Faculty

The research on quality schools typically speak to 3 commonalities: strong faculty and staff, strong family engagement, and strong leadership all with a commitment to high expectations. In all 3 areas, STS is highly regarded with proven results: The faculty and staff are well trained, experienced and have a firm grasp of children’s learning styles, their respective subjects and the 3 R’s of rigor and high expectations, relevance and best teaching practices, and relationships and the ability to love and care for every student unconditionally as well as build bridges with parents;

Strong family engagement is evidenced by parent(s), guardians, faculty and staff working together in a partnership and actively supporting the welfare of the STS students. STS is a Hawaiian school and as a school rooted in both faith and the Aloha spirit, the sense of Ohana is strong and connected to our cultural values.

OOPS!  Please pardon our little construction below!

The Faculty of Saint Theresa School

Sister John Joseph Gilligan, CSJ

Principal

Sister John Joseph Gilligan is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet of the province of Albany, N.Y., where she was born.  She came to the islands in 1980 to teach at St. Theresa School in Honolulu where she later served as principal. This is the second time she will lead the school as its top administrator. Sister John Joesph also taught at St. Anthony School, Kailua, and was the director of peace education for Hawaii Catholic Schools. She celebrated her 50th anniversary of religious life in 2011.

Conception (Bernie) Gora

Vice Principal

I began my career as a piano teacher and preschool music teacher at Keiki Music School in Waipahu while only a freshman at the University of Hawaii as a music major.  Ten years later I took on a position as a Music Director at Holy Family Catholic Church in Security, Colorado.  Living for only a few years in beautiful Colorado, I returned home in the late 1980’s. After 16 years of teaching general music and choir at Holy Family Catholic Academy Honolulu followed by St. Theresa School, I shifted my teaching career to teaching Social Studies in the Middle School in 2011. Today, I am one of three leaders in administration at STS.

 I have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with an emphasis in Literature from the University of Hawaii, Master of Science in Secondary Education with a focus on Literacy from Kaplan University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Chaminade University.

I am a proud mother of 4 children and grandmother to 9 grandchildren. My husband and I find our fun-times attending our son’s baseball and basketball games and concerts for Kamehameha School.  Both of us have devoted much of our time and talent to STS and the Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa. I look forward to coming in each day to see the students interact with each other, play at recess, tell stories of their experiences, and pray as a school. Each child at STS is a gift from God. They need to be nourished and fed with knowledge for the mind, physical activity for the body and God’s Word for the spirit and soul. Our awesome team of teachers and staff make sure that this all takes place daily. Teaching children is one of the most rewarding occupations or career that any person can hold. All teachers can make a difference for the future of the world!

Roxanne Casielle

Roxanne Casiello

Executive Administrative to the Principal

B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in I.T. 
I.T.P.S (Institute of Theology & Pastoral Studies) Certification in the following disciplines. Catechetical Studies, Theological Studies Pastoral Studies, Advanced Theological and Pastoral Studies Background information:  B.S. from Bay Path College, Longmeadow Ma I.T.P.S Certifications, Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee Ma

 I believe that each child is a unique individual. When nurtured with caring love they will feel secure in his/hers surroundings, and will find a stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. I enjoy playing golf when I can, reading at the beach, snorkeling and cooking.

Librarian - Lenie Macadangdang

Librarian and Resource Teacher

Education: Graduated at Heald Business College

Background information: I have been working at St. Theresa School for almost 8 years. I will continue to be a librarian and my second year as a third grade Aide.  I love working with these young learners! I have 2 children, both of them graduated here at St. Theresa School.  My oldest one is in 10th grade and the youngest is in 9th grade.  They are both attending Farrington High School.

When I’m not working I enjoy doing things with my children, watching movies, going to the beach, playing games and reading books.

 I look forward to many more years of being here with these brilliant students at St. Theresa School.   

Stephanie Ondayog

Admissions Clerk

Office Assistant, 2009 - present Education:  Cannon’s Business College, Honolulu Hawaii – Clerk Typist, 1982 Farrington High School, Honolulu Hawaii, 1981

Background information:  I have been married for 28 years, a mother of three wonderful children and a grandmother of nine - including additional lovely step-grandchildren.  I enjoy being with family and friends during my spare time.  The best part in life is watching them being together with their cousins and spending every moment that they have together. They are growing up so fast – watching how time goes by….

