Santa Catalina faculty and staff returned to work this week to get ready for the 2017-18 school year, and there were several new faces among them.
Stormy Falcone (front row left) is the only new faculty member in the Upper School this year, joining the science department as a chemistry teacher. She has a B.S. in chemistry from MIT and is credentialed to teach chemistry in both Massachusetts and California. She also spent a year in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she became certified as a teacher of English as a second language. Most recently, she taught chemistry and physics at Ceiba College Prep, a charter school in nearby Watsonville.
Liz Hulme (front row center) is Catalina's first Director of Health and Wellness, tasked with setting up the school's new program surrounding the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our students, faculty, and staff. Liz is a familiar face to Santa Catalina as mother of Betsy '14 and a former board member. She founded The Integrative Path, a health coaching service in Pebble Beach, and is certified as an Integrative Health Coach from Duke Integrative Medicine. Liz has an MBA from the University of Southern California and an A.B. from Duke University in history and political science.
Bonnie Bufkin (not pictured) will be lending her part-time services as a guidance counselor, offering the girls social and emotional support as they become their best selves. Bonnie, a former Lower and Middle School parent, is a practicing marriage and family counselor in Carmel. She earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of North Texas and her M.A. in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Betty Van Wagenen (top row left) is our Interim Director of College Counseling. She spent the past 17 years as the Director of College Counseling at Woodside Priory School in the Bay Area. In her tenure as a college counselor, she has written over 600 letters of recommendation and has traveled extensively around the United States, Canada, and Europe visiting more than 400 college campuses and developing strong relationships with college admission officers and other college counselors. She has a B.A. in psychology from Brigham Young University, an M.A. in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University, and an M.A. in private school administration from the University of San Francisco.
Peter Myers (left), our new Dean of Academics, has moved onto campus with his wife, Susanna Wilcox, who works in the Development Office. Peter, himself a boarding school graduate, comes to Catalina from the Kirby School in Santa Cruz, where he was the curriculum director and a history teacher. He has a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College and an M.A. in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He'll also be teaching one section of English 3.
Father Michael Russo (not pictured) joins Catalina as our Upper School Chaplain. Father Russo holds a Master of Divinity from the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University and a Ph.D. in American social and political history from New York University. He has served as the chair of the Religious Studies Department at Seton Hall Prep, as parish priest at Saint Aedan's in Jersey City, New Jersey, and as producer and consultant to CBS News. In April 2005, Father Russo traveled to Rome to report on the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XV. A retired professor of communication studies, Father Russo taught courses in the history of media, journalism, and political communication at St. Mary's College of California in Moraga. Father Russo, who lives off campus, has an office in the Murphy Donohue building and is thrilled to be a part of our community.
The other three women in the photo above joined Catalina at various points last school year. Reshma Singh (front row right), our Communications Project Manager, is only technically new, having started last September. Julie Lambert '80 (top row center) became our Director of Finance and Human Resources in December. And Head Librarian Eileen Schnur (top row right) has been in her post since March.