Linda Halkias - (Since 1994)
Mrs. Halkias started her teaching career as a teacher in the Diocese of Oakland in 1973. She also taught in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and then returned to the Diocese of Oakland in 1994. She is one of the fortunate few who knew her desired profession at an early age since the sixth grade. “I loved school. When I was in high school, I was in the Future Teachers of America Club! When I went to college, I still wanted to be a teacher, and when I taught my first year, I knew it was for me.” Mrs. Halkias graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Masters degree and Reading Specialist credential at California State University, East Bay. Of teaching kindergarten, Mrs. Halkias says, “I have loved it from day one!” And, while today’s students may seem very worldly, she notes that they still need caring teachers and parents, structure and love. She finds plenty of that love and commitment at Corpus Christi.
Mrs. Halkias loves going out to dinner, dancing, traveling and reading. She fondly remembers her own kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bacon because “she let us call her Mrs. Bacon and Eggs!”
Dorothy Lee - (Since 1974)
First Grade Page
Miss Lee started her teaching career at Corpus Christi School in 1974. She attended Junipero Serra Elementary School, Lowell High School, Holy Names University, and San Francisco State University. The daughter of a school teacher herself, Miss Lee could not imagine doing anything else but to spend time in a learning environment and considers the learning process to be reciprocal. “I continue to learn from each of my students and they are MY classroom! ” She finds that the Corpus Christi School philosophy remains rooted in the same core values as when she first started here. “The basics of learning to communicate, think, and pray have never changed.”
A day without art or music would be a sad day for Miss Lee. She plays both violin and viola, loves performing chamber music and stays busy teaching in a private studio and at Holy Names. Miss Lee is a charter member of the Lillian Black Children’s Arts Council, promoting the arts in diocesan schools. Additionally, she enjoys traveling, both domestic (museums, concert halls, baseball stadiums) and foreign (museums, concert halls, “old things”). She loved grammar school herself. “I can’t remember one single day I didn’t love going to school as a student or teacher!”
Nicole Giusti - (Since 2011)
Second Grade Page
Miss Giusti is a product of Catholic education. She grew up in Walnut Creek where she attended St. Mary Elementary, and went on to attend Carondelet High School. She graduated with a BA degree in Liberal Studies and a minor in Urban Education from Santa Clara University, then received her teaching credential from St. Mary’s College of CA. As the daughter of a teacher, she has always had the dream of one day becoming a teacher herself. Working with children is an experience that she truly cherishes. She began her teaching career at St. Jarlath in Oakland where she taught a 1st/2nd combo. She is now blessed to be continuing her career in Catholic education as a part of the Corpus Christi community. Outside of work, Miss Giusti loves to spend time with family and friends, run, cook, and do anything active or outdoors.
Jessica Murray - (Since 2002)
Third Grade Page
Mrs. Murray went to college at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned a BA degree in Economics. She received her MBA in International Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. After working as an international trade consultant and having her own family, Mrs. Murray felt strongly about teaching in a faith-based school, working with younger children. She earned her Teaching Credential degree at the University of California, Berkeley. “After meeting some of the staff at Corpus Christi and speaking with Miss Murphy, I was not only impressed with the school’s academic standing, but also with the community and dedication of the people involved in the school,” Mrs. Murray said. Outside of work, Mrs. Murray likes to spend time with her family, travel, hike, ski, cook, and read. Her favorite grammar school memories include walking to school and playing a part in The Tempest.
Maria Isaeff – (Since 2006)
Fourth Grade Page
Mrs. Isaeff is definitely a pro when it comes to 4th graders. Prior to teaching 4th grade at Corpus Christi, Mrs. Isaeff taught 4th grade at St. Barnabas School in Alameda for 12 years. (Her own favorite 4th grade memories include studying California history, cooking, playing soccer, and bike riding into town with her friends.) The strong academic program and its emphasis on family is what Mrs. Isaeff likes most about Corpus Christi.
Mrs. Isaeff received her BA in Sociology at Sacramento State University and her teaching credential at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. In addition to teaching, she loves spending time with her family. “Together we enjoy camping, traveling, and visiting friends and family.”
Alexis Maia - (Since 2009)
Fifth Grade Page
Ms. Maia was raised in Castro Valley and attended college at California State University , East Bay . She received her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and went on to receive her teaching credential. Interested in how children learn to read, she decided to go back to school to earn her master’s degree so she could learn more about curriculum and reading instruction. For the past two years Ms. Maia has worked as the fifth grade aide. She is very excited to be taking over the fifth grade class this year. She is eager for the school year to begin and feels exceptionally fortunate to be working at Corpus Christi School .
Ms. Maia has always enjoyed working with children and knew at a very early age that she wanted to become a teacher. Over the years Ms. Maia has tutored students, worked with students in afterschool care, and worked as an instructional aide. Although all of these positions required her to work with students in different capacities, they have all strengthened her passion for working with children. In her free time Ms. Maia enjoys spending time with family, relaxing with a good book, and going on walks.
