A Unique Partnership

Through a strategic partnership with the University of Portland, Oregon’s Catholic University, Holy Cross College Preparatory Academy reaps the benefits of:

  • Carefully-selected, exceptionally trained and highly qualified teachers.
  • Cutting-edge curriculum design.
  • A network of resources and support to the school.

Laura MacDonald Principal

Laura MacDonald came to Holy Cross Academy (HCA) for the 2013-2014 school year. Before coming to HCA she served for five years as a second grade teacher, a third grade teacher and a vice-principal in another Sacramento area Catholic School. She has taught in public schools in and around the Sacramento area and has been in education for 17 years. She also worked as an Educational Technology Coordinator for Sacramento County Office of Education and a Language Arts Coordinator for Washington Unified School District. Laura has her Masters in Education Leadership, her Bachelors in Liberal Studies, a Reading Certificate, and both her Administrative and Multiple Subject Credentials. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends watching soccer, playing volleyball and listening to music.

Julie Yarwood-Mattos Transitional Kindergarten Class

Julie Mattos has her Masters in Multicultural Education, her Bachelors in Child Development with an Education Minor, and Teaching Credential. Julie came to Holy Cross for the 2015-2016 school year. She comes from Del Dayo Elementary School where she specializes in Inclusion. She taught in public schools in and around the Sacramento area as a Kindergarten teacher and in various grade levels for over 12 years. She also has spent many years as an Elementary Level tutor. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, watching soccer and working in her garden.

Lizzie Siprut Kindergarten Class

This is Lizzie’s second year at HCA. She has an Elementary Education degree from DePaul University and certification for K-8 in Elementary Education and Spanish, Language Arts and Social Studies. Elizabeth is an experienced mentor and comes from a family of teachers. Although she taught 4th graders in Chicago before coming to Holy Cross, her passion is teaching kindergarten. She is pursuing her Masters of Education at University of Portland.

Richele Cooley First Grade Class

While Richele is new to HCA for the 2015-2016 school year, she has been teaching kindergarten for 9 years. She grew up in a Catholic household in East Bay Area. She was inspired by her first grade teacher to become a teacher. Mrs. Cooley has worked with children in the education field for 14 years. She received her education in Liberal Studies at California State University Sacramento. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, being a mother and an aunt, as well as supporting her husband with his volleyball team.

Laura Schnack Second Grade Class

Laura grew up in a Catholic household. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in math from Sonoma State University. She attended California State University, Chico where she earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Education. Laura has worked for over six years in Delta Unified School District where she taught children in first through sixth grade, was a member of the school site council and curriculum committee, and had a model classroom. She has worked with children since the early 1990’s as a swim instructor, track coach and most importantly as a mother raising two beautiful daughters. This is Laura’s second year at HCA.

Lisa Mann Third/Fourth Grade Combination Class

Lisa has a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University in Early Childhood Education, Human Development and Family Studies. She was a Scholar, a member of the University Choir and a peer mentor in Colorado. She is currently working in a third grade classroom and has experience teaching religious education. She is in the Master's program at University of Portland. She is excited for her second year at Holy Cross Academy!

Carmela Torres Middle School Religion And History Classes

Carmela Torres holds her Masters of Arts in Education. This is Ms. Torres second year at HCA. She comes to us from Our Lady of Grace School where she taught 6th-8th grade Language Arts and was the 8th grade homeroom teacher for 6 years. While there Carmela was a member of the school leadership team, a summer school teacher, and organized countless events including Confirmation and Graduation. She was also the Director of Religious Education for Our Lady of Grace Parish and for 3 years at Our Lady of Assumption. She enjoys shopping, reading and spending time as an Aunt.

John Van Den Raadt Middle School Math And Science Classes

John Van den Raadt graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Math and Physics. He is currently working on a Master's degree in Education Technology. John taught High school math and physical education as a missionary in Malawi, Africa for 6 months and played American Football in France and Austria for two years. He enjoys boating, wake boarding, fishing, horseback riding and coaching. John grew up with 8 brothers and sisters. John lives with his wife, his dog, Bear, and his chickens and pigs.

Carlos Overstreet Middle School Language Arts Classes

Carlos earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor is Biological Science from University of California, Davis. He completed his Teaching Credential at California State University, Sacramento. He is passionate about Catholic education and has experience working with youth and young adult religious education programs and substitute teaching in and around the Sacramento area. He enjoys fishing, hiking and poetry.

Karen Bombardier Performing Arts Classes

Karen Bombardier grew up in a Catholic household and attended Catholic school through high school. She went on to California State University, Fullerton where she studied theater and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in directing. She completed a national tour with Missoula Children's Theatre and did California State University Summer Arts with Steppenwolf Theatre and Second City Theatre. She joined the staff at HCA for the 2014-2015 school year as a classroom aide and physical education teacher. She is excited about her inaugural year as our Performing Arts teacher. In addition to her time at HCA she is pursuing a teaching credential.

Esther Chavarria Art Classes

Esther was born in Mexico, but has lived in Sacramento her entire life. She attended both Bishop Manogue High School and California State University, Sacramento where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies. She was a classroom teacher for over twenty years in 4th through 6th grade. She enjoys playing numerous sports, running and cooking. ( She was a Badminton championship in high school) She enjoys teaching Math, Religion and Art of course too (especially oil pastels, sketching and painting) As a Christian educator She feels very honored to be part of the HCA staff and family.

Cecily Basques Physical Education Classes

Cecily received her Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with a concentrating in Recreation and Park Management from California State University, Sacramento. She played Volleyball at Sacramento City College and earned an Associate degree in Social Science. Cecily currently works toward earning a teaching credential in Physical Education. Her experience includes coaching kids in volleyball, softball, basketball, soccer, fitness and dance. Cecily's favorite pastime is spent with her family. She also enjoys working out, boating, snowboarding, and trying new adventures.