Faculty & Staff

Katie Dempsey

Katie Dempsey
Current Position: Principal
Years of Teaching: 12
Grades Taught: 5th – 8th
Originally From: Lakewood, WA

Hello. My name is Katie Dempsey. I received my teaching degree from St. Martin’s University and my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration at Seattle University. I love the opportunity that administration provides because it gives me the chance to not only interact with students of all grades, but also to work with an incredibly dedicated group of teachers to support the growth of our amazing school. My favorite thing about Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy is the commitment that we have to educating all students/families who seek a quality, innovative Catholic education.

Amparo Farias

Amparo Farias
Current Position: Academy Director/Vice Principal
Years of Teaching: 30+
Grades Taught: PreK, Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, and 6th grade
Originally From: Laredo, TX

My name is Amparo Farias. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology and a specialization in Kindergarten. I also received a Master’s Degree in Bilingual Education with a minor in History from Texas A&M International University. My teaching experience began in Laredo, Texas where I taught at two different bilingual elementary schools and a middle school over a period of ten years. Then, my family moved to Seattle and I started a Kindergarten program at St. Philomena Catholic School in Des Moines, WA. I worked at this school for 17 years as a Kindergarten teacher, 1st, and 4th grade teacher. Our family then moved abroad and we lived in Sweden for two and a half years before returning to live in Tacoma. I have been working now at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy for nine years.
This year will be my third year serving as the Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy Director. I will be helping the teachers develop and execute new curriculum. Being able to teach children to read and write in two languages is a feeling that is hard to describe. Dual language teachers work very hard to provide a language rich environment in all subject areas including religious education. I am so happy to be a part of this community.

Berenice Williams

Berenice Williams
Current Position: ​ Bilingual Office Manager
Originally From: Portland, OR

My name is Berenice Williams and this will be my fourth year working in the Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy office. It has been a fun, exciting, and challenging journey but well worth it. I am ready to see what the 2018-2019 school year brings. We have an amazing staff team, a wonderful student body, and great families. A huge thank you to the families who have came and gone. You have all made my experience here at Holy Bilingual Academy better.

Kelly Robertson

Kelly Robertson
Current Position: Bookkeeper
Originally From: Forestville, MD

My name is Kelly Robertson. This is my sixth year working at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy as the Bookkeeper. I originally grew up on the east coast in Maryland, close to Washington, DC. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1996. My job entails keeping the school finances on budget, working with families on their tuition accounts, and keeping the accounting books for the school.

Sarah McKinney

Sarah McKinney
Current Position: Development Director
Originally From: Graham, WA

My name is Sarah McKinney and this will be my fifth year at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I am responsible for the major development and fundraising for the school. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Western Washington University. I have been a part of the school community for the last eight years as I have two daughters that attend Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I really enjoy interacting with our school families and students. I look forward to a successful fundraising year ahead.

Marseille H. Grimaldi

Marseille H. Grimaldi
Current Position: PreK 3 Teacher
Years of Teaching: 10+
Grades Taught: PreK3, PreK4, Kindergarten, 4th Grade, Middle School, and High School
Originally From: Sinaloa, Mexico

My name is Marseille Grimaldi, I have a Social Studies and Early Childhood Bachelor’s Degree from the Universidad de Occidente in Sinaloa State, Mexico, I have worked, as a PreK 3, PreK 4, and Kindergarten teacher in private schools and daycare facilities. I used to be a volunteer in religious classes in Guadalajara, Mexico. I love children and I am very happy to have this wonderful group of three year-olds. They are amazing, and in a really short time we will see their bilingual progress.

Patricia Montes

Patricia Montes
Current Position: PreK 4 Teacher
Years of Teaching: 3
Originally From: Mexico City

Hola, My Name is Patricia Montes. I was born in Mexico City, I’m married with four children, and I recently got my certificate in Early Child Education. I had the privilege of joining Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy as a Teacher’s Aid in PreK4A. This will be my third year working with preschool aged children, and I’m excited to be in the full Spanish immersion program. I look forward to see the children learn new things in a safe and positive growing environment. I have discovered that I have a passion for teaching but above all learning from the purest mind of a child. I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Juliet Quintero

Juliet Quintero
Current Position: ​ PreK 4 Teacher
Years of Teaching: 6
Originally From: Bogota, Columbia

Hi, my name is Juliet Quintero. I have a World Languages Teaching Bachelor’s degree from University Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. I’ve worked as a teacher for six years, and I’ve taught Preschool and Pre-K. This is my second year at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy and I am very excited to get to know your children and families. I love being a teacher and I look forward to helping every child’s learning development.

Wendy Morales

Wendy Morales
Current Position: ​ Teacher’s Aid PreK 4A
Originally From: California

Hi! My name is Wendy Morales and I feel blessed to join Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I was born in California but my parents moved back to Mexico when I was a young child. Since then, I’ve moved to California, Florida, Chicago and two years ago we decided to move from Mexico to Puyallup, looking for a better education for my children. I graduated with a degree in Cosmetology but I realized that I have passion for teaching. It is interesting how children’s brains develop and the many different ways that they learn. I like to create a teaching environment that is inspiring, fun, safe, and adaptable to each individual child’s needs. I love teaching PreK aged children. I’ve been teaching and working in the field of education for more than ten years, with children ranging from infants to PreK. I’m married with four boys, they are 15, 12, 10 and 4. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, doing arts and crafts, singing, and practicing Zumba. I’m looking forward to an amazing year of learning!

