Fifth Grade

Lucy Atlas

My name is Lucy Atlas and I have been a Gator since Old River Elementary opened in 1997, teaching both fifth grade and fourth/fifth grade combos. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and a K-8 Multiple Subjects Credential from Cal State Fullerton, a CLAD Certificate from UC Irvine, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership/Tier 1 Administrative Credential from Point Loma Nazarene University. While I love teaching in the classroom, I also enjoy working with Old River students in a variety of extra-curricular activities such as: Carnival of Champions, Glee, Gator TV, GATE, and in the past have had the opportunity to be involved with Student Council.  Outside the classroom, I enjoy gardening, cross-stitching, and spending time with my pets.



Mr. Roybal

I graduated from Pitzer College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1989, and I received my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal Poly Pomona in 2005.   Following graduation, I worked for Nabisco Brands, Inc. as a sales representative for eight years.  My career in education began in 1998 working for the Rowland Unified School District. I taught the sixth grade for two years at Northam Elementary School.  I came to Downey Unified in 2000, and I’ve been teaching the fifth grade for Old River Elementary School throughout my tenure.  When I’m not working, I love hanging out with my family, watching my son’s hockey games, and my daughter’s dance competitions.

Vicky Kosmitis

Vicky Kosmitis, a Downey native, grew up and attended Downey schools K-12.  In 2001, she graduated from CSU, Fullerton with a BA in Business Administration. In 2003, her passion for learning and desire to share knowledge led her to leave her accounting job to pursue her desire to mold the future of America.  She treats her students like her own because she cares, and she believes every child should and will seek higher education to live their dream and become successful and live with purpose.  She received her teaching credential from CSU, Fullerton in 2004.  She has subbed all grade levels, taught 6th grade for five years and has been teaching 5th grade since 2011.  Vicky Kosmitis is also a 200 hour registered yoga teacher.  When she’s not working, she enjoys leading a healthy and mindful life, teaching yoga, working out, and spending time with her two children, husband, and her Boston Terrier.

Sarina Maline

Hello! My name is Sarina Maline. I have been part of the DUSD since 2015 and I have been teaching 5th grade at Old River Elementary since 2016. I have my bachelors degree from Cal State Long Beach and my masters from the University of  Redlands. My favorite part about teaching fifth grade is sharing my love of social studies with my students as we learn all out the American Revolution! My goals as an educator are that all my students know how much I believe in their ability to succeed and spark their interest to become lifelong learners . When I am not at school, I love spending time with my family, organizing, reading, watching cooking shows, and trying out new recipes!

 Jessica Samuelson

Hello, my name is Jessica Samuelson. I am originally from the Bay Area, but moved down to sunny Southern California to attend college at Cal State Long Beach. There, I received my BA and my Multiple Subject teaching credential. After college, I worked in Glendale Unified School District for six years. I taught 3rd grade for three years, and then 6th grade math for three years. I moved into DUSD last year, and I am happy and proud to be an Old River Gator. I love teaching 5th grade! In my spare time, I like to hang out with my husband Dave, watch sports, read, and play with my adorable puppy, Decker.

 Lisa Glick

My name is Lisa Glick and I am a 5th grade teacher here at Old River School. I have been a staff member of the Old River School family since 2001, and I have taught both 4th and 5th grade. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton. I also received my teaching credential from CSUF, as well. I have a passion for teaching and guiding students to become 21st Century learners. In addition to teaching, I also love to read, travel, and spend quality time with family and friends.

 Mrs. Marquess

Hello! My name is Samantha Vanden Berge and this is my second year at Old River. I was educated through the Downey school district and I love working for the district that I grew up in. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA where I was on the UCLA swim team (GO BRUINS!). I also lived in Hawaii for three years where I received my Masters degree from Hawaii Pacific University. My goal as an educator is to ensure the success of each student by providing them with a positive and challenging learning environment that guides and inspires them in realizing their individual potential. GO GATORS!!

 Mrs. Kiess

Hello! My name is Karen Kiess.  This is my 17th year in education, with the last two years as a Cotsen Mentor to five amazing ORS teachers.  A majority of my years teaching has been in 5th grade, but I have also taught 4th grade.  Currently, I teach 5th grade.  I truly enjoy teaching this age group as it’s such a fantastic time, right before the students begin middle school.  Seeing the growth and the progress they make as they become more mature and independent life long learners is awesome.  I look forward to another amazing year seeing our students become leaders, difference makers, and game changers.

Miss Penate

Hello everyone, my name is Raquel Penate and this is my fourth year with Old River School. I have a bachelors and masters degree from Biola University. My favorite part about teaching is getting to know the students background, strengths, weaknesses, and interest. My goal as an educator is to provide students with the knowledge and skill necessary to make a positive change in the world. When I am not teaching I like to read, travel, participate in outdoor activities, and spend time with friends and family!

 Ms. Roche

My name is Kristina Roche and this is my first year teaching fifth grade at Old River and to say I’m excited would be the biggest understatement of the year because I am so unbelievably excited! A little bit about me: I received my Bachelor’s Degree from University of LaVerne where I studied Liberal Studies. (I also played collegiate soccer there!) I received my teaching credentials from California State University, Long Beach. My goal as a teacher is to motivate and inspire my students to dream big and believe in all that they are! If I’m not in the classroom you can find me practicing yoga, reading, or hanging out with my friends and family!