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Meet Our Board of Directors (BOD)

Marty Axelson, President, (Conference Chair)Wilson High School, Long Beach Unified

Marty has been a Health Teacher in Long Beach Unified School District for eighteen years and a Lecturer in the Health Science Dept. at CSU Long Beach for twelve. Prior to teaching Health, he worked in programs for “at risk teens” for the County of Orange and worked in corporate health managing large health clubs for five years. Marty earned a BA in Physical Education, BS in Health Science, and a MA in Secondary Education, all from CSU Long Beach. Most recently he was one of the first twenty-two Health Educators in the Nation to earn National Board Certification.

During his tenure as a Health Teacher, Marty has been a BTSA Coach for thirteen years, supervised twelve student teachers, and worked extensively with new teachers. Marty believes that experienced Health Teachers should be constantly working to improve our skills, be among the strongest and most respected teachers on campus, and we have a responsibility to our profession to assist new teachers with their professional development.


Bridget A. Brownell, First Vice PresidentTaft High School, LAUSD

Bridget BrownellI grew up on the East Coast. By the age of seventeen I had lived in Buffalo, New York and Barrington, Rhode Island and Simsbury, Connecticut. I attended a small, private college in upstate New York. I have continually demonstrated my commitment to individuals and community health issues and further developed my leadership abilities, professional knowledge, and experience since graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree from Ithaca College and earning a teaching credential in New York and California.

I moved to California after graduating and have been teaching high school health education classes every semester. Additionally, I am a department chair and have severed as a mentor, a master teacher, and a Lead Teacher at Taft High School.

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Doug Pieschel, SecretaryBernstein High School, LAUSD

Twenty years of management experience with a wide variety of medical imaging technologies. A personable communicator who welcomes opportunities for personal and professional growth. A diverse situational teaching style, conducive to business and classroom environments with specific experience in the areas of health and medical education. Ten years of multicultural teaching experience with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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Joyce Chonis, TreasurerHamilton High School, LAUSD

Joyce Chonis grew up in Arizona and moved to Los Angeles in 1979 with her husband. After volunteering in her daughter’s schools, she decided to enter into the teaching profession. She graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science: Community Health, and  teaching credentials from CSUDH. Additionally, she  holds Secondary Teaching Credentials in Health and Biology. Joyce Chonis currently teaches health and biology at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Joyce is very active in campus life at Hamilton promoting healthy choices. She organizes food drives for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, sponsors an AIDS awareness club, and organizes students for Heal the Bay’s annual beach cleanup. She helps coordinate Hamilton’s World AIDS Day play that is presented every December 1st to students and conference audiences. Her current goal is to obtain a Master’s in Public Health.


Ric Loya, Executive Vice PresidentLAUSD, Nursing Services

Ric Loya was one of the co-founders of CASHE  in 1979 during his tenure at Huntington Park High as a health teacher for over 25 years. He graduated from Long Beach State with his B.S., M.S. and Secondary Teaching Credential all in Health Science. He was Teacher Advisor for the CDC funded HIV-AIDS Prevention Unit for the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1992-2009. Currently Loya Coordinates the Condom Availability Program for the LAUSD and is funded by Project Connect which is also CDC funded. Loya served on the Huntington Park City Council from 1991-2005, which included being Mayor for five years.

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Nathan Matza, Board Member-at-LargeHealth Science Department, California State University Long Beach

Nathan MatzaNathan Matza has worked for more than four decades as a high school teacher, health science teacher/professor, and currently, a lecturer in the Department of Health Science at California State University, Long Beach.

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Dawn Blevins, Board Member-at-LargeSan Fernando Middle School, LAUSD


Lisa Thlick-Khatachourdian, Board Member-at-Large Wilson High School, LAUSD