TEAMS KINDER AND 1ST
Bridget Lester, Lead Teacher
Virginia Tech Homeroom
Ms. Lester is an exceptional teacher with nearly a decade of experience teaching elementary and middle aged scholars. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Virginia Tech, a Master of Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Graduate Certificate in STEM Leadership from McDaniel College.
As a teacher in Virginia, Ms. Lester was chosen to be part of the Multi-Sensory Reading Cohort, STEM Leadership Cohort in Newport News and helped to open Discovery STEM Academy. She was also honored to be chosen as teacher of the year two times.
When not at school, Ms. Lester enjoys going to the park, swimming, going to the arcade, traveling with my family, being a mom taxi for my sons sports/ activities, and long walks up and down the aisles at Target.
Ms. Lester's favorite quote is from Harriet Tubman. " Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world." I look forward to reaching and growing with your students this year and finding ways that we can change our community and the world!
Ms. Lester can be reached at
Nicole Helou, Small Group Instructor
Virginia Tech Homeroom
Ms. Helou is originally from New Jersey, and she recently relocated to Washington. She graduated from Providence College in Providence, RI where she studied education psychology, child psychology, and sociology with an emphasis on special education.
Prior to starting at Catalyst Ms. Helou worked in various childcare and classroom settings, wherein she was able to learn and apply different teaching styles, as well as experience different cultural settings. It is through these experiences in other schools that I learned to value the concepts and importance of diversity and belonging.
These experiences are also what sparked Ms. Helou's interest in Catalyst Public Schools. She believes that making students and families feel like they belong in school settings is one of the critical aspects for educational success, and it is something she strives to cultivate as a Small Group Instructor at Catalyst.
Brittany Moll, Teacher
Ms. Moll was born and raised in the Bay Area of California and recently relocated to Washington. Ms. Moll recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Disability Studies.
Prior to Catalyst, Ms. Moll worked with children in a multitude of spaces from being an intern in a special education classroom to mentoring young Black students in Compton. Ms. Moll has a passion for working with kids and for ensuring that students are provided an equitable education.
This passion is what sparked Ms. Moll's interest in Catalyst Public Schools. She believes that Catalyst’s emphasis on resiliency, agency, and inclusivity will help students foster a sense of empowerment and confidence that will make them successful.
Angela Reyes, Teaching Fellow
Ms. Reyes is originally from the Bay Area of California. Before coming to Catalyst, Ms. Reyes worked as a children's show performer, where she realized she wanted a career working with children.
In fall 2017, Ms. Reyes moved to Bremerton to attend Seattle University. She graduated in the spring of 2019 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies (Elementary Education emphasis), and is grateful for the opportunities at Seattle U to demonstrate responsible civic and community engagement.
Ms. Reyes is elated to work for a school where scholars can find their purpose and passion so that they can cultivate hope, optimism and leadership essential to be catalysts in their community.
In her free time, Ms. Reyes loves singing karaoke, spending time with her friends and family, and spoiling her cat, Nala.
Katie Sparn, Lead Teacher
Colorado Christian University
Ms. Sparn is a veteran teacher with 15 years of experience as a classroom teacher. Ms. Sparn recently relocated to the Kitsap area from western Colorado.
Before graduating from Colorado Christian University with my degree in Elementary Education, Ms. Sparn owned a preschool/pre-K program and worked with children ages 3-8. After a few years of teaching 2nd and 3rd grades, Ms. Sparn returned to CCU and received a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction Design, with an Emphasis in Reading Instruction. Ms. Sparn is also a certified Mathematics Specialist through the Colorado Department of Education.
Ms. Sparn has always had a passion for teaching. Growing up, she was encouraged to be a reader, so nothing gives her greater joy than watching children discover their love of books.
In 2018, Ms. Sparn's oldest daughter decided to go to college in Olympia. Ms. Sparn fell in love with Washington and knew that someday she would like to make it her home. When not at school, Ms. Sparn spends a lot of time outdoors with her husband and their 3 puppies, hiking and discovering new places. She also enjoys riding motorcycles and powerlifting.
Stephanie Wright, Teaching Fellow
Colorado Christian University Homeroom
Ms. Wright is from Southern California and Spanish is her first language. Ms. Wright is a military spouse and her husband has served the Navy for the last 18 years. While stationed in Hawaii, Ms. Wright graduated from Leeward Community College with my Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Ms. Wright plans to go back to school within the next few years to get a bachelor’s in early childhood education.
Ms. Wright been in Kitsap for 6 years and this has been such a wonderful place and it has felt like home. I have two young boys and Samuel; my youngest will be a scholar at Catalyst.
Ms. Wright has been a lead-teacher the last three years and assistant for one year at a local Spanish immersion preschool. While teaching at the preschool Ms. Wright realized that teaching was the career path for her. Ms. Wright was also given an opportunity to teach young children another language, seeing their overall growth has been inspiring.
As Esmé Raji Codell wrote “So much of teaching is sharing. Learning results in sharing, sharing results in change, change is learning. The only other job with so much sharing is parenting. That's probably why the two are so often confused.” Ms. Wright believes that Catalyst has a great and unique learning approach for scholars, it's unique and offers a different learning approach.
John Bachner, Lead Teacher
Mr. Bachner recently moved to Bremerton from the Bay Area of California. Before coming to Catalyst, Mr. Bachner served as an ESL certified 3rd grade teacher and 4th grade teacher at Match Community Day in Boston, MA. Mr. Bachner also worked as an assistant principal for three years at Rocketship Discovery Prep in east San Jose and 2 years at The Primary School in East Palo Alto, CA. During this time, he coached and supported teachers and students from Kinder to 5th grade.
Mr. Bachner is excited to share this perspective as Catalyst grows into new grades in the years ahead. As an undergrad at Lafayette College Mr. Bachner studied international affairs, traveled abroad in Ecuador, volunteered in education and wrote a thesis on environmental conservation and economic development. As such, he remains deeply passionate and committed to causes that improve learning outcomes, promote sustainability and build human capital both here and abroad.
Ms. Carrillo was born and raised on Bainbridge Island and she is thrilled to be teaching in Kitsap County. Working at Catalyst is Ms. Carrillo's first step in transitioning into her career in elementary education. For the past 10 years Ms. Carrillo has worked in the field of early childhood education. She has worked with newborns up to 5 year olds and has also worked in before and after school programs. Most recently, Ms. Carrillo spent time as an Education Coordinator for a Seattle early education center working with the teachers to develop meaningful curriculums and engaging daily plans.
Ms. Carrillo has also spent 2 years living in Prague, Czech Republic teaching English to children ages 2-15 years old.
In April 2020, Ms. Carrillo graduated from Western Governors University with a BA in Education Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in elementary education.
Ms. Carrillo feels that being able to work at such a unique and amazing school as Catalyst is an incredible opportunity. She is very excited to get to know each Catalyst family and scholar.