Faculty & Staff

Administration

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Mrs. Bohm Principal
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Marybeth Bohm

Education

Bachelor of Arts - Liberal Studies - Loyola Marymount University - 1993
Master of Arts - Catholic School Administration - Loyola Marymount University - 2009
Years of teaching

23+
Awards/achievements

Definitely not "Mom of the Year" - It is difficult being a parent but I am truly blessed to share my parenting role with my husband of 25 years as we raise our three daughters.
Interesting facts

I am a True Crime Fanatic!!!!  I LOVE decorating for the holidays (any holidays)!
Favorite school activity

Going to Mass every Friday as a school community.  Meet the Musicians Day and Talent Afternoon.
Personal comment

In order to take care of and nourish others, we need to nourish and take care of ourselves first.
Favorite quotes

"Don't cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened."  Dr. Seuss

"Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire."  St. Catherine of Siena

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Dr. Bertucio Assistant Principal
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Brett Bertucio

Education

B.A. Theology, Economics, Boston College
M.Ed. Secondary Math Education, University of Notre Dame
M.A. Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D. Educational Policy Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Years of teaching

10+
Awards/achievements

I'm most proud of and grateful for several fellowships that allowed me to spend a year traveling the country to conduct research while in graduate school.
Interesting facts

I'm an avid professional cycling fan and watch races regularly. In the past, I tried to race a bit myself. I enjoyed little success but had a lot of fun.
Favorite school activity

Entertaining (within reason) the unexpected and seemingly irrelevant question. I think learning happens when students' inexorable desire for truth breaks forth in the classroom. This is often hard to anticipate but essential to foster.
Personal comment

Much of my time in the field of education has been spent trying to understand the forces (political, economic, cultural) that conspire to distract us from the “deep down things,” as Gerard Manley Hopkins would put it. It's very easy to believe that the right amount of cognitive power will save us from the human condition. I'm delighted to be a part of a school community where students are helped to examine the “deep down things” of life and of their hearts. This is education at its best—understanding my heart alongside a great tradition made by hearts with the same needs and, in the end, finding Christ at the deepest bottom.
Favorite quotes

“The soul of education is the education of the soul.” Pope Pius XI

“Something quite remote from anything the builders intended, has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time; a small red flame—a beaten-copper lamp of deplorable design relit before the beaten-copper doors of a tabernacle; the flame which the old knights saw from their tombs, which they saw put out; that flame burns again for other soldiers, far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem. It could not have been lit but for the builders and the tragedians, and there I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones.” Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

 

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Mrs. North Advancement Director
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Jamie North

Years at St. Monica School

17+
Interesting facts

I was married at St. Monica Church 30 years ago; my three daughters attended the school and received their sacraments here. So St. Monica is my home!
Favorite school activity

The annual school auction, of course! It is such a great community event.
Personal comment

I love traveling the world with my husband, especially now that we are empty nesters!
Favorite quotes

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


-Maya Angelou

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Mrs. Pfeiffer School Secretary/Registrar
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Mindy Pfeiffer

Education

BS Accounting, Santa Clara University, 1992
Awards/achievements

Managed to raise two strong girls who are now in college
Interesting facts

​I had the opportunity to live and work in Australia for a few years.
Both of my girls and my niece attended St. Monica Catholic School.
Favorite school activity

​Grandparent's Day and All Saints Day with the fourth graders dressed as their favorite saint
Personal comment

I am so excited to be back at St. Monica as part of the faculty team after spending so many years on the parent side of things. I look forward to supporting the students, families, and faculty at the Saint Monica School community!
Favorite quotes

​You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life. Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream, the print of the way you taught them will remain. Mother Theresa

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Mrs. Shearer School Secretary/Registrar
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Allison Shearer

Education

BA degree from Chico State University in Psychology and Social Work



Years at St. Monica Parish

21



Personal Statement

I am thrilled to be back at St. Monica School. This community of amazing and faith-filled families and teachers makes St. Monica such a special place for me. My daughter graduated from St. Monica school, and I loved being involved in just about every volunteer opportunity there was! I have worked over at the St. Monica parish office for the past year, which I have loved. I am so excited to spend my day with your children focused on faith, service, and community. I look forward to sharing our wonderful catholic education journey with you all!



