Mrs. Lynn Demonte
In the past, she has worked with children through a variety of teaching experiences: teacher at DayStar Early Learning Center in San Pedro (1987-1992), Kindergarten and Fourth grade teacher for the Long Beach Unified School District (1992-1996), Kindergarten teacher (1998-2000), Part-Time Categorical Teacher for grades 4-6 (2004-2010), and substitute teacher for grades K-6 (2010-2012), all in the Garden Grove Unified School District. Now she has been blessed to be the Transitional Kindergarten teacher here at OLR since it first opened in August 2012.
Each child is a unique individual and she believes, as an educator, it is her responsibility to provide an environment that meets their needs in order to help reach their fullest potential.
Mrs. Courtney Barrett
In 2007, Courtney left her teaching position with LAUSD to focus on growing and raising her family. Courtney was offered the unique opportunity to run a private preschool readiness instruction program where she designed and taught classes through Long Beach Parks Recreation and Marine successfully for ten years. This job allowed her to still pursue her love of teaching while having more time to be at home with her children.
Courtney returned to teaching in the classroom full time in 2016. She was offered a kindergarten teaching position at Holy Innocents Catholic School in Long Beach where she taught for two years. In the Spring of 2018, she completed an accelerated Induction Program from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles where she received her Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
She is thrilled to have joined the Our Lady of Refuge Staff and Community and continue her passion for teaching Kindergarten. She believes in the importance of helping her students develop a passion for learning while providing a rigorous and exciting program in a faith-based environment.
Grade 1 Teacher
Ms. Erika Hodges
Ms. Hodges joins our school community with personal experiences in Catholic Education. She is one of four children and a product of Catholic school education from Pre-K through obtaining her degree from Loyola Marymount University. She is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Education with a concentration in Special Education.
Ms. Hodges deeply believe faith-based learning is an essential component to educating the whole person. Hence my desire to teach young students in an environment with faith filled leaders that share similar values and objectives.”
Grade 2 Teacher
Mrs. Erin Shipman
While attending college, Erin cared for school-aged children in an after-school program, worked as a teacher’s aide for Long Beach Unified School, and taught early education at a private school. These experiences helped Erin prepare for her elementary school teaching career.
She came to Our Lady of Refuge from Holy Trinity School in San Pedro where she taught for 12 years.
Grade 3 Teacher
Ms. Katie Johns
Ms. Johns has previously served Our Lady of Refuge as an office and daycare worker, substitute teacher, and 2nd grade aide teacher.
She will be returning this year as a 3rd Grade teacher and could not be happier! OLR is an incredibly warm, accepting, and welcoming place. He is proud to be a part of this community which strives to help students reach their full potential.
Grade 5 Teacher
Mrs. Nancy Zipperian
In the past, Mrs. Z was a 5th grade teacher for both Cypress and Savanna School Districts in Orange County for 9 years. She took a break from teaching to be a stay at home Mom for her and her husband’s young son, who is now a senior in high school. However, she remained active in education by volunteering in her son’s schools and teaching at times for Savanna School District, as well as serving on the PTA Boards.
She returned to teaching for the past four years, substituting in grades TK-6 at Savanna School District, Our Lady of Refuge School and Holy Innocents School in Long Beach.
Mrs, Z says that she feels so blessed and thrilled to be teaching again full-time at such a wonderful school!
Room 6 Teacher
Mr. Christopher Romano
Room 8 Teacher
Mr. Patrick Holmquist
Mr. Holmquist has previously served Our Lady of Refuge as an office and daycare worker, substitute teacher, and music teacher. Mr. Holmquist has also served as a music teacher for St. Anthony Elementary, a long term substitute for St. Lucy’s Elementary, and a Biology instructor for Verbum Dei High School.
He will be returning this year as a room 8 teacher and could not be happier! OLR is an incredibly warm, accepting, and welcoming place. He is proud to be a part of this community which strives to help students reach their full potential.
Computer Lab Specialist
Mr. Phat To
Mr. To was born in Hilo, Hawaii and raised in Orange County, California. He earned a Masters of Science Concentration in Educational Technology, Multiple Subject Teaching Clear Credential with English Learner Authorization, Single Subject General Science Clear Credential, Single Subject General Math Clear Credential, Google Certified Educator, and CompTIA A+ Certified Computer Professional.
Mr. To worked as a computer instructional aide and substitute computer technician at Westminster School District for five years. He has taught at Westminster School District, Long Beach Unified School District, ABC School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, and the Diocese of Orange during his seven years teaching.
Mr. To is grateful being part of the OLR family. He enjoys teaching students and mentoring other educators with technology if he is not busy fixing something. He creates projects and activities including computer science, robotics, app development, 3D modelling/printing, augmented reality, digital media and STEM that is aligned to the Common Core, ISTE, and Next Generation Science Standards to help students develop 21st Century skills through hard work, determination, and faith.