Jessica Toukatly Explorers / Pre-Kindergarten Instructor
Jessica Toukatly graduated from Florida State University (FSU) with a BA of English Literature and studied abroad in London, UK and Sydney and Cairns, Australia. She returned to London to work as a Program Assistant at FSU’s London Study Centre advising and supporting students, faculty, and staff. She then continued her education at the University of Westminster obtaining a Postgraduate Certification of Visual Culture.
Jessica has worked with children for most of my life, as a neighborhood babysitter and a church nursery volunteer in middle school and as a teen mentor, teen lector, and Confirmation Retreat Team Leader in high school. Jessica attended Notre Dame Vocation Initiative camp for two summers at the University of Notre Dame to learn more how to better support conformats in their faith journey.
While living in London she volunteered for Ministry of Stories, a non-profit writing workshop encouraging children to write and illustrate their own imaginative works of fiction. Jessica returned to her home church in Florida volunteering in various roles including as a team member of the Pre-K CCD/PREP program while she was also a professional writer and editor.
In 2016 she left her career for a fresh start as an educational professional here in the Pacific Northwest. She was most recently teaching kindergarten and 1st graders at an afterschool program as well as tutoring English Language Learners at Montlake Elementary for the Seattle Public School District.
Jessica’s teaching philosophy is heart centered, encouraging creativity and nurturing imagination. Her priority in the classroom is to create a safe and supportive educational environment and prepare our youngest learners for their future as scholars.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Cor 13:4-5
Yulianna De Luna Explorers / Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
Yulianna Deluna is our new Pre K Teacher Assistant. She works for us here at St. Cecilia Catholic School and at her mom’s restaurant, Casa Luna, in downtown Poulsbo. She is also the second oldest of five children, three brothers and one sister.
Yulianna is attending college at Olympic College, where she is working toward earning her degree in Early Childhood Education.
“Our Father, Who are in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name; The kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Amen
Kerry Carson Kindergarten Instructor
Kerry Carson teaches the Kindergarten class. Ms. Carson has earned a Masters in Science in Elementary Education with an emphasis in early Childhood Education. She has worked as our Pre K and Explorers educator for the last 4 years, director of Crusader Care, at Peacock Child Care Center on Bainbridge Island, and most recently, as a ParaEducator at the Island School on Bainbridge Island. Ms. Carson is a member of Saint Cecilia parish and has three children attending SCCS.
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10
Emily Cornell 1st/2nd Grade Instructor
Emily Cornell teaches 1st and 2nd grades. Ms. Cornell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She believes that every child has his/her own unique way of learning and strives to appeal to every type of learner. Ms. Cornell has attended Catholic schools her whole life and feels blessed that she can now share the gifts Catholic schools have given her with her own students.
Helping students to grow in their relationship with God and their families, and assisting them in reaching their fullest potential are what keep Ms. Cornell motivated to teach. She also co-coaches our girls’ volleyball team in the fall. In her spare time Ms. Cornell enjoys the outdoors, spending time with her family (who reside in Yakima, WA and San Diego, CA), eating good food and traveling. Ms. Cornell is a member of Holy Family Parish.
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.”
Joan Nielsen 3rd/4th Grade Instructor
Ms. Joan Nielsen is delighted to be teaching grades ¾ this year at St Cecilia School. Ms. Nielsen has recently moved to the Poulsbo area from Olympia. As a child, she spent her summers on the shores of Rolling Bay and Hood Canal where she and her many siblings and cousins collected magical memories of childhood. Ms. Nielsen grew up in the Ballard neighborhood and attended St John Elementary and Blanchet High School. She graduated from Western Washington State University with degrees in Speech and Audiology, English and Education. Graduate schools include Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University and University of Washington. Ms. Nielsen has had the pleasure of teaching grades K-12 in a multitude of settings. Her favorite teaching locations include Queensland Australia, Issaquah School District, Bellevue School District and most recently many years of teaching middle school in Shoreline School District. Her three grown children are college graduates with budding careers and active lives. In her spare time Ms. Nielsen enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband Bob. She loves to swim, travel, snow ski, cook and read. She hopes you’ll drop by her classroom to volunteer or see what her students are learning!
“ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
Alexis Anjomshoaa Brown 5th/6th Grade Instructor
Alexis Anjomshoaa Brown grew up in Los Angeles and went to the University of California in Santa Barbara for her undergraduate education. She double majored and received a Bachelors of Arts in Communications and Spanish. After graduating, she volunteered with Americorps and began a career working with students. She has worked with children in San Jose California, Catalina Island, Santa Marta Colombia, The Bahamas, the big island of Hawaiʽi & Oahu. While living in Hawaiʽi, she completed her Masters of Science at the University of Hawaiʽi at Mānoa. Alexis has been teaching at Saint Patrick School in Honolulu from 2015 to 2018. Her husband is in the military and they have just recently moved to Washington.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Amy Lee-Despard 7th/8th Grade Instructor
Amy Lee-Despard teaches our 7th and 8th grades, as she has since 2009. Ms. Lee-Despard was voted “Best Teacher on Bainbridge Island” in 2012 and 2013 by Inside Bainbridge. Amy’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from SUNY, as well as a master of science in education centering on elementary and middle school education from the College of St. Rose. Prior to joining SCCS, Amy worked for the Central Kitsap School District’s curriculum department as a “curriculum guest teacher,” developing and teaching combination art and writing lessons.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
Chasity Malatesta Science Instructor
Chasity Malatesta chose to become a teacher in second grade when a very special teacher told her to keep asking questions about frogs. B.S. Biology M.A.T. George Fox University. I believe there is calling on my life to inspire students to ask questions, think critically and problem solve. Mrs. Malatesta has 15 years teaching experience in High School Biology, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physical Science and Environmental Biology. She has also worked as a Microsoft Training Educator, College Board Pre-AP Strategies Consultant and an Equity in STEM Lead Educator. She taught in Oregon, Minnesota, Costa Rica and China and found the biggest and most rewarding challenge of life becoming a mother.
“Science without religion is lame, Religion without science is blind” Einstein
“As each receives a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of Gods varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
Jennifer Cunningham Music Instructor
Jennifer Cunningham, her husband, and three sons have been active members of Saint Cecilia Parish for more than 15 years. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Washington where she studied vocal performance and sang with the University of Washington Chorale. It was there that she first began to understand the power of a vocal ensemble. Her love for this style of music has continued over the last 15 years as she has both sung and directed sacred and secular choral music. In addition to sharing the joy of singing with each and every Saint Cecilia student, Jennifer will also work as Music Director for Saint Cecilia Parish.
“O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.” Psalms 95:1
Quinton Agosta P.E. Instructor
Quinton Agosta has a BS in Exercise Science from Central Washington University. He played three years of college football and competed in college track and field for four years. Quintin has coached for the BHS football and lacrosse teams and enjoys working with youth, teaching them about sports, conditioning and strength training.