Primary Teachers

Lauren Graves

Lauren Graves

Kindergarten Teacher
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Lauren 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 five and six year old children through their first year of formal schooling as her passion. The most rewarding part of her job is teaching her kindergartners how to read and write. She loves to cook, travel, arts and crafts and experiencing different cultures. She loves anything and everything that has to do with owls and she would have one for a pet if she could.
Vanessa Silva

Vanessa Silva

1st Grade Teacher
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Ms. Silva has been teaching first grade at St. Theresa School for 20 years. 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. Ms. Fuerch loves to teach her second graders science and how to become excellent writers. In her free time, she loves to do outside activities like rock climbing, hiking and taking road trips. She loves all animals (especially otters!) and even has a leopard gecko as a pet in the classroom. She even went swimming with the whale sharks!

Intermediate Teachers

Martha Lindorfer

Martha Lindorfer

3rd Grade Teacher
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Mrs. Lindorfer recently celebrated 25 years of teaching— 19 at St. Theresa School. Mrs. Lindorfer credits the St. Theresa community as the cornerstone behind the very special nature of our school. All three of Mrs. Lindorfer’s children are graduates of St. Theresa School. Outside of St. Theresa, Mrs. Lindorfer enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her two grandchildren.
Margaret Ratto

Margaret Ratto

4th Grade Teacher
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Mrs. Ratto has been teaching for 21 years and is excited to become part of our St. Theresa community. She loves cooking, 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!
Benjamin Lang

Benjamin Lang

5th Grade Teacher
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Mr. Lang has been involved with both teaching and administration within the public school system for over 20 years. He holds Master's degrees in both Political Science and Educational Technology. He is looking forward to bringing his love of Shakespeare to the fifth grade community. In his spare time he enjoys working on his 1970 VW, keeping up with local politics and enjoying a fine Zinfandel. He loves Japanese culture, language, history and food.

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. Originally from the Bay Area, Mrs. Lynch received her BA and Teaching Credential at St. Mary's College before relocating to the Midwest. In her spare time, she loves reading, walking her dog and gardening. On most weekends, she can be found at either one of her sons' sporting events. 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’ twelfth 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, Mr. Maas loves traveling to Mexico and to Disneyland as often as possible. He is a self-confessed Disneyland nut, and roots for all the Bay Area sports teams, except one... Go Bears!
Joyce Holden

Joyce Holden

Middle School Teacher
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Mrs. Holden has been teaching for 18 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.
Julie Ambrose

Julie Ambrose

Middle School Math Teacher
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Ms. Ambrose loves sharing her zeal for learning with her students. After working in the business world, she "retired" to become a teacher and has been teaching for 18 years, Ms. Ambrose enjoys learning from students’ unique interpretations and insights as much as she enjoys enriching their lives with knowledge and experience. Ms. Ambrose earned her master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Outside her classroom, Ms. Ambrose is an avid jigsaw puzzle fan and loves a competitive contest of Trivial Pursuit at family gatherings.

Support Staff

Stephanie Ochoa-Cortez

Stephanie Ochoa-Cortez

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 two 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 Luna.
Jasmine Navarro

Jasmine Navarro

1st Grade Aide
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Ms. Navarro previously worked with an afterschool program before joining the staff at St. Theresa School. She has always been involved in child-based activities and looks forward to spending time with the first graders on a day to day basis. In her free time, she loves going on hikes, watching sunsets and spending time with her family. She enjoys going on long walks with her sisters and her three dogs. In addition to her three dogs, she has ten other pets!
Angie Soong

Angie Soong

2nd Grade Aide
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Ms. Soong has been teaching for 25 years and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. 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 and going on thrill rides— especially roller coasters. She loves the adrenaline rush so much that she even has been skydiving Would she do it again...most definitely!
Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly

3rd Grade Aide
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Mrs. Kelly has been a teacher's assistant for 22 years with her first mentor being none other than our own Mrs. Lindorfer! She admits that she enjoys interacting with children rather than adults because the conversations are much more interesting! Ms. Kelly loves to stay busy but when she does have any free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.
Mara Fox

Mara Fox

4th Gr. Aide/Instrumental Music
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Ms. Fox 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 trombone. 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 19 years and earned her Master’s Degree in English from Holy Names University and her Master's Degree in English from USF. She also has her MS & SS credentials in English. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and continuing her education by participating in professional growth seminars and classes. She enjoys spending as much time as she can with her family.
Mrs. Rhea is a native of Berkeley and spent the past 25 years in the world of finance prior to coming to St. Theresa School. She 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, Girl Scouts, etc. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, cooking and going just about anywhere with her family and four-legged family.
Debora Rinehart

Debora Rinehart

Math & Science Teacher
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Ms. Rinehart is a graduate of Golden Gate University and is currently working towards her Master's Degree at Holy Names University. Teaching is Ms. Rinehart's second career and she has been doing it for over 10 years. She is obsessed with soccer, and loves to watch both women and men's soccer. 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 absolutely loves coming to work every day.
Dina Shields

