Primary Teachers

Mary Ellen Lombardi

Mary Ellen Lombardi

Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
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Mrs. Lombardi is a graduate of California State University East Bay, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, along with her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She is a Bay Area native, and she loves to find new places to explore here. She also enjoys cooking, camping, boating, and going to country concerts. She has two dogs named Honey and Teddy, and she likes to take them to the dog park in her free time. Mrs. Lombardi is eager to watch her TK students grow and get them enthusiastic about learning!
Lauren Graves

Lauren Graves

Kindergarten Teacher
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Ms. Graves holds her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and has been teaching since 2013. The Seattle-native describes guiding young children through their first year of formal schooling as her passion. The most rewarding part of her job is teaching her students how to read and write. She loves to cook, travel, arts and crafts and experiencing different cultures. She loves her puppy Lumi and loves spending the day at the beach with him.
Vanessa Silva

Vanessa Silva

1st Grade Teacher
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Ms. Silva has been teaching first grade at St. Theresa School since 1999. She earned a Master’s Degree in Catholic School Teaching from the University of San Francisco. Ms. Silva is passionate about providing engaging STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, Math) lessons to her first graders, helping them to grow as individual learners. She loves going on walks with Cooper and Gracie, her two rescue dogs. She doesn't like heights, but that didn't stop her from walking over the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver. Her classroom is filled with sweet little friends, laughter and love!
Cortney Fuerch

Cortney Fuerch

2nd Grade Teacher
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Ms. Fuerch is an Oakland, CA native and grew up attending Catholic schools.
After receiving a BA in Art History at University of Oregon, she went on to get her teaching credential at Holy Names University. This past summer, she began the Masters in Teaching program at St. Mary's College and has been enjoying her classes and getting to know other teachers in the Bay Area greatly. Ms. Fuerch loves to teach her second graders what it means to be a kind friend and how to be an upstander. She also loves reading lots of wonderful literature to her kids and teaching them how to become excellent writers. In her free time, she loves to be outside doing activities such as rock climbing and hiking. She loves roaming around farmers markets and getting creative in the kitchen. Always up for an adventure, she has gone swimming with whale sharks in Mexico!

Intermediate Teachers

Martha Lindorfer

Martha Lindorfer

3rd Grade Teacher
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Mrs. Lindorfer has been teaching over 30 years with 21 of them being at St. Theresa School! Mrs. Lindorfer’s three children are graduates of St. Theresa School. In her spare time, Mrs. Lindorfer enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her two grandchildren. She loves spending time at the beach and helping her children care for chickens and bees at her house.
Margaret Ratto

Margaret Ratto

4th Grade Teacher
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Mrs. Ratto has been teaching for 22 years and is excited to begin her second year at St. Theresa's. She loves cooking, reading Harry Potter books, swimming, going to see plays and spending time with her family and friends. Her love of travel has taken her to many places but one of her favorites was Italy. She is adventurous and climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and walked the wall around the city of Lucca!
Megan Elings

Megan Elings

5th Grade Teacher
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Miss Elings is an Iowa native that has been in the Bay Area for two years. She received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University. When Miss Elings is not at school she enjoys taking her two dogs Gino and Pearl to explore different hiking trails, beaches, and local dog parks. She is very excited for her first year at St. Theresa's!

Middle School Teachers

Laura Lynch

Laura Lynch

Middle School Teacher
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As a parent of a St. Theresa child and a graduate, Mrs. Lynch is excited to be teaching middle school. Mrs. Lynch received her BA and Teaching Credential at St. Mary's College and has been teaching for 14 years. Mrs. Lynch has one son entering Marquette University and one currently at St. Theresa's! In her spare time, she loves reading, walking her dog and gardening. On most weekends, she can be found either at her son's sporting events or working at home with do-it-yourself projects. Speaking of sporting events, she once sang with her choir in the 1985 Superbowl where the SF 49er's were victorious.
Ken Maas

Ken Maas

Middle School Teacher
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This is Mr. Maas’ fourteenth year teaching in the Oakland Diocese. He graduated from California State University East Bay with a degree in history. Mr. Maas is the owner of a mobile DJ company which allows him to pursue his other passion: music. A father of two grown children, he is a karaoke addict, a self-confessed Disneyland nut (he goes as often as he can), and enjoys rooting for all Bay Area sports teams.
Joyce Holden

