Faculty and Staff
Dr. Kelly Shewbridge
Dr. Kelly Shewbridge Biography
Began working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2009.
The Ohio State University – Associate’s Degree
Northern Arizona University – Bachelor’s Degree in Education
Northern Arizona University – Master's Degree in Special Education with a Reading Endorsement
Grand Canyon University – Doctorate in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education
Favorite subject: My favorite subject to teach is Religion. I previously taught third grade and had the honor of preparing the students to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. It was such a blessing to help in their spiritual formation as their classroom teacher.
Why I am an Educator: Every summer as a child I helped my mother, a Catholic school teacher, prepare her classroom for her students. I saw the hard work my mother put into teaching and the great satisfaction she had knowing she made a difference in the lives of each and every student.
Mr. Tony Groseta
Vice PrincipalREAD BIO
Mr. Tony Groseta Biography
Began Working at OLMC in 2018
Favorite Subjects: English and Spanish
Why I am a Teacher: The bond between teachers and students is so powerful. I learned so much from the teachers in my life, both about academics and about how to be a good person. I became a teacher because I wanted to help students as much as my teachers helped me.
What I like about working at OLMC: Our Lady of Mount Carmel is more than a school-- it is a family. You can feel the sense of the community among the teachers, parents, and students. I like how everyone in the community cares about each other and helps to take care of everyone else. I have felt welcomed here from the first day I arrived at the school.
Mrs. Enedina White Biography
Favorite Subject: My favorite subject in school was History. I enjoyed learning about the past, whether it’s about my state, country, or anywhere else in the world. The lessons of the past can help guide the future. This is what I love most about history, and why it was my favorite subject.
Why I am an Administrative Assistant: As an Administrative Assistant, I can help support our Principal, Vice Principal, teachers, and staff. I do my best to help maintain organization in the front office, help our staff, and greet our students. I genuinely love assisting others and helping them succeed. I feel like this type of role fits in great with my personality. I enjoy being organized and finding ways to balance my workday. I look forward to welcoming you and your child to the OLMC family!
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: OLMC has always been incredibly special to me. I was baptized, confirmed, and married here at OLMC. It has been a place I have called home for a very long time. I am blessed to have been able to give my own children this same experience. Both of my children are alumni at OLMC. This will be my 14th year as an employee of the OLMC preschool and now OLMC Elementary School. I am excited to work with the friendly and loving teachers and staff here at OLMC. The best part of my job is getting to know and help the wonderful families of our school. There is no greater pleasure than helping a child build their self-confidence, social skills, and love of learning while strengthening their foundation in faith.
Mrs. Theresa Cornforth
Office AssistantREAD BIO
Mrs. Theresa Cornforth Biography
Began working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2009
Favorite subject: I attended St. Catherine of Sienna in Phoenix. My favorite subject when I was going to elementary school was Math and Recess. My favorite memories include going to Friday mass and being around the nuns who were our teachers. It was fun when the nuns would play kickball with us.
Why I am an Office Assistant: I have been blessed to be given this opportunity to be part of a loving and enthusiastic staff. I started working for Our Lady of Mount Carmel part time in the Little Lambs Preschool and helping out in the school office in 2009. I started full time in 2011 as the lunch coordinator.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I have a son and daughter that graduated from Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is comforting knowing the families of this school. I really enjoy working with all the children, and seeing their smiling faces. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a great family community and is so welcoming and supportive.
Mrs. Shannon David, RN, NCSN
School NurseREAD BIO
Mrs. Shannon David, RN, NCSN Biography
Began working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2007
University of Detroit-Mercy – Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
Favorite subject: Physiology!! Whenever I study physiology, which is frequently, I am humbled and awed by the miraculous creation each human being is! The inner workings of the human body are fascinating in both precision and intricacy. As I ponder the wonder of the human body, I can’t help but give thanks to God for His love!
