Mrs. Lupita Alvarez
Mrs. Alvarez is one of our Preschool teachers and she teaches Spanish. Mrs. Alvarez holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood certification and holds a Certificate in Child Development from De Anza Community College. Mrs. Alvarez is also certified in Good Manners Cotillion instruction. She graduated from the Instituto Claret in Guadalajara, Mexico and joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2009.
Ms. Jessica Bergman
Ms. Jessica Bergman recently joined Canyon Heights and is excited for the journey ahead. She has enjoyed enriching the lives of children in home and school environments for over 20 years. Ms. Bergman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies/Teacher Preparation from San Jose State University. She also has taken additional child development classes and is pursuing her Montessori certification. Ms. Bergman is eager to share her love for children and learning with the Canyon Heights community!
Mr. Ryan Boardman
Physical Education & Athletic Director
Mr. Boardman joined Canyon Heights Academy in August 2021 as the new PE teacher and Athletic Director. Prior to joining CHA, Mr. Boardman spent the past 3 years teaching Physical Education to elementary school students mainly in the public school system. Mr. Boardman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Long Beach State University as well as a Masters in Education with a single subject credential in Physical Education from National University. During the summers, he has also coached at various sports camps throughout the Bay Area.
Mr. Charles Carlisle
Middle School Teacher
Mr. Carlisle has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Humboldt State University and has been teaching science for 20+ years. He started his career teaching high school general biology and Higher Level International Baccalaureate Biology. About 10 years ago he discovered that he really liked middle school students while teaching College for Kids at West Valley College. For the past 10 years he has been teaching 6th thru 8th grade Earth Science, Life Science, Physical and Integrated Science.
Mrs. Teresa Davancaze
Fourth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Davancaze graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga in 1991 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She volunteered in several middle school biology classrooms before starting a career in the biotech industry, where she worked for over 30 years supporting patients. Mrs. Davancaze recently served as a lead Catechist for first graders at St. Nicholas and St Williams Parish in Los Altos for 5 years. She also volunteered for many activities in schools where her three children attended.
Mrs. Davancaze is excited to join Canyon Heights Academy where she will have an opportunity to teach and guide students through their studies and faith formation. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and her two dogs (Remy and Shasta).
Mrs. Kelly Delk
Mrs. Delk is a first year teacher at Canyon Heights. She graduated with a BA in graphic design from Florida Southern College. After several years in the field, she decided to pursue a teaching certificate and has previously taught for 11 years at the Middle and High school levels. She also has a love of coaching and has given her time to coaching both girls soccer and volleyball. Her philosophy is that the art room should be a safe learning environment for creative expression of ideas. She also believes that art truly is a skill that can be learned, not a talent that you must be born with. She’s excited to be a part of this community where she can see these young artists’ skills grow over many years.
Mrs. Lisa Kelsey
Fifth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Kelsey joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2008, beginning in 4th and 5th grade and then moving to the Middle School, where she taught American History and Latin. Mrs. Kelsey earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Science and Math at San Diego State University. Mrs. Kelsey is one of the most tenured and most respected teachers at CHA.
Ms. Monica Ku
Lead Early Montessori Teacher
Ms. Monica Ku taught Preschool and is now the lead teacher for Early Montessori at CHA. Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Ku spent 17 years as a business owner of two sporting goods stores. After enrolling and watching her daughter grow as a student at Canyon Heights, she was attracted to the importance of Early Childhood education and how the Montessori methodology develops the whole child. Ms. Ku decided to embark on a different career path and dedicate her time to developing young children’s minds. Ms. Ku has an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood credential, and has completed the AMS Infant/Toddler certification course work.
Mrs. Barbara Larson
Third Grade Teacher
Ms. Barbara Larson has been teaching for 17 years. She has taught second grade, fourth grade, and junior high. She has a BA in Child Development from San Jose State University and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with a Supplement in Mathematics from Bethany College. She believes in having a safe and caring classroom environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and are willing to persevere through challenging tasks. She is thrilled to be teaching here at Canyon Heights Academy!
Mrs. Nicole Mezzetta
Second Grade Teacher
Mrs. Mezzetta joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2013 as the second grade teacher after 10 years of teaching both elementary and preschool children. 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. She taught students in preschool-fifth grade as a classroom teacher and also as a reading intervention teacher. Mrs. Mezzetta enjoys watching her students grow in their reading and preparing her class for their First Holy Communion.
Mrs. Virginia Orlando
Middle School Teacher
Ms. Orlando recently joined the faculty at Canyon Heights. She previously taught for 13 years in the Diocese of San Jose in a multitude of jobs including accelerated math, primary science, and 8th grade religion, math and history. She was also a Vice-Principal for one year. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies/Education at The University of Pacific and her Masters in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University. She is excited to be a part of the Middle School Team.
Ms. Jaqueline Paras
Lead Early Montessori Teacher
Ms. Paras joined CHA in 2022 and is currently the Lead Teacher in the Early Montessori Program. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from SFState University and a Montessori Credential from Pacific Oaks College. She has extensive experience working in Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, played-based, and bilingual environments. Also, Ms. Paras currently holds a Child Development Program Director’s Permit issued by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and has worked as a Preschool Director. Ms. Paras also has a Master’s Degree in Catholic Education from USF, specializing in teaching Religion. She loves being at CHA and though she has worked with children of all ages, including infants, she has a passion to serve toddlers! They achieve so many developmental milestones which are wonderful to see, observe, and celebrate with them! She also loves teaching about our Catholic faith. Currently, she is taking the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training for young children. Whether she is giving a Montessori lesson or sharing about the Catholic faith, Ms. Paras is committed to promoting a learning and sacred environment centered on love, respect, kindness, and unconditional acceptance.
