Faculty/Staff

Our teaching staff members are excellent educators, qualified to bring superior education to Saint Catherine Labouré School. All of our teachers possess bachelor degrees, 16 have also earned Master degrees. All teachers maintain valid, current teaching credentials.

We are honored and grateful to our faculty whose dedication, love and service to our students continues to prepare them for the challenges of life.

ADMINISTRATION
 

Jennifer Bagheri

Principal

BA English, Mount St. Mary’s College
MA Education, Loyola Marymount University
MA Catholic School Leadership & Administration, Loyola Marymount University
Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential (English)
Administrative Services Credential

St. Catherine Labouré School is a learning community that offers a comprehensive curriculum centered on challenging academics, faith formation, and personal growth. My goal as principal of SCL is to build a Catholic community where students grow in faith, knowledge, integrity, and service. In partnership with parents, we are able to guide SCL students in becoming empowered, engaged, and inspired individuals who want to use their gifts and talents to serve others and our community. 


 

Cheryl Hebestreit

Vice Principal

BA, Arizona State University
MA University of San Francisco

I enjoy teaching at St. Catherine Labouré because of the loving, community atmosphere at the school. After a long term substitute position during the 2012-2013 school year, I was thrilled to say “yes” when asked to permanently join the staff the following year. Having taught previously at schools with modest diversity, I also greatly appreciate how diverse the students and their families are at SCL.                         

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
 

Areena Sadeghi

Transitional Kindergarten

BA, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Certificate, Early Childhood Education, University of California, Los Angeles
MA, Urban Education, Loyola Marymount  University (in progress)
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Loyola Marymount University (in progress)
    
After learning about all of the wonderful educational opportunities for students at this school, I knew I want to be a part of SCL. When I first graduated from college, I initially worked as a medical representative for a durable medical equipment company.  Feeling dissatisfied in that profession, I decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a teacher.  I starting my teaching career at St. John Fisher School as the founding transitional kindergarten teacher.  This will be my third year teaching. I enjoy having the opportunity to be the first elementary school experience for many students.
 
As an educator, I value customs of all cultures and I implement activities that promote diversity in my classroom. I truly believe that creating a caring and welcoming environment for students helps them to thrive at school.  I am passionate about being an educator and inspiring my students to learn new concepts. I am so excited to be teaching at SCL this year! 

 

Karin Mord

Kindergarten

BA Liberal Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

This is my third year teaching at St. Catherine Labouré! As a kindergarten teacher I have the privilege and joy of giving my students their first real experience at school. It is my desire to help your children have a great first experience with learning inside a classroom, while providing academic rigor.  In my varied experience as an educator, I have never experienced such amazing parent and community involvement as I have seen here at SCL.  This really is a special place!


 

Annalisa Prieto

Kindergarten

BA Human Services, California State University, Dominguez Hills
MA Curriculum & Instruction, Concordia University, Irvine

I believe one never stops learning. I am a lifelong learner and I want my students to love school just as much as I do. Learning is NOT a race, but a journey through life. It is an exciting adventure, with something new to be learned each day. It is my privilege to guide and encourage a child as he or she gains a love of learning, self-confidence, and the academic skills that form a foundation for continued success.                         


 

Cathy Jones

Grade 1

BA, Istituto Magistrale, Sacile, Italy

I enjoy teaching because I feel that I can make a difference. I have the opportunity to impact children’s lives. I feel I have the chance to inspire little children so that they will become enamored with learning. My motto is “Learn one new thing every day.” I also find it rewarding to see students grow in maturity, knowledge, and social graces. I particularly feel grateful and blessed that I am allowed to be instrumental in the preparation of these little children so that they will become strong Catholics, God willing.                         


