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4TH GRADE

Janet Payne 
4th Grade
Janet Payne 
My name in Janet Payne, and I currently teach fourth grade. I received my Bachelor’s degree in History from U.C.L.A and my teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. I was raised in the San Fernando Valley and moved to Simi Valley in 1999. I have taught kindergarten through fifth grade and each grade is special, but I really love teaching the upper grades. I enjoy challenging students to be curious and take chances with their learning. I also have a passion for helping all children reach their potential. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and traveling.

Manuel Rojas
4th/5th Grade
Manuel Rojas

Hi! My name is Manny Rojas and I am teaching the 4/5 Split this year. I moved to Simi when I was 4 and I am a proud student of SVUSD, having graduated Simi High School in 1999.  I went on to get my BA and Credential from California State University, Northridge. My family currently lives here in Simi and my daughters both attend Simi Valley Schools. My hobbies outside of teaching include playing guitar and reading. Even at my age, I still enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons with the same friends I have had since elementary school.  I am very lucky to be a teacher here at Sycamore and have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful families. The best part of my job is working with my students and helping them realize what they are capable of in a fun, relaxed environment.

Nicole Hrach
3rd/4th Grade Special Day Class
Nicole Hrach

My name is Nikki Hrach, and I teach the 3rd and 4th grade Special Day Class here at Sycamore Elementary. I grew up in Ventura County, completing my K-12 education right next door in CVUSD. In college, I studied Biology and Comparative Religions at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I moved back to the Conejo Valley and worked as a camp director and recreation leader. I earned my Moderate/Severe Education Specialist teaching credential at California Lutheran University, where I will soon complete my Master’s of Science in Special Education. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Sycamore Elementary community, and love the inclusive, welcoming atmosphere here! We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful, highly-trained community of dedicated teachers and staff who are dedicated to serving and working with exceptional students and their families. In our classroom, my team and I work hard to create an environment in which all students have the opportunity to learn and grow. My favorite thing about teaching is helping students develop a growth mindset. It is so rewarding to see a student try, make a mistake, and then try again until they get it right! Displaying resilience and determination is something that my students and I aim for every day. Go Skyhawks!