Maggie Collins

Preschool Director

Miss Collins was born in the Philippines and raised in Hawaii. She has one younger sister and 2 dogs, Simba & Boo-Radley. She grew up in Kaimuki and graduated from Chaminade University. This is her 10th year as an Educator.

Miss Collins has had a love of teaching her entire life. She knew she wanted to become a teacher when she was in the First Grade. She had an amazing teacher, Mrs. Chiogioji, who continued to inspire her as she grew up. Miss Collins had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Chiogioji while she was attending Chaminade University studying Elementary Education.  

During her last year of college, Miss Collins fulfilled her Student Teaching in the Kindergarten Classroom here at Saint Theresa School. She met many wonderful and inspiring teachers and administrators.

Miss Collins spent 8 years working as a Kindergarten Teacher at Cathedral Catholic Academy in Nu’uanu. She was a part of the school’s Leadership Team and the head of several school committees including yearbook advisor, Junior High Student Council Advisor, and the Social Committee.

Miss Collins is an avid runner, and runs 5 to 6 miles almost every day, running long runs of 10 to 12 miles on the weekend. She ran her first Honolulu Marathon in December of 2014 and plans to train for the LA Marathon in February.

She enjoys working out and hiking in her spare time. She spends her weekends taking care of her 1-year-old nephew, Brandon. He keeps her very busy as he is always on the move. She loves being an Aunty!

Miss Collins feels very blessed to be a part of Saint Theresa School’s Preschool and is looking forward to meeting her new little ones and to work hand in hand with their families.

Wendy-Ashley Lim

Preschool Aide

We welcome Miss Wendy to the Saint Theresa School family as our Preschool Teacher’s Aide. Miss Wendy is a Mommy to Tyler who is attending the First Grade here at Saint Theresa School.  Before coming to STS she was volunteering/working for over a year and a half as a Preschool Teacher’s Assistant/Substitute Preschool Teacher’s Aide at Makiki Christian Church Preschool where both she and Tyler graduated from.

Miss Wendy received her Certificate of Competence and has satisfactorily completed 9 credit hours in Early Childhood Education as well as received her Career Access and Navigation of Early Childhood Systems Registry (CANOES) Certificate. She is qualified and certified as an Early Childhood Practitioner.

Miss Wendy focuses her energy on working with our preschool students and their success is her first priority.

Mai Holman

Kindergarten Teacher


Education: Bachelor of Arts in Education

Hello! My name Mrs. Holman. My former students know me as Ms. Tran.

I was born in Vietnam. My family relocated to Vancouver, Washington when I was seven years old.  I attended Washington State University where I received my Bachelors Degree in Education and my Washington State Teaching License. Then I began my teaching career in 2012. I speak Vietnamese fluently and I hope to use my language abilities here at Saint Theresa School.

Teaching and learning has always been an interest of mine. As a child, I spent countless hours volunteering and tutoring in classrooms. Today, I enjoy planning and facilitating lessons that are challenging, engaging and meaningful to my learners. 

Aside from teaching, I love to travel, read, and play board games. On the weekends I'm often at the beach on a hammock, reading on my beach chair, or lounging on an inflatable float.

Lynette Seto

Kindergarten Aide

Marvin Macadangdang

1st Grade Teacher

Bachelor of Education

I was born and raised in Wailuku, Maui. There, I attended St. Anthony Elementary, Iao School, and Baldwin High School. On Oahu I attended Chaminade University and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Education degree with an academic major in mathematics. I received the Catechist Certificates from the Diocese of Honolulu. My educational experience has included teaching pre-school, kindergarten, and first and third grades.

My interests include music, especially guiding the little ones to sing on key and in harmony; exploring the various media in art; and immersing my students in children’s literature. Using technology as a tool to enhance my lessons is also a priority for me. My philosophy of teaching as an educator in a Catholic School 
is nurturing the whole child--mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and especially spiritually, with a strong emphasis on a prayerful and faith-filled life.

It is important to me that my students find JOY IN LEARNING and explore the world around them with enthusiasm and a sense of wonder.

