Staff

Administration

Mr. Brian Sestito

Principal

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2007
Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory of being in school was my eighth-grade math class. Our teacher, Mr. Reben, was very fun, yet very strict. We always knew that he was in charge and other students did not get in the way of the learning process. He had this special way of connecting with his students……he made us all feel special. I think he was the first teacher who made me feel that way.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the sense of community that exists at St. Patrick. The idea that we get to pray as a school is awesome and it allows us to connect in ways that public schools cannot.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired most by people who take chances and don’t take no for an answer. Dr. Seuss’s first book,  “To Think That I Saw Iton Mulberry Street,” was rejected by27 publishers……yet he kept trying.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I spend a lot of time with my wife and two children. I also like to run, walk, snowboard, travel, go to the beach and participate in fantasy football.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
This is a tough one…but I think the most practical is from my dad. He taught me to never spend money that I don’t have.

Mrs. Susan Kern

Assistant Principal

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2008
Hometown: Burbank, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school? Going to St. Finbar with a half dozen of my siblings every day.  As if that weren't enough, we carpooled with a few others as well.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I value our community’s overwhelming desire to help others in need. It speaks well of the community that our members occasionally keep their own family emergencies quiet, knowing that if word got out the whole parish family would overwhelmingly respond. I’ve been on the receiving end of this giving spirit, and can attest to its depth and generosity. It is awesome!

Who or what inspires you most? I am always inspired by witnessing selfless behaviors in others. It is a difficult world in which we live, and remembering to put God and others before yourself is unpopular and often unrecognized. I hope I never miss the opportunity to encounter Jesus in another person, and emulate their example.

What do you like to do in your free time? I read, go on road trips, and spend time with family.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Fr. Frank Pugliese

School Chaplain

Email | Bio

Office Staff

Mrs. Leslie Franco

Business Manager

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 1990
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory was making new friends.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I love the caring family atmosphere here at St. Pat’s.

Who or what inspires you most?
Seeing life through my two sons as they have grown into young adults is most inspiring to me.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy walking, cooking, gardening and sharing time with friends and family.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The way we treat people is the way we treat God.

Ms. Cynthia Orozco

Registrar/Admissions

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 1999
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory is playing tether ball. I loved playing that game!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The most important thing I value here at St. Pat’s is our community. It’s family!

Who or what inspires you most?
Charity inspires me the most. I believe in giving first.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to walk along the beach with my dog. I love to cook for my family and friends and I am an avid reader.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Your word is your honor.” My father taught me this!

Mrs. Carla Barnett

Receptionist / Secretary

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2001
Hometown: El Cajon, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I have two favorite memories. The first was the 2 years at Holy Trinity I had with my younger siblings in elementary school. It was the only time we were all at the same school together. The second is the great times I had participating in sports throughout my school years.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
What I value most about St. Pat’s is the bond of faith we all share here. Speaking freely about God and integrating it into our daily activities is such a gift. And I love the family atmosphere here!

Who or what inspires you most?
Anyone who uses their God-given talents to the best of their ability inspires me. It makes me want to be the best I can be.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my family which includes my husband and 4 boys (now grown men) and a big extended family. When I’m not spending time with them, I’m usually walking up and down the coast. I love spending time at the beach, especially at low tide.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have received is from my Dad who still to this day repeats this mantra…"Everything in moderation!”

Mrs. Anne Granahan

Health Technician

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2007
Hometown: Oceanside, CA 

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I went to a couple of Catholic elementary schools when I was growing up and each one gave me the same “feelings of comfort of Catholic values.” I guess I would describe that feeling as “home.”

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the work ethic of the faculty and staff. Very hard working!!!

Who or what inspires you most?
I admire people who have positive attitudes. For some, it comes naturally but for most it takes effort and determination!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to garden and decorate my very eclectic house.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I ever received was to love what you do and it will never feel like work!

