Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sarina attended Los Angeles Unified School District schools. Her first job, and every job following, has involved teaching children.
While studying education and sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she began to find her passion in education policy. After earning her master’s degree in teaching from the University of Southern California, Sarina taught fifth-grade for two years at Vermont Avenue Elementary School in Central Los Angeles. After being laid off due to budget cuts, Sarina began teaching in New Orleans, where, over the next five years, she taught every grade from first through fifth.
As a teacher, Sarina experienced deep joy from building relationships with her students, with her colleagues and with the parents in the community. She also experienced immense frustration and pushback when she tried to speak up and advocate for herself and for her students. That is what brought her to Educators for Excellence, inspired to encourage others like her to elevate their voices. As a senior outreach director, she enjoys helping teachers recognize their power outside of the classroom that directly influences decisions made that impact their classrooms.