Faculty & Staff


Sheelagh Carleton

Pre-School Instructor


Sheelagh Carleton was born and raised in the California Bay Area.  She double majored in Sociology and Spanish at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she rowed on the crew team.  Sheelagh studied abroad in both Spain and Costa Rica and is fluent in Spanish. She moved to Bainbridge Island two years ago with her husband and four children.  Sheelagh has worked with children all of her life - coaching, teaching and tutoring. Her biggest and most rewarding job thus far has been raising her own vivacious, silly, kind and loving children!  

Sheelagh believes young children are the most hilarious and most loving people on the planet.  She looks forward to encouraging her young students to work together to activate their super powers: a love for learning, a deep curiosity and a heart for others through the love of Christ. 

Email: scarleton@saintceciliaschool.org


  • B.A. Sociology
  • B.A. Spanish

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.”  
Galatians 5:22-23

Kari Riley

Pre-School Assistant


Kari grew up in Spokane, Washington, before she attended the University of Idaho where she earned her Masters degree in Architecture.  After finishing school, she married and moved to Portland, Oregon where she and her family lived for 15 years.  In 2015, she and her family moved to Bainbridge Island at which time her two children were enrolled at Saint Cecilia Catholic School.  Her daughter recently graduated from our school and currently attends Holy Names Academy in Seattle while her son is still a student at SCCS.

She has been blessed with being able to stay at home with her kids but has volunteered many hours in the classroom and has worked with families during Covid to keep children engaged when they couldn't be in the classroom.  Her joy in teaching kids developed from the time both of her children were a part of a co-operative preschool where parents were an active part of their children's learning process.  With time in the classroom multiple times a week, she worked with a wide range of families who had different needs and ways of learning.

In her spare time, when she isn't watching her kids play soccer, dance, play piano, or just be kids, she attends Crossfit and gets ready for epic winter ski trips.

Shelby Dunlap

Kindergarten Instructor


Shelby Dunlap was born in the Seattle area and grew up on Bainbridge Island. She attended Western Washington University through the satellite campus at Olympic College, where she majored in Education for Inclusive Environments. Her studies led her to dual endorse in Elementary Education and Special Education to better meet the needs of all her students.

            Ms. Dunlap is excited to be a part of the Saint Cecilia community and encourages students to find their own passion for learning. Ms. Dunlap is grateful to give back to the Bainbridge community and share her love of learning and the Lord with her students and families. In her free time, Ms. Dunlap can be found writing short stories, hiking with her family, or learning how to cook new recipes.

Email: sdunlap@saintceciliaschool.org

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

2 Timothy 1:7


  • B.A.  Education

Kerry Carson

1st Grade Instructor


Kerry Carson grew up in Yakima, Washington and went to school for her undergraduate degree at Central Washington University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.  Her work in the nutrition field transformed into an eight year career in non-profit development and fundraising.  Kerry worked in fundraising with non-profits ranging from private schools, to non-profit health organizations, and pro-bono legal service organizations in Seattle, Chicago and Ashland.

After taking eight years off to stay home and raise her three wonderful children, she returned to school to receive a Master of Science in Elementary Education, emphasizing Early Childhood Education in 2010.  

Ms. Carson is currently our 1st Grade Teacher; previously she worked as our Early Childhood Education Director and Instructor, Director of Crusader Care and as a Para Educator at the Island School on Bainbridge Island. Ms. Carson's son attends Saint Cecilia Catholic School and her daughters are both SCCS alumni, currently attending Holy Names Academy in Seattle.

Email: kcarson@saintceciliaschool.org

“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


  • B.A. Education
  • M.S. Elementary Education, emphasis Early Child Education

Marina Giameos

2nd Grade Instructor


Marina Giameos grew up on Bainbridge Island and completed her student teaching in Elementary Education and Special Education at Blakely Elementary. This past year, she taught 2nd and 3rd grade for the 100% Online Program at Ordway Elementary with students from across the District. She lives on the Island with her husband and two children who will be attending 7th grade at Woodward and 4th grade at Ordway. In her free time, she enjoys open water swimming, paddle boarding, and taking long walks on the beach. Traveling and learning foreign languages are a passion of hers, as she finds it's the best way to learn about new places, people, and cultures. After graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in Comparative History of Ideas and Medical History & Ethics, she worked as a K-12 ESL Teacher in France, Italy, and Greece.

