Ms. Kaitlin Hughes – Fifth Grade Teacher
Ms. Hughes began teaching as an assistant Kindergarten teacher at a Montessori school before joining Canyon Heights Academy in 2018 to teach grade 5. She graduated Benedictine College with a BA in Elementary Education. She student taught Grade 1 while in college and gained additional experience with elementary aged children as a catechist in her parish preparing students to receive first sacraments, as a camp counselor and helped lead two mission trips to Belize as an Orientation Leader and Retreat Leader.
Mrs. Julie Keeney – Preschool Teacher
After graduating from Santa Clara University, Mrs. Keeney embarked on a rewarding career with Hewlett-Packard Company. Seeking a new experience, she joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2017 as an Early Montessori teacher. She has completed her American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood course work and is extremely passionate about the Montessori teaching method. She is “over the moon” with excitement to be joining the pre-school teaching team, and grateful for the opportunity to be working with such special gifts from God…the young children at CHA!
Mrs. Lisa Kelsey – Middle School Teacher
Mrs. Kelsey joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2008, beginning in 4th and 5th grade and then moving to the Middle School. She currently teaches Language Arts in Middle School and American History I and II. Mrs. Kelsey earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Science and Math at San Diego State University.
Ms. Hallie McKnight-Smith – Art Teacher
Ms. McKnight-Smith is the art teacher for all grades. She received Bachelor of Arts degrees in both studio art and English from Santa Clara University. She has been featured in galleries and juried shows throughout Northern California, most notably winning an Award of Merit in the 2015 California State Fair fine arts competition, long considered one of the most prestigious art competitions in the state.
Br. Joseph Mernagh – Formation Instructor
Br. Joseph joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2016 at the mid-point of his studies to become a priest. He received a BA in Philosophy from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome and is currently working on an MA in Humanities. Br. Joseph helps in the Middle School Latin and Math programs and runs the Middle School Math Club.
Mrs. Nicole Mezzetta – Second Grade Teacher
Mrs. Mezzetta had 10 years experience teaching before joining Canyon Heights in 2013 as teacher for Second Grade girls. She holds a multiple subject teaching credential from San Jose State University and a BA in Sociology with a minor in Child and Adolescent Development. Mrs. Mezzetta enjoys preparing her class for their First Holy Communion.