Staff

Administration

Mrs. Denise Nelson

Principal

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Faculty Member Since: 1996
Hometown: East Islip, NY

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I absolutely loved school – big surprise! I remember that I very much wanted to be inducted into the national honor society which always seemed to elude me. It came time for the annual assembly at my high school, I was in 10th grade and I trudged along with the rest of the student body into the auditorium. I happened to turn around and saw my parents come in – my parents NEVER came to school so I new this had to be my day. My mom had on a black and white check dress and white pearls and my dad was wearing a blue suit with a striped tie. I’ll never forget the feeling of anticipation.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
There is just no substitute for spending the majority of my waking hours in an educational environment permeated by faith, Gospel, high academic standards, discipline and solid Christian values. Every day is an opportunity to experience and live out mutual respect, love, forgiveness, reconcilia- tion, tolerance, service and compassion – you just don’t find that in many places, but you do at St. Patrick’s. I feel privileged to be a part of what goes on here.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am most inspired by people with a generous spirit. They have such a selfless nature that their generosity and compassion seem effortless. There is nothing you can’t ask of them, in fact, you rarely have to ask, they just know the need is there and take it on and usually thank you! Nothing seems to get them down and there is always joy in their giving. I am also greatly inspired by children who have to deal with difficult situations, be it family struggles or learning difficulties. Most of us would crumble under the challenge and stress but these kids seem to have an endless supply of perseverance and determination. They accept their circumstances, push forward and manage to show up here at school everyday ready with a renewed spirit, ready to take on the world. Wow!

What do you like to do in your free time?
Let’s see, free time?? Believe it or not I like to do projects around the house. My husband and I just finished remodeling our house and we have designed and built most of the major elements ourselves. I enjoy finding a creative solution to problems, doing logic puzzles, playing tennis and reading.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
I remember when I first told my dad that I wanted to join the Marine Corps; he was stunned, but supportive and said that if I was going to do it I had to give 110% everyday no matter what I felt like. While I was in the Corps, as a Second Lieutenant, a very wise and salty Gunnery Sergeant told me never to ask of my people what I didn’t believe in or wasn’t willing to do myself. He of course was right and I follow that advice to this day. I hope it has made me a better person and leader.

Mr. Brian Sestito

Assistant Principal

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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.

Office Staff

Mrs. Leslie Franco

Business Manager

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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

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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

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Faculty Member Since: 2001
Hometown: Carlsbad, 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 way back in the 70’s. It was the only time we were all at the same school together. The second is the wonderful 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 running up and down the coast. I love to compete in half and full marathons.

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

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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!

Teachers

Mrs. Kara Winkenhofer

K1

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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

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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. Susan Kern

1A

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Faculty Member Since: 2008
Hometown: Burbank, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
When I was in sixth grade my youngest (and seventh!) sibling was due to be born close to my birthday and things at home were predictably hectic. I don’t remember complaining about the coincidence. Complaints wouldn’t have been tolerated, let’s be honest, and my family typically kept celebrations small in any event (as small as things can be with a family of ten). My birthday eventually came around and I went to school as expected. When snack time arrived my sixth grade teacher, Sr. Eugenia of the Sisters of Providence, pulled out a tray of homemade cupcake, enough for the whole class, and announced that I myself had brought them to share with everyone in celebration of my birthday. I remember very few details beyond the point where everyone was thrilled with “my” cupcakes, but those initial moments of confusion, mixed with a flash of understanding about true kindness, and my new found popularity among classmates, are forever engraved into memory. Sr. Eugenia understood something I couldn’t have voiced myself; we all want to feel special sometimes, and it doesn’t take much to make that happen. I was the only one in on the secret that day, but I do hope now that I do a terrible job of keeping it to myself.

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, I’m a weird and wacky news junkie, hang out at the beach, celebrate dinners with friends, take road trips, and spend entirely too much time with what my kids used to call “doing computer.” I’m always trying to cut back on that last one, but worry I’ll miss something. Who would let the staff know about the monkey that escaped from the zoo, or the woman who called 911 when Burger King got her order wrong?

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

Mrs. Wendy Fanucchi

2A

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Faculty Member Since: 2016
Hometown: Pleasanton, CA.

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory is from second grade. We learned all kinds of songs to sing while jumping rope. I loved it!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
All of my children have attended  or are attending St. Pats. I love the friendships we have all made.