Favorite quote

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

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Mrs. Farrell Student Support/Technology
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Kristin Farrell

Education

BA in Elementary Education and Spanish, Masters in Education with an Endorsement in Reading
Years of teaching

15+
Awards / Achievements

UP President’s Scholarship, Kappa Delta PI International Honors Society in Education, Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) through University of Portland, St. Brendan Parish School 2009 distinguished graduate, Fulcrum Foundation STAR Grant recipient
Interesting facts

She taught in Yakima with the PACE program. The only way to drive to her family cabin at Point Roberts, WA, is to go through two international borders!
Favorite school activity

When classes “boo” each other in October.
Personal comment

She loves helping other teachers effectively use technology and helping students with learning disabilities receive accommodations that make them more successful in the general education classroom environment. She lives in Bothell with her husband, daughters (Ellie and Brooklyn), and their golden-doodle, Edgar. She enjoys traveling, playing board games, and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.
Favorite quote

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Norman Vincent

Early Learning Center

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Mrs. Birashk PreK Program Director and 4/5 Teacher
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Talina Birashk

Education

BA in Human Development/Early Childhood Education from Washington State University, Graduated in 2009
K-8 Washington State Teaching Certificate
Years of teaching

18 years of teaching preschool. This will be my 15th year at St. Monica Catholic School.
Awards/achievements

2014 Mercer Island Preschool Association Exceptional Educator Award
Presenter at the 2003 Washington Association for the Education of Young Children Convention
Graduated Magna Cum Laude at WSU 2009
Trained in the Slingerland Multisensory Method of teaching reading and writing
Interesting facts

I live in Covington with my husband Joey (head chef at Eureka in U-Village), our two wonderfully spirited children, MacGyver and Scarlet, and our two puppies: Betty and Nom Nom, and two cats; Georgie and Wombat.
Favorite school activity

I love morning and afternoon circle time when all the kids are seated with me, and we are talking about our day, life, and all those wonderfully random things that pop into the head of a young child.
Personal comment

I work hard to provide a developmentally appropriate and learning-enriched classroom for all PreK students. I want to help students discover their amazing abilities and get them started on the road to becoming life-long learners. I look forward to what I call "light bulb" moments that happen every day at this age. The moment where something clicks, and a student gets excited to have just truly learned something new.
Favorite quote

From the children's Book: Ish By Peter H. Reynolds

"Ramon felt light and energized. Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely. He began to draw what he felt-loose lines. Quickly springy out. Without worry."

This is one of my favorite children's books about a young child whose art is criticized. He later discovers that although his paintings don't look exactly like a tree or a flower, they look tree-ish or flower-ish. This revelation inspires the child to look at his artwork in a proud new light, and the creativity never stops from there.

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Mrs. Zwolski PreK 3/4 Teacher
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Evelyn Zwolski

Years teaching

9+
Interesting facts

I enjoy spending my free time out in nature, where I can appreciate the beauty in God's creations, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, with my daughter Jaelynn and my son Caden. I enjoy going on hikes with my family, taking my chocolate lab Rainier to the dog park, ice skating, reading, going to the beach, and relaxing with a good movie. I consider myself an animal lover. Watching my son, Caden, play sports and my daughter Jaelynn dance ballet brings me much joy. When I have extra time on my hands, I enjoy going on trips to Hobby Lobby to gather ideas for a new arts and crafts project.
Favorite school activity

All the activities at St. Monica during the Advent season! Christmas morning in PreK is a lovely morning where we all gather around our classroom Christmas tree in our pajamas and pillows and blankets, drink hot cocoa and open a little Christmas gift. We are all a big PreK family! I also love preparing and watching our preschoolers perform their song at the Christmas Pageant dressed in beautiful Christmas attire. So much joy is in the air during this time of year!
Personal comment

As a preschool teacher I believe I play an important role to care for, guide, encourage, support, and inspire my young students. To help them to grow into motivated life-long learners, to develop a love of God, a deep love of themselves and others, and to be respectful and kind human beings. Children should be free to explore the world with curiosity, ask questions, and be in a place where their self-expression and creativity are always welcome. These early life experiences are incredibly important in shaping the people these little learners will become.
Favorite quote

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

 

Elementary

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Miss Moffat Kindergarten
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Sarah Moffat

Education

BA in Early Childhood Education, Western Washington University
K-3 Teaching Certificate, Western Washington University
Years of teaching

8+
Interesting facts

I was born and raised in Seattle and have lived in Washington my entire life. However, one of my favorite things to do is travel. I love traveling to sunny places, especially to visit family and friends!
Favorite school activity

I love coaching basketball and volleyball.
Personal comment

Two of my favorite daily teacher moments are when a child says something surprising that makes me laugh out loud and when a child gets excited about learning something new or when they can figure out how to accomplish a new task all on their own!
Favorite quote

“To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.”

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Miss Wright First Grade
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Meghan Wright

Education

Elementary Education Degree from Montana State University
Years of teaching

4
Interesting facts

She grew up on Mercer Island and attended St. Monica School!
Personal comment

I look forward to sharing my passion for learning and educating at St. Monica School, where I have many fond memories of learning and growing!