Mrs. Debbie Bannon

Extended Care Director

Email | Bio

Member Since: 2018

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memory is from teachers who made me feel loved and creating long lasting friendships with peers.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I value the Faith, Community, Love, and Support that is here.

Who or what inspires you most? Being the Director of Extended Care, I would say the kids' happiness is what inspires me.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to hike, travel, and enjoy my backyard chickens and eggs.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Life is meant to be lived.

Teachers

Mrs. Kara Winkenhofer

K1

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2013
Hometown: Berea, Kentucky

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
In sixth grade I went on a field trip with my class to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.. I really enjoyed learning about the history of our country and having fun with my friends.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The quality of St. Patrick Catholic School that I value most is how welcoming all the teachers and families have been to my family and me.

Who or what inspires you most?
My family inspires me to be the best Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend and Teacher.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy running and watching my children play soccer and baseball.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best two pieces of advice that I have received are don’t sweat the small stuff and live life to the fullest.

Mrs. Sandy Hammond

K2

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2015
Oceanside, California

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite school memory was when I was in fourth grade. Each person had to trace their body on a long piece of butcher paper. Then we had to design the inside of our body using yarn, spaghetti and glue. I loved it!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
When my husband and I enrolled our son into the St. Patrick’s kindergarten class, I immediately felt part of a family. The teacher, parents and the school were all friendly and helpful. I felt a sense of community. To this date, I still feel like we, St. Patrick’s, are a family. Everyone looks out and helps one another.

Who or what inspires you most?
My mom inspires me. She is so generous and giving to others. She is a person that I can call on. My mom is also my biggest cheerleader. She is always there for me, my family, and for countless other times. She will open the door to her house to strangers and greet them as longtime friends. Part of her great hospitality is the amazing food she makes. She spreads her joy of cooking with others by sharing those treats or meals with them. I would be happy if I could be at least half as amazing as she is!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend my free time with my family and friends. I love watching my children play their sporting games, going on runs or hikes, and reading.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received was to live life to the fullest and enjoy the ride!

Mrs. Mary Marsolais

1A

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2021
Hometown: Melrose, Massachusetts

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite school memory was walking to and from school with all the kids in my neighborhood. No matter what, even in the rain and snow. The snowy days were the best!

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I was drawn to the sense of community at St. Patrick and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.

Who or what inspires you most? My brother took the time to help me when I was a kid struggling with math. He never gave up, and he even made word problems fun and easy.

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy baking, traveling with my family, and gardening.

What is the best advice you have ever received? My dad always stressed the importance of being a good listener.

Mrs. Shannon Farwell

1B

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2002-2007, 2014
Hometown: San Dimas, California

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I have several favorite memories of being in school that span over the course of my education. One of my early favorite school memories is winning the school-spelling contest in first grade. Another highlight was making the Sacrament of Confirmation in eighth grade. I distinctly remember the strength and faith I felt that day. Finally, earning my bachelor and master degree diplomas reminds me of the importance of being a life long learner and having family and friends to support you along the way.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the compassion within every single person in the St. Patrick Community. This compassion drives this selfless community to help others and lift them up. This creates a safe environment to work, learn and play in. “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” –Nelson Mandela

Who or what inspires you most?
My family inspires me the most. I have a large extended family that has been a wonderful role model. They instilled a strong work ethic in me and taught me to be strong, loyal, generous, and compassionate. My family is always there when I need them. I use these models to motivate my own children and students to learn and be the best citizens they can be.

What do you like to do in your free time?
What don’t I like to do in my free time? I enjoy traveling around the world experiencing the different food, cultures and churches. I revel in anything that involves being active: camping, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, weightlifting, yoga and cycling. I love watching my children play sports and goof around outdoors. I also like to play board games, cards and read with my children. I strive to eat healthy and enjoy cooking with help from my husband and children.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
I have received endless worthy advice so I am picking the first message that comes to mind. This is a quote by a brave little girl. “There is always something to believe in.” I try to model my existence by the positivity and inspiration within this quote. It reminds me that miracles happen everyday and to follow my dreams.