Christina Gobert

2nd Grade Teacher


Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Hawaii Pacific University

Aloha!  Originally, I was born and raised in Chicago and studied at Catholic schools until I graduated high school.  I have a passion for science so I started studying nursing and biology at Northeastern Illinois University, and began working as an assistant in numerous doctors’ offices.  I moved to Hawaii about 6 years ago, decided that I really wanted to make a difference in the lives of young students, and went back to school to become a teacher.

  I believe that children have limitless potential and can achieve their dreams if they have support and people who motivate and believe in them.  I love Hawaii and have many hobbies that include free-diving, scuba  diving, hiking, tennis, volleyball, and of course being a teacher.

Lauren Sayapheth

Second Grade Teacher

Education: BA Liberal Studies & MA Education

Background Information: My name is Lauren Sayapheth and I am the 3rd grade teacher at St. Theresa School. This is my fourth year teaching at STS. I grew up in Los Angeles, California being one of four girls in my family. I moved to Hawaii in 2012 where I met my husband. We have one dog and are expecting our first child this coming June 2017. I completed both my undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of La Verne located in Southern California.

I enjoy a variety of activities such as reading, watching movies, hiking, playing soccer, and dancing hula. The thought that children are our future keeps my passion for teaching burning. I’m always looking for new ways to ignite students’ engagement, interests, and curiosities to help them develop the basic skills needed for a successful life. I hope to inspire my students to always want to be better and to help others. I choose to lead by example, which has given me the drive to always be my best.

Working here at STS has been a great experience. We’re such a small, yet strong group of individuals who come together bringing different talents to help our school be the best it can. Being a part of the STS family has helped me strengthen my faith and pursue professional development opportunities to excel in my career in teaching our future.

Meaghan O'Brien

4th Grade Teacher

Elementary Education Teaching Credential from California State University Northridge and a  BA in Sociology from California State University Channel Islands

This is going to be my second year here at St. Theresa School and I cannot wait! Before coming to St. Theresa, I student taught 2nd grade and 5th grade at schools in Los Angeles, CA.

I was born in Santa Monica, California and grew up in the small town of Newbury Park, CA. I am very close to my family and I try to go back to visit whenever I can. I spent 2 years as a Behavior Therapist for children with Autism. This is where I really developed my passion for working with and helping children and decided to get my teaching credential from California State University Northridge.

When I am not teaching or planning awesome things for us to do in class, I enjoy spending time at any of the beautiful beaches on Oahu, attempting to surf, playing kickball, hiking, shopping, and spending time with friends.

Liane Bilonta

 Liane Bilonta

5th Grade Teacher

Education: BA from Notre Dame University De Ne Mur in Belmont, California

Background Information: 

My name is Mrs. Liane Bilonta.  This is the beginning of my eleventh year of teaching at St. Theresa School.  My first 13 years of teaching was at St. Joseph School in Waipahu.  I taught 2nd grade for eight years and first grade for six years. 

Here at St. Theresa School, I started teaching in 7th grade, then moved to 8th and I was in Kindergarten for 3 years and this is my third year in 5th  grade.

I attended Notre Dame University De Ne Mur in Belmont, California and graduated with my BA degree.  I graduated from Kamehameha High School and am an alumnae of St. Theresa School.

Carolyn Buted

Shaun Agtarap

Middle School Technology Teacher
 

 

Sally Majia

Middle School Mathematics Teacher

Bachelor of Science in Education

I finished my college degree in Manila, Philippines, and my first teaching experience was at Sacred Hearts Academy in La Loma, Manila.  My family moved to Hawaii in 1983 and I have been a teacher at STS middle school for 12 years.  I love to teach and I believe that teaching and learning happens at the same time. The teacher teaches to the child but at the same time, he/she also learns something from the child.

I love to shop and to watch my favorite soap operas. I enjoy teaching math and science. I believe that Catholic education develops the mind, body and most importantly the soul and inner being of the child.

Marylee Mafua

Middle School Science Teacher

 BEd in Secondary Education Specializing in General Science from University of Hawaii Manoa.

Aloha! I am Marylee Mafua and this is my first year teaching Middle School Science at St.Theresa School. I am excited to teach the wonderful students of St. Theresa School who are eager to learn new things. I was raised in Hau’ula and Kahuku. I now reside in Kaneohe with my husband, two daughters and three dogs. When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, picnicking at the beach, trying new restaurants or lounging at home.

