Alumni Testimonials

The Education Department welcomes updates and photos from our graduates. If you are an alum and would like to share news with classmates, please email Heather Bergthold.

Katie Curry
"Salute to Teachers"

Alana Woodin
History Major
Single Subject (Secondary) Teaching Credential: History


Jennifer Caruso
Liberal Studies Major
Multiple Subject (Elementary) Teaching Credential


Trevor Oftedal
History Major
Single Subject (Secondary) Teaching Credential: History


Laura Trudelle
Liberal Studies Major
Minors: Mathematics and Spanish
Single Subject (Secondary) Teaching Credential: Mathematics

BrookeeditedI hold a deep sense of appreciation for my experience in the Westmont College Education Program. The program not only fueled my desire to teach, but also provided me with practical experiences, strategies, and philosophies essential for inspiring my students to actively pursue learning. Through the Westmont Education Program I learned how to communicate to my students that learning is an experience rather than a task.

Brooke Holly ’08
Kindergarten Teacher
Perry Elementary
San Diego City School

RachedEditedI am very grateful for my teaching preparation at Westmont. Before student teaching, I had many opportunities to work in classrooms, prepare lesson plans, perform lessons, and receive immediate feedback from professors and classmates. Once I was in charge of a class, I had the strategies to manage my students and create a positive environment for learning. I’m in my first year of teaching now, and I don’t think I could have been any more prepared.

Rachel Wolfshorndl ’07
3rd grade teacher
West Park Elementary School
Fresno, CA

Jennifer LI wore so many different hats last year - nurse, counselor, soccer player (at recess), mediator...and the list only goes on. I am also working on creating a new school website, while participating in my 2nd year of BTSA and a district math grant… You will be excited to hear that we have already conducted four science experiments as a class. After your class, I have witnessed the joy in students to get out of their seats and explore. So, I made that a priority… Thank you for all the work you did with me over those four years.

Jennifer Lauthen ’07, who teaches at Bubbling Wells Elementary School in Hot Springs, CA.

EmilyMy experiences at Westmont were invaluable. After speaking with my colleagues who attended different schools and participated in other programs, I am confident that I received the best possible education to prepare me for this field. I am so pleased that I chose to attend Westmont’s teacher credentialing program. My teachers at Westmont prepared me for every possible teaching scenario.

Emily Wise Bajwa ’06
English and Drama
Summit Charter Academy Redwood, CA

I want to thank you for all the help you gave me during my 4 years at Westmont. I must say that your credential program has prepared me very well for that which is teaching. The other first year teachers I speak with all say they wish that their program had done more for them. My literacy coach thinks I’ll be a “master teacher” in about 3 years, maybe even 2. She thinks you did an awesome job and sends you her thanks. So, thanks. Thanks for everything. I appreciate it more than you know.

Charlene Martinez ’06
7th & 8th Grade Teacher
New York, NY

Erica SellsWestmont’s education program thoroughly prepared me for my teaching career. When I saw other beginning teachers floundering, I was equipped with the ability to deal with all of the usual and unusual trials that arose because of my Westmont training. In the program, my professors were insightful, engaging and knowledgeable; my placements were effective, personal, and rewarding; my classes were practical, applicable, and interactive. I am eternally grateful to Westmont’s Education Program for molding me into the respected and effective teacher I am today.

Erica Sells ’05
M. C. Cash School
Phoenix, AZ

Mindy ThrallsThanks again for a wonderful credential program and all the effort you put into your students. It is much appreciated. There were quite a few brand new teachers at my school last year, and after talking with many of them, I was even more convinced of how great and unique Westmont’s program is.

Mindy Thralls ‘05
5th Grade Teacher
Livermore, CA

Katie Woodford in Costa RicaMy wonderful experience in the teaching preparation program might be summed up by two major ideas: personal care for the student and fostering the love of learning. The year that I attended the program very difficult for me personally but I found my professors to be supportive and nurturing. Though I know their care for me wasn’t intended to be a lesson in pedagogy, it modeled for me the practice of embracing the whole person in the classroom, not just the training of the mind. Once the heart has been attended to, the mind is opened for learning.