Why I am a nurse: I declared that I wanted to be a nurse at the age of 5, probably not even knowing what that entailed! I truly believe nursing is a ministry and I was called to it. Throughout my 34 years as an RN, I have practiced in the emergency department, critical care, administration and clinical education. I have loved each position I have held, but none as much as I love being a school nurse! The school setting allows me to practice nursing holistically and interact with both students and families to improve their health. I believe that demonstrated competence in both knowledge and skill is important in the delivery of health care. To that end, I have attained, and maintained, certification as a National Certified School Nurse (one of only 30 in the state of Arizona).
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: OLMC is an amazing community! My husband and I chose OLMC for our children’s education and though they are all adults now, we continue to see the fruits of seeds planted at OLMC. This is a special place where the love of Christ comes alive, daily!
Mrs. Jenn Chavez Biography
Favorite Subject: My favorite subjects in school were always Social Studies and History. I love to learn about humanity - both past and present - as well as different cultures and traditions. As the child of a Language Arts teacher, I was often encouraged to read and my books of choice were either historical fiction or period pieces from all over the world.
Why I am an Events and Communications Coordinator: I love creating and promoting meaningful events! It’s fun to execute the vision of a special occasion and see it through to completion. From researching a theme, to working with teams of volunteers, vendors, and partners, to managing the guest experience, I enjoy working out all the little details to ensure everything runs smoothly.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: My family has been part of the OLMC Parish and School community for several years. I was confirmed and married at the church and my two youngest sons are alumni of the school. I have had the pleasure of connecting with a lot of the staff and teachers as a parent and now I look forward to developing relationships with them as a staff member. It’s great to be a part of such a supportive, dedicated group of Catholic educators!
Mrs. Lisa Montanez
Kindergarten TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Lisa Montanez Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2011
Teacher's Aide 2003-2011
Arizona State University – Bachelor's Degree in Business Advertising
Rio Salado College – Post Baccalaureate Teacher Program
Favorite subject: I love to teach reading! As a Kindergarten teacher, it is a delight to help the children unlock the code of the English language and to see the joy on their faces as they sound out a new word and read their first sentence. Once a child learns to read their opportunities are endless.
Why I am a teacher: I teach to help each child discover their potential and grow in their relationship with Christ. It is exciting to teach Kindergartners. Our days are exciting and fun, with milestone accomplishments abounding each and every day; with first tooth losses, learning to tie a shoe, reading their first book, learning a new prayer and mastering the Sign of the Cross. Truly everything you need to know starts in Kindergarten.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I am blessed to teach in a school that holds such wonderful memories for my family. God has brought me to this place and it is a privilege to teach His children in this parish. The parish community is very supportive of our school and the children. With our school as a part of a parish community, the children see our faith in action all around the campus. It makes my job so much easier, when I can point out the hands and feet of Christ all around. My family has been parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel since the mid-1960s. In fact, there has been a Montanez student in this school every year from 1964 until 2012, when my son graduated.
Mrs. Elizabeth Vullo
Kindergarten TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Elizabeth Vullo Biography
Began working at OLMC in 2015
State University of NY at Oswego-B.S. in Education, Double Major in American History
Favorite Subject: Religion There is nothing more rewarding than learning about God and our faith!
Why I am a teacher? I decided to become a teacher because I love children.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: What I like most about teaching is the opportunity to help a child learn.
First Grade Teachers
Mrs. Amy Lee
First Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Amy Lee Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1995
Northern Arizona University – Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs
Northern Arizona University – Master's Degree in Elementary Education
Favorite subject: I enjoy teaching all subjects, but Religion is one of my favorites. It is a joy to help young children discover God's infinite love for them. The fact that we are able to weave our spirituality throughout the curriculum is what makes teaching in a Catholic school so special.
Why I am a teacher: I am a teacher because I want to have a positive impact on children. I want to help them realize their potential academically, socially, and spiritually. I enjoy the many challenges and rewards that each day brings!
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I love the students and families at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is such a close-knit faith community and I am honored to be a part of it.
