What We Are About
Our Mission Calliope Academy will be a comprehensive TK-6 educational program dedicated to the success of the whole child. At Calliope, ALL children will engage in a rigorous standards-based, competency-driven, personalized academic program that includes full social-emotional supports. ALL children at Calliope will leave with the essential skills and knowledge for success in rigorous secondary schools, and for successful lifelong learning and leadership in the 21st Century.
Our Vision Calliope will bring forth the power and strength that exists within children, parents, and staff to take a stand for powerful change in an uncertain world. Our vision is to build a community of courageous 21st century leaders, inventors, and change agents.
Anticipated School Opening Fall 2021
Where does the name Calliope come from and how is it pronounced? Calliope (pronounced "cal-EE-OH-pea") is a Greek name. Calliope Academy is named after Calliope Chaldaris.
Calliope Chaldaris (1944-2015) was an incredibly loving caregiver who cared for generations of children in the Los Angeles area. Her home care program ran for nearly 40 years serving families struggling to balance childcare and work. The children she cared for became her family. Calliope was the embodiment of love and a playful spirit.
Calliope Academy will continue to provide love and a playfulness for the children it serves in honor of who she was. We at Calliope Academy believe ALL children deserve to grow and learn in a program filled with love and a playful spirit.
Who We Are
Calliope Founding Team
Dr. Tanya Chaldaris
Doctorate in Education, USC (2013). Her dissertation focused on the trajectories of multiple-need students at high risk for high school dropout. Having worked in the field of education since 1990, Dr. Chaldaris has worked in every aspect of the school business. She is a passionate champion for equity in all contexts driven by her own upbringing in the Los Angeles area as a homeless, Hispanic, high school dropout. She has more than 25 years working and leading in the field of education in public, private, charter in K-12, writing and implementing training for staff and parents, managing categorical and site budgets, EL and Title I programs. She also modified and implemented a successful dropout prevention program for high risk students from the What Works Clearinghouse (ALAS) that is now in its twelfth year of implementation. Known for her ability to build bridges between disparate groups, she has served as a union representative, and is a passionate supporter of preserving the right to organize for employees carrying on a long union strong family legacy. Dr. Chaldaris has also served as a trainer and advocate for parents attempting to navigate the system for the benefit of their children. Her life has been committed to serving communities like the ones in which she grew up.
Suzanna A. Sargsyan, MPA
Co-Founder/Director of Operations
Suzanna has her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. She has worked in the non-profit sector since 2010 when she first started working in Outreach at Glendale Community College (GCC). Suzanna was later hired to help with the launch of a new Outreach and Recruitment team at Los Angeles City College, where she also worked in the Guardian Scholars program with foster youth and in the Trio Student Support Services department with low-income/first generation students. Suzanna has worked at a large international non-profit organization where she’s responsible for developing and launching community programs, mainly for youth ages 4-18. She also leads various leadership and professional development workshops, runs strategic planning meetings with numerous chapters and committees, and regularly manages the planning and execution of large-scale events and fundraisers. She is also an Adjunct Professor for the Business Division at GCC, where she teaches in the Dual Enrollment Program which gives high school students the opportunity to earn high school and college credits by taking college courses on the high school campuses. She’s passionate about enhancing education and the educational experience for youth, and strongly believes that kids must be equipped and empowered from a very young age.
Dr. Dale Henry
Founding Board Member, Board Chair
Doctorate in Education, USC (2013). Wrote doctoral dissertation on health and employment outcomes for adults on the autism spectrum (dissertation of the year nomination); Taught special education in Los Angeles and Virginia schools for nearly 10yrs; B.A. in Asian Languages and Civilizations with a focus in Chinese language and history, Amherst College (1999). M.A. in Special Education, William & Mary (2005). 1 of 100 participants in 1st national cohort of Facebook/Oculus Launchpad Virtual Reality mentorship initiative; Founder of Stand Tall VR- a selected participant of the 2016 USC Business Incubator; current grant writer and fundraiser for the Institute for the Redesign of Learning (since 2017); Executive board member of STEM Prep Charter School network in Los Angeles (since 2015); Executive board member of Calliope Elementary Charter School in Los Angeles (2018).