Ms. Patricia Gintowt

2A

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2019
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA / Blue Bell, PA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
One of my favorite memories of school was when I was in elementary school and we made a Flat Stanley that looked like us. It was so fun to take what we were doing in class and bring it out into the world! We took our Flat Stanley on vacation, and sent it around the country to visit with family. I do this project with my students to help the story come to life, and talk about our lives outside the classroom.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
What drew me to St. Patrick's was the emphasis placed on teaching the whole child, and how service learning is incorporated into our school and parish communities.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired by those who stand up for what is right, even if it's not the popular opinion. I am inspired by my students who try their hardest and do not give up no matter what. I am inspired by those who bring small moments of joy to others.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love reading. I have a goal of reading 50 non-school related books each year. I also enjoy hiking, watercolor painting, and baking. When I lived in Washington D.C., one of my favorite things to do was to go monument hopping with my friends at night to see them lit up.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to be flexible. Someone once told me that the feelings of nervousness and excitement activate the brain in almost the same areas. So, if you are feeling nervous, tell yourself you are excited and see how the situation changes. By changing your mindset, you open up to many new opportunities. Being flexible and open to change is the key to being a successful learners and teacher.

Mrs. Amy Little

2B

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2014
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA (for the most part…since fifth grade!)

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I am actually a proud graduate of St. Patrick Catholic School! I fondly remember many things. Some of the best memories include: the chili cook-off and festivals (yes, even in the old days…), playing volleyball and sports with my friends, dance class after school (in what is now the parish center), my silly eighth grade teacher Mr. Iacuaniello (“Mr. Ike”), and the visits from our wonderful priests Father Mark and Monsignor Briody (who had great laughs and fantastic Irish brogues).

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
Of the many blessings I’ve been given in my life, the three things I value most are my faith, my family and my friendships. Forming my life in all three of these areas, I greatly value long history in this wonderful parish. I went to school here, was married here, and have sent all four of our children to this school. Now I am blessed to teach here…and welcome other children to the Lord’s table. I feel that I have come full circle, and that is truly a rare and special gift.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am very inspired by those who continue the good fight through adversity, by those who choose to do what is right even when it is difficult, and by those who live their lives in the service of others. These are qualities I strive to emulate. The message of scripture alive and evident in the actions of other people is truly inspirational.

What do you like to do in your free time?
My family has enjoyed amazing adventures traveling the country in our old camper, hiking to gorgeous spots that we imagine very few people have seen. We enjoy the beach, summer nights at the Moonlight Theater (especially when my child is performing!), cheering wildly at CHS running meets and all the kids’ games, and laughing hysterically together over family memories or the silliest things! I also love great music, a good book, hanging out with one or more of my six siblings and relaxing.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
That is difficult…because, thankfully, many people have tried to help me out with some great advice on my journey. The advice that occurs to me first is something my parents told me. They said that, in this world, there are givers and takers. Be a giver. That is also the Lord’s message, after all.

Ms. Eileen Griffin

3A

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2019
Hometown: Calabasas, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I had some amazing teachers who appreciated my energy. They all had their little ways of channeling my energy to succeed in school. My fifth grade teacher however, is the one teacher who stands out. When I was in fifth grade I was obsessed with all of the Halley Mills movies, especially The Parent Trap. My teacher knew this and in order to encourage me to complete a summary of my favorite story, she promised the whole class we could watch the movie during the last week of the school year. I am reminded of this special treat each year as my students and I wrap up all our own end of the year assignments.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The community of St. Patrick is all about welcoming the stranger and treating everyone like family. From the moment I became a parishioner and parent of the school, everyone has always been kind and caring. It is a blessing to be a part of the St. Patrick family.

