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New Faculty and Staff Join Cub Community

Mr. Mike Barnhill, a southern Orange County native, will join the staff this year as the Magis moderator and assistant coach to the varsity baseball team. Barnhill pursued his passion for baseball after high school at Cypress College, playing for Loyola’s current head varsity baseball coach, Mr. Mike Cordero. Following his time at Cypress College, Barnhill moved to Savannah, Georgia, to continue his education and love for baseball at Armstrong State University. Before becoming a teacher, Barnhill trained to become a chef. His career in teaching began in 2013 when he moved back to Lake Forest and took a job at El Toro High School, where he taught English and math while coaching the varsity baseball team. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, going to the beach, fixing cars and watching movies. Barnhill said he is eager to emphasize the importance of Jesuit education with his students.

Mr. Casey Quedenfeld will join the staff this year as an AP World History teacher and varsity football coach. Raised in Philadelphia, he attended Temple University. Coaching in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and now California, Quedenfeld comes to Loyola with football experience under his belt. He enjoys traveling around the United States and anything related to football.

Joining the Theology Department, Harvard University graduate Mr. Jack Krouse, S.J., will teach five sections of Moral Theology this year. After attending Bellarmine College Preparatory, a private, Jesuit high school in San Jose, California, Krouse moved to Massachusetts to study literature and history at Harvard. Once he had earned his degree, he moved to Washington D.C. and worked at the White House in the Department of Homeland Security for four years. In 2010, he entered the Society of Jesus where he completed his novitiate in Culver City. After spending three years earning his master’s in Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, Krouse is now eager to teach juniors and seniors Theology this year.

A 17-year teaching veteran, Mrs. Ana de Castro will join the faculty to teach four sections of Spanish 1 and one section of Spanish 2.  A native of El Salvador, de Castro moved to the United States 24 years ago following a destructive civil war. After arriving in the U.S., de Castro attended multiple educational centers, including Cerritos College, California State University, Dominguez Hills,  Loyola Marymount University, where she earned her teaching credentials and master’s degree in secondary education, and Northern Iowa University. Before coming to Loyola, de Castro taught Spanish at Verbum Dei High School, an all-boys Jesuit institution in Los Angeles. In addition to teaching high school students, de Castro works in conjunction with Occidental College as an instructor for the university’s LA STARS program, which helps train up-and-coming teachers for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Literature courses. de Castro is a strong supporter of the Jesuit principle of educating the whole person and plans to get involved in activities outside of the classroom:  “I think that is one of the beauties of teaching at a school like Loyola or any other Jesuit school— that you get to be involved in different activities and get in touch with the students outside of a classroom, and I love to do that.”

Ms. Patricia Meyers will join the faculty this year as a drawing, painting and ceramics teacher.  Meyers arrives at Loyola following 18 years of teaching at the Archer School for Girls, where she founded the school’s art program. Meyers, who said she loves to try new things, was attracted to Loyola because of the all-male student body, the opposite gender of the student population she had taught for 18 years.  “I love new challenges, and so after I retired from Archer, I wanted to try something different but still within the area of teaching, so I decided this would be perfect.” Meyers longed to be a teacher since she was very young.  She attended Old Dominion University in 1969, and after graduating, she continued her education by attending the Maryland Institute College of the Arts, where she earned her master’s degree in fine arts.  In addition to teaching, Meyers is an active artist.  Her works have appeared as backdrops in the films About Dave and When the Stranger Calls.  Additionally, her work is displayed in numerous hotels, including the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas as well as hotels in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Mr. Stefan Menghin will join the faculty this year as a biology and chemistry teacher.  Originally from Innsbruck, Austria, Menghin moved to Southern California in the summer of 2014 to be closer to his wife, an American.  While living in Austria, Menghin attended the University of Innsbruck, where he earned his master’s degree in biology and chemistry.  After graduating from college, Menghin taught chemistry and biology in Austria for a company called Ibis acam, a corporation that provides lectures to both high school and postsecondary education students.  He also coached water polo, a sport he previously played professionally in Europe for six years.  Menghin began working for Loyola last August as an assistant coach for the varsity water polo team.  He also served as a substitute teacher throughout the 2014-2015 school year.  In the future, Menghin hopes to become a co-moderator of the Science Club and provide assistance in any way he can around campus.

History and AP European History for the 2015-2016 school year. Knoll discovered that he wanted to become a teacher during his time at Loyola. “When I was a senior, I worked at St. Sebastian’s school over in Santa Monica.  I was in the Kindergarten and 6th grade classrooms, and I loved it, and I had a lot of friends that were thinking about going into business or advertising or something, and it just sounded boring,” Knoll said.  As a Cub, Knoll played volleyball for four years, including the year 2009 when the volleyball team won the CIF  National Championship.  In addition, Knoll took courses taught by Mr. Thomas Goepel, Mr. Brian Kwan, and Mr. Michael Porterfield, who, he said, were influential in helping him choose his professional career. After graduating from Loyola, Knoll attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he double majored in history and in German, a language in which he is conversationally fluent.  Knoll also rowed during his four years at UCLA and hopes to use his talents in the future to assist Loyola’s Rowing Club.  Knoll will also assist in coaching the freshman volleyball team this year.