 

Julia Bartlett

Grade 1

BA, Industrial Education, California State University, Long Beach
MA in Teaching, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Saint Mary
Early Childhood Certificate, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CLAD
Lifetime Reading Certificate, University Of California, Los Angeles

I have been teaching primary students for more than 20 years, and I believe that I have the best job in the world! When students leave my classroom and advance to the next grade, they do so as academic achievers and committed Catholics. With PBL (project-based learning) my students "Learn by Doing", they gain the confidence to ask questions, make connections, teach others, and be enthusiastic about learning as they advance in the world of education. I have always made the learning environment a place in which students can feel safe to share their ideas and thoughts as well as develop social and interpersonal skills. SCL is more than just a school, it is a family, filled with faith, where the members follow in Jesus' footsteps.


 

Margaret Tobias

Grade 2

BA, Elementary Education, De La Salle Lipa University
MA, Education Administration, University of the Philippines
 
A person is led to teach because someone high above knows that this person can lead.  Ever since I became a teacher my life's purpose gets more vivid every day.
 
When I experienced a job outside the classroom, the feeling of fulfillment I got at the end of the day did not match the feeling of fulfillment I was used to having when I was teaching.  That is why I was so happy when I was accepted as a teacher here at St. Catherine Labouré School.  I was even more thankful to find out that this school is a community of warm people who dedicate themselves into bringing out the best in everybody.
 
Education is an everyday adventure. With the vastness of knowledge, as students learn a lot from their teacher, likewise, a teacher may also learn a lot from her students.  It is essential that a firm ground of creativity, respect, patience and discipline is established inside the classroom for the effective flow of learning to take place.  

Gilly Childs

Grade 2

BA, Psychology and Child Development, University of New Haven
MA, Elementary Education and Multiple Subject Preliminary Credential,  Loyola Marymount University
Catechetical Certification, Archdiocese of Los Angeles  

As a new teacher to the SCL community, I have been warmly welcomed.  SCL provides love, support and a sense of community to all.  As an educator, not only is it my goal to guide students in academic achievement, but also foster the desire to be life long learners.  I believe that education nourishes young students' minds and provides them with the tools to be a successful part of society.  From my experience, students need a strong foundation of good habits and confidence to be successful in the classroom. I have learned the importance of working interdependently with students and parents in a collaborative manner.  With support from teachers and parents, students are provided with consistent structure and expectations.  This creates a positive correlation between hard work and achievement in conjunction with growth mindset.  All of my experiences have shaped me into being an educator that supports the needs of all learners and allows for a responsive classroom environment.  I cannot wait for a wonderful first year in this community!


 

Pauline Skinner

Grade 3

BA Psychology, California State University, Long Beach
Clear California Multiple Subject Credential
 
I teach at St. Catherine Labouré School because I believe that Catholic education is the means by which to educate the whole child.  I taught for 12 years in the Parish School of Religion before joining the day school.  I am a member of this parish and my four children graduated from this school.  The success of my children, I attribute, in part, to the foundation they received at this school.  Their religious background supported the academic challenges and endeavors that were put before them.  The caring faculty helped develop their conscience, stewardship, and work ethic that became the foundation for success.
 
The parents, staff, and teachers are supportive of one another.  This brings a family-like feel to the school.  I am happy to be a member of this family and I love what I do.  

 

Jennifer Martin

Grade 3

BA Child Development with a Multiple Subjects Waiver, California State University, Los Angeles

As a parent and teacher at SCL, I have not only seen the great achievements of my students, but in my own children as well. When my husband and I decided to bring our oldest child to SCL, I recall sharing with him the many success stories of past students I had taught in my years at SCL. For example, one past student not only excelled at SCL, but continued to excel throughout high school, and was accepted in LMU. She graduated, went into a master’s program, and is now teaching. She has visited me on several occasions and has attributed much of her success to SCL and the teachers who gave her the drive and inspiration to succeed in life. It was the stories of success that helped us make our decision. I believe this is why parents should send their children to SCL. We are part of that driving force that leads into success in life for so many of our children.                       


