Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -William Butler Yeats
Alise Cayen is an award-winning English/dance teacher, and career pathway program coordinator at Reseda High School in Southern California, where she oversees two successful magnet programs that partnered the Los Angeles Police Department and the West Valley Bar Association with the Los Angeles Unified School District to prepare high school students for college and careers in law and law enforcement.
She began her teaching career at her alma mater in 1993 and was announced Most Inspirational Teacher in 1997 and 1998, and was recognized as Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007. Alise also received the California League of High Schools Award in 1997 given to professionals who demonstrate exemplary teaching and outstanding dedication to their field and was Reseda High School’s nominee for Teacher of the Year in 2010. She quickly expanded her leadership talents to become the After-School Program Director from 1999-2004; an after school enrichment program funded by a 21st Century Learning Grant designed to keep disadvantaged teens off the streets and reduce juvenile crime, one of the many causes for which Alise continues to campaign. In 1994, Alise’s vast dance experience and her passion for the performing arts drove her to expand Reseda High’s dance program as the school’s dance teacher and program director, where she established the school’s first boys’ and girls’ dance teams, and created/produced the ever-so-popular spring dance concerts. In 2001, as part of the principal’s leadership team, Alise helped create The Principal’s Unity Council (now known as HEART); a student mediation group that uses natural leaders to help defuse race-related and gang-related tensions.
1998, Alise became the English teacher for Reseda High School’s Police
Academy Magnet (PAM), a program that she took charge of in 2004. Under
her leadership, Reseda High’s PAM attendance rate, graduation rate,
college acceptance rate and CST scores hit all time highs. Today,
Reseda High’s PAM remains the largest of the six PAMS in the LAUSD.
Because of Alise’s passion for career pathway programs and her
expertise in community relations, former and current LAUSD
superintendents, L.A. mayors, and chiefs of police from all over the
country have visited and recognized Reseda’s PAM successes. In 2008,
she was asked to develop a law magnet to compliment her law enforcement
academy and in 2009, Reseda High School’s Law and Public Service Magnet
welcomed its first freshman class and has been adopted by both Loyola
University’s Law School and The San Fernando Valley Bar Association.
Alise continues to be an advocate for under-privileged and special
needs youth programs, performing arts programs, and career pathway
programs (such as Reseda’s PAM), where on top of teaching, she serves
as a program consultant, curriculum/instruction specialist, and career
pathway mentor for the Department of Education.
A Southern California native, Alise graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge in 1993, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Secondary Teaching Credential. She received her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix in 2011, also graduating with honors. Alise currently resides in the San Fernando Valley.