Mr. Tho Pham
Middle School Teacher
Mr. Pham joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2017. Prior to joining Canyon Heights Academy, he taught math for 19 years and IT support for 3 years at private schools in Milpitas, Sacramento, and Washington State. Mr. Pham received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of Phoenix and a Master’s Degree with an emphasis in Management Information Technology from National University.
Mrs. Theresa Rainaldi
Middle School Teacher
After earning a Master’s degree in English from the University of Florida, Mrs. Theresa Rainaldi worked as a paralegal for the Social Security Administration for many years. In 2018, when Mrs. Rainaldi enrolled her daughter at Canyon Heights Academy, she fell in love with CHA’s preschool curriculum and the Montessori teaching method. She enthusiastically volunteered at CHA, becoming a familiar face as the librarian for preschoolers and kindergartners. Mrs. Rainaldi feels blessed to be on the preschool teaching team, and she is so excited to have the opportunity to work with young children. Mrs. Rainaldi looks forward to growing as a teacher, and to guiding preschoolers on their journey to discover, develop, and share their own unique strengths and talents.
Mrs. Kaitlin Ranck
Middle School Teacher
Mrs. Ranck joined Canyon Heights in 2018 and has taught fourth grade, fifth grade, and will now be teaching fifth grade religion, sixth grade history, and middle school theology. Mrs. Ranck earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Benedictine College. Mrs. Ranck is currently working on her Catholic Master’s in Teaching at Santa Clara University. She is excited to be working with the students this year and support them in their growth and relationship with Christ.
Mrs. Mayren Sanchez
Mrs. Sanchez the Spanish teacher for grades K-5, joined Canyon Height in 2017. Born and raised in Mexico City, her family recently moved to the US. By learning English as a second language herself, she has effective techniques and procedures which she can implement with the students. Mrs. Sanchez received an MA in Liberal Studies and a Juris Doctorate from the Universidad Anahuac. After graduation, she practiced corporate law in Mexico City for many years before starting a family and moving to the United States.
Mrs. Natalie Shvetsky
Mrs. Shvetsky received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Dragomanov in Ukraine and completed Montessori training in 2005 for ages 3 – 6 in San Leandro. She worked as a Kindergarten teacher for 15 years and as a 1st grade teacher for 3 years at a Montessori school in Sunnyvale.
Mrs. Shvetsky has a true passion for working with our younger learners! Helping each child progress in academic and social areas are challenges that she is honored to accept daily. She calls her students “My Kids” because in their year together they aren’t just children on her class list, they become a part of her heart.
Mrs. Shvetsky is happily married and has two beautiful daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She likes playing chess, tennis, and basketball with her daughters, reading books, swimming, hiking, cooking and watching comedy shows. She speaks English, Russian, and Greek. Her goal for this year is to start learning Spanish.
Mrs. Shvetsky enjoys teaching this age and level and promises that she will do her best to nurture your child in a very loving environment. She looks forward to working with your child throughout the year.
Mrs. Lizzie Soares
Middle School Teacher
Mrs. Soares joined Canyon Heights Academy as a middle school Language Arts teacher in 2018. She previously taught English at the secondary level for 11 years in public education, gaining an array of experience in supporting students with varied needs. Mrs. Soares was born and raised in San Jose and proudly attended San Jose State University earning a BA in English, an MA in English and Comparative Literature as well as her Teaching Credential.
Ms. Mary Ann Solano
First Grade Teacher
Ms. Solano has taught Grade 1 at Canyon Heights Academy for 13 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Humanities and a minor in Deaf Education, and a Masters Degree in Education from San Jose State University. She has previously worked as a catechist for hearing, deaf and hard of hearing children within the Diocese of San Jose and looks forward to returning as a catechist in the future. Ms. Solano joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2008 and is excited for another year of teaching in first grade.
Ms. Cauany Souza
Early Montessori Teacher
Mrs. Nadia West
Mrs. West graduated from Texas A&M International University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon moving to California in 2001, she joined Canyon Heights Academy. During her early years at the school, she taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Second Grade. In 2008, Mrs. West took a break from teaching to focus on her family. In 2010, she became a volunteer Preschool Catechetical Instructor at St. Justin Parish; she continues in this volunteer service to the present date. She was a substitute teacher for Canyon Heights Academy from 2014 to 2017. She taught most of the major subjects from Kindergarten through 5th grade at Mater Ecclesiae Academy from 2015 until 2020. In 2021, she returned full-time to Canyon Heights Academy. She is currently in the process of completing her American Montessori Society Early Childhood certification.
Open House Schedule
Click Here for our Full Events Calendar
To contact one of our school administrators, please call us at: (408) 370-6727 and request their extension below.
Mr. Kevin Holman, Executive Director
Mrs. Adrienne Barajas, Advancement Coordinator
Dr. Analiza Filion, Principal
Mrs. Marija Fisher, Vice Principal - Early Montessori, Preschool and Kindergarten Director
Ms. Melissa Ma, Director of Finance and Operations