Faculty & Staff

Administration

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Mrs. Klecan School Secretary/Registrar
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Michelle Klecan

Years at St. Monica School

1

Interesting facts

My husband, Greg, and I have been parishioners at St. Monica’s for over 15 years.  We live in Bellevue and our children attend Tillicum Middle School and Sammamish High School.  Our three children have received their sacraments at St. Monica’s and are currently involved as altar servers. My husband serves the parish as a Sacristan and I am also the Wedding Coordinator for St. Monica’s.
Favorite school activity

Back to school time
Personal comment

I have loved being involved with my community from being a swim team parent to PTA President. I look forward getting to know and serving the St. Monica school community!

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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 teaching

22+
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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Mrs. North Advancement Director
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Jamie North

Years at St. Monica School

12+
Interesting facts

I was married at St. Monica Church 27 years ago; my three daughters attended the school and received their sacraments here. This is my home!
Favorite school activity

School Auction, such a great community event
Personal comment

I love travelling the world with my husband especially now that we are empty nesters!
Favorite quote

“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.” - Maya Angelou

Lower Elementary

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Miss Moffat Kindergarten
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Sarah Moffat

Education

BA in Education, Early Childhood Education Degree
K-3 Teaching Certificate
Years teaching

7+
Interesting facts

I have lived in Washington for my entire life. I enjoy watching Seattle Seahawks and Mariners games. One thing that makes me very happy is traveling to warm places, especially when I travel with family and/or friends, or to go visit family and/or friends. I also love to dance.
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 Finnerty First Grade
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Megan Finnerty

Education

Bachelor in Arts in Sociology, Gonzaga University
Masters in Initial Teaching, Gonzaga University
Endorsements in Reading and Elementary Education
Slingerland Method Trained
Years teaching

3+
Interesting facts

My siblings and I made history at Gonzaga as the most siblings ever to attend Gonzaga at the same time.
I have a twin brother!
My hobbies include wake-surfing, water skiing, learning how to golf and spending time with my family and friends!
I have lived in Arizona, Idaho, Washington and Florence, Italy.
Favorite school activity

I absolutely love taking my students to the Seattle Aquarium!
Personal comment

St. Monica is such a special place! It is an extreme blessing to be the First Grade teacher here. I believe that every child has immense potential with the ability to love, laugh and learn everyday.
Favorite quote

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." -Anthony J. D'Angelo

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Mrs. Malone Third Grade
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Cathy Malone

Education

BS Elementary Education from The Pennsylvania State University – graduated with Honors – emphasis in Math and Science
MA Education from the University of South Florida – emphasis in English Language Learners
Years teaching

25 years
Interesting Facts

I student taught in Portsmouth, England.
I have 2 adult daughters, one who is a 5th grade teacher.
I have been part of the Core Team with my husband, for the Mary Queen of Peace High School Youth Ministry for the past 10 years.
Favorite school activity

Going to Mass with school families
Personal Comment

I started to hear the call to become a teacher when I was quite young. It is truly my vocation and it brings me great joy.
Favorite Quote

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them: for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Luke 19:14

 

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Mrs. Pérez Second Grade
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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

3 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)

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Mrs. Wilkinson Fourth Grade
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Rebecca Wilkinson

Education

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

Middle School

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Mr. Klein Eighth Grade/MS English/Literature/Logic/Philosophy
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Ryan Klein

Education

Templeton Honors College of Eastern University:
MA Teaching in Classical Education
BA Philosophy
Years Teaching

1 year
Awards / Achievements

Essays in several publications, including:
Ethics and Medics, a journal of The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Adorans, the academic journal of The Philadelphia Commons Institute
“Reformation Thursdays,” a blog series of the Christian History Institute
Oxford University, Wycliffe Hall, de Jager prize for exceptional academic performance
Completing the Seattle half-marathon (not all achievements are academic!)
Proving liberal arts students can become web developers if they want to
Interesting facts

I keep two different books of cat-centered poetry on my desk.
I’ve spent time learning from people in every major Christian tradition: Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants (of many kinds). What they’ve taught me has bolstered my faith and my life immensely.
I have read more Star Wars books than most people know exist.
I grew up playing video games, and I still love them.