Who or what inspires you most?
The sound of children laughing, the ocean, and music inspire me.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I LOVE to read, go to the beach, bake, go to Disneyland from time to time. I especially enjoy re-reading my favorite book series (you will have to try and guess what it is ;0)).

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received came from one of my students. One Lenten season he decided our whole class should practice living our lives with JOY (Jesus, Others, and Yourself) during the 40 days of Lent. Seven years later, I still try to live each day with JOY.

Mrs. Claire Killeen

3B

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2018
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
One of my favorite memories is the Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. I was in first grade and our school had a huge party with patriotic music, and we each released a balloon with a message written inside. It has inspired me to live for the Tricentennial Celebration (yes, I’ll be VERY old).

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I am looking forward to sharing a faith community with my students and with the staff. We are very fortunate to be able to not only practice freedom of religion, but to be able to do so in school is amazing! It is a freedom that should never be taken for granted.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired most by children. Seeing their unwavering faith, complete honesty and true joy in life helps me daily to remember that we are all children of God. I often get stressed out by petty, adult issues in life, but looking at life through the eyes of a child reminds me to be thankful for the little things and rejoice in each day.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my family and people I love. I love to bake (anything chocolate!), read, take long walks, cuddle with my pg, take dance classes, surf the internet, travel or plan trips, and explore places I’ve never been.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
My mom always told me growing up, “Variety is the spice of life!” We moved a lot, and I always dreaded change. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found the wisdom in her words and now see how change, although sometimes hard, pushes me to grow in new areas and try things I’d normally stay away from. It really does keep life fun and exciting.

Mrs. Vanessa Fanchin

4A

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 1995
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland 

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
Besides playing four square and kickball at recess, one of my earliest and favorite memories while in parochial school is my brother crowning Mary when he was in first grade at Holy Spirit Catholic School in North Carolina.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value St. Patrick Catholic Community most for its impact on my spiritual growth and for the opportunity to work in an environment where I can celebrate and practice being a catholic Christian daily.

Who or what inspires you most?
I have been most inspired by my husband, my own parents, and my grandparents.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time you might find me with my family or friends, playing volleyball or running, reading or learning something, cooking, listening to Catholic Radio or country music, or enjoying the outdoors.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
I have received a lot of great advice from wise people. However, I often call upon these words of wisdom: Saint Augustine’s words, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Our family motto, “It’s not all about you.” Sports motto, “There is no I in TEAM.”

Ms. Daphane Norris

4B

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2020
Hometown: 

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memories from when I was in school were all the field trips we went on. It was an exciting way to get outside of the classroom and learn more about the places in the community.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I value the community that is here at St. Patrick. There are so many friendly faces and helping hands. It is so unique to find such a tight knit community of people and I am so thankful I get to be apart of it.

Who or what inspires you most? The hard work of others inspires me to be a better person for those around me.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I love to spend time with my friends and family. Some of my favorite activities include: mountain biking, working out, going to the beach, and traveling. I also enjoy reading and trying out new recipes on Pinterest.

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have received was to treat others the way you want to be treated.

Mrs. Karen Hoyle

5A

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 1981
Hometown: Newton, New Jersey
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My fondest memory of elementary school was playing the lead role of Nancy in Oliver when I was in 7th grade. In high school I was Varsity cheer captain in my junior year.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the camaraderie from all the teachers at St. Patrick.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired most by people who take chances and don’t take no for an answer. Dr. Seuss’s first book, To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by 27 publishers……yet he kept trying.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I would dance ballet every day if I had the chance. I also like to run, letter, read, and spend time with whatever family member is around.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t make judgments on anyone, anywhere, anytime. We are all trying to do the best we can.

Mrs. Rosaleen Henderson

5B

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2006
Hometown: Oceanside, CA
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
One of my favorite memories of being in school was in 5th grade my teacher would walk a group of student to lunch in Old Town and then to the candy shop.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
What I value most about St. Patrick is the feeling of belonging. We all work hard to make school a community and I feel we do a good job.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired by the people around me. We all come from different places/views and yet we become a cohesive group.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy cooking and being with my family. We are a big group and you can’t help but laugh and have fun.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is: enjoy what you do.

