Onward Leaders » Cohort 2: 2017-2018

Cohort 2: 2017-2018

Ashley Giron
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Los Angeles 

Ashley GironAshley Giron was born and raised in Southern California and attended Catholic schools through eighth grade. She received her BA in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject teaching credential from Cal State University, Los Angeles. After working as a substitute for a year, she found her home at Saint Finbar Elementary in Burbank, CA. At St. Finbar Ashley worked as a teacher in the computer lab, Kindergarten, Early Fives, and in Fourth Grade. In her eight years at St. Finbar, she became a member of the Leadership Team, worked as a STAR testing leader, established and organized the yearly STEM Science Fair, and was the school’s technology coordinator. She received her Masters in Education with an option in Educational Technology & Leadership in 2016 from Cal State University, Los Angeles. Ashley attributes much of her knowledge and love of Catholic education to the amazing community of St. Finbar School.

Ashley currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jose, and two sons, Evan and Julian. She is looking forward to the future that God has for her. She knows that becoming a part of the Onward Leaders cohort is a great honor and is eager to begin learning and growing with this great team!
Isela Martinez
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Los Angeles 

Isela MartinezIsela Martinez grew up in Glassell Park, California with her parents and two brothers. From a very young aged she felt she was called to teach. Her passion for Catholic education grew when she attended St. Bernard Elementary School. Isela continued onto Holy Family High School, and then received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration at Devry University. After her first son was born, she decided to pursue her career in education, and obtained a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University.

Isela began her teaching career at St. Malachy Elementary School in the fall of 2000. She taught second grade, fifth grade, coached girls and boys volleyball, and served as the student council moderator. In the fall of 2007, Isela joined the Salesian High School family. During her time at Salesian she taught history and served as the Dean of Students for eight years. Isela is beyond excited to continue her journey with Onward Leaders. She looks forward to continuing her mission by serving our Catholic schools, and delivering quality education, while instilling the importance of service to others.
Claro Nunez
St. Francis of Assisi, Los Angeles 

Claro NunezClaro Nunez grew up in Irvine, California with his younger brother and sister and parents who instilled the importance of education and faith in his life. After graduating from Amherst College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Spanish, Claro was introduced to Catholic Education as an AmeriCorps-Notre Dame Mission Volunteer at St. Columbkille School in South Los Angeles. At St. Columbkille School, Claro discovered his love for teaching as well as a deep appreciation for the mission of Catholic schools and the dedication of its teachers.

Claro pursued his passion for teaching at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) where he was accepted to the Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education (PLACE) Corps, a two-year teaching program. As part of the program, Claro earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. While in PLACE Corps, Claro served as a second grade teacher at St. Francis of Assisi School in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles where he stayed for three more years teaching first grade. At St. Francis of Assisi School, Claro honed in his skills as an educator and developed leadership skills as a Student Council moderator. Claro then went on to teach second grade at St. Raymond School in Downey.

When the opportunity arose, Claro returned to St. Francis of Assisi School to help develop its unique multiage STREAM/STEM curriculum. Claro served as the junior high math and science teacher as well as vice-principal. He also mentored first-year teachers and nurtured his own spiritual growth by leading faculty members in retreats. At St. Francis of Assisi School, Claro cultivated leadership skills that will help him grow as an administrator. Claro looks forward to being a member of Onward Leaders Cohort 2. He is eager to further develop as a servant leader as well as nurture the skills to empower faculty to foster a learning environment in which students are prepared for college, career, and heaven.
Lorraine Ovalle
St. Stephen Martyr, Monterey Park 

Lorraine OvalleLorraine Ovalle grew up in Montebello, California with her parents and two sisters. Her passion for Catholic education began when she attended Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Elementary School and continuing on to San Gabriel Mission High School. She received her Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies from California State University of Los Angeles. As her journey in education continued she received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University. She then received her Master’s in Administration from the California State University Northridge. She has also worked in the public school system with students in Kindergarten through ninth grade. She joined the Catholic School System in 2005 and has been involved with unpacking the standards for grades fifth through eighth while implementing the Core Instructional Practices. She collaborated with faculty and administration as part of the Leadership Team in writing the WASC document. She currently leads the Safety Committee, where she oversees the planning of Earthquake and Fire drills. She is the moderator of the Seaperch Robotic Club and Student Council. She has also served on the Student Success Committee where she advocates for students who are in much need of differentiation. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue her passion for Catholic education by joining the Onward Leaders. Lorraine looks forward to continue the journey of learning and becoming a successful Catholic School administrator.
Elizabeth Teplitzky
St. Sebastian Dual Language Immersion, Los Angeles 

Elizabeth TeplitzkyElizabeth Teplitzky grew up in the Bay Area with her parents and three siblings. She went to St. Perpetua’s Elementary school from kindergarten through her graduation in eighth grade. Elizabeth attended Idyllwild Arts Academy, a specialty art school where she pursued her passion for dance. Elizabeth continued her education at Indiana University where she majored in political science and minored in dance and psychology. The summer after her college graduation, Elizabeth worked at CYO summer camp in Occidental, CA. She developed a dance program, and fostered a love of the arts among her campers. It was during this time that Elizabeth recognized her calling to work with children as a Catholic school educator. She soon after enrolled in St. Mary’s College where she earned a multiple subject teaching credential, and has been teaching for the past eight years. She has taught at various grade levels including 1st grade, 4th grade, transitional kindergarten, and middle school math and science. One of her proudest accomplishments was starting the transitional kindergarten (TK) program at St. Monica’s Catholic Elementary School, where the program continues to thrive. While teaching, Elizabeth simultaneously continued her own education and earned a Masters degree at LMU in Catholic Leadership in 2015. Elizabeth is beyond excited to start the next chapter of her career as an Onward Leader. She believes that the Onward Leader program complements her own beliefs and values. Elizabeth looks forward to this opportunity with great passion and enthusiasm.