Hazel Tate

Hazel Tate
Current Position: Extended Care PreK 3 & 4/​ Teacher’s Aide
Originally From: Denver, CO

My name is Hazel Tate and I am the extended care teacher for Pre K 3 and 4 for both mornings and afternoons as well as the floater/substitute. I have been teaching and working in the field of education for 14 years teaching children from infants up to fifth grade. I was born in Denver Colorado, but grew up in Detroit Michigan until I was eight years-old then my family moved to Bothell Washington. I have my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and CDA with school age children. I am very eager to learn more all about the students here at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy as I enter my third year of teaching.

Raquel C. Lambrecht

Raquel C. Lambrecht
Current Position: Kindergarten Teacher
Years of Teaching: 10+
Grades Taught: PreK, 1st through 4th, and adults
Originally From: Aguascalientes, Mexico

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes. I also received the following certificate: Basic Tools for English Teaching for Elementary Schools from the Education Institute of Aguascalientes, Mex. I also received my CDA (Children Development Associate degree) from Green River Community College. This will be my second year teaching Kindergarten students at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I love teaching here because it is a Catholic School and I love children.

Nilsa Santiago

Nilsa Santiago
Current Position: Teacher’s Aid Kindergarten
Originally From: Puerto Rico

Hi, my name is Nilsa Enid Santiago Santos. I am originally from Guaynabo City, Puerto Rico. I studied Business Administration and Medical Billing at the University of Puerto Rico. After our island was devastated by Hurricane Maria last year, we decided to send our daughter to continue her university studies here in Washington. We did not want to be separated from family so we decided to move here as well. We are in the process of acclimating as we have only been living in the United States for five months. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity here at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy.

Celine Williams

Celine Williams
Current Position: 1st Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 4
Grades Taught: 1st & 2nd Grade
Originally From: Mexico

I was born in Aberdeen, Washington. At age nine, I moved to Mexico with my parents and siblings. Following in my mother’s footsteps, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the Universidad Continente Americano. This will be my fourth year teaching at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. It is wonderful to see how parents are so involved in their children’s lives. I feel blessed to teach first grade completely in Spanish for the fourth time, it’s truly amazing to observe them grow as individuals, adopting the foreign language while I learn from them as well. Students around this age have so much potential and energy, I believe all of them are capable of achieving greatness, especially if you give them the right tools. I am very thankful for the opportunity that Holy Rosary’s amazing community has given me. I look forward to a successful year!

Darlene Allen

Darlene Allen
Current Position: 1st Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 5
Originally From: Puyallup, WA

I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to be teaching 1st grade at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy! I was born and raised in Puyallup. I attended All Saints Catholic School from 1st to 6th grade, so I am no stranger to Catholic education. I was an altar server for many years at All Saints Catholic Church as well! I completed high school in the Puyallup School District.

I graduated with my Master in Education from the University of Washington Tacoma in 2016. I have endorsements in Elementary Education, Middle-Level Humanities, and Special Education. Prior to and following earning my Master in Education, I taught 3rd grade in the Clover Park School District, and ¾ grade split, 4th grade, and 6th grade in the Puyallup School District. I have training and experience using many of the latest and greatest teaching strategies and curriculums, and continue to seek additional learning opportunities to advance and better my professional knowledge and practice. My favorite part of teaching is being a part of and watching students’ personal and academic growth, and partnering with families to support students on their personal academic journey.

My husband and I stay very busy raising our children, we have one daughter and three sons. We enjoy participating in church activities and working. We are very familyoriented and enjoy our large extended-family gatherings, camping, fishing, and hiking together.

Sonia Ceballos

Sonia Ceballos
Current Position: ​ 2nd & 3rd Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 10+
Grades Taught: Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
Originally From: Puerto Rico

Hi, my name is Señora Sonia Ceballos. My background and passion is early childhood education. I am originally from Puerto Rico, and I am a certified teacher in both Early Childhood Education and in Kindergarten – 3rd grade. I am very excited to be at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy for my fourth year of teaching.

Engelbert Kelah

Engelbert Kelah
Current Position: ​ 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 13
Originally From: Cameroon

I was born in Cameroon and that is where I attended school. I attended a Catholic elementary school, middle school, high school and even attended a seminary, before continuing to the university. I have two Bachelor’s degrees from two different universities. One is in English and another is in Philosophy and I am gearing towards completing a Master’s in information security. I have teaching experience of 13 years from three different countries as I have taught in Cameroon (Africa), Mexico, and in the United States. I believe that teaching is a vocation (i. e a call to serve) and I am happy serving.

I am good at working with students both as individuals and as a team. I enjoy discovering their strengths, weaknesses, the opportunities available for them and helping them combat their challenges. As for what I do in my spare time, I love watching, playing and coaching (especially soccer) and I am a certified soccer coach of the American Soccer Federation.

