Clairbourn has outstanding and experienced teachers who are professionally prepared, set high standards for students, and provide a nurturing, supportive learning environment. Their positive attitudes are the reason our students love school. Many of our teachers hold a master's degree in addition to their teaching credential. Preschool and Kindergarten classes have a full-time, degreed assistant working with the teacher.
For the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, Clairbourn School has accelerated its focus on faculty growth and development. Parents will be able to notice the positive effects of this effort across all grades as the school year progresses.
Clairbourn Faculty Profile
Faculty Members – 21 Average Teaching Years – 16
Average Career Length at Clairbourn – 13 years
Advanced Degrees - 33% Student/Teacher Ratio - 12:1
The following teacher bios, organized by grade level, cover their qualifications, their talents as educators, and explanations of what parents and students can expect in their classrooms. Our teachers are qualified, caring, excellent educators and can become valuable partners in parenting.
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Junior Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Lee Rankin is a credentialed teacher with a gift for making students' first school experiences exciting and enjoyable. Upon entering her classroom, it becomes immediately obvious that she provides a highly creative, nurturing, loving, joyous, experiential classroom environment which is stimulating from the floor to the rafters.
Jr. Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Assistant Ms. Dannalou Machi is the Teacher Assistant for the Junior Pre-Kindergarten class. She has almost 40 years of experience working with children and has studied Early Childhood Development at UCLA (24 units). She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the California Institute of the Arts.
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Sayra Rubio brings to Clairbourn 10 years of teaching experience. She has an educational background in child development and Spanish and previously worked for the University of Southern California (USC) childcare program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from USC and an Associates Degree in Child Development from Rio Hondo College.
Ms. Kimberly Flores is our new Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Assistant. She has been working in the education field for about 10 years and she holds an AA in Liberal Studies from MiraCosta College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Cal Poly Pomona. Her prior experience includes tutoring at Sage Creek High School, working as a K-5 after-school program leader for ASIS, and working as a paraeducator for special needs elementary students in San Gabriel Unified and high school students in Pomona Unified.
Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Kristen Shoemake is our Kindergarten teacher and she has twenty-eight years of teaching experience. She has a teaching credential, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Theatre, a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and an Illinois Teaching Certificate.
Kindergarten Teacher Assistant Miss Aimee Newell is our new Kindergarten Teacher Assistant. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science Resource Management with a minor in Mathematics from CSU Channel Islands, a California Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and she is currently studying for her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in STEM at Cal State University Los Angeles.
Grade 1 Teacher Ms. Lindsay Dezutter is new to Southern California, and she has six years of experience teaching grades Kindergarten through Grade 2 at QSI International Schools in Slovakia and Slovenia and one year working for Federal Way Public Schools in Washington State.
Grade 3 Teacher Mrs. Susan Ward is our Grade 3 Teacher, and has eight years of teaching experience. Mrs. Ward holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with an English Learner Authorization.
Grade 4 Teacher Ms. Tara Edwards is our Grade 4 teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Principia College, she has an Illinois teaching credential, and she is currently getting her Master of Educational Technology degree from Concordia University.
Grade 5 Teacher Mrs.Terri Lynn Gier is Clairbourn’s new Fifth Grade Teacher. She comes to us with over 15 years of elementary grade teaching experience (having worked with traditional, gifted, and highly-gifted students) both in public and private school settings. In addition to her clear California teaching credential, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from National University and a degree in Design and Architecture.
Middle School Math Teacher Mrs. Rebecca Messler is our new Middle School Math teacher instructing grades 6-8. She has 10 years of teaching experience and was a Teach for America corps member from 2010 to 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology (with a minor in Business) from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education degree from Loyola Marymount University, a Clear Single Subject Mathematics Credential (6-12), and a Clear Multiple Subjects Credential (K-8).
Middle School History Teacher Ms. Laurie Corwin is our Middle School Social Studies Teacher, 7th Grade Dean, and Student Council Advisor. She has a teaching credential, she has been a teacher for twenty-one years, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American and Social Studies.
Middle School Science Teacher Mrs. Mary F. M. Wright is our new Middle School Science Teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development, a Master of Arts in Teaching (middle school science endorsement), and a Post Professional Graduate Teaching License for middle school science from Virginia.
Middle School English Teacher Mrs. Janet Taylor is our Middle School English Teacher and she also serves as the Middle School Coordinator and the 8th Grade Dean. She has a teaching credential, twenty-five years of teaching experience, and holds a Master of Administrative Leadership degree, a Master of Education degree, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Studio Art.
World Language & Drama Mrs. Cara Barker is Clairbourn’s language instructor, for French and Latin, and our drama instructor. She is known for her depth, creativity, and style, and has twenty-five years of teaching experience.
Spanish Teacher Mrs. Mary Drazic is our Spanish teacher for grades three through five and Middle School. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration Crime Analysis, a Master of Science degree in Education, and her California Teaching Credential is in progress.
Music Teacher Mrs. Rosemary Kiertzner is our music teacher with twenty-two years of teaching experience. Mrs. Kiertzner has a teaching credential and a Master of Music degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama, accompanied by a Bachelor of Art degree in Music, as well as an Associates of Arts degree in Music.
Head Librarian & Strings Music Teacher Ms. Ann Mize has been working at Clairbourn for twenty-one years, during which time she has had the pleasure of working with students from preschool through eighth grade. In both of her roles, she engages with the students on a personal level to foster an appreciation for her passions—reading and music.
Technology Teacher & Drama Teacher Mr. Paul Barker is our technology teacher with twenty-six years of teaching experience. He has a teaching credential, a Master of Education degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and Minors in Computer, and Drama.
Art Teacher Mrs. Hayley Ball is Clairbourn’s creative and inspiring art teacher, and she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She is a talented muralist and sign artist with accompanying digital art skills that include graphic design, web design, layout design, logo design, and digital illustration.
Athletic Director & PE Teacher Mrs. Mimi DeVasto is our Physical Education Teacher for both boys and girls and is the Athletic Director. She coaches our volleyball, basketball, track and softball teams. Ms. DeVasto has a Bachelor of Business and Economics degree, a Master of English Literature degree, and a Master of Coaching and Athletic Administration degree.
Physical Education Teacher Mr. Luke Ball is Clairbourn’s physical education teacher for both boys and girls. He has a Bachelor of Coaching and Athletic Administration degree, his W.S.I. (Water Safety Instruction) Certification, and he is in the process of receiving his Master of Coaching and Athletic Administration degree.
Clairbourn School is a coeducational, private school for students in preschool through middle school (JPK-Grade 8) that has continuously served the greater Pasadena area since 1926. We are known for excellent academics, our welcoming community, our attractive campus, and a strong record of sending graduates to top area high schools.