Faculty & Staff

The core of Providence School is a talented faculty and staff, mature in Christian faith, excellent in their disciplines, skilled in the art of teaching, passionate about helping students succeed, and committed to the school’s mission. We have no doubt our faculty is among the best you’ll find anywhere in the nation.

Families can have great confidence in the role models who stand in front of their children every day.


Photo of Bryan Anderson Bryan Anderson Upper School Math and Engineering Teacher; Academic Support Director

Attended: University of Oregon; University of California at San Diego

Degrees: B.S. Business/Accounting; Math Teaching Credential

Joined Providence in 2022

Bryan Anderson is an experienced teacher who has also participated in the business world. He enjoys connecting with students and their families to assist in developing them and preparing them to confidently take next steps in their education.…

Photo of Olivia Avery Olivia Avery Preschool Teacher

Attended: The University of British Columbia

Degrees: B.A. English Literature, B.A. Creative Writing; early childhood education courses

Joined Providence in 2020

Miss Olivia began her educational journey in our preschool and was in Mrs. Larson’s Prek class as well as Miss Catheleene’s Room 2 class. She is thrilled to be back teaching where it all began.…

Photo of Kara Baker Kara Baker Lower School Reading and Learning Specialist

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Liberal Studies; Teaching Credential

Joined Providence in 2013

Kara Baker has a strong understanding of student development and enjoys sharing a relationship with each student based on interests, personality, and faith.

Her favorite Providence tradition is leading the Lower School cheerleaders at the Homecoming basketball game.

LoriAnn Banez Associate Development Director

Attended: Biola University and Westmont College

Subject focus: Economics and business

Joined Providence in 2022

LoriAnn Banez spent time in the real estate and staffing industries befogging serving eight years in career development at Westmont College, where she engaged employers to develop job and internship opportunities and helped prepare students for the world of work. Her recent leadership roles on Westmont’s advancement team prepared her well to serve our ministry partners and to help advance Providence’s mission.…

Photo of Alex Bayet Alex Bayet Chef

“Chef Alex” provides tasty and nutritious meals for students on the San Roque campus.

He and his wife, Ana, are the parents of two sons, one a current Providence student and one a former Providence student.

Photo of Ana Bayet Ana Bayet Lower School Spanish Teacher

Attended: Universitat USHS (Strasbourg, France) and the European University of Madrid, Spain; Foundacion Fidescu

Degrees: bachelor’s degree in modern languages applied to international commerce (translating and interpreting); master’s degree in legal translation

Joined Providence in 2013

Since 2000, Ana Bayet has worked as a Spanish teacher, art teacher, and translator for schools and businesses around the world, including in Santa Barbara.…

Photo of Maxwell Beers Maxwell Beers Upper School Bible and Digital Design Teacher

Attended: Luther College; Bemidji State University

Degrees: B.A. Religion; Career and Technology Education credential

Joined Providence in 2015

Maxwell Beers teaches Upper School Bible classes, co-directs The Studio digital design academy, and does design work to enhance Providence School branding.  Prior to joining the Providence faculty, he worked at HYDROLogic as a marketing consultant and graphic designer and served as a career and technology teacher in the Minneapolis public school system.…

Photo of Sarah Bentley Sarah Bentley Upper School Spanish Teacher

Attended: Azusa Pacific University; Fresno Pacific University; Universidad de Salamanca

Degrees: B.A. Spanish; Spanish teaching credential; M.A. Spanish Language and Culture

Joined Providence in 2011.

Sarah Bentley was Student Ministry Coordinator for Trinity Christian College’s program in Seville, Spain from 2009 to 2011. After returning home to California, she wanted to teach at a small private school, which brought her to Providence.…

Photo of Kristi Bolton Kristi Bolton Kindergarten Teacher

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Liberal Studies; preliminary California teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2021

Kristi (Cushing) Bolton has experience teaching in kindergarten, first grade, and fifth grade.

Her favorite Providence tradition is the community-building All-School BBQ at the close of the Providence Fund Kickoff Week.