Katie Woodford ‘04
Teacher for long-term patients, Shriners Burns Hospital-Boston
Formerly of the Lincoln School, San Jose, Costa Rica

Genesis08Whether teaching children in the inner city of Los Angeles or teaching private school students in Orange County, everyday I am incredibly thankful for the education I received at Westmont. The personalized instruction given by the dedicated professors has proved to be invaluable to me as a teacher. My experience at Westmont taught me that it is my responsibility to provide the highest quality of instruction as well as the deepest level of love to those entrusted into my care.

Emily Thompson Omondi ‘04
Friends Christian Middle School, Yorba Linda, CA (formerly LAUSD)

I am consistently impressed with how well you all prepared me to do my job. I talk to other colleagues about their training and it is always so clear to me how superior my training from Westmont was. Thank you for giving me the tools necessary to do my job well and be prepared.

Kristen (Thompson) Mullikin ’03
2nd Grade Teacher
Vacaville, CA

saballetMy experience in the Education Program Westmont was phenomenal. Words cannot express my true appreciation of the program and how it prepared me for the classroom. I am deeply convinced that Westmont’s high standards, strong curriculum, personalized support, small class size, and professionalism, truly equipped me to become the best teacher possible. Over the past few years, as a 4th/5th grade teacher, I have come to see how well my supervisor, Dr. Mullen, my professors, Dr. Ruth and Gayle Tucker, and my master teacher, Rosa Rodriguez, have positively influenced my teaching career. The way the Education Department balanced rigorous academics, real life application, and care for me as an individual, has molded me into a passionate, balanced, hard-working teacher, who strives to be the best I can be. I believe that Westmont gave me a real picture of what the real teaching world was like even before I got there. I have had countless co-workers and administrators commend me for my teaching abilities, professionalism, and creative drive. All of which I can confidently say came from Westmont’s Education program. Countless conversations with fellow teachers and my own student teachers about how other credential programs have left them unprepared, have confirmed the fact that Westmont stands out among the best.

Katheryn Saballet ’03
4th/5th grade
Sweetwater Springs Community School, Spring Valley, CA

I wanted to say thank you. I have realized how well you have prepared me to teach in a classroom and adapt to situations that I am presented with in teaching. In these last few days I was shocked to discover what many of the other teachers don’t know. It’s even a little sad, and I feel very sorry for them and their students. Thank you very much. . . thanks for such an intensive program; it prepared me for the ‘real’ world of teaching, which never seems to slow down or become predictable.

Becky Rathburn ’02
Middle School Teacher
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Katherine StockingMy professors and fellow student teachers knew my personality and my strengths, and knew just how to encourage me as I learned to master the elements of teaching that were at first challenging for me. I’m thankful for the camaraderie that marks the Westmont program.

Katherine Stocking ’02
6th grade teacher
Seneca Ridge Middle School
Sterling, VA

Students can earn a secondary teaching credential:
Art, English, History, Math, Music, Science, Spanish and Physical Education.


BrookeeditedTeaching in an environment where high school is a challenging, enriching, and positive experience is very refreshing. In my science classes, we discuss real-world issues while discovering the details of God's creation. Providence Hall Christian High School is a healthy and intellectually stimulating place for high school students to learn.

Laura Drake, ’07
Science Teacher
Providence Hall High School
Santa Barbara, CA


Doug PattersonTeaching history allows me to engage the students as we analyze various primary source documents from a variety of perspectives. I then encourage my students to cultivate and articulate their own viewpoints. Each day I seek to create a dynamic and relevant teaching style to actively engage my students in understanding history.

Doug Patterson, '05
History Teacher
St. Mary's School Aliso Viejo, CA


RachedEditedSince we are created in God’s image, and He is the Ultimate Creator, there is something very special about being an imitator of God in terms of using our creative abilities, as with creating artwork. I consider it a great privilege to teach students artistic techniques that they can use as a tool to express themselves creatively. It is awesome to see a student create something that brings beauty and joy to those around them.

