What makes St. Peter Claver School

Bright smiles, well rounded backgrounds, and passion



Lauren Balcaceres


Lauren was born and raised in Riverside, Ca. At age 18 she moved up to Napa Valley and attended 2 years at Sonoma State University. Returning home she finished up her schooling at CSU, San Bernardino earning 3 Bachelor's degrees: Psychology, Human Development, and Social Sciences. Shortly after graduation, she enrolled in a Master's program at Phillips Graduate Institute in the valley. In 2010 she graduated from Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master's in Psychology: emphasizing in School Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. From there she moved to Mountain View, Ca and started working in Child Development Centers, moving up from an Assistant Supervisor to a Supervisor in under a year.

Before joining the team at Saint Peter Claver, she was working for the San Francisco Archdiocese as the Preschool Director for All Souls Preschool in South San Francisco. Her family relocated back to Southern California when her husband was offered a new career opportunity. "I am very fortunate to have found St. Peter Claver and honored to lead such a dedicated team of teachers!" 



Mary Marcouiller

Office Manager/Parish liason

Mary is the ‘new kid on the block’ joining the St. Peter Claver school staff in August of 2015. She splits her work day between the parish office and school office. 

Mary received her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Cal State Northridge and worked in a variety of settings serving disabled children, adult and adolescent psychiatric patients and elderly in hospital and residential settings and community-based adult day care.

Mary and her husband, Paul, have been married over 30 years and have one wonderful daughter, Kate. They are long time Simi Valley residents and St. Peter Claver parishioners. Mary, Paul and Kate have all served in a variety of ministries here at St. Peter Claver.  Mary’s hobbies include walking, gardening, knitting, sewing and other ‘crafty’ things. This new occupation is quite a departure from her previous experience, but Mary is grateful to serve the parish in this new way.





Adele joined the St. Peter staff in 2010 as the “floater” teacher, then moved to assistant teacher in Room 3 and is now the lead teacher in Room 1. Before joining the staff here she ran a home daycare for three years.

Adele has lived in Simi Valley for 14 years. She has three children and has been actively involved in their schools. She attended Moorpark College where she completed 27 Early Childhood Education Units and is currently furthering her education.

In her spare time, Adele likes to hike, run, go to movies, read and hang out with her kids.

Natividad was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. After high school, she came to the United States, got married and had two children. She spent many years traveling and living in military facilities throughout the U.S. and Central and South America. 

Previously, Nati worked for the San Bernardino Unified School District for 26 years as a bilingual tutor, and Norton and March Air Force Bases for 15 years in the youth center. Her experience also includes working at Tutor Time and volunteering at the Tri County Regional Center and Garden Grove elementary. She assisted children with developmental disabilities and physical impairments in her tenure. Nati joined the St. Peter Claver team in 2014.

She currently assists in the three year old classroom (whose students she says brighten her day and keep her young). She currently resides in Simi Valley and has two beautiful grandchildren.




Chyanne joined the St. Peter Claver staff in 2014. She has worked as a floater assisting in all classes as needed, as well as the Before School Care Coordinator.

Chyanne Received her AA from Moorpark College and her BA in Liberal Studies from National University.  She is currently working towards her California Teaching Credential and Masters in Multiple Subjects.  She enjoys teaching and loves watching children grow to their fullest potential.

Chyanne lives in Simi Valley with her husband Eric, and sons William and Scott. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, baking, and reading. She is excited to be a part of the St. Peter Claver team!

Shannon joined the St. Peter Claver staff as assistant teacher and the Morning Care Coordinator in 2016. Shannon has been involved in the St. Peter Claver parish since she was born. 

Shannon received her AA in Child Development, at California State University San Marcos and is currently working on receiving her bachelors and credential in Child Development from College of the Canyons and the University of La Verne. Shannon has experience being an Infant Room Lead Teacher as well as a Two Year Old Lead Teacher. 

Shannon lives in Simi Valley with her family and enjoys spending time with friends and teaching Irish Dance. Shannon has been a competitive Irish dancer for 17 years and enjoys being involved in the Irish community. 




Claudia joined St. Peter Claver as the Lead Transitional Kindergarten teacher when the school opened in 2008. She has been teaching for 20 years. Prior to St. Peter Claver she taught preschool, kindergarten and first grade at a private Christian school. She was the after school supervisor, coordinated the sports program, and taught Spanish for several years while teaching private school. She has attended Glendale Community College, Moorpark Community College and the University of California at Santa Barbara for Montessori and Early Childhood Education.

Her goal as a TK teacher is to build personal relationships with each child and to help them to develop to their highest potential in preparation for Kindergarten. She takes pride in creating a developmentally age appropriate classroom which helps children physically, cognitively, socially and spiritually. In 2012 she introduced an engaging and interactive Spanish program to the Kindergarten class.