Ms. McKenna Pigoni

6A

Email | Bio

Sixth Grade Website

Faculty Member Since: 2020
Hometown: Upland, CA
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?

My favorite memory of being in school is from the time I spent at 6th grade camp. It was the first time I was away from home and I learned so much through hands on activities and experiences outdoors. I loved the night time hikes and getting to experience it all with my classmates!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?

I really value the community based environment that St. Patrick has to offer for their staff, families, and students. It is obvious that the school is built on the foundation of love and focuses on including all people involved in our students’ lives to help support them in finding success in all that they do!

Who or what inspires you most?

I think my mom inspires me the most in my life because she is the most strong and independent woman I know. She lives her life driven by compassion and care for others and is always there for my family and our friends whenever we need here. To this day, if I need anything or need help making a tough decision, she is always the first person I call!

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I like to be active and spend time outdoors. I love to play sports, especially soccer, and go on walks in my neighborhood. I also enjoy cooking and baking new and interesting foods as often as I can. Lastly, I love to craft and make new things for myself to enjoy

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I ever received was to take a deep breath and not sweat the small stuff. In life we are faced with many challenges, some big and some small, and it is important to remind ourselves to not focus on the small things that are out of our control. I think of this every time I am worried about something that I shouldn’t be and then I am reminded to take a deep breath and focus on the more important things in life!

Ms. Alexis Samet

6B

Email | Bio

6th Grade Website

Faculty Member Since: 2020
Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?

My favorite memory of being in school was when I was in 3rd Grade. Our class read the book One Tree Island and our teacher brought in the author of the book to talk with us. We heard about his process of writing a book and all the work that went into becoming a published author. He even taught us how to crack open a coconut!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?

Although this will be my first year at St. Patrick Catholic School, I have spent the previous 5 years teaching at a Catholic school in Chicago, IL. Working at a catholic school allows the unique opportunity to intertwine catholic and academic learning on a daily basis. I have been so impressed with the welcoming nature of all staff members and I look forward to becoming a part of the St. Patrick community.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am constantly inspired most by my students. I am always so impressed with the creativity and work ethic that my students have shown across many different grade levels. Their enthusiasm is what makes me love being a teacher.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I like to go to exercise classes, hiking, and spending time with family. I also enjoy organizing anything and everything!

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is to follow the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Mrs. Mylinda Threadgill

7A / Junior High Science

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2021
Hometown: Ottawa, Illinois
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memory of being in school was in kindergarten. My teacher made a classroom grocery store out of used food boxes. We were given “money” to buy food from the store. This simple activity made me love going to school and was actually when I decided I wanted to become a teacher!

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I value the warm, caring atmosphere at St. Patrick’s. I look forward to being part of the community!

Who or what inspires you most? People who are kind and go out of their way to help others inspires me. Life is all about helping others!

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I like to teach and play tennis. I also enjoy gardening, working out, and quilting.

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I ever received is a quote by Maya Angelou which I think about everyday and try to live by. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Mrs. Stephanie Gaddi

7B / Junior High Language Arts

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2008
Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ 

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory is reading books as a class in elementary school.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the caring faculty and the considerate, ready-to-learn student body.

Who or what inspires you most?
I find inspiration from people in my life—my parents, husband, my co-workers, friends, etc. If you surround yourself with good company, then you’re bound to find inspiration!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go to the beach, read, spend time with my family and exercise.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Mr. Jim Burke

8A / Junior High U.S. and World History

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2013
Hometown: Denver, CO

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
Mr. Marsh’s 8th grade U.S. History class at North Arvada Junior High is my favorite memory.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The spirit of love and community shared by students, teachers, and parents is what makes this school so wonderful.