Ivan Achata

Ivan Achata
Current Position: 4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 13
Originally From: Lima, Peru
Grades Taught: Kindergarten – College/University (Spanish and Math)

My name is Ivan Achata. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Ricardo Palma, Perú. I have more than 12 years of experience teaching children and adults in both Perú and the United States. I am so excited to be part of the Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy community for a fourth year and look forward to helping prepare the students to be future leaders. I enjoy helping children in their personality development and to see them grow into good people.

John Anderson

John Anderson
Current Position: 4th, 5th & 6th Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 4
Grades Taught: Kindergarten – Adult
Originally Maltby, WA
Originally From: Maltby, WA

My name is John Anderson. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, where I studied Linguistics, Spanish, and Art History. I have also done missionary work in the United Kingdom and Mexico, and focused much study to the Bible and Theology. Subjects I have taught include: Art, ESL, and Spanish. I have a passion for languages and education, and am honored to be teaching this lively group of bilingual students for my second year at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy.

Gabriel Farias

Gabriel Farias
Current Position: 7th & 8th Grade Teacher
Years of Teaching: 4
Grades Taught: PreK through 12th grade
Originally From: Tacoma, WA

My name is Gabriel Farias. This is my fifth year at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I love the students at Holy Rosary and the community that has been created. My mission is to build tomorrow’s leaders in middle school and give students ownership and pride in their school. I recently completed my Master’s in Education from Pacific Lutheran University and I am very excited about the things we are going to do this year!

Daniel Wolfert

Daniel Wolfert
Current Position: Music Teacher
Years of Teaching: 2
Grades Taught: Pre K – 8th Grade, College, Pre-Professional
Originally From: Palo Alto, CA

Hello! My name is Daniel Wolfert, and I’m thrilled to be the music instructor at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and alongside teaching here, I run a private voice and piano studio, and work as a freelance composer, musical director and vocalist. I can’t wait to see what the students can do!

Heidi Gamez

Heidi Gamez
Current Position: P.E. Teacher/Extended Care/CYO
Originally From: Mexico

Hi, my name is Heidi Gamez. I have lived in Mexico, Illinois, Texas, and Utah before moving to Washington. Growing up I was always involved in sports. I played soccer, did cheerleading, gymnastics, and was on my high school drill team. I am currently continuing my education at Tacoma Community College and will later transfer to a university in Oregon. This is my third year at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach Pre K 4 through eighth grade P.E. Children will understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through sports, physical activities, and teamwork.

Lizbeth Duran

Lizbeth Duran
Current Position: Kitchen Director/Electives Teacher
Originally From: Guadalajara, Mexico

My name is Lizbeth Duran. This is my sixth year cooking for the children at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I love to be in the kitchen cooking nutritious meals for all the students. Working at the school has been a great experience for me. It is a pleasure to meet and spend time with all the volunteers that assist in the kitchen.

Erika Garibay

Erika Garibay
Current Position: Kitchen Aide
Originally From: Culiacan, Mexico

My name is Erika Garibay. This is my fourth year assisting in the kitchen for Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I enjoy working in the kitchen alongside Lizbeth to cook nutritious meals for the students. I am the parent of three students from first to fifth grade.

Gricelda Gonzalez

Gricelda Gonzalez
Current Position: Janitor
Originally From: Morelos, Mexico

My name is Gricelda Gonzalez. This is my fourth year working at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy. I am the parent of two children that attend the school. I am responsible for keeping the school organized and cleaned.

Doris T. Silva
1952 – 2018

Doris T. Silva
Mrs. Doris Terlaje Silva was originally from Guam and was forever an “Islander”. She left Guam in 2002 after working for both the government and as a Catholic School teacher and moved to California, continuing her work teaching in a Catholic School. She moved to Washington State in 2008, when she began her career at Holy Rosary.

Mrs. Silva is known for her outward, exuberant faith and love of Jesus. She was very involved in church activities and led the children’s choir for school masses. She also taught CCD (religious education), directed Christmas plays, and was the Liturgical Coordinator at HR.

She also loved to sing and to dance and shared her gifts and talents willingly. Almost any day you walked down the hall at Holy Rosary, you could hear Mrs. Silva singing away. Another passion for her was reading. She LOVED to read books to and with the children. I can recall vividly walking into her room while she was acting out The Trumpet of the Swan for the kids….including the trumpet sound. One of the last times I visited her, she asked me to make sure Mr. Kelah was reading with the kids and making sure they had access to real books! This was told to me from her bedside! Beyond singing, dancing, and reading, she loved to cook and bake. At least 2 – 3 times per week, she would bring in breakfast casseroles, deviled eggs, or an assortment of baked goods. Did I mention the time I walked in to catch her making fresh lumpia in her classroom (for a potluck)? Sometimes, if she had nothing else, she would just hand you a piece of fruit. She loved to feed people… both physically and spiritually.

I can say without a doubt that I have never met a stronger spirit or a more faithful servant than Mrs. Silva. We are so grateful for the many gifts and talents she shared with us during her ten years at Holy Rosary. She was a strong-willed and beautiful soul and she will be missed by all of us.