Mrs. Kathy Ward
First Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Kathy Ward Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2002
Arizona State University - Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
Northern Arizona University – Master’s Degree in Education: Counseling
Favorite subject: Reading would be my favorite subject. I love to observe the daily growth and progress of my younger students. First grade is a critical year to capture the love of reading. The subject of reading is the foundation for so many other aspects of a person’s life. A student opens so many paths of success once they become a confident reader.
Why I am a teacher: “I’ve known I wanted to become a teacher since I was in high school. Each new school year I welcome as a fresh start to help students achieve their best. I am always honored when a former student returns to share his/her latest successes. I value the opportunity to assist the younger students in developing and achieving their individual goals.”
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: “The Our Lady of Mount Carmel community is like no other. The faculty and staff are amazing to work with and the administration is extremely supportive. I feel blessed to work in a community where the parents and students are friendly and encouraging of each other. We all have a common goal, to see the students strive for their personal best.”
Second Grade Teachers
Mrs. Peggy Hiser
Second Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Peggy Hiser Biography
Began Teaching/Working OLMC: Aide in 2005, Kindergarten teacher in 2007, Second grade teacher in 2016
BA in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University
Favorite subject: Religion
Why I am a teacher: I was inspired to become a teacher mostly by the love, kindness, and respect shown to me by my Fourth grade teacher, Sister Katherine Mary.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I love the integration of authentic Catholic teaching and the warm and loving community.
Mrs. Leslie Arnold
Second Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Leslie Arnold Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2000
Education: Arizona State University – Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
Favorite subject: One of my favorite subjects to teach is Religion and I enjoy intertwining our Catholic faith throughout the day. It's a privilege to share God's infinite love and mercy as we prepare the children for the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Why I am a teacher: As a teacher, I enjoy the opportunity to help each student become a confident, successful learner. My goal is to see each child as unique and to help them reach their potential.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I feel blessed to call Our Lady of Mount Carmel my parish and my place of employment. The staff, students and parents are committed to a high academic standard and strive to put God first. This is a faith community to grow in body, mind and spirit.
Third Grade Teachers
Mrs. Amy Hartley
Third Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Amy Hartley Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2013
Northern Arizona University – Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education
California State University Long Beach – Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction
Favorite subject: My favorite subject to teach is reading. I enjoy reading to the class, with the class, and reading instruction. I like discussing different types of literature as well as the importance of reading. Reading involves everything we do; having a good foundation is the key to being successful in school and life. There are many ways to discuss, learn and express oneself through reading. I also enjoy the many different projects which incorporate reading and literature. The students can really get a deeper understanding of a story through activities and projects related to reading and literature.
Why I am a teacher: I grew up with both my parents being high school teachers, and I enjoyed school. I went to school from the beginning to be a teacher. I like how I can teach the same idea but improve upon and change a lesson to fit the needs of my students. Education is always changing, which keeps me on my toes, and gets me to try something new. I like to learn new things and by being a teacher I can continue to keep up on the latest ideas and trends in education.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: My son is a graduate from Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I was impressed with the teachers and staff and I knew I wanted to be part of the educational community too. Growing up I attended religion classes, made my first communion, and got married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I truly enjoy working with the families at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Mrs. Kimberly Abbott
Third Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Kimberly Abbott Biography
University of Redlands – Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology;
University of Redlands, Whitehead Program – Master’s in Education with a counseling emphasis;
Highly Qualified Teaching credential: Early Childhood K-3
Favorite subject: Teaching Social Studies in third grade is particularly fun. Students begin to understand what it means to be a part of a community at smaller levels such as the OLMC school community all the way up to the universal level where students learn about global citizenship. As each student begins to appreciate the importance and responsibilities of community involvement, they also learn to understand their own individual roles in society through activities outside the classroom in areas such as service projects and volunteering.
Why I am a teacher: I credit my own love of learning to a few outstanding teachers. My goal is to inspire children to stay curious and become life-long learners. I work to ensure that students are always challenged, supported and encouraged to be their best. I want students to feel capable and confident in their abilities.
What I like about teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School: I am thrilled to join the OLMC community.
