Science Faculty

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Know and understand the world around you.

Comfortable in the classroom, laboratory, and in Cate’s outdoor setting, science teachers here will give you the foundation in scientific literacy you need to play an informed and intelligent role in our modern technological society.

boumacScience Department Chair
Assistant Track and Field Coach

craig_bouma@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x220

BS Biology, UC Irvine
MS Environmental Science and Engineering, OHSU
EdD Loyola Marymount University
Appointed: 2015

A Southern California native, Craig came to Cate after almost twenty years of teaching science at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, including biology, physics, and environmental science, as well as serving as department chair and football coach. Craig earned his EdD in educational leadership and taught science teaching methods courses at Loyola Marymount University. This experience was extremely gratifying for him, as he witnessed many young, dedicated teachers bring higher quality science experiences to underserved children of Los Angeles. As an undergraduate, he studied in Spain, and after graduating from UC Irvine in 1994 with a BS in Biology, he spent a summer researching tropical forest restoration in Costa Rica.

Cate unites many of Craig’s passions: the beach, the mountains, and being a part of a vibrant learning community. He is continually amazed by the natural world and desires to share this inspiration with his students. Whether or not they seek to pursue science in college, he believes people are born curious with an innate capacity to appreciate, learn, and do science.

When time allows, Craig loves to embark on new adventures with his wife, Christine, and two sons, Willem and Henry. In addition to traveling abroad, he eagerly anticipates weekends at the beach relaxing, reading, swimming, surfing, and exploring.


wklyphts-11Science Teacher
Cook House West Dorm Parent

beth_caylor@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x140

BS, University of Virginia
MS, Indiana University
MS, College of William and Mary
Appointed: 2016

Despite previously living on the East Coast her entire life, Beth Caylor has always suspected herself to be a native Californian. She joined Cate after five years at The Lawrenceville School, where she was a Science Master and Assistant House Master.

Throughout her career, Beth has been drawn to opportunities to share her passion for environmental and biological sciences through teaching. She has been fortunate to lead field programs to The Island School in the Bahamas, develop and implement a program in Hawaiian Oceanography for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, and teach Caribbean Oceanography aboard SSV Ocean Star in the Sea-mester Global Program. Beth has M.S. degrees in science education and curriculum studies from Indiana University as well as in marine science from the College of William and Mary. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, she participated in the Semester at Sea program and dual-majored in biology and studio art.

Beth teaches Advanced and Honors Biology in the Science Department, leads the SCUBA program, and is a dorm parent in Cook House West where she lives with her husband Kelly and son Holden.


caditzScience Teacher
Teaching Chair for Cross-Curricular Studies

joshua_caditz@cate.org / 805-684-8409 x136

AB, University of Chicago
JD, Hastings College of Law
MS, Montana State University
Appointed:

Joshua Caditz received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and his MS in science education from Montana State University before earning his JD from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California. He has worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with a number of social and environmental non-profits, focusing primarily on matters of tribal sovereignty and the protection of endangered species. Joshua is also an avid outdoorsman, having taught at over a dozen wilderness-guide schools for youth and outdoor professionals.

Joshua joined the Cate faculty several years ago and teaches in the Science Department. In 2010 he founded the Cate Stream Team to engage students in a long-term study of the water quality in the Carpinteria watershed. In 2012 the School awarded him the Circumspice Fellowship to recognize his exceptional teaching and his commitment to the Cate community. In 2015 the School appointed Joshua to the Colin Day Teaching Chair for Cross-Curricular Studies.

He lives on the Mesa with his wife, Anna Fortner, and their daughters, Wren and Willa.


denison_pChemistry, Genetics, and American Wilderness Teacher
Head of Outdoor Program
Head Boys JV Soccer Coach

paul_denison@cate.org / 805-684-8409 x278

BA, Middlebury College
Appointed: 1985

Paul has spent most of his life on the Mesa. He first came to Cate in 1968, when he was six years old, his father having accepted a position to teach in the English Department. After graduating from Cate in 1979, Paul studied biology at Middlebury College, returning to Cate in the mid-1980s to begin a teaching career that is now in its thirtieth year. Paul has taught biology, chemistry, genetics, anatomy and physiology, and an interdisciplinary course he developed (“The American Wilderness”) to integrate environmental science and the writings of the nation’s foremost naturalists. In addition, Paul has served as Associate Director of Admission and Dean of Students, and he has served as dormitory supervisor since he arrived. In his over 15 years as the boys varsity lacrosse coach, his teams have won 15 league championships, capturing the state title in 1994.

In addition to his general love of outdoor sports such as rock-climbing, backpacking, fly-fishing, surfing, and mountain biking, Paul is certified as an ACA whitewater kayak instructor and as a wilderness first responder. He has kayaked extensively in North, Central, and South America, and in 1987 he introduced the sport to Cate, where it has been an integral component of the Outdoor Program ever since.

