Meet the Teachers

2023-2024 SJLS Teaching Staff

Katie Green - Kindergarten
Ms. Green enters her 6th year teaching Kindergarten, after 4 years serving in the Children's Center. You'll be able to spot her as one of our most spirited on dress up days.  She loves coffee and spending time with her family.  She lives with her two dogs, Willow and Ellie.

Debi Swenson  - Kindergarten
Teaching young children has been my dream and calling as long as I can remember. I have had the joy and privilege to be in ministry to young children at St. John’s for over 40 years.  When not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I have two adult children who live in different parts of the state.  My constant companion is my “fur baby”, Milo.
Katie Kamper - Kindergarten
This is my 4th year at SJLS.  I am from the Bakersfield area but received my degree from Colorado Christian University.  I love being a teacher and working with such amazing families and students. I am happily married with my four sweet dogs and love being with my friends and family.  

Ashley Pettichord - 1st Grade
Mrs. Pettichord joins our St. John's team after many years at Stockdale Christian.  She and her husband have three children, one of which attends SJLS. We are blessed to have join our teaching team this year!

Jamie Bowman - 1st Grade
Mrs. Bowman was born and raised in Bakersfield. She received her teaching credential and Master’s Degree from Point Loma Nazarene University in Bakersfield. I have been teaching for 21 years. I started at St. John’s in January of 2013. I love being a teacher. I have such a passion for teaching children to be lifelong learners and lovers of Christ. 

Katie Weiss - 2nd Grade
Mrs. Weiss currently serves St. John’s as a second grade teacher. She has been teaching for twelve years. She is married to Jason Weiss, who also teaches at St. John’s. They have two kids- Hudson (6) and Harper (3). she loves teaching because everyday is new, she gets to share the love of Jesus with her students daily, and it is incredible to see how much her students grow in a year. 

Shalynn Ouellette - 2nd Grade
Mrs. Ouellette enters her fifth year teaching at St. John's. She was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She and her husband moved here about 14 years ago and we have three girls, Kaylee, Kylie, and Kennedy that also attend this school. She has been teaching for a total of about 15 years. She taught in New Hampshire as a seventh and eighth grade Math and Science teacher, and a special education assistant. She taught second grade prior to St Johns  and now our second graders at St Johns are lucky to have her!

Sara Ablin - 3rd Grade
Mrs. Ablin enters her 14th year at SJLS.  Teaching our amazing 3rd graders is an absolute privilege. She and Mr. Ablin are also blessed with two grown sons, Bennington and Gabriel.

Heather Peyton - 3rd Grade
Mrs. Peyton starts her second year teaching at St. John's after many years teaching in Tehachapi. She coaches football, track and enjoys running. She and her husband have three beautiful children that attend SJLS. 

Kelly Williams - 4th Grade
Mrs. Williams enters her 10th year teaching at St. John's. She and her husband are amazing parents to son Colby and their two dogs Clyde and Maci. 

Sara Armstrong 4th Grade
Mrs. Armstrong is in her first year at St. John's as a teacher, after being a St. John's parent for many years. She has 7 years experience teaching public school in Oklahoma. She and her husband have three children that keep them busy with sports, activities, traveling and playing. 

Susan Crutcher - 5th Grade
Mrs. Crutcher is entering her 14th year at SJLS. She taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grades prior to coming to St. John's. She  and her husband have a daughter. They enjoy sports, playing games, traveling, and quiet Saturdays at home.

Ashley Allio - 5th Grade
Mrs. Allio enters her 2nd year teaching at SJLS. She has taught pre-k (ages 2-5), Intervention K-6, 3rd grade and 5th grade.  She is married, and has 3 children, 2 of which attend St. Johns. She enjoys spending time with her family.

Michaela Albuja - 6th Grade
Ms. Albuja is starting her 3rd year here at SJLS. She has a twin sister so don't get them confused. She enjoys teaching 6th grade and the CAMP KEEP adventures for their grade level.  She is also a volleyball coach and loves working with the girls on the court! 

Lynn Wheeler  - 6th Grade
Mr. Wheeler has enjoyed teaching in Lutheran Schools for 42 years. He moved to Bakersfield in 1997 from the Bay Area where he taught first and second grade for 15 years. He has been blessed to serve at St. John’s at different grade levels and in administration. He has been blessed with three wonderful children and enjoys visiting his grandsons and doing activities with my kids.

Amy Hoffman - Junior High
Mrs. Hoffman enters her 10th year at SJLS and is also one of our girls' Volleyball coaches. Her dogs are just as adorable as her kids and enjoys spending time with all of them. 

William Hollar - Junior High/Science Yearbook/Media Production
Mr. Hollar enters his 2nd year at SJLS. He teaches Science, Media Production and Yearbook. He enjoys spending time with his son and outdoor bike rides.