Email: mgiameos@saintceciliaschool.org


  • B.A. in Comparative History of Ideas and Medical History & Ethics.

Lexi Bayley

3rd Grade Instructor


Lexi was born and raised in Northwestern Iowa, and educated in the Catholic schools there. She moved to Bainbridge Island from Los Angeles with her husband (a Bainbridge Islander) and infant son in the summer of 2020. 

Lexi graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and a minor in Geography, but she also enjoys photography (especially of the natural and agricultural landscapes of her native Midwest), music, and art. She’s an avid letter-writer, baby walker, and crafter. 

Mrs. Bayley is excited to be teaching at SCCS again this year and humbled by the opportunity to offer something back to the Church community which instilled in her the values she holds dear.

Email: lbayley@saintceciliaschool.org


  • B.A. History

"Sanctity is to be found in struggling, in knowing that we have defects and in heroically trying to overcome them.”
St Josemaria Escriva

Kirsten Lauer Karahan

4th Grade Instructor


Mrs. Kirsten Lauer Karahan has been visiting family on Bainbridge Island for the last 28 years from her teaching posts in Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. Kirsten grew up overseas and as a child she attended Catholic schools in Taiwan and Belgium. She speaks conversational Turkish and Mandarin.

She has 28 years of teaching experience in international schools: 21 of these years as a classroom teacher for 1st-5th grade and 7 years as an art teacher for 1st-10th grade. Kirsten’s experience as an elementary classroom teacher includes 12 years of International Baccalaureate  training (IB), and she holds several IB certificates in Assessment.

Kirsten believes in fostering student driven inquiry, and her passion is interdisciplinary learning, especially if it involves the arts. As well as fostering curiosity and creativity, Kirsten aims to engender an atmosphere of kindness, tolerance, and humor in her classroom.

Email: klauerkarahan@saintceciliaschool.org


  • BA in Asian Studies, Tufts University

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

Sarah Taylor

5th/6th Grade Instructor


Sarah grew up as the youngest of seven children in the sleepy town of Moraga, California. She moved to Corvallis, Oregon to attend Oregon State University, where she majored in communications, GO BEAVERS! After graduation, she and her husband moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked for a few years in retail and administration before staying home to be a full time mom to her two daughters, Addison and Delaney.  In 2009 Sarah and her family traveled to Australia for a year while her husband, Kaycee, who is also a teacher at BHS, worked in an exchange program. While there Sarah was able to work in the schools and fell in love with teaching. Upon returning to the states, Sarah entered the graduate Master’s in Teaching program at Seattle Pacific University and began her teaching career in 2013.

For the last 8 years Sarah has taught in a Gifted and Talented program where project based learning opportunities engage students through exploration, curiosity, collaboration, and creativity. Sarah’s personal pedagogy focuses on supporting and nurturing the social and emotional intelligence of each student. Celebrating kindness and making every act, big or small, a valued expectation is important as students grow and navigate the world as mindful members of a learning community. “In my classroom you will find an environment that celebrates the uniqueness of each student while at the same time recognizing that together we are better, when kindness and compassion are a shared and practiced value.”  

Sarah lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband and two dogs, Tazzie and Crosby,  while her daughters are currently away at college.  She loves to sing and perform in musical theater, take her dog on walks, do yoga and read in the sunshine. 

Email: staylor@saintceciliaschool.org

"The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another."

 -Marva Collins


  • B.A. Communications
  • M.A. Teaching

Amy Lee-Despard

7th/8th Grade Instructor


Amy Lee-Despard teaches our 7th and 8th grades, as she has since 2009. Mrs. Lee-Despard was voted “Best Teacher on Bainbridge Island” in 2012 and 2013 by Inside Bainbridge. She also received recognition as an outstanding educator in 2013, and in 2018, from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, which promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

Amy's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minor in History from SUNY Albany, NY, as well as a Master of Science in Education, centering on elementary and middle school education, from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.

Mrs. Lee-Despard believes that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.  She strives to make her classroom a safe, caring community where her students are invited to share their ideas, take risks, and meet their full potential.

