Middle School Team
Keith Bañuelos, Small Group Instructor
Mr. Bañuelos was born and raised in Southern California in a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles County. Mr. Bañuelos and his fiancée decided to move to Washington and came across this lovely school. We were both very fortunate to be hired and he is thrilled to be able to teach at Catalyst alongside her. His journey into the classroom was long, but he finally felt that he was right where he belongs.
From first grade, all the way until his senior year of high school Mr. Bañuelos was in Cub Scouts then promoted to Boy Scouts of America where he received the highest honor of Eagle Scout. All throughout high school, he participated in sports such as Wrestling, Tennis, Cross Country, and Track and Field. During his senior year, his team won the State Championship for Division 3 in 2010.
After high school, Mr. Bañuelos attended Cerritos Community College taking courses in various subjects, not only to find a passion, but to educate himself and become a well-rounded person. While doing this he joined a band and played at places such as the House of Blues in Hollywood and the Whiskey a Go Go. He started coaching Cross Country and Track and Field a couple of years after the band separated. A few years later he transferred to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and received my Bachelor of Arts in Education Sciences.
Following graduation, Mr. Bañuelos worked at a middle school until he received my acceptance letter to Pepperdine University for their Masters of Arts in TeachingProgram. He taught in a first and fifth grade classroom and would later be hired as a first/second grade combo teacher. Now he is excited to start the next chapter of my life in Washington with my fiancée at Catalyst.
Abigail Breeding, Teaching Fellow
Ms. Breeding joins Catalyst Public Schools as a Teaching Fellow. She is the mother of two young boys and has worked with children for most of her teenage and adult life. Ms. Breeding has enjoyed babysitting, volunteering at local elementary schools, and ABA therapy, working with children on the Autism spectrum to coaching youths in tennis and soccer. I was first introduced to Catalyst Public Schools as I was trying to figure out all the options for my eldest son, who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. The message of community, inclusivity and leadership mindset of Catalyst was refreshing and the exact pathway I would like to guide my own son on. I knew immediately I wanted to be involved with this new program. I applied and accepted to be a Community Advisor and now as a Teaching Fellow, my son is enrolled to be a Catalyst Scholar.
Ms. Breeding's dad is retired from the Navy and that afforded her to live in Guam and Japan and finally settle here in the Kitsap area. She enjoys playing soccer with her family, being crafty with a sewing machine and binge watching all the anime she can get my hands on! Ms. Breeding can't wait to meet all the scholars and their families!
Sarah Daly, Lead Teacher
Mrs. Daly is originally from Buffalo, NY and grew up in Phoenix, AZ. She joined the United States Navy at 19 years old and traveled the world. This is where she developed a love for serving others and her country. She enjoyed interacting with people from various cultures, witnessing their beautiful landscapes, and eating their delicious food. Mrs. Daly received her bachelor’s degree in communications, from Arizona State University and is currently working towards her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. After graduating college, she followed her husband to his hometown of Houston, TX. This is where she uncovered her calling to teach. Mrs. Daly has taught in Texas for four years and coached middle school softball. She has a passion for teaching and helping students achieve their goals.
When Mrs. Daly is not at school, she is enjoying the outdoors with her husband, son, and two dogs. Mrs. Daly loves playing sports and participates in local recreation leagues with her friends. This will be Mrs. Daly’s first year living in Washington and she is very excited for all the new adventures to come. She also cannot wait to explore the multitude of coffee shops the state has to offer. Most importantly, she is thrilled to work at a school like Catalyst, where teacher and staff are dedicated to providing the very best education to all students.
Renee Hammel, Teaching Fellow
Born and raised in Iowa, Ms. Hammel's association with the Navy community brought her to Bremerton in 2005. This affiliation has taken her and her family around the world including Guam, Virginia, and Japan before returning to the Bremerton area in 2020.
After completing her Culinary Arts degree she held the position of Catering Coordinator at Olympic College. While in this position, Ms. Hammel successfully applied for and was awarded multiple grants allowing the program to maximize the efficiency of services provided by the catering staff. While not working Ms. Hammel enjoys spending time with her two children and husband performing outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and kayaking.
