Meet Our Team
Katie Pfeif grew up in Newport Beach and graduated from USC with both a BA in Communications and MA in Education. She taught both third & fifth grade before putting her teaching career on hold to raise her four children, one is at University of Wisconsin, one at the University of Georgia, and two at CDMHS. For the last two years, Katie has been a preschool teacher before joining the Seashore Family. In her free time, you will find her at the beach, with family and friends, or spending time with her two Aussie puppies.
Tina Yang was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Education from National University. She is a passionate, enthusiastic teacher devoted to student development. Specializing in Mandarin Chinese bilingual education and mathematics, Tina uses interactive, multi-sensory teaching methods to focus on the individual needs of each student. She enjoys working across cultures and communicating with students and parents. Tina has worked at Seashore for over 7 years and loves the individualized attention she is able to give each student.
Ivette Mendoza graduated from UCSB with a Bachelors of Art in Sociology and Language, Culture & Society. She obtained her Masters in Education and teaching credential in English from Pepperdine University. Ivette’s teaching style includes visualization, cooperative learning, as well as inquiry-based instruction. Her interests include running, reading, writing, and exploring new hiking trails. Ivette looks forward to meeting and working with Seashore students!
A native of Newport Beach, CA, Ashley West graduated from the University of Arizona and earned her California teaching credential. After teaching 5th grade at Newport Coast Elementary, Ashley craved a smaller, more intimate work setting and spent a number of years working in real estate and medical practices. Since then, she’s combined her business expertise and teaching background to become the Lead of the Newport Beach Campus.
Lexy Weber grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona. Lexy graduated with a BA in education and minor in psychology. She taught for 3 years at Orange Tree Christian and is excited to start her teaching journey at Seashore Academy. Lexy loves spending time with her family and friends. In her free time she is outdoors on walks, or at the beach!
Elizabeth Saukkola is the 5th/6th Grade Science Teacher at Seashore and will be exploring Earth Science with our students this year. Her past experiences in teaching include 6 years of teaching Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry at Laguna Beach High School, and 12 years of running a private tutoring business for High School Students across Orange County. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in BioChem, she received her teaching credential at Cal State Fullerton. Elizabeth is excited to be teaching science at seashore academy with a hands-on, activity based approach to science. Her goal for each student is to help them love school, and to spark a curiosity for science and an appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the world around them.
Savannah Farrell graduates magna cum laude from CSU Sacramento, receiving her BA in child development. She has worked as a teacher for the last 3 years and worked with children for the past 8 years. Her teaching style is to have her lessons be interactive and cooperative to get the children engaged Mx she is excited to teach at Seashore Academy with the first graders. She loves working with children, helping them learn and become independent. In her free time, she likes to be with her family and friends, and doing art.
Tiffani Rosing grew up in Newport beach going to local schools and then graduated from CDMHS. She went on to USC and graduated with a BS in Education with a minor in Fine Arts. She then attended Pepperdine and graduated with a Masters degree in Education with a Professional Clear, CLAD Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Tiffani has taught grades K-8 in many different settings from Title One schools in LA to NMUSD and a private school. She paused her teaching career to raise her 3 boys but has stayed current and active with her sons’ schools, district and teachers.
Tiffani is very excited to be teaching 2nd / 3rd grades at Seashore this year. She loves educating all types of children and believes that no matter what their abilities they can thrive. Everyday her goal is to instill a love for learning and a confidence that with the right attitude nothing is impossible!
Tiffani lives a fast paced life with her husband and their 3 boys who are aged 16,14 and 12 as well as her one girl, Penny, who is their beloved rescue pup. Tiffani enjoys hikes (ask her about Mt.Whitney), riding bikes,walking Penny, skiing,yoga ,a good Latte, road trips, back bay walks, watching her crew surf/ wake board or snowboarding and dinners in her backyard with family and friends.
Clare Dahl is a native of Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of College of Charleston. Since graduation, her career has focused on teaching and child development. Recently, she was with Rainbow Rising Child Care responsible for education in child development. Clare is pursuing her teaching credential. Clare has always loved teaching children. Clare’s goal for all her students is for them to love school and to love learning. When Clare is not teaching, she enjoys sailing, being with friends and family, and giving back to her community.
Mr. Wade Banowsky
Mr. Wade Banowsky is originally from Dallas, Texas. He has degrees in Special Education and Sports Marketing from the University of Arizona. Mr. Banowsky teaches 7th and 8th-grade History and an elective leadership class on campus.
Prior to teaching at Seashore, Wade worked in a middle school nearby and continues to work privately with students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities in reading, writing, literacy, and comprehension training.
When Wade is not teaching, he spends his time enjoying hobbies like skydiving, scuba diving, surfing, mountain biking, riding motorcycles, and camping. In the classroom, Wade values responsibility, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, cultural awareness, and honesty. If you happen to see Mr. Banowsky on campus, feel free to walk right up and say hello!
