SCHOLAR SUPPORT TEAM
Rachel Agamalian, Education Specialist
Ms. Agamalian is excited to be at Catalyst Public Schools. When she is not at the school you can find her riding horses or spending time with her partner and their dog playing at the local dog parks.
As an AmeriCorps member, Ms. Agamalian spent her service year in two Seattle elementary schools providing support to the scholars and their families as well as small group reading and math interventions. When she completed her service year, she thought her calling was to be a social worker but she came to the conclusion that her passion is in special education and supporting scholars to be the best learners they can be.
In December of 2017, Ms. Agamalian received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor Special Education from the University of Oregon. She recently Graduated with her Master’s degree in Special Education through Grand Canyon University.
Karen Brehmer, Education Specialist
Hello! My name is Karen and I am grateful to join the Catalyst team. I’m looking forward to supporting our scholars and celebrating learning with them.
Although I grew up and went to university in Minnesota, I have lived in Washington for more years. I started my career in Bremerton, teaching third and fifth grades. Recently, I have been privileged to serve children and families as an Early Intervention Special Educator.
My husband and I are getting used to being empty nesters, having two adult children. Our oldest is married and lives in Edmonds with his wife and pet menagerie. Our daughter is closer-she lives in Bremerton. Family times are the best times! We love meeting for coffee, sharing meals, playing games and going on adventures together. With every chance I get, I like to draw and always have a painting in progress; I enjoy creating using various media.
Bri Crawford - Education Specialist
Introducing Bri Crawford, an Education Specialist joining Catalyst for the 2023-2024 school year. With experience in Bremerton schools dating back to 2013, Bri's passion for teaching was sparked through volunteering in her son's early classrooms. As both an educator and a parent, Bri firmly believes in providing unwavering support to ensure every student can thrive academically.
In her role as an Education Specialist, Bri aims to establish strong relationships with students and teachers, fostering an environment where everyone feels supported on their individual pathways to success. Beyond the professional sphere, Bri and her husband enjoy engaging in various activities together, such as trivia, kayaking, and dancing, while finding ways to entertain and inspire their teenage boys. Their furry companion, Bashful, became an invaluable addition to their family in 2018.
Bri's dedication to lifelong learning drives her to continuously explore creative approaches to support students. She began her journey as a special education paraeducator in Bremerton, working closely with students on a one-on-one basis to help them achieve independence within their classrooms. Over the course of six years, Bri transitioned into the role of a general education paraeducator while pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies, followed by a Master of Arts in Teaching. In 2021, she obtained her teaching certificate and ventured into online teaching, which allowed her to be present for her own children during the post-Covid transitions. During this period, Bri implemented collaboration meetings and weekly connection opportunities that significantly enhanced student success and ultimately influenced the company's teaching model.
As a substitute teacher, Bri consistently created spaces for connection and meaningful learning experiences, regardless of the classroom she joined. However, she always felt compelled to expand her impact beyond the limitations of a traditional classroom. Thus, the opportunity to serve as an Education Specialist at Catalyst is a realization of her aspirations. Bri is excited to contribute to Catalyst's mission, which centers around equity for underserved scholars and feels immensely grateful for the chance to be part of a future-focused organization.
Darnetia Miller, 1:1 Support Specialist
Darnetia Miller, originally from Norfolk, Virginia, has been residing in Washington for the past two years. Having tied the knot with her best friend, Vernon, on July 15, 2022, she finds joy in her marriage. While children are not a part of her family just yet, Darnetia has a beloved Shih Tzu named Bailey, who holds a special place in her heart.
With an impressive career spanning over 25 years in the field of education, Darnetia's passion for nurturing young minds led her to a middle school in Port Orchard upon her move to Washington state. There, she gained a profound understanding of the community through the perspective of scholars. Darnetia has a genuine appreciation for students with diverse abilities and recognizes the significance of fostering an inclusive educational environment.
In her continuous quest for personal and professional growth, Darnetia has recently embarked on a journey to learn Braille. This newfound skill reflects her commitment to understanding and catering to the diverse needs of her students. Currently positioned at Catalyst, Darnetia is enthusiastic about her role and is determined to be intentional in providing unwavering support to the scholars under her care.
Danielle Potwin - Social Emotional Fellow
Danielle M. Potwin (she/her) was born, raised, and lived in Massachusetts for four decades before making the decision to move to Bremerton. She is so excited to live near the mountains, forest, ocean, many art makers and with loved ones!
After earning her BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2017, she taught high school at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts and assisted in teaching college classes in clay, drawing, painting, hot glass, sculpture and printmaking. Previous to attending her undergraduate program, she was (and sometimes still dabbles as) a sous chef, pastry chef and overall cook for 15 years. In 2022, she started Elephant Shoe Studio, a small art studio that gives clay lessons and where she makes ceramic clocks, magnets and jewelry.