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Mrs. Malhotra Second Grade
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Ruchira Malhotra

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Mrs. Schwarz Third Grade
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Sandra Schwarz

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Mrs. Betts Fourth Grade
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Anne-Marie Betts

Education

Bachelor of Arts-Washington State University
Bachelor of Arts-Western Governors University
Endorsements: Elementary Education K-8
Years of teaching

3 year
Interesting facts

I was adopted with my twin my sister when I was a year and a half.  I love running—one of my many favorite memories with my kids is running with them in my jogging stroller. A favorite fall activity of mine is watching Washington State Cougar Football.
Favorite school activity

Having lunch with my students or surprising them on the playground for a game of wall ball.
Favorite quote

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive anyway.  If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.  If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.  If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.  For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Mother Teresa

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Mrs. Poole Fifth Grade
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Carrie Poole

Education

CGS certified Level 1, 2 and 3
Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Seattle Pacific University
Teaching Certification K-8, Seattle Pacific University
BA in Psychology, University of Washington
Years of Teaching

After 20+ years of raising children, some homeschooling, lots of volunteering, seven years in the Atrium, I walked into the classroom three years ago.  During that time, I have continued to be in the Atrium and have taught 5th-grade science, 5th/6th grade math, and history, and 7th/8th grade humanities.
Interesting Facts

I have eight children, my youngest is 7 (and became an uncle in February), and my oldest is 24, married, and our first grandchild is four months old!  Our oldest was born in Germany.  I love to travel and to go camping.  Our two favorite camping spots are on Lake Chelan and Deception Pass.
Favorite school activities

Field trips!  It is so fun to get outside the classroom and experience things in the biggest classroom of all.
Favorite moment in the classroom

The “Ah-ha!” moment, when someone understands something in a new and profound way.  That is the best!
Favorite Quote

Either “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all of your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3: 5-6

Or – “Lord, help me to be willing to be willing.”  St. Teresa of Avila (is who I saw this attributed to)
Favorite Saint

That is hard!  St. Pope John Paul II, St. Terese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Anthony, St. Michael … so many!!

Middle School

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Miss Takemori History/Geometry
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Hannah Takemori

Education

History Honors Cohort, Department of History at the University of Washington
History Fellow, Department of History at the University of Washington
Years of teaching

6+
Awards/achievements

Thomas Power Prize for the Outstanding Student Leader, Class of 2018, Department of History at the University of Washington
Husky 100 Member, 2017-2018
Mary Gates Scholar, 2017-2018
Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race Research Grant, University of Washington *Only undergraduate recipient to date
Grand Champion, Library Undergraduate Research Award Outstanding Senior Thesis, University of Washington Libraries
1st Place Thomas Power Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate History Paper, Department of History at the University of Washington
Sleizer and Schwartz Scholarships for Academic Excellence, Full Tuition, Department of History at the University of Washington
Wang Scholarship for Asian American Activism, University of Washington Honors Program
Honors Scholarship for Full Tuition, University of Washington Honors Program
Puyallup Valley Japanese American Citizens League Scholarship
Interesting fact

Long-distance trail runner
Favorite school activity

Excited to share in the mysteries of mass with her students
Favorite quote

“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” – Pope Benedict XVI

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Miss Wegener Literature/Latin/Theology
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Courtney Wegener

Education

Hillsdale College in Michigan, where I experienced the joy of learning within a community dedicated to the love of truth and beauty.
Years of teaching

5
Interesting facts

I grew up in Bellingham, WA, with three siblings and a family that loved camping, board games, and books.
Personal comment

I am so happy that classical learning is making its way into Seattle. I have valued my time in Catholic schools and believe we have been given an incredible opportunity to live the Catholic faith within a real, incarnate community of people. I'm looking forward to getting to know your families and jump into middle school!

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Mr. Okimoto Math/Science
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Jensen Okimoto

Education

BA Philosophy from Templeton Honors College at Eastern University
Years of Teaching

3 years Astronomy Teacher's Assistant and Research Assistant
3rd year at St. Monica Catholic School
Awards / Achievements

Published Essay in Adorans, the academic journal of The Philadelphia Commons Institute
Lead Author of Astronomical Poster: “Light Curve Analyses of the Short Period, Totally Eclipsing Binaries V449 & V463 And.”
Research and Analysis for multiple published eclipsing binary light curve analyses at the Bradstreet Observatory in Pennsylvania
Web developer and co-creator of euastronomy.org
Interesting facts

I love and know more about coffee than possibly anything other material things.
Cooking is a way of living and loving.
Writing by hand with a good fountain pen makes writing anything a joy—even writing a grocery list, especially taking notes.
Board games are about understanding the love of friendship.
Favorite school activity/memory

I once asked my physics teacher about a passage of scripture. As the hours passed, a few students who were either passing by, waiting for me to hang out, or had some physics questions sat down and listened to the conversation. We were there for three hours that day. Thus began our little bible study, and thus began my journey toward thinking about scripture more critically. We recorded many of these bible studies over two years, each of them many hours long. I think I still have those recordings somewhere. If it weren't for that teacher, I would not have gone to the college I did. I would not have met my roommate and stayed up late into the mornings talking about truth, justice, and goodness. I would not be here, excited to teach and hoping to teach as well as that teacher taught me.
Personal comment

