Fr. Paul P. Murphy
Mr. Bruce Stewart
Hi, my name is Theresa Yarnell-Todd and I am the Kindergarten teacher at JSS. I love teaching, I love and I love Junipero Serra School!
I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and attended and graduated from Junipero Serra School and Notre Dame High School in Salinas. I received my bachelors degree in Liberal Studies and my teaching credential from San Jose State. I married David Todd and live in Monterey. My two children are proud JSS alumni. Jaclyn has just graduated with a bachelors degree in business and with her MBA. Drew is in his senior year, pursuing a degree in Sports Management at the University of Indianapolis.
I was happy to return to my alma mater in 1992 as the Fourth Grade teacher. The following year I transferred to, where I have been ever since. I also spend time helping out in the office! Kindergarten is such an important year for students. We learn about God's love and how to be a good friend. We learn to blend sounds to read words and comprehend stories.
We learn to add, subtract and classify objects. We learn about our world, community and nature. Kindergarten is a year of growth and wonder!
Junipero Serra School is a special place. Saint Serra’s presence is felt in our beautiful Basilica and just outside our classroom doors is our lovely courtyard and gardens. It is a blessing to be able to teach in such a divine setting. I am very excited to be returning to second grade this year.
Originally, I am from Lodi, where I grew up on a small farm. In 1998 I moved to Dublin in the East Bay. Last year I relocated to Monterey to teach second grade at JSS.
My teaching background encompasses a wide range of educational settings and positions. Besides teaching second grade, I have worked as a home instructor, a studio teacher and I taught English as a Second Language at the elementary and adult levels. I earned my B. A. in Political Science/Journalism at California State University, Sacramento and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is from California State University, Stanislaus.
When I am not at JSS, I enjoy dancing, photography, music and traveling.
Teresa Magee was raised in Carmel and has been an educator for thirty years, with teaching experiences ranging from third through eighth grade. An alumna of Junipero Serra School, Mrs Magee attended JSS for eight years. She went on to graduate from Santa Catalina High School, Monterey Peninsula College and California State University, Fresno.
At Fresno State, she earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies and her elementary teaching credential. She began her teaching career at Briarcliff Academy, now Stevenson Lower School, then moving to San Carlos Elementary, and finally coming back full circle to teach at Junipero Serra School. Mrs Magee strives to inspire her students to cultivate a sense of wonder for the world around them and instill a curiosity for knowledge. She feels blessed to be a part of such a rich Catholic community. She is especially looking forward to teaching third grade again, as it has always been her preference. A proud mother of two, she enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening in her spare time.
Mrs. Fellinger is the 4th grade teacher at Junipero Serra School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Marketing from Xavier University, as well as, a Master of Education in Personnel Training, Education and Development. From Old Dominion University in Virginia, she earned her Elementary Education Teaching Certification which includes Pre-K through 6th grade.
Mrs. Fellinger has been teaching 4th grade at JSS for three years. She loves being a part of the JSS Family and especially enjoys the beautiful location at the Carmel Mission. Sharing her faith, enthusiasm and positive outlook with her students is what is most important to her. Mrs. Fellinger loves to learn and works hard every day to instill a lifelong love of learning in her students. She considers every student in 5th grade as a part of her Team…Go Team Fellinger Frogs!
Mrs. Fellinger was a military spouse for 25 years and has lived all over the world. Her favorite locations were Germany, Washington DC and Carmel, California! She has two daughters and two dogs that keep her busy and happy.
Sixth Grade & 7th Grade Science
Hi, my name is Becky Craig and I am the 6th grade teacher here at JSS. I also teach 7th grade science and act as the Student Council Moderator. I was born and raised in Wisconsin by educator parents. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Allegheny College in PA. I worked for several years at outdoor science schools in California before moving to the Monterey Peninsula and working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in their education department. I received my teaching credential from Chapman University. I love the outdoors and utilize the many opportunities we have in this beautiful area for field study/field trips with my classes.
