Middle School Team
Stephanie Layson, Teacher
This year is Ms. Layson's fourteenth year as a middle school educator. Ms. Layson is originally from a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. and she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in German language and Psychology. While completing an internship at a school for students with autism in Germany, she realized that teaching was her calling.
When Ms. Layson returned to the States, she was accepted into the DC Teaching Fellows program, an alternate route certification program through The New Teacher Project. Through this program, Ms. Layson earned her Master’s degree from George Washington University in Special Education. Ms. Layson taught in Washington, DC for 10 years in both traditional public schools and public charter schools; teaching 4th through 8th grade and almost every subject. She was also the Director of High School Placement, supporting students and families with obtaining scholarships and acceptance into the top high schools in the city and country. Ms. Layson currently resides in Tacoma.
When she's not teaching, you can find Ms. Layson hiking or kayaking with my husband and my corgi mix, Bill. Ms. Layson loves to get outdoors and enjoy all that the best coast has to offer. She am also an avid reader. Ms. Layson tries to keep up with young adult fiction, but she always appreciate a good murder mystery or thriller novel.
Cecily Wright, Teacher
Ms. Wright was raised in Spokane, Washington with four wonderful brothers and sisters. After graduating from high school, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In college, Ms. Layson was able to learn more about herself and her interests. She found a passion for learning languages and completed all of the ASL courses taught at BYU. Shortly after that, she spent almost two years in Argentina and fell in love with the Spanish language and culture of Argentina.
Ms. Wright also found a great love for the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and rollerblading and was a recreation guide in Zion National Park.
Ms. Wright chose Catalyst because she is excited to be able to incorporate her passions into her teaching, but more importantly, she is excited to help students discover their passions. Ms. Wright loves how Catalyst encourages the growth and the identity of each individual student and she hopes to be an important part of each student’s journey in discovering their passions in life.
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!
Michael Kinsey, Teaching Fellow
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!
Alexandria Pacifico, 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.
Sarah Daly, 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.
Nandita Raghavan, Small Group Instructor
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.
Charlotte Fisken, Small Group Instructor
Ms. Fisken is thrilled to be joining the Catalyst community as the seventh grade small group instructor. Ms. Fisken grew up in Seattle, and is happy to be back. inthe PNW. After graduating from Pomona College with a degree in International Relations, Ms. Fisken joined Teach for America in Baltimore and spent two years teaching early elementary and getting her Master’s in education at Johns Hopkins. She wanted to learn more about outdoor play-based learning, so Ms. Fisken spent the next year doing research and teaching as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Norway. In Norway Ms. Fisken discovered that she loves working with middle school students, so when the fellowship ended she moved to the Bay Area, where she taught fifth and sixth graders at an environmental education non-profit serving Title I schools. After a brief stint in the business world, Ms. Fisken returned to teaching at an independent school in San Diego, where she taught seventh grade humanities and electives.
Ms. Fisken's favorite part about teaching is learning from and engaging with students. She often finds herself thinking about something in a new way because of a question or insight a student shared. She looks forward to helping students find their voices as writers and cultivate their curiosity about the world around them.
When she's not at school, she loves exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog, eating delicious food, reading thought-provoking books, and playing any sport (especially soccer).