My favorites of all time are:

  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Overwatch


I’d only eaten three salads in my life before I started college. Vegetables and I took a while to trust each other. But now I love them, so long as they’re prepared well.
Favorite school activity / memory

Once, a teacher of mine began class by asking, “Why is murder wrong?” My classmates and I sat silent for a moment, waiting for him to answer his question. He stayed silent. So, one of us offered a reason. He asked a follow-up question. Someone else added on. Then someone else. Then another. Forty minutes later, we were deep into a student-led discussion about the nature of morality: we were coming up with our own ideas, using our own minds, and helping each other develop better answers. The teacher was not waiting for us to give the answer he had in mind– he genuinely wanted to know what we thought, and to help us develop those thoughts well. I realized this was one of the first times a teacher had ever asked me to do my own thinking about something important, and he had taken me, myself, seriously. It changed my life.
Personal comment

I think education is motivated by questions. Does God exist, and how can we find out? Are men and women the same in essence? What kind of person do I want to be? Is America the land of equality? Do we discover math, or do we invent it? Is there such a thing as a just war? How can I really know another person? What should I think about other religions? Should I vote democrat, republic, something else, or not at all? Why be Christian? Questions like these are what motivate me, and there is nothing I love more in life than pursuing them with other people, especially students. Big questions, even scary ones, are signs of being human, and they are a gift from God that we can joyfully unwrap together.
Favorite Quote(s)

“In the hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”    - JRR Tolkien

“For Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men's faces.”    - Gerard Manley Hopkins
Favorite Saint and why

St. Thomas Aquinas: medieval friar, author of the Summa Theologica, and my own personal guide into the great Christian tradition. With his clear and logical prose, he taught me how to think and write; with his massive intellect, he showed me depths and riches in Christ I’d never seen; and with his humble heart, he has (I pray) helped me learn to love God and other people more genuinely.

St. Catherine of Alexandria: great martyr of the fourth century, whose courage and wisdom inspire me greatly. She is remembered for her brilliant mind, for witnessing apparitions of Christ and his Mother, and for defying the government by becoming a Christian. It is said she was brought before the Emperor, who brought fifty of his best philosophers and rhetoricians (all men) to defeat her in argument and convince her to remain a pagan – and yet she bested them all, converting them to the worship of Christ. They became martyrs alongside her, executed for the faith that this amazing woman taught them.

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Mr. Murphy Fifth Grade/Music/MS Theology
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Peter Murphy

Education

BA in philosophy from Mt. Angel Seminary
Years Teaching

1 year
Interesting facts

I have performed in 2 professional operas
Personal comment

I am very exited to come teach at St. Monica Catholic School. I am exited to meet the student's parents and members of the school community. I look forward to a great year of learning and growing in our love of music and love of our One True Faith. Please make sure to introduce yourself and say hello.
Favorite Quote(s)

“Each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most.” G.K. Chesterton

"Composers do not cry. Composers are made of fire."-Beethoven
Favorite Saint and why

Thomas Aquinas. I admire how Aquinas was always seeking God through the pursuit of knowledge of the world around him. St. Thomas Aquinas understood how understanding of the world around him would bring him closer to God and his faith.

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Mr. Bartholomew 6th Grade/MS Math/Science
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John Bartholomew

Education

Bachelor of Science - Major Mathematics – University of Washington - 2016
Master in Teaching - Education - 2019 – University of Washington - 2019
Years Teaching

2 +
Award / Achievements

Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics 2016—STEM Faculty
Interesting Facts

Before becoming a Math Instructor, I worked on boats as a fisherman in Alaska’s maritime industry. Also, I am a Washington State Basketball Official; I love Basketball!
Favorite School Activity / Memory

Mathematics competitions
Personal Comment

It was about ten years ago that I discovered I was being led to become a teacher. I am grateful to God for that inner prompting and for the people God worked through to encourage me to a vocation of service where I get to share my enthusiasm for mathematics / science with the students at St. Monica.
Favorite Quote(s)

From Star Wars I
“I find your lack of faith disturbing…”—Darth Vader
Even Darth Vader understood the importance of faith in a person’s life.
Favorite Saint / Why

St. Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69 – c. 155)
When confronted with the certainty of his execution by being burned alive; found faith not fear.

