Who's in the St. Clare Family? Our staff is committed to offering our students academic excellence in a nurturing environment. St. Clare embraces the uniqueness of each child and celebrates the diversity of the student body. We consider the family as a partner in the endeavor to provide an opportunity for the optimal growth of each child. All of our teachers are experienced, degreed and qualified. We are fully accredited through the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCEA), which is recognized by the Texas Educational Agency (TEA). We are under the supervision of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Catholic Schools Office, the Superintendent, our Principal Dr. Al Varisco, and Pastor Father Vincent Nguyen.

MEET THE STAFF

  • Administration

    Dr. Al Varisco Principal

    Dr. Al Varisco is a thirty year veteran of education. He is a graduate of UCLA (BA), Pepperdine University (MA), the University of Houston (Ph.D.), and holds a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Chapman University.  He currently holds adjunct positions at the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Varisco has been our principal here at St. Clare for 11 years.  Al is married to Christine Varisco and has three daughters.

     

    Email: al.varisco@stclarehouston.org

     Jeanne Leasure

    Office Administrator

    Mrs. Leasure has been an administrative assistant at St. Clare for 8 years. What I love most about my job is the staff and students are amazing. I pray that each student that walks through our doors know how much they are loved and how grateful our staff is that their parents have entrusted us with their education. It is very exciting coming to work each day knowing that I will be participating with helping our students become wonderful Christian adults. I am truly blessed and very proud to be a part of the St. Clare of Assisi Community.

     

    Email: jeanne.leasure@stclarehouston.org

    Linh Kelly

    Receptionist

    Gloria Bittner

    Receptionist

    Mrs. Gloria Bittner  has a BA in Journalism from SWTSU. She retired from the Pasadena Police Dept, TX after 20 years of service. She, along with her husband and son, have served St. Clare Church and school in various capacities for more than a decade. She works part time as a school receptionist and especially enjoys greeting the young children when they arrive in the mornings. The only down side is that she is constantly thwarting the paparazzi because she is a superstar.

     

    Email: gloria.bittner@stclarehouston.org

    Liz Filer

    P.E./ Health

    Extended Day Director

    Ms. Filer has worked at St. Clare for nearly 7 years. She started teaching in the 2-year-old class with our MDO program and is currently working through her teaching certification. She plans to transfer to UH Clear Lake this spring. She has two children and loves staying busy. Finding new and interesting ways to challenge each and every child is an exciting way to spend each day.

     

    Email: liz.filer@stclarehouston.org

    Linda Toerner

    Health Coordinator

    Mrs. Toerner received her nursing license from Putnum Memorial Nursing School in Vermont. She worked as a nurse for 14 years before starting her family. Both of her children attended St. Clare and are currently in high school." It gives me great joy to be here and work with so many wonderful children on a daily basis. I love getting to help teach them the importance of keeping their minds, bodies and spirits healthy."

     

    Email: linda.toerner@stclarehouston.org

  • PreK-1st Grade

     Aydee Ramos

    Pre-K3

    Ms. Ramos has been a part of the St. Clare family for three years. She graduated from the University  of Houston with interdisciplinary studies. Shortly after, Ms. Ramos became Montessori certified and her teaching journey began. Her main focus is in Early Childhood in which she strives to guide the children to their fullest potential. Aside from dedicating herself to the job, she also tends to her loving family. Throughout he journey, Ms. Ramos has gained a vast experience and is excited to continue guiding the little minds of St. Clare.

     

    Email: aydee.ramos@stclarehouston.org

    Andrea Berrondo

    Pre-K 3

    Ms. Berrondo

     

     

     

     

    Email: andrea.berrondo@stclarehouston.org

    Sharon Mixon

    Pre-K 4

    Mrs. Mixon has her Early Chilldhood degree, she has been teaching Pre-K 4 for 19 years and has been with us at St. Clare for 8 years. First and foremost, she enjoys teaching the importance of God and how he created each and every child special in their own way. She enjoys challenging the children and getting them ready for kindergarten. Getting to see the joy in her students eyes as they grasp new and wondrous things is a true joy and helps her to feel that she has given the children something to strive for.

     

    Email: sharon.mixon@stclarehouston.org

    Rosalie Samperi Kindergarten

    Mrs. Samperi obtained her certification in Early Childhood through the National Center of Montessori Education and the American Montessori Institute. She has served as an instructor and presenter for the NCME and has 23 years of teaching under her belt. Teaching our future leaders how to read and write is a passion and something she is very proud to do here at St. Clare. "I enjoy coming to school, walking the halls of our peaceful and lovely environment we have created while spreading the good news of God's love with our precious children everyday.

