Interim Head of School; Head of Lower School
Prior to joining the former Santa Barbara Christian School as Head of School in 2012, Christopher Rutz was Assistant Head of School at Calvary Christian School in Pacific Palisades, California. He served as Head of Lower School for Providence 2013-2014 and continues in that position while jointly serving Providence as Interim Head of School, 2014-2015. He spent eight years as a classroom teacher and has been an administrator since 2004. Mr. Rutz earned a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota, a B.A. in Secondary Education from Western Oregon University, and an M.ED in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Kristan, have two daughters, Keara and Noelle, both Providence students.
Assistant Head of Lower School
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).
Besides his work in the classroom, Mr. Knoles teaches guitar through Good Times Guitar and is a worship leader at Santa Barbara Community Church. He and his wife, Krista, have three children, Tully, Tessa, and Beck, who are part of the Providence family.
Our founding preschool director, Caitlyn Patton came to Providence from the El Montecito Early School, where 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. Ms. Patton earned a B.S. degree in child development with a minor in psychology from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo.
Executive Assistant to the Head of Lower School
Operations Manager – Lower School
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.
Emily Batesole pursued her passion for working with children at Azusa Pacific University, where she earned a B.S. degree as a Child Life Specialist and a M.A. degree in education. Prior to joining the Providence faculty, Mrs. Batesole worked in Santa Barbara public schools as a credentialed special education teacher. She is passionate about enriching children’s lives and leans on her advanced degree to create stimulating and learning-rich environments for preschoolers.
Silvia Bordin as been a part of our school family for over 20 years, including serving on the Board of Directors. She earned Early Childhood Education and Liberal Arts & Science in the Humanities A.A. degrees at Santa Barbara City College, where she has been the ECE Department tutor for three years. She also holds a B.S. degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix. Her work experience with the Santa Barbara County Education Office in the Early Start and Preschool Inclusion Program garnered a Child Development Site Supervisor Permit. Mrs. Bordin is fluent in Spanish and has studied American Sign Language. Her sons (Robert, 25, and David, 21) attended Santa Barbara Christian School. Her daughter, Eliana, is currently enrolled at Providence in the Lower School.
Kara Berge is a recent 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. Ms. Berge 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.
Jill Cunningham earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Westmont College in 2005, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2006. Miss Cunningham 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.
Stacey Jacobs earned a B.A. degree in History from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California Lutheran University. Prior to joining the former Santa Barbara Christian School staff in 2012, she worked in both public and independent elementary schools. Ms. Jacobs brings tremendous skill, energy, and love for her students and her profession to Providence.
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.
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 teaching since 1999 and joined the former Santa Barbara Christian School faculty in 2009. She and her husband, Doug, have two sons who attend Providence.
Fifth Grade & Art
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 2009.
Roger Hill earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in History as well as a secondary teaching credential from the University of California Santa Barbara. After teaching in Santa Barbara public schools for two years, he joined the former Santa Barbara Christian School faculty in 1974. A veteran teacher, he has served in many capacities over the years, including administration. He and his wife, Marilyn, are the parents of four children, all graduates of SBCS.
Jan St. Oegger
Jan St. Oegger earned a B.S. degree in Recreation and Camp Administration and a minor in Bible from Biola University. She earned a teaching credential from Cal State Northridge. Mrs. St. Oegger has been involved in education for over 20 years, teaching classes from preschool through eighth grade. She joined the faculty at the former Santa Barbara Christian School in 2005.
Ryan Vande Wydeven
Ryan Vande Wydeven earned a B.S. in Kinesiology from Westmont College. After coaching a swim team in Irvine, California for several years, Mr. Vande Wydeven joined the former Santa Barbara Christian School as physical education teacher and athletic director in 2012.
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.
Extended-Day Program Coordinator