Our Staff and Faculty

La Verne Niles

Ms. Niles is an enthusiastic educator and lover of children. Originally from the East Coast, she has lived in several states accumulating a breadth of knowledge and experiences from various educational institutions. She has six years of experience working within the Philadelphia School District. She previously taught and held leadership positions within the religious sector for twelve years. Ms. Niles is passionate about teaching the whole child and incorporating a love of self and communal identity. She has been successful with promoting student achievement and building strong relationships with both students and families. Prior to entering the field of education, Ms. Niles was a prominent banker for ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from the University of Hartford in Connecticut and a Master’s in Education from Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania.


Mrs. Avdic is excited to join the team at Perseverance Prep. She grew up in Canada and completed her Bachelor’s of Education at the University of Western Ontario. Mrs. Avdic began her teaching career in 2017 with experience in private and public schools. For the past year, she has been teaching students through Zoom. Mrs. Avdic loves to read books and study history. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and spending time with family.

Tifa Avdic


Jason Anthony Bermudez was born in Santa Clara, California. After graduating high school, he attended Evergreen Valley College, then San Jose State University, where in 2009 he earned his bachelor's degree in History. After experiencing various jobs from retail, food service, the circus, and tech start ups, he decided he needed a career to help support his young family. In 2016, he decided to follow in the family business of being a teacher, and he has never looked back. He earned his teaching credential from National University, and is committed to being a lifelong learner. He lives with his wife and son in the Bay Area, and they have 1 cat and 1 dog. 

Jason Bermudez 


Mr. Cirineo has 6 years of experience teaching history and coaching at KIPP: Heartwood Academy, San Jose.  He enjoys working with scholars by building strong ties and assisting in character growth.  With a degree in history from Western Washington University, he also has a passion for sharing and learning with others about the events that have taken place in our world.  Outside of work, Mr. Cirineo spends his time with his wife and children, practicing his faith and exploring the beautiful state of California.

James Cirineo


Ms. Cruz, a San Jose native, is a full-time student at Evergreen Valley College pursuing an Associates degree with an emphasis in Health Science. After finishing her AA, she plans to transfer to Foot Hill College to work toward her Bachelors in Health Science and work as a pediatric dental hygienist. She finds joy in instilling students with the confidence they need to face the world. She is very grateful to be a part of the Perseverance Prep community

Rosa Cruz 


Mr. Sargent is excited to bring his teaching and educational experiences to Perseverance Prep. He began his teaching journey at a university in Lithuania, and has also taught at the high school level in China. He has years of substitute teaching experience in the Central Valley of California. While substitute teaching, Mr. Sargent worked to earn his multiple subject teaching credential. He values critical thinking and believes that all students are deserving of a high-quality education. Mr. Sargent holds a bachelor’s degree from Houghton College, a master’s degree from American University, and a teaching credential from Western Governors University. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling throughout California and the world, and listening to music.

Bradford Sargent


Ms. Martinez graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2019 with a Bachelor's in Hospitality & Tourism. In addition to her degree, she has worked in customer service for over 15 years. She is looking forward to bringing her skills to the charter school community. 

Michelle Martinez 

Alexandria LeeNatali

Lead Founder and Executive Director of Perseverance Preparatory School, Ms. LeeNatali began working with high school students at Downtown College Preparatory School on the Alameda, then joined Teach For America and taught at Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School (“Cornerstone”) in the Franklin-McKinley School District. Cornerstone, a 2014 California Distinguished School located within the boundaries of San Jose, was also founded by a Fellow with Building Excellent Schools. At Cornerstone, Ms. LeeNatali taught 2nd, 5th, and 6th grades, piloted a leadership curriculum based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, served on the school’s Hiring Committee, and contributed as Master Teacher for the pilot Teacher Residency Program. Ms. LeeNatali also served as Manager of Operations and Culture as well as Site Director at Teach For America’s intensive summer training program for two years. Bringing a deep commitment to the students and families of San Jose and a regional as well as national network of training and support from Building Excellent Schools, Ms. LeeNatali earned a BA in Law and Social Justice, as well as a BS in Psychology, and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials from Loyola Marymount University.