Welcome New Faculty and Staff to Mayfield Senior School!

We are delighted to welcome thirteen new faces to 500 Bellefontaine this year, including two Mayfield alums and a parent of a Mayfield alum! There are additions to the teaching faculty and the Communication and Development offices. As always, all of new faculty and staff share a commitment to our Holy Child educational mission—and to our Mayfield families. Please read more about our growing Mayfield family!
Sarah Alaways, Dance teacher

Sarah Alaways is overjoyed to start teaching dance at Mayfield. She has been dancing for nearly 30 years and teaching dance of all sorts since being in high school herself. Dance education has been her passion since she was old enough to be asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Being at Mayfield feels to her like “coming home to a lifelong, deep-hearted vision” for her future.

While originally from Northern California, Sarah attended UC Irvine where she graduated with a dual BFA in Dance Choreography and Dance Performance. She then moved to Houston where she danced professionally, choreographed, and taught all over the city inside public schools, independent schools, outreach programs, after-school programs, theatre programs, and dance studios. Sarah then jetted off to London to attend Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, bringing along “her trusty sidekick and resident house-wolf, Charlie.” She earned her MA in Dance Performance while teaching and performing in England, Scotland, Wales, Malta, and Cyprus as a member of Transitions Dance Company. 

Sarah then moved to Seattle to teach at the Creative Dance Center. She shadowed its founder, Anne Green Gilbert, and graduated from the Brain Compatible Dance Education Institute for Teachers. She also performed with companies, presented choreography at festivals, and taught as visiting faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Sarah’s time in Washington was particularly enriching, as she taught dancers as young as one and as old as 80. She would also love to tell you about her short pre-COVID stint teaching “Bungee Dance.”

Sarah and her fiancée moved back to California to grow deeper roots. When Sarah saw that Mayfield was looking for a new dance teacher, she knew right away that Mayfield was where she wanted to be. As a teacher, Sarah values creativity, individuality, inquiry and joy. She believes that creativity is a vehicle for inclusive, student-centered, reflective teaching practices, and she can’t wait to start collaborating with the dancers at Mayfield!

Alexandra Badie ‘14, Marketing Coordinator

Alexandra Badie ’14 is excited to come back home to Mayfield in her new role as Marketing Coordinator. While at Mayfield, Alexandra began competing as a Professional Skimboarder, traveling from North America to South America to compete on the United Skim Tour. After graduating from Mayfield Senior School in 2014, she went on to earn her B.A. in Philosophy from Chapman University, graduating with honors. A sponge for knowledge, Alexandra found the analytical challenge and broad reach of philosophy to be the perfect foundation for her future.

Following her passion to empower women and serve her community, Alexandra began her career in marketing and communications at a non-profit and social enterprise, International Sanctuary, working to end modern day slavery. Utilizing the analytical and strategic thinking that philosophy taught her, she worked to enhance the organization's marketing efforts, while providing a voice for survivors around the world. She focused much of her work on implementing ethical storytelling practices to ensure that she could amplify the voices of survivors without re-exploiting them through their stories. Working at a small non-profit exposed Alexandra to a multitude of professional skills including digital marketing, website management, fundraising, event planning and graphic design—a well-rounded base to build her career from.

Alexandra left International Sanctuary in 2021 and began working independently for social impact organizations and tech startups. From designing mobile apps to social media strategy to managing a community magazine, Alexandra enjoyed the challenge of honing her skills through these new endeavours while continuing to make a positive social impact. All the while, she stayed increasingly involved with Mayfield in her role as Communications Chair of the Mayfield Alum Council. Watching the incredible progress of the school since she left in 2014, she felt a calling to get more involved with Mayfield, and when an opportunity to work part-time in the Communications Office became available in February 2022, Alexandra felt it was the right place to be. 

Now joining Mayfield full-time as Marketing Coordinator, Alexandra is most looking forward to working alongside many of the faculty and staff that inspired her in her time at Mayfield, while engaging with the student body to bring their voices to light. She feels like Mayfield is the perfect place to apply her expertise, while deepening her impact in the community.

Alexandra is also excited to move back to Pasadena from Orange County before the end of the month. When she is not working, she can be found at the gym trying new activities, getting lost in books, or running around Pasadena with her best friend and fellow Mayfield alum, Karina Kawana ‘14.


