Elizabeth Glaze has been an educator for more than 20 years in both private and public school. She has worked with students from preschool through high school in Washington, Maryland, Chicago and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s in Education from Washington State University, and a Master’s in Education from The Catholic School of America in Washington, D.C.. She is currently a doctoral student at Seattle Pacific, in the Educational Leadership Program. When she is not working, Elizabeth enjoys cooking, traveling and scuba diving.
Erika Fownes grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin where she met her husband Graham of 24 years. She has two children, Megan, 19, attending Arizona State University, and Jacob, 16, attending Edmonds Community College through the running start program at Kamiak High School.
Erika received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-OshKosh. She stayed at home until her children were old enough to attend school, at which time she decided to resume her career as a paraeducator at Sumner and White River School Districts. Upon relocating to Mukilteo, she worked as a paraeducator for the Mukilteo School District. During this time Erika returned to City University of Seattle to receive her Teacher Certification. She is excited to join St Thomas More Parish as our Kindergarten Teacher.
Interests and Passions:
Erika loves to spend time with her family. She enjoys walks, riding her bike, gardening, traveling, and discovering new and interesting places in beautiful Washington State.
Michele Gibson was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and grew up going to Catholic church. She is very excited to begin her journey teaching at St. Thomas More and becoming a part of the community.
Michele received her Bachelor’s degree in English in 1995 from the University of Washington. A few years later she married her high school sweetheart, Brad. Together they have two daughters, Hannah (20) and Riley (14). Michele volunteered at her daughters’ school and then decided to become a paraeducator where she worked for eight years. After her youngest daughter completed fifth grade she decided to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education and English Language Learners.
Passions & Interests:
Michele loves being with her family and their dog, Mugsy (7). They enjoy beach walks and searching for agates. In her spare time, Michele also enjoys reading and listening to music.
Ale Del Rio was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. In Mexico she earned her Law degree and worked as a lawyer before deciding to pursue a career change. She worked as a substitute teacher and later in second grade at a bilingual school in Monterrey. She got married in 2012 and moved to Seattle because of her husband’s job, where she obtained her Master’s in Teaching. She is starting her tenth year at STMS and her sixth year as the third grade teacher; she was previously the Kindergarten aide. She loves going to Broadway shows and to Sounders games with her husband, her five-year-old son Cesar (a Kindergartener at STMS!) and her one-year-old twins, Alex and Mia. She feels lucky to be part of such an amazing staff!
Julia Atkins was born and raised in Orange County, California until she moved up to Washington eight years ago. She grew up in California where she received her B.A. in English Education from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). From there she continued at CSULB in getting her Single Subject teaching credential. She taught high school English for nearly ten years in Huntington Beach at Marina High School, and she loved it there. During that time, she also received her master’s degree in Educational Technology. After several years her husband’s job took them in a different direction and she moved up to Washington state, where she took a break from teaching, mainly volunteering at her childrens’ school and her church.
A few years ago she began substitute teaching at Mill Creek Elementary and was hired as a long-term substitute for their fifth-grade classroom. It was during that time where she developed a love for the elementary school grades, and so she went back to school to get her Washington credential, as well as her Multi-Subject Elementary Endorsement. She is now fully certified to teach grades K-12 in the state of Washington.
Julia grew up attending Catholic school in California, from first grade all the way to twelfth grade, so she feels very comfortable and at home in this setting. She married her husband, whom she met while she was in high school, and they have three children: Lucas (13), Olivia (10), and Lily (8).
Dave Rehberger has been a member of the St. Thomas More School community as our seventh grade teacher since 2008. Born and raised in Tacoma, Dave is a product of Catholic education from kindergarten through his undergraduate years at Gonzaga University (Go Zags!). He has been teaching in Catholic schools since graduating from GU in 2001. This has included middle school teaching experiences in St. Louis, MO, as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps; in Seattle Catholic schools; and in rural Colton, WA. He earned his Masters in Education at Washington State University (Go Cougs!). His wife Jennene is a veterinarian at Perrinville Animal Hospital, and their children Audrey and Noah are both STMS students.
Misako Akashio was born and raised in Japan, where she attended a high school and taught English. She moved to Washington to attend Western Washington University. After earning a Masters in Teaching, Misako taught 5th grade at St. Mary Magdalen in Everett for three years. She then taught Japanese at a middle school and a high school for three years. She can’t wait to share Japanese culture and teach some Japanese words here at St. Thomas More!
Misako lives in Everett with her husband and has three children and a dog named Ninja. Her older two children are Archbishop Murphy High School alumni. They are both attending University of Montana (Go Griz!), and the youngest son is eleven years old. Her family is a huge sports fan, so if she is not watching a football or baseball game, she enjoys reading and cooking/baking.
Rodney Ocfemia grew up in Edmonds Washington and fell in love with music at a very young age. As a Filipino American, he grew up singing Karaoke with his family, and ended up falling in love with singing through watching old Youtubers make covers of songs. He bought his first guitar in the third grade, and his music journey officially started. He went on to learn Clarinet and eventually the double bass, which became his main instrument during his years at Edmonds-Woodway High School. He went on to get his BA in Music Education at Whitworth University, where he was able to perform with many stellar artists such as Joshua Redman, Ryan Keberle, and Maria Schneider. He is excited to be teaching in his first year at STMS and looks forward to the future time spent here.
Miss Watters is happy to be a part of the STMPS community. She lived most of her life in the small town of Eatonville, Washington near Mount Rainier. In 2000, Miss Watters received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Education from Western Washington University with endorsements in both Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education K-8.
Passions & Interests:
In her free time Miss Watters loves to read, of course, as well as go to movies, play games on the computer, watch TV, and shop! What Miss Watters loves the most though is visiting family in Eatonville, getting to spend time with her nieces and nephews. In 2014, Miss Watters became a Great Aunt and now has 3 great nieces and 2 great nephews. She loves being an aunt and getting to spoil them. She also has two cats, Cricket and Bugsy.
Laurel Pehanich is the new interventionist teacher at STMS. she has a long history at St Thomas More that began when she was baptized by Father Doogan. Laurel also attended and graduated from St Thomas More School. She taught in California and at STM before choosing to stay home when she had her first child. Now, 4 children and 13 years later, she is excited to return to St Thomas More School in her new role.
Passions & Interests:
Outside of my St Thomas More, Laurel is a 4-H leader and cub scout volunteer. She loves pretty much any animal, except slugs, and enjoys working on her parents’ farm.