Seventh Grade Homeroom, Jr. High, Language Arts, 7th Grade History, & K-2 Spanish:
Catherine is very excited to join the Junipero Serra School community as the 7th grade homeroom teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Aurora University and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from National-Louis University, where she also earned a teaching credential. Over the past eight years, Catherine has taught both high school and middle school English and Language Arts, instructed ACT/SAT preparatory courses, facilitated faith formation classes as a catechist, and tutored K-12 students in reading and writing. In addition, Catherine loves being active and competitive. She played both high school and collegiate tennis and competed at the state and national level. Using these valuable experiences, she later coached high school teams and directed tennis academy programs in the Chicago area. Catherine enjoys bringing an inspiring, encouraging, and positive spirit to both students in the classroom and athletes on the court.
Furthermore, Catherine is very passionate about Catholic education. She attended a Catholic school from K-8th grade, experiencing the tremendous value from a faith-centered academic atmosphere first-hand. She also taught English/Language Arts at both Mount Assisi Academy and Everest Academy, both Catholic schools in the Chicago area. She most recently taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English/Language Arts and the 8th grade homeroom at Sacred Heart Parish School in Hollister. She truly values the commitment to excellence and student achievement, solid faith-based values, and well-defined sense of community within Catholic schools.
Overall, Catherine’s educational philosophy is to promote a life-long love of learning, respect for others, strong work ethic, and positive attitude to all her students. She hopes to help each student reach his or her full potential, celebrate each student’s success, encourage everyone to give his or her best, and to challenge students to grow academically. She is looking forward to getting to know all of the JSS students, families, and staff and to a great school year!
Eighth Grade Homeroom, 6-8 Religion, Jr. High Math & 8th Grade History / Social Studies
Hi, my name is Dee Rasco and I am beginning my twenty-ninth year as a teacher at Junipero Serra School. I grew up in New Orleans and received my B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans. I taught second grade at JSS for 16 years before “graduating” to the 8th grade. I love teaching jr. high especially my subjects of American History, Math and Religion. In addition, I am Religion Coordinator for the school to assist with prayer and school liturgies. I am also the main photographer and editor for the school yearbook. Each year I lead my 8th grade class on a trip to Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, Amish Country and Philadelphia. I oversee the fundraising for the trip to help defer the cost for each family. Like so many, I love the strong sense of family and community we have here. My son Jacob graduated from JSS so I have seen the results of a strong educational foundation. More importantly, we sent him to JSS because we cared about the type of person he would grow up to be – a person of faith with good moral values. Qualities I try to work on with my own students. I am happy to be back teaching at the place I have called home for so many years.
Ms. Tess Eckert’s qualifications and experience are extensive and include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communications with a concentration in Practical, Professional Ethics. As a catechist at San Carlos Parish, Ms. Eckert has developed lesson plans and has served as a catechism teacher at the second, fourth, and fifth grade level. As a substitute teacher at JSS for the 2014-15 school year and for the 2015-16 school year, Ms. Eckert has taught kindergarten, first, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes. Ms. Eckert’s educational experience includes tutoring young students and working as a teaching assistant at CSU Monterey Bay. As a teaching assistant, Ms. Eckert’s achievements include: a Fellow, Columbia University Summer Oral History Institute; Presenter, 2011 National Oral History Association Annual Conference; Presenter, CSUMB Leadership Conference; and President, CSUMB Residential Housing Association. During her time at CSUMB, Ms. Eckert served as a resident assistant and demonstrated her commitment to developing strong relationships within and across diverse communities.
