Nyssa Tsakiris- LA Galaxy Academy Director of Education
Nyssa brings over 20 years of experience in the education field to the LA Galaxy academy. After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Nyssa taught both high school and middle school serving a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. As an educator, she has served on many leadership committees and mentored several young teachers beginning their careers. Nyssa was honored as a Distinguished Educator in her previous district where she taught for 13 years. During the pandemic, Nyssa resigned from the classroom and developed a micro-school that focused on educating students through individually curated, standards-based curriculum while building and teaching life skills. Nyssa’s passion for education and cultivating student growth is evident in her daily interactions with her students.
Teresa Villarreal- LA Galaxy Academy Academic Learning Advisor
Villarreal started working with the LA Galaxy Academy in August of 2019 as the Science Content Specialist working to support our students with biology, chemistry, physics, and AP science courses. Prior to working with the Academy, she began a career in education as a middle school/high school Science teacher in Delano and Sacramento, California.
Now serving in her second year as the Academy's Academic Learning Advisor, Villarreal has helped manage student academic goals, monitor student course progress as well as assist in implementing the Academy Enrichment program.
As a student athlete, Villarreal competed collegiately in softball at Grinnell College in Iowa where she earned her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in education. Currently, Villarreal is pursuing a master's degree in Curriculum Instruction from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
Brian Irvin- LA Galaxy Academy Academic Learning Advisor
Brian Irvin brings a wealth of experience to LA Galaxy Academy both in the classroom and on the soccer field. Irvin is currently in his first year working with the LA Galaxy Academy. Prior to working with the Academy, he was an educator and a soccer coach at the college and high school level. Irvin has experience coaching and teaching throughout the youth game and in the classroom in Southern California and holds a USSF "A" License. Irvin also has a Master of Education in Special Education and has completed all academic requirements in the Teaching Credentialing program.
Irvin is a former NCAA Division 1 Soccer student-athlete from UCLA where he graduated with a Bachelors in Geography/Environmental Studies. He was a three-year starter for UCLA from 1994-1996 and started during the Bruins’ Final Four appearance in 1994. Irvin was honored as UCLA’s Most Inspirational Player following the 1994 and 1996 seasons. After UCLA, Irvin played one year of professional indoor soccer for the Anaheim Splash of the Continental Indoor Soccer League. Irvin also spent 9 years as the men’s assistant soccer coach at Loyola Marymount University where he earned his MBA. In his nine seasons at LMU, Irvin helped guide the Lions to five straight winning seasons and four consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup.
In addition to his extensive experience in the college ranks, Irvin has also been very active in youth coaching from ODP to club to high school soccer. He has served as a Cal-South ODP coach and as a Region IV ODP Staff Coach. He has also worked with club soccer teams from the South Bay to the Long Beach area. A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Irvin was inducted into the Wilson Hall of Fame following graduation. Irvin currently resides in Long Beach with his family.
Ricardo Garcia- Academy General Content Specialist
Ricardo Garcia is a Mexican American born and raised from the city of Compton, CA. Both of his parents migrated to the United States from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and is the youngest of three. Ricardo attended Compton Community College upon his graduation from high school. After getting rejected from every single university out of high school, he would use this as his motivation and aspired to transfer to a university. In 2017, he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles and received a B.A. in Education and Chicano Studies. During his time at UCLA, he worked with Student-Athletes for the football program and was a peer mentor. Graduating from a university meant a lot to him as he was the first person to graduate from his family.
Once completing his undergraduate education, Ricardo would work for the USC Rossier School of Education as a College Advisor to continue his goal of giving back to the future generation and advocating for students. Here, he had an opportunity to provide students resources, and access, to a post-secondary education/plan. While working as a college advisor, he wanted to continue his education and applied to continue his education. He attended Teacher's College at Columbia University and is currently attending California State University, Long Beach to receive his master's degree in School Counseling.
His goal is to work with the future generation and provide them resources, equity, and an opportunity to achieve their future goals.
Katie Anderson - Content Specialist & Cognitive Specialist
Katie Anderson spent the summer of 2022 as an intern with the LA Galaxy Cognitive Performance Department as part of her Master’s of Occupational Therapy from USC. She now continues her work with the LA Galaxy as a Content Specialist & Cognitive Specialist, as well as pursuing a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from USC. Her doctoral work will focus on developing and implementing the Academy Enrichment program with a focus on content from the Cognitive Performance Department. Prior to graduate school, Katie completed a B.A. in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University.
Katie Frei - Content Specialist
Katie Frei grew up locally in Huntington Beach, playing club soccer and attending LA Galaxy games. Katie recently graduated from UCLA in June 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.
Katie comes with extensive experience in education research. At UCLA, she was a research assistant in the Bjork Cognitive Psychology Lab where she investigated ways to enhance educational practices in college students. Katie was then able to apply these study techniques when she worked as a Head Learning Assistant at UCLA, where she worked to implement equitable and inclusive teaching practices in STEM classrooms. She looks forward to starting her first year at LA Galaxy Academy specializing in upper level math.