Eric Hoffman - Junior High/Athletic Director
Mr. Hoffman enters his 10th year at SJLS, from Arizona originally. He runs the athletics department including Football, Basketball and Volleyball.  

Brian Cobb- Junior High/Spanish/PE

8th Grade
A graduate of CSU Bakersfield, Brian Cobb enters his 15th year of teaching 4th year at St. John’s. He has taught Pre- Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra Honors, Geometry, Physics, P.E., Spanish, Study Skills, STEM Science and Christian Studies. He wrestled and coached at CSUB for 15 years. He is  happily married to his beautiful wife with whom they have three wonderful daughters that attend St. John’s. His family loves Jesus, camping and taking our boat to the lake.

Jason Weiss - Technology/VE-JV Teacher
Jason Weiss enters his 12th year of teaching. He taught for 7 years in Junior High before moving to 5th grade for 3 years, and now enters his 2nd year of teaching technology. In his free time, he loves to golf, spend time with my family, or learn something new he can incorporate into his life or classroom. He and lovely wife have two children, Hudson and Harper. We love watching them grow with their faith in Jesus Christ daily. 

Patrice Appold  - ASL/Math/Tanzania
Mrs. Appold has served 39 years in School ministry and Administration. After "retiring" she still serves part-time at the school and enjoys crocheting and traveling in her free time. 

Brent Williams - Band Director
Mr. Williams is a renowned musician and trumpet player. He shapes musicians of the future and also serves on the church ministry team. He enjoys being a new dad to son Colby. He is also a member of the accomplished group Mento Buru.  

Sue Dockweiler - Orchestra Director
Mrs. Dockweiler has been teaching Music for twenty plus years in both the United States and overseas. She is currently a member of The Bakersfield Winds, the Valley Baptist Orchestra, and a performing flute duo. Two of the highlights of her teaching career has been receiving the KC Music Educator’s General Music Teacher of the Year award in 2014, and the KC Music Educator’s Orchestra Teacher of the Year award in 2023.

Shay Cawthon - Music
Mrs. Cawthon enters her 6th year of teaching. She serves on the church worship team alongside her husband. Their son Sam will be a kindergartener at SJLS this year. She  is an amazing baker and sometimes spoils the SJLS staff with homemade delicious treats!

Deborah Baraibar - Art
Mrs. Baraibar enters her 7th year teaching Art at SJLS. She and husband have two boys in high school who are alumni of St. John's.  Originally from  Mexico, she has lived in Bakersfield for 15 years.  She is into triathlons at this moment.

Pam Schrank - Resource/School Counselor
Mrs. Schrank enters her second year at SJLS after moving from Texas. She has worked in schools as a School Social Worker/Counselor for many years and truly enjoys being a listening ear to all who need it. She and her husband have three kids and they love spending their time at home, the soccer field, church, and all the other busy activities.

Jamie Quintana - Resource
Mrs. Q has been at SJLS for many years. She served in the Children's Center and also taught Kindergarten. She enjoys spending time with her beautiful family. 

Amanda Green - PE K-6
This is Mrs. Green's 13th year at SJLS.  After spending 11 years  as a 3rd  grade teacher she traded in Expo Markers for tennis shoes and teaches Physical Education for Kindergarten through 6th grade.

Serenity Destefani - Librarian
Mrs. Destefani enters her 13th year at SJLS. She has two adorable kids at SJLS. In addition to all her library duties, she also  coaches volleyball.  

Emily Wren - Resource
Mrs. Wren is starting her second year of working at SJLS. When not at work, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and their dog, Grace. 

Salome Mora - Spanish 2-6
Mrs. Mora begins her 1st year teaching at SJLS, after teaching in Science in Spain for 3 years. She also worked as a Pharmacist for 9 years. She and husband have three beautiful children. When she's not working she enjoys painting and traveling. 

Nurse Julie Jeffries
Julie Jeffries is excited to be the new nurse at SJLS! She and husband Bryan have two beautiful daughters, Emma June (6) and Lucy (3½).  Julie attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Life Services, with a double minor in Child Development and Psychology. She later attended Bakersfield College and received her Nursing Degree in 2012. She enjoys the beach with her family or riding her Peloton bike! She is also a huge KC Chiefs fan!!

Chanda Klein - Extended Care
Chanda Klein begins her 3rd year in the Extended Care program.  She loves to bake and enjoys spending time outdoors.  She loves rainy days and Christmas is her favorite holiday.  She and her husband have three dogs and a beautiful daughter that attends SJLS.

Cody Wren - Head of Security
This is Cody's 4th year working at St. John's and his first year in the Security Department.  In his free time he enjoys hiking, hunting, and spending time with his wife and their dog Grace. 

Amanda Wortiska - Resource
Mrs. Wortiska joins St. John's this school year as one of our Resource team members. Married with three young children, she brings first hand experience in working with our younger grades.