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Mrs. Takemori Seventh Grade/MS Humanities
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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 teaching

4+
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

Preschool

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Mrs. Birashk Pre-K Program Director and 4/5 Teacher
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Talina Briashk

Education

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

11 years teaching preschool. This will be my 10th 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 WSU 2009
Interesting facts

I live in Snoqualmie with my husband Joey (who is head chef at Eureka in U-Village) our two wonderfully spirited children, MacGyver and Scarlet and our three cats; Lucy, 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 or 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 written 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 Pre-K 3/4 Teacher
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Evelyn Zwolski

Years teaching

8+
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 husband Cody, 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, relaxing with a good movie, and I consider myself an animal lover. It brings me much joy to watch my son Caden play sports and my daughter Jaelynn dancing ballet. 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 all dressed up in their 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 their curiosity, ask questions, and be in a place where their self-expression and creativity is always welcome. These early experiences in life are so 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

 

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Mrs. Ritter Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
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Martha Ritter

Education

Bachelors in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations from UCLA. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Certification in Level 1 and Level 2
Years Teaching

15+ years in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Homeschooled her 5 children for 17+ years
Awards / Achievements

My greatest achievement is being mother to my wonderful 6 children.
Interesting facts

My husband Tom and I met at a National Rowing Camp, back when we were younger and our backs were healthier!
Favorite school activity / memory

I am looking forward to making many memories with the students and families at St. Monica.
Personal comment

I am excited and honored to be gifted this opportunity to start the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Monica. I feel like the Atrium (the room where CGS takes place) will be both physically and spiritually at the heart of the school. It's a special place, and I hope that everyone involved at St. Monica will stop by and spend some time in the Atrium either observing or learning more about the catechesis.
Favorite Quote(s)

"Bloom where you are planted." St. Francis de Sales
Favorite Saint and why

Adele Marie Ritter: The Ritter family is blessed to have our own personal saint in our baby girl/sister who we feel blessed to have been able to hold in our arms for 52 days. We turn to her often in prayer to intercede for us. Blessed Chiara Luce Badano: she was the Confirmation saint for our Baby Adele and in the midst of intense personal suffering Chiara exuded joy and faith. She is such a beacon of light and hope for the young of today.

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Ms. Llamas PreK Para Professional
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Sandy Llamas

Specialist

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Mrs. (Pomada) Farrell Reading & Tech Specialist
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Kristin (Pomada) Farrell

Education

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

12+
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

Studied abroad in Granada, Spain
Favorite school activity

2nd grade washing of the feet on Holy Thursday
Personal comment

I was recently married and live in Bothell with my husband and our golden-doodle Edgar.  In my free time, I enjoy traveling, playing board games, and spending time with my family and friends.
Favorite quote

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

Email 206-232-5432
Mr. Murphy Fifth Grade/Music/MS Theology
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Peter Murphy

Education

BA in philosophy from Mt. Angel Seminary
Years Teaching

1 year
Interesting facts

I have performed in 2 professional operas
Personal comment

I am very exited to come teach at St. Monica Catholic School. I am exited to meet the student's parents and members of the school community. I look forward to a great year of learning and growing in our love of music and love of our One True Faith. Please make sure to introduce yourself and say hello.
Favorite Quote(s)

“Each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most.” G.K. Chesterton

"Composers do not cry. Composers are made of fire."-Beethoven
Favorite Saint and why

Thomas Aquinas. I admire how Aquinas was always seeking God through the pursuit of knowledge of the world around him. St. Thomas Aquinas understood how understanding of the world around him would bring him closer to God and his faith.

Email 206-232-5432
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 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 206-232-5432 x157
Mr. Cory PE Specialist
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Robert Cory

Education

BS in Physical Education from WSU
Masters in Education Technology from City University
Years teaching

20+
Interesting facts

In my spare time I love to ride motorcycles, play baseball, travel the world, and raise my 3 children.
Favorite school activity

Field Day of course!

 

 

 

Email 206-232-5432 x153
Mrs. Pérez Spanish Teacher
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Lourdes Velázquez de Pérez

Years teaching

8+
Interesting facts

I was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in 1999. I have been working in the Education field since 2010. I started in Preschool and then as a Spanish Teacher for Elementary and Middle School K-8th.
Favorite school activity

“El Día de muertos” celebration projects
Personal comment

My passion has always been teaching and sharing my native language and my culture as well as –Latin American cultures are very rich in history and traditions. As a Spanish Teacher and been bilingual myself, I am convinced learning and practicing a second language is very important. I am eager to work with all the students to help them learn and improve their Spanish. In addition to a professional advantage when they grow, learning a second language will help them to be familiar and value other cultures and traditions.