 

Jac Briner Special Events Coordinator
Photo of Susan Champion Susan Champion MS/US Asst. Principal; Spiritual LIfe

Attended: California State University, Northridge; Pepperdine University

Degrees: B.A. in English; M.A. in American Studies

Joined Providence in 2017

Currently, alongside her several roles at Providence, Susan Champion is also an adjunct professor at Westmont in the English Department.

After college, she worked at Mission College in Sylmar as a tutor for students with learning/physical differences, before joining the faculty at Oaks Christian School (Thousand Oaks, CA).…

Photo of Soo Chang Soo Chang Head of School

Attended: University of Southern California (USC); BIOLA University

Degrees: B.S. Business Administration and Finance; M.Div. Christian Education

Joined Providence in 2020

Soo Chang began his career in Christian education in 2003 at The Cambridge School of Dallas, serving as admissions director and chaplain. School leadership is his passion and his calling. He has done post-graduate training in leadership through the Arrow Leadership Program.…

Photo of Caroline Corazza Caroline Corazza Advancement Director

Attended: University of Virginia

Degrees: B.A. Government

Joined Providence in 2017

Caroline Corazza began her career as a development officer at the Young America’s Foundation Reagan Ranch Center and Rancho del Cielo, President Reagan’s historic home. She joined Providence as the development director, and shortly thereafter was named advancement director.…

Photo of Evan Covell Evan Covell Athletic Director

Attended: Westmont College; Concordia University, Irvine

Degrees: B.A. English; working toward a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration; certified USTFCCCA Endurance Specialist

Joined Providence in 2018

Before being named athletic director in 2021, Coach Covell was already deeply involved in the Providence community, having trained the track and field and cross-country teams for the previous four years.…

Photo of Caroline Cushman Caroline Cushman First Grade Teacher

Attended: Biola University

Degrees: B.A. in Liberal Arts Elementary Education

Caroline Cushman joined Providence in 2020 as a first grade teacher. She enjoys working in an environment that values faith above all else. She also loves to foster faith and relationships amongst students and staff.

While at Biola University earning her bachelor’s degree, she also undertook a minor concentration in Bible and another in special education.…

Photo of James Daly James Daly Middle and Upper School Art Teacher

Attended: Westmont College; University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Degrees: B.A. Studio Art and a teaching credential; M.A. Education

Joined Providence in 2008

An accomplished visual artist and photographer, James Daly co-directs The Studio and teaches classical visual arts to both Middle and Upper School Providence students.

He and his wife, Carrie, are the parents of two daughters, both Providence students.…

Photo of Julia Davis Julia Davis Preschool Admissions Director

Attended: Westmont College; University of Southern California (USC)

Degrees: B.A. in Spanish and Business; Certificate of Enrollment Management

Originally joined Providence 2007–2008; rejoined in 2016.

Julia Davis began her career in education at El Montecito School where she taught Spanish and pre-Algebra for a year. For the next seven years she would work as the associate director of admissions at Crane County Day School.…

Photo of Jamie DeVries Jamie DeVries Upper School Humanities, Economics, and Bible Teacher

Attended: Westmont College; Chapman University

Degrees: B.S. Economics and Business; Teaching Credential

Joined Providence in 2022

Jame DeVries joined the Providence faculty after teaching one year at Santa Ynez Valley High School and 22 years at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. At San Marcos, he founded the Entrepreneurship Academy, the Kids Helping Kids fundraising program, and was CEO of ELP Education.…

Photo of Sarah Eglin Sarah Eglin Lower School Music Teacher

Attended: State University of New York College at Fredonia

Degrees: B.M. in Piano Performance, B.M.E. in Music Education

Joined Providence in 2013.