 

Candice Doyle

Grade 4

BA Liberal Studies, California State University, Long Beach
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

It is an honor to be part of the teaching staff here at St. Catherine Labouré School and I am thrilled to be a part of this very exciting year of learning!  As an SCL alumni, I truly value the community of faith here at St. Catherine Labouré.  The amazing staff members are dedicated to providing ALL students with a rigorous curriculum so they can grow in academic excellence, as well as in faith. Student are challenged to exceed grade level expectations and inspired to be the best in everything that they do.  I am looking forward to working wth the families here at SCL with great expectations this year!


Crystal Nance

Grade 4

BA Spanish, California State University, Long Beach
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

Families should choose SCL for their children because the school is committed to academic excellence for all students and is centered on Catholic moral values. As a graduate of the school, I know firsthand how well St. Catherine's School prepares its students for success in high school and beyond. St. Catherine's provides its students with a solid educational foundation which promotes life-long learning. It also provides many service projects for the students to help instill Christian value


 

Christina Luna

Grade 5

BA, Sociology with a minor in Business, Loyola Marymount University
MA, Curriculum and Instruction, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. California State University, Long Beach

It is a pleasure and joy to be a teacher in the St. Catherine Labouré community.  Since going to school here, when I was younger, and getting married here, I have come to realize that St. Catherine is a community of love, the exact community and energy I want to continue to build in the classroom.  I was inspired at a young age and felt safe and comfortable at St. Catherine and those feelings are being felt by students today.  I am privileged to have the opportunity to inspire students today, just as I was inspired many years ago.


 

Allison Penalba

Grade 5

BA, Liberal Studies, Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles
Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential  
 
I am absolutely thrilled to join the St. Catherine Labouré community! This is a community rooted in love, service, and faith, and it is a blessing to be be part of it.
 
This will be my second year as a lead teacher, and I am very excited to be teaching 5th grade!  Previously, I have worked as a long-term substitute teacher/instructional aide, a primary teacher at Kumon Learning, and have completed two rotations of student teaching--one in kindergarten and the other in a 3rd/4th grade classroom.
 
In my classroom, I show my students how to take ownership of their learning, and I set the precedent of a growth mindset.  I want my students to understand that in our classroom it's okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them.  I have taught my students that perfection is something we cannot achieve, but growth and progress is something we can work towards. I use the phrase "practice makes progress" to instill in them that we are never "done" learning and bettering ourselves.


Olivia Vallin

Spanish for Grades 2, 3 & 4

BA, Certificate of Teaching, Normal Superior Nueva Galicia, A.C, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX
MA, Education and Sociology, Instituto Superior de  Investigación Docente y Magisterio  

With over 12 years teaching in middle school and 2 years teaching Spanish to our elementary students at St. Catherine Labouré, I have had the opportunity to share with our students the importance of striving for more in their education, knowledge and culture.

Education, family, respect and integrity are only a few of the many reasons I enjoy teaching at St. Catherine Labouré.  We are blessed at St. Catherine's with a diversity of cultures that allows me to express and teach the Spanish language.  To see the excitement in our students' eagerness to learn is a blessing to my career as a teacher.  I look forward to inspiring, teaching and motivating our children as we enter each new school year.
 
Con mas de 12 años de enseñanza en secundaria y 2 años de enseñanza de español a nuestros estudiantes en St. Catherine Labouré, he tenido la oportunidad de compartir con nuestros alumnos, la importancia de luchar por más, en su educación, conocimiento y cultura. 
 
Educación, familia, respeto e integridad son sólo algunas de las muchas razones que me motivan enseñar en St. Catherine. La diversidad de culturas en nuestra escuela, permite expresar y enseñar Español.  Ver la emoción al aprender en mis estudiantes, es una bendición para mi carrera como docente.  Espero inspirar, enseñar y motivar a nuestros hijos en la nuevo año escolar. 
 