Danielle is pleased to continue her journey in educating scholars with Catalyst as she is not only deeply committed to her own personal practice as a maker, she has a strong desire to provide access and create safe and inclusive spaces to assist people of any age achieve their definition of success.
While she has many loves, Danielle has always been thrilled with solid handshakes and hugs, spending time outside in the forest and water, with loved ones, fun rocks, cycling, swimming, practicing mindfulness/yoga and making sculpture, drawings, artist books and
Analisa Reyes, Social-Emotional Teaching Fellow
Ms. Reyes was born and raised in the Bay Area of California. She moved to Bremerton to join Catalyst Public Schools as a founding 7th Grade Teaching Fellow, and is delighted to now be working as a Social-Emotional Teaching Fellow. She appreciates that she has been able to support scholars of all needs in different settings.
Ms. Reyes has experience as a substitute teacher for infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms, has worked as an ABA technician, and has provided 1:1 reading, writing, and math interventions.
When she is not at school, you can find Ms. Reyes at home playing the guitar, singing too loudly, or picking up her roommates’ cat so they can nap together! She also enjoys exploring the beautiful PNW, going to concerts, and reading scary stories before bed.
Ms. Reyes is so thankful for her new family at Catalyst, where every scholar is known, loved, and challenged. She is excited to serve each of our scholars and looks forward to supporting them as they achieve their dreams!
Kristin Singh was born and raised in Hawaii and remains an island girl at heart. She moved to California after high school to attend the University of California, Irvine where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. She later earned her M.A. in Psychology from Humboldt State University, with an emphasis in School Psychology.
Kristin worked as a School Psychologist in San Diego, CA for 13 years, and served as the Associate Director of Special Education at High Tech High Charter Schools for the last five years. She is excited to have found a new home at Catalyst Public Schools, that shares her values of equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice.
Kristin and her family are excited to be relocating to the Pacific Northwest over the summer, and can't wait to explore the area. While away from work, Kristin enjoys dancing to live music, watching her husband perform stand-up comedy, singing along to musicals with her 8-year-old daughter, curling up with a good book (especially when it's raining outside!), road trips and visits to see family in Hawaii and Wisconsin, and spending quality time at home with the whole family.
Kristen Singh, Director of Special Education and School Psychologist
Zach Stringham, Teacher in Residence
Mr. Stringham has been working in public schools for the past five years across Washington State. Mr. Stringham is a local from Bremerton. He came here when he was very little with his family via the navy and has loved it ever since. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in History from Pacific Lutheran University and his Masters in Teaching from University of Puget Sound.
Mr. Stringham has been able to travel to many countries including: Canada, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Cuba, and Germany. He is hoping to add Vietnam, Morocco, and Iceland to his passport in the next few years. When not backpacking through other countries Mr. Stringham enjoys hanging out with his Old English Sheepdog, Wallie exploring trails and beaches across Washington State. He enjoys tabletop gaming with friends and camping all over the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Stringham spends a lot of time reading adult science fiction and fantasy books. He also spends time everyday writing as he tries to finish and publish a novel.
Brad Thuring is excited to be a member of the Catalyst team and thrilled to watch Catalyst grow within the Kitsap community.
Brad was born and raised in Eastern Washington. After Graduating from high school, Brad enlisted and served 8 years in the United States Marine Corps. Brad has served at Camp Pendleton CA, Okinawa Japan, Desert Storm and Shield. During his Marine Corps career, he married his wife and began a family of 3 daughters.
Upon discharge from the Marine Corps, Brad moved to NY to Attend the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation from the CIA, Brad worked for a Long Island bakery before moving to Port Orchard, Washington. Brad and his wife raised their 3 daughters in Port Orchard, graduating from South Kitsap High School.
Brad and his family including 5 grandchildren have been residents of Kitsap County for 20 plus years. He has worked in multiple restaurants and businesses in Kitsap, Peirce, and King county with various titles such as Executive Chef, Sous Chef, Kitchen Manager, and Lead Line Cook. When Brad isn't working in the community he enjoys his aquariums, outdoors, camping, cycling, spending time with his family.
Brad Thuring, Nutrition Specialist and Operations Coordinator
Moneica Thuring, Operations Coordinator
Moneica Thuring is excited for her first year at Catalyst! She was born in San Diego, California, but has lived in Washington for most of her life. Moneica has a background in nursing, more specifically taking care of people living with Dementia and Alzheimers, along with a background in Social Media and Marketing!
When she is not working you can find her hanging out with her dogs ( a lab and husky)! She enjoys taking them on spontaneous adventures! She also loves to traveling and trying new kinds foods, she dreams of living aboard one day. Moneica is huge on family and loves spending time with her nieces and nephew! She is very grateful to be apart of the Catalyst family and excited to be working around so many great people! This is just the beginning and its only going to get better from here!