Sarah Eglin has been teaching music, directing, accompanying, and performing in the Santa Barbara area since 1999. She previously worked with the New York State Summer School of the Arts Choral Studies program for four years as a studio accompanist and instructor.…

Photo of Chris Elwood Chris Elwood Upper School Humanities and Bible Teacher

Attended: Westmont College; Chapman University; Colorado Christian College; Southern New Hampshire University

Degrees: B.A. English and a B.A. in Philosophy; secondary education teaching credential; M.A. Instruction and Curriculum Design; M.A. English Literature in progress

Joined Providence in 2008

Chris Elwood’s extensive background in education begins with his several degrees. With earning those came a love of literature, history, and philosophy, which led him to join the Providence faculty.…

Photo of Austin Escamilla Austin Escamilla Performing Arts

Joined Providence in 2021

A lifelong performer, Austin Escamilla has spent many years working in the Santa Barbara theater world. He has founded theater companies, and run dozens of musicals, taught all ages in a variety of contexts. He has a passion for improvisation and sketch comedy, as well as acting for the stage and camera.…

Desiree Feller Preschool Director

Attended: Westmont College; Santa Barbara City College ECE Program

Degrees: B.A. Spanish and Hispanic Studies; Early Childhood Education (24 units)

Desiree Feller first joined Providence in 2014 as a teacher in the El Montecito School (ELMO) preschool. After a time living in Hawaii, she came back to Santa Barbara and rejoined Providence in 2022 as Preschool director.…

Photo of Kendra Forster Kendra Forster Middle School Science Teacher

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.S. Biology

Joined Providence in 2021

Mrs. Kendra Forster, an Augustinian Scholar at Westmont, was named “Outstanding Biology Graduate” by her professors. She has a keen interest in sharing her love of the natural world with others.

In her own experience of studying the science, she was drawn closer to God and she hopes to help students cultivate a sense of wonder for and knowledge of the natural world, while challenging them to place that wonder and knowledge within a greater Christian narrative. …

Photo of Crystal Guzman Crystal Guzman Fourth Grade Teacher

Attended: California Lutheran University

Degrees: B.A. Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, preliminary teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2021

Crystal Guzman taught in Mongolia with the Peace Crops for two years and was awarded Arkhangai’s 2019 Honored Teacher of the Year Award. She returned to the United States to teach English as foreign language (TEFL) to international students at ELC in Santa Barbara, where she also mentored incoming, prospective TEFL teachers.…

Rebecca Hodson San Roque Office Assistant

Attended: Westmont College; California State College Stanislaus; Colorado University at Boulder

Degrees: B.A. Vocal Performance; K–12 Music Teaching Credential; M.Mus. Choral Conducting and Vocal Pedagogy

Rebecca Leftwich Hodson first joined the Providence faculty in 2007, serving as Upper School music teacher in the inaugural year for Providence Hall. She was director of vocal and performing arts until 2018, when she left for a similar position at Capistrano Christian School in Orange County.…

Iwris Hoffman-Kelly Lower School Assistant Teacher

Attended: Hogeschool Utrecht; University of Amsterdam

Degrees: B.A. Journalism; M.S. Clinical Psychology

Joined Providence in 2022

Iwris (pronounced “Iris”) Hoffman-Kelly began her career in journalism. For 11 years she worked as a reporter and news anchor for the national TV news station in her native country, The Netherlands. She switched to a career in education when she and her husband, Paul, and their two sons moved to Santa Barbara in 2016.…

Photo of Diane Horvath Diane Horvath Tuition Assistance Director

Diane Horvath directed the Financial Aid Office at Westmont College for more than 30 years before joining the former Providence Hall staff in 2011. Her wealth of experience is an asset to the Providence community.

Photo of Emilee Hurlbert Emilee Hurlbert Admissions Associate Director (7-12)

Attended: Westmont College

Degree: B.A. Music

Joined Providence in 2016

Before joining the Providence staff, Emilee Hurlbert was the director of advancement and marketing at Heritage Christian Schools in Bakersfield for four years. Prior to holding that position, she was the student and young alumni coordinator at her alma mater, Westmont College.…

Photo of Taylor Randle Hurt Taylor Randle Hurt Upper School Science Teacher

Attended: University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Degrees: B.A. Chemistry; secondary teaching credential, Chemistry and Physics; M.A. Education

Joined Providence in 2013

Taylor Hurt came to Providence for the opportunity to teach with great freedom to talk about science, about faith, and about how they connect.