Katie Clancy ’11,  College Counseling Assistant + Fitness and Wellness Teacher

Mayfield has always been a special place for Katie Clancy ’11. She is the oldest of three daughters who graduated from Mayfield (Megan ‘17 who went on to the University of Redlands and Siobhan ’22, who will be starting at Providence College this fall). As a graduate, Katie first reengaged with Mayfield as a softball coach and member of Alum Council. When reflecting on her time as a student at Mayfield, Katie remembers her “amazing teachers” and “positive experiences with the faculty,” so being able to provide that same kind of support for current Mayfield students is an utter joy for her.

Katie attended Belmont University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She was a member of the Belmont Softball team, competing at the Division I level. After working in marketing in Tennessee for some time, she decided to return to California, and her path back to Mayfield took a few unconventional turns, including becoming a kindergarten Teaching Associate at St. Philip the Apostle School and exploring her long-time interest in attending medical school. In 2020 she earned a Specialized Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California, San Diego. This fall she will pursue a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs, with a concentration in Athletics Administration at the University of Southern California. 

As a former collegiate student-athlete, Katie knows how amazing and unique that experience can be, but also knows that navigating that process can be stressful. She is excited to work with Mayfield’s student athletes in the college counseling office to understand their own options when it comes to college athletics. Katie sees that college counseling process is a time rich with exploration and potential, and she firmly believes, “Mayfield’s mission and philosophy of educating the whole person goes hand-in-hand with helping students discover their next steps.”’

This year, Katie will also be serving on the Alum Council Executive Board as the Vice President of Membership and is excited to return to in-person meetings. She explains how much she enjoys “working alongside our wonderful alums to grow and foster our national and international communities.” If not working on campus with Mayfield students, or on a softball pitch with Mayfield athletes, you are likely to find Katie in one of her happy places: rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers and college basketball, traveling or eating breakfast for dinner.


Angelo Collado, Theatrical Technical Director and Teacher

Angelo Collado is excited to start at Mayfield as the new Theatrical Technical Director. Angelo brings years of teaching and Technical Direction, having served as Technical Director/Designer /Choreographer at schools like Carter Oak High School, North View High School, Walnut High School. And for the past 5 years, Angelo was the Technical Director/Choreographer at Louis Taylor Performing Arts Center in Monrovia. Previously Angelo served as Artistic Producing Director for 6 years at CCPA in Covina. As a Designer/Choreographer Angelo has won numerous awards for his creative Set Designs and Choreography at DTASC, CETA, Fullerton Theater Festival and National Youth Awards. Angelo’s Production of “In the Heights” at Monrovia High School was nominated for 8 Jerry Herman Awards—and won 2 of them—for Best Lighting Design and Best Technical Crew.  

Angelo was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM to a large family, devoted to their Catholic faith. Angelo is the father of two young men, Angelo Jr. and Evan. Angelo is grateful for Mayfield Senior School giving him an opportunity to take on a position that combines so many parts of his faith life and artistic interests. “What a wonderful opportunity to have my passions in life as my daily job,” says Angelo. “God has blessed me.”

As a member of Actors Equity Association, and a former Dancer/Actor/Singer, Angelo was a cast member of the LA Ovation Award-winning professional productions of “West Side Story” and “Guys and Dolls.” Angelo is also credited with many regional and national companies including “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Angelo is also an award-winning Producer, Director, Choreographer and Designer. In addition to his passion for the theatre, Angelo maintains his place as an International Martial Arts Champion/Competitor and Martial Arts teacher, traveling the world instructing children, civilians, military and law enforcement agencies. Angelo is excited to start his new chapter in life at Mayfield and he is eager to share, and learn, from our Mayfield community. 


Damian Duran, Theology Teacher
Damian Duran was born and raised in Los Angeles. He earned his degree in Theology from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Damian spent his first year of higher education in community college, and went on to attend LMU after that. Damian’s journey to LMU every day involved a 2-hour commute (one way) via public transportation. These long commutes provided him a small glimpse and deeper appreciation for his own mother’s experience—a machine operator in textiles clothing decoration in Los Angeles for years, she endured grueling hours—and Damian recalls her “working hard” to provide for their family while he was growing up.
As an undergraduate student, he assisted the late Fr. Herbert Ryan who also served as a mentor for him. Fr. Ryan’s work inspired Damian to explore education as a career. Among his favorite classes where those that centered on Liberation Theology, Mariology and Feminist Studies. Having been raised in a single-parent household gave Damian an appreciation for the role that women play in society and the Church. 
With over ten years in the field of education, Damian has worked in both public and private institutions, with a broad spectrum of experience, from teaching Religion to 12th graders at Verbum Dei and transitioning to 3rd grade and then Junior High Language Arts at Our Lady of Peace School. One of his most cherished memories was setting up the classroom library with a variety of books that he felt might be appealing to the students. He says his goal was “to instill a passion for reading and writing.” Damian has also worked in the field of after school programming in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood and LAUSD. He served as site supervisor at two elementary schools.
Most recently, Damian was responsible for managing the Christian Service program at St. Francis High School. He is always grateful for the opportunity to be of assistance to others. Even through the pandemic the service program was able to thrive and give back to the community. During his last year at the school, he introduced “service learning” to the freshman class. Together they learned about homelessness, arrived at possible solutions to assist our neighbors, and put together snack packs that were then delivered to Holy Family Church where they were distributed to those in need. For the 2022-2023 school year, Damian will be teaching Seniors (Fall) and Sophomores (Spring). His goal for this upcoming year is to grow and contribute to the wonderful Mayfield community. In the classroom, “he seeks to create a dynamic space where learning can take place.”
When not on campus, Damian enjoys walking his dog, reading and spending time with loved ones. When feeling extra adventurous he will undertake new projects, and during the pandemic he learned to sew, fabricating involved face masks to provide the maximum levels of protection. Damian believes learning to sew has taught him more patience, and perhaps he even uncovered a glimmer of his mother’s talents in working in fabrics too!
Amber Gravely, Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JDEI)

