St. John Vianney Academy
St. John Vianney Academy
SURSUM CORDA - LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS
A Classical Homeschooling Enrichment Program
Mrs. Grimm was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. After attending public schools, she ventured into the unknown and attended Thomas Aquinas College where she met her Califonian husband. Before marrying him, however, she attended Montessori
Teacher’s Preparation of Washington where she obtained certification from the Montessori Institute of America.
After classical homeschooling her children for twenty some years (MODG), she broke the mold and enrolled the second half of her eleven children in the newly formed classical school - Saint Therese Carmelite School in Alhambra, Ca.
For the past five years Mrs. Grimm has volunteered, tutored, substituted and taught at St. Therese. She has also helped the school create the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Montessori classroom.
She is a volunteer for The National Right to LIfe League of Southern California and the pro life teen group, Vox Vitae. Favorite past-times include baking wedding cakes and painting pigs. She is very happy now to be settling with her family in Bakersfield, and looks forward to many new adventures in the St. John Vianney community.
Mrs. Howe, a Bakersfield native, is married and has 3 wonderful boys. She has 8 years of classical homeschool teaching experience and was an integral part of the successful SJVA inaugural year having taught the afternoon session of the 1st/2nd grade class.
She enriched her lessons with many hands-on and engaging activities. This upcoming year she will become the full day 1st/2nd grade teacher.
Mrs. Kaiser was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. After attending traditional school through elementary school, she was homeschooled in grades 7 to 12 in a variety of styles, graduating in 1998.
Having graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in 2003, she then married her college sweetheart, settled down in southern California and started raising a family. Presently, she home educates her own 6 children, ages ranging from 1-14.
On the side, Mrs. Kaiser has been tutoring and leading high school history discussions with Mother of Divine Grace School for the past 12 years, which she found very rewarding. She looks forward to continuing supporting and teaching classical education through teaching at St. John Vianney Academy!
Mrs. Gallaher has been married for 36 years and is a mother of 7 children who were educated in ways including home schooling. She graduated to Grandmother in 2014 and currently has 6 grandchildren. She says that it is exciting to be sharing books with her grandchildren that she first read to her children.
As an occasional substitute teacher at Saint Sebastian Elementary school and Saint Augustine Academy in Santa Paula, California, she has had the opportunity to educate young students and share her love of science, history and literature.
She believes that the literature that children read should interest them, entertain them, and educate them.
She believes that it is essential that we teach the children about history and science in our faith. She says that there are many Catholics, even saints, who were scientists and learning about these people can make faith, history and science more interesting.
Every year that passes teaches her the importance of faith and family. She hopes to encourage those around her to love the Lord first in all they do.
Mrs. Parker grew up wishing she could be homeschooled, and just read books all day. So, after earning her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington, and working as a journalist for four years, it was not a complete surprise when she decided to stay home with her first baby, and almost immediately joined a homeschool group.
She and her husband, both Bakersfield natives, have now graduated two of their five children from homeschooling, and have only 12 years to go. Mrs. Parker has been a leader in the local homeschool community via multiple co-ops and groups, including Classical Conversations from 2012-2016.
After being a member of the Anglican church for 24 years, Mrs. Parker converted to Catholicism last spring. She is excited to be part of a thriving Catholic educational community, and to share her love for learning with SJVA's middle school students.
Mrs. Halbur was born in the Bay Area, but also grew up in Corpus Christi, TX, Honolulu, HI, and Chula Vista, CA. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Liberal Studies Education and California teaching credentials in Multiple Subject and Learning Handicaps.
Her first year of teaching the first grade was at the Universal American School, Kuwait. She left teaching for an extended maternity leave. In 1998, Mrs. Halbur began homeschooling her family when her oldest was a preschooler (primarily MODG). She joined the teaching staff at SJVA in 2019 teaching 3rd and 4th graders and has helped out in PreK through high school. After training with Equipping Minds and Lindamood-Bell, Laura began tutoring students with learning glitches.
Mrs. Halbur has been married to Dan since 1993. They have 5 daughters, and so far have 4 grandchildren. Her hobbies include singing, cooking/baking, reclaiming health, and reading. She is delighted and honored to be back teaching.
Mrs. Mena was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. She was the oldest of five children and always wanted to be an educator for as long as she can remember, following in the footsteps of her mother!
She is a proud American and wife of her husband Joel for 8 years. She is a mother of four beautiful children. She graduated from California State University of Bakersfield with her teaching credential and a concentration in Child Development. She spent several years volunteering her time teaching religious education including 6 years as the High School Youth Minister at her local parish. She also loves music and teaches through song quite often! Mrs. Mena sang in the church choir for many years and led the Youth Mass there as well.
Mrs. Mena has been teaching for 13 years as an elementary school
teacher in the public school system. She is excited to begin her
journey at St. John Vianney Academy, where her two oldest daughters attend and are thriving. She is looking forward to sharing her love of God and love of learning with her students in the Atrium program this upcoming school year. She has found a beautiful and faithful Catholic community at SJVA and feels extremely blessed to be part of it.
Mrs. Ripperger is a Bakersfield native, married to her sweetheart in 2010 and mother of three children. After much discernment over homeschooling, she used the COVID shutdowns as the ultimate spur to begin the journey and ended up loving it--classical education caught her attention.
She believes in faith, reading, and hands-on participation as the prime foundation for an excellent education. After years of work as a youth minister at both St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Francis Catholic Churches in Bakersfield, working with high school and junior high students, teaching junior high and working as a substitute at SJVA came naturally.
She will be working with TK and Kindergarten in the 2022/23 school year and cannot wait!