Fourth Grade Teachers
Mrs. Erin Mills
Fourth Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Erin Mills Biography
Began working at OLMC in August 2017
Arizona State University- Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
Favorite Subject: My favorite subject to teach is reading. I love to read aloud in fun voices and really make a book come alive for the kids. My hope is to help all of my students find that one book that they just can’t put down!
Why I am a teacher: I am a teacher because I truly love children! I enjoy finding new ways to make learning fun and engaging for students. I recognize the great responsibility a teacher has in shaping young minds and souls and I am humbled to be apart of that process for each of my students.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I feel very fortunate to be teaching at my home parish. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is especially dear to me, as it is where I was baptized and confirmed when I converted to Catholicism in 2013. The community here is so supportive and welcoming! As a parent, I look forward to watching my own children receive the wonderful education and formation that OLMC School has to offer.
Mrs. Kaelyn Willkomm
Fourth Grade TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Kaelyn Willkomm Biography
Began working at OLMC in August 2018
Grand Canyon University- Bachelor’s Degree in Education with structured English Immersion Endorsement
Favorite Subject: My favorite subject is Religion. I love that we are to able to dive into our Catholic faith, and that I can help students with their relationship with Christ.
Why I am a teacher: I am a teacher because I have a passion for teaching others! Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher so I can help others succeed. I love making learning fun and seeing the “ah ha” moment when my students understand new concepts.
What I like about teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School: Our Lady of Mount Carmel reminds me of the elementary school I went to back in California. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. I am excited to build relationships with the students, parents, and staff.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Teachers
Mrs. MaryBeth Halon
5th & 6th grade Math TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. MaryBeth Halon Biography
Began Teaching/Working at OLMC: 2018
St. Joseph College: Communication Arts and Elementary Education Degrees.
Indiana University: Master in Education and a Masters in Administration & Leadership.
Favorite Subject: Math
Why I am a teacher: I love kids! I have so much fun with them in the classroom. I also love teaching.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Everyone here has been so helpful and nice. I look forward to getting to know my students and their parents.
Mr. Scott Sanders
5th & 6th Grade History TeacherREAD BIO
Mr. Scott Sanders Biography
Started teaching at OLMC in 2015
Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine- Grand Canyon University 2014
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis on History- Liberty University 2020
What is your favorite thing about OLMC? The community is my favorite part about OLMC from the students, parents, and staff it creates a welcoming environment for all.
What is your favorite subject? I have interest in a lot of areas like life science and kinesiology but my favorite subject since I was a kid has always been history.
What's a fun or interesting or surprising fact about you? When I was younger I participated in lots of extracurricular activities such as baseball, basketball, karate, and I even participated in rodeos. I love to read books on the rise and fall of civilizations and spend as much time with my wife and 2 kids as I can.
Mrs. Annette McDonough
5th & 6th Grade Science TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Annette McDonough Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2009
Teacher's Aide 2007-2009
Arizona State University – Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education - M.ED. in Elementary Education
Favorite subject: It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite subject to teach is Science. Science is all around us and is a part of everything that we do. Science can be experienced by even the youngest learner, and can remain a lifelong pursuit, no matter what students want to be when they “grow up.”
Why I am a teacher: When I look at my class I see the future of our country. I see minds ready to be challenged. My job is to spark their interest, and introduce new concepts to them so they can see all the possibilities that lie ahead for them. Their futures are bright and so is the future of this country, when students are properly prepared. My job then, is to prepare the students for what lies ahead. This task is sometimes difficult, but always exciting. No group of students is ever the same. They keep me on my toes, and they keep me laughing!
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: The best thing about Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the community. There is a true feeling of working together, both parents and teachers, for the betterment of the students. I have never been in a school where the parents are so supportive of the teachers. Also, the staff as a whole is very supportive of each other. As we work our way through changes in the curriculum and technological updates, there is a spirit that together, we can do this!
Miss Samantha Nowak
5th & 6th Grade Language ArtsREAD BIO
Miss Samantha Nowak Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 2019
Grand Canyon University - BA Secondary Education in English
Favorite Subject: I love English Language Arts! I grew up enjoying reading, writing, and especially grammar.