Who or what inspires you most?
The boundless energy and optimism of middle school students inspires me most.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to read, work crossword puzzles, hike, bicycle, cook fabulous meals, travel, and watch sports.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is, “Always follow your dreams and never give up!” and  “The answer to an unasked question is always no-it never hurts to ask!”

Ms. Ashley MacAskill

8B / Junior High Math

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2021
Hometown: Imperial Beach, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memory of being in school is being involved in every extracurricular available. I loved being in garden club, choir, student council, and sports.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? What I value most is the welcoming environment and the support I have received from the staff.

Who or what inspires you most? My students inspire me, more than anything, to continue to better myself and grow as an educator.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I enjoy hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with my friends and family.

What is the best advice you have ever received? "Results happen over time, not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent, and be patient" and "Above all else, be kind".

Mrs. Samantha Pierce

Smartlab

Email | Bio

 

Faculty Member Since: 2019
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite school memory was when I was in second grade. My teacher encouraged me to read the Boxcar Children series. The books developed my love for reading.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I value how welcoming and supportive the staff and families have been to me.

Who or what inspires you most? My family inspires me to be the best mother, wife, and teacher.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I love to go hiking and to play outside with my children. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? My high school math teacher told me that a dream remains a dream until you take action. She always reminded students that you can accomplish anything with hard work.

Mrs. Marion Smithson

Music

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2020
Hometown: Capistrano Beach, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memory was the excitement of the first day of school. I enjoyed all my teachers and looked forward to learning. I appreciated all the different teaching styles.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? When I first visited St. Patrick’s, I felt the warmth of everyone I met. My second visit, I was touched by the flowers to Mary and the invitation to the Consecration of Mary. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and contribute to this kind and faith-filled family.

Who or what inspires you most? My family inspires me to be the best person I can be to all.

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy any time with family and friends, arts and crafts of all kinds, and spending time outdoors.

What is the best advice you have ever received? My father and father-in-law always said and modeled “Whatever you do, Give it 100%."

Mr. John Martin

Physical Education

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2006
Hometown: Chicago, IL
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
Receiving a solid Catholic education and participating in sports are my best memories.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the students most here at St. Pat’s.

Who or what inspires you most?
Jesus inspires me most. He has helped me through my life.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend my free time with my ten grandchildren, either at our house, or on one of our family adventures (like Bass lake every year for a week).

What is the best advice you have ever received?
I will continue to teach as long as I can make one child smile each day that I teach.

Mr. Albert Tejero

Physical Education

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2010
Hometown: San Diego, CA
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
The day the light came on in my head. I was sitting in class on day at SDSU and all of a sudden everything in life started to make sense.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
That family comes first…

Who or what inspires you most?
My parents inspire me the most.

What do you like to do in your free time?
When I do get free time, I love to sit and lazy around.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t compare your struggles to anyone else’s. Don’t get discouraged by the success of others. Make your own path and never give up.

Mrs. Denise Douglass

Spanish

Email | Bio

Staff Member Since: 2021

Hometown:  Leucadia, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?  One of my favorite memories is being a student in Señora Bravender’s 8th grade Spanish class. She was funny and clearly loved teaching. Her class was productive and fun!

What do you value most about St. Patrick? I’m excited to teach at a faith-based school.

Who or what inspires you most? This verse inspires me: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

What do you like to do in your free time? I love working on projects around the house and in the yard, searching for new teaching ideas and fun classroom activities, working out and Jazzercising, spending time with my husband and our ten-year-old dog, and enjoying time with our three kids.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Whatever you do, do your best.

Mrs. Aleta Barthell

Junior High Drama

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2011
Hometown: Powell, Wyoming
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory is my 7th grade science class and my teacher, Mr. Nicholls. I remember making a science project about "The Effectiveness of Toothpaste"…and my results found that Crest had sugar in it! (The betrayal!)

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The respect that individuals give one another.

