of Science in Counseling and Educational Leadership from California State University, Los Angeles; a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts & Sciences from the Annenberg School of Communication from the University of Southern California.   In addition, she has an Administrative Service Credential from Brandman University; a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in Child Welfare and Attendance/School Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles; and a BCLAD Teaching Credential: Multiple Subjects with a Language Emphasis in Spanish from California State University, Los Angeles.

When Ms. Gutierrez is not at work, she loves to spend time with her husband, 2 sons, and pet cat Alaska.

out of classroom personnel

Ms. Alice Cho is our Instructional Coach and Magnet Coordinator.  She has been an educator for 20 years.  She has been a classroom teacher for 14 years, an intervention coordinator, a magnet coordinator, an EL designee, a Title 1 designee, and an instructional coach.  

Ms. Cho dedicates her time at school with students most of her time.  She leads parent workshops, instructional programs, magnet program, and after school programs at Clifford.  She loves to explore with students at Clifford.  She also loves to explore nature with her husband by camping, fishing, and hiking. 

Please contact her to get to know Clifford Math & Technology Magnet!                            


Pre-K & Kinder

Ms. Rocio Deras has been a teacher at Clifford Street Elementary for over 10 years and education is her passion. She has taught for 17 years, but has always worked with children since she was a young girl. Her first job right after high school was as a teacher assistant at Bushnell Way School. She then went on to teach at the Early Education Centers for about 5 years.  

She has 3 beautiful boys and enjoys visiting Disneyland and other amusement parks with her family. Mrs. Deras also enjoys doing Zumba when she can squeeze it into her busy schedule.

1st Grade

Ms. Jacqueline Machuca has worked for LAUSD for 24 years. She has taught at Clifford for 7 years. She loves teaching first grade. 

In her spare time, Ms. Machuca loves to cook and read. She keeps active by hiking, cycling and going to the gym. Ms Machuca has two boys and loves taking them to new places.                                            

2nd Grade

Ms. Michelle Tountas is currently the 2nd grade teacher and GATE Coordinator at Clifford Math and Technology Magnet. During her 20-year tenure at the school, she has taught a variety of grades, from kindergarten to fifth grade, and has enjoyed them all. She views teaching as an outlet for her creative and nurturing personality.  

After graduating with a degree in Media Arts from the University of Arizona, Ms. Tountas came to California and fell in love with the exciting and culturally diverse community of Echo Park. She moved to the neighborhood. Her son, who now attends college in New York, was a student at Clifford Street Elementary. 

Ms. Tountas enjoys the challenges of teaching and is consistently pursuing opportunities to better herself and meet the demands of a 21st century classroom.                                                                                                           

3rd Grade

Ms. Malissa Apodaca Castillo has been teaching for 18 years. She attended Cal State University, Los Angeles, where she earned a degree in child development and obtained her teaching credential. She has always enjoyed working with children and truly believes she was destined to be a teacher. 

Mrs. Castillo lives with her husband and two young sons, Benjamin and Sebastian. She enjoys taking them to new places, baking and exploring nature when they find the time.


4th Grade

Mr. Richard Powels is a National Board Certified Teacher. His strengths are curriculum and technology. His degree is from UCLA in Geography.

5th Grade

Ms. Jessica Naranjo has been with LAUSD for approximately twenty years. She began as a teacher’s assistant at Fletcher Drive Elementary and began her teaching career there as a first grade teacher. While at Fletcher, she taught Kinder-6th grade, with the exception of 4th. In 2012, she moved on to Bushnell Way Elementary. During that assignment, she taught 6th grade for three consecutive years.

Mrs. Naranjo is married and has two children, a young adult and a teenager. She enjoys cooking cultural dishes, spending time with her family and traveling.



Parent Representative and Campus Security Aide

Campus Security Aide

Mrs. Idalia Marlene Perez studied in El Salvador at the Baptist College of Santa Ana. Her favorite course was photography where she learned different ways to take pictures.

She is married and has two wonderful children who attended and culminated from Clifford Street Elementary.

Mrs. Perez works 3 hours each morning as a Campus Security Aide and she's happy to volunteer several hours a day to assist where needed. She really enjoys working at Clifford and truly loves her job.


Satellite Cafeteria Manager

Ms. Sonia Leon  prepares and serves breakfast, lunch and after school snacks for all students.  Ms. Leon recently became a grandmother to a beautiful baby girl.

Cafeteria Helper

Ms. Frances Calderon is also a critical part of Clifford's Food Services. She enjoys working with Clifford students. Ms. Calderon is involved in the community and lovingly takes care of our plants and flowers.

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