In addition to classroom instruction, all St. Therese faculty serve as mentors to our students providing faith and character formation.
Matthew Najera Headmaster
Mr. Najera is co-founder and president of Saint Therese Classical Academy. He is an experienced educator having taught catechism and Theology for over sixteen years; thirteen of those years as a high school instructor. His educational background includes a bachelor of science in Biology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of California at Davis with postgraduate studies in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Prior to entering the field of education, he worked in Mexico for two years with the Order of Friar Minors, followed by five years in Biotechnology. In addition to serving as headmaster of the academy, Mr. Najera teaches Math and Science.
Chris Van Wyk Social Studies & Theology
Before entering the vocation of education, Mr. Van Wyk played baseball and studied Political Science at Westmont, graduating with honors. After teaching at Bishop Diego High School for eight years, Chris married and moved to San Diego, where he taught at the University of San Diego High School. He has taught English, History, and Theology at the High School level and his special subject of interest is Catholic theology. He holds an Advanced Catechetical Minister certificate through the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has taken extensive theology coursework through Mount St. Mary’s College and LMU, and is currently finishing a Masters in Theology through Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Craig Carroll Literature and Performing Arts
Craig Carroll most recently received his Master of Arts in Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles. He previously attained a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts and a B.A. in English from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. From the time he began teaching in 2005, he has followed a calling to learn and teach holistically, uniting areas of study such as Rhetoric, Literature, the Arts, Drama, History, Biology, Music, and Theology in a dynamic curriculum illuminated by the study of Biblical Literary genres. His goal is to inspire in students a sense of duty to learn from the wisdom of Western Literature and its boundless contexts. He is the author of Oedipus, The Best, a modern one-act based on Sophocles’ classic, and two Masters theses focused on the performance of Shakespeare in America. He holds a Certificate of Theology in History from the University of Notre Dame and has 13 years of experience teaching at the high school and college level.
Andrew Edward Hauser Classical Languages and History
Andrew Hauser was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University, where he studied English and Classics, lived in the Writers House, and served as an editor-in-chief of The Columbia Review. He is a firm believer in classical education and in the importance of classical languages in particular. In addition to reading, he enjoys playing tennis, taking long walks, and keeping his phone turned off.
Ines Zinkewich Science, Math, Art
Ines Zinkewich began her studies at Thomas Aquinas college transferring to the University of California Los Angeles where she graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology. While in school, she worked as a math tutor, which included a summer serving inner-city students in Bronx New York. She also has extensive experience running both leadership and faith formation programs for high school girls. Ines loves the outdoors with hobbies that include the fine arts and soccer. She teaches Algebra, Physics, Latin, and Art.