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Lisa Black, Director, Mentor Teacher and Teacher

As Director, Mentor Teacher and Teacher, I keep myself close to the classroom.  I am pleased to serve on the Gavilan Advisory Council as the representative for private preschools.   I will be mentoring teachers this year and teaching in the two/three’s classroom.

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Mrs. Tiffany Carlson

Mrs. Tiffany Carlson
My name is Tiffany Carlson. This is my fifth year teaching at St. John’s. I have had the privilege of teaching the Two/Three/Fours combination class, the Three/Fours, and Pre-K/Jr.K classes.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Santa Clara University and later studied Child Development at Gavilan College.  In addition, I have attended workshops for Positive Discipline, Zoo-phonics, and Learning Without Tears.
My husband and I have two wonderful boys, who both graduated from St. John’s.  We keep busy with sports practice and games. We love to go to the park to run off energy. I’m excited to share the upcoming school year with each of you and our wonderful St. John’s community.

 

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Katrina Lomas

Katrina Lomas

I’m excited to get to know each of you. My family and I have lived here for seven years. My husband is a Morgan Hill native. I am from Santa Rosa, CA.  When I’m not at St. John’s, I look forward to spending family time at our cabin. I enjoy dirt biking, going on walks at the beach, and having adventures with my kids.

I have been teaching Pre-K/Jr. K at St. John’s for a little over three years. As a teacher, I am committed to ongoing learning and improvement. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I worked as a School Readiness Family Advocate helping families prepare their children for kindergarten by connecting them to local resources, providing parent workshops, and offering home visits through the Parent as Teachers program. While I stayed home with my four children, I participated in a preschool co-op group where we rotated teaching our children using Joy School, Mother Goose Time, & Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. When my youngest child was in preschool I began teaching part time at his school while taking child development classes. I’m currently enrolled at Cerro Coso Community College and working towards my Master Teacher Permit. I am a member of Pre-K Pages, The Teaching Tribe, which offers ongoing training, online support with other Pre-K teachers, and curriculum. I LOVE what I do.

My core teaching philosophy is that children learn best through play and in the context of loving, nurturing relationships.  I lean more towards process activities rather than product. Learning is more meaningful when children are interested in what’s being taught and engage in the process of planning, preparing, inventing, and creating. I believe that children need to learn vertically rather than horizontally; meaning I would rather spend more time on one subject and dive deep, than stay on the surface of many topics. In the classroom, we learn to be respectful, kind, and safe. We also learn to work hard, play hard. I enjoy being silly and I am okay with the happy noise of productive play.

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Ms. Claudia Carmody

Hi! I am Ms. Claudia and I am happy to be returning to St. John’s for a third year. Both my sons are now former St. John’s students. My family and I love the St. John’s community.

I was born and raised in the Bay Area and was a nanny for many years. During that time, I was also taking child development classes and in 2007 I started working at St. Timothy’s and worked there for about seven years. I am passionate about teaching and looking forward to another year with the 3/4s. Such a wonderful age! I had the pleasure of attending the Learning Without Tears workshops this summer and I am very excited to implement what I learned and introduce the children to the awesome materials.

When I am not teaching, I am with my husband, two sons, Braden, 4th grade, Benjamin, 1st grade and our German Shepherd dog Xiggo. We enjoy spending lots of time outdoors. Some of my favorite things are cooking, photography, summer, shopping, anything patriotic, and staying active. You can also find me volunteering at St. Catherine’s.

Looking forward to a year of leaning, fun, and adventure. I can’t wait to get to know all of you.

Love,

Ms. Claudia

 

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Ms. Claire Kupfer

Hi, my name is Claire Kupfer. I was one of the teachers that taught Pre-k last year, and I am looking forward to the ¾’s class this fall! I have been a nanny for over six years, and worked at a preschool in San Jose a couple years ago. I love being creative and learning new things alongside kids as they explore this wonderful world. This past year of working at St. John’s has been such a privilege. We have a great team of teachers who are loving and supportive, so it’s a great environment to work in. I’m currently in the process of receiving my associates degree at a community college and then transferring to a university to get my bachelors and teaching credentials. When I’m not at St. John’s or studying, you might find me sipping a hot tea at Coffee Guys or hiking up El Toro. I can’t wait to meet all of you!

Ms. Claire

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Vanessa Hecht

 

Hello!  I am Vanessa Hecht.  I live here in town with my husband, Kris, and our four sons: Joseph (23), Caleb (16), Ethan (5), and Lucas (2).  We have moved back-and-forth from South San Jose to Morgan Hill a few times over the last 11 years.  We love this town so much; we just couldn’t stay away.  Our three youngest sons all attend schools in Morgan Hill.  Ethan is a St. John’s graduate and Lucas will be in the 3s/4s class this fall.

I first became a fan of the preschool when I worked with Lisa in her classroom as a Behavior Intervention Specialist.  I fell in love with the culture of the school and admired Lisa for her work.  When I began looking for placement for my Student Teaching program almost 10 years later, I was ecstatic to hear St. John’s was an option.  I spent my first semester with St. John’s as a Student Teacher, mentored by Lisa then became an official member of the team.  I am honored to be a part of this supportive and talented team.

After earning an Associate’s Degree in Business from the University of Phoenix, I began my career path working as a Behavior Intervention Specialist, providing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy to children with special rights.  I have always loved working with children of all ages.  My challenge was deciding which age group to work with.  After I had Ethan, I was certain I wanted to specialize in early childhood education.  I have completed the majority of the required coursework to earn a second Associate’s in Child Development from Gavilan. I absolutely love the pure innocence and joy young children possess and look forward to spending another year here, building relationships and developing the minds of our young people.

Ms. Katie
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Kolleen Vance

Kolleen Vance:

I am a graduate of SJSU, holding a BS in Child Development, with a minor in Special Education.  In 2006, after spending years at home with my children, I returned to work as an Early Interventionist, serving children with developmental disabilities in a classroom setting as part of California’s Early Start program.  This meant working closely with service agencies, parents and children using a whole child/family approach.   In 2013 I transitioned to became a Developmental Specialist, delivering those same services in each child’s home.  I am excited to be serving children in an inclusive classroom setting once again.  My husband and I have resided in Morgan Hill since 1999.  We have two grown children.

 

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