Reading Specialist

Learning to read is exciting, and reading is the basis for all learning! Our reading specialist teams up with classroom teachers, students, and parents in order to help each child reach his or her full potential. This is accomplished through full group, small group, and one-on-one instruction both within the classroom and in our learning support center.

Parents are a critical part of each child’s learning team. Our reading specialist provide materials and tactics to parents to be used at home, reinforcing the skills learned at school.

 

Fran Leitch

Education
B.A., Communication Disorders/Elementary Education, Gonzaga University
M.A., Teaching, Grand Canyon University

Areas of Advanced Study
Interventions for Struggling Students in Reading, Writing, & Math.

Began teaching in 1979.
Teaching at Holy Family Parish School since 1979.

What I love about teaching reading at Holy Family Parish School:
I love the students, parents, staff members, and our parish community at Holy Family. Where can you work and receive so many blessings in a single day? I can share my faith, knowledge, and love with the children who are the future of our society and Church. What an awesome opportunity and responsibility!

Why I became a teacher:
I first realized that I would like to be a teacher when I was an 8th grade student at St. Joseph’s School in Wenatchee, Washington. I volunteered during lunch recess a few times a week to help some 1st graders with their reading or math. As time went by, this interest, coupled with many babysitting jobs along the way, convinced me that a profession in teaching was my calling, especially in a Catholic learning environment.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Math Specialist

The K-8 math curriculum is designed to help students learn to think critically as mathematicians who are preparing for real-world careers. We strive to have our students master math skills on three levels—through their calculations, through models and diagrams, and through reading and writing using mathematical language about their thinking. Our math specialist works with teachers to develop grade-specific math curriculum and strategies as well as with students in full group, small group, and one-on-one instruction to ensure all students are working at a pace that is right for them. For example, the math specialist facilitates some students working ahead in their own classrooms or in small groups with students in older grades.

 

Maria Radtke

Education
M. Ed., Reading and Literacy
B.A., History, Teaching Certificate – Elementary Education, Supporting Endorsement – History, Gonzaga University

Areas of Advanced Study
Professional Certification, Seattle Pacific University

Began teaching in 2005.
Teaching at Holy Family Parish School since 2006.

What I love about teaching math at Holy Family Parish School:
What I love about teaching math at Holy Family Parish School is enthusiastic students! The students are independent, eager, and positive individuals. Their excitement about learning is contagious and inspires me to prepare and plan engaging and thoughtful lessons. Together, we love working on long-term projects, solving critical-thinking questions, and discussing our thinking. I love that our students are thoughtful and have opinions. They are willing to take risks in the classroom and in their learning, and they know that their classmates and teachers will help catch them if they make a mistake. They are willing to share their thoughts on their personal faith and how they pray, which is the foundation of our school.

Why I became a teacher:
I became a teacher because I’ve always loved school. As a child, during summer breaks I was always trying to coax my sister and neighbor friends to play school with me so I could practice being a teacher. I was extremely blessed to have attended Catholic school from elementary all the way through college. I knew that I wanted my teaching career to be in the Catholic schools. I love teaching because every day is different and every child brings something positive to my life.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Learning Specialist

Our learning specialist works with the school counselor and alongside the teachers, administration, and parents to attend to the academic and social/emotional health of HFK students.

Some of the ways that the learning specialist supports students include assessing students’ learning strengths and challenges; supporting all students with an EAP and those students’ teachers; developing, supporting, implementing, and communicating student instructional learning plans with long-term goals and objectives; directing one-on-one and/or small group intervention and remediation both in and out of the classroom; and consulting with teachers, parents, administration, and outside professionals regarding students’ special learning needs and proposing and helping implement modification plans, strategies, and materials for school and home interventions.

HFK feels that it is crucial to create an environment that is stimulating and supportive and provides an opportunity for all learners to achieve academic success.

 

Leslie Oja

Education
Ed.D., Doctor of Education, Nova Southeastern University
Dual MSEd:
Reading Specialist, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Mental Health Counseling, Northern Colorado University
BA-Education, Eastern Michigan University

Began teaching in 1981.
Teaching at Holy Family Parish School since 2017.

What I love about teaching at Holy Family Parish School:
Working with students at Holy Family Parish School is rewarding. I enjoy applying my knowledge and experience for the benefit of assisting students to reach their full potential both academically and spiritually.

