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Staff and Faculty

Staff and Faculty

Cathy Mottau

Cathy Mottau Principal

Cathy Mottau

Cathy Mottau

Principal

Why MND?

I love the sense of community, the wonderful and dedicated staff, and the fabulous and caring families. Catholic education allows me to share my faith with those with whom I work and serve.

I remember...

I love celebrating Mass as a community. Hearing the students sing and minister at Masses lifts my soul.

Education

  • B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University
  • M.A. in Teaching from Fresno State University
  • Catholic School Leadership Certificate Creighton University
  • Clear CA Multi-Subject Teaching Credential
Tina Gabel

Tina Gabel TK

Tina Gabel

Tina Gabel

TK

Why MND?

To offer an early education component to our current program. One where young students are allowed opportunities to achieve AHA moments while in school. MND also encourages educating the whole child, which is a philosophy I stand behind.

I remember...

My time as a preschool director in a parent co-op allowed me to understand the importance of a close-knit community. MND supports the same philosophy of family first, so choosing to teach here was like coming home.

My Teaching Philosophy

To offer a program where play and the standards are connected through nature-based experiences!

Education

  • M.Ed Curriculum Instruction and Development specializing in Early Ed.
  • Natural Classroom Specialist
  • Certified Site Supervisor with the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing
  • Certified California Catechist
Sandra Staka

Sandra Staka Kindergarten

Sandra Staka

Sandra Staka

Kindergarten

Why MND?

At MND, I am part of a strong, loving and compassionate community, where I am supported and encouraged by our families, my co-workers and administration. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I’m grateful for every minute!

I remember...

I remember happily singing, coloring and playing in kindergarten and feeling safe. I was just learning English at the time and my teacher always made me and my mom feel welcome.

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy begins with creating a nurturing, safe and engaging environment for each one of my students and an open door policy for their families. It is with this partnership that I wholeheartedly commit myself in full support of my students’ social and emotional development, academic success and spiritual growth.

Education

  • California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CalStateTEACH
  • BA in Child Development, San Jose State University
  • Homestead High School, Cupertino
Nichole Hiura

Nichole Hiura Kindergarten Aide

Nichole Hiura

Nichole Hiura

Kindergarten Aide

Why MND?

I love MND! As a second generation alumni and my children having attended as well, we continue to be grateful for the strong community rooted in faith and tradition.

I remember...

One of my favorite memories at MND is that we would play tetherball and kickball everyday. I remember always feeling at home at MND because I knew that my teachers cared about me.

Carrie Aragon

Carrie Aragon 1st Grade

Carrie Aragon

Carrie Aragon

1st Grade

Why MND?

My Catholic faith is an important part of my life. Teaching at a catholic school allows me to pass on our Catholic faith to MND students. I have the opportunity to pray with students, attend Mass with students, and to help students on their faith journey.

I remember...

When I was in 1st grade that my teacher was kind, friendly, and understanding. She was willing to listen to me tell stories. I, also, remember taking 1 minute addition tests with 100 problems.

My Teaching Philosophy

To promote a positive learning environment for all students. I see the value of using different teaching methods in order to challenge all learners and provide a strong foundation for lifelong learners, which will spark within students an enthusiasm for learning. Guide students toward self-discovery, respect for self, others, and environment by developing the whole child intellectually, educationally, physically, and emotionally. Thus allowing the students to be active learners in a child centered classroom that fosters growth.

Education

  • Masters of Pastoral Studies Loyola University of New Orleans
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) Early Childhood Credential St. Mary’s College
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a Minor in Montessori Thought St. Mary’s College
  • Associates Degree Hartnell College
Shannon Hurley

Shannon Hurley 1st Grade Teacher’s Aide

Shannon Hurley

Shannon Hurley

1st Grade Teacher’s Aide

Why MND?

My most memorable moment is not one but the continued passion I see each teacher give to each and every student, providing the best possible learning experience for each child.

I remember...