Denise Middleton (Since 2011)
Sixth Grade Page
Ms. Middleton was born on the island of Antigua in the West Indies. She grew up in Ventura County, CA since the age of nine and attended Catholic School from first grade through twelfth grade. Ms. Middleton received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in Political Science and English. Her teaching credential and Master's Degree in Education are from William Carey University.
Ms. Middleton loves being a teacher because she enjoys learning from her students as much as she does teaching them. One of Ms. Middleton's favorite hobbies is traveling. Recently, she spent five years teaching at a private Catholic school on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. She also taught in Hawaii for five years and backpacked through Europe when she was in her twenties. In her spare time she loves to cook, spend time with her daughters and German shepherd, Freedom. Even after twenty-five years in the teaching profession, Ms. Middleton says, "The excitement of learning never grows old." Right now she is very excited about having the opportunity to teach sixth grade again, and is honored to be a part of the Corpus Christi school family.
Ms. Middleton has many quotes and idioms she loves to use, but her favorite quote is:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Diane Twomey – (Since 1997)
Seventh Grade Page
Mrs. Twomey attended Our Lady of Grace elementary school, Bishop O’Dowd High School, and Holy Names College where she majored in mathematics. Her credential is from California State University, East Bay. Mrs. Twomey was on the Math Committee to determine curriculum for the Diocese. Of teaching, Mrs. Twomey says, “I feel blessed to be a part of the Corpus Christi community. I knew that I belonged teaching here the first time that I met Miss Murphy. The children enrich me everyday.”
Mrs. Twomey is a talented guitar player and loves music (especially country). Her spare time is spent with her family, leading a 4-H swine group, weekly music ministry at Our Lady of Grace, traveling, reading and raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Her grammar school memories are of being the shortest one in class, winning a math contest, and Irish Dancing (“not much has changed!”).
Colleen Wahl - (Since 2010)
Eighth Grade Page
Mrs. Wahl received her BA in Political Theory from Marymount/Fordham in New York, her Masters in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and her Multiple Subjects Credential with CLAD Certificate from Holy Names University in Oakland. She grew up in a big family where lively conversation on politics and social issues was common and was able to combine her own interest in social justice issues and traveling through service in the Peace Corps. “My time in Korea, in Peace Corps, left me with experiences and friendships that shaped my life, forever.”
Mrs. Wahl began her teaching career in a French school in Quebec, went on to teach in Korea, and taught high school equivalency classes for awhile to the U.S, Infantry in the DMZ. She eventually landed in the elementary schools of the Diocese of Oakland where she has been blessed to serve as aide, teacher and administrator. Along the way she married, settled in Oakland, and raised her family. She still loves those lively political conversations and is thankful that she ended up in the Bay Area, where just about anytime you can find anyone to converse with you on just about any topic.
Nicole Plante - (Since 2012)
Literature 6th, 7th and 8th Grades
Ms. Plante grew up in sunny San Diego where she left the beaches and came to the bay to study English at U.C. Berkeley. Soon after receiving her bachelor of arts degree in English Literature at Cal, she moved to the East Coast and taught in Brooklyn, New York as a New York City Teaching Fellow to raise the achievement of urban education. In 2010, Ms. Plante received her Masters in Secondary English Education from Brooklyn College and studied Intermediate Spanish before going to Peru to receive her TEFL certification and hike Machu Picchu.
After several years in New York, she returned to the Bay Area to make it her home. In her spare time, Ms. Plante enjoys being a foodie, jogging, traveling, films, reading great books, and starting creative projects that range from innovative units/class projects to web design. Over the summer she taught as the Lead Instructor for Web Design and Filmmaking at Galileo Summer Quest and assisted in Lego Robotics. She loves sharing her passion for literature and creative writing with students of all ages and making each word an opportunity for insight.
David Malone – (Since 2006)
While growing up in Southern California, Mr. Malone attended University Park Elementary School and University High School in Irvine. He was a Mass Communications major at University of California at Berkeley and then headed to Hollywood! -- and to a career in motion picture advertising. After ten years, Mr. Malone started his second career; he went to culinary school and cooked in Manhattan kitchens for a year.
Now, we are happy to report, Mr. Malone is in his third career – teaching Technology at Corpus Christi. Mr. Malone received his credential and an MS in Educational Technology from California State University, East Bay. He chose to teach at Corpus Christi because of the strong sense of community created between student families and staff.
In his spare time, Mr. Malone enjoys reading, travel, running marathons, hiking, skiing, ice hockey, playing with computers, and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.
Clara Galan - (Since 2009)
Ms. Clara Galan was educated through the Diocese of Oakland and attended Assumption elementary school and Bishop O'Dowd High School. She received two Bachelor's Degrees from Gonzaga University in Washington, one in English Literature and the other in Spanish Language. While a student at Gonzaga University on a choral scholarship, Ms. Galan was a member of the University Choir, Gregorian Chant Schola Ensemble and Jazz Combo. In 2010, Ms. Galan received a Master's Degree from California State University, East Bay in English with an emphasis on English as a Second Language Education. Ms. Galan currently attends Holy Names University, where she is completing her single subject teaching credential in English with a Bilingual Classroom Authorization in Spanish. During her undergraduate studies, Ms. Galan had the opportunity to study abroad in Granada, Spain, where she lived for a year in 2008. Along with her Spanish classes at Corpus Christi School, Ms. Galan also teaches English as a Second Language to international students at Bishop O'Dowd High School. She also enjoys singing as a liturgical cantor for the Diocese of Oakland and directing the Corpus Christi children's choir.
