Marisa Bruyneel has always identified as an educator. By the time she graduated high school, she knew her life’s purpose included opening a school and changing our educational paradigm. She followed her dream and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her master’s degree in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. While living in New York City, Marisa taught high school English and helped to grow and develop a school from its second year of inception.
For over a decade, Marisa lived her life’s passion as a progressive educator, working with students from diverse backgrounds in various educational settings. When she knew the time had come to transform education, she moved to San Diego. She obtained her California Single Subject Teaching Credential in English and furthered her experience by holding a position as Regional College Readiness Counselor. In this role, she supported high school students at six campuses, helping them design and execute a vision for their future.
In 2017, Marisa and her founding team successfully gained approval and opened SOUL Charter School. As the Executive Director of SOUL, Marisa carried out the mission and vision of the school which was to ensure a safe, positive nurturing environment, provide a holistic approach to education through Integra (the holistic program), and engage students in project based learning. Although SOUL has since closed its doors, its legacy lives on in the families and students we were incredibly grateful to serve.
Given the current conditions of our time, Marisa is excited to offer a one of a kind program to the community. She has always believed that there is nothing of greater importance than to invest in our youth. Through the Integra Development Center, Marisa will continue her life’s purpose guiding students towards having a deeper sense of self, helping them to connect to their life’s passions and purpose, and ensuring they gain the tools to thrive, mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, and personally. As our most precious resource, our children will masterfully create a better world for us to live in.
Director of Integra Curriculum
Ericka Callihan is a Louisiana native from New Orleans, LA and went to college at LSU (Geaux Tigers!). She always knew she wanted to work with students; however, teaching wasn’t her original path. She got her Bachelor’s in Communication Disorders and wanted to pursue Speech Pathology. After she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree, she took a break from schooling and realized that there was a better way to reach kids. That’s when she pivoted and started pursuing a degree in education. After teaching in Louisiana for 4 years, she decided to move to California. She has lived in California for three years and loves to explore this beautiful new state! She has a newfound love for gardening (succulents, cacti, and anything else that’s easy to keep alive), enjoys doing new activities (indoor skydiving and paintballing!), and loves to check out all of the beaches California has to offer. She has taught Math for 7 years with the content varying from 5th grade up to Algebra 1. Over the past two years, she has supported students in their holistic development while working at SOUL Charter School. She truly enjoys connecting with students on a deeper level. Ericka's goal is to help students thrive in life not just in math.
GINA RIVERA CATER
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Robert Frost
This quote best represents Gina’s approach to guiding students through their educational experiences. Her motivation is to first connect with an individual and begin to identify their strengths and build upon them. Her Listen, Learn & Love approach has allowed for personal growth and development within an educational setting amongst a community of learners. Gina has experience working with young people from diverse backgrounds and home environments. Her approach to guiding students is to inspire a love of learning for all things, incorporating art, music and hands-on real-life experiences as often as possible. Gina engages young people with historical content by making social connections to their daily life. When not guiding and mentoring students for success she enjoys practicing yoga, gardening, mountain biking with her three children and husband, beach days and travel. Gina holds a BA in Liberal Studies, a MA in Education & Curriculum Development and also has her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification.