Mrs. North is the St. Monica School Marketing, Events and Communication Director. She has been part of the St. Monica staff since 2006, managing several roles such as Auction Coordinator, Parish Events, Bulletin, Calendaring, Communication and Evangelization.
Mrs. North's history and commitment to this community goes way back. She and her husband Kevin were married at St. Monica over 24 years ago and they have 3 daughters who were baptized here and attended St. Monica School. Her 15 years as a parent at St. Monica Parish School were some of the best memories ever and her closest friends today are from those days.
She is thrilled to continue contributing to the vibrant future of our school and supporting the parents and staff through all the efforts that come from the office.
Mrs. Carton has been the Administrative Assistant/Office manager at St. Monica Parish School for 19 years.
Mrs. Carton was raised in Bellevue and graduated from Bellevue High School. She completed courses in accounting and business at both Bellevue Community and Everett College. Prior to St. Monica Parish School she worked 20+ years in the life insurance industry. Mrs. Carton holds several certifications in the insurance industry. She also dappled in the travel industry.
She and husband Ken have been married for 26 years. They have one daughter and are foster parents for her sister's 3 children. They quickly went from a family of three to six overnight. They are also very big advocates for adoption and foster care. Mrs. Carton is one of seven children who were all adopted by her wonderful parents. And, Ruth is the proud Grandmother of Baby Andrew.
Working at St. Monica Parish School has been an honor and pleasure. She has had the opportunity of working with many outstanding staff members throughout the years. Mrs. Carton truly loves all the parents and students, past and present.
Stephanie T. Creswell, MA, LMHC, CMHS, NBCC -Child / Adolescent Psychotherapist and School Counselor offers support and counseling on all issues relating to child/adolescent and parenting. Her specialties include mental illness, relational issues, parent coaching, learning differences, conflict resolution and academic coaching.
Mrs. Creswell is available by appointment on Tuesdays throughout the school year. She is also available for outside counseling appointments.
Miss Finnerty will be joining the St. Monica community as the new First Grade teacher. She is passionate about Catholic education and is excited to engage her students through faith-filled learning. Miss Finnerty was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she had the privilege of attending Catholic schools. From there, she went on to attend Gonzaga University where she earned a degree in Sociology and a Masters in Initial Teaching, with an endorsement in Reading. During her time at Gonzaga she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and stayed in Spokane to teach Kindergarten.
She is inspired by the honesty and enthusiasm young students have for learning and for the world around them. In her free time, she loves to challenge herself with new water sports, spend time with her family, go horseback riding and learn how to play golf. Miss Finnerty can't wait to meet you and St. Monica's lifelong learners.
Miss Pomada loves teaching 2nd grade at St. Monica Parish School. Although this is her eighth year at St. Monica, Catholic education has always been a part of her life. She grew up in Catholic schools in Bothell and South Everett and went on to attend the University of Portland, earning a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a major in Spanish. After finishing her undergraduate work, she taught first grade through the PACE program at the University of Portland (Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education) at a Catholic school in Yakima, WA while earning her Masters in Education and a reading endorsement. Her study abroad experience in college began in her a love for Spain and Andalucia that she enjoys sharing with her students.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, playing board games, and spending time with her family and friends.
Mrs. Malone is excited to be teaching her 15th year at St. Monica Parish School.
Her 20+ years of teaching has mostly been in the third and fourth grades. She earned her B.S. degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math and science from Penn State. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida which included an endorsement for teaching students whose first language is not English.
She is an outdoorsy person who loves to hike, snorkel, and explore. When she is not out having an adventure, she is at home reading about them as she is an avid reader of young adult books. Why does she call this her dream job? She will tell you it is because she loves celebrating Mass and sharing her faith with her students.
Miss McDonald works as a para-educator at St. Monica School. Your children will be greeted each morning by her smiling face at drop off, be cheered and supervised during recess by her never-ending patience, helped during class with a helpful whisper…and so much more.
Miss Pottenger is honored to join the St. Monica Parish School community this year. She is a recent graduate of Concordia University-Portland, holding a Bachelor's degree in Education: English Language Arts at the Middle/High School Level. Not very many things in life excite Miss Pottenger as much as the adventure of pursuing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness with other lifelong learners, but other passions of hers include reading young adult / juvenile literature, writing poetry and fantasy stories, frequenting coffee shops, tea parlors, and movie theaters, and attending plays and concerts anytime she can. Originally hailing from rural Oregon, she also enjoys camping, horseback riding, watching a good game of football or baseball, taking long drives on beautiful backroads, and traveling to places she's never been before. As fully and in as many ways as she can, Miss Pottenger seeks to live out the exhortation of one of her favorite Saints, Catherine of Siena: "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!"
Mrs. Schneider is in her 31st year of teaching at St. Monica Parish School, from '74 – '80, and '92 to the present. Since returning to teaching in '92, Mrs. Schneider has been teaching science and math in the middle school and doing science enrichment with the lower grades.
Mrs. Schneider received her BA, teaching certification, and 5th year requirements from Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University/University of Washington where her focus of studies has been in science.
Mrs. Schneider enjoys cantoring at St. Louise, reading, Sudoku puzzles, hiking, and jogging on the beach at Ocean Shores.
Mr. Briardy is in his 18th year of teaching at St. Monica School and in his 20th year of education overall. He has a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Seattle University. Mr. Briardy is the eighth grade homeroom teacher responsible for U.S. history, ethics/religion, literature, seventh grade social studies, sixth grade social studies, and a sixth grade tech ethics class. He also heads up the Student Leadership Council and the school’s Family Program. Prior to going into education, he was a bond trader for various Wall Street firms. His interests outside of school include jazz, blues, and rockabilly; the financial markets, and horse racing. An avid reader, his current interests include behavioral economics and the “science” of decision making.
Talina Birashk has been the St. Monica PreK Program Director and lead teacher since 2010. She has a BA in human development and early childhood education from Washington State University. While attending WSU she specialized in brain development in children ages birth to third grade and continues her education with online classes and early childhood education conferences. She has designed the St. Monica PreK program to give students time to explore their environment, collaborate with peers, practice social skills, increase independence and problem solving, and help them reach their academic potential.
Mrs. Birashk lives in North Bend with her husband, Joey, their two children and three cats. They spend their weekends with family, cheering on the WSU Cougars and Seattle Seahawks, and eating delicious food!
My name is Sarah and I will be in the Pre-K classroom this year as the instructional aide. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA and have grown up with two younger siblings. I attended Holy Family in Seattle from K-8th grade and graduated high school from John F. Kennedy in Burien. I studied at Western Washington University and graduated from there with my BA in Early Childhood Education. I have spent the past four years teaching preschool at the Stroum Jewish Community Center here on Mercer Island. When I am not in school learning or teaching young children I enjoy spending time outdoors, attending Seattle sporting events, and most of all spending time with my big loving family and wonderful group of friends.
Evelyn Zwolski has five years of experience working in early childhood education as a teaching assistant at a Spanish immersion preschool in West Seattle. She also has two years as a lead Preschool Teacher at Holy Family Parish School in Seattle where they also had a bilingual program. Mrs. Zwolski brings her Spanish speaking background into the Pre-K classroom.
Mrs. Zwolski's family consists of her husband Cody, daughter Jaelynn, and son Caden. Her hobbies include reading, arts and crafts, going on family hikes, and doing fun projects with her children.
She loves being a preschool teacher because it gives her the opportunity to work in a fun, energizing environment where she is able to mold little minds and watch how they grow. She also appreciates being uplifted by the joy that accompanies working with young children. She feels very blessed to be able to be a part of St. Monica School and is excited to meet the new Pre-K families.
Ms. Milne was born and raised in Seattle and attended St. Matthew School and Bishop Blanchet High School. She received an elementary education certification with a reading endorsement at Gonzaga University and went on to UCLA for a masters degree in education. Caroline taught fourth grade in Seattle for eight years and is now very excited to be the reading specialist at St. Monica. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cooking, and cheering on the Zags, Seahawks, and Mariners!
"Music is especially rewarding and fun to teach as it interfaces with faith, history, culture, and movement."
Mrs. Foster has been teaching music at St. Monica Parish School since 1989. Her own three children graduated from St. Monica Parish School and now her three grandchildren are students here.
Mrs. Foster graduated from Ursuline College (Ohio) with a B.A. in Music Education and received her M.A. in Music Education from Michigan State. She loves teaching at St. Monica Parish School which feels like a home away from home. St. Monica has been her parish for over 30 years. Mrs. Foster enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to concerts, reading, the outdoors, and traveling.
Learning another language opens the doors to communication and understanding of different perspectives of the world that surrounds us.
Senora Gómez is very excited to teach Spanish at St. Monica Parish School. She has been teaching Spanish for 10 years. She received a B.A. in Business Administration and her teaching credential from the University of Washington. She is a native Spanish speaker from Colombia. She likes to share her background, her culture, and the language with all the children at St. Monica.
Senora Gómez enjoys traveling, hiking, and the outdoors. Her favorite pastime is to be with her family and friends sharing a good meal, good conversation, and great music and dancing.
"My favorite artists are Van Gough, Matisse, Picasso and Monet."
Mrs. Park begins her 14th year of teaching this school year, and the last ten of those years have been spent teaching Kindergarten through 8th grade as the Art Specialist at St. Monica Parish School. Prior to coming to St. Monica Parish School, she was a first and second grade elementary teacher and has taught junior high and high school students. Mrs. Park earned a double Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Art History from the University of Toronto, Trinity College in Canada and received her graduate degree in K-8th Art Curriculum at the University of Western Ontario. She received her Professional Certification from Seattle Pacific University in 2010.
When she is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, visiting the museum, painting, reading, making jewelry, photography and spending time with her family and friends. Her passion for art makes her job joyful at St. Monica Parish School. She loves being able to see each student's creativity, imagination and talents everyday!
"My driving force and philosophy is “curriculum demands, technology supplies” and "we are teaching to their future, not our past."
Mrs. Porter is beginning her 19th year at St. Monica Parish School. After many years in elementary class settings in various roles, Mrs. Porter moved to educational technology in the late 80s, at McKnight Middle School, Newport High School and Islander Middle School. She finds great pleasure working with students that are not only consumers of technology but also innovators.
When not at school, Mrs. Porter and her husband travel with a group called Let’s Start Talking – sharing conversational English throughout the world. She also loves to walk. Her favorite spots for walking include Alki, Twin Falls, Mercer Slough Nature Park, and both of her two favorite islands, Mercer Island and Kauai.
Margo received a BA from Washington State University. She earned her teaching certification from Seattle Pacific University. Her first teaching experience was at St. George School in Seattle. This is her seventh year at St. Monica where she works as an aide in the school and is Director of Extended Care. Her favorite hobbies include; power walking, hiking, skiing, kayaking and cooking.
Mrs. Dunbar is so excited to be teaching 5th grade at St. Monica. She received her BA in English from the University of Washington, and her teaching credential from Western Washington University. She taught various grade levels in the Edmonds School District for 13 years.
In her spare time, Mrs. Dunbar likes to travel, read, and spend time with her family. She has 4 children that keep her very busy!
Shanni Perez is new to St. Monica's staff and is honored to be a part of the St. Monica community. She attended Western Washington University in Bellingham for college and graduated in 2015 with a degree in human services and Spanish allowing her to learn a lot about caring for people in all situations and circumstances. While in college she was involved with Newman Catholic Campus Ministry coordinating RCIA and Confirmation.
After graduation from Western Washington University, she attended graduate school at Seattle University to earn her Master In Teaching degree. Shanni was a student teacher in a third grade classroom at Stevenson Elementary in Bellevue and gained experience working with a variety of learners. She was able to continue working with third graders as a teacher at Saint Joseph school in Issaquah. Catholic education is important to her and she loves being able to share her faith with her students. She is very happy to now have the opportunity to teach at St. Monica School! She knows it is an awesome school and is looking forward to working with her fellow teachers, parents, and incoming fourth grade students of St. Monica achieve all they can!
Michelle Maher has been continuously involved in Catholic education for 33 years. As a student, parent, catechist, substitute, and teacher, she has a passion for the mission of Catholic schools: to provide a first class education, while making disciples of Jesus. She has experience teaching preschool to 8th grade, but is most excited about joining the St. Monica staff at the 5th grade level.
Michelle is the mother of four children, three attending St. Monica, one attending O'Dea High School. She enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and reading.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14