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Lower School Faculty (PS–6)


 Matt KnolesMatthew Knoles
Lower School Principal

Matthew Knoles taught for 10 years in public elementary schools in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Ventura before joining the Providence faculty in 2014. He holds a masters degree in Educational Policy and Leadership and a preliminary administrative credential (California State University Northridge, 2010). He completed the California teaching credential program (Chapman University, 2004) after earning a bachelors degree in sociology (UCSB, 2000). 

On Sundays, Mr. Knoles serves Santa Barbara Community Church as a worship leader. He and his wife, Krista, have three children, Tully, Tessa, and Beck, who are part of the Providence family.

Caitlyn Goebel
Patton-WebPreschool Director

Our founding preschool director, Caitlyn (Patton) Goebel came to Providence from the El Montecito Early School, where she taught since 2011. She has been a preschool educator since 2006, serving as a teacher and assistant childcare director in Orange County before returning to her native Santa Barbara. Mrs. Goebel earned a B.S. degree in child development with a minor in psychology from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo.

TLucera162x220Terry Lucera
Executive Assistant to the Lower School Principal / Science Teacher

Terry Lucera is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She has completed coursework toward a teaching credential at California State University, Northridge. She is no stranger to the independent school arena, having taught elementary and middle school science at a private school in the San Fernando Valley for 13 years. Upon arriving in Santa Barbara in 2011, Mrs. Lucera took employment as a teacher-editor reviewing science education and technology materials, but found she missed the school environment. She is happy to be back on a school campus, in the front office and in the science classroom. 

jsmithJan Smith
Lower School Operations Manager

Jan Smith earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Indianapolis. She has served in various administrative capacities at Santa Barbara Christian School since 1995. Mrs. Smith and her husband, Tom, have two grown sons, Matt and Tim, both alumni of SBCS.

Silvia BordinSilvia Bordin

Silvia Bordin has been a part of our school family for over 20 years, including serving on the Board of Directors. She holds a Master of Arts in Education/Educational Leadership from Antioch University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management, and associates in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Bordin is fluent in Spanish and has studied American Sign Language. Her grown sons, Robert and David, attended Santa Barbara Christian School. Her daughter, Eliana, is currently enrolled in Providence Lower School.

2185808_origKara Baker

Kara (Berge) Baker is a graduate of the Westmont Teacher Credential Program and received a Liberal Studies degree from Westmont College in 2012. She has extensive experience in the classroom through her student teaching and pre-professional work in instructional assisting in the Santa Barbara community as well as internationally, both in public and private education. Mrs. Baker has developed a strong understanding of student development and enjoys sharing a relationship with each student based on his or her interests, personality, and faith. 

Ms. Jill Cunningham

Jill McLemore
First Grade

Jill McLemore earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Westmont College in 2005, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2006. She began working at the former Santa Barbara Christian School in 2008. She enjoys the opportunity to work with young students at Providence and considers it a privilege to be a part of the school community.

Deborah FullerDeborah Fuller
Second Grade

Deborah Fuller was born and raised in Santa Barbara and is thrilled to continue to be a contributing member of this unique community. Before joining the Providence faculty in 2016, Mrs. Fuller taught both kindergarten and first grade at Roosevelt Elementary School. Mrs. Fuller earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in art from Westmont College in 2013. She holds a multiple subject teaching credential.

AHammer162x220Anne Hammer
Third Grade

Anne Hammer earned a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies from Westmont College where she was named the Outstanding Liberal Studies Student for 2012. She completed her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2012 and joined the Providence faculty in 2013. She is truly an outstanding educator and passionate about her faith and her calling.

Mrs. Christa Jones

Christa Jones
Fourth Grade

Christa Jones earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Mildly Mentally Handicapped Education from Huntington University in Indiana, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana Wesleyan. Mrs. Jones has been in the teaching profession since 1992 and joined the former Santa Barbara Christian School faculty in 2009. She and her husband, Doug, have two sons who attend Providence.

Mrs. Jennifer Suleiman

Jennifer Suleiman
Fifth Grade

Jennifer Suleiman earned a B.A. degree in Studio Art from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Sacramento. She has been a credentialed teacher since 1994 and involved full time in classroom education since 2004. Mrs. Suleiman joined the former Santa Barbara Christian School faculty in 2010 and has been teaching art and fifth grade with a passion. In 2013, she was honored to become a fellow of the South Coast Writing Project—an organization that is dedicated to training up young writers in the classroom. 

