I am so excited to return to the Notre Dame School family. I taught here for ten years, ten years ago. I love the school my own father worked so hard to help establish.
I have a passion for learning and teaching and facilitating the spiritual progress of children. I have a B.A. from Dominican University, a California Teaching Credential through the University of San Francisco, a M.A. in Psychology from the Western Institute of Social Research, a M.A. in Reading Literature from Walden University and a Certification for teaching Preschool through Vanguard University of Southern California.
I have taught something in all grades from Kindergarten through Seniors in High School. I even spent a year teaching in Adult Education. Yes, I have been a teacher for a long time!
The First Grade is such an exciting year filled with first experiences in the life of a student. It is the portal of entry for the educational life of all learners. It is so much fun to facilitate student reflection on their own learning; to learn the process of reading and then learn why we read; to learn the patterning and systemization of numbers; the multiplicity of facts in natural science; and important factors in the growth of our society. Most especially, I feel blessed to help children become aware of their relationship with God.
My name is Katie Martinez and I am the Second Grade teacher. I have been part of the Notre Dame School for seven years with my own children. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento. I studied at National University and completed my coursework for Masters in Education. I have been in education for over ten years. I have taught Pre School, Kindergarten, Fourth and Fifth grades. Some of my hobbies I enjoy are marathon running, baking and reading.
It is inspirational teaching Second Graders as they are introduced to many new and challenging concepts. Double and triple digit addition and subtraction with regrouping is just one major focus for our future budding mathematicians. I also have the honor of preparing our students to receive their First Holy Communion and Reconciliation. I feel so blessed to guide them and be involved in this joyous and memorable milestone in our Second Graders faith.
I look forward to a faith filled fun year in Second Grade.
My name is Kate Smith and I am honored to be a third grade teacher at Notre Dame. As a parochial student myself I find such depth and excitement in the opportunities that Notre Dame offers. I received my Bachelors degree from Sacramento State in 2000. I furthered my education by attending National University where I received both my Multiple Subject Credential and my Master’s degree.
I taught in the public school sector for almost 5 years before taking a leave of absence to raise my children. During that time I remained in the field by substitute teaching in the Vacaville Unified School District. In my free time I spend it revolving around my three children (Ty, Chase, and Reese). As student’s at Notre Dame themselves, I have enjoyed seeing how being a student here is changing and molding their futures.
I am extremely passionate about education and believe all children can succeed in becoming life long learners in faith and education.
My name is Mary Beth Thompson and this is my first year teaching at Notre Dame School. I have spent the previous five years teaching 4th grade at St. Catherine of Siena School in Vallejo. I graduated from Iona College with a B.A. in Gerontology and Sociology and received my M.A. in Elementary Education from Roosevelt University. My husband, daughters, and I reside in Vacaville and are part of the St. Joseph Church community. In my spare time I like to watch soccer, visit museums, travel, and spend time with my family.
My mission for the class is to help children grow spiritually, academically and socially, in a Christ-centered classroom. I strive to generate a love of learning in all students. I want them to see that what they learn is applicable to their life now and in the future. I also would like to instill a love of reading in them. I am trying to create lifelong learners and avid readers.
Mrs. Schoonmaker earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minored in English and graduated with honors from Grand Canyon University’s Teaching Credential Program. She has taught 1st, 2nd and long-term subbed in 3rd grade here at Notre Dame School. She has been a part of the school for over 15 years, and two of her three daughters have graduated from Notre Dame. Her “baby” is now an eighth grader!
Mrs. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies for Elementary Education at Cal State University, Long Beach. Her electives were geared towards elementary education, including Math, English, Science and Art. She has been volunteering at the school for over five years, as her son is also a Notre Dame student.
We believe our job as teachers is to nurture the spiritual, social, emotional and academic well-being of every student. We set high expectations and scaffold learning, so every child reaches his or her fullest potential. Instruction is cross-curricular and differentiated in order to meet the needs of all students.
In fifth grade, we will be cover challenging and exciting projects, including the science fair, book reports, and state projects. Students are encouraged to take charge of their success by being responsible, respectful, and mature learners. Be sure to come to school with a good night's rest and a filling breakfast, so you can be ready for the day's lessons.
Together we will make this a happy, productive and successful year!
Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Schoonmaker