Who or what inspires you most?
There are 4: My daughter, Eleanor of Aquitaine, William Shakespeare and the mountains!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to hike, go to movies and plays.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Take the risk, and if you fail…fail gloriously!

Mrs. Nicole Nash

Reading Resource and Librarian

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2007
Hometown: Somis, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I have many fond memories of school. I loved jumping rope on the Kindergarten playground, playing handball against the two-story school wall after school, and earning an award in sixth grade for reading 60 books. My favorite memory of school is seventh grade science with Mrs. Shehorn. Collectively, we students were the sun, while she was the moon. She proceeded to orbit around us while spinning on her axis. Picture a 4’11” woman running around the perimeter of the classroom while twirling ballerina-style. Mrs. Shehorn made learning fun!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value the St. Patrick school and parish community. I am edified by the fellowship I enjoy on campus and at Mass, but also when I encounter St. Pat’s friends around town and even on vacation. I feel that I belong to something, and that connection motivates me to grow in the faith and strengthens my commitment to ministry. I attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through college, but I first recognized the importance of that community at my grandfather’s funeral in 1999. In attendance were my second grade teacher and many others who represented my childhood link from home to school to church. St. Patrick’s in that kind of place, too. Where else is school closed so that we can celebrate the life of dear small one lost to cancer?

Who or what inspires you most?
Good teachers inspire me. I admire their passion, creativity, and dedication. One of the most inspiring teachers I have known is Fr. Bill Miscamble at the University of Notre Dame. He taught the freshman survey course in U.S. History to about ninety students. The room was always sweltering, either from the muggy heat outside or the dry heat of the radiator, but he persevered and brought history to life. His Australian accent and sense of humor are legendary. He knew each student by name and never forgot! I took every class he taught (although I never got an A) and changed my major to history. I sought him out for daily Mass and benefitted from his wise counsel and friendship. Since graduating, I’ve purchased every book he’s written, but, honestly, the only one I’ve read is Keeping the Faith, Making a Difference. Despite his best efforts, I’m no history scholar, but he did teach me to seek God and to do His holy work. All that, because he remembered my name.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Easy question! I like to read. I read every day without fail, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes before my tired eyes falter. I usually read at night, because reading during the day seems so indulgent. However, in summertime I play a little game with myself. I read children’s books during the day and call it “work”, then save my grown-up reads for bedtime. My family also enjoys audio books on road trips–the audio versions of The BFG and Artemis Fowl are awesome! When my eyes go buggy and I need to move around, I like to ride bikes, go to the beach, and play pickleball. I also like cooking, quilting, playing games, and building puzzles. Mostly, I like to read.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
My dad is generous and wise. When I went to college, he said I could study whatever I wanted but I had to take at least one semester of Accounting and one semester of Economics. So, senior year, in addition to Ceramics and yet another course in U.S. foreign policy with Fr. Bill, I risked irreversible damage to my GPA and took both. I graduated with honors and, with my history degree in hand, landed a job as a greeter at the Gap. When this great job threatened to impact my Thanksgiving weekend plans at the Notre Dame-USC game, I quit. I took a job in the accounting department of an insurance company, for which I was qualified because I took accounting in college and worked accounting jobs during summer breaks. Soon thereafter, disgruntled with my tedious employment, my dad offered some more good advice. He said, “Do something that matters.” I became a teacher.

Mrs. Kristin Hartmann

Resource Specialist

Email | Bio

Faculty Member Since: 2013
Hometown: I have lived in many places, but Carlsbad feels like home.

What is your favorite memory of being in school? My favorite memory of being in school is listening to Mrs. MacDonald, my fourth grade teacher, read aloud to us after lunch.

What do you value most about St. Patrick? What I value most about St. Patrick is the feeling of Catholic community.

Who or what inspires you most? My husband and my children inspire me most. I learn from each of them daily!

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to read and spend time with my family in my free time!!

What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to do small things with great love (Mother Teresa) and to keep it simple.