Ms. Eckert describes her philosophy of teaching and the beliefs that guide her actions as follows:
“A teacher’s job is to work with parents and administrators to create a safe and supportive environment where children can explore and engage on both the intellectual and the spiritual level. As a teacher in a Catholic school, I encourage problem solving and the active seeking of solutions based in the teachings of the Catholic Church. At the same time, teachers are a resource for parents who are the primary educators of their children. Teachers accompany and assist each student and family on a particular step of the journey toward adulthood by providing access to tools, information, and strategies which empower children to become life-long learners who base decisions in respect, love, and kindness. Quality education is based in laying a firm foundation for both academic and moral excellence. Education is a collaborative effort between parents, teachers and school administrators. When it is recognized as a collaborative effort, it can be a source of empowerment and growth for teachers, families, and the entire school community (in addition to the pupils themselves). Collaborative activities open avenues of communication and exchange which are critical to the development of deeper relationships and problem solving skills. My work is to foster a spirit of cooperative inquiry and life-long curiosity as well as a sense of compassion and self-confidence in each student by celebrating and developing the talents of each and helping them to learn the skills to face an ever changing world.”
Ms. Eckert looks forward to a joyous school year filled with many blessings, academic excellence, and a celebration of our faith.
K-8th Grade Spanish
¡Bienvenidos! My name is Andrea Riveros and I am the Spanish teacher for grades K – 8. It pleases me to be a member of the JSS community and teach students about Spanish language and culture.
As a young student I went to a private Catholic School, in Santiago Chile. This experience shaped many of the beliefs and values I hold to this day. Most recently I received a Bachelor´s Degree (cum laude) in Presbyterian College and a teaching certificate from “Universidad de los Andes”, Chile.
Being a native Spanish speaker I understand the importance of learning another language, especially in this area. Monterey has a rich Spanish heritage and many streets show this in their names. Let´s not forget that the founder of the Carmel mission, Father Junípero Serra was from Spain!
This is a wonderful school community with exceptional students and I am very grateful to have a place here.
Señorita Profesora Andrea
¡Bienvenidos! Mi nombre es Andrea Riveros y soy la profesora de Español de K - 8. Es un placer para mí ser miembro de la comunidad de JSS y enseñar a los estudiantes sobre el idioma y la cultura Hispánica.
Como una joven estudiante fui a un colegio católico en Santiago, Chile. Esta experiencia influenció muchas de mis creencias y valores que aún mantengo hoy en día. Recientemente recibí mi grado de Licenciatura en la Universidad Presbiteriana y un certificado de profesora de la Universidad de los Andes, Chile.
Siendo hablante nativa, entiendo la importancia de aprender otros idiomas, especialmente en esta área. Monterey tiene una gran herencia Hispánica y muchas calles así lo demuestran. ¡No olvidemos que el fundador de la misión de Carmel, Padre Junípero Serra era de España!
Esta es una comunidad maravillosa con estudiantes excepcionales y me siento muy agradecida de tener un lugar aquí.
Señorita Profesora Andrea
Extended Care Director
My name is Lyn Christensen and I am the Director of the Extended Care Program. I am a member of the Carmel Mission Parish and proud to say that I am from a family of three generations Alumni. For the past 35 years my goal has been to provide a safe and happy environment for our students, before and after school.
Extended Care Director & Preschool Aide
Universitiy MontereyconformationMy name is Lucy Alvarez. I am a senior at California State Bay majoring in Liberal Studies. I will be graduating in Spring 2018 with my teaching credentials. I have been working in the Extended Care program for two years now, this will be my third. I started coming to the mission when I did my first communion. I then did my confirmation and was a peer leader for the class for 3 years. I am currently a lector and Eucharistic minister at the mission.
My name is Tracy Calhoun and I was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula which I call home. My daughter Kendra was a JSS student and school President. She is a graduate of JSS and Stevenson High School and is currently a junior at the University of Southern California.
I have been very fortunate to have worked as a teacher’s assistant for JSS for the past 16 years. I enjoy working at the school and teaching the students. It’s been my joy to keep your children safe while teaching them in such a great and happy environment. I make it a point to make the environment at the school a home away from home.
I look forward to another year full of new adventures and fun activities that always make the children smile.