Benjamin Laborde  Ph.D. - Principal


Ph.D.    Math              University of London

M.B.A.  Finance          University of California Irvine

M.S.      Math              University of Loughborough

B.S.       Math              Teesside University


Dr. Laborde is the founder and principal of Soteric Academy. Dr. Laborde gained his Ph.D in Mathematics from University of London, England under full scholarship. Prior to that, he obtained M.S. in Math from the University of Loughborough and B.S. in Math from Teesside University.  After Ph.D degree, Dr. Laborde also gained a M.B.A. degree from University of California Irvine, California.


Awards and Publications

Dr. Laborde published numerous academic papers and was invited worldwide as a speaker at global conferences.  Dr. Laborde was awarded Outstanding Young Achiever Awards by U.K. government based on the breakthrough improvement of ocean and submarine navigation.


Dr. Laborde is also a patent holder for Electrical Propulsion Invention for Space Travel. 


Passion for Education

Dr. Laborde has a life long passion for education.  He was teaching assistant at University of London for undergraduate students and at University of California Irvine. From his own experience, Dr. Laborde realized how education can transform a child’s life and future.  To inspire future generations, Dr. Laborde founded Soteric Academy.  By designing effective curriculum, establishing academic goals, implementing discipline and methodology, Dr. Laborde ensures that each student will be educated, inspired and challenged to think independently, study intelligently and use the knowledge to lead in a global world. 

B.H. Chang  Ph.D. -  Math Teacher


Ph.D.  Mechanical Engineering               University of California Los Angeles

M.S.    Mechanical Engineering               Stanford University, California

B.S.     Mechanical Engineering               University of Texas at Austin


Dr. Chang is Professor Emeritus of Incheon National University, South Korea, where he taught in the School of Mechanical System Engineering for 20 years. He was also a visiting Scholar at UCLA Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Dept. Dr. Chang graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.


Awards and Publications

Dr. Chang was nominated for Excellence in Teaching based on student evaluation in Spring 2014. Dr. Chang published numerous papers in Science Magazines such as Thermal Science, Chemical Engineering Science, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. Dr. Chang is a member of PI TAU SIGMA, Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

Nuwan Karunaratne  Ph.D. -  Physics Teacher


Ph.D.  Physics            Northern Illinois University,  DeKalb IL

B.S.     Physics            University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka


Dr. Karunaratne also teaches Physics at Cypress College, Cypress CA as an adjunct instructor. Before relocating to Orange county, Dr. Karunaratne taught Math at Kishwaukee College, IL and was a teaching assistant at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. Dr. Karunaratne held a full time lecturer position in Physics for 4 years at University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka before moving to USA. In addition,  Dr. Karunaratne teaches SAT Math, SAT Physics, ACT Math, AP Physics, AP Calculus and MCAT Physics around Orange county.


Professional Memberships

Dr. Karunaratne is a member of American Physical Society and the Southern California American Association for Physics Teachers.  

Denise Kotler  Ph.D. -  Biology/Physics Teacher


Ph.D.    Nuclear Physics & Engineering                  D'LaSalle University

M.S.      Nuclear Physics & Engineering                  D'LaSalle University

M.B.A.  Business Administration Management     Argosy University

B.S.       Airway Sciences- Aircraft Systems              National University                                      


Dr. Kotler has a Ph.D in Nuclear Physics & Nuclear Engineering and a M.B.A. in Business Administration. She has 30 years of extensive teaching experience in both high schools and colleges. Her career includes Adjunct Professor , Associate Dean, Director at various colleges and Math and Science Department Chair at high schools.

Dr. Kotler has significant expertise working as an instructor, help develop and deliver complex training projects,their appropriate applications and labs. She prepares education and learning programs that are both easy to understand and meet the standards required for graduation and promote preparation for college entrance.

Dr. Kotler can organize traditional and blended learning programs and schedule training sessions. She has experience working with many types of student populations with exceptional ability to interact with students, answering their questions or give advice.

Tatiana Prytkova  Ph.D. -  Chemistry/Math Teacher


Ph.D.  Chemistry                              Duke University, Durham, NC

B.S.     Physics, Engineering            Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia


Dr. Prytkova holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Duke University and a B.S. in Physics and Engineering from Saratov State University. She is an experienced science and math teacher who is passionate about student learning and who values each student as an individual. Dr. Prytkova has taught at various colleges such as Chapman University and Occidental College where she developed and implemented curriculum, lectures, and laboratory assignments.  

Dr. Prytkova also worked as a research scientist at Cloud Pharmaceuticals where she engaged in projects related to design and developing new drugs for a wide range of therapeutic areas including cancer, inflammation, CNS disorders, and rare diseases. Dr. Prytkova received the Cottrell College Science Award from Research Corporation and the Young Investigator Award from Chapman University.