Why I became a teacher:
Each day is a challenge to be sure each student is receiving an education that will provide him or her with opportunities to live a satisfying life. I am privileged to be part of a community that enables students to achieve their goals.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:9

Counselor

Our school counselor works alongside teachers, families, and administration to support the social/emotional well-being of students. At HFK, we believe that a student’s social emotional well-being and mental health are very important because they impact a student’s ability to achieve academic success.

The school counselor provides individual and group short-term counseling as well as lunch groups focused on appropriate grade level topics. The counselor is in constant communication with teachers and parents when they have a concern about their student and how they can be impacting their ability to learn and fully engage in the classroom. Goals and plans are brainstormed to support the student in whatever area needs attention. The school counselor oversees the Educational Adjustments Plans (EAP’s) of students from Preschool-8th grade which include accommodations and adjustments in the classroom for students with differing learning needs and abilities. She also manages the schoolwide SEL education program, 2nd step, and offers classroom lessons when needed. The counselor provides out-of-school referrals for both academic and social/emotional needs to families. HFK strives to be a school that fosters the health and growth of the full-person preparing students for their futures.

 

Mary Powers

Hi there! My name is Mary Powers and I am the school counselor here at HFK. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and a Masters Degree in Clinical and Macro Social Work from The Catholic University of America. I love working with kids because of their resiliency and positive spirit no matter what life throws at them. I believe educating and informing kids about their own mental health and well-being from a young age will create better futures for themselves and their families.

I believe that helping students have positive social, emotional, and academic experiences is vital to their growth as humans. My goal when working with students is to help them realize their strengths and work on ways to reach their goals. At HFK, we strive to be inclusive of all students with different learning abilities and focus on the educational of the whole child. Whether I am teaching a classroom lesson, hosting a group counseling lunch, or meeting with the parents of a student, I am always working to support students and families of the HFK community.

Library

The Holy Family School Library seeks to inspire, educate, and prepare our students to be lifelong learners and voracious readers! In the library, we engage students in reading, ignite students’ curiosity, and practice locating information for inquiry and research.

Students in Kindergarten-5th Grade come to the library each week. Students practice selecting books for enjoyment, focus on finding books at their independent reading level, and spend time learning how to search for books using Destiny Quest, our online catalog. Intermediate students conduct research projects and use our online databases to locate reliable information. In addition, Library Service Club is open to 5th graders who serve as volunteers in the library once a week and help keep the library organized.

Middle school students come to their library with their humanities class to read and select books. Optional book clubs are available for Middle School students to connect and discuss books together. In addition, the library is open for middle school students to come in during lunch recess to read, do homework, or just recharge.

 

Megan D’Ambrosio

Education
BA English and Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from Gonzaga University
Master’s Degree of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Seattle University in 2006 with a special emphasis on literacy.

What I love about teaching in the library at Holy Family School:
I love being the librarian at Holy Family school because each child comes to school with a sense of wonder and an enthusiasm for learning! I love especially love the look of excitement on students’ faces when they discover a new book they love! Holy Family Parish School is such a special community. It is truly a family for all of the students, parents and staff.

Why I became a teacher:
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Teaching is truly my passion! I love children and want to serve others and to help others. Teaching allows me to work with children and help them be the best they can be. Watching children learn, develop skills, challenge themselves, use their creativity and grow in God’s love, is what I love about teaching. I feel blessed to be a teacher at Holy Family School!.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Technology

The Technology curriculum at HFK is designed to give our students experience with 21st Century Literacy skills they will need to succeed in the modern classroom and workplace.  From Kindergarten through 8th Grade, our students will have experience with a full range of Office products, learn to communicate safely and effectively with electronic tools such as email, and work with the basics of programming and robotics.  Our curriculum has connections with other disciplines that help reinforce what our students are learning in their other classes.

 

Whitney McKelvey PE and Technology teacher at HFK SchoolWhitney McKelvey

Education
B.A., Public Relations and General Business, Gonzaga University
M.A., Teaching, Pacific University

Areas of Advanced Study
Endorsements in Physical Education, Elementary and Middle School general studies

Began teaching in 2018.

Teaching at Holy Family since 2018.

What I love about teaching Technology at Holy Family School:
I love coming to school each day ready to help motivate students to be active learners. Watching a student first struggle and then accomplish a task can be so rewarding and a positive ripple effect not just in school, but in all areas of life.