Taylor and his wife, Mary, are the parents of two children; both attend the Providence Preschool.…

Photo of Christa Jones Christa Jones Third Grade Teacher

Attended: Huntington University; Saint Francis University; Spring Arbor University

Degrees: B.S. Education with a Special Education minor; elementary education teaching credential; M.A. Education

Joined Providence in 2009

Before coming to Providence, Mrs. Jones was the resource teacher at Churubusco Middle School, a special education, first grade, and second grade teacher at Northwest Elementary, and the early childhood director and teacher for ESL.…

Erica Kent Preschool Assistant Teacher
Photo of Tawny Kilpper Tawny Kilpper Admissions and Marketing Director

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Degree: B.A. Theater Arts (emphasis on playwriting and directing)

Joined Providence in 2019

Tawny Kilpper is an advancement and marketing specialist who utilizes storytelling to help institutions further their mission and reach. Over 25 years experience in theater and film taught her how to craft compelling narratives, develop strategic plans, and execute them with precision.…

Photo of Matthew Knoles Matthew Knoles Lower School Principal

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB); Chapman University; California State University Northridge

Degrees: B.S. Sociology; California teaching credential; M.A. Educational Policy and Leadership and a preliminary administrative credential

Joined Providence in 2014

Matt Knoles has been Lower School principal since 2016. He joined the Providence administration as assistant head of Lower School in 2014.…

Photo of April Lagunas April Lagunas Preschool Assistant Teacher

Miss April is an experienced caregiver for both children and senior citizens. She loves to plan activities and to see little ones learn and grow. She joined the Providence Preschool staff in 2019.

Her favorite Providence traditions are the Preschool Christmas program and the Fall Festival.

Kellie Landrum Marketing Coordinator
Photo of Tracy Larson Tracy Larson Preschool Teacher

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB); Santa Barbara City College

Degrees: B.A. French; Early Childhood Education courses

Joined Providence in 1995

After a career in retail/fashion merchandising, Tracy Larson was led to further her training in early childhood education. She has taught preschool students for more than 20 years, has attended five NAEYC annual conferences, and has worked in a Washington, D.C.…

Terry Lucera Canon Perdido Office Manager

Attended: California State University Northridge

Degree: B.S. Biological Sciences

Terry Lucera first joined the Providence faculty in a multi-hat role as Lower School science teacher, curriculum coordinator, and Modoc campus office manager. Her previous teaching experience was at Quest in Science and at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California. She has also served as a teacher editor for Lesson Planet, Inc.…

Photo of Jenny Lyutko Jenny Lyutko Preschool Teacher

Attended: Santa Barbara Community College

Degree: A.A. Early Childhood Education

Joined Providence in 2019

Miss Jenny, an experienced preschool teacher, loves the Christian community that is Providence. Alongside her work as a preschool teacher, she also runs a small creative business called Poppies By The Sea.

Her favorite Providence tradition is daily morning staff prayers.

Photo of Tania Martinez Tania Martinez Fifth Grade Teacher
Photo of Jill McLemore Jill McLemore Lower School Academic Support Specialist

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Liberal Studies and multiple-subject teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2006

Jill has been a lower-elementary classroom teacher and now serves as academic support specialist.

She and her husband, Shomari, are the parents of a son who just began attending Providence Preschool.

Her favorite Providence tradition is when the kindergarten and first grade students dress up as 100-year-old elderly people to recognize the 100th day of school.