I believe the goal of education, rightly understood, is to form whole persons filled with wonder, attentive to the opacity of the other, seeking after what is good, true, and beautiful, engaging in and working toward civic virtue and the common good. I mean by that loaded sentence that persons are unfathomably complex, and education, done well, moves children toward better understanding the beautiful complexity of reality. In teaching—especially about the world around us (the natural sciences)—I hope to show my students that “Persons are God’s gift to a gifted world, an elevation and ennobling of what was already good into that which bears the divine image and, in time, will hold the Divine Image’s incarnation” (R. J. Snell, Acedia and Its Discontents).
Favorite Quote(s)

“Love is the teacher of gods and men, for no one learns without desiring to learn. Truth is sought not because it is truth but because it is good.” -Simone Weil

“… but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”. -Jullian of Norwich

“Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that, I came.” -Gerard Manley Hopkins
Favorite Saint and why

Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo:

St. Augustine was the first Saint I ever read. His Confessions is a work that is at the same time intellectual and passionate. He beautifully articulated the struggles of sin and the hope of Christ in a way that moved me toward learning about the richness of the Christian intellectual tradition. I've prayed for his guidance often.

 

 

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Mr. Lewis Literature/Math/Theology
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Colin Lewis

Education

B.A. Christian Theology, Seattle Pacific University
Master of Theological Studies, Duke University
Further graduate studies in education
Years of teaching

2+
Awards/achievements

Lewis, Colin. (2018). "Annotated Bibliography: Work & Faith." The Christian Librarian 61(2): 236-240
Highest GPA (Graduating Class, Duke University Divinity School, 2017)
Wesley E. Lindgren Award (Seattle Pacific University, 2014): Annual award to the graduating University Scholar who most exemplifies the ideals of scholarly excellence and Christian service of Seattle Pacific University's honors program.
School of Theology Outstanding Graduate Award (Seattle Pacific University, 2014)
De Jaeger Prizes: two prizes awarded by the Scholarship and Christianity Institute in Oxford (SCIO) for exemplary scholarship on British Christianity and Islamic politics
Interesting facts

I married my wonderful wife (Amanda) while a senior in college. We have two boys, Leo (four) and Rowan (five months).
I am a collector and avid user of pencils.
I like to brew and drink all varieties of loose-leaf tea, and we occasionally share a pot of tea during our classroom seminars.
I never go to sleep at night without reading some portion of a good detective story.
I am most content spending time with friends and family, though I do love to read, golf, and run as well!
Favorite school activity

I love getting to know the students in my classes. I’m also a huge fan of classroom discussions and seminars.
Personal comment

The teacher, says Glory Boughton in Marilynne Robinson’s Home, exists to help students “assume their humanity.” I tend to agree, believing that the teacher exists to help facilitate a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a human being made in the image and likeness of God. This means that the point of education has less to do with imparting facts or preparing for the outside world (though each of these has their place) and more to do with how what we learn helps us to be truly human. In so doing, we are hopefully brought to a better knowledge and appreciation of God Himself, who is the end of all intellectual and spiritual striving. I thus take seriously the privilege I have been given to walk alongside students as they continue their educational journey, and I hope that in a small way I can help to awaken in them a sense of awe at the beauty and goodness of God's creation.
Favorite quotes

“Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky…question all these realities. All respond: ’See we are beautiful.’ Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One who is not subject to change?” (St. Augustine, Sermo 241, 2: PL 38, 1134)

“The truly interesting question for man is neither logic, a fascinating game, nor demonstration, an inviting curiosity. Rather, the intriguing problem for man is to adhere to reality, to become aware of reality.” (Fr. Luigi Giussani)

“'When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, ‘What is the Lord asking of me in this moment? In this situation?’” (John Ames in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead)

"Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation.” (Benedict XVI, Mass for the inauguration of the Pontificate).

“Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed. This is the achievement, the ‘work’ of faith: to recognize this absolute prius, which nothing else can surpass; to believe that there is such a thing as love, absolute love, and there is nothing higher or greater than it; to believe against all the evidence of experience (“credere contra fidem” like “sperare contra spem”), against every “rational” concept of God, which thinks of him in terms of impassibility or, at best, totally pure goodness, but not in terms of this inconceivable and senseless act of love.” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar)

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Mr. Baker Literature/Language Arts/Math
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Cory Baker

Education

D. Min. – Mt. Angel Seminary (in progress)
M. Div. – Seattle Pacific Seminary
BA Comparative Religion – University of Washington
Years of teaching

3
Achievements

Board certification in healthcare chaplaincy
Mental Health First Aid certification
Permaculture Design certification
Interesting facts

