Kindergarten

Terri Toback

Terri Toback received her credential from Illinois State University.  After teaching for five years, she took time off to raise her three children.  She began working at Baymonte almost twenty years ago!  She helped with After School Care and was a kindergarten aide before finally finding her niche teaching the best people on earth-kindergarteners!  In her free time she can be found taking beach walks with her adorable dog, Kale.  She also loves hanging out with her family and her church “family.”   She feels, “…thankful to have work that is so meaningful and satisfying!”

Shanna Murphy

Shanna Murphy

Shanna Murphy was born in June, 1964, in Long Beach. She played on her high school JV tennis team.  She never made it to Varsity, although she was voted Most Inspirational Player.  She graduated from U. C. Santa Cruz in 1986 with a degree in Economics and promptly got a job at an insurance company.  She returned to school to earn her teaching credential from San Jose State.  She married her high school sweetheart, Todd, in 1990.  She taught first grade for five years before having her daughters, Blake and Ellie.  Once her girls were attending Baymonte she joined the faculty and now is in her fifth year teaching kindergarten.  “In my free time I like to hike, walk on the beach, read, go to yoga classes, and cook.”

First Grade

Maureen Kitch received her B.A. in Psychology at U. C. Santa Barbara and her teaching credential through the San Jose State University Masters program.  She taught kindergarten at Baymonte for four years and was two classes away from receiving her Masters before deciding to focus her time on being a full-time mother. Maureen and her husband Troy are proud parents of three daughters, Kiera, Chloe and Lily, all whom attend Baymonte.  Both Maureen and Troy have lived in Scotts Valley since they were five years old and feel very blessed to be able to raise their daughters here as well.  In her free time Maureen enjoys doing anything crafty: sewing, cooking, knitting, and painting.

Lisa Poston

Lisa Poston

Lisa Poston jokes that she has been at Baymonte since kindergarten and has never really left! She attended Baymonte from kindergarten through her junior year. She returned to teach first grade in 1996 after receiving her B.A. in Psychology at U.C.S.C. and her teaching credential at San Jose State. She loves first grade and plans to teach until she’s old and gray! She lives with her husband, Ed, and her two girls, Maggie and Gracie, in Ben Lomond. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, swimming and going to flea markets.

Second Grade

Debi Wilcox

Debi Wilcox

Debi Wilcox grew up in San Jose, and attended Point Loma Nazarene University before transferring to Northwest Nazarene University where she received her B.A. and M.A. in Education.  She has 35 years of experience in public and private schools, teaching multiple grades, as well as being a reading specialist, Summer School Director, Vice Principal, and Principal.  Her passion is teaching second graders which she considers “the BEST age group!”  She has been teaching at Baymonte since 1998.  In her spare time she loves to read, bake, develop new curricula, and buy complete, matching outfits (including shoes, hair accessories and purses) for her toddler granddaughter, Addison Joy!  She is active in church where her husband, John, is the pastor.  Her daughter, Kaitlin, and her husband also work in the education field. Her son, Grady, is a manager of a retail store and a great drummer.  Both Kaitlin and Grady are graduates of Baymonte.

Third Grade

Cassy Hazen

Cassy Hazen

Cassy Hazen was born in March of 1983, in West Covina, California.  She accepted Christ into her life as a young girl and has experienced God in amazing ways, including mission trips around the western United States, Tijuana, Mexico, and all the way to Malawi, Africa. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Child Education and a California Teacher Credential at Point Loma University.  Her first experience teaching was at Lanakila Baptist Elementary on the island of Oahu.  She feels that God pointed her toward teaching at Baymonte (her husband Jeff attended Baymonte and actually had third grade in the room she now occupies).  She and her husband are blessed with two beautiful boys that keep them on their toes.  She loves family time, the beach, movies, spending time with friends, and date nights.

Megan Torchio is originally from Southern California, the sport of softball landed Megan at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA where she was a member of the softball team and earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies as well as her teaching credential.

Megan enjoys living in the beautiful city of Santa Cruz and won’t be found too far from the beach with an acai bowl in hand. Megan enjoys hiking and kayaking with her husband, as well as spending time with her family, near and far.Megan feels privileged to teach the third graders at Baymonte and cannot wait to meet her students and families and get the year started!