Why I am a Teacher: I have always enjoyed being in school, and I was very inspired by my middle school teachers. I want to make a positive impact on students' lives just like my teachers did for me. I am passionate about helping children learn and grow, more than just academically.
What I like about working at OLMC: Although this is my first year on campus, Our Lady of Mount Carmel reminds me so much of my wonderful elementary school. I am excited to get to know everyone in this community while doing what I love!
Middle School Teachers
Mr. Brian Abbott
Junior High Language Arts TeacherREAD BIO
Mr. Brian Abbott Biography
Began working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2016.
University of Redlands - BS in Political Science
Azusa Pacific University - MA in Education with an emphasis on Curriculum Development
Favorite Subject: Literature is my favorite subject. I love literature because it challenges students to examine universal truths, historical connections and great literature helps students engage in great conversations that helps them to examine their faith, belief system and who they are as individuals.
Why I am a teacher: I view teaching as a vocational calling. I have been blessed to interact with young people for 30 years as a teacher and coach. I am a life-long learner and by staying with my educational calling as a teacher I too learn and grow every day and every year.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I enjoy the connections and developing relationships with students, families, peers and the communities I have been fortunate to be a part of during my years in education. I love looking back after every school year and reflecting how much the students have grown and I enjoy the day-to-day process that is inherent to teaching and coaching that leads to an outcome- be it graduation, promotion or just observable growth as an individual or group.
Mrs. Leslie Gjerstad
Junior High Science TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Leslie Gjerstad Biography
I am a product of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Phoenix; St. Agnes Elementary School, Gerard Catholic High School
College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN BS in Elementary Education
Loyola University of New Orleans, Masters in Religious Education
Favorite Subject: I love all subjects, and I particularly love bringing Theology into those subjects. I enjoy teaching Science, as the more we discover about the world around us and the cosmos, the more I see the wonder of God.
Why I Am An Educator: In my educational career, I had many amazing teachers, and through them, saw a love of learning and a love of God. I have always wanted to be a teacher and enjoy helping students see their own potential and encourage them to live up to it.
Mr. Bobby Schwarzkopf
Junior High Social Studies TeacherREAD BIO
Mr. Bobby Schwarzkopf Biography
Began teaching at OLMC: 2018
Arizona State University
Favorite Subject: Social Studies
Why I am a teacher: I decided to become a teacher in high school when my teacher, at the time, challenged me and helped me grow.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Although this is my first year and I haven't been here long yet, the community has been outstanding and I feel so loved and welcome.
Mrs. Marissa Knox
Junior High Math TeacherREAD BIO
Mrs. Marissa Knox Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2012
Northern Arizona University – Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education
Favorite subject: My favorite subject in school in Social Studies. I enjoy teaching my students about our history, where we come from and how we did it, as well as the events that shaped our culture and world today.
Why I am a teacher: I chose to become a teacher while working at St. Theresa's. I truly enjoyed working with and helping the students and teachers as an aide and discovered my calling to be a teacher through this.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: While I have only been here for a short while, I already feel so comfortable and welcome in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel community. The entire staff has made me feel at home and been here to help me with any questions I have. The families and students have been equally welcoming and helpful.
Sr. May Olan-olan
Spiritual FormationREAD BIO
Sr. May Olan-olan Biography
Began working at OLMC in January 2019
Member of the Servants of the Plan of God since 2006
Favorite Subject: My favorite subject to teach is religion.
I love teaching about the saints and allow the children to be inspired by their lives and remind them how they’re called to be one. The favorite things I like teaching about are the Eucharist, Mary, the gift of the sacraments, prayer, and charity.
Why I am a teacher: I am a teacher because I find joy in sharing the richness of our faith. I love serving the children by drawing them closer to God and helping them live and love their faith. I believe that the children need to know how much God loves them and that they are called to respond to this love in the little ways they can.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I feel blessed to serve in Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I learn every day and am inspired by the school community: teachers, staff, and families. God has a special way of speaking to me through the children and I learn a lot from their simplicity and humility.