Photo of Rodney Meadth Rodney Meadth MS/US Principal; Engineering Academy

Attended: RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia)

Degree: B.S. Aerospace Engineering 

Joined Providence in 2014

An Australian by birth, Rod Meadth came to Providence after serving as secondary principal at Quisqueya Christian School in Haiti. He has served Providence as dean of students, as the founding director of the Providence Engineering Academy, and is now the principal of the Middle and Upper Schools.…

Photo of Scott Mitchell Scott Mitchell Outdoor Education Director, PE Teacher

Attended: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); California University of Pennsylvania (where he has served as an adjunct faculty member)

Degrees: B.S. Sociology; M.S. Exercise Science

Joined Providence in 2017

Scott Mitchell aims to use his years of experience and education to create a physical fitness experience for students that is not “PE as usual.” His goal is to help students grow in their understanding of the human body and to experience how the body is created to move, play, and respond.…

Photo of Kayla Monson Kayla Monson Second Grade Teacher

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Liberal studies and multiple-subject teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2019

Kayla Monson was attracted to Providence by the school’s educational philosophy. She appreciates the focus on the whole child rather than solely on academic growth. She enjoys being part of a strong, Christ-centered community that encourages every staff member, student, and family toward knowing God in a deeper way.…

Bayli Morrow Preschool Teacher
Photo of Nancy Noell Nancy Noell Preschool Teacher

Attended: University of Texas 

Degrees: B.S. Education, certified in elementary education, special education, and preschool education

Nancy Noell has been teaching preschool and kindergarten classes at Providence School and its affiliates for more than 30 years. She’s also taught special education classes in Texas and Louisiana, as well as preschool classes in Louisiana.…

Photo of Lisa Nyman Lisa Nyman Lower School Assistant Teacher
Photo of Catheleene Ooley Catheleene Ooley Preschool Teacher

Attended: Santa Barbara City College

Degrees: A.S. Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education credentials 

Joined Providence in 1988

Catheleene Ooley has been teaching preschool students since 1981. After operating a daycare in Carpinteria, where she grew up, she joined the staff of El Montecito School (which became Providence School in 2018).…

Maya Ortiz Preschool Assistant Teacher
Photo of Laurie Osborne Laurie Osborne Fifth Grade Teacher

Attended: Biola University

Degrees: B.A. Liberal Studies in Education

Joined Providence in 2020

Mrs. Laurie Osborne appreciates being able to live out her passion for teaching with the integration of her faith in Christ. She enjoys helping her students grow both academically and spiritually. Providence’s clear stance on Biblical principles and the school’s mission to help every child that comes through the door, no matter his or her background, drew her to work at the school.…

Photo of Connie Petersen Connie Petersen Canon Perdido Campus Receptionist

Joined Providence in 2020

Connie Petersen is an alumnus of Santa Barbara Christian School, which is now part of Providence School. She feels that God has called her to work at Providence and is thankful for that blessing.  She is an ardent believer in the values and kindness that Providence provides to students, including her own daughter, who is a member of the Class of 2024.…

Photo of Tiffany Philibosian Tiffany Philibosian First Grade Teacher

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Degrees: B.A. English; multi-subject teaching credential; M.A. Education 

Joined Providence in 2012

Tiffany Philibosian’s graduate degrees focused on teaching and learning, in both comprehension and mathematics, preparing her well for teaching in the Lower School classroom at Providence.  She worked at Lindood Bell Learning Processes for three years before coming to Providence in 2012.…

Photo of Jessie Prahm Jessie Prahm Lower School Science Teacher

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB); California State University, Sacramento

Degrees: B.A. Communication; multiple-subject teaching credential (CLAD) 

Joined Providence in 2004

Before Jessica Prahm joined Providence, she already had an extensive teaching career. She was director of education at a Sylvan Learning Center, as well as a fifth-grade classroom teacher at Stocklmeir Elementary School (Cupertino, CA) where she received the Teacher of the Year award.…

Photo of Evie Prohaska Evie Prohaska Lower School Instructional Aide

Attended: New Tribes Bible Institute; New Tribes Language and Linguistic Institute

Joined Providence in 1985

Evie Prohaska’s roots at Providence go deep. She is a Santa Barbara Christian School alumnus, who completed 6th grade there in 1966. Two of her three children also attended Santa Barbara Christian School.