Fourth Grade

Christie Olson

Christie Olson

Christie Olson received her B.A. in music performance from George Fox University. She received her credential and her Master’s in Education from Vanguard University. She has taught at many levels from kindergarten to college, but finds fourth grade to be her “happy place.” She is a history nut and gets a kick out of turning kids on to California History. When she’s not grading papers, she likes to sing, act, or curl up under a blanket with a really good book. She also loves to watch her daughter sing and act and her husband and son play soccer. She joined the Baymonte staff full-time in 2003.

Geoff Ward

Geoff Ward

Geoffrey Ward has his B.A. in Mass Media/Communications from California State University, Northridge. He holds a California CLAD Multi-Subject K-12 Teaching Credential earned at the University of Phoenix. He also holds an A.C.S.I. Credential and has his Master’s of Arts in Education with a specialization in Curriculum Design and Instruction. He loves theatre and acting. If you call his class his usual response is “Mr. Ward’s happy class!”

Fifth Grade

Terra Bliss

Terra Bliss

Terra Bliss grew up in Scotts Valley and with the exception of two years in college, has lived her whole life in the Santa Cruz mountains. She went to local schools and played on many sports teams growing up. After graduating from Harbor High School, she went to California State Hayward and then to Bethany University to earn her undergrad degree, teaching credential, and Master’s degree. She competed in college soccer and softball. She helped coach both of these sports at Bethany University. She has also been a coach for Scotts Valley High School and Baymonte. Terra worked as a recreation leader for the Parks and Recreation Department and as the co-director for the Baymonte Summer Quest program. She joined the staff at Baymonte in 2006 teaching third grade. After two years, she began teaching fifth grade where she has been enjoying teaching ever since. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, having game nights, being outdoors, and playing sports.

Specialists

Music

Craig Simmons

Craig Simmons

Craig Simmons attended Baymonte Christian School from 1971-1973. Craig has always excelled in the arts, giving him the opportunity to perform with the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. One of Craig’s fondest memories was to play the National Anthem on trumpet for the San Francisco Giants on Father’s Day in 1982. Craig continues to play the trumpet for shows, local companies, teach privately and perform with Cabrillo Stage. He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Fine Arts degrees from the California Institute of Arts. He has been teaching kindergarten through eighth grade music at Baymonte since 2000. Craig recently married a lovely lady, Stephanie, who also works in the field of education. Craig’s hobbies include swimming, reading, hiking, watching basketball, and most of all, watching the San Francisco Giants.

Media Center Director

Catherine Upton

Catherine Upton

Catherine Upton earned her B.A. in Art History in 1991 from San Jose State. She received her Master’s degree in Library Science from San Jose State in 1993. Before joining the Baymonte staff in 2003, Catherine worked for the Santa Cruz Public Library system in several different positions including Children’s Librarian, Reference Librarian, and the Read to Me Project Coordinator. She has lived in Santa Cruz County for 22 years and has two children, Zachary and Rebecca, who have graduated from Baymonte and now attend Scotts Valley High School. In her free time Catherine enjoys reading, hiking, cycling, geo-caching, walking along West Cliff, going to the beach, and she is an avid skier.

Independent Program of Instruction (IPI)

Kim Thompson

Kim Thompson

Kim Thompson has enjoyed working at Baymonte for the past 28 years.  She began teaching at the preschool level.  When her own children were enrolled at Baymonte she started teaching kindergarten.  After ten years in the kindergarten classroom, she trained to become the reading specialist at Baymonte.   She headed the Independent Program of Instruction for five years where she developed a passion for teaching reading.  She returned to the classroom to teach first grade for a few years, and is now back with the IPI department.  She truly feels teaching is her calling.  She thanks the Lord every day for the children He has placed in her class.  When she is not at school she enjoys being with her family.  She loves to read, spend time with her grandkids, plant flowers in her yard, go antiquing and go on long walks.  Her greatest blessing is looking forward to coming to school every day!

Ellen Arzouni

Ellen Arzouni

Ellen Arzouni is an Academic Support Specialist. She is trained in the Barton System of Instruction for children with learning disabilities. Her passion is keeping current and updated on student learning issues, attending workshops and clinics. She has worked in a variety of capacities at Baymonte since 1994. Her two daughters, Jenny and Mandy graduated from Baymonte. In addition to helping students learn to love learning, she enjoys reading , studying the Bible, and going for walks with her friends.

Administration

Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson

Principal Steve Patterson graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and received a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from United States International University. He has a California Multiple Subject Life Credential and has been at Baymonte since 1980. Mr. Patterson has served as principal since 1991. In his free time he enjoys home building projects, spending time with his family, including his four grandchildren, and listening to great blues and jazz music.