Why I became a teacher:
I became a teacher because I felt that too many young adults were focusing on academics, but not learning the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. I wanted to teach in a classroom where I had the freedom to take teaching moments and expand on students’ passions. I feel blessed to be part of a community like HFK.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 .


Andrew Walker

Education
B.A. of History, English Minor, Gonzaga University 2012
Master of Initial Teaching, Gonzaga University 2014

Began teaching in 2015
Teaching at Holy Family since 2018

What I love about teaching at Holy Family School:
I love challenging my students to engage with their world in ways that they had not previously considered and watching as their understanding blossoms into a worldview that will guide their decision making as community members and citizens. My favorite part of the job is forming the relationships that make this learning possible and being present for the myriad moments of both academic and life learning that take place along the way!

Why I became a teacher:
Almost all of the most influential people in my life have been teachers so the decision felt like a natural one. I am very grateful for the guidance and opportunities they have opened for me and want to pay this service forward to my own students.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
Favorite Scripture “Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Physical Education

When you ask elementary students to name their favorite class, many will enthusiastically exclaim, “P.E.!” At HFK, our P.E. curriculum is designed to expose students to a wide range of sports and skills in a safe environment, encouraging teamwork and sportsmanship. P.E. increases student confidence in their physical abilities and has the added benefit of helping students recognize and appreciate the fun that can be had away from screens in their personal lives. A major goal of our physical education program is for each student to become motivated to live an active and healthy lifestyle and learn to take care of the body with which God blessed them.

 

Whitney McKelvey PE and Technology teacher at HFK SchoolWhitney McKelvey

Education
B.A., Public Relations and General Business, Gonzaga University
M.A., Teaching, Pacific University

Areas of Advanced Study
Endorsements in Physical Education, Elementary and Middle School general studies

Began teaching in 2018.

Teaching at Holy Family since 2018.

What I love about teaching PE at Holy Family School:
I love coming to school each day ready to help motivate students to be active and practice sportsmanship. I enjoy challenging students to participate in sports they would have never considered trying. Watching a student first struggle and then accomplish a task can be so rewarding and a positive ripple effect not just in athletics, but in all areas of life.

Why I became a teacher:
I became a teacher because I felt that too many young adults were focusing on academics, but not learning the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. I wanted to teach in a classroom where I had the freedom to take teaching moments and expand on students’ passions. I feel blessed to be part of a community like HFK.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 .

Art

The Visual Art Program at Holy Family School gives students the opportunity to express their creativity through a variety of art forms and techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpting, and printmaking. Students are encouraged through hands-on experiences to develop understanding and appreciation of different art forms and artists. Students in Grades K-8 come to the art room once a week and explore different art mediums to develop an understanding of the elements and principles of design and to make connections to other disciplines.

 

Trish White

Education
B.A. Elementary Education K-8, Sociology 4-12 from Western Washington University 1998
M.A. in Teaching from Grand Canyon University 2003

Began teaching in 2000.
Teaching at Holy Family since 2014.

What I love about teaching art at Holy Family School:
I believe that teaching is an incredible profession. Each day at Holy Family you have the opportunity to excite a student about art and support them in their personal and spiritual growth. Teaching means having trust and respect toward one another as student and teacher. I love getting to know my students, learning their talents, celebrating their successes, and watching them blossom.

Why I became a teacher:
I could not think of any profession more important and more satisfying on a daily basis. When I began teaching I could not imagine doing anything else. I knew I could make a difference in a child’s life by helping them reach their full potential and develop a strong relationship with God.

Favorite Scripture Verse:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God.” John 14:1

Music & Handbells

Music, both vocal and instrumental, plays an important role in the education of students at Holy Family. Besides being fun, engaging, and a great outlet for creativity, music also develops the area of the brain responsible for language and reasoning and inspires self-confidence. At HFK, music is primarily vocal in Preschool-Grade 5 with the addition of ORF instruments. Beginning in Grade 6, the focus turns to instrumental with instruction in guitar, ukulele, keyboard, and what we like to call the team sport of music – handbells. Middle school students are also able to become members of our optional Honor Choir, which participates at weekly all-school Masses and other events within the school and the greater community.

 

Stacey Porter

Education
Bachelors in Music from Ball State University

Began teaching in 2005.
Teaching at Holy Family since 2015.