I am a former Protestant pastor and hospital chaplain. Having been intent upon understanding the history and the nature of the persistent divisions among the Christian faithful across the centuries, and through the continuing study of Scripture, the Church Fathers, the Doctors, and the Councils, I came to prayerfully and joyfully embrace the Church’s claims to catholicity and apostolicity, entering the fullness of the Church’s sacramental life, thereafter pursuing a calling to impart the wisdom of the Catholic liberal arts to young people. Glory to God!
Favorite school activity

In elementary it was recess; in middle school, Spanish; in high school, it was art; in college, it has been reading theology and philosophy; as a teacher, it is leading seminars.
Personal comment

I’ve done many worthwhile things in my life. Many of them, had I known in the first place how difficult they would prove to be, I would not have endeavored to undertake. In that way (and not others), I think I have a lot in common with Bilbo Baggins. I highly doubt he would have left Bag End had he known what danger awaited him outside the Shire. He had no way of knowing how his trials and triumphs would play such a crucial part in a much larger story of valor and redemption. Each of us will have our own crosses to bear, and one, five, or ten miles down the road, it may seem much heavier than when we first shouldered the load. My hope is that I can play a small part here in the lives of young people, such that they may learn to understand their own joys and struggles in the larger story of God’s plan of salvation, in and through his covenant people.
Favorite quotes

For a chuckle: “Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

And now, more seriously:  

“We live in a sensate age. We are no longer governed by Faith, we are no longer governed by reason. We are governed by feelings.” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” – Viktor Frankl

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” – Jesus of Nazareth (1 Jn. 5:3)

“The salvation of souls… must always be the supreme law in the Church...” – Code of Canon Law, can. 1752

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Mrs. Bauer Latin
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April Bauer

Education

Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin and Classical Studies from the University of Washington
Undergraduate Degree at Middlebury College Italian Language Immersion program
Post-Baccalaureate Classics studies at Duke University
Master of Arts degree in Classics in San Francisco
Years of teaching

15+
Interesting facts

In her free time, April enjoys the adventure of raising two boys, one in high school and one in middle school, with her husband here on Mercer Island and watching them ski race competitively all over the Northwest.
Favorite school activity

Studying in Rome for a year as an undergraduate then, later as a teacher. April loved traveling to Rome with her high school students and sharing the city with them during the Easter holiday.
Personal comment

If she were to have a favorite Saint, it would have to be Saint Augustine for two reasons; he was, profoundly, educated in Classical literature and history and, he was not ashamed to admit his own human faults.
Favorite quote

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” - St. Augustine

Email 206-232-2900 x117
Miss Borda Parish Youth Minister
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Rachel Borda

Rachel graduated with a dual Bachelors's degree from Benedictine College in Theology, and in Evangelization & Catechesis. She has been a small group leader for both Middle and High School Youth groups at St. Monica Parish for the past two years, as well as a small group leader for confirmation. Rachel will be assisting Mr. Peters with middle school and high school Theology classes as well as Confirmation.

Para-educators

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Miss Rorem Para-educator
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Alison Rorem

Education

Washington State University Class of 2020, Bachelors of Science
Major Speech and Hearing Sciences
Minor Human Development

I am a current student at Calvin University working to earn a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.
Interesting Fact

I love animals, especially dogs, cows, rabbits, and horses. I also grow Dahlia’s.
Favorite School Activity

My favorite school activity is Dinosaur day in Kindergarten!
Favorite Quote

"Be bold in your caring, be bold in your dreaming, and above all else, always do your best" - George H. W. Bush

Personal note

I am excited to return to Saint Monica for the third year.

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Miss Poole Para-educator
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Bekah Poole

Years teaching

2
Interesting facts

I am the second oldest of 8 kids, and I had the privilege of becoming an auntie this past year!  I have a passion for music; playing the piano, singing, listening to music, and watching my family make a joyful noise together! I love being outside and surrounding myself with God’s beautiful creation at any time of the day. My hobbies include; traveling, painting, movies, mystery novels, and hanging out with my siblings.
Favorite school activity

I love helping the students when they have questions and watching the lightbulb go off when they understand! My favorite parts of the day are when I am building a more personal connection with the students and listening to their imaginative ideas!
Personal comment

I am so happy to be at St. Monica and blessed with the opportunity to inspire and help educate young minds. The students are truly a gift in my life, and I consider it my greatest responsibility and honor to assist with their formation. I find an incredible amount of joy in watching them grow in heart, mind, and soul. “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18: 5)
Favorite quote

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

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Mr. Yango Para-educator
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Jordan Yango

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Mrs. Moore Para-educator
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Maria Moore

SMA High School Courses

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Miss Takemori History/Geometry
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Hannah Takemori

Education

History Honors Cohort, Department of History at the University of Washington
History Fellow, Department of History at the University of Washington
Years of teaching