Stefanie Baeker is a native from Germany and – besides English – fluent in Spanish and French. She has combined her passion for travel, studying other cultures and teaching through leading study tours to Mayan territories in Central America, as well as throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Stefanie has been involved in education since the late 90s and gained teaching experience while acting as a Program Director in a gymnastics school, through teaching ESL to ages 3 – 19 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico; as well as teaching language classes to private students of various ages. She worked as a Recreation Leader at the Specialized Recreation Center in Walnut Creek; and tutored at-risk youth in Richmond elementary schools.
Stefanie has taught German at the German School Campus in Newport Beach and holds the DLL6 certificate for curriculum creation issued by the Goethe Institute.
At Seashore Academy, she is thrilled about teaching subjects like Science, History, Public Speaking, STEM and Spanish.
Stefanie’s other passions are working with natural healing techniques such as Phototherapy, Reiki; and – as a certified astrologer – the application of cosmic sciences in daily life.
Jocelyn Quintana was born and raised in Los Angeles. She has attended CalState Longbeach majoring in Recreational Therapy. She joined the Seashore team in August 2020. She teaches her primary language of Spanish to grades Tk to 4th grade along with administrative work. Some of her hobbies include working out and hanging out with friends.
Ann Marie Hine
Ann-Marie Hines earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Med from UCLA. While studying at UCLA, she had the opportunity to teach reading recovery to inner city middle school students. She enjoyed learning at the UCLA Medical Center and working at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange after her graduation.
While working for the American Red Cross on high school and college campuses in Orange County, she connected with the students. Ann-Marie received the opportunity to travel to the Philippines, Russia, and the Ukraine to teach English and American culture. She taught middle school life science in Fullerton and elementary school in Tustin for 10 years. Ann-Marie operated a tutoring service for 16 years in South Orange County.
She is married to Paul Hines, who will also be teaching at Seashore Academy. She has home educated her son for 10 years and supports him in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Ann-Marie enjoys backyard organic edible gardening, home cooking, walks on the beach, and writing. She published a children's book titled, Gary Garibaldi in the California Kelp Beds teaching readers about the wonders of the offshore kelp forest.
Anthony Velazquez has earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University, Los Angeles. He has over 4 years of combined experience in the classroom serving the role of a tutor and teacher. His aim in teaching is to foster the creativity and imagination of his students. During his time at CSULA, he worked as the public relations officer with the university’s Art History Society and has helped coordinate events in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA). He is a founding member of a small independent record label/collective focused on the distribution of physical releases by several Los Angeles/Orange County-based artists. Mr. Velazquez aka “Mr. V” is inspired by the arts, music, literature, classic cinema, cultural anthropology, mythology, hiking, and nature. Anthony is thrilled to be a part of the team at Seashore Academy!
Charmae Price grew up in Anaheim, CA and graduated from LMU with a BA in Business Administration. After several years working in management in the retail and technology industries she decided to return to school and earned her California Teaching Credential. She did her student teaching in NMUSD and taught in OUSD. She ended up combining her business and educational experience and took a Curriculum Representative position with an educational publisher. Charmae worked with school districts and school sites to fulfill their curriculum needs and trained teachers on the successful implementation of curriculum.
Charmae resides in Newport Beach with her husband, their 4 children and their puppy. She has been actively involved in their education at private school, public school and home school. She spends most of her free time attending her children’s football, basketball, water polo and volleyball games.
Charmae is excited to be back in the classroom teaching 3rd grade at Seashore Academy. She wants to instill a love of learning and guide students to be a partner in their education.
Emma graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in English Literature and Psychology. She spent four years teaching writing and reading comprehension through USC’s Joint Educational Program in Los Angeles. In addition, Emma has tutored middle and high school students for over five years as a volunteer for 826LA. She was a substitute teacher for Seashore last year and is excited to be a member of the Middle School team this year. If she is not reading, painting, or writing, you might find her out on the water sailing!
Jenna Niemes grew up in Huntington Beach, and now resides in Costa Mesa. She attended Cal State University Long Beach, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She later went back to Cal State Long Beach to obtain her Master’s degree in Education.
She has been in the field of Education for over 10 years and has taught various grades and subject matter. She loves working with children and is passionate about inspiring young students to become independent and critical thinkers. She strongly believes that attending school should be a joyful time for students and parents.
In her free time, Jenna loves doing yoga, bike riding near the beach, playing volleyball, reading, and cooking. She is looking forward to joining the Seashore Academy Team and can’t wait to see what the school year brings!
Kenzie Weller grew up in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona and completed her undergrad at the University of Arizona. Kenzie graduated with a BA in early childhood education and will be entering her 5th year teaching.
In her first year, she taught 1st grade at Redfield Elementary in Arizona and then spent 2 consecutive years teaching TK at Orange Tree Christian. Last year, she organized an in-home classroom setting for a pod group in Newport Beach. Kenzie is so excited to continue her teaching journey at Seashore leading a Kindergarten classroom!
She is recently engaged and looking forward to getting married in Laguna Beach next Fall. Kenzie’s main goals this year are to create a classroom community that is based on kindness, hands on learning experiences, and developing relationships with both her students and their parents!
Kim Wiltjer grew up in Southern California and attended Vanguard University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in psychology. Kim has taught for over 15 years and is extremely excited to join the Seashore team.