Marybeth McAvoy - (Since 2012)
Resource Specialist Page
Ms. McAvoy was born and raised in New York. She holds a Bachelors from CUNY Hunter College and a Masters in Education from Dowling College. Prior to her move, she was a middle school special education and English teacher in the Bronx. She is thrilled to join the Corpus Christi community. "From day one, everyone at Corpus Christi made me feel like I was part of the family." Ms. McAvoy is excited to explore all that California has to offer and is currently taking recommendations on where to go and what to do!
Melina Volm - (Since 2012)
Resource Specialist Page
Mrs. Volm is a Bay Area native and received a Catholic education at Holy Rosary and Carondelet High School. She completed her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University and majored in Communicative Disorders in 2000. In 2005 she was eager to return to a Catholic community where faith based education was offered. She attended the University of San Francisco for graduate studies in Learning and Instruction and received an Education Specialist Credential. She taught as a Resource Specialist at the middle and high school level prior to becoming a part of the Corpus Christi community. Outside of school she loves being with her husband and two school age children. They all spend a great amount of time being active members of their wonderful Catholic school community, St. Mary School in Walnut Creek.
Mike Metz – (Since 2011)
Extended Care Page
Mr. Metz was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His first decade on earth he moved from state to state, up and down the east coast including Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Rochester, New York until finally settling in Clayton, California right under Mt. Diablo. He attended Clayton Valley High School in Concord where he found a love for theater and writing. He continued his education, theater and writing practice at CSU Chico where he graduated with a B.A. in American Studies and Creative Writing in 2009. In 2011 he moved back down to the Bay Area and worked as an Instructor at Camp Galileo held at Holy Names High School. There he has taught children Photography, Clay Animation, Filmmaking and Cartooning. After finding a love for teaching and working with children in the creative arts he was given the opportunity to incorporate his teaching methods as a Teacher Aide and Administrator in Corpus Christi’s Extended Care starting in 2011. He introduced Lego iStop-Motion movie projects and Improv programs which he hopes to continue to advance this year as well as build new activities for the new school year in his new position as the Extended Care Director.
Alex Walton – (Since 2008)
Mrs. Walton attended Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, Holy Names High School and earned her BA in History at UCLA. As a child she constantly changed her mind about a career, but she knew she wanted to help people. Going into education out of college was a way to accomplish this! She has always enjoyed working with and helping children. “Working in a school as a librarian allows me to share my passion for education and my love of books with the children. I truly enjoy seeing the kids excited about a new book coming out or one we are reading in the library!”
Mrs. Walton enjoys being a librarian at Corpus Christi because there is so much dedication and thought put into the environment. It truly feels like “it takes a village to raise a child and the beauty of fusing faith in with the teaching is wonderful!” In her free time, Mrs. Walton enjoys reading, volunteering at her sons’ school, and spending time with her three boys playing soccer.
Raewyn Cummings, Vice Principal - (Since 1988)
Mrs. Cummings was born and received her early education in New Zealand. Having not particularly enjoyed the high school experience and having the ambition to travel, she went to work straight out of high school, saved for three years, and promptly left the country for almost four years! The most exotic part of her travels was probably the overland leg from Australia to Europe, through Asia. Mrs. Cummings did finally go back to school and earned a BA in Liberal Studies at California State University, East Bay. Her credential program was at Chapman University College.
Mrs. Cummings’ first experience with Corpus Christi School was as a parent, and began with her oldest son's enrollment in Kindergarten - her other two sons followed along. She says, “I was immediately drawn to the warmth of the community, and I loved the volunteer experience. Parents here are a wonderful, welcoming group of people. I have had the great good fortune of working at Corpus Christi School during the years of Katie Murphy's administration, and I love it. This is a vibrant, hugely talented community of faculty, staff, parents and parish, and I feel privileged to be part of it.”
Kathleen Murphy – Principal (Since 1989)
2012 NCEA Distinguished Principal Award
Katie grew up in Watsonville, California as the oldest of five children. She attended Dominican University where she attained her BA in history. She continued on at Dominican for a fifth year and received her Teaching Credential in 1972. Her first year of teaching was third grade at St. Cornelius in Richmond. She then moved to Santa Cruz where she taught sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Holy Cross Elementary School. In her eighth year in Santa Cruz she continued her education by going to San Jose State University to earn her Administrative Credential. Upon completion if this credential she was asked to continue at Holy Cross by becoming the principal, which she did for another eight years.
After sixteen years, Katie left Santa Cruz and accepted a position at Corpus Christi School where she has been since 1989. She loves building communities of faith and feels that is very evident here. “I am moved by the openness of the people at Corpus and their willingness to help others, both the students and the parents. It is a special place with many good people.”