I remember in my child's first year at MND noticing how close all the students, faculty and staff were. I was excited to be here because of how close the this community is.

Cathy Novak

Cathy Novak 2nd Grade

Cathy Novak

Cathy Novak

2nd Grade

Why MND?

coming soon!

I remember...

coming soon!

My Teaching Philosophy

coming soon!

Education

    coming soon!

Carolyn Hamilton

Carolyn Hamilton 2nd Grade

Carolyn Hamilton

Carolyn Hamilton

2nd Grade

Why MND?

I love teaching at MND because we have an amazing group of teachers and staff who work together to create the best educational experience for all our students. Our school not only focuses on helping its students reach their academic goals, but is also committed to leading our children to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I remember...

I have so many great memories from when I was in second grade. That year I attended Starlight Elementary here in Watsonville. My teacher, Miss Wise, had many fun and clever ways to engage her students and make learning fun. I loved our class teddy bear. We each had a turn taking him home and then writing in a journal about his experiences. It was a special way to create community in our classroom and connect our family lives with the time we spent in our classroom. I’ll never forget it.

My Teaching Philosophy

I am a teacher because I am committed to developing an educational environment where excellence is the standard, and I can help students reach their full potential. I believe a teacher has many roles. One of which is to guide students through various content while allowing them to explore and discover. I want to be a leader and role model for my students to demonstrate how team work, effort, and dedication can lead to success.

Education

I graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelors Degree in Child and Adolescent Development as well as a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential.

Monica O. Ryan

Monica O. Ryan 2nd Grade Aide

Monica O. Ryan

Monica O. Ryan

2nd Grade Aide

Why MND?

For my daughter’s fifteenth birthday, we celebrated at Seacliff beach with a bunch of her friends. As my husband grilled hamburgers, I set the table. Suddenly, a familiar face appeared! It was Claire Baum! She said she had been thinking about a person to replace her current aide who was retiring. She asked me if I would like to assist her in her classroom and I replied with a firm, “Yes!” She is such a positive person that I knew without hesitation that I would enjoy spending time and learning from her.

Mr. Dillon File

Mr. Dillon File 3rd Grade

Mr. Dillon File

Mr. Dillon File

3rd Grade

Why MND?

I chose MND for its strong Catholic Identity and its belief in the importance of community and helping others.

I remember...

I remember when I first started teaching 3rd grade, I was so surprised to learn just how intelligent these kids are. It was inspiring to see their passion for learning and to be a part of their journey.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that teachers are some of the most impactful people on the planet. The role that they play in a child's life can be so meaningful and promote so much growth both academically and spiritually. I believe that each and every child has his or her own strengths and should be treated with respect and kindness.

Education

  • BS in Biology Education and a Minor in Religion at Lee University
Vanessa Arizmendi

Vanessa Arizmendi 3rd Grade Aide, SEP support

Vanessa Arizmendi

Vanessa Arizmendi

3rd Grade Aide, SEP support

Why MND?

MND’s sense of community combined with it’s strong faith creates an environment that allows kids to thrive.

I remember...

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Brooks selecting me as her helper one day, because she saw my interest in the behind the scenes of the classroom. This experience made me realize I wanted to work with kids when I got older.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Sonoma State University
Mari Hulme

Mari Hulme 4th Grade

Mari Hulme

Mari Hulme

4th Grade

Why MND?

I was fortunate to teach Sixth Grade at MND in 2003 for one year while my husband was stationed at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. It was the best year of my teaching career up to that point. I loved the community, the kids, and Ms. Grul. After moving to Maryland, Hawaii, and southern California and when the opportunity came for my husband to retire and for us to make a new home for ourselves I jumped at the chance to return to MND and continue to build on the roots we had started making in 2003.

I remember...

When I left in 2003, I went to turn in my key to Ms. Grul but she told me to keep it for when I came back. I kept that key on my Christmas tree for twelve years and eventually, Ms. Grul was right, I came back.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that all students should be engaged with their learning as active participants. By creating an engaging environment and cultivating community and individual responsibility, I hope that my students are able to feel ownership for what they learn and accomplish in Fourth grade.