Rudri Joshi, MBA
Founding Board Member-Treasurer
Mrs. Joshi worked for almost 11 years in the corporate world internationally. Her career history includes working with the Big Four accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP in various roles including auditor, manager, ad senior manager. She is a creative and seasoned risk management executive with proven success in the areas of project management, process improvement, financial and internal audit, and compliance. She has excellent analytical and interpersonal skills with international work experience. She received her degree as a Chartered Accountant (CPA equivalent) from the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, in 2001 and her Master’s in Business Administration (Finance) in 2003 from State University of New York at Buffalo. After many years in finance, Rudri, hungering for a life that was more connected to people, became a holistic life coach. One of the modalities she uses is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She is passionate about helping her clients create real change and helps them gain inner peace and improve in their lives. She empowers clients to create a positive change and helps them manage stress and anxiety. She is enthusiastic about her work as it helps give more clarity and improves the quality of life for all of her clients.
Dr. Argelis A. Ortiz
Founding Board Member-Secretary
Dr. Ortiz has been working in the human services/education field since 2002. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts from San Jose State University, an MSW degree from USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work with a Community Organization Planning & Administration (COPA) concentration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the USC Rossier School of Education, with an emphasis in Educational Psychology. He is fascinated in researching how motivation impacts students' learning, their families and the various systems that play a role in educational settings. For the past ten years, he has lead teams and managed programs at Children's Institute, Inc., CoachArt, Uplift Family Services at Hollygrove and now Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services. In order to achieve his professional goals he embodies four leadership pillars: creativity, honesty, humor and being a lifelong learner. Dr. Ortiz encourages his teams to take creative risks even if they don't always work out.
Dr. Tina Ahoubim
Founding Board Member
Tina has a doctorate in psychology and organization development, and she has spent the last 15 years enabling organizations and individuals to achieve their full potential. She blends her extensive experience in education with psychology and common sense to enable leaders of small and mid-sized businesses to extend their potential beyond the limits they set for themselves. Tina provides her clients with the tools required to grow both personally and professionally taking a “whole person” approach to management training, coaching, and organization development. Tina has a diverse background that includes consulting for business corporations, as well as consulting for educational institutions. She has worked as a school administrator, HR manager, and advanced placement instructor for k-12 school, where she was able to use her skills and expertise to improve the overall function of the school. This work has ranged from coaching administration, training and development of all staff, curriculum planning, and performance assessments. Tina has many years of experience leading, coaching, training and developing, strategic planning, educating and executing the process and continuous improvement of all staff, and the entire organization. She takes pride in creating and maintaining an inclusive environment, while managing organizational change and development to reach the clients business goals.
Founding Board Member
With over three decades of intense, hands-on experience in the domestic and international entertainment arenas, Georgia Scott remains a consummate strategist and marketing professional, consistently acknowledged amongst her peers for her worldwide marketing sensibilities and business acumen. She has an inherent ability to see the big picture, an insatiable curiosity, and an ingrained policy of getting the impossible done on time and on budget. She has received high acknowledgements for helping in the development of Universal Television’s creation of syndicated television websites and interactive CD ROM press kits. Ms. Scott was also selected as one of four U.S. Women to be featured in a Japanese film documentary focusing on the “Working Women of Today.” She served on President Clinton’s committee for Women’s Issues and was an active member of Universal’s Political Action Committee for five years.
Dr. David Emery
David is multilingual professional with significant experience in research, data analysis, and facilitating domestic and international student enrollment. Professionally, he spent over a decade living in East Asia, and Central and South America. After finishing his doctorate in May 2018, David joined AmeriCorps VISTA as a national service volunteer. He serves at a tuition-free independent middle school for boys from underserved communities. Day-to-day, David performs data analysis, drawing on his personal, professional, and academic experiences to interpret and analyze his findings. He develops tools and resources that inform school and consortium-level administrative, programmatic, and classroom decisions. He serves as a judge for the SIIA CODiE awards, a Field Director for the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship program, and as a grant reader for the EdCamp Foundation. In his doctoral studies, David explored the intersection of emerging technologies and their applications in learning, as well as how the cognitive load of teaching methods and program design influences student motivation, interest, and success in learning. His dissertation explored how economic policy impacts the non-instructional workloads of teachers and its connection to high levels of teacher attrition.
Dr. Susan Emery
Susan graduated from the George Washington University where she studied international business. She received her Master of Education from Boston University and a certificate in educational media and technology, then pursued a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California with a concentration in teacher education in multicultural societies. She has worked abroad as an English teacher and educational consultant. In 2013, Susan was the fourth founding member of a boarding school in Downtown Los Angeles as the Director of Enrollment Management, where she recruited students from around the world to live and learn in Southern California. Susan brings her passion for admissions, recruitment, marketing, enrollment, retention, and data-driven decision making to everything she does.