Our Faculty and Staff

“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yates

School Faculty

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 and is currently working her way toward an Early Childhood Certificate at Olympic College. She moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband and four children in 2017 after living in Portland, Oregon for a decade. Sheelagh enjoys spending time with her husband and kids who are now in middle and high school, with one here at SCCS.

Sheelagh Carleton

Early Childhood Education Director and Instructor
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.

Kari Riley

Pre-School Assistant
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.

Shelby Dunlap

Kindergarten 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.

Kerry Carson

1st/2nd Grade Instructor

Candace Luckman grew up on the east coast. Candace worked as a municipal researcher for police and fire departments around the country and found her way to the Northwest after traveling on business to Seattle and fell in love. She quickly found work as a banker until family needs pulled her to Brooklyn NY with two small children whereby she became a full-time mom. Concerned for her children in the NYC public school system, Candace began to school her children at home and found she had a strong desire to develop a student’s love for learning.

Candace Luckman

3rd/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 Lauer Karahan

3rd/4th 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.

Sarah Taylor

5th/6th 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 Lee-Despard

7th/8th Grade 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.

Mary Van Eaton

Science 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 Stecher

PE and Dance Instructor

Shelby Flowers

Volleyball Coach

School Staff

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 Kilbane

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!

Kiri Walton-Jones

Office Manager

Shannon Zahumensky

Director of Enrollment

Caroline Klopping

Marketing Director

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.

Terry Shields

Robotics Instructor
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 Collard

IT Specialist
Jonathan joined the parish team in 2021. He was born and raised on the Island, but spent most the last decade in Los Angeles. He, his wife Lexi (known as “Mrs. Bayley” to 3/4th graders at SCCS) and their 18 month-old son have been St Cecilia parishioners since August, 2020. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, woodworking, and building scale models with his brother—usually while singing Gregorian chant.

Jonathan Bayley

Music Director / Facilities Manager
Mike began driving the bus in the fall of 2022. He retired from the Department of Homeland Security in March 2022. Prior to moving to the Island, he was a police officer with San Francisco PD. He is a graduate of San Jose State University and was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne/ US Army right out of high school. He and his wife have three children and they welcomed their first grandchild last June. He has been a parishioner at St. Cecilia's for over 20 years. Mike completed all coursework to earn his commercial driver's license.

Mike Williams


A Merrick, NY native, Fr. Mark was ordained June 8, 2013. He has been at St. Cecilia Parish since July 2018. He has a young Golden Retriever named Bishop who loves to play keep away and roll over for treats.

NW Catholic 2013 Article

Father Mark Kiszelewski