Miss Cara Bae graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a BA in Bible and Elementary Education. She has previous experience working with Kindergarten at Puitak Christian School in Chicago and did her student teaching at CCS with 5th grade. Miss Bae is passionate about teaching Bible, Social Studies and Language Arts. Her ultimate goal in teaching is to challenge students to make an impact on this world, while equipping them with the right skills and tools to do so. She has a dual citizenship with Canada, where most of her family lives. In her free time, she enjoys trying new foods, reading and doing arts and crafts projects.
Mrs. Erica Cayton earned her BS from UCLA, and after medical school, her MS in Biology from Dominican University of California. She discovered her love of teaching as a Physiology Laboratory Teaching Assistant for her master’s program. While she loves all science, biology is her passion. As an undergraduate she loved looking at fossils and learning how God gave His creations specific traits to solve various challenges. Later this evolved into a love of genetics and an appreciation how how of our genes and our environment work together to make us who we are. Mrs. Erica then earned her teaching credentials in order to join the CCS family. Both of her children began in the infant program at CCS. Mrs. Erica and her family attend Menlo Church in San Jose which she’s attended since 1982. It is also where she was married and baptized.
Mrs. Helen Chang graduated from SJSU with a BA in Sociology and Criminology with a minor in speech communication. Previously, Mrs. Chang taught at Challenger and has worked with a wide variety of ages at church events such as VBS and various missions trips. She believes that relationships are at the center of everything. Building relationships with the students and seeing them grow is key to helping them make new connections and do things that they couldn't do before. Mrs. Chang is a proud mother of two, Ethan and Ellie. Along with her husband David, she enjoys musicals and live music. As a family they love vacationing, being outdoors, and exploring new things.
Mrs. Celeste Gaither teaches P.E. for grades 4-8 and is the Athletic Director. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose University. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and youth exercise specialist. She joined our staff after years of active parent involvement, including PTF president/treasurer, Scrip Coordinator, and Crab Feed co-chair. Her sons began attending CCS preschool in 2005. She is excited to share her love of health and fitness with the students.
Mrs. Paty Gonda-Sayre teaches 7th and 8th grade Spanish. She was born in Mexico City, and was educated in a bilingual school until the age of 16. She is fluent in both Spanish language and culture. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work, with over 15 years of experience. Her teaching experience of 16 years encompasses a large age range (K-12), mainly in the forms of individual tutoring and small group courses in a variety of subjects and settings. Mrs. Sayre has two adult children, one a published author, the other a Mechanical Engineer. She and her family have been long time members of the Campbell Church of Christ.
Mr. Jason Hansen is the Junior High Department Head and teaches Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Bible, Yearbook, Journalism, Life Skills, and Modern Calligraphy in the Junior High at CCS. Mr. Hansen has been a member of the Church of Christ his entire life and currently attends Central Church of Christ with his wife Janelle. They actively search for ways to respond to God’s calling of service as they teach and mentor the youth at their church to help them develop a firm foundation in the Bible. Mr. Hansen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. Professionally, he has taught Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th-8th grade in both public and private schools, while teaching Preschool through 12th grade at his church and as a private tutor. He has also served as the Extended Care Director at CCS for two years. Mr. Hansen and his wife enjoy singing, going to the theater, camping, and spending time with their son, Caleb, family and friends. He is excited to share his love for the Lord with students and parents at CCS.
Mrs. Catherine Hickinbotham joined the CCS staff as our librarian in 2005. Previously, Mrs. Hickinbotham worked as a teacher's aide in our preschool and as a substitute teacher in the Elementary School. Mrs. Hickinbotham has a degree in Liberal Studies from San Jose State University. She has a love for children as well as the hope that the students of CCS will become independent, life-long readers. Both of her children attended CCS.
Mrs. Rhonda Jose began teaching at CCS in 1999 and brings an enthusiasm and sense of humor to our school and art education program. She graduated from California State University in Chico with a degree in Social Sciences. Both of her children are graduates of CCS. She continues to inspire and challenge her students, creating a dynamic and fun art education program for CCS.
Mrs. Jamie Kim has a B.A. in psychology from UC San Diego and a multiple subject teaching credential from National University. She has twelve years of teaching experience in the Oak Grove school district. Mrs. Kim is certified in Sobrato Early Academic Language Model and has trained in Noyce Writer's Workshop, Guided Language Acquisition Design, Systematic English language development, Math Talks, and Positive Behavioral Interventions. Her two children attend CCS. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, (she also has a classic pastry arts diploma from the International Culinary Center) and drinking coffee. She attends West Gate church with her husband, who she met for the first time in second grade.
Ms. Ivy Mbunda graduated from CSU East Bay with her bachelors in computer science. She previously worked as a coding instructor for students ages 6-17 teaching Minecraft, scratch, python, java and C++. Ms. Mbunda believes that technology is the future and early exposure and education in tech sets students up for success. In her free time she enjoys hiking and cycling. She is the oldest of three siblings. Her family is located in Nairobi, Kenya.