Amber Gravely is proud to step into the role of Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mayfield Senior School in her hometown of Pasadena, where she was born and raised, and she is a product of PUSD and local independent schools. For the last several years, Amber has worked as an educational consultant at Pasadena Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Western Christian School, and recently worked as an instructor/Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Lead at schools like Barnhart and Buckley.
But Amber’s career has included a wide breadth of experience outside of the educational sector as well. Growing up, Amber had a love for team sports and started playing AYSO at the Rose Bowl at the early age of four. She grew to become a successful high school basketball player and won many honors including league MVP and first-team All-CIF. She also earned a full scholarship at Loyola Marymount University as a member of the NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball team. 

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from LMU, Amber earned many honors including being named a captain on her basketball team, a leader of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Dean’s List, and winner of the Student Service and Leadership Award. Upon graduation, she began coaching and substitute teaching and continued on to earn her Master of Arts degree from USC Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication. 

Amber worked in sports broadcasting and television for several years before deciding to explore a career in education in order to align herself in integrity with her desire to be a youth advocate and servant leader. Since that time, Amber has worked as an educator, administrator, and coach for public, non-profit, and independent educational institutions throughout California. She returned to USC to pursue her EdD program at USC‘s Rossier School of Education, with a concentration in educational psychology. When capacity building, Amber is a self-professed “data-head” and loves to gather feedback through surveys and assessments to better serve the communities she is partnered with.

Amber considers herself a lifelong learner and when not at Mayfield, she enjoys presenting at conferences as an educational equity consultant for her business, S.O.S. Student Opportunities for Success. Amber also enjoys being a national trainer for Positive Coaching Alliance, and is dedicated to helping train coaches and educators in the importance of social justice, play equity and trauma-informed youth development. 

Bill Lewis, Director of Facilities

Bill Lewis has been involved at Mayfield Senior School for many years, as a parent, as a member of the Building and Grounds Committee, as a member of the Board of Trustees—and after spending 24 years in commercial property management and facilities management with CBRE—Bill joined the Mayfield staff as Director of Facilities in February 2022.

Bill was born and raised in Whittier, CA. He graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Finance. After graduation, he moved to Pasadena with his family and has made this area his home. Bill earned his Masters of Real Estate Development from University of Southern California which spurred the transition from the Construction industry to Commercial Real Estate. While at CBRE, Bill spent the first part of his career in facilities management for Washington Mutual Bank. His final assignment was General Manager of a 1.6 million square foot office complex in El Segundo.  

Although Bill never attended a Holy Child school himself, his wife went to both Mayfield Junior School and Mayfield Senior School. His daughter (Maureen ‘18) graduated from Mayfield Senior School and several other family members attended other Mayfield schools, including the Cornelia Connelly School. Bill has a very strong connection to the Holy Child educational approach and was excited to join the Mayfield team. He brings his knowledge of property management and is looking forward to continuing to maintain the beautiful campus and our beloved Strub Hall.  

When not at Mayfield, Bill loves to travel and play golf. Bill also lives in the neighborhood so you may see him walking to and from the campus.  

