My Catholic education journey began in 2001 at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Whittier, CA, where I taught 2nd grade. I earned a Masters in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University, a Bachelors in Family and Consumer Sciences and Child Development from California State University, Long Beach, and hold a California Teaching Credential. This year marks twenty years of teaching in Catholic education. My experience extends from primary (PK-2) to middle school (6-8) in both the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange. Through the years, I have served in several leadership capacities such as vice-principal/interim principal at St. Louise de Marillac School, a member of WASC Accreditation Leadership and Review teams, Lead teacher in both primary and middle school, a member of the Retention, Enrollment and Marketing Team, and on a DLI Program Research and Development Committee. I am bilingual and fluent in English and Spanish. I am passionate about Catholic education. I believe Catholic schools establish a strong faith foundation and form people of integrity, compassion, and wisdom. I am excited to start this new journey at St. Polycarp Online Catholic Academy.
Hi! My name is Celeste Avina and I’m so excited to be part of Poly Carp Online Academy. I can’t wait to meet my first graders!!! It’s going to be a fun year filled with learning and adventures.
Teaching is a huge passion of mine and I’m so grateful that I have been teaching since 2007 in private education and have taught grades K-12th.
A couple things about me, I graduated from the Masters and Credential program from Grand Canyon University and my daughter will be attending there this September!!! My husband and I are both involved with Catholic education and our two younger daughters also attend private school.
In order to have fun this year, my goal is to create a family of learners that support each other and encourage everyone in the classroom. We are going to have a great year with so many activities that can be done around your home, outside or even on a family walk. I want this learning experience to be enjoyable for you and your child. I’m excited to get this year started to learn more about you.
Ms. Denise Filipek '95 began her teaching career in the aftermath of 2003's "Hurricane Elvis" in Memphis, TN as a member of the inaugural cohort of the Lasallian Alliance for New Catholic Educators. There she had the joy to teach scholars in grades 9-12 at Memphis Catholic High School. When she moved back home to California, she also returned home to her own alma mater, Saint Polycarp School, and taught middle school. Through the years, she has taught middle school learners at Saint Edward the Confessor in Dana Point, Saint Catherine of Siena in Laguna Beach, and at Saint Anne School in Santa Ana. She has a B.A. in English/Journalism & Art History from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English 7-12 from Christian Brothers (Catholic) University in Memphis, Tennessee. Fourteen members of her family (including both her parents) are proud Saint Polycarp graduates, and she is beyond thrilled to be a part of this community's next 60 years of faith, learning, and growth. Go Pirates!
Ms. Evy Phan found her love for education and children when she began volunteering in 2012 as youth leader at her home parish and working as a STEM facilitator for an after school program, Youth Science Center. After receiving a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from UCI, she completed her teaching credential and M.A. degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education at Cal State LA. From 2017-2020, she has worked as a substitute teacher in various K-6 classrooms in both the public and private sector including long term substitute positions at St. Polycarp Catholic School 2019-2020. Ms. Phan is beyond excited to be a part of the St. Polycarp School family and look forward to learning and growing with the 2nd grade class!
Ms. Marina Ruiz started teaching in 2013. She has taught 5-8th ELA for the past several years in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She holds both a BA and MA in English. Last year she started at St. Polycarp and is looking forward to teaching there again this year.
Mrs. Mary Flock began teaching in 2001. Her first teaching adventure was a spunky 2nd grade class at Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra, CA. After five years in 2nd grade, Mary moved on to St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, CA as the Dean of Discipline and multi-level Religion teacher for six years. Mrs. Flock left high school administration and served as the principal of St. Gertrude the Great Catholic School in Bell Gardens, CA, from 2011 to 2018. She holds a B.S. in Social Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a Catholic Leadership Certificate and a Masters in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount University. Mrs. Flock is excited and eager to begin her 3rd as the principal of St. Polycarp School, Online Catholic Academy.
Ms. Ramirez has over eight years of experience working in the education field. She fell in love with teaching during her internship with Media Done Responsibly, where she helped design and facilitate conscious media workshops to high school students. Her teaching career began in 2016, in an after school program in Koreatown called Ivy League Academy. While at Ivy League Academy, she had the opportunity to work with students from TK through first grade. She then moved to St. Anthony Catholic School, in San Gabriel, where she worked for three years teaching kindergarten and first grade. Ms. Ramirez holds a B.S. in Liberal Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters in Education. She is excited and is looking forward to joining the St.Polycarp School family.