Ms. Heather Porrell
Fine Arts TeacherREAD BIO
Ms. Heather Porrell Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2021
Education: University of Michigan, Bachelor of Fine Arts Arizona State University, Post-Baccalaureate in Special Education
Favorite Subjects: Visual Art & Religion
Why I am a teacher: Art always made learning new subject matter easier for me and I felt called to share that with students ranging from Pre-K children challenged with multiple disabilities to K-8th grade students. The first year that I taught in the Diocese of Phoenix was in 2005, and I was overwhelmed with the freedom to integrate Catholicism and visual art along with all of the curriculum areas!
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I feel blessed to now have this opportunity to teach Fine Arts at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and to explore with students the truth and beauty of Catholicism expressed in centuries of sacred artwork and music. It has been an important part of my own spiritual journey and pray that likewise it will help to deepen our students’ understanding of the Catholic faith.
Mrs. Leah Valenzuela
Reading SpecialistREAD BIO
Mrs. Leah Valenzuela Biography
Began teaching in 2009
Began working at OLMC in 2021
Northern Arizona University- Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education
Grand Canyon University- Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Emphasis in Reading (Reading Specialist endorsement earned)
Favorite Subject: Language Arts is my favorite subject. Small group reading instruction is my passion. It is so rewarding to see students unlock the code of reading. I love when students not only grow in their reading skills but also their love of reading.
Why am I a teacher: I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a young girl. I love learning and school is the perfect place to do that. I love to see children learn and grow. I also get to learn so many things from the students and their joy is truly contagious.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I love that OLMC has our Catholic faith so deeply woven into every aspect of the school. The community has made me feel welcomed from the very first day. I truly feel blessed to work at OLMC.
Ms. Janet Grom Biography
Began teaching at OLMC in 2020
The University of Minnesota - Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology
Arizona State University - Masters of Science in Family & Human Development
Favorite Subject: My favorite subject is math because it is relatable to everything we do in our daily lives. I enjoy working with students to help them understand the ways that math is applicable in our community and our world. The foundational skills of math are so important to a student's future, and I enjoy being able to build those skills with the student.
Why I am a teacher: I became a teacher because I love helping students succeed and feel good about themselves. I truly feel being a teacher is part of my identity and I am blessed to be able to support students and build their confidence. I enjoy watching students grow and expand their knowledge throughout the year. Teaching has always been my passion, and I am thankful to be able to do what I love each day.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I have been welcomed with an abundance of love, and I am so grateful for that. I look forward to getting to know the students and families and being part of this wonderful community.
Ms. Brenda Beers
Computers/STEM/Religion TeacherREAD BIO
Ms. Brenda Beers Biography
Began working at OLMC in 2021
Loyola Marymount University - BA in History;
Secondary Teaching Credential
Master of Arts in Teaching History
Favorite Subject: I have always had a passion for history! I love studying about different eras and cultures, so that I can understand why we live the way we do today. I consider myself a cultural historian, and delight in going to local cultural festivals and traveling to other states/countries to experience how others live. I also really enjoy sharing my Catholic faith with my students. I feel very blessed to be able to teach religion this year at OLMC!
Why I am a Teacher: I loved my high school experience and wanted to make sure that other students had the opportunity to love school as well. My teachers were great role models for me, and I have been able to share my love of learning with students for 27 years as a Catholic educator. I believe Catholic education is my vocation and have shared this gift with my students in high schools in both California and Arizona, and now as a Specials teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
What I like about working at OLMC: I have been welcomed to the OLMC community with open arms and I look forward to creating relationships with students, faculty and staff, and parents alike. I can already tell that this is a very special place, and I feel very blessed to be here.
Ms. Eryn Washkowiak
Speech & Language Pathologist & Special Education CoordinatorREAD BIO
Ms. Eryn Washkowiak Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2018.
Arizona State University – Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
California State University San Marcos-Master’s Degree in Education: Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Favorite subject: My favorite subject in school was always reading. I have always enjoyed books and I integrate them into my Speech and Language sessions as much as possible. It is a wonderful way to provide visuals to my students who struggle with comprehension of language and I believe that creating a love for reading is a great way to enhance performance in all academic areas.
