Ss. Simon and Jude, Class of 2006
St. Mary’s High School, Class of 2010
I am a typical Arizona native who needs a sweater when it’s lower than 90 degrees. I have lived in many places outside of Arizona, but I will always come back to Phoenix and know I am home. I attended Ss. Simon and Jude in Phoenix from kindergarten to eighth grade, and I later graduated from St. Mary’s High School. While at St. Mary’s, I played volleyball and was an active thespian in the drama department. In addition to these extra-curriculars, I was on the Student Council and a member of the athletic training department for varsity sports. In elementary and high school, I liked to keep myself involved in different types of clubs and activities as it was a chance to meet new people and gain different experiences. I strive to maintain a well-rounded lifestyle and enjoy reading, jewelry making, traveling, volunteering, and watching various genres of movies.
I now work at Ss. Simon and Jude as the 7th and 8th grade English teacher and the Tech Director for our school productions, and I continue to work closely with our parish high school teens in the youth ministry program.
What impact did Catholic schools have on you?
I owe my sense of wonder, love of God and neighbor, and passion for social justice to the Catholic school system. I am a product of 17 years of Catholic education in the elementary, high school, and university level. From a young age as a student at Ss. Simon and Jude, the community of teachers and Loreto sisters effortlessly showed me what it means to be a part of a universal, Catholic family. When I was in 3rd grade, my father unexpectedly passed away days before Christmas. While most would be away and busy that close to Christmas, the community of Ss. Simon and Jude swept in to provide love, support, counsel, and prayers for my mother, sister, and I. The Christ-like love of this community set an example that paved the way for my passion for helping others, largely those that cannot advocate for themselves. The Loreto Sisters, especially, instilled in me a need to serve God’s people in any way I could. Getting older and going into high school, that same love surrounded me with my teachers at the time. They challenged me to share my God-given gifts with my community, remembering that each of us plays a necessary role in the Body of Christ.
I became a lector and Eucharistic Minister, and I went on missions and retreats with my parish, which allowed me to grow in my faith journey and in my role in this Catholic family, sharing my love of God with others. Overall, my experiences in Catholic schools have prepared me to bring Christ to others in this constantly changing world.
After graduating from St. Mary’s, I continued my journey of Catholic education at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon. Through the guidance of the Holy Cross community, I entered into the world of social work where I was able to answer the call to advocate for God’s most vulnerable children in corners across the globe in Ghana, Italy, and Nicaragua. While in these countries, I lived and worked with children and adults, many experiencing poverty and some with various intellectual disabilities. These life experiences are what I consider my life’s accomplishments. I ate, prayed, lived, and served vulnerable communities. While in these countries, I spent a great deal of time with children and in schools. Seeing the impact of a quality education, I found that God was calling me to serve his children in a different way: in the classroom. I decided to later return to my roots at Ss. Simon and Jude as a teacher and use the knowledge I gained in these experiences to educate others about the wonders of God’s love and what it means to use our gifts to better our communities on a micro and macro level.
I plan to continue teaching in the secondary English classroom where I can help students find their voice and use it to serve God and others. I thoroughly enjoy being in the Catholic schools to the point where I never want to leave!