Education

  • Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Davis
  • Masters of Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia
Haley Taylor

Haley Taylor 4th and 5th Aide, SEP

Haley Taylor

Haley Taylor

4th and 5th Aide, SEP

Why MND?

I chose MND because I had gone to school here for all 9 years and being able to come back to work at MND has given me a chance to do something I love doing which is working with children.

I remember...

Starting my first day working at MND and how excited I was to start my first job working at the school.

Julia Lucas

Julia Lucas 5th Grade

Julia Lucas

Julia Lucas

5th Grade

Why MND?

I was drawn to the way MND emphasizes family at their school. I get to be a part of so many different families here: my staff family; 5th grade family; the larger MND family. There is great love and support for all members of the MND community, and I knew from the first moment that this would be a wonderful place to work and grow.

I remember...

I remember my third/fourth grade teacher (we had a looping class) Ms. Hall, and how excited I was to come to school every day just to see her. She brought such joy and life to the classroom, and with her I felt safe to form and voice my own opinions and feelings and to come out of my shell. Even the most mundane topics were given new life through her voice, and I hope to bring that same love and magic to my students.

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is to set a basis of trust between myself and the students in order to facilitate growth academically, spiritually, and socially. I am strict but fair, and I expect a lot out of each student. I promise to always love, care for, and respect each student and help them to find their potential.

Education

  • Masters of Arts, Teaching, Santa Clara University (in progress)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, New York University
David Smith

David Smith 6th Grade

David Smith

David Smith

6th Grade

Why MND?

MND is an amazing learning community where I feel I am making a difference in my students’ lives.

I remember...

Last year one of my 6th graders complained to me, “I don’t want to know the definition. I just want to know what the word means!”

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe we all learn best when we can see a clear purpose in what we are learning.

Education

  • California Single Subject Credential in Social Studies, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California
  • Masters in Military History, Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont
  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington DC
Jamie LaGrange

Jamie LaGrange 7th Grade

Jamie LaGrange

Jamie LaGrange

7th Grade

Why MND?

MND has been part of my life since I attended school here from Kindergarten through 8th grade. My mom (Mrs. Wilcox) has worked here for 30 years, so even when I wasn’t a student here anymore, I was always connected with the people and the school. After teaching in another school for five years, a position opened at MND and it felt like the right time to come “home”.

I remember...

Reading books as a class during my time at MND (Stuart Little, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and more) and loving them all. My love of reading was nurtured as a student at MND and is something that I strive to share with each student that comes through my classes. I also remember having Mrs. Martin for History in 6th and 8th grade...her love for the subject, the fact that she never stopped learning more about history, and that she tried to make history come to life for us has always stuck with me and been something I aspire to do.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that success looks different for each student and that many factors play a role in their success. Each student presents a different combination of experiences that make them who they are and affects how they feel about themselves, school, peers and teachers, and their own abilities. Within a supportive classroom environment, I believe in challenging each student and encouraging them to be advocates of their education.

Education

After MND, I attended Aptos High School. I then went to UC Davis, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development with a minor in Chicano/a Studies. After Davis, I came home and spent a year earning my multiple-subjects teaching credential at CSUMB. Several years into teaching, I cleared my credential through Bethany College.

Julie Paz

Julie Paz 8th Grade

Julie Paz

Julie Paz

8th Grade

Why MND?

I have worked at MND for 25 years because I love the welcoming community. It is a great place where students get a solid education and can live in their faith.

I remember...

I remember all of the times I have had students exclaim, “Now I understand this!” That is my greatest reward.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that all students have the ability to succeed in school. A teacher should provide the curriculum and the environment to help each student work toward his/her success.

Education

  • BS in Business Administration Cal Poly SLO
  • Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential
  • MA in School Administration
Nathan Edwards

Nathan Edwards Jr. High Religion/Lang. Arts

Nathan Edwards

Nathan Edwards

Jr. High Religion/Lang. Arts

Why MND?