Mr. Martin Mays will join the staff this year as a Physical Education teacher and assistant varsity football coach.  Mays is a native of Portland, Oregon, and attended Linfield University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history.  After graduating from Linfield in 2008, Mays taught history and physical education for three years at Lake Ridge High School in Lake Oswego, OR.  In 2011, Mays moved to Southern California and attended the University of Redlands to earn his master’s degree in higher education.  Before applying to Loyola, Mays coached several Southern California college football teams, including those for Orange Coast College and the University of San Diego.  Mays will continue his coaching career at Loyola; he is an assistant varsity football coach and specifically works with the Cubs’ defense.  

Ms. Jocelyn Grau will join the faculty this year as a drawing, design and digital photography teacher.  Grau, a Los Angeles native, developed her passion for drawing at a young age. During her high school years, Grau was a California Arts Scholar, which allowed her to attend the California State Summer School for the Arts.  In addition, Grau attended summer art programs organized by Otis College of Art and Design.  Grau is also a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art.  After graduating from UCLA, Grau earned her master’s degree in fine arts at Claremont University. Grau’s expertise is oil painting, and she operates her own studio where she develops her work. This year, Grau hopes to provide students with the opportunity to develop pieces of art that they can proudly take ownership of.  “I really want to see all of my students learn to make work that is theirs, that belongs to them personally, and is compelling to them,” Grau said.

Mr. James Warren, a Yale University graduate and recent addition to Loyola’s Science Department, will be using his deep-seated passion for the sciences and his experience in the field to join the faculty teaching the project-oriented Physics 9 course.  Mr. Warren previously worked at Marymount High School, where he introduced two AP science courses, and at (the) Westridge school, where he was head of the Science Department. When asked why he now works at Loyola, Warren said, “Years later, as Loyola parents, my wife and I have seen first-hand how Loyola challenges each student to be service-oriented, develop academically and as a whole person, and discover his unique gifts and talents.” Mr. Warren said that he has always been interested in science for the reason that his father was a professor of animal behavior science and worked on several advanced research projects such as a nuclear powered jet. After completion of his bachelor’s degree in biology at UCLA, Warren attended Yale University, where he earned a master’s degree in natural resources and instructed Yale staff in word processing. In his free time, Mr. Warren enjoys cycling, hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, playing volleyball, and, “watching any documentary that David Attenborough has produced.”

After a year of serving as Campus Minister for Loyola, Mr. Michael Shawver will bring his theology background into the classroom to teach Faith of Catholics to juniors and seniors. “I am very excited to get to know my students and learn about their life experiences and how God is working in their lives. I really believe that teaching is a ministry and it is a great privilege to help students make connections and gain new insights about themselves, their relationships, and God,” Shawver said.

Originally from California’s Central Valley, Ms. Elaine Taylor is a new addition to the Loyola Information Technology Services department, where she will be in charge of Dwan Tech Lab.  Before coming to Loyola, Taylor worked as a reporter for Utah Public Radio, the station for which she hosted the evening news. Taylor was intrigued by Loyola’s reputation, which she heard about from a friend.  “I think everyone is so nice; everyone has been so welcoming,” Taylor said.  Taylor enjoys hiking during her free time and since her arrival in Los Angeles, has endeavored to see as many museums as possible.  Taylor is eager to meet her fellow faculty and staff.

Mr. Andre Woodert is a new strength and conditioning trainer for all Loyola sports and is a health and physical education teacher at Loyola. Woodert grew up in Los Angeles and attended high school in the valley at Agoura High School. He said that Loyola’s reputation made him want to be a part of the Cub community. “It’s[Loyola] a great school with a great history. Anybody that’s from Southern California is familiar with Loyola and its history of excellence, especially as it relates to academics and sports.” Mr. Woodert has worked with multiple fitness centers before Loyola, including Velocity, Athletic Games, and also as an independent trainer for athletes of all ages.  Woodert is eager to get off to a fast start at Loyola, wanting to acclimate to the environment and be as effective as possible as a coach and a teacher. Woodert said that he is impressed with Loyola students’ commitment to working hard and being  individuals of integrity.

An Ohio State University alumna, Ms. Collette Reitz will join the staff this year assisting head librarian Ms. April Hannah. Previously residing in Chicago, Reitz moved to Los Angeles this past January. “I was working for Ms. Morales [in the front office],”Reitz said, “and then the job opened up here in the library, and I applied and got the job.” A product of Jesuit education, Reitz attended St. Ignatius College Prep high school and is intrigued by the stark contrasts between St. Ignatius and Loyola. “ I went to a co-ed, Jesuit high school in Chicago, so it’s interesting to observe the environment and different dynamics at Loyola,” she said. Acclimating into her new Angelino-lifestyle, Ms. Reitz plans on pursuing film and screenwriting. “I’m still exploring Los Angeles and California, but it’s fun to get out and try new things, and it’s been a great experience so far,” she said.


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