Her varied experiences before joining Providence include teaching phonetics to missionary candidates at New Tribes Language and Linguistics institute, and serving at Santa Barbara-area elementary schools, including assisting the principal at Coastline Christian Academy working as an instructional aide at Vieja Valley Elementary.…

Photo of Abigail Pryor Abigail Pryor Performing Arts

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Theatre Arts

Joined Providence in 2021

Abbie Pryor earned the distinction at Westmont of “Outstanding Student in the Theatre Arts Department.” She is experienced in playing various theatrical roles, vocal and instrumental music, and dance. 

At Providence, Miss Pryor teaches theater, instrumental music, and a Middle School Bible class.…

Photo of Maria Rocha Maria Rocha Lower School Assistant Teacher

Attended: Santa Barbara City College

Degree: A.A. Science and Math

Maria Rocha joined Providence in 2022 as an assistant teacher in the Lower School. She previously worked in special education for 17 years at Adams Elementary School in Santa Barbara. She joined Providence because she appreciates the biblical values that are honored and taught.

She loves chapel services on Wednesdays, praying with the staff every morning at 8 am, and teaching Bible lessons throughout the day.

Photo of Ana Rodriguez Ana Rodriguez Preschool Teacher

Attended: Santa Barbara City College

Degree: A.A. Early Childhood Education

Joined Providence:

Ana Rodriguez’s career in early childhood education began at Star King Parent-Child Workshop in Santa Barbara. She then followed her three sons to Peabody School and eventually worked at Hope School. After earning her early childhood education credential she joined the El Montecito School (now Providence School) faculty.…

Photo of Elaine Rottman Elaine Rottman Strategic Communications Director

Attended: Calvin University

Degree: B.A. English, with a minor in journalism; further studies in linguistics and library science

Joined Providence in 2010

Elaine Rottman has worked in independent and Christian school communications, marketing, and development since 1981. Prior to joining the administration of Providence as director of advancement she worked at Contra Costa Christian High School (Walnut Creek, CA) and Brookfield Academy (Brookfield, WI).…

Photo of Jessica Rydman Jessica Rydman Kindergarten Teacher
Photo of Melody Schloss Melody Schloss Preschool Teacher

Attended: Wheaton College 

Degree: B.A. Elementary Education

Joined Providence in 1989

Melody Schloss began her teaching career in the first-grade classroom and as a K–6 administrator at Gateway Christian School (St. Louis, MO). After spending some time at home with the three boys born to her and Dr. Jeff Schloss, a Westmont biology professor, they decided they wanted them to attend El Montecito Early School for the beginning years of their education.…

Kira Sheley Preschool Teacher
Taylor Slover Upper School Mathematics Teacher

Attended: California State University, Fresno

Degrees: B.S. Mathematics; M.B.A.

Before joining the Providence faculty as Upper School math teacher in 2022, Taylor Slover was a professional volleyball player in Finland, Switzerland, and Germany. Off seasons, she has been substitute teaching in local school districts since 2018. If that weren’t enough, she has also been working in financial planning with the Money Concepts organization.…

Photo of Allison Smelley Allison Smelley Middle School Mathematics Teacher

Attended: Westmont College

Degrees: B.A. Sociology, multiple-subject teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2012

Mrs. Smelley started teaching at Santa Barbara Christian School in 1987 and  as of 2021, has taught for 18 years. Teaching Middle School math combines three of her favorites: middle school students, algebra, and Providence! She also enjoys participating as an assistant coach for the varsity girls tennis team.…

Photo of Julie Sommers Julie Sommers San Roque Campus Office Manager

Attended: Westmont College; Union Presbyterian Seminary

Degrees: B.A. Religious Studies; M.A. Christian Education

Joined Providence in 2002

Julie Sommers began her Providence career as office manager for El Montecito School. In her career in Christian education, she has served for three years as Director of Christian Education (D.C.E.) at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Modesto, fifteen years as the D.C.E.…

Photo of Hannah Sugar Hannah Sugar Lower School PE Teacher

Attended: Marquette University

Degree: B.A. Sciences

Hannah Sugar joined the Providence Lower School faculty as physical education teacher in 2022. She was drawn to Providence because she believes the school provides a great environment for children to safely learn and grow. She appreciates how evident it is that the staff authentically cares about the students and wants to see them thrive.…

