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Lower School Faculty & Staff (PS–6)


Matthew 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; all are part of the Providence family.

Cheri Diaz
Interim Preschool Director

Cheri Diaz graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies from CSU, Channel Islands, and a master’s degree in early childhood education from American College of Education. She is a Certified Online Instructor, a Level 3 Outdoor Classroom Specialist, and has been certified as a Reliable Observer for Pre-K in the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). She is a member of the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Consortium for Santa Barbara County. Mrs. Diaz and her husband have been foster-to-adopt parents since 2002 and have four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She is the founding director of Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Center, Santa Barbara. 

Terry Lucera
Executive Assistant to the Lower School Principal / Human Resources Coordinator / 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. 

Jan SmithJan 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.

Kara 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, a Providence alum and an Upper School student. 

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. 

Mary Wilson
Sixth Grade

Bio forthcoming


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. 

Kyler Harvey
Fine Arts Teacher / Kindergarten Assistant

Bio forthcoming

Kelley Henderson

Extended Day Program Director 

Bio forthcoming

Lauren Matthias
Physical Education

Bio forthcoming

Elysia Mitchell

Instructional Assistant

Bio and photo forthcoming

Evie Prohaska
Instructional Assistant

Bio forthcoming

Melanie Cordero
Preschool Room One

Bio forthcoming

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.

Hannah Salerno

Preschool Assistant

Bio and photo forthcoming