Ms. Hammel is excited to begin her teaching journey as a member of the Catalyst community. Here she is looking forward to instilling a sense of belonging and empowerment to its scholars. She is motivated to share her culinary knowledge to lead these scholars into making wise food-based decisions as well as teaching the skills they need to know to become independent in their own kitchens.
Michael Kinsey, Small Group Instructor
Mr. Kinsey is looking forward to sharing his passion for putting scholars at the center of their own learning.
He is currently finishing up his Teaching Degree and Certificate at Western Governor's University, with an emphasis in Middle School Mathematics and looks forward to learning from all the experience of the current faculty at Catalyst: Bremerton.
Mr. Kinsey is originally from Manchester, England and moved to the US in 2014. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Dominique, for 7 years and they welcomed their first child in November. Mr. Kinsey is an avid football( that’s soccer to you guys) fan, player and coach. He has been coaching for over 15 years and currently coaches in the local area for Bainbridge Island Youth Soccer Club. He also love watching movies, reading fantasy books, playing video games and playing with his dog, Penny!
Erinn Olson, Lead Teacher
Ms. Olson grew up in Salem, Oregon as an Oregon Ducks fan, competitive swimmer, and cello player. She always knew she wanted to be a science or math teacher.
Ms. Olson ended up getting her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Oregon State University. She majored in Behavioral sciences with an Education focus. She taught in Oregon for 4 years before moving to Washington. Ms. Olson spent the majority of her career teaching in Bremerton at Mountain View Middle School, teaching both Math and Science. Ms. Olson was also the Cross Country coach at Mountain View Middle for 2 years. Since leaving Mountain View, she has taught in Gig Harbor, Olympia, and for Washington Connection Academy. She is very excited to be back in Bremerton.
Outside of work, Ms. Olson spends most of her time with her family or her Scouts. She is the Scoutmaster for Troop 2019 in Silverdale, which is a scouts BSA troop for girls. One of her Scouts was the first female Eagle Scout in Kitsap County. Ms. Olson is proud of what her Scouts do and she loves watching them grow and learn.
Ms. Olson's daughter, Ash, is one of my Scouts, and her husband is on the Committee. They love camping, offroading, and being outdoors. She is also an avid reader of fantasy novels.
Ms. Olson's main goal in teaching and Scouts is to help grow better humans. She believes we are in a world that needs more upstanders, compassion, and kindness and that we need thinkers and doers and brave souls willing to take risks and do what's right. Ms. Olson is very excited to be working in a place that focuses on these same goals and can't wait to dig in!
Alexandria Pacifico, Lead Teacher
Ms. Pacifico recently moved to the area and was born and raised in Colorado. She earned her BA in English and history and her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. She has taught 6th grade English for 3 years in Denver and previous to that, taught English in Japan. She was also a preschool teacher throughout college. As a typical Colorado native, she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing . . . all things outdoors! She also enjoys spending time with her dog and watching hockey. Ms. Pacifico is drawn to Catalyst because of the commitment to equity, closing gaps, and high quality academic and social and emotional instruction.
Nandita Raghavan, Lead Teacher
Ms. Raghavan was raised in San Ramon, California. She has a very deep appreciation for the Bay Area. Ms. Raghavan earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California, where she participated actively in public speaking and volunteering in extracurricular activities. She has a deep passion for teaching, and loves working with students and developing their love for learning and curiosity of the world. Ms. Raghavan loves spending time outdoors, and is a very avid reader in her spare time.
Dora Ureste, Small Group Instructor
Ms. Ureste was born and raised in a deep South Texas town called Edinburg. She has been awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.
In 2018, Ms. Ureste began her journey working in a classroom at a high school in the Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District. She was placed in the Special Education Unit working with self-contained students on their pathway towards independence. She also worked as a coach of multiple sports. Ms. Ureste encouraged the student-athletes to always work hard towards their goals so they can use those skills in the classroom and everyday life.
She cannot wait for what Washington has in store for her - including different weather, events, and nature walks. During her down time, she enjoys going for runs and walks to enjoy the fresh air, watching the latest films on any streaming service, painting, drawing, and gaming.
Ms. Ureste looks forward to new memories with amazing co-workers and scholars at Catalyst!