Mrs. Arocho is the preK 3 aide here at SJRCS. She owned a family day care for 17 years, and began her SJ career as a playground monitor in 2015. After subbing for preK through 1st grade, Mrs. Arocho joined the staff in 2017. She and her husband have 5 children and 2 grandchildren, one of whom, Anthony, attends SJRCS. She loves reading and collecting elephants, but most of all, she loves working with children. Working in a Catholic school has strengthened her relationship with God. She says about SJRCS, “I love how we are a small, close community.” Her favorite book is His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steele
Mrs. Balog is the 4th grade teacher, having joined the faculty of SRCS in 2010 of the art teacher. She graduated from WVU with a BFA in Art and Education, and obtained a Master’s of Science in Education and Leadership from Hood College in 2012. Before coming to SJRCS, she taught in the Arlington Public Schools and at St. Elizabeth’s. Mrs. Balog’s faith and love for children drive her to teach every day. She loves that each day is different and exciting. Mrs. Balog says about teaching in a Catholic school, “I like belonging to a community of people who want to give their child an education that’s challenging and centered around faith.” She enjoys the close-knit community of SJRCS that takes care of each other. When not teaching, Mrs. Balog enjoys arts and crafts, painting, photography, reading, cooking, and traveling. She and her husband have one son Mikey and a dog named Bagel.
Mrs. Brown joined the SJRCS faculty as the 2nd grade teacher in 2017. A native of West Virginia, Mrs. Brown graduated from Shepherd University and taught 1st and 2nd grades in WV before coming to Maryland. She and her husband Chris have a daughter Madison and a dog Callie. Her favorite things to do are reading, laughing, shopping, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Brown feels that her love for the Lord, her students, and the joy of learning are what makes her an effective educator. Mrs. Brown says about SJRCS, “We are a family! Everyone is so welcoming and inviting!” Her favorite book is Go Dog, Go! by Dr. Seuss, because it is the first book that she read on her own.
Mrs. Cain came to SJRCS in 2018 where she is 7th grade homeroom and middle school math teacher. She taught at St. Martin of Tours from 2013-2018. A graduate of University of Dayton with a degree in Mathematics and Education, Mrs. Cain is a native of Ohio. She and her husband Josh have a daughter named Haley and a dog Cornelius. When not working on math problems, Mrs. Cain enjoys reading, running, and all things Disney. Mrs. Cain teaches in a Catholic school because she believes in education the whole child—academically and spiritually. She says, “I strive to be a kind, fair, and caring teacher in my work with the students.” Her favorite book is the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
Ms. Cheng is the kindergarten teacher at SJRCS. She joined the faculty in 2010 after having taught at St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Hugh of Grenoble. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She is a certified catechist and Maryland state teacher certification. An alumna of SJRCS, Ms. Cheng is also a graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. She is the proud mother of two sons, John and Justin, who are both graduates of SJRCS. When not shaping young minds, she loves to be in or around water, having taught swimming lessons since 1993 and coaching swim teams since 1998. She enjoys sports, music, animals, party planning, decorating, and making floral arrangements. As a former student and school parent, she feels blessed to be part of the SJ community. She loves praying with her students, sharing her faith with them, and feels strongly about educating the whole child: spiritually, academically, socially, and emotionally. Her favorite books are The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper.
Mrs. Hammel is the Director of Resource for SJRCS. She joined the staff and faculty in 2017, after teaching in a 1st-3rd grade self-contained special education classroom with MCPS. Mrs. Hammel is the resource teacher for grades 5-8 and consultant for grades preK-3 to 8. Mrs. Hammel is a product of ADW Catholic schools having attended St. Mark’s, Holy Redeemer College Park, and the Academy of the Holy Cross. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Duquesne University. Mrs. Hammel and her husband Harry have a daughter Eliana. She enjoys cooking, psychology, and studying behavior analysis. Mrs. Hammel says, “I always see the child as a whole person and understand where they are coming from. Looking at them as a whole child, as a child of God, can help to give me patience and understanding for the child.” Mrs. Hammel shares that her Catholic education from age 4 through college helped to develop her into the person she is today. She loves the sense of community she has found at SJRCS where she was welcomed with open arms and big smiles. She says, “I am excited to go to work every day, and not many people can say that.” Her favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
Mrs. Lopez is the teacher for the preK 3 class. She joined the SJRCS faculty in 2013 after teaching at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center for 9 years. While at SEEC, she developed and presented Professional Development sessions for staff on parent communication, as well as parent education sessions on children and media. She has a BS in Social Science from UMD University College, a 90-Hour Early Childhood Education Certificate, and is a certified catechist for the ADW. Mrs. Lopez and her husband Edwin have one son Benjamin, a SJRCS student, and they are active parishioners of SJ since 2010. She enjoys reading, walking, and taking road trips. She is fluent in Portuguese
and loves returning home to visit friends and family. Mrs. Lopez enjoys teaching in a Catholic school because, “I enjoy sharing my faith with the children in the classroom, and they then take it home to share with their families.” Her favorite book, among many, is The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth.
