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Mrs. Cusimano

Mrs. Cusimano

Dear Pepper Tree Community;

Welcome to Pepper Tree! I am so excited to be able to share information about our school via cyberspace!

Pepper Tree is a K-6 elementary school in Upland, California. We currently have approximately 780 students who are being served by 32 regular classroom teachers. In addition to the regular classroom program, Pepper Tree has programs in special education, GATE (Gifted and Talented Education), ESL (English as a Second Language), speech, music, PE and art.

Our major goal areas for the 2017-2018 school year are:

  • The implementation of a variety of instructional strategies to increase student achievement; We will utilize best practices to prepare students to meet the rigorous Common Core standards. 
  • Increase student engagement and collaboration in the classrooms.
  • Foster students' growth as critical thinkers and proficient writers.
  • Continue to focus on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills in math that students will need to be successful.
  • Continue to utilize technology programs to include activities and lessons that meet the needs of our digital learners; Students use computers to practice reading and math, keyboarding skills, word processing, access and download information from the internet, do research and communicate with others.
  • The continued refinement of our school-wide behavior and character program that promotes dignity, self-esteem, and responsibility while allowing students to reach their full potential.
  • Ongoing review of budgets to make wise spending choices and provide the resources needed to run a quality school program.

Numerous activities and events are scheduled throughout the year to enhance the instructional program. Students are actively involved in learning, inside and outside the classroom. Field trips correlate with the curriculum and give students an opportunity to see and experience their classroom studies. Basic skills are taught and integrated throughout the curriculum so that learning focuses on meaningful application and the development of higher level thinking skills.

Pepper Tree is a school community which is highly dedicated to its children. Teachers are well-trained, extremely hard-working, and committed to providing a quality education for their students. Parents are involved in the education of their children and are active in every part of the school, from working in the classroom to serving the entire school through PTA-sponsored activities. I invite you to explore Pepper Tree further by clicking on the grade level and other links provided.


Dionthe Cusimano 

Building Moral Intelligence- Character Traits

Building Moral Intelligence is the capacity to understand right from wrong; to have strong ethical convictions, and to act on them in the right an honorable way. This program is developed by Dr. Michelle Borba, a national author on raising your children and helping them develop moral intelligence. Dr. Borba says there are seven virtues that a person must develop in order to have Moral Intelligence. The first three are the moral cores: Empathy, Conscience, and Self-Control.  The last four are: Respect, Kindness, Tolerance, & Fairness.  If a child does not know the first three virtues, then the chances of him/her developing the last four are not promising. 


At Pepper Tree, we focus on each of these all year long. The day begins with morning "Words of Wisdom" and recognition of students who demonstrate these character traits through our daily character "Shout Outs". 


Announcing our New Elementary Administrator

Karen Goss


Contact Courtney Allen  Courtney Allen Teacher
Contact Katelyn Aven  Katelyn Aven Teacher
Contact Francine Avila  Francine Avila Teacher
Contact Stephen Bjelland  Stephen Bjelland Teacher
Contact Jennifer Brault  Jennifer Brault Teacher
Contact Michele Brooks  Michele Brooks Teacher
Contact Sandra Campbell  Sandra Campbell Teacher
Contact Sandy Campbell  Sandy Campbell Teacher
Contact Ms. Catalano/Swan  Ms. Catalano/Swan Teacher
Contact Krista Collier K  Krista Collier K (909) 949-9635 ex: 117 Teacher 5th grade
Contact Tim Collier T  Tim Collier T (909) 949-9635 ex: 119 4th Grade Teacher
Contact Luanne Cook  Luanne Cook Staff
Contact Dionthe Cusimano  Dionthe Cusimano Principal
Contact Elaine Edwards  Elaine Edwards Teacher
Contact Lana Franco  Lana Franco Teacher
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Contact Bridgette Gonzales  Bridgette Gonzales Staff
Contact Karen Goss  Karen Goss Assistant Principal
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Contact Cathie Rusk  Cathie Rusk (909) 949-9635 ex: 124 Teacher
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