Dina Shields

Language Arts Teacher/Middle School
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Mrs. Shields is an Oakland native who has been teaching for 18 years, holding her master's degree in teaching. 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 13 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.
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 both a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Holy Names University. In addition to being the Music Director for St. Theresa Church, he also teaches a variety of classes at Holy Names University, including Vocal Literature, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classic Music History. 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!
Michelle Raven

Michelle Raven

Physical and Health Education Teacher/Grades K-8
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Ms. Raven holds her B.S. in Kinesiology from CSUEB and has spent the past year in the physical therapy and chiropractic world. She is thrilled to be back at St. Theresa, this time being a teacher and not just a student. New activities such as bootcamp fitness, Zumba and aerobic conditioning are just some of the things she will bring to our PE department. As a certified nutrition and wellness consultant, she is looking forward to helping students gain a love for exercise and wellness. Ms. Raven loves hiking, traveling and exploring new places. She is always ready to hear (or tell!) a silly joke to brighten any day.
Mrs. Guthrie has been teaching in both high school and K-8 schools for 30 plus years. Mrs. Guthrie is not stranger to St. Theresa - her four children are alumni! In her free time, she enjoys camping, reading and do-it-yourself construction projects. She loves exploring new areas, visiting museums and traveling. She loves volunteering and even raised guide dogs. She is adventurous and once backpacked through Greece and Turkey with three of her children who were all under four. She is passionate about Catholic social justice and spreading the word about the good works done at St. Theresa School with the community.
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 All Saints in Hayward. 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.
Ms. Fraser enjoys working at STEP and loves helping children interact with each other while having fun. In addition to having a child currently at St. Theresa's, she has one adult son, two adult daughters and one granddaughter. She was a Speech Therapist and preschool teacher for over 45 years before joining the STEP staff. She enjoys reading and word games. Her favorite place to travel is her childhood home in Lake Santa Fe, FL.
Ms. Vargas is currently a junior at CSU East Bay, working on her degree in Human Development with a focus in Early Childhood. She has worked extensively with children in a variety of after school programs. She enjoys working with a variety of children from different communities and backgrounds, in addition to those with disabilities. She is fluent in both Spanish and ASL. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting and creating new works of art!
Mrs. Rodríguez has been working at STEP for 12 years. She loves children and enjoys doing art projects with them. Mrs. Rodriguez is known for the delicious Mexican food she prepares for the after school program. When she’s not at St. Theresa, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband Francisco, her three children and two grandchildren.
Mrs. Wade’s favorite part of working at STEP is teaching the kids card games like Flip and hearing their stories. “Boy, do I hear some doozies,” she laughs. A graduate from Dominican University in human development, she has been working with children for 24 years. A mother of four and grandmother of eight, Mrs. Wade also enjoys hiking, cooking, cross stitch, gardening and Shakespeare.
Theresa Scheifler-Harris

Theresa Scheifler-Harris

STEP
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Mrs. Scheifler-Harris has been working with children for over six years. She loves to help students reach their greatest potential by offering homework help afterschool. She loves to read, walk and follow Bay Area sports teams. In her spare time, she likes to try the newest restaurants with friends and root for her favorite team, the Cal Bears.
Marianne Landis

Marianne Landis

STEP Office Assistant
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Ms. Landis was previously a third grade teacher before joining the St. Theresa School staff. She enjoys traveling, reading, watching old movies and British mysteries on PBS. She loves giving back and most recently has been volunteering with Holy Names High School Alumni Association and Alameda Family Services League.

Administration

When it comes to the value of Catholic schools, Principal KoneffKlatt is unequivocal: “It's about incredible academics and nourishing kids spiritually,” says the lifelong Berkeley resident. “I am a product and a complete believer!” Mrs. KoneffKlatt grew up in Oakland Catholic schools, graduating from St Augustine Elementary and Holy Names High School. Before joining St. Theresa as principal in 2007, the UC Berkeley graduate spent 43 years as a teacher and administrator, most of that time teaching her favorite subject, Spanish. Mrs. KoneffKlatt’s other passions? Dancing, CAL football and traveling, especially to favorite destination...Mexico!
Karen Raven

Karen Raven

Director of Advancement
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Mrs. Raven has been working at St. Theresa for 15 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 with her husband and three daughters. She absolutely loves being her own travel agent and has been to all 50 states and 38 countries.
Kim Welch

Kim Welch

Administrative Assistant
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Mrs. Welch loves working at our front desk and interacting with the children on a daily basis. She enjoys being a friendly face during the day when the students are away from home. Mrs. Welch is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. When not behind the main office counter, she loves swimming in the ocean at Stinson Beach. Ms. Welch has two sons who live in Chicago and Seattle and one grandson!
Vera Young

Vera Young

Office Manager
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Mrs. Young has been working at St. Theresa for the past 19 years. She loves spending time with her two sons, reading mysteries, watching novellas, and taking her four dogs for walks.
Patricia Navarro

Patricia Navarro

Office Assistant

Parish

Fr. Robert McCann

Fr. Robert McCann

Cathy Brady

Cathy Brady