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Mario Hernandez

Religion and Spanish

BA, Ethnic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
CA Teaching Credential, Loyola Marymount University  
 
I have been an educator for over five years and believe this is my true calling in life.  I was fortunate to have come from a family of educators and I want to continue their legacy and be able to give back to the community. I feel blessed to have been given an opportunity to teach at a Catholic School, like St. Catherine Labouré.  Educating the youth academically and spiritually is a blessing.  My goal is to prepare my students for their future endeavors and to empower them to promote social justice and equality.                                                                             

 

Elizabeth Westendorf    

Language Arts

BA, Eduction and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Wayne University, Michigan             
 
The 2019/2020 school year is my ninth year of teaching.  I spent my first four years teaching third and fourth grade at a charter school in Detroit, Michigan.  Soon after I moved to sunny California, I began my journey as a junior high teacher in 2015.  After teaching both elementary and junior high, I have grown very fond of this age group of students and love teaching the rigorous curriculum it entails.  I believe as an educator it is crucial not only to support my students academically, but also in their social emotional growth. I am honored to be a part of this supportive and loving community at SCL.       

Maureen Ward

Math

BA, Liberal Studies, Math Concentration, Loyola Marymount University
MA, Child and Adolescent Literacy, Loyola Marymount University
Reading Certificate, Loyola Marymount University
California Clear Credential

Being an educator is like no other job, and I am thrilled to continue my ministry of teaching at St. Catherine Labouré. Everyday is a new day filled with excitement and curiosity and a step towards preparing the youth for our future. As Nelson Mandela brilliantly said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” A classroom is more than memorizing facts and figures; rather it is being able to think critically and being able to apply that knowledge to real world situations. My goal is to instill confidence in all students and have them realize that knowledge is power and they can make a difference. Teaching at a Catholic school, like St. Catherine Labouré, is an added bonus. It is a blessing to integrate our Catholic faith into the curriculum and help guide students through their spiritual journey with Christ. I look forward to providing a challenging and inclusive curriculum to reach all types of learners, as well a structured environment that allows students to grow personally .


Julie Ha

Science

BA, Social Ecology and Education, University of California, Irvine 
MA, Education, National University (in progress) 

With the advancements in Science and Technology, it is crucial that instruction is shifted to prepare the students to be technologically and scientifically literate. I will bring together Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as students develop inquiry and critical thinking skills through problem/project based learning. Students learn about their natural world as they investigate topics such a gene technology, ecological sustainability, mechanics, chemistry and weather patterns. They will gain a better understanding of real world issues and work collaboratively to develop action plans.  

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher.  My preferred activity was playing "Teacher".  I would come home from school and have my parents sit at our dining room table as I pretended to be the teacher. I would teach them everything that I learned from school and they were to finish "homework" before dinner.  Luckily, they still remembered everything from school!  I am so excited to join Saint Catherine Labouré's community and have the opportunity to share my love for learning with my students.  Learning is a journey and I am proud to be given the torch to guide SCL students through this journey as they develop spiritually, intellectually and personally.

Michelle Fierros

History

BA, English, Mount St. Mary's College  
MA, Education, Loyola Marymount University

As an educator, I believe that an individual's education is a journey that nurtures a love for learning, which prepares them to be successful leaders in their community as well as evolve intellectually.  My role is to ensure that students learn how to use critical thinking skills to solve problems, to communicate effectively and to analyze information, which will provide students with the necessary skills to be successful in today's global society.  I am very excited to be given the opportunity to join the wonderful staff at St. Catherine Labouré School.  I look forward to guiding SCL students to grow in their faith and relationship with God and to live as disciples of Jesus.


Jaclyn Balderas

 English Literature

BA, English, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
MA in Education and Single Subject Credential in English , Loyola Marymount University
 
I believe that teaching English is a privilege. Not only do I work with students on their skills in reading and writing, but through the texts we read, I am able to teach them empathy, respect and compassion. In turn, I hope my students can transfer the wisdom and life lessons taught in these texts into their daily lives. Analyzing and responding to literature in this way is inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ, which is a unique experience that students at SCL are exposed to.                       
ENRICHMENT

Francine Buitron

Technology Education/Fine Arts

BA History & Political Science, University of Texas, San Antonio
MA International Relations, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio

St. Catherine Labouré is the best private school in the South Bay because it has a strong academic program and a faith-filled community. St. Catherine’s also offers a variety of extra-curricular programs, such as Arts Alive, Yearbook, CYO sports, and Academic Decathlon. In addition, SCL provides an art program, a physical education program, and an advanced technology program. These programs allow the students to explore their creativity and become well-rounded students.                        