Who or what inspires you most?
My family and my students inspire me to be a better person.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my friends and family. We take family vacations with 15 people, and we have so much fun together.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
When I was in High School, my best friend’s mom had a paper on her fridge that said, “You’re only as happy as you let yourself be.” It’s a great thing to remember.

Mrs. Shannon Farwell

1B

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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.

Mrs. Amy Little

2B

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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. Lisa Sensenich

3A

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Faculty Member Since: 2011
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
During my fifth grade school year, my class would bring in newspaper clippings every Friday morning, and we would discuss the newsworthy current events of the week. Consequently, I developed a lifelong interest in government and world events. I have great memories of those current event discussions.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I love teaching the students here and I feel privileged that I have a role in fostering both their spiritual and academic life.

Who or what inspires you most?
Meeting human beings that consistently express compassion for others inspires me. People that put their own needs of the greater good above their personal needs. There are leaders and everyday people that live by this value system, and they inspire me to be a better person.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to be active. My favorite activities are surfing, yoga, hiking in the Laguna canyons, and enjoying the ocean. I hope to do more traveling in the future.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
You are never too old to learn and grow creatively and spiritually. Everything in life is a learning process. I met someone recently who went back to school in her seventies and she is working toward earning her doctorate in Humanities.

Mrs. Claire Killeen

3B

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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

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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.”

Mrs. Ledlie Richardson

4B

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Faculty Member Since: 2007
Hometown: Santee, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
Taking naps in Kindergarten and getting the musical bear by my head because I was such a good napper.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The life-long friends I have made, and being around people that help me be the best I can be.

Who or what inspires you most?
This a hard one. I guess I would have to say selfless people inspire me. Someone like Mother Teresa. People who give and do without the expectation of something in return.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend time with family and friends or a good book. Shopping always works too.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
That you can’t make everyone happy.

Mrs. Karen Hoyle

5A

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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

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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.

Mrs. Peggy Coughlin

6A

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Sixth Grade Website

Faculty Member Since: 1986
Hometown: Plattsburgh, NY
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite school memory is my high school physics class teacher. He certainly was a teacher who made a huge impact on me. He was a man of high integrity and value, as well as possessing great brilliance and creativity. His real love was for inventing. He and his business partner worked on Apollo missions and created laser technology. He is someone I have always had the utmost respect for.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
St. Patrick School is family. The outpouring of help and love within this community is astounding. I feel this is our greatest strength. We do certainly live the Christian message.

Who or what inspires you most?
To avoid a cliché, I must say my parents inspire me most. A day does not go by in which I have some memory of them and all they taught me. I try my best to live up to their expectations and standards. I sincerely feel I have a duty to pass onto my students what values were passed onto me…those of integrity, honesty, and the respect and love of education.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love, love, love to spend time at the beach, soaking up the sun, feet in the hot sand, and listening to the sound of the waves. Heaven on earth!

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advise I have ever had? Difficult to answer. Perhaps out of the large pool it would have to be to never judge a person. No one knows what they have been though or are presently going through. By no means, should I or anyone else be their judge. God does that.

Mrs. Kristin Hartmann

6B

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6th Grade Website

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.

Mrs. Patricia Sperberg

7A / Junior High Science

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Faculty Member Since: 2003
Hometown: New Britain, CT
 
What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I have several from various stages in my life. In elementary school I remember making candles and going Christmas caroling. I had a male teacher in the 6th grade, the first ever in the history of the school! In Jr. High I remember going into homeroom for the first time meeting new kids, switching classes. In High school I remember my Biology teacher always wore a lab coat with her name on the pocket!! In college my lab partner and I made banana ester and it smelled up the whole lab!! I love learning so much I am one of these perpetual students.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I LOVE the kids! They are funny, smart, talented, inquisitive and a joy to teach. I value all of the teachers, staff and parents because they are so supportive and kind.

Who or what inspires you most?
I am inspired by the fact that we are surrounded by beauty every where we look. Just look at how a flower is put together, or the clouds in the sky or the animals, birds and insects around us. It’s so awesome that we have such an abundant life!!

What do you like to do in your free time?
That’s easy! Read, read, and read some more! I also like to travel and meet new people. Oh, I also started on my family’s genealogy (my own personal “Who Do You Think You Are”)!

What is the best advice you have ever received?
My grandmother always said, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I have to remind myself that I have God’s grace and He is with me always and I should never judge someone else because that could be me.