I feel blessed by the opportunity to have started working at Moreland Notre Dame this year. I am impressed by our positive, enthusiastic, and hardworking students, and it has been a grace to encounter such a warm and supportive faculty.

I remember...

My seventh grade ELA teacher always took an interest in what each of us was writing. Once, he even had me record one of my poems, and then he posted it on the school website. That growing sense of pride in my own writing abilities helped carry me through high school and into college.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that learning happens most effectively in community, so I highly prioritize relationship building between students and between students and teachers. Middle School students are naturally creative and curious, so I believe in empowering them to question and explore the curriculum as much as possible. Finally, I believe in growth and grace--meeting students where they are while pushing them to be their best through high expectations.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Classical Languages, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Santa Clara University, San Jose CA (in progress)
Cindy Honey

Cindy Honey Resource Specialist

Cindy Honey

Cindy Honey

Resource Specialist

Why MND?

When I was choosing a school to work for six years ago, I looked at several schools in the area. After visiting and subbing at MND, I was given a copy of the Hallmarks. I remember reading and thinking that the Hallmarks were genuine and carefully written. I wanted to work in a place with this as the foundation.

I remember...

My favorite memory of MND is from the first week that I worked here. An eighth grader, at that time, asked me if I was Mrs. Honey while I was standing out in front of the school for pick up duty. I said that I was and she said cheerily,”Welcome to the Family!”

My Teaching Philosophy

Learning is hard work, so we need to have fun while we are doing it. Laugh a lot, play games and get dirty in the garden to make it stick! Get to know each child as an individual so that you can help them succeed!

Education

  • Good Shepherd School K-8
  • Soquel High School
  • University of San Francisco BA in English
  • Saint Ignatius Institute Diploma (Religion, Philosophy and the Classics)
  • Oxford University Year Abroad Program
  • London Montessori Center Teaching Diploma
  • Bethany College Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a supplement in English (Preschool - 9th grade)
Kristine Burkett

Kristine Burkett Physical Education

Kristine Burkett

Kristine Burkett

Physical Education

Why MND?

My roots with MND go way back. My grandfather’s cousins were Sisters of Notre Dame. One was Sister Superior here at Moreland Notre Dame and another was an assistant to Mother Superior in Rome. My parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and cousins all went to school here. As an alumni of Notre Dame, I wanted my children to receive the same great education and experience as I did. All 3 of my children graduated from MND which prepared them for high school, college, and beyond, giving them the tools they needed for life as well as life long friendships we have all maintained.

I remember...

I remember getting donuts and hot chocolate after 8:00 mass during Lent from the Sisters out of a small window of the convent. I also remember that popsicles were 8 cents!

Tracey Haneta

Tracey Haneta Athletic Director

Tracey Haneta

Tracey Haneta

Athletic Director

Why MND?

coming soon!

I remember...

coming soon!

My Teaching Philosophy

coming soon!

Education

    coming soon!

Kathy Wilcox

Kathy Wilcox Computer/Student Council

Kathy Wilcox

Kathy Wilcox

Computer/Student Council

Why MND?

MND has always been a part of my life, my siblings and I attended here as did my two daughters and now my grandsons! The feeling of community and working in such a faith-filled atmosphere is a big part of what makes MND special to me.

I remember...

I remember how we all came together after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. In the days following the earthquake, we watched as they dismantled St. Patrick’s Church for repairs and even put a couple of the steeples alongside the playground for storage! We held our masses in the gym and when we had our Thanksgiving Mass, we were filmed for the NBC Nightly News and appeared on national T.V. as an example of how our community was pulling together in the aftermath of that devastating earthquake! That’s what MND is about...

Ana Lopez

Ana Lopez Spanish/ Language Arts

Ana Lopez

Ana Lopez

Spanish/ Language Arts

Why MND?

At Moreland Notre Dame we are like a big family. I love the sense of community, staff support and faith based academics.

I remember...