KleenWhitney Kleen
Sixth Grade

Whitney Kleen earned a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies and a multiple subject teaching credential with a supplemental authorization in mathematics from Pepperdine University in 2004. She spent ten years teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Irvine before joining the Providence faculty in 2015.

CorazzaDebbie Corazza

Debbie Corazza earned a B.A. in English and French from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. in English and American Literature from Claremont Graduate School. She earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Point Loma Nazarene University and has many years of classroom experience. She joined the Providence faculty as librarian in 2013 and is dedicated to instilling a love for reading in children. Mrs. Corazza and her husband, Mark, are the parents of four SBCS graduates.

Sarah EglinSarah Eglin

Ms. Eglin has been teaching music, directing, accompanying, and performing in the Santa Barbara area since 1999. A native of Alexander, New York, she graduated from the State University of New York College at Fredonia, with a B.M. in Piano Performance and a B.M.E. in Music Education, and worked with the New York State Summer School of the Arts Choral Studies program for four years as a studio accompanist and instructor. Ms. Eglin is the musical director for Stage Left Summer Theater Program, and has also directed over 30 local musicals since 2001 at Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara High School, Crane Country Day School, Goleta Valley Junior High, UpStage Left, and Lobero Theater Camp.  Ms. Eglin taught for many years through Children’s Creative Project, a local non-profit supporting arts education in our local elementary schools. She taught music at Crane Country Day School and at Hope and Monte Vista Elementary Schools before coming to Providence. In addition to her classroom teaching, she worked at El Montecito Presbyterian Church as the Interim Children’s Ministry Director for two years, as well as the Children’s Choir Director and the Sanctuary Choir Accompanist for 12 years. Her three children, Margaret, Jamie, and David, love to visit the Providence campus and draw funny things on her whiteboard when no one is looking.

Tessa EmersonTessa Emerson
Art & Kindergarten Assistant

Miss Tessa Emerson, formerly a Division 1 basketball player for Pepperdine University, joined the Providence Lower School faculty team fall of 2016. Miss Emerson was a standout at Pepperdine, both on the court and in the classroom. She completed her undergraduate studies with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in fine arts and then went on to earn her teaching credential there. She is a Santa Barbara local, having attended El Montecito Early School, Peabody Charter School, and Santa Barbara Jr. and Sr. High Schools.

matthiasBlake Matthias
Physical Education

Blake Matthias  holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Westmont College where he played on the baseball team. As a Warrior, he was named to the All-Conference Team and served as a leader and mentor to younger players. Since graduating, Mr. Matthias has coached at the Westmont Summer Youth Sorts Camp and served as a church youth group leader and member of mission trips to the Philippines, El Salvador, and Mexico. He joined the Providence faculty in 2015.


JordanWild02Jordan Wild
Instructional Assistant

Jordan Wild earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a coaching minor from Fresno Pacific University where he played on the basketball team. Mr. Wild excelled in and out of the classroom and on the court. He spent six years abroad playing professionally in Australia and Germany. Mr. Wild and his wife, Taylor, have used their platform to impact the lives of student athletes across the globe. They have assisted with church youth groups, outreach programs, and coaching summer basketball camps. They moved to Santa Barbara and Jordan joined the Providence faculty in February 2017.

storyboard-newellAmber Newell
Preschool Assistant

Amber Newell has worked as a preschool teacher assistant since 2015. After graduating from Westmont College in 2013 with a degree in business and economics she worked for a local accounting firm. After two years of accounting, Amber decided to leave that field and to follow her passion for teaching. (While at Westmont, Amber was a teacher aid at Cold Springs Elementary and a math tutor at Santa Barbara City College.) Amber is very creative and has a heart for missions and for children.


Sandra Vasquez

Sandra Vasquez joined the Providence Preschool faculty as a teacher assistant in 2014. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara, and is grateful she is able to stay in this beautiful town where her family also still lives. Sandra received her associate’s degree in early childhood education from Santa Barbara City College in 2014, followed by a bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies from California State University Channel Islands in 2016. Sandra’s sweet and calm demeanor is a huge asset to the preschool.

Shannon Zamora
Preschool Room Two

Shannon Zamora joined the Providence Preschool faculty in 2015. She has been teaching preschool classes since 2008, serving previously at El Montectio Early School (2011-2015) and Trinity Preschool (2008-2011). In addition to teaching preschool, Shannon taught art at UCSB’s Summer Day Camp from 2011-2015. Shannon earned her Early Childhood Education credentials at Santa Barbara City College. She is a dynamic teacher who has a passion for teaching children about the love of Jesus and enjoys providing a fun, creative learning environment for her class.