What I love about teaching at Holy Family School

What I love most about teaching is seeing the joy children experience from trying and learning something new, and their continued joy when they’ve mastered that new skill. For music, I especially love hearing them sing for God! It warms my heart to see their love and zeal for the Lord.

Why I became a teacher:

As a child, one of the only “games” I really enjoyed playing was Teacher. I would take my mother’s college text books, study a page and then teach it to my pretend classroom. I loved doing that! I found as I got older I was still teaching (to real people, this time) and enjoying it immensely. I attended Catholic School for grades K – 8, and I always admired my teachers and what they did for us each day. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach at Holy Family; to freely share my love for teaching music, technology and most importantly God!

Favorite Scripture Verse:
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. ” Psalm 95: 1-2.

Theatre Arts

Theatre Arts at HFK is offered to our 7th and 8th Grade students. In this course, they explore the elements of theatre including play writing, creation of scenes and sets, and performances. Theatre Arts helps stimulate creativity in problem solving, improves public speaking and communication skills, provides students an outlet for their thoughts and emotions, and helps to develop tolerance and empathy.

 

Stacey Porter

Education
Bachelors in Music from Ball State University

Began teaching in 2005.
Teaching at Holy Family since 2015.

What I love about teaching at Holy Family School

What I love most about teaching is seeing the joy children experience from trying and learning something new, and their continued joy when they’ve mastered that new skill. For music, I especially love hearing them sing for God! It warms my heart to see their love and zeal for the Lord.

Why I became a teacher:

As a child, one of the only “games” I really enjoyed playing was Teacher. I would take my mother’s college text books, study a page and then teach it to my pretend classroom. I loved doing that! I found as I got older I was still teaching (to real people, this time) and enjoying it immensely. I attended Catholic School for grades K – 8, and I always admired my teachers and what they did for us each day. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach at Holy Family; to freely share my love for teaching music, technology and most importantly God!

Favorite Scripture Verse:
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. ” Psalm 95: 1-2.

Speech

middleeight998Presentation and public speaking skills are critical skills in our adult world. At HFK, students are presented with many public speaking and presentation opportunities beginning in Kindergarten. In Middle School, students take Speech as a class, which increases their confidence in speaking situations and improves reasoning and critical-thinking skills, research skills, and writing quality. In addition, our middle schoolers are able to join our after-school competitive speech team.

 

Lucy Macaulay

Education

M.A. – School Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology

B.S. – Psychology, Alfred University

Began teaching in 2019.
Teaching at Holy Family since 2019.

What I love about teaching at Holy Family School

I was a parent at HFK for eight years and saw my own children blossom in Holy Family’s nurturing atmosphere. I have worked with the middle school speech team for the past five years, and this is my second year teaching speech to 6th graders. I feel blessed to have such a fun job! Encouraging public speaking at a young age does wonders for self-confidence. These students are so well prepared to face high school and college when they learn early to present material to a large group. It is a critical skill in today’s world.

 

Specialists

In addition to our instructional assistants throughout all grades, Holy Family Parish School is fortunate to have a wide range of specialists who enrich the students’ learning as well as work as a team to provide the differentiated instruction needed for all children to reach their full academic, social and emotional potential.

Specialist classes at HFK School

About Holy Family Parish School Kirkland

Our mission is to inspire, educate and prepare students for a Christ-centered life of learning, faith and service. This has been our mission since our doors opened in 1957…and continues to be our mission today.

We Look Forward to Meeting You

Explore Holy Family Parish School and join us on a tour to see our students learning, laughing, playing and praying. Applications are available online and in the school office.

Engaged in Learning

HFK has a unique values-based education focused on each child’s academic, social and emotional potential, designed to build critical thinkers, confident learners and contributing leaders of our global community.

Beyond the HFK Classroom

From our strong athletic program, to our emphasis on the arts, to our varied clubs, camps, and our before and after school care, a Holy Family education enriches the whole child.

HFK Students, Staff and Parents working together

HFK is more than a rigorous academic education…we are an embracing and inclusive community of staff, students, parents, alumni and supporters.

Creating a Culture of Giving

The many and varied contributions of time, talent and treasure we receive from our parents, staff, parish community, grandparents, local businesses, and others enable HFK to continue to thrive and offer an exceptional education to all students. We invite you to join our team of Guardian Angels!