Joyce Holden

Middle School Teacher
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Mrs. Holden has been teaching for 19 years and holds her master's degree from St. Mary's College. Her previous career in laboratory research contributes to her enthusiasm for teaching science. She enjoys collaborating with Chabot Science Center to share her experiments with fellow science teachers. In her free time, Mrs. Holden enjoys surfing the web for illuminating science and lab activities and figuring out ways to "blow things up" during middle school science labs.
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch

Middle School Math Teacher
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This is Mr. Lynch's 3rd year of teaching middle school after 20+ years working in the financial industry. He is bringing financial literacy to the math classrooms to introduce the students to money management. Mr. Lynch graduated from LaSalle University in Philadelphia with a degree in Finance and completed his MBA at SFSU with a focus on international business. He is a father of an 18-year old heading off to college soon. Mr. Lynch is an avid birder, hiker and winemaker.

Support Staff

Stephanie Ochoa-Cortez

Stephanie Ochoa-Cortez

TK/Kindergarten Aide
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Ms. Ochoa-Cortez is a graduate of Oakland Technical High School and has been helping out in kindergarten for three years. She loves to read and dance in her spare time and one of her favorite places to travel is Mexico. One of her favorite things to do is play with her cat named Bella.
Angie Soong

Angie Soong

First/Second Grade Aide
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Ms. Soong has been teaching for 25 years and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. When she was growing up, she considered being a caterer, architect and even a firefighter, but she is so happy with her choice being a teacher. Her favorite part of the school day is recess and lunch because she is able to have one on one conversations with the students. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys running, watching A's baseball, exercising and cooking. She loves to travel and hopes to someday set foot on all seven continents!
Mara Fox

Mara Fox

4th Gr. Aide/Instrumental Music
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Ms. Fox holds degrees from Northwestern and San Francisco State and has been teaching music for over 20 years. A musician herself, her passion is to instill an appreciation of music in all of her students. She maintains a busy schedule of performing professionally on her trombone. She plays all around the Bay Area! In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking and bicycling with her son. She is a Grammy award winning artist who gained fame with the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
Christine Bonavolonta

Christine Bonavolonta

Resource
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Mrs. Bonavolonta has been teaching for over 20 years and earned her Master’s Degree in English from Holy Names University and her Master's Degree in Teaching from USF. She also has her clear Muliple Subject Credential and her clear Single Subject Credential in English. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and continuing her education by participating in professional growth seminars and classes. She enjoys traveling and spending as much time as she can with her family.
Mrs. Rhea is a native of Berkeley and attended Catholic schools in Oakland for grammar and high school before graduating from University of California Berkeley. Mrs. Rhea is married with two young girls (Katie and Madie) who keep her busy with coaching and Girl Scouts. Mrs. Rhea has her blue belt in karate and in her spare time, she loves to cook, volunteer and tend to her many pets. There are more animals living in her household than humans!
Debora Rinehart

Debora Rinehart

Math & Science Teacher
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Ms. Rinehart is a graduate of Golden Gate University, received her teaching credential from Holy Names University and holds a Gifted Education Certificate from the Alameda County Office of Education. Teaching is Ms. Rinehart's second career and she has been doing it for over 10 years. One of her favorite things to teach her students is how to gain personal financial skills. She loves listening to audiobooks of all types. In her spare time, she gives back to the Oakland community by volunteernig to help students in inner city schools stay in school. She believes every student can learn at or above grade level. She enjoys getting to know both her students and their families at St. Theresa School and feels like the luckiest person in the world working with St. Theresa students!
Dina Shields

Dina Shields

Language Arts Teacher/Middle School
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Mrs. Shields is an Oakland native who has been teaching for 19 years, holding her master's degree in teaching. She has taught English in Italy, Greece and Switzerland, with Italian being her first language! She is no stranger to the St. Theresa School community as she has two children who graduated from the school and was a very involved parent. She has a love for teaching grammar and is excited to share her enthusiasm with the middle school students. In her free time, she enjoys taking cycling trips, hiking, camping and knitting.
Mara Urizar

