New Kids on the Block: Milken’s Additions to the Science Department

New Kids on the Block: Milken's Additions to the Science Department

Britt Jacobson and Lauren Pakravan

Spotlight Editor and Staff Writer

Ms. Moncayo helping students with a Chemistry lab.
Ms. Moncayo helping students with a Chemistry lab.


Ms. Moncayo and Mr. Greenberg are two new staff members in the Milken science department, and they have a lot in common. Both teach Chemistry, Greenberg teaches Biology, and Moncayo teaches AP Biology. The teachers are also new to Los Angeles: Greenberg moved from Philadelphia, PA a few months ago and Moncayo moved recently from Modesto, CA, although she is originally from Ecuador.

Although Greenberg has not been here for long, he has already hiked Temescal Canyon, visited the Getty Villa, traveled to Catalina Island, and gone to the beach. Moncayo is also an outdoorsy person and enjoys hiking, camping, cycling and kickboxing. She hopes to visit some more places in Los Angeles in her free time, such as the Museum of Tolerance.

Greenberg attended Lower Merion High School, where basketball star Kobe Bryant is an alumnus. Greenberg also attended University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. Moncayo graduated high school twice: once in Ecuador, and again in New Jersey to learn English. Moncayo worked towards her college degree in New Jersey as well.

Prior to teaching at Milken, Greenberg taught for three years in several schools, including a Science Leadership Academy in Pennsylvania and a boarding school in Massachusetts. His reasoning for moving to Milken? He thought it would be interesting to teach at a Jewish day school because he is Jewish himself. Moncayo, on the other hand, has an Israeli spouse and has actually tried to obtain Israeli citizenship herself, giving her a connection to a Jewish school. She chose Milken for its sense of community and friendly and welcoming staff.

As for their choice to become teachers in the first place, both Greenberg and Moncayo felt a strong passion for science. Greenberg’s parents are both teachers, and he made the decision to continue his family legacy by teaching Biology. Moncayo wanted to show students how interesting and fun science can be. Throughout college, she tutored a small girl who hated science until she saw exciting work in a lab. This inspired Moncayo to pursue a career in which she could share her knowledge and inspire others.

Greenberg and Moncayo are not only excited to share their passion for science with students, but they are also excited to learn a lot from them and explore their new city of Los Angeles.

Mr. Greenberg looking cheery in the Chemistry lab.
Mr. Greenberg looking cheery in the Chemistry lab.