Ms. McDonald joined the SJRCS faculty as 1st grade teacher in 2019 after having taught 3 and 4 year olds at the Silver Spring YMCA Preschool. She graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She has a dog named Scrapple and enjoys swimming, running, and hiking. She loves to read and is always looking for a new book. She also loves to bake and try new recipes. Coming to SJRCS, Ms. McDonald shares that she loves the community where everyone is so welcoming and supportive. She believes that it is so important that students are not just learning the fundamentals of education, but also the fundamentals of life, how to be better people. She says, “I love that the students are held to higher expectations, and they follow through and meet our expectations. Overall, it is a wonderful place to teach and to learn.” Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.
Ms. Paul is 6th grade homeroom and teaches middle school language arts and 5th and 6th grade history. She joined the SJ faculty in January of 2018 with a BA in English Language and Literature from UMD. Ms. Paul holds Maryland state certification in middle school English. She is a product of ADW Catholic schools, having graduated from St. Pius X Catholic School and Elizabeth Seton High School. In her free time, she enjoys watching sports, going to plays, reading, and traveling. Ms. Paul shares that the SJRCS community is incredible, with everyone from faculty to staff to parents so involved, which has helped her feel at home right away. Her favorite book to teach is Wonder by R. J. Palacio, but her favorite books to read include The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
Mrs. Phillip is the teacher of SJRCS’s preK 3-4 class. She began teaching at SJRCS in 2010, after having been a preschool teacher since 1988. Mrs. Phillip holds Maryland state certification and is a certified catechist. She is married with four children. When not working with 3 and 4 year olds, she enjoys yoga, reading, spending time with family and friends, and travel. Mrs. Phillips strives every day to share her love of God and her Catholic faith with her students. Mrs. Phillip says, “I am able to teach my students how God is such a huge part of their lives, not only in religion class, but in every part of their day.” Her favorite book is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.
Mrs. Saur, a native of Windsor, Vermont, is the 1st grade aide and has been part of the school staff since 2013. Prior to that, she was the Coordinator of Religious Education and a catechist for the Shrine of St. Jude. Mrs. Saur is a certified
catechist for the Archdiocese of Washington. She and her husband have a son and a daughter, both SJRCS alums. In her spare time, Mrs. Saur enjoys traveling, going to the beach, walking, and reading. Mrs. Saur feels that her faith and her concern for the children’s learning is what makes her an effective educator, and her favorite thing about being at SJRCS is being able to pray during the day. Her favorite book is The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
Mrs. White is the PreK-8 music teacher and children’s choir director. She joined the SJ community in 2014, and from the beginning, “SJRCS felt like home for my whole family. We had been searching for a church home and it has been a joy to complete RCIA and receive the sacraments in the company of students and colleagues.” Mrs. White has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and prior to coming to SJ, taught music in a Methodist primary school and in the public school system for ten years. She and her husband Tom have two daughters, Amalia and Isabella, who are both students at SJRCS. In her free time, Mrs. White enjoys cooking, gardening, creating stained glass art, visiting museums, and attending musical performances. Mrs. White feels that the “intertwining of faith, music, and teaching” nourishes both her and her students. She loves teaching in a Catholic school which is the perfect place to live her faith and her vocation, for her children to receive a solid foundation in faith and education. Her favorite book is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.