Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School students laugh in front of a whiteboard with math equations


Learning that comes to life.

Whether our students are incubating beetle eggs, animating in Adobe Spark, or drafting a class constitution, we push for those lightbulb moments and strive for a balance of high touch/high tech: active, experiential learning combined with thoughtful integration of technology. All in an environment of safe risk-taking and caring support.


Meet Our Teachers

Aaron Ziegler

Middle School

Learning to understand the stories of others is the hallmark of the humanities, as they confirm or clarify our own stories.

Aaron Ziegler

Title: Grade 7 English Teacher, Grade 8 History Teacher

From: California

Degrees: B.A., English, UCLA
A.L.M., Harvard University

Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School teacher Lydia Mansour gets a group hug from PreK students while holding an umbrella.

Lydia Mansour

PreK and Kindergarten

I love making a difference in a child’s life, both in the development of their characters and in their growth as academic learners. I’m thrilled and blessed to have the opportunity to work for a school that values both equally.

Lydia Mansour

Title: Director of PreK and Kindergarten

From: Born in Alexandria, Egypt, raised in Melbourne, Australia

Degrees: B.A., California State University, Fullerton

Ibi Janko Murphy '83


I feel very privileged in my work here to be able to give our students what Santa Catalina offered me—the understanding that we are here to serve God by serving others. I also feel so blessed to work with others in such a collaborative and joyful way. Santa Catalina really is a community of love.

Ibi Janko Murphy '83

Titles: Grades K-4 Religion Teacher, Compass Coordinator

From: Monterey

Degree: B.A., Yale University


In PreK, we build from the ground up. That might mean doing a dance to name new planets, or using magnetic letters to work through a challenging word. PreK students are motivated by curiosity and supported by the intentionally small class settings. PreK feels like a home—where goodness, kindness, and mindfulness all come in to play.

Explore PreK Curriculum

Lower School

Lower School students are fully, actively engaged in all they do. Plotting the life cycle of painted lady butterflies. Examining archetypes in contemporary literature. Puzzling out a complex math problem. In every scenario, students are encouraged to be fearless and adventurous learners.

Explore Lower School Curriculum

Middle School

Powerful questions are at the heart of the Middle School curriculum. By digging deep, asking and answering, students find meaning in complex concepts. Just as important, they learn to be responsible and self-aware. To think for themselves and be compassionate in their care of others.

Explore Middle School Curriculum

Mrs. Clarkson's science class is my favorite. Everything we do is really exciting. We dissected a squid! I look forward to what we’ll do. And she’s really understanding—I know I can talk to her about anything.Middle School Student