2nd Grade *
Tracie Garfinkle, 2nd Grade
I have loved being a teacher for more than 20 years. I originally went to California State University-Northrudge to be a school psychologist, but I realized that what I really loved about working with children was forming a learning community with them. To watch them learn and grow with one another is such a privilege, and to encourage their curiosity and development is a responsibility I cherish.
I love being with my family, playing with our dogs, learning new crafts, and roasting coffee for our family and friends! My husband, two grown children, and I recently moved back to Southern California, to the same school district where my kids grew up and I taught for 20 years. Our family followed a job opportunity for my husband to Washington, but we all missed the Simi Valley community and, when we moved back and I started teaching 1st grade at Sycamore Elementary School, it felt like coming home. I love Sycamore's great staff and vibrant learning community! It's good to be home!
Lara Davis, 2nd/3rd Grades
I have been teaching elementary school for the last 18 years. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University and my Teaching Credential and Masters in Education from California Lutheran University. I began my teaching career in Kindergarten and have taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. I was hired at Sycamore Elementary School the day before school started and have been lucky to be here ever since!
I have one daughter who is married and now living in North Carolina. I was born and raised in Colorado and remain a die-hard Denver Broncos fan! I am passionate about reading and traveling. I have lived in Germany two different times and love to study and learn about WWII. I absolutely love my job and feel fortunate be a part of children’s lives and their learning. Their joy and passion, as well as struggles, inspire me to work hard, stay positive and enjoy life!
Megan Suzuki, 1st/2nd Grades (SDC)
I am Megan Suzuki, and I am a special education teacher here at Sycamore Elementary School. I earned both my Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and my Education Specialist Credential from California State University-Northridge. I have taught in the Simi Valley Unified School District since 2002. I worked as an Inclusion Specialist for my first four years in the district, and had the chance to work at several of our district's schools, including Sycamore. I enjoyed working with the teachers and students at Sycamore, and when the opportunity arose to take over one of the special education classroom here, I jumped at the chance! Both of my daughters attended Sycamore throughout their elementary school years, and I loved having them on campus with me.
I have worked with children in a variety of settings for all of my adult life. In addition to being an elementary special education teacher, I've also worked as a preschool teacher and early intervention teacher. My favorite parts of teaching are getting to know my students, watching them learn to do something for the first time by themselves, and seeing students' pride and excitement in learning.