Mara Urizar

Spanish Teacher
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Mrs. Urizar comes to St. Theresa with over 15 years of teaching experience, both in the private and Catholic school sector. She has a passion for teaching and is looking forward to communicating with our students in Spanish. In her spare time she loves to cook and recreate dishes that she tries at different restaurants. She is a huge sports fan and loves cheering on the Bay Area teams, especially the Warriors, A's, CAL and even De La Salle High School. She is an avid photographer and loves to volunteer at hospitals in her free time!
Ms. Skiles is no stranger to Catholic education. She is an alumnus of Catholic elementary and high schools and has worked in Catholic education for 21 years. Having majored in accounting and sociology, she appreciates data, research, and obscure facts. She also enjoys genealogy, walking many miles along the Bay Trail, and taking road trips without a map or a plan. Most of all, she loves spending time with her sons, Daniel and Andrew.
Robert Cakebread

Robert Cakebread

Music Teacher
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Mr. Cakebread holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy, and a Master of Music in Musicology. His love of music came very early in his life when he won a statewide talent contest at age 9, playing both the flute and the piano! In his spare time he enjoys collecting and repairing mechanical clocks, especially cuckoo clocks! He enjoys traveling, especially to his hometown where his family has been for 166 years! He even lived in Scotland for five years.
Michelle Halligan

Michelle Halligan

Physical and Health Education Teacher/Grades K-8
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Mrs. Halligan holds both her B.S. in Kinesiology and her preliminary teaching credential from CSUEB. She is a graduate of St. Theresa School and is thrilled to be back as a teacher instead of a student. As a certified nutrition and wellness consultant, she is looking forward to helping students gain a love for exercise and wellness. Mrs. Halligan loves hiking, board games, gardening, traveling (she's been to 39 countries and counting!) and exploring new places. She is always ready to hear (or tell!) a silly joke to brighten any day. In December of 2020, she is expecting to become a parent herself and looks forward to the new experience.
JoAnne Layton

JoAnne Layton

School Counselor
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Mrs. Layton is a LMFT and has been a school counselor for seven years and works not only at St. Theresa, but also at St. Agnes in Concord. She has a Master's of Science in Counseling from Cal State East Bay. Before becoming a counselor, she was an Oncology R.N. for 12 years. She has three children that have graduated from De La Salle/Carondelet. In her free time she enjoys art, trying different foods and traveling!

Extended Care

Barbara Ulbrich

Barbara Ulbrich

STEP Director
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Mrs. Ulbrich has been working at St. Theresa for 30 years. She is extremely dedicated to the children and the parents who use the STEP program for quality after school care. If asked what her favorite thing to do is while she is at STEP, she'd respond "teaching patience, understanding and compassion to her students". Mrs. Ulbrich has two daughters who are alumni of St. Theresa. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, gardening and hanging out with friends. She loves the Rolling Stones and has been a fan since she was living in the Bronx many years ago.

Administration

Katie Murphy

Katie Murphy

Interim Principal
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Ms. Murphy has been a Catholic School teacher and administrator for the past 47 years. She earned her BA from Dominican University many years ago. She holds a California life Credential from Dominican. She completed her Administrative Credential from San Jose State University. Katie began her career in education at St. Cornelius in Richmond teaching third grade. She then moved to Holy Cross in Santa Cruz, where she taught the upper grades for eight years followed by eight years as the principal. Katie moved back to Oakland and became principal of Corpus Christi School for thirty years until her retirement. She loves to cook, walk, read and visit with friends. Her faith and family are most important to her. Disneyland is a favorite spot as is Mackinac Island in Michigan. She loves the children she works with unconditionally.
Karen Raven

Karen Raven

Director of Advancement
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Mrs. Raven has been working at St. Theresa for 17 years. A graduate of St. Theresa herself and parent of three alumni, St. Theresa is her “home away from home.” Mrs. Raven earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from California State University, East Bay. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and traveling, . She absolutely loves being her own travel agent and has been to all 50 states and 40 countries.
Kim Welch

Kim Welch

Administrative Assistant
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Ms. Welch loves interacting with our students and makes a point of knowing all of their names and faces. She is a Berkeley native and graduate of the University of California, Davis. Before raising her children in Michigan, she spent four years adventuring across Asia, and teaching a little English in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. When not behind the main office counter, you will find her at the beach.
Vera Young

Vera Young

Office Manager
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Mrs. Young has been working at St. Theresa for the past 20 years. She loves spending time with her two sons, reading mysteries, watching novellas, and taking her dog for walks.

Parish

Fr. Robert McCann

Fr. Robert McCann

Cathy Brady

Cathy Brady