Email: aleedespard@saintceciliaschool.org


  • B.A. English
  • M.S. in Education Centering on Elementary and Middle School Education

“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.”  
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Mary Van Eaton

Science Instructor


Mary Van Eaton grew up in the Seattle area before heading to California where she went to school and worked for a decade before returning to the Northwest.  She majored in Biology at Pomona College, then worked for a few years in scientific research.  She spent time as an assistant in a genetics laboratory at Caltech and back at Pomona as a research associate on a fire ecology project in Southern California.  Mary pursued her master's degree in science education at University of California, Berkeley so that she could combine her interest in science with her joy of working with kids.

Mary has taught Middle School Science in both Highline and Seattle School Districts.  She has also enjoyed coaching track and leading girls' STEM after-school clubs.  After taking some time off to be at home with her children, Mary began substitute teaching at all grade levels in both Seattle and on Bainbridge Island.  Her husband and two children relocated to Bainbridge Island two years ago to enjoy the forests, trails, and to be nearer to family.

Email: mvaneaton@saintceciliaschool.org

“The Lord your God in your midst.
The mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17


  • B.A. Biology
  • M.A. Education

Jennifer Cunningham

Music Instructor and Choir Director


Jennifer Cunningham is a graduate of the University of Washington where she studied music with an emphasis in vocal performance. She sang in the School of Music opera productions and in the University of Washington Chorale.

After college, Mrs. Cunningham had a short career as a musical theatre actress and got the thrill of performing in a national tour of the musical Camelot.  She has sung in various choirs since middle school, but some of her most valuable experiences have come from participation in the Saint Cecilia Parish Choir and Bainbridge Chorale. 

Jennifer has also enjoyed being part of the Bainbridge Island theatre community and has performed with both Bainbridge Performing Arts and Island Theatre. Her greatest role, though, has been (and still is) mother to three sons.  When she's not teaching music or being "Mom", she loves riding her bike, snowshoeing, doing yoga and reading. 

Email:  jcunningham@saintceciliaschool.org


  • B.A. Music and Communication

“I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.”  
Psalms 101:1

Henry Guterson

P.E. Instructor 


Henry Guterson has been coaching and teaching children since 2005. He founded and runs a small youth recreation program on Bainbridge called Island HOOPS and is the current head boys basketball coach at Kingston High School. His goal is to provide an inclusive environment in which children have fun, improve as athletes, give their best effort, and work well with others. He believes the gym is a kind of classroom too, a place to help build character traits that will serve kids well throughout their lives, not only in the world of sports but in the world at large.

Henry attended Bainbridge High School, went on to graduate from the University of Washington in 2008, and then traveled abroad for two years— particularly enjoying Spain and Nepal— before making the island home again. He enjoys day-hiking in the Olympics with his Dad, hut to hut trekking, anything basketball related, and good books, especially historical fiction. 

“Let us run the race that is before us and never give up."

Hebrews 12:1


  • B.A. Communication

Gina Stecher

Dance Instructor 


Gina studied dance for 22 years in Austin, Texas and pursued a degree in Dance Education in 1997. She has worked professionally as a Dance and Cheer Director in Austin,Texas where she gained a substantial amount of  dance instruction knowledge as a working professional in Dance, Cheer and Gym. She instructed all ages from 18 months to adult in various forms of Dance, Cheer and Gymnastics. 

Gina designed dance programs for Mother’s Morning Out students, Home School and Private School Dance students. She has also been a part of competitive judging in Dance, Cheer and Pom throughout her career. She also had the privilege of training Dallas Cowboy Cheer candidates prior to try-outs. 

Gina has vast experience and knowledge in dance teaching and has choreographed for many shows and competitions. She is very excited to be the newest member of St. Cecilia’s teaching team and thrilled to bring her love of the art of dance to new kids on the Island. 

"Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person".

 - Mr. Rogers


Susan Kilbane



Ms. Kilbane grew up in Avon Lake, Ohio and completed her undergraduate work at Miami University, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies.  After earning her Masters in Instructional Leadership, she taught for ten years in the Chicago Public Schools.  She was a fellow in the first cohort group of New Leaders for New Schools and worked as an Assistant Principal and Principal for twelve years. Susan studied Spanish in Buena Vista de Cuellar, Mexico for two summers and traveled throughout Mexico for six weeks with a group of teachers on a Fulbright Scholarship. She served as a Spanish translator on two trips to Honduras, first for doctors teaching community health workers and then for engineers building water systems in local villages.  Now in her 7th year as the SCCS principal, Ms. Kilbane continues to learn and grow as an instructional leader. She recently participated in the University of Notre Dame Adelante Conference and completed the two-year Emmaus Program at Boston College. Her mission as a Catholic school principal is to Embrace, Educate and Empower each student.  In her leisure time she enjoys walking on beaches at low tide, listening to live music and spending time with her extended family on the island.

