Here at NaTarzanke Saturday School, classes are held in Russian. Teaching Russian as a second language is carried out according to a special technique that is unique to our school. Our program takes into account the level of knowledge each student has and offers an individual approach to their education. It is based on an objective educational basis without political, ideological, national, or religious bias. Everyone can learn from us!
Our Great People
Financial Manager & Co-Founder
Managing the school's finances and overall wellbeing is Gene's responsibility, and he is an exceptional team player who is always willing to listen and answer questions that will keep everyone happy, healthy, wealthy and wise, whether it's students, parents or staff. His door is always open so come on in if you have anything to ask!
Principal & Co-Founder
Nina has made it her mission since NaTarzanke opened in 2002 to provide the best curriculum for learning the Russian language, and to create a safe and welcoming environment for children. Using her excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, she ensures that your child reaches their full potential with the ideal staff and personnel. It is Nina's goal to create a community within NaTarzanke to ensure that all students, parents, and teachers feel supported and seen.
We have been fortunate to have Mrs. Lala as our Mathematics Teacher for 18 years now! Her teaching system encourages students to offer suggestions, ask questions, and solve problems collectively and individually. She also allows for class discussions to gauge students' interest and engagement. Besides being a great math teacher, Lala also cares deeply about her students. When a student is struggling or needs encouragement, she always offers a helping hand.
Our Russian language teacher, Ms. Alvina, has been with us for years! With a degree in Russian linguistics from Moscow, she has worked with children of all ages. Her lessons teach the younger children how to read, write, and communicate verbally in the Russian language. Children who are older continue to build on their previous knowledge and improve their translation abilities from English to Russian. She is very patient with students who need extra assistance and has a passion for teaching. When it comes to adjusting the curriculum to meet the needs of the child, she is open-minded.
It has been a pleasure having Ms. Galina on the NaTarzanke team since the beginning! Following the completion of her art degree in Russia, she has been teaching children ever since. Each of her art lessons includes a hook, a demonstration, and a learning curve. Her classes include a demonstration of work, an artist's video or documentary, a creative art period, a PowerPoint presentation, an online exploration, and sometimes even a museum visit! To engage her students, she makes lesson content visible while focusing on their interests. Many of our alumni recall her as an amazing art teacher who planted the seeds of art appreciation in their heart and mind.
Crafts and Baking
Our lovely Crafts and Baking Instructor, Ms. Radka, has been with us for three years! With a degree in Creative Arts from Bulgaria, she has developed a passion for baking over the years too. Besides teaching our students how to bake delicious treats, she also makes her classes fun and entertaining. Children love to stir, knead, and scoop batter into baking pans as a way to develop their motor skills! And you won't want to miss Ms. Radka's Baking Show where our students compete in a series of baking challenges creating amazing desserts!
Our Russian literature instructor, Ms. Sofia, is one of the best in the country. Her lessons teach the students new vocabulary in Russian, correct sentence patterns, and standard story structures. By writing short stories, her students develop essential writing skills. Throughout class, she encourages students to participate in natural conversation so that all they have learned can be applied in real life. Lessons with her are engaging and interesting because of her modern way of teaching!
Office Manager and Playground Monitor
In addition to working at NaTarzanke for nine years, Ms. Tanya got her education in Ukraine. Kind and responsible, she oversees the school's daily programming and curriculum implementation. She ensures effective communication between the staff and parents, as well as ensuring that the children are in a fun and safe environment. In addition to monitoring and guiding students to their classes, she helps make sure that everyone stays on-track and on-task. And if ever you’re feeling down, Ms. Tanya wil turn your frown upside down! 🙂
Ms. Angela has been teaching our preschool class for five years. Children who have not yet entered kindergarten are nurtured, cared for, and guided by her. Among the topics covered in her lesson plans are reading, writing, expanded vocabulary, creative arts, science, and social studies. To further children's understanding of the Russian language, she utilizes the basic elements of development as well as their play. With storytelling, rhymes, and acting games, new concepts are introduced with a touch of fun! It is her passion for learning that inspires her students to strive for more. It is her goal to make learning fun and to make sure everyone can grow in her class.
Drama and Music
Ms. Marina has been teaching Drama and Music at our school for 16 years! A graduate of the Institute of Culture in Tashkent, she has developed an excellent teaching program for us consisting of two classes in one: Drama and Singing Basics. Our students are inspired by her passion, charisma, and love of theater arts. In her dynamic interactive lesson plans, she encourages students to be creative and develop their ability to speak Russian. By introducing her students to the musical side of Russian culture, she inspires them to sing songs in the language. As part of her lessons, the students learn how to properly pronounce words in Russian, memorize lyrics, use tongue-twisters to improve their elocution, and sing songs in Russian. Her students are also encouraged to develop their own acting scenarios incorporating Russian-based scripts. In addition to teaching children how to have fun, her classes emphasize important real-world teamwork and listening skills.
Alina has really enjoyed her time there at Russian Saturday School! She has been home from Russia for 11 months now and we feel that she is ready to start preschool. Thank you to all the wonderful teachers who have made Alina feel so welcome and secure during her adjustment to life in America. You have an incredible staff. All the best!
We want to express our eternal gratitude for everything that you have done for our son, Aleksandr, in the matter of studying the Russian language and culture. Because of you, your staff, and your Russian teacher, Svetlana, he can now speak, read, and write in Russian; he knows Russian history and literature, too. We thank you for your professionalism, positive outlook, and patience and wish you and Na Tarzanke School all the best for many years to come.
Certifications We Offer
A Certificate of Academic Achievement (CAA) tells families, schools, colleges, and businesses that a student has mastered a minimum set of skills required for graduation or employment. Together with the Slavic Languages Department of the World Languages Center UCLA, we offer a unique Russian language course as a foreign language for high school students. Students show what they know and can do by completing our curriculum and passing our tests, for which they receive a CAA.
Student Success Stories
All work was done by our extraordinary students.