Ms. Claudia lives in Simi Valley with her husband of 20 years. She has 2 children attending Simi Valley High School.  She is very involved in the community through Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and various youth sports and has been an active member of the Catholic community her entire life. In her spare time she likes to spend quality time with her family through camping, traveling, going to the movies and the beach.  She feels very blessed to be part of the St. Peter Claver family!

Kristine joined the staff at St. Peter Claver in 2014. She studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Cal Poly Pomona and worked as an Operations Manager for Hotels in the Anaheim area such as Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels Group.

After 14 years in the hospitality industry, she decided on a career change and attended Santa Monica College where she studied Early Childhood Education. She was hired by LAUSD and she worked for 2 years as a Teachers Aide for Canyon Elementary school in Santa Monica. After she moved to Simi Valley, she left her job in Santa Monica and worked for 3 years as a Behavior Therapist for Behavior Consultants and Associates working with Autistic children.

Kristine has been happily married to her husband Wayne for almost 10 years. They have two boys, Cash and Cole, St. Peter Claver Alumn. She also serves on the Parent Board and loves working with other parents. On her free time, she loves to bake, organize and decorate her home. She feels truly blessed to be working at St. Peter Claver and loves that every day is a new and exciting day with the children.




Mrs. Meyer is the mother of two boys, Bradley and Jonathan. She has been married since 1987 to her husband, Andy and is very proud of her family.

She has been teaching off and on since 1982, from Preschool through High School, and has loved every moment.  She received her AA from Moorpark College, her BA in Liberal Arts from California State University, Northridge, and her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University. She has worked at St. Peter Claver since it opened and started out as the Preschool Teacher in Room #2 the year before there was a Kindergarten class.  She has been teaching Kindergarten since the second year the school opened.

Angela LOVES teaching Kindergarten (her favorite thus far). She enjoys watching each child be the best that they can be, and observing as they emerge into individuals throughout the school year. In her free time she enjoys walking, riding her bike, watching her son, Jonathan, coach baseball, going to the beach, reading and catching up with her former students.

Christina joined the St. Peter Claver staff in 2011 as the After School Care Coordinator. She has also worked as a floater in rooms 3 & 4 and was the assistant teacher in room 2 for two years.

Christina received her AA from Moorpark College and obtained her BA in Law & Society from UCSB. She went back to school at Moorpark College to gain child development credits and work towards her AA in Child Development. She enjoys teaching and loves watching the children learn and grow to be their very best.

Christina lives in Simi Valley with her husband and 2 daughters, Francesca and Adriana. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, going to the movies, and the beach. She also enjoys shopping and reading when she can. She feels so blessed to be a part of the St. Peter Claver team.

Danyelle Ripling - Assistant Teacher - Floater

Danyelle started working at St. Peter in 2015 as the After School Coordinator. This year she has taken on a more dynamic position as a floater, helper with snack, classroom artist, and over all support for all students and staff. 

Danyelle lives in Simi Valley with her husband Brandon. She received her AA from Moorpark College.

Danyelle is involved with AYSO soccer, both coaching and administration, and loves coaching the little tykes.

Jennifer Lopez - Assistant Teacher Closer/Floater


Jennifer Lopez joined St Peter Claver preschool as the After School Care Coordinator in August 2016. She earned her Bachelor's degree in History from Cal State Northridge in 2004. After enrolling her oldest son in preschool, Jennifer decided to go back to school to earn her early childhood education credits and make the major career change from providing professional support to local law enforcement to working in a preschool environment.

Jennifer lives in Simi Valley with her husband and three small children. Her new schedule allows more time for her to enjoy her family as she continues to further her education towards earning a teaching credential.






4:30pm INDOOR PLAY -art, story & group-


Maria Paredes - Spanish Teacher 

Maria Paredes is a member of the St. Peter Claver Parish. She is married to her wonderful husband, Armando and has two children, Sarah and Emmanuel who are both St. Peter Claver School Alumni. 

Maria has been volunteering here at St. Peter Claver School since it's opening in 2008. 

Maria became a citizen in 2014 with her friends and family there to cheer her accomplishments on. She has been attending Moorpark College taking classes in Early Childhood Education. 

Maria is teaching our Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten classes Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting relatives in Mexico, and attending Catholic Mothers in Prayer. 



Jim Lesley - Music teacher

Jim Leslie has been the music director of St Peter Claver Church for 15 years.  This is his second year teaching at the Kindergarten/Preschool.  He also has been the music teacher and choir director at St Paschal Baylon School in Thousand Oaks for 17 years, and has been directing the choir at Holy Cross Church in Moorpark for 25 years. He is married to Denise Leslie, who sings at the masses here, and is the music teacher at Ascension Lutheran School in Thousand Oaks. They have two adult sons, who are musicians as well.  Jim has a Bachelors in Music, a degree in classical guitar, and is a former student of Andres Segovia, previously touring with the 5th Dimension.