Email: skilbane@saintceciliaschool.org


  • Bachelor of Philosophy with a Major in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership
  • New Leaders for New School Administrative Certificate

“May I live this day, compassionate of heart, clear in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in Love.”  
by John O’Donohue

Kiri Walton-Jones

Office Manager


Kiri was born and raised in the far north of New Zealand on a dairy farm.  She began her years of backpacking travels around the world after her studies and working at Sky TV in Auckland and Wellington.  Kiri finally ended up settling down in Edinburgh, Scotland after meeting her husband Glen.  Kiri then worked for many years as an Advertising Agency TV Producer in Edinburgh but after having her daughter Holly in London, the family had an opportunity to move to the Pacific North West - which they absolutely fell in love with!  The wonderful community of Saint Cecilia Catholic School and Church was at the heart of their move to Bainbridge Island where they have now put down roots.

Email: secretary@saintceciliaschool.org

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”  
Nehemiah 8:10

Cathy Chadwick



Cathy Chadwick has been the bus driver for Saint Cecilia School off and on since we acquired our first bus. Her background is as a microbiologist and laboratory safety officer. This last skill has helped immensely in learning how to take care of and maintain our large new bus. 

Cathy's most recent education was to get a "B" commercial license. Bainbridge Island school district kindly allowed her to train under their trainers. This was a thorough and well thought out training and she was grateful to the BI School District for helping her with this.

She especially enjoys the young folks she drives on the bus. It is a privilege to watch our young SCCS students grow in confidence, education and spirit.

"O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore." 
Psalm 131

Terry Shields

Robotics Instructor


Terry was born and raised in Albany, NY. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering and MS Computer Science from Union College. Terry’s entire professional career, spanning 42 years with General Electric, focused on Power Plant Engineering, Electrical Control Systems and Wind Turbine Renewable Energy.

Upon retiring from GE in 2016 in upstate New York we discovered just how strong the gravitational pull of grandchildren really is. We moved to the Pacific Northwest for all its beautiful outdoor splendor. Bainbridge Island is a great community with a robust volunteer mindset. We now have four grandchildren out west so planning family trips between Bainbridge and the California Central Coast has become a fun little hobby. Learning the ways of the world through the eyes of kiddos is a beautiful thing.

Terry is a mentor with the SPARTRONICS Robotics team at Bainbridge HS and initiated the Robotics program at St. Cecilia School in 2017. Terry enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and all sports in general. He loves to travel and thrives on planning the next trip. When not outdoors he likes to read about history and nature.

Email:  tshields@saintceciliaschool.org


B.S. Electrical Engineering

M.S. Computer Science

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”


Randy Collard

IT Specialist


Randy Collard was born in San Antonio, TX and raised on the family farm in the panhandle of Texas.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX and his PhD in Chemistry from LSU.  Randy began in R&D at Dow Chemical and took on a variety of R&D Management responsibilities culminating in his role as Global R&D Director for Material Sciences and Information Research as well as IT Enterprise Architecture.  Randy then joined Amgen where he first was Executive Director for R&D IT Global Sites and then moved to Executive Director for IT Programs Strategy, and Cross-Technology Architecture for IS.  In his last responsibility prior to retirement, Randy was Executive Director for Enterprise Program Delivery, Strategy, and IS Technical Services.  Although retired, Randy remains busy with his responsibilities as Board Chair for TraitWare, managing the family farm and ranch, and volunteering.  After accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, Randy’s wisest decision was to marry the incredible girl next door, Vicki.  They have two wonderful children and a wonderful grandchild.

Email: IT@saintceciliaschool.org

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Galatians 2:20

Jonathan Bayley

Facilities Manager


Information coming soon


Father Mark


Information coming soon


Over 20 Years of Developing Minds, Hearts and Character.

- A Catholic school on Bainbridge Island serving students in preschool through 8th grade. -