6+
Awards/achievements

Thomas Power Prize for the Outstanding Student Leader, Class of 2018, Department of History at the University of Washington
Husky 100 Member, 2017-2018
Mary Gates Scholar, 2017-2018
Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race Research Grant, University of Washington *Only undergraduate recipient to date
Grand Champion, Library Undergraduate Research Award Outstanding Senior Thesis, University of Washington Libraries
1st Place Thomas Power Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate History Paper, Department of History at the University of Washington
Sleizer and Schwartz Scholarships for Academic Excellence, Full Tuition, Department of History at the University of Washington
Wang Scholarship for Asian American Activism, University of Washington Honors Program
Honors Scholarship for Full Tuition, University of Washington Honors Program
Puyallup Valley Japanese American Citizens League Scholarship
Interesting fact

Long-distance trail runner
Favorite school activity

Excited to share in the mysteries of mass with her students
Favorite quote

“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” – Pope Benedict XVI

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Mr. Okimoto Math/Science
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Jensen Okimoto

Education

BA Philosophy from Templeton Honors College at Eastern University
Years of Teaching

3 years Astronomy Teacher's Assistant and Research Assistant
3rd year at St. Monica Catholic School
Awards / Achievements

Published Essay in Adorans, the academic journal of The Philadelphia Commons Institute
Lead Author of Astronomical Poster: “Light Curve Analyses of the Short Period, Totally Eclipsing Binaries V449 & V463 And.”
Research and Analysis for multiple published eclipsing binary light curve analyses at the Bradstreet Observatory in Pennsylvania
Web developer and co-creator of euastronomy.org
Interesting facts

I love and know more about coffee than possibly anything other material things.
Cooking is a way of living and loving.
Writing by hand with a good fountain pen makes writing anything a joy—even writing a grocery list, especially taking notes.
Board games are about understanding the love of friendship.
Favorite school activity/memory

I once asked my physics teacher about a passage of scripture. As the hours passed, a few students who were either passing by, waiting for me to hang out, or had some physics questions sat down and listened to the conversation. We were there for three hours that day. Thus began our little bible study, and thus began my journey toward thinking about scripture more critically. We recorded many of these bible studies over two years, each of them many hours long. I think I still have those recordings somewhere. If it weren't for that teacher, I would not have gone to the college I did. I would not have met my roommate and stayed up late into the mornings talking about truth, justice, and goodness. I would not be here, excited to teach and hoping to teach as well as that teacher taught me.
Personal comment

I believe the goal of education, rightly understood, is to form whole persons filled with wonder, attentive to the opacity of the other, seeking after what is good, true, and beautiful, engaging in and working toward civic virtue and the common good. I mean by that loaded sentence that persons are unfathomably complex, and education, done well, moves children toward better understanding the beautiful complexity of reality. In teaching—especially about the world around us (the natural sciences)—I hope to show my students that “Persons are God’s gift to a gifted world, an elevation and ennobling of what was already good into that which bears the divine image and, in time, will hold the Divine Image’s incarnation” (R. J. Snell, Acedia and Its Discontents).
Favorite Quote(s)

“Love is the teacher of gods and men, for no one learns without desiring to learn. Truth is sought not because it is truth but because it is good.” -Simone Weil

“… but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”. -Jullian of Norwich

“Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that, I came.” -Gerard Manley Hopkins
Favorite Saint and why

Blessed St. Augustine of Hippo:

St. Augustine was the first Saint I ever read. His Confessions is a work that is at the same time intellectual and passionate. He beautifully articulated the struggles of sin and the hope of Christ in a way that moved me toward learning about the richness of the Christian intellectual tradition. I've prayed for his guidance often.

 

 

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Mr. Lewis Literature/Math/Theology
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Colin Lewis

Education

B.A. Christian Theology, Seattle Pacific University
Master of Theological Studies, Duke University
Further graduate studies in education
Years of teaching

2+
Awards/achievements

Lewis, Colin. (2018). "Annotated Bibliography: Work & Faith." The Christian Librarian 61(2): 236-240
Highest GPA (Graduating Class, Duke University Divinity School, 2017)
Wesley E. Lindgren Award (Seattle Pacific University, 2014): Annual award to the graduating University Scholar who most exemplifies the ideals of scholarly excellence and Christian service of Seattle Pacific University's honors program.
School of Theology Outstanding Graduate Award (Seattle Pacific University, 2014)
De Jaeger Prizes: two prizes awarded by the Scholarship and Christianity Institute in Oxford (SCIO) for exemplary scholarship on British Christianity and Islamic politics
Interesting facts

I married my wonderful wife (Amanda) while a senior in college. We have two boys, Leo (four) and Rowan (five months).
I am a collector and avid user of pencils.
I like to brew and drink all varieties of loose-leaf tea, and we occasionally share a pot of tea during our classroom seminars.
I never go to sleep at night without reading some portion of a good detective story.
I am most content spending time with friends and family, though I do love to read, golf, and run as well!
Favorite school activity

I love getting to know the students in my classes. I’m also a huge fan of classroom discussions and seminars.
Personal comment