Why I am a teacher: I have always known that I wanted to work with children. Being a Speech Language Pathologist allows me the opportunity to work with each child at their individual levels of learning. I am able to provide them appropriate levels of scaffolding to allow them to be consistently successful, which raises their overall self-esteem. Whether the student is coming to me to work on articulation or because they have difficulties with language, I love that I am able to provide them with a space where their weaknesses are turned into strengths.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I have really enjoyed working at Mt Carmel this past year and I feel extremely blessed to be able to continue on as the Speech Language Pathologist. From the moment that my children started school, we have been welcomed into the OLMC family. The sense of community that is created through the support of the teachers and the families is incredible. It is an honor to be a part of such a faith filled, God centered community.
Miss Cristina Sanchez Ferreiro
Spanish Teacher Grades 2-8READ BIO
Miss Cristina Sanchez Ferreiro Biography
Began teaching at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in 2019
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid, Spain) - Bachelor’s Degree in Education - Major in English (Bilingual program)
Southern Illinois University Carbondale - Master’s Degree in Spanish and TESOL
Favorite Subject: I love languages! Since I was a little English was always my favorite subject. I think it is awesome being able to communicate with people from different countries and at the same time learn about their culture.
Why I am a teacher: I have always loved children and working with them is very rewarding because there is so much to learn from them. They encourage you to improve and become a better teacher and person every day. Also, I want to share with them that passion for language learning the same way my teachers did with me and show them how useful it can be in their lives.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I am very happy that Our Lady of Mount Carmel is going to be my first teaching job in Arizona. I can’t wait to be a part of this community!
Anna Cameron Biography
Began working at OLMC in 2021
Arizona State University: Bachelor of Science in Business Economics
Arizona State University: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature
Northern Arizona University: Masters degree in Multicultural Education
Favorite Subject: I loved teaching high school Spanish and Economics. Both subjects challenge students to think critically about the world and their place in it.
Why I like working at OLMC: I’m an OLMC alumni, my husband and I were married at OLMC and our children attend the school. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful community.
I’ve taught for 20 years in the classroom and have recently felt pulled back into Catholic education because of the deep faith life. I want to be free to share my love of God, my relationship with him and the truths of our faith with students. As librarian, I am excited to share my love of reading with students and foster their own imagination and creativity through the enjoyment of books.
Mrs. MaryAngel Estrada Biography
My name is MaryAngel Estrada. I’m the oldest of five. I was born and raised in Arizona. I attended elementary school and most of middle school at OLMC. My eighth grade year my family moved to Georgia. I was a scholar athlete throughout my high school years. My husband and I met after Lacrosse practice and dated through our junior and senior year. After high school I moved back to Arizona and my husband (still boyfriend at the time) joined the Army. After he finished basic training we got married and moved to Texas for 3 years. We are now living in Arizona with our two beautiful children. I enjoy sewing, painting and spending time with my family. We often go hiking and spend time outdoors. I own a small business and enjoy making things in my free time.
Mrs. Elizabeth Baker
Physical Education/Athletic DirectorREAD BIO
Mrs. Elizabeth Baker Biography
Began working at OLMC in 2019
Education: Arizona State University- Bachelor of Science, Recreation Management
Favorite Subject: Religion is my FAVORITE!! Teaching a child to know, love, and serve God through the Catholic faith is a gift!
Why I am a teacher? This is where God has called me! As the Spouse of a Soldier, I have been so blessed to have traveled the world and experience many of God's blessings! While being stationed overseas (2007-2012), my husband and I prayerfully discerned I would homeschool our five children. It was through those five years that I discovered my passion for teaching! I pray, I will always be an educator who will lead a child to Christ through my teaching.
What I like about working at Our Lady of Mount Carmel: I attended OLMC from 2nd to 8th grade. To return as an educator and continue to make OLMC a wonderful place to grow is a true privilege. Growing up in Tempe many of my fondest childhood memories were of my elementary and middle school years at OLMC.