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.
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. 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.
Ms. Kaitlin Hughes
Middle School Teacher
Ms. Hughes 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. Ms. Hughes earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Benedictine College. Ms. Hughes 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. Julie Keeney
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 holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) early childhood credential and is extremely passionate about the Montessori teaching method. She is “over the moon” with excitement to be on 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
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.
Ms. Shanmei Kuang
Ms. Kuang joined the Canyon Heights community as a Kindergarten teacher in 2019. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2014. She received her Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Santa Clara University in 2019. Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Kuang taught grade 4 in a Catholic school and worked as an instructional aide to students with moderate to severe autism. Ms. Kuang is an active parishioner at the San Jose Chinese Catholic Mission. She looks forward to growing as a teacher and helping form Christian leaders with the Canyon Heights community!
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.
Ms. Emie Mijares
Early Montessori Teacher
Ms. Mijares has spent her entire career working with children, including 17 years with toddlers, prior to joining Canyon Heights Academy in the winter of 2018. She received Montessori certification from South Bay College and has worked in schools since 2002. She is excited to continue working with our youngest students in a Catholic Montessori environment.
Mrs. Vui Nguyen
Mrs. Nguyen joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2018 as a preschool teacher. She graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and completed her American Montessori Society Early Childhood Credential. She has been in this early childhood field for more than 10 years and teaching has always been her passion. It is amazing to see young minds grow and develop! She enjoys baking, listening to music, and spending time with her family in her free time.
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.
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.
Mr. Martin Procaccio
Mr. Procaccio brings more than thirty years of experience including a devoted career designing, leading and evaluating high achieving and high performing public and private high schools to Canyon Heights Academy. Mr. Procaccio began his career as a United States History and Religious Studies teacher at a small Catholic high school in Northern California. In addition to his teaching career, Mr. Procaccio is an accomplished Track, Cross County and Football coach who has been fortunate to mentor several nationally ranked athletes. He has served as an Athletic Director, a Vice Principal, a Principal, an Assistant Superintendent, a Director and founder of a nationally recognized Special Education Program and a dedicated counselor to many at risk youth. Mr. Procaccio has even displayed a little musical talent as the Band Director at a Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. He has worked in post secondary education at San Jose State University as an Associate Director of the Disabled Students program and has engaged in lecturing at his alma mater, Santa Clara University where he earned his undergraduate degrees and his Master of Arts degree in Special Education. He has additional coursework in counseling and educational administration. He is a devoted father and husband to a family of educators. His wife is a middle school math teacher, his daughter is a law professor at Santa Clara University and his son is an aide for autistic children and an outstanding musician. He remains dedicated to the philosophy that all students can achieve. It is the responsibility of education to find the methods to instill a passion for learning in the minds and hearts of each student.
Mr. Kevin Rossiter
Middle School Latin
Mr. Rossiter joined Canyon Heights Academy in 2019 as a long-term substitute teacher. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and pursued graduate studies in Rome, completing the Diploma in Spiritual Theology and the Ph.L. in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (also known as the Angelicum) and the Diploma in Latin Letters at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
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. 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. Judaline Swinkels
Ms. Swinkels teaches Music to all grades at Canyon Heights and directs the Elite Ensemble, Cardinal Choir and Ukulele Club. Ms. Swinkels joined CHA in 2013 bringing 20 years of experience in music, theatrical and choral performance and over 15 years in classroom instruction. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) and the Society for Research in Music Education. She also holds an Early Childhood Learning Montessori credential. She has appeared on Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated recordings with the San Francisco Symphony and has toured the UK as a soloist with Stanford University.
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.
Mr. Matthew Zeik
Fourth Grade Teacher
Mr. Zeik has been the fourth grade teacher at Canyon Heights Academy since 2017. He previously taught at Royal Palm Academy in Florida, including 4 years in the fourth grade. He received a BA in Philosophy from the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He studied Education Administration at St. Louis University while simultaneously studying Education at Lindenwood University. In Florida, he was also Program Director at Catholic Charities for seven years, directing the organization’s Education Programs and Human Trafficking Victim Assistance outreach. Prior to teaching, he worked as a missionary for 5 years in Mexico. He is completing his Master Degree in Psychology from Divine Mercy University.
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To contact one of our school administrators, please call us at: (408) 370-6727 and request their extension below.
Mr. Kevin Holman, Executive Director
Ms. Adrienne Rube, Advancement Coordinator
Ms. Melissa Ma, Director of Finance and Operations
Mrs. Estela Zeik, Principal
Mrs. Marija Fisher, Vice Principal -
Early Montessori, Preschool and Kindergarten Director