20 new faces for the 2020-2021 school year

John McQuaid '22 and Jonathan Godoy '21

Melanie Aguas is the latest entry into the counseling department, coming from Marin Catholic High School. Aguas attended UC Davis for her undergraduate and the USF for her masters in Psychology. She is the Freshman divisional counselor where she helps students transition from middle school. Aguas said, “I am very excited to start working at Riordan during the coed transition and look forward to all aspects of Riordan from campus ministry to student parliament.”

Edgar Beteta ’85 teaches Spanish and Social Science in addition to working in the RSP program at his alma mater. He previously taught History, Religious Studies, and English at Our Lady of Mercy in Daly City. Beteta earned a BA in Sociology from San Francisco State University and a Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. Beteta has coached football, baseball, and basketball, and volunteered with the National Kidney Foundation.

Kevin Estrada ’00 joins the Riordan English Department and will help co-moderate the PAC Club. Estrada previously worked as a teacher, book designer, and a book publisher after graduating from Riordan.  Estrada went to UC Davis to pursue his major in English and later attended Brooklyn College in New York to receive his masters. He enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, hiking, and collecting baseball cards with his brother. Estrada is glad to be back.

Ken Harrington joins Riordan after teaching at USF for 22 years, and at Convent of the Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall for 15 years. He teaches Algebra 1 and calculus. Harrington enjoys his free time when he is able to go rowing and golfing, and hopes to get more involved at Riordan later on. Harrington is another San Francisco native, having gone to Lowell High School, and his father was a member of the third graduating class of Riordan in ’51.

 

Elizabeth Heuser is Riordan’s new wellness director, an entirely new position this year. She will be helping our community to stay mentally healthy while we power through the difficulties of the pandemic. Prior to Riordan, Heuser taught at Mercy for four years, as their wellness director and international student counselor. After that, she spent a year at the Marin School, doing similar work. She graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a double major in Art History and French, then went on to get her Masters in counseling psychology at Santa Clara University and become a licensed therapist. While she has yet to become a coach or moderator of a club, she did begin a wellness ambassador program to help her promote mental health awareness. Heuser’s words of wisdom are, “I think even one person making an improvement in their own well-being or their own mental health can have a very big ripple effect on the community.”

Mike Kennedy, an international educator, joins the Social Science Department. He received a BA in History and Theological Studies from St. Louis University. He also has a Master’s of Education from the University of Notre Dame. Kennedy taught History and Humanities at the Concordia International School in Shanghai, China and was Department Chair. 

Joe Kopp joins ARHS’s Admissions Department this year as a member of our outreach team. He has previously worked at a liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon called Willamette. While there, he was a football coach and an academic success coordinator. He is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and now lends his skills to us as a defensive coordinator for the football team and an RA for the boarding program, alongside his duties in the Admissions Department. Kopp says that he is a big fan of reading, crosswords, yoga, and meditation. The main thing he wanted to say to the student body is, “I’m really excited to be a part of this community, I’m really excited to help grow our culture here, and I’m really excited to help people develop as the best versions of themselves.”

A 2016 graduate of Riordan, Brian Kosewic returns to Riordan and joins the English Department along with being an RSP aide, and moderating the DJ club, and coaching cross country. While at Riordan, Kosewic ran cross country, and participated in telecast, journalism, and the outdoor adventure club. After graduating, he went to Loyola Marymount and majored in English. Kosewic also was a DJ in college where he DJ for KXL 88.9 fm. In his last year of high school he gave teaching a lot of thought due to him looking up to his role models, which happened to be a lot of the teachers. After further reflection, he decided that is what he would pursue and now he is very happy to have the people he looked up to as colleagues.

 

 

Stephanie Lee is the latest addition to Riordan’s Science Department, teaching Biology and Earth Science. Lee will also be coaching the girls volleyball team with six years of prior experience in Catholic high schools, including Mercy High School.  Lee is a San Francisco native who went to Sacred Heart Cathedral for four years, and attended Riordan dances. She attended California Polytechnic State University for  college. She is very active mentally and physically by going on hikes, bike rides, and loves reading whenever she can. 

Nicole Morello has come all the way from River Valley High school in Yuba City to join the Riordan family Social Science department along with coaching track and field. Morello attended Sonoma State for her undergraduate studies and later, her teaching and masters from UC Davis. During college she also participated in soccer programs and still to this day is really into sports and staying active by going on hikes, walks, and bike rides. Morello said, “Two things I’m super excited about is when I joined the Riordan family everyone was welcoming and I’m excited for the transition year for coed making new history within the school.” 

Jené Morris is the new Assistant House Director. Before, she was an events manager for the American Diabetes Association. Morris received a BA in Communications from San Diego State, where she played Division I basketball and was Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. She played for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and Tulsa Shock.

Lance Ohnmeiss brings his multi-layered musical talent to Riordan as the new Associate Band Director. He has experience as a marching band instructor and music director. He has a Bachelor of Music (Musical Education) from San Francisco State University and a Master of Music (Instrumental Conducting) from Messiah College. 