Paul lives with his wife, Downing, and their two children, Jack and Tessa, in the house in which he grew up.


kelloggPhysics and Chemistry Teacher
Cook House West Dorm Parent
Assistant Girls JV Soccer Coach

james_kellogg@cate.org / 805-684-8409 x259

AB, Amherst College
PhD, Geophysics, Harvard University
Appointed: 2007

Jamie Kellogg’s hiring has rectified one of the most glaring imbalances of the Cate Faculty, specifically the glut of Williams alumni relative to Amherst graduates. After graduating from Amherst with an AB in physics in 1994, Jamie went on to earn a PhD in geophysics at Harvard University. While in Cambridge, Jamie also managed to woo the most desirable of young graduate students, a paleontologist named Susannah Porter. Following graduation, Jamie and Susannah got married and moved west for postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA and later teaching positions at UCSB, Jamie as a lecturer and researcher, and Susannah as tenure-track junior faculty. Jamie quickly realized that he vastly preferred teaching to research, and began applying to independent schools both in Santa Barbara and Seattle, where Susannah’s family is located. He wound up taking a one-year position at Lakeside School in Seattle, teaching physics and chemistry and advising the Lakeside Cryptozoological Society (aka the Sasquatch Club) and the Lakeside Association of Wanna-Be String Theorists (aka LAWST). In a brilliant stroke of luck, a physical sciences position opened up at Cate, and Jamie and Susannah were able to return to Santa Barbara where they reside with their sons Willie and Samuel.


Computer Science Instructor

Parker_Lawlor@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x139

Parker Lawlor has joined the Cate community as a computer science instructor, lacrosse and soccer coach, and dorm resident. Prior to arriving at Cate, Parker taught computer science at Deerfield Academy, where he also coached lacrosse and soccer. While at Deerfield, Parker received his master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Much of his focus as a teacher is centered around how to cultivate a team environment and a community of learners in his classroom.

Growing up in San Diego, Parker is thrilled to be back in California. He left California to attend Middlebury College in Vermont, where he majored in computer science and geography and played lacrosse. As a senior, Parker received the Baggataway Award for spirit and leadership, was selected to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship team, and over his time at Middlebury was a three-time NESCAC All-Academic team selection.

Parker enjoys anything and everything outside, particularly surfing, mountain biking, and hiking. He hopes to help students become the best versions of themselves. He also aims to help students and student-athletes realize that no matter what situation they are faced with, they can always control their attitude, effort, and actions.


schwennsenChemistry Teacher
Cook House East Dorm Parent

cece_schwennsen@cate.org / 805-684-8409 x259

BA, Luther College
BS, University of Nebraska, Omaha
MS, University of Nebraska, Omaha
Appointed: 2009


Science Teacher

troy_shapiro@cate.org / 805-684-8409

Troy is a graduate of Brown University where he studied organizational sociology and economics. As an undergrad, Troy coached wrestling and lacrosse for the Moses Brown School where he recognized his passion for working with teenagers. He joined the faculty at the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts upon graduation where he taught physics, chemistry, and engineering. Troy continued to coach wrestling and lacrosse, lived in the dorm, and came to love boarding school life.

Troy comes to Cate after three years at the Jay Pritzker Academy in Siem Reap Cambodia, a small independent school serving rural Cambodian families seeking a western style education. There Troy was the Science Curriculum Coordinator and continued to teach physics and chemistry.

An avid outdoorsman, Troy is eager to join the Outdoor Program at Cate and will be coaching rock climbing in the fall and winter seasons in addition to lacrosse in the spring. He lives in Parsonage house with his dog, Tabasco.


Chemistry Teacher

cassia_sonderleiter@cate.org / 805-684-8409

Cassia comes to Cate with fifteen years of experience in secondary education in both independent and public schools. Following completion of her BA in chemistry at Occidental College, Cassia taught a wide variety of courses in science, math, and engineering to students in grades 6-12 at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy and The Archer School for Girls. She earned an MA in Secondary Education from California State University, Northridge and completed the coursework for her doctorate in Educational Leadership at UCLA.

A strong believer in a constructivist, student-centered approach to education, Cassia developed an innovative 21st-century STEM program while serving as the Science Department Chair and STEM Coordinator at Archer. Cassia later took on the role of Director of Science Instruction for Alliance College-Ready Public Schools where she developed the science curriculum and trained teachers for Alliance’s 26 middle and high schools. Most recently, Cassia worked as the Founding Principal for the middle school program at Citizens of the World Charter Schools in Los Angeles. In her spare time, Cassia loves cooking, gardening, and spending time outdoors with her husband, Aaron, newborn son, Milo, and golden retriever, Masa.