The teacher, says Glory Boughton in Marilynne Robinson’s Home, exists to help students “assume their humanity.” I tend to agree, believing that the teacher exists to help facilitate a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a human being made in the image and likeness of God. This means that the point of education has less to do with imparting facts or preparing for the outside world (though each of these has their place) and more to do with how what we learn helps us to be truly human. In so doing, we are hopefully brought to a better knowledge and appreciation of God Himself, who is the end of all intellectual and spiritual striving. I thus take seriously the privilege I have been given to walk alongside students as they continue their educational journey, and I hope that in a small way I can help to awaken in them a sense of awe at the beauty and goodness of God's creation.
Favorite quotes

“Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky…question all these realities. All respond: ’See we are beautiful.’ Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One who is not subject to change?” (St. Augustine, Sermo 241, 2: PL 38, 1134)

“The truly interesting question for man is neither logic, a fascinating game, nor demonstration, an inviting curiosity. Rather, the intriguing problem for man is to adhere to reality, to become aware of reality.” (Fr. Luigi Giussani)

“'When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, ‘What is the Lord asking of me in this moment? In this situation?’” (John Ames in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead)

"Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation.” (Benedict XVI, Mass for the inauguration of the Pontificate).

“Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed. This is the achievement, the ‘work’ of faith: to recognize this absolute prius, which nothing else can surpass; to believe that there is such a thing as love, absolute love, and there is nothing higher or greater than it; to believe against all the evidence of experience (“credere contra fidem” like “sperare contra spem”), against every “rational” concept of God, which thinks of him in terms of impassibility or, at best, totally pure goodness, but not in terms of this inconceivable and senseless act of love.” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar)

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Mr. Baker Literature/Language Arts/Math
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Cory Baker

Education

D. Min. – Mt. Angel Seminary (in progress)
M. Div. – Seattle Pacific Seminary
BA Comparative Religion – University of Washington
Years of teaching

3
Achievements

Board certification in healthcare chaplaincy
Mental Health First Aid certification
Permaculture Design certification
Interesting facts

I am a former Protestant pastor and hospital chaplain. Having been intent upon understanding the history and the nature of the persistent divisions among the Christian faithful across the centuries, and through the continuing study of Scripture, the Church Fathers, the Doctors, and the Councils, I came to prayerfully and joyfully embrace the Church’s claims to catholicity and apostolicity, entering the fullness of the Church’s sacramental life, thereafter pursuing a calling to impart the wisdom of the Catholic liberal arts to young people. Glory to God!
Favorite school activity

In elementary it was recess; in middle school, Spanish; in high school, it was art; in college, it has been reading theology and philosophy; as a teacher, it is leading seminars.
Personal comment

I’ve done many worthwhile things in my life. Many of them, had I known in the first place how difficult they would prove to be, I would not have endeavored to undertake. In that way (and not others), I think I have a lot in common with Bilbo Baggins. I highly doubt he would have left Bag End had he known what danger awaited him outside the Shire. He had no way of knowing how his trials and triumphs would play such a crucial part in a much larger story of valor and redemption. Each of us will have our own crosses to bear, and one, five, or ten miles down the road, it may seem much heavier than when we first shouldered the load. My hope is that I can play a small part here in the lives of young people, such that they may learn to understand their own joys and struggles in the larger story of God’s plan of salvation, in and through his covenant people.
Favorite quotes

For a chuckle: “Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

And now, more seriously:  

“We live in a sensate age. We are no longer governed by Faith, we are no longer governed by reason. We are governed by feelings.” – Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” – Viktor Frankl

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” – Jesus of Nazareth (1 Jn. 5:3)

“The salvation of souls… must always be the supreme law in the Church...” – Code of Canon Law, can. 1752

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Mrs. Bauer Latin
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April Bauer

Education

Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin and Classical Studies from the University of Washington
Undergraduate Degree at Middlebury College Italian Language Immersion program
Post-Baccalaureate Classics studies at Duke University
Master of Arts degree in Classics in San Francisco
Years of teaching

15+
Interesting facts

In her free time, April enjoys the adventure of raising two boys, one in high school and one in middle school, with her husband here on Mercer Island and watching them ski race competitively all over the Northwest.
Favorite school activity

Studying in Rome for a year as an undergraduate then, later as a teacher. April loved traveling to Rome with her high school students and sharing the city with them during the Easter holiday.
Personal comment

If she were to have a favorite Saint, it would have to be Saint Augustine for two reasons; he was, profoundly, educated in Classical literature and history and, he was not ashamed to admit his own human faults.
Favorite quote

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” - St. Augustine

Specialists

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Mr. Usalla Art
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Josh Usalla

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of Guam, 2013
Years of Teaching

+5 Years
Awards / Achievements

Fatherhood
Interesting facts


  • Born and raised on the tiny island of Guam for +30 years

  • Enjoys playing basketball

  • Loves making and eating sushi

  • Married to a loving wife and raising a beautiful daughter


Favorite school activity/memory

During teacher introductions, I surprised the students with a backflip during the high school pep rally. The school erupted with cheers. Best school memory EVER!
Favorite Quote(s)


  • "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw

  • EARTH without ART is just "EH" - Unknown

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Mrs. Gould Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
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Jeni Gould


Education

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Certification for Levels I and II


TESL Certification (Teaching English as a Second Language) from Seattle University, 2002


Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College California, 2001


 
Years of teaching

7 years as a CGS Catechist


13 years Homeschooling


11 years Catholic History Co-op


1 year History, Theology, L.A., and Latin at Marian Latin School in Silverton, OR




Awards/achievements

Feeding 7 children every day!