 

 

Avishan Peer recently joined Riordan’s foreign language department, and will be teaching multiple Spanish classes this year. She comes to us from Mercy, where she spent four years teaching Spanish and two years as their Languages Department Head. She received a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley with a major in Spanish and a minor in Education after transferring there from City College of San Francisco. Additionally, Peer is currently working towards her Masters of Arts at San Francisco State University’s Spanish Program. For this year, she is teaching Spanish 1 and 2 classes, and as yet is not involved in any sports or clubs on campus. She enjoys running, hiking, playing with her two puppies, watching foreign movies, and cooking. Peer had a message for Riordan’s community: “Thank you for being so welcoming and kind. I’m excited to meet everyone in person soon!”

Stefania Pierucci is this year’s new drama and dance director. She is an excellent choice for the job, being the co-owner of a small film company and having worked as the executive producer for the movie I Wrote This For You. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in music, specifically opera, from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Musical Performance. On top of being the drama director and the director of Riordan’s new dance program, she works as an aid in RSP. Pierucci enjoys gardening, watching classic films, reading, writing, and painting. Pierucci wanted the Riordan community to know, “I’m very happy to see more of a focus and a dedication on bringing the arts and culture back into the academic educational system” as she pointed out that such pursuits have been becoming less common in schools everywhere.

Megan Rabbitt is Riordan’s most recent member of the RSP community, and will be assisting female students exclusively. She will also be teaching English composition to some of the girls in the program. She was recently the resource specialist for St. Cecilia’s School, and before that was the director of admissions for the Laurel School, where she was also a teacher. She is well suited for her job, holding a degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University, a Masters in Journalism from Columbia College, and a Masters in Special Education from Notre Dame de Namur. Even after completing her degrees, she still loves to write, regularly contributing to her local newspapers. In addition to writing, she enjoys jogging, playing tennis, and reading. Rabbit’s main message to us here at Riordan was, “I am thrilled to be a part of this new, evolving school community.”

A native San Franciscan, Lauren Ragusa is the RSP Coordinator for the Junior Class. An educator with a passion for inclusion, curriculum design, and making connections with students and families, she most recently worked at UCSF’s Early Education Program. She also worked in the SFUSD as a Student Teacher developing IEPs and performing curriculum-based assessments. She has an MA in Special Education from San Francisco State, and a BA in Psychology from Cal State Chico.

 

 

Angela Rubang has just joined Riordan’s Campus Ministry team as a new Religious Studies Teacher, and as a Liturgy Team Coordinator. She has worked as a campus ministry director before, for the Newman Center at Sacramento State University, has worked in various capacities across the Bay Area and in Hawaii, and has a bachelor’s in philosophy and religion from San Francisco State and a Masters in Theology from the Augustine Institute. Alongside being a religion teacher, she is the Junior Varsity coach for the new volleyball team, so look out for another story about her with the other new coaches. Some of her hobbies include hiking, playing tennis, and ballroom dancing. Her main message is, “I’m just really excited to be part of the community, because I think it’s been great so far and I totally feel that family spirit.”

Frank Torrano is the Engineering Program’s new Liaison for this year. His previous experience includes teaching computer science and various digital courses in the Berkeley and San Francisco Unified school districts. He also served for ten years as the Director of Technology at Cathedral School for Boys and as a Computer Science teacher at Lincoln High School. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from San Francisco State University and has teaching credentials in industrial arts and technology. As the Engineering Liaison, Torrano functions similarly to a department head, and therefore is currently too busy to get involved with clubs. He enjoys restoring classic cars, tinkering, fixing things, and discussing the newest technology. Torrano made sure to mention, “I’m very excited to be working here. I’m very excited to be taking the Engineering program to another level.”

Brian Tuel is a member of Riordan’s faculty who is beginning a new role as an Earth and Space Science teacher. He previously helped all our athletes as a strength and conditioning coach, and will continue to serve in that role for his third year now. He is also a Business Administration graduate of San Diego State University, and is currently in the final semester of getting his Masters in Arts and Teaching at USF. Even as a teacher, Tuel will continue to be one of our strength and conditioning coaches, but he obviously adds two science classes to his duties, alongside his work as an RSP aide. As one might expect for a coach, his main hobbies center around sports and outdoor activities, like hiking. In regard to Riordan as a whole, Tuel said “I’m very grateful to be here, and to be welcomed into this family. The process of being welcomed in the Riodan family has been amazing.”

Elizabeth Watters is one of Riordan’s newest Religious Studies teacher, specifically working with freshmen and sophomores for now. Her previous jobs include teaching at St. Peter’s here in San Francisco, Guardian Angels Catholic School in Colorado, and Incarnate Word Academy in Texas. She initially majored in Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and received her Masters in education from University of Notre Dame. Aside from her work as a teacher, Watters is the head coach for our new girls volleyball team, and she is the co-moderator of the READI (Riordan’s Educational Alliance of Diverse Individuals) club. She considers herself to be an avid runner, having completed 7 half-marathons and enjoys any time she can spend with family and friends. Watters made a point of saying, “Thank you for being so welcoming in this first month of school… I look forward to meeting more students and getting the opportunity to build stronger communities in the classroom and the school. Go Cana.”