Cecile Wolfe   M.F.A.  - English Teacher

M.F.A.            English Creative Writing                    Antioch University, Los Angeles

B.A.                English Creative Writing                    California State University, Long Beach

A.A.                Fine Art Marymount                          California University, Rancho Palos Verdes


Ms. Wolfe holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles, originally founded and spearheaded by Los Angeles Poetic Laureate (2012) Eloise Klein Healy. Ms. Wolfe has nine years experience as an English teacher for middle school, secondary school and university level students. 

Ms. Wolfe’s teaching methodology is organic and provides the student a portal entry into a journey of inquiry, discovery and reflection. Students are invited to embrace the fullness of their individual potential for a successful academic year. Ms. Wolfe assesses developmental needs, facilitates student growth, and encourages proactive problem solving. She shares her passion and enthusiasm for the liberal arts with her students and hopes to inspire them to reach greater heights.

Robin Springer   B.A.  - English Teacher

B.A.      Communications / Journalism               California State University, Fullerton, CA



Robin Springer holds a B.A. in Communications / Journalism from Cal State Fullerton. She has 12 years of English teaching experience. She was an English language learner professor at Pitzer College Claremont. Ms. Springer increases student participation and motivation in learning through engaging lessons and activities. She is adept at using positive reinforcement techniques to encourage student behavior and growth.

Chella Yao  Ph.D  - Science Teacher

Ph.D.                      Ocean Biology                      University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

M.S.                        Immunology                         University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

B.S.                         Biochemistry                        Hebei University


Dr. Yao is an experienced science teacher with over 20 years of experience in teaching college level and high school level Biology and Chemistry courses.  She holds a Ph.D degree in Ocean Biology and a Master degree in Immunology from the top graduate school in China: Chinese Academy of Sciences. 


Dr. Yao was also a 2-year visiting scholar at Stanford University. During her time at Stanford, she focused in the field of Comparative Physiology which studies the effects of environmental stress on cellular function in marine organisms. Dr. Yao has taught a variety of courses in Biochemistry, Enzyme Engineering, Cell Biology, Molecular Immunology, etc. 

Ronald Mooshagian  B.A.  - Social Science Teacher

B.A.  Business Administration                                 California State University, Fullerton   California Single Subject Teaching Credential       National University, San Diego


Mr. Mooshagian is an experienced educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience.  He graduated from California State University Fullerton with a B.A. degree in Business Administration. He has a broad teaching experience in various subjects such as Social Science, Math, Computer Science, and Economics.


Mr. Mooshagian also has extensive coaching experience for Boys and Girls' Varsity Basketball, Swimming, and Baseball. He was Little League Baseball Coach for 11 years in Whittier and Rancho Santa Margarita.

Taisha Azqueta  M.A.  - Foreign Language, Spanish Teacher


M.A.  Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language     Nebrija University, Madrid, Spain

M.A.  International Relations                                    Diplomatic School, Spain

B.A.   Translation and Interpretation                  Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Spain


Ms. Azqueta is a native of Spain and she started teaching Spanish in 2006. She holds a Master degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language and a Master degree in International Relations. She was also a visiting teacher at Irvine Valley College. 


Ms. Azqueta is a firm supporter of the communicative teaching approach. She believes that students learn what they love and that is why it is very important to take their needs and interests into consideration when preparing for a lesson. Having worked in 5 different countries (Spain, Republic of Macedonia, Belgium, Turkey and the US) , Ms. Azqueta is fluent in English, French, Turkish in addition to her native language Spanish. She also has various professional experiences working for non-for-profit and international organizations. 

Angelica Barrera  B.A. - Principal's Assistant


B.A.   Studio Art                         California State University, Long Beach



Ms. Barrera has years of experience in teaching, administrative management and marketing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from California State University, Long Beach.  Besides teaching students how to sketch, draw, and paint, she helped manage an art studio in technical and financial areas, led other assistant instructors on how to run the program, and promoted the studio to future clients. 

Alexis Moreno  B.A. - School Assistant


B.A.   Communications                 California State University, Los Angeles, CA


Alexis Moreno holds a B.A. in Communications from California State University, Los Angeles. She has a creative spirit and self-starting attitude. She oversaw a team of visual instructors to achieve goals related to visual proficiency for a group of 50+ performers. Ms. Moreno designed lesson-plans and ensured that learning goals were met in a timely manner. She worked with children and adults to achieve goals related to literacy and strived to help them to become lifelong readers.

Robert Bradshaw  M.A. - Activity Director


M.A.      Public Administration             Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah


Mr. Bradshaw has over 13 years of successful experience in planning, organizing and directing activities and programs in universities and city operations.  He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Master's degree in Public Administration.


Mr. Bradshaw worked as Adjunct Professor of the Masters of Public Admin Program at Brigham Young University for 6 years and then worked as City Administrator for Mapleton City for 9 years. In the recent past few years, Mr. Bradshaw served as the Activity Director for the Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.  His record demonstrates his ability to develop and effectively implement goals, strategic plans, policies and vision for the community.

© 2020 by Soteric Academy     info@sotericacademy.org    Tel: 949-209-1692    102 Baker Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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