Interesting facts

I am half Mexican.


Three of my children were born at home.


I once won a Father/Daughter golf tournament with my dad when I was a kid.




Favorite school activity

Socratic seminars




Personal comment

When I was a kid in school, I remember feeling as if I would do it all again someday.  Looking back, I think that feeling was a call to education.  Though I am not a state-certified teacher, I have taught various subjects through a variety of methods in a variety of locations.  I believe teaching is the greatest way to learn, and I am thankful for all I have learned along with my students over the years.




Favorite quotes

"If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are."


-St. Teresa if Calcutta


"Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you were told to wash it, but because you love the next person that will use it."


-St. Teresa of Calcutta

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Mrs. Jarboe Physical Education/CYO Coordinator
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Laura Jarboe

Education

Master of Arts- Teaching from Western Governors University in 2013
Bachelor of Arts- Anthropology-Social Studies from Western Washington University 2006
Years of Teaching

6+
Awards/Achievements

Certification in Neurolinguistic programming. Mother to three amazing children. Assistant Cub Master of Pack 682.
Interesting Facts

I rowed crew in high school. I love classical literature, and in true Jane Austen fashion, I can cross-stitch.
Favorite School Activity

Anything involving music!
Personal Comment

I am overjoyed to be joining the St. Monica family this year. I'm excited to help my students see the world through eyes of wonder.
Favorite Saint

St. John Baptist de La Salle for his work in establishing education as we know it!
Favorite Quote

“He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.”
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

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Miss Oh Music
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Helen Oh

Education

B. A. from the University of California, San Diego in Business International Studies
Years of teaching

She has been involved in afterschool programs for elementary and middle schools during her college years in San Diego, and she has been an active leader for the children's ministry at her church ever since her teenage years.

Awards/achievements

Becoming one of the founders of a group called Kids4Kids serving orphanages in downtown St. Louis, MO.
Interesting facts

She has a great passion for music and creating a positive experience for children, whether through music or education. This has led her to teach piano to children from 3-11 years of age for 3 years.
Personal comment

She is excited to embark on this new path that serves her passion and is thrilled to work with the St. Monica staff and community!

Email 206-232-5432 x155
Ms. Wilkinson Library/Math Specialist
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Rebecca Wilkinson

Education

BA in English, minors in French, Communications; Continuing Certificate with endorsements in French, Speech, and English
Years of teaching

19+
Awards/achievements

Motherhood
Interesting facts

I grew up around horses. I would have been a vet if I hadn't become a teacher.
Favorite school activity

6th-grade camp
Personal comment

Teaching is not just about the subjects taught in school: it is about helping each child reach an understanding of their potential and the responsibilities of being a good human being.
Favorite quote

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” – Edgar Allan Poe

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Mrs. Pérez Reading/CGS
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Shanni Pérez

Education

BA Human Services and Spanish from Western Washington University
Master in Teaching from Seattle University
Years of Teaching

4 years
Interesting Facts

I’m a Seattle area native.
I taught Baptism classes, preparation classes for Reconciliation and First Communion, and Confirmation classes.
I have a baby daughter named Mariana. Her name is a combination of Saint Mary and Saint Anne.
I love yams and sweet potatoes!
I can play the ukulele (a little).
Favorite School Activity

The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony! I love getting together as a community in anticipation of our celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Personal Comment

To me, the most important thing we can do for our students is to love them and help them to love. Their love for God as well as their community is going to be the thing that motivates them to learn, to contribute, and to grow up and help our world be the loving, caring, place it needs to be.
Favorite Quote

“When you know how much God is in love with you then you can only live your life radiating that love.” – A Simple Path, 1995 (Mother Teresa)

Email 206-232-5432 x153
Mrs. Pérez Spanish/CGS
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Lourdes Pérez

Education

BA Communication and Public Relations
Years of teaching

11 years
Awards/achievements

Catechist Certification
CGS 1st year Certification.
Interesting facts

I was born and raised in Mexico City and have been living in the USA for 22 years.
Favorite school activity

Recitation in Spanish
Personal comment

I love to teach my native language and the Latin American culture to the students. They are amazed when they discover other ways of living from Spanish-speaking countries. I enjoy it when the students want to learn more.
Favorite quote

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world. Chinese proverb