I remember the plays we did in Junior High School in our English as a second language class. It was a lot of fun to have to dress up and say our lines in a different language.

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that learning a second language is critical to a child’s development and education. Learning a second language not only benefits a student’s linguistic abilities but also their cognitive and creative abilities as well. Building the foundation to support a lifelong learning journey begins now. Teaching my native Spanish language enables me to draw upon my own culture and personal experience as a foreign language learner as I teach my students to effectively communicate with me in my own language and perhaps more importantly, to gain an appreciation for another language and culture.

My objective as a teacher is to motivate my students toward a level of independence where they develop a desire to learn and think for themselves. To reach this end, I rely upon many activities that involve music, visuals, cultural projects, grammar and technology. Everyday vocabulary and useful phrases are introduced and reinforced through listening, repetition, writing, speaking, hands on activities, games, music and visual prompts.

Education

    li>Bachelor of computer science. Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Strategies for teaching foreign language and classroom management. Trinity College, Washington, D.C.
Letty Mejia

Letty Mejia Cafeteria

Letty Mejia

Letty Mejia

Cafeteria

Why MND?

Being catholic is very important to me, I believe the foundation the children get here is for life.

I remember...

I love all the memories created when my 2 daughters attended MND.

Carrie Salady

Carrie Salady Library

Carrie Salady

Carrie Salady

Library

Why MND?

The path to Moreland Notre Dame began with my children’s education here. As a room parent and parent club board member, I was involved with the school since 2001. MND is a family of families. It is a welcoming community, rich in history with deep roots in the Pajaro Valley.

I remember...

My friends from elementary school. Some of us even went on to middle school, high school and college together. We had a close community in Corralitos. Those friends still remain a part of my life.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, English. Santa Clara University
Joanne Hilario

Joanne Hilario Office Manager

Joanne Hilario

Joanne Hilario

Office Manager

Why MND?

MND has always had a place in my heart since my graduation in 1987. It gave me a strong faith foundation. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work in the office with Principal Grul, who had been my 5th grade teacher.

I remember...

One of my favorite memories is having Mrs. Kelly as my 8th grade teacher. During my parent/teacher conference she asked about future plans for college. My mom said she was doing her best to save for that but we would have to wait until I got closer. Mrs. Kelly told us that if I needed any help going to college, we just needed to talk to her and she would help. Her confidence in me at that age has stuck with me. I had the chance to thank her for that a few years ago, you never know how you will influence students.

Jeanne Nunez

Jeannie Nunez Administrative Assistant

Jeanne Nunez

Jeannie Nunez

Administrative Assistant

Why MND?

My son goes to school here. I like having the same hours and holidays as him. My older children went here and I love the family feeling I feel here with the staff.

I remember...

How included I felt when my kids went to school here. Everyone knew everyone in that small town way.

Katie Solorio

Katie Solorio Administrative Assistant

Katie Solorio

Katie Solorio

Administrative Assistant

Why MND?

I chose MND since my kids are current students and I knew it would be a good work environment and community to be a part of.

I remember...

When I see 8th graders at graduation it brings me back to my own and what a wonderful celebration MND does with the graduating class and I look forward to that experience with my own kids.

Cindy Graham

Cindy Graham Kitchen Assistant

Cindy Graham

Cindy Graham

Kitchen Assistant

Why MND?

A very welcoming and supportive school. My grandchildren also attend this school, I also like the involvement with the parents, teachers and community members.

Lily St.Ours

Lily St.Ours After School Program Director

Lily St.Ours

Lily St.Ours

After School Program Director

Why MND?

There is a beautiful sense of family and unity is always present, being a part of it in a community that I love is a privilege.

I remember...

I remember coming to MND as a teenager for an interview with my mother. Even then I was in awe of the togetherness you could see flowing through the staff and students. The warm smile of Ms. Grul warmed my heart and made me comforted to find out my mom would be teaching here. After volunteering here myself years later I realized it was full circle moment that continues to teach me so much every day.