Paula Moore, English teacher

Paula grew up in La Puente, California in a neighborhood that reflected color, verve but also economic challenges. She learned early on that the best way to meet these challenges was through attaining a higher education. Her love of learning and literature has always been a part of her. She loves the paradoxical way one could both lose and find themselves in a book. She relished in the independent spirit of Jane Eyre, a heroine that believed she was worthy of love and happiness despite her socio-economic status. Elizabeth Bennet, from “Pride and Prejudice,” became another sister to her, and she longed to mimic the way Elizabeth refused to let anyone but herself define her identity. These books served as windows into a world so different from her own, but it was not until her freshman year of high school when she came across a book called “The House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros, that she realized books could be mirrors too. The bustling Latino neighborhood that Cisneros describes reflected the voices and faces of Paula’s La Puente community. She knew at that moment that books must serve as both windows and mirrors because true learning and actualization occurs when we can see ourselves in a work of literature as well as observe a world different from our own. 

Paula earned both an academic and vocal performance scholarship to Azusa Pacific University and became the first member of her family to go to college. It did not take her long to realize that while she loved singing, her true passion was literature and she decided to pursue an English degree. After attaining her BA she continued her education and received her teaching credential and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  

Currently, Paula lives in La Verne with her husband Robert, daughters Madeline and Julia and their dog Grendel. Robert works as a 5th grade teacher in the El Monte school district where he too teaches books that are both windows and mirrors. Their youngest daughter Julia is a sophomore in high school and shares her mother’s love of Jane Austen heroines. Madeline will begin this year as a freshman at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and—to her mother’s delight!—she will be studying English there. Grendel the dog is a chihuahua mix named after the villainous monster from Beowulf, but Paula insists the only thing “monstrous” about him is “his disdain for the mailman.”  

This year marks Paula’s twenty-fifth year in Catholic education. She is so excited to be teaching Freshman English and is happy to be part of the Mayfield community.


Kristina Ortega, Coordinator of JDEI + Service Coordinator

Kristina is a Chicana, theologian, wife, mom, dancer, career educator, TikTok addict, proud fourth generation Angeleno and loyal Dodgers fan. She grew up in Los Feliz and went to Immaculate Heart High School and then to Loyola Marymount University where she studied Theology and Dance. Kristina has been teaching in LA Catholic high schools since 2001 and she is excited to be at Mayfield as the Coordinator of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and as the Service Coordinator as well. 

Kristina is a strong advocate for all-girls Catholic education and believes that graduates of schools like Mayfield have the potential to change the world as compassionate leaders in their communities, governments, and the Church. Kristina is deeply inspired by Pope Francis’ call to create a “Culture of Encounter,” in which we reach out to and engage in dialogue with those outside of our comfortable circles, particularly those in marginalized and oppressed communities. And Kristina hopes to inspire her students to answer the call for  justice inside of their faith journeys.

When not on campus, Kristina is a member of the liturgy planning committee for the L.A. Archdiocese Religious Education Congress. She is also a “Navegante,” or docent, at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Downtown LA. Serving as a Navegante has provided Kristina the opportunity to share her culture and city with visitors from around the world. 

Most of Kristina’s time with family is spent at a pool watching her husband coach and her sons compete on one of their swim teams, hiking in and around Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, grilling on the back patio, walking her dog Astro, or finding the best street tacos in L.A. 


Andrew Ritchie, Science teacher

Andrew Ritchie is excited to join Mayfield Senior School as a Science Teacher. Andrew is overjoyed to be teaching Conceptual Physics to freshmen, as he strongly believes in the “physics first” sequence of science courses. He appreciates giving students a foundation that all other science classes can build from, fostering the students’ confidence and curiosity, and ultimately motivating them to pursue more interest in STEM disciplines. Andrew connects with Mayfield’s motto of “Actions not Words” and describes taking on this position at Mayfield as “a great privilege.”
When he was an undergraduate at Cal State Channel Islands, Andrew was a member of the Physics Club and worked with two other peers to build a catapult that became infamous for having the capacity of launching watermelons across long distances! Andrew switched from Psychology to Chemistry in his third year. Andrew understands the issue of confidence especially inside of challenging STEM courses, admitting, “Chemistry was a difficult course for me in high school and I wasn’t proud of my performance in that class.” Nonetheless, he decided to try learning Chemistry again at CSUCI and after success in General Chemistry, he decided to major in it. His undergraduate research was in the field of biochemistry and he graduated magna cum laude with Chemistry Program Honors from CSUCI. After graduating from CSUCI, he went to the University of Washington, where he earned an MS in Chemistry.
Andrew’s teaching career includes Providence High School and San Gabriel Mission High School. Between both schools, he taught many math and science courses at the college prep, honors and AP levels. “The best moments in a classroom for me are when students are engaged and joyful,” says Andrew, “These moments can take the form of a lively discussion, a lab where students are given space and freedom to design and execute their experiments…and moments when students are growing and having a good time.”
When not teaching, Andrew tends to remain active in campus life. He enjoys watching his students compete in sports; helps with campus ministry; and has even performed in plays and musicals in the past. When he was in high school, he played sports all four years and competed in Academic Decathlon, explaining, “STEM is important, but it isn’t everything.”
In Andrew’s downtime he likes to run, ride his bike and play video games. He is always eager to engage and explore new subjects—or even old subjects!—when looking at them from a new perspective.