Photo of Carri Svoboda Carri Svoboda Middle School Humanities Teacher

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Degrees: B.A. English, single-subject (English) teaching credential

Joined Providence in 2000

Carri Svoboda is a National Board certified teacher of English language arts for early adolescents. While earning her teaching credential, she was named Student Teacher of the Year (1993). Ms.…

Photo of Carolina Taylor Carolina Taylor Preschool Teacher

Attended: Santa Barbara City College; Antioch University of Santa Barbara

Degrees: A.S. Early Childhood Education; B.A. Liberal Arts with emphasis in Child Education; M.A. Education; preliminary CA teaching credential in process

Joined Providence in 2017

Carolina Taylor discovered her love for teaching and working with children while working at summer camps and volunteering at Girls Inc.…

Photo of April Torres April Torres Sixth Grade Teacher

Attended: University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB); CaPSE Summer Institute

Degrees: B.A. Biological Sciences, secondary sciences teaching credential; additional studies in math and science education

Joined Providence in 2010

Mrs. Torres came to Providence because she enjoys leading students through core content areas that activate discovery, discipleship, and human creativity inspired by God, shepherded by Jesus, with significant purpose in the Holy Spirit.…

Photo of Sophie Troya Sophie Troya College Counseling Director

Attended: Westmont College; University of California San Diego

Degrees: B.A. Communications Studies; certificate of college counseling

Joined Providence in 2018

Sophie Troya has a passion for the development of high school students. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked in the Westmont admissions office for three years. She and her husband, Derek, are the parents of a young son and serve together in youth ministry in Santa Barbara.…

Photo of Donna Venzor Donna Venzor Fiscal Operations Director

Attended: Westmont College

Joined Providence in 1997

Donna Venzor is the financial manager for multiple businesses and nonprofits in Santa Barbara, including Providence, with more than 40 years of experience in the field.

She loves how Providence provides an excellent Christian education, year after year. Her family has been involved with Santa Barbara Christian School and Providence for more than 30 years.…

Paloma Walker Preschool Substitute Teacher

Attended: Westmont College

Degree: B.A. Psychology

Paloma Walker joined the Providence Preschool teaching staff as a long-term substitute in 2022. Previously, she was employed for five years as a vision therapist.

Paloma has a son who is enrolled in Preschool Room 1.

She is excited to be part of the teaching team and to “soak up some sweet time with the PreK kids.”

Photo of Andy White Andy White Lower School Chapel Band Director

Attended: Westmont College; Azusa Pacific University

Degrees: B.A. in Religious Studies, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; M.Ed. in Curriculum

Joined Providence in 2000

Andy White taught third grade and led the Lower School Chapel worship band at Providence for 21 years. In 2021, he left full-time teaching to take a position with Santa Barbara Community Church. We are thrilled that Mr.…

Photo of Mary Wilson Mary Wilson Lower School Assistant Principal

Attended: Biola University; California Lutheran University

Degrees: B.A. Liberal Studies with a Biblical studies minor, elementary education teaching credential;  M.A. Educational Leadership / Administration; administrative services credential

Joined Providence in 2017

Mary Wilson has been a teaching professional since 2007. She joined the Providence Lower School faculty after teaching at Oaks Christian School (Thousand Oaks, CA) and Pleasant Valley Christian School (Camarillo, CA).…

Photo of Rhonda Yager Rhonda Yager Lower School Art Teacher

Attended: Westmont College; California State University-Northridge

Degrees: B.A.; teaching credential

Joined Providence in 1994

Rhonda Yager has taught elementary school students in some capacity for more than 25 years. A lifelong learner, Mrs. Yager enjoys taking art workshops to get new and creative ideas for the classroom. She finds joy as an art teacher in the amazing ways we can explore God’s creation through art, discovering the fantastic colors and patterns in nature as well as our innate desire to create and each child’s ability to worship our creator through art.…

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