Meet The Team
Michelle Goetsch joined Good Shepherd in 2018 after 5 years as principal of First Lutheran School (FLS) in Glendale, California. When FLS was asked to find a church for the school ministry, she found Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was the perfect match, with the same child centered mission. She came to the Los Angeles area from Thousand Oaks, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from California Lutheran University (CLU). She was an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church for 20 years, having served as Sunday Church School Director and on the church council. Her career path has included positions in general education, special education, business and theater arts. Ms. Goetsch has a deep appreciation for the individual talents and needs of each child, as she is the mother of two exceptional adult children.
Anita Stoker joined Good Shepherd after serving as Middle school coordinator and teaching at First Lutheran School for 9 years. She earned her B.S. degree in Education, with an emphasis in Literature from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Mrs. Stoker also completed post-graduate seminary courses in Old and New Testament studies, church history, and Lutheran theology. Prior to teaching middle school, Mrs. Stoker served as the Interim Administrative Officer for Lutheran Schools in Southern California and Hawaii, and spent over twelve years serving as the Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry for churches in Minnesota and California.
Stephanie Rojas began teaching at First Lutheran School in 2015 upon earning her Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). After student teaching and passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test, Ms. Rojas elected to continue her education. She was accepted into the graduate teaching program at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and will graduate in 2019 with a Master's degree in secondary education and California Clear Credential. Ms. Rojas is an alumna of First Lutheran School, now working along side some of the teachers she admired growing up. She is excited to join the Good Shepherd family and continue to pay it forward.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Jacky Hilliard joined Good Shepherd child development center in 2008 and has been teaching in Christian preschools as Teacher/Director for 30 years. She received her Bachelor's degree in child psychology from Immaculate Heart College, and early childhood education certification from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ms. Jacky teaches our 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 year olds (Busy Bees) and feels blessed to plant seeds that empower, inspire and show God's love.
Sylvia Durand earned her early childhood education certification from Glendale College and has been teaching Pre-Kindergarten for 23 years. She joined Good Shepherd Lutheran School's Child Development Center in 2010, preparing our "Bug-A-Roos" to succeed in elementary school. Ms. Sylvia is native to Indonesia but loves Hawaiian Music and the art of hula dancing.
Patty Cowan joined Good Shepherd Lutheran School after 18 years as the office administrator at First Lutheran School. Ms. Cowan brought with her over 12 years of skills and experience as a legal assistant, changing her career path to be in a Christ centered environment. Both of Ms. Cowan's adult children are alumni of FLS.
Aydee Quintana joined Good Shepherd Lutheran School (GSLS) after serving 18 years as the Preschool Director and Pre-K teacher at First Lutheran School. She received her early childhood education certification from Mission College and Supervision/Administration certification from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ms. Quinata is dedicated to the ministry of Christian education and her two children both attend GSLS.
Ms. Ramirez worked in education, with children from preschool through 8th grade, for 12 years before joining the Good Shepherd family in 2012. Prior experience included teaching assistant, daycare teacher, and an ABA therapist. Working with children has always been a passion, and she is overjoyed to have found a home at Good Shepherd where she is afforded the opportunity to help little minds blossom. She is currently attending California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) to further her education. Her goal as an educator is to build lasting relationships and make a difference in their lives, as the educators in my life have done for her.
Hillary Bhaskaran joins us as the first-grade teacher after working as a writer and teacher in Pasadena and Glendale, including JEI Learning Center in Montrose. She is a recent graduate of the Cal State TEACH program. Hillary studied for her Multiple Subject CLAD Preliminary Credential in 2018 while student-teaching multiple grades at Pasadena and Glendale public schools. In the nineties and 2000s, she wrote feature stories as Associate Editor of Caltech’s quarterly alumni publication, titled Caltech News, and as Editor of Caltech Y Annual Reports. At the University of Colorado in Boulder, Hillary earned a B.S. degree in Journalism, with a concentration in news-editorial writing, and a dance minor. Her favorite pursuits have included assisting in Glendale Community College dance classes, learning about multiple subjects and their connections, and writing a rhyming Pluto-discovery play with her father. She looks forward to teaching first grade.
Heydi Cubas joined Good Shepherd Lutheran School after teaching at First Lutheran School for 18 years. Mrs. Cubas earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Arts and Elementary Education from California State University Northridge (CSUN). Her teaching career began in 1991 at Los Angeles Unified School District. Mrs. Cubas is very passionate about her work and enjoys teaching and interacting with her students everyday. Also being certified in early child development education allows her to understand each individual students educational needs and take the appropritate steps to make sure they are met.
Dana Skaff came to Good Shepherd after serving as a school director and 30 years of teaching in Christian elementary schools, including 8 years at First Lutheran, Glendale. She earned her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Child Development and teaching credential from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Mrs. Skaff is a champion of S.T.E.M education and multiple learning styles in the classroom and loves helping her students discover God’s world in a safe and nurturing environment. When not teaching, Mrs. Skaff enjoys showing her champion basset hounds.
Isabel Villanueva joined Good Shepherd after teaching upper elementary at First Lutheran School (FLS) for 20 years. Prior to FLS, Mrs. Villanueva taught at Columbus Elementary School in Glendale, California. She earned her B.S. degree in Psychology and completed pre-medical courses from the College of Science at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, which molded her to become a doctor of medicine. Isabel’s passion for imparting knowledge made her pursue teaching at the pedagogy level in the US. Prior to teaching, her journey included a career in School Guidance Counseling and Psychology. She is trained in Child Development and certified in California Basic Educational Skills.
Alexandria "Niki" Cornejo earned her Bachelor's degree in fine art from California Institute of the Arts. She has served in numerous roles as campus supervisor and camp counselor for over 6 years, gaining hands on experience supervising children in recreational activities. In addition to CPR certification and fingerprinting that all school staff possess, Ms. Cornejo brings formal training in art which she shares with our students during morning daycare and after school clubs.
Campus Supervisor/Classroom Aide
Good Shepherd is a ministry close to Pat Friar's heart. Mrs. Friar has been a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since childhood, and currently serves as both church council treasurer and school board treasurer. She received her Bachelor's degree and California teaching credential in 1965 from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Technology in 1980. In addition to teaching in both public and private schools, Mrs. Friar served as Principal at Good Shepherd Lutheran School for ten years, and continues to teach music into "retirement." When not serving the church and school, Mrs. Friar enjoys traveling the world singing in her choir.
Jonathan Pena, "Mr. Jonathan" joined Good Shepherd Lutheran in 2017 after serving as assistant teacher in grades K-5 at Culver City Christian School. He received his Associate of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Cottonwood Leadership College, and is currently studying to become a youth pastor at the University of Southern California (USC). When not supervising students on campus or attending classes, Mr. Jonathan can be found playing drums for his congregation's praise band or leading his church youth groups' community service projects.
Campus Supervisor/Classroom Aide
Judylynn Pelling earned her degree, and teaching credential with specialization in elementary teaching, in 1969. In 1971, she received a Master of Arts degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Mrs. Pelling is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and joined the teaching staff at Good Shepherd Lutheran School in 1981. After almost three decades in a self contained classroom, Mrs. Pelling semi-retired, serving as a volunteer aide and school board secretary. When not working with students on reading comprehension, Mrs. Pelling can be found leading the 4-H club, or swimming at the YMCA.
While working on her degree in child development and serving as assistant teacher for the LAUSD in the 6th grade, Angie Rodriguez felt the call to teach God's littlest children in a faith based environment. She joined Good Shepherd in the 2016-2017 school year, after earning her early childhood education units from East Los Angeles College. She is excited by the love of learning displayed in early childhood education.