She will be teaching Kindergarten this year and cannot wait to share her passion for learning and her joy for working with students. She is in the process of completing her California Teaching Credential and master’s in education. When not teaching Kim enjoys being creative and hanging with friends and family.
Lisa Lowe grew up in Michigan and received her teaching degree from Western Michigan University, with a double major (Health Education, K-12 and English).
After teaching for several years in Michigan, Lisa took a break to have children and raise them at home. During that time, Lisa continued to substitute teach and tutor.
Her husband, Bryan, was transferred to California for work 3 years ago, so their family of 5 moved across the country, and they love the beautiful weather and living near the beach.
Since living in CA, Lisa has been working in the children’s ministry at FCC and is excited to get back into teaching! She has a passion for children and learning and especially loves the process of teaching kids skills that they can carry through life while making it fun! In her free time, Lisa and her husband love to take their 3 boys to the beach, go for walks with their dog, and she loves cooking, reading, and traveling.
Mike Bohen comes to Seashore following 12 years in Private Industry(Computer/Printer business), and 26 years of teaching/coaching in Tustin Unified (3 in Middle School, 23 in High School). The prospect of working in a dynamic environment such as Seashore has motivated him to delay retiring from the teaching profession. Mike has a Computer Science Degree from UCI (minor in Mathematics), and his full teaching credential from Concordia University. Mike lives in Irvine with his wife Jennifer and his 2 American Eskimo tornadoes Olive and McGee. In his spare time, Mike also taught an assortment of exercise classes, including teaching spinning since 1996. His hobbies include riding, rowing, and yoga.
Paul Hines is a native of Orange County and has continuously operated a small window washing business in Laguna Woods / formally called Leisure World since he was 13 years old. After graduating early from El Toro High, he attended Saddleback College majoring in Marine Science while simultaneously building a 42 foot sailboat presently berthed in Chula Vista. He graduated From Cal State Long Beach with a Teaching Credential and taught for many years in the Orange Unified School District. He has taught most grades 1st through 9th. He and his wife have been homeschooling their 15 year old son who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu national champion.
Tom Ficcadenti grew up in Irvine, California & graduated from Bucknell University’s College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics. After working for several years as a software developer, Tom realized he had a strong aptitude for adolescent education.
After running a small tutoring business & serving as a teaching assistant for Pacific Coast High School, Tom began supporting the Seashore team as a substitute teacher, which quickly evolved into a full-time teaching position. While math & physics remain his favorite subjects, Tom branched out into independently studying the humanities & life sciences with the goal of becoming a sharp, well-rounded educator. In his free time, Tom takes Judo classes & practices playing improvisational blues on his piano.
Sarah Aguayo got her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2002 from Cal State Fullerton. She taught 2nd grade for 9 years in the Fullerton School District. She got her Masters in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction in 2007 at Cal State Fullerton. She took off 7 years to raise her two young children and returned to teaching in 2017 as a Reading Intervention Teacher in the NMUSD. She loves spending time with her family, reading books, and taking Spin and Pilates classes. She is very excited to be teaching first grade at Seashore Academy this year.
Nikki Hezar grew up in Orange County and graduated from Sage Hill High School. After high school, she went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She remained in Dallas to teach elementary school before moving back to Newport Beach where she taught preschool students. Nikki is so excited to teach Kindergarten at Seashore this year! Her goal is to create a warm, loving and supportive environment where her students are excited about learning and look forward to coming to school every day. Outside of school, Nikki loves spending time with friends and family, traveling, playing with her puppy, and enjoying the outdoors.
Shannon Gieselman graduated from UCSB with a Major in Communication Studies. She has an extensive career in Event Management where it offered her the opportunity to travel the world coordinating large scale corporate events. Mother of two children, Shannon is eager to assist in the kick-off of the South County campus where her daughter will be attending.
Morgan has been an Early Childhood developmentalist for the past 5 years. She started at The
Children's Center/Lab School at Orange Coast College working with 4-5 year old’s. Her most
recent teaching was at The Environmental Nature Center Preschool that opened in 2019!
Morgan is currently attending National University and in the Credential program, followed by
pursuing a Masters in Education. Morgan’s passionate about fostering and nurturing children's
development by connecting themselves to nature and the environment and searching for new
ways to create a love for learning at an early age.
Morgan's teaching style is hands-on developmental, through hands-on activities, children are encouraged to learn through exploration. The importance of Hands-on learning develops thinking skills, encouraging their senses while being engaged through physical participation in learning. Her philosophy of teaching believes, all students are individuals, and everyone learns in their own unique way. She uses multiple methods of teaching (linguistic, visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to reach students.
This year she will be teaching Transitional Kindergarten and Seashore Academy Parent and Me classes.
Katy Wislocki grew up in Newport Beach and graduated from CDMHS. Katy then went to Northern Arizona University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Katy received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and she worked in Newport Mesa School District for twelve years with substituting, and teaching grades from K-6. Katy is looking forward to working at Seashore Academy teaching 6th grade this year. Making sure the students are engaged and having a safe environment to go to each day is essential. Outside of school, Katy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching sports, and going to the beach.
Founder, Seashore Academy