Francesca Smiland, Math teacher

Fran Smiland joins Mayfield Senior School community inside the mathematics department and will be teaching Algebra 1 and Geometry this year. Fran had the opportunity to teach summer school math at Mayfield from 2014 to 2017, where she first learned about the Holy Child mission. She started to nurture a hope to teach at Mayfield one day as a member of the faculty, but did not know when that day would come. So when an opening became available in the math department this year, she leapt at the opportunity and is excited to become a Mayfield Cub!

Fran began her teaching career in 2005 at her elementary school alma mater, Holy Family School in South Pasadena. As a math aide in the middle school, she quickly knew she had found her passion and her calling. She went on to enroll in the credential program at Cal State LA, began math tutoring, and the rest followed. At Holy Family, Fran developed a remedial math program and later became the primary math teacher in Fall 2014.  

As an educator, Fran firmly believes, “Everyone can learn math and have fun along the way.” Math has always been her favorite subject in school as she enjoys the problem-solving aspect. Although learning math does not always come easy for many, Fran enjoys sharing “ah ha” moments with her students and helping them through their struggles. Her favorite word is “perseverance,” as she challenges her students to never give up!  

When not teaching, Fran enjoys spending time in Big Bear with her husband, Tim, and their chocolate labs, Bear and Grizzly. Fran relishes spending time outdoors and playing golf. In fact, she believes golf parallels math because both take tremendous practice and perseverance.


Madeline Thayer, Latin teacher

Originally from Sayville, New York, Madeline Thayer moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to begin her PhD in Classics at the University of Southern California, which she completed in June 2022. Her research focuses upon the literature and culture of the Flavian Period (70-96 CE), and her dissertation examines an epic poem on the life of Achilles by the Flavian poet P. Papinius Statius. Before coming to USC, Madeline received her BA in Classical Studies and German literature at Wellesley College, in Wellesley, MA. Madeline’s love for Latin literature began in high school and she is very excited to be teaching Latin 4 at Mayfield this year.

After completing her own coursework at USC, Madeline continues to teach courses in the Classics department she has taught all levels of Latin, and has had years of experience as a TA in a wide variety of courses across the spectrum of ancient studies, including Roman history, late antique art and archaeology, and classical mythology. She is deeply devoted to the practice of teaching the language, history and culture of the Roman world.

In addition to teaching and research, Madeline loves to travel, cook and garden. She happily resides in South Pasadena—and lives in the same charming apartment since her arrival to California in 2015. She is very much looking forward to joining Mayfield’s wonderful and welcoming community this year.


Lisa Vandergriff, Director of Development

Lisa Vandergriff comes to Mayfield with a myriad of connections from the volunteer and fundraising relationships she’s cultivated during her 25 years as a Pasadena-area resident. Prior to joining Mayfield in July 2022, Lisa was the Alumnae Director at Westridge for the past eight years. She has worked in development at Caltech and Foothill Family and served as the Schools and Community Editor for Outlook Newspapers where she also wrote a column called Cheers to Charity. She honed her event planning and fundraising skills first as a volunteer for Kidspace’s Circle of Friends, and Friends of Foothill Family; through involvement at her daughters’ schools, including Chandler and St. Philip the Apostle; as a Girl Scout Leader, Pasadena Southwest Little League parent, and member of National Charity League.

A native of Southern California, Lisa was raised in Agoura Hills and more specifically, in Liberty Canyon where the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing is being built. After graduating from Calabasas High, she received a BA in Communications from Cal State Northridge with an emphasis in multimedia that led to a 10+ year career i TV production, including work as a sitcom writer’s assistant on “Full House” and “Home Improvement.”

In what she refers to as her “past life,” Lisa taught English in Japan in the mid 90s, where sh climbed Mt. Fuji, skied in Nagano, and continued her travels throughout Southeast Asia. She spent a season working for Mammoth Mountain and skiing daily. Although her snow (and water) skis have collected dust, she still enjoys traveling, attending Dodger games with her daughters, and is a self-professed live music/concert junkie. A natural networker who loves bringing people together, Lisa is eager to engage with the wonderful community at Mayfield Senior School.

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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.