Leah Guillermo Sodusta, '04
Art Teacher
Bishop Garcia Diego High School
Santa Barbara, CA

Physical Education

Hui with Surf Class

I feel so fortunate that I get to teach Physical Education and have fun every day in my teaching. Most students I teach start participating in sports and games for the fun of it. My job is to provide the skills and tools they need to make athletics a rewarding and successful experience they will want to continue for a lifetime. I foster an energetic atmosphere, expose students to a variety of experiences, and help them find their athletic passions. My goal is to help make lifetime movement a reality for them.

Jeremy Hui , '97
Physical Education Teacher
Marymount School
Santa Barbara, CA



Jennifer LI love teaching because it gives me a great opportunity to spend time with impressionable young minds. I feel empowered that I can make such a huge impact in their lives and I really strive to make each day a learning experience in math or even in life.

Devany Bechler, '07
Math Teacher
Carpinteria High School
Carpinteria, CA


EmilyI love watching my students mature into strong, responsible, contributing members of the community. Teaching high school is unique in that I get to watch my students grow up and go to college.

Emily Wise Bajwa, ’06
English and Drama
Summit Charter Academy
Redwood, CA


Pam HerzogIn the kaleidoscope of learning, music is a necessary color that allows students to express and create, move and discover, play and assimilate. It is an intelligence that is easily intertwined with more familiar subjects and enhances the learning of the whole child. Being a music educator for 19 years, I have had the great privilege of being a part of a child's sequential musical journey at the elementary level and beyond. Music is a gift from God and whether teaching music for music's sake or integrating music into the general classroom setting, students can experience the joy and power music has to offer for their mind, body, and soul.

Pam Herzog, '91
Music Teacher
Cold Spring School
Santa Barbara, CA

Students can teach in a variety of school settings.

Diverse Urban Elementary School

Rebekah Reynolds FredericksonTeaching has always been my passion. I love the joy of seeing eyes light up in understanding, of laughing together as a class, and of loving each child for who God created them to be. However, these joys alone could not have sustained me through my first year of teaching. Without the height and breadth of knowledge my Westmont education gave me, I would not have been prepared. My first year of teaching I found myself in a San Jose, California, second grade classroom with students from the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Korea, Bangladesh, Mexico, and more… I also had one mainstreamed special needs student, and one undiagnosed special needs student.

Rebekah Reynolds Frederickson , '01
Second Grade Teacher
Tom Matsumoto Elementary School
San Jose, CA


Suburban Elementary School

Kristen Thompson MullikinAs a teacher, there is nothing better than watching the light bulb turn on in the minds of your students. There’s not a better feeling. It’s like I’ve turned on a light bulb and their world opens up. I thrive on the challenges and rewards that teaching brings. There is no monotony in teaching because each day is different. I know I’m making a positive difference in the lives of my students.

Kristen Thompson Mullikin , ’03
Second Grade Teacher
Carroll Elementary
Elk Grove, CA



Private Christian School

Juliet Sundberg HoganAfter teaching in public school for three years, I decided to teach in a Christian school. I love being able to pray with students, teach them the Word of God, and integrate my faith into science, history, reading, and even math lessons. My students and I share a special bond because we are able to pray for each other and encourage one another.

Juliet Sundberg Hogan, '02
Fourth Grade Teacher
Stoneybrooke Christian School
San Juan Capistrano, CA






International School

Miranda LahrTeaching internationally is a fantastic opportunity to understand the world from a new point of view. It's been a experience which has challenged me to reconsider my preconceived ideas about education and the cultural norms I’ve taken for granted in the United States. It's exciting to work with students from different cultural backgrounds and encourage them to appreciate the unique perspectives each of their peers brings to the classroom.

Miranda Lahr , '09
Second Grade Teacher
Lincoln School
San Jose, Costa Rica