Ms. Anne Kramer

7B / Junior High Math

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Faculty Member Since: 2000
Hometown: Livermore, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
I was very athletic and the tallest students in my grade, so playing volleyball and basketball at St. Michael’s are my fondest memories from elementary school. In high school, my English honors teacher opened my eyes and heart to the wonders of the ancient world and philosophy. UCSD is where I spent my undergraduate college years, and going to the beach (right across the street from the university!) and meeting interesting people from all over the world are my most cherished memories.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
What I value most about St. Patrick’s is the wonderful sense of community: priests, teachers, principals, staff, students, families and parishioners.

Who or what inspires you most?
St. Augustine and Saint John Paul II inspire me to be the best person I can be. They both had many struggles and challenges in their lives, but the grace of and their surrender to God filled them with joy, goodness and love. “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in You.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I love hanging out with my family (especially my nephews Daniel and John) and friends, going to the beach, reading, playing the piano, traveling and eating.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
When I was in business, one of my sales managers had an expression I strived to always live by, “This is the best day of my life!”

Mr. Jim Burke

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

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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!”

Mrs. Stephanie Gaddi

8B / Junior High English

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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!

Ms. Ashlee Dubruiel

Computer / Media

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Faculty Member Since: 2018
Hometown: Dresden, Tennessee 

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memory of being in school was when I transitioned into 5th grade. 5th grade at my school was the first grade that students moved from class to class with different teachers. It was the first time I felt like a “big kid.” I started using a planner to organize assignments and projects due. That year in school tapped into my sense of independence, but it also made me take ownership and accountability pf my school work.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I value that St. Patrick’s strives to teach and follow the timeless expectations and values of the Catholic church while also teaching classes and skills that will help them in an ever-changing, modern society.

Who or what inspires you most?
My Nature is a very inspiring aspect of life. It is a place that anyone, anywhere, and at any time can go and feel moved by the beauty. It is a place that helps me realize that life in general is beyond me as a person, realizing there is a bigger picture. It also inspires me to read, write, and reflect as an individual.

What do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time, I like to do any kind of outdoor activities: hiking, biking, beaching, etc. I a;so like to travel to new destinations. My life-goal is to visit every state in the United States!Lastly, I like to shop, mostly for tennis shoes and watches.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received was when someone told me, “No matter the place, situation, or time, always make it your daily goal to bring value to those around you.” That advice helps me to keep an optimistic perspective, even in tough times. It is a perspective that I have found brings great value to the teaching profession.

Mrs. Darleen Herriman

Music

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Faculty Member Since: 2015
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
My favorite memories were in high school. My favorite class was “drama” because I loved learning the works of Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Joseph Kesselring and others. My BFF was Roberta and we always had a great time giving (sometimes unflattering) nicknames to boys and giggling. Today Roberta is a Sacramento County Supervisor. When we get together we still laugh about the “boys” and the fun we used to have. Great memories for sure!

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
I love and believe in Catholic education. St. Patrick Catholic School is a blessing, not only to students but also to me as an educator. Weaving faith, values, a passion for students and music gives me a joyful heart. Working with colleagues who are like-minded are the best!

Who or what inspires you most?
Mother Teresa is a great inspiration to me. She followed the call of God, worked hard, showed genuine love and compassion and was a woman of great wisdom. Mother Teresa spread the love of Jesus in her actions and prayers. She wasn’t influenced by critics because “It’s not between them and me, it’s between me and God.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Free time?” I recall being asked this when I was a young stay-at-home mom raising five children. My response was: “This is a joke right?” However, times have changed and today I love attending musical theater productions, reading, watching old movies, walking, and enjoying family get-togethers. Life is good.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
Never give up when faced with a challenge. “While the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little longer.”

Mr. Gabriel Fontana

Spanish, Grades K-8

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Spanish Website

Faculty Member Since: 2013
Hometown: Loma Linda, CA

What is your favorite memory of being in school?
At the time I thought the time spent with friends was the best part of school. However, the more I reflect the more I realize that I was lucky to have some of the most dedicated and entertaining people I have ever met a part of my educational life.

What do you value most about St. Patrick?
The community feeling that I get when speaking with faculty and parents is what I value most.

Who or what inspires you most?
The feeling of accomplishment has influenced me the most. More specifically, the feeling of overcoming fear and doubt to achieve those accomplishments.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to do anything that involves learning about history and exercising.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
There are at least two days during the week that you do not need to worry about, yesterday and tomorrow.

Mrs. Nicole Nash

Reading Resource

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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.

Mr. John Martin

Physical Education

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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

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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.

Ms. Aleta Barthell

Jr. High Drama

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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!