I believe that our students are the future and we as educators are responsible for providing them the tools to be valuable assets in the community. Learning never stops, you learn something new everyday.

Carolyn Buted

Middle School Religion Teacher/Study Skills Teacher

School Counselor and Resource Instructor
 

Katherine Lilly

Middle School English Teacher

Jessica Ladera

Middle School Social Studies Teacher

As an alumna of St. Theresa, I’m very excited to be a part of the school community as a teacher. This is my second year teaching here. Last year, I taught kindergarten. This year, I am teaching middle school social studies and one of the 8th grade homeroom teachers.

I attended Farrington High School, where I joined the Teacher Academy for my junior and senior year. Through this academy, I began my journey towards becoming an educator. I graduated with an AA in Teaching from Leeward Community College, and then transferred to Chaminade University. In May 2015, I graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education.

My educational experiences include working with grades K through high school. I volunteered at Kapalama Elementary for over 4 years. I worked as a paraprofessional tutor at primary level and eventually as an Educational Assistant II with high school.

I’m also active in the parish community. I am a Youth Ministry leader (high school and middle school) since I received Confirmation. I’m currently a catechist in the Religious Education program and very excited to start a new journey as a lector for our Sunday 6 PM Mass.

My hobbies include music, dance, and writing. St. Theresa has been the foundation of my faith and my passion for teaching. I’m always looking forward to being a part of our students’ academic and faith journey. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year!

Robert Shklov

Physical Education Teacher

Aloha, my name is Robert Shklov and this is my first year teaching PE and Directing Athletics at St. Theresa School. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to teach, a talented and exuberant student body and with such wonderful colleagues, supportive staff and friendly families.

I was born and raised in Kailua and attended the University of Portland where I earned a double major in English and Elementary Education with endorsements in Physical Education, reading, ESL and special education. I also attended the University of Concordia-Irvine where I completed my master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration.

Sports are a big part of my life and having played a variety of sports throughout my youth, eventually settled on playing Basketball and Football for Punahou High School. I have coached Football and Basketball at Punahou and I continue to coach varsity boys’ basketball, as an assistant at Mid-Pacific Institute.

Whenever anyone asks why I coach or teach, I think the same answer applies. I had such a wonderful experience attending school and playing sports, and a multitude of inspiring coaches/teachers that I want the next generation to have the same enjoyment I did. My mother was a teacher and my father coached me so I had fantastic role models to look up to. I consider education to be my vocation.

I am so grateful for the kindness, assistance and community I have been afforded in my short time as a part of the STS ‘Ohana, I am truly blessed.​

Fay Pabo

Music/Drama Teacher

Middle School Religion Teacher

Education: A.A – University of Hawaii – Kapiolani Community College campus

Background information: I will do my very best to be that advocate of music and drama for your child. With my years of experience working in various church parishes and schools in Hawaii, and starting off my third year of teaching here at STS and nine years as the Assistant Director of Liturgy at the parish level of the Co-Cathedral of Saint Theresa Church, I am willing and able to help our students excel in diverse aspects of music and drama. I was very fortunate to have so many great mentors throughout the years, and thus my mission in life is to be able to pass on the same faith and knowledge to the children and youth of the future.

I truly believe in lifelong learning and encourage them to learn something new every day. I have my Associates in Arts degree in Liberal Arts and will continue on to Chaminade University in January 2014. And God’s work for me doesn’t stop there! I am also a volunteer and advocate for the American Cancer Society, as a counselor for Ho’oulu Me Ka Ikai’ka (Growing with Strength), a camp for teens/young adults that have been touched with cancer, as a cancer patient and/or cancer survivor. I am fortunate to say that I am a cancer survivor (12 years cancer-free and counting!!). As an educator/mentor/survivor, I believe that it’s important to know where you come from because it will set you up for your future endeavors.

I am proud to be an alumna of Saint Theresa School (Class of ’96)! I am very privileged to not only be a product of this wonderful school but more so to work with such wonderful teachers and an exciting student body! I am so happy to be here and share my gifts and knowledge of music and drama with your children. I look forward to a great year of learning, loving, and living music & drama!