Meet the Education Staff


Our LA Galaxy Education Team

The LA Galaxy Academy has assembled a team of experts to ensure the success of every LA Galaxy Academy student-athlete.  The LA Galaxy Education Staff is comprised of experts in the fields of Educational Psychology, Learning and Instruction, Pedagogy, Blended and Online learning, Academic Counseling, and Academic Advising. 


Dr. Stefanie Baduria, Director of Education

Dr. Stefanie Baduria earned her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Education and a concentration in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. At LMU, Dr. Baduria competed as the captain of the Women's Soccer Team and completed the coursework and requirements to obtain her Preliminary Teaching Credential. Dr. Baduria also obtained her Master's degree in Child & Adolescent Literacy at LMU.

Being a former Division I student-athlete and classroom teacher, gives Dr. Baduria the knowledge and experience of using effective teaching and pedagogical practices to make a positive, student-centered learning environment for elite student-athletes. She understands the rigor of pursuing goals both on and off the field.

As an expert in the field, Dr. Baduria graduated from USC’s Educational Leadership Doctoral program, with a concentration in Educational Psychology. Dr. Baduria published her dissertation: "A Qualitative Analysis of Student-Athletes' Engagement in Synchronous, Virtual Learning Environments." Understanding the specific needs for student-athletes, Dr. Baduria ensures the LA Galaxy Academy is tailored to enable elite soccer players to excel in the dual paths of soccer and education.

Mr. Jawaan Delaney, Lead Learning Coach

Mr. Jawaan Delaney earned his Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Loyola Marymount University while competing on the Men’s Soccer Team. He has obtained supplemental credits in human, family, and community development, along with being proficient across multiple computer-based platforms. Mr. Delaney has worked in education for seven years and has gained experience that aligns with the needs of the LA Galaxy Academy.

Mr. Delaney has worked with students ranging from kindergarten to high school, in both an academic and athletic environment. Having been a student-athlete on the LMU Men’s NCAA soccer team, and working in education for many years, he has acquired and implemented a wide range of teaching strategies. He has coached individuals at the high school and college level and has been inducted into the Wilson High School Hall of Fame. Mr. Delaney is also a technology enthusiast, but understands that there needs to be a balance in how it is implemented. Lastly, as a former collegiate athlete, he understands the demands and stresses that come with being a student-athlete, which will help him relate and better guide and motivate the LA Galaxy Academy.

Mr. Frank Alanis, Learning Coach & English Content Specialist

Frank Alanis earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Stanislaus. Following his time in Central California, Mr. Alanis came back to Southern California to finish his Master of Arts in English at California State University, Fullerton. While at Fullerton, he studied 20th-century literature and rhetoric and composition. Additionally, Mr. Alanis spent time as Vice President of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, at both the Stanislaus and Fullerton chapters.

Professionally, Mr. Alanis has a diverse background in education, which includes being a writing tutor at various universities and colleges, working at a literacy non-profit with elementary school children, and teaching college writing at Cal State Fullerton. While at Stanislaus, Mr. Alanis spent three and half years working in the school’s Admissions and Outreach department as a Student Ambassador that helped navigate prospective students through the college admissions process. He has also spent the summer of 2016 studying Literature in Dublin, Ireland and has presented at academic conferences in London, Toronto, and across California.

Mr. Alanis brings a unique perspective to the LA Galaxy Academy with his background in education as both a student and an educator. He emphasizes the importance of the learning process, thoughtful communication, and the appreciation of one’s community. Mr. Alanis looks forward to working with the LA Galaxy Academy students this upcoming year and helping them grow both as academic students and global citizens.

Mr. Patrick Dong, Math Content Specialist

Mr. Patrick Dong graduated from CSU Long Beach with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. While working towards his undergraduate degree, he worked as a College Student Aide for the Long Beach Unified School District and as an after-school WRAP Program Leader of the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach, Mr. Dong has worked with a wide-range of students in terms of character, personality, and ability.

Ms. Kirsten Haltman, Science Content Specialist

Ms. Kirsten Haltman earned her Bachelor's degree in Environmental and Ocean Sciences with an emphasis in Marine Ecology from the University of San Diego. In this degree, she also obtained experience and credits in other sciences, such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, while also serving in various leadership positions for USD’s Relay for Life chapter and Residential Life department.

Ms. Haltman has worked in education with a range of students, from preschoolers to adults, through various volunteer and internships during her four years of college. Her first experiences were through the Bolsa Chica Conservancy in Huntington Beach, California, followed by the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy in San Diego. Both organizations focus on field-based environmental education, with emphases in conversation and the importance of these endangered ecosystems. Despite this focus, the programs run by both conservancies incorporate aspects of all scientific fields, allowing Ms. Haltman to bring a unique teaching style to her work at the LA Galaxy Academy. As a former elite athlete, she understands the life of a student athlete, and her experience in the sciences drives her to inspire more enthusiastic science learning and thus create more scientifically-conscious professionals and better stewards of the earth.

Mr. Garrett Mercado, History Content Specialist

Mr. Garrett Mercado earned his Bachelor's degree in History from Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska). During his undergraduate studies, he was involved in a number of extracurricular activities ranging from Greek life and club sports to playing trumpet in the school's pep band and doing weekly service in the Omaha community.

Mr. Mercado has worked with youth in sports environments, and is eager to pursue a career in the field of education. His previous experiences allow him to teach with a constant willingness to learn from those at the LA Galaxy Academy, instructors and students alike, to provide students with a great learning experience.