Maritza Martin

Technology Education/Fine Arts

BS, Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
Professional and Leadership, US Air Force 
Professional Technology Development, California State University, Dominguez Hills
 
It is truly a blessing to be a part of the St. Catherine Labouré family.  The growth and use of Computer Science in Education will only continue, and I am truly honored to be a part of the advanced technology program we have here at SCL.  With over 23 years experience in the industry of technology, I am happy to offer my knowledge, and hands-on experience in all levels of Computer Science and Technology support to our staff, teachers and students.
 

Rachel Pittock

Physical Education/Athletic Director

BA, Communications, University of California, Santa Barbara
MA, Coaching & Athletic Administration, Concordia University 

Thank you for welcoming me to the SCL Family! I grew up playing every and all sports, not knowing what an impact that would make on my adulthood! Now that I am an adult, I can truly say I am a strong believer in the power of sport and the everyday impact it can make on children.  After obtaining my Masters in Coaching & Athletic Administration, I decided it was time to make the switch from non-profit sports management into the world of education. I couldn't be more happy with that decision and this wonderful community I ended up in.  The SCL family has welcomed me with open arms and it has made this transition that much better! I am excited for the school year and am eager to enhance this already wonderful athletic program!

Kristy Narey

Fine Arts

11 years in education

I believe that families should choose SCL for their child(ren) because we provide a loving and safe environment where the entire community is committed to academic and personal success. Students are given a very strong foundation on which to build their academic futures. SCL is everyone’s home away from home.                                                                          

 

Megan Gutierrez

Special Resources

BA Liberal Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

St. Catherine Labouré School has always been like a home to me. I attended St. Catherine as a child from Kindergarten to 8th grade. I feel that St. Catherine Labouré gave me the foundational skills that I have used throughout my whole educational and professional careers. St. Catherine Labouré sets high expectations, which students are challenged to meet. This school also provides a more inviting environment than I have seen at any other school. The students and staff arrive with smiles on their faces and are excited to start their day.

As a teacher, I feel that it is highly important to challenge students and allow them to have hands-on experiences. In my training for the new California Common Core Standards, I have gained an appreciation for this new way of learning. In order to master the new standards, my students are given the opportunity to work in collaborative groups and have class discussions. They are also expected to understand and use their newly learned academic vocabulary as well explain their thoughts and reasoning behind their answers.

 
 
 

Nora  Jimenez

Special Resources

BA Liberal Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills
MA Elementary Education, Loyola Marymount University
BCLAD Credential, Loyola Marymount University
 
I started my teaching career working for LAUSD as a kinder and dual-immersion TK teacher.  After taking some time off to be home with my children, I later worked for the Wiseburn Unified School District as a 5th grade teacher and 3rd -5th intervention teacher.  But the call to share my faith is what has brought me here to SCL,  having myself gone through the Catholic school setting when I was a child.  It gives me great pleasure that I will be working as an intervention teacher for St. Catherine. Since I will be working with students from TK through 8th grade, I am looking forward to not only sharing out faith with our students, but having a small influence in guiding our children to a much brighter future that involves faith, spirituality and responsibility for a better tomorrow!

TEACHER AIDES

Cindy Thompson 

Aide, Tk-1st Physical Education, Daycare

AA Parks and Recreation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                



Katrina Webb

Aide, Daycare

 



Matthew Duran

 Aide, Computer Lab Aide, Daycare


 



Kassia Evulich

 Aide


St. Catherine Labouré School
3846 Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 324-8732
administration@stcat.org
Follow us   
     
© 2014 All rights reserved.