     

    Email: rosalie.samperi@stclarehouston.org

     Debra Griffin

    1st Grade

    Ms. Griffin received her Bachelors degree from University of Houston, University Park and her Master's from Concordia University of Texas. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and six of them have been here at St. Clare. "I choose to teach at St. Care because I can teach the curriculum, share my faith and pray."

     

    Email: debra.griffin@stclarehouston.org

    Rosa Gentile

     1st Grade

  • 2nd-5th Grade

    Cynthia Davis

    2nd Grade

    Mrs. Davis graduated from Prairie View A & M with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She retired from Galveston ISD with over 29 years of experience. She is certified in ESL and Gifted/ Talented education and joined St. Clare as a substitute prior to becoming a full time staff member. Mrs. Davis and her husband Edward have one daughter and four sons. "I am so happy to part of the St. Clare Family!"

     

    Email: cynthia.davis@stclarehouston.org

    Chu Kittley

    3rd Grade

    Mrs. Chu Kittley-Koshenina graduated from the University of Houston at Clear Lake with a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Studies in Education. She is state-certified in elementary education, master reading, and teaching English as a Second Language. As an intervention specialist, Mrs. Kittley conducted action studies in the multi-level teaching practices of elementary mathematics. After teaching twenty-five years in public elementary schools, she joined St. Clare in January of 2015. Mrs. Kittley stated, “It is a privilege to teach at St. Clare where Catholic education supersedes academics. Receiving the Eucharist with our children at Friday Mass is the best treat I could ever have imagined in my teaching career!”

     

    Email: chu.kittley@stclarehouston.org

    Steve Caro

    4th Grade

    Mr. Caro is a native Houstonian and a proud graduate of Mount Carmel High School as well as Sam Houston State University. He has taught both 3rd and 4th grade for the Arch Diocese of Galveston- Houston for 10 years. He has two grown sons and enjoys coaching, golf and hanging out with family and friends. "I am very blessed to find such wonderful new friends my first year at St. Clare. I look forward to the new things the school year and building will bring!"

     

    Email: steve.caro@stclarehouston.org

     Amanda Conti

    5th Grade

    Ms. Conti is a graduate of the University of Houston with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She also has a Masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas. She has 14 years of teaching experience. In her spare time, Ms. Conti loves spending time with her family, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. "I am so honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with St. Clare’s wonderful staff, students, and families.”

     

    Email: amanda.conti@stclarehouston.org

  • 6th-8th Grade

    Toni Drummond

    6th Grade

    Ms. Drummond is a Texas Certified Educator in a multitude of areas.  She earned a Master's degree and has been on board as a sociology professor at University of Houston-Clear Lake since 2001.  Before becoming an educator, Ms.Drummond worked as a surgical and pediatric nurse for 17 years. She is a proud mother of two sons, Kevin and Travis. She is motivated daily by a quote from George Bernard Shaw that states, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

     

    Email: toni.drummond@stclarehouston.org

    Kathy Parma

     7th Grade

    Mrs. Parma is a local girl who grew up in Dickinson and earned her Bachelor's degree in Teaching from Sam Houston State University. She holds multiple teaching certification, including elementary and secondary mathematics. She has taught math to students in public, Catholic, and home-school settings, from fifth grade to adult, and previously taught the computer classes here at St. Clare School. She is passionate about helping others, and feels blessed to be teaching her with the students and faculty of St. Clare. Her personal motto: "Live each day to make God smile."

     

     

     

     

    Email: kathye.parma@stclarehouston.org

     Merri Morales

    8th Grade

    Mrs. Morales graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Education from The University of Texas and received her Master’s Degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She has taught Middle School Science, Study Skills, Current Events, and Reading at St. Clare for 10+ years.  Prior to working at St. Clare she taught Science at the high school level for 7 years and then took off a number of years while her children were young. Mrs. Morales enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.  She and her husband both attended 12 years of Catholic School in the Houston area. “I love working with the students and families at St. Clare. I believe in the value of Catholic education and enjoy working in an environment where dependence on God and prayer are expected.”

     

    Email: merri.morales@stclarehouston.org

  • Fine Arts

    Kelley Van Slooten

    Choir Director

    Mrs. Van Slooten received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ohio State University, afterwards she received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Mrs. Van Slooten has been teaching students to sing for over 20 years. She has also been an active performer in musical theater, sings in the church choir and taught theater at St. Clare for 10 years. For the past 9 years she has instructed the children's choir as well as teaching at San Jacinto College. She is especially proud to be the mother of three beautiful children and her greatest blessing is being able to pass along her musical talents to young children.

     

    Email: kelley.vanslooten@stclarehouston.org

    Shawna Glad

    Theater/ Art

    Mrs. Glad was born and raised in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She has 25 years of acting experience, performing both professionally and non-professionally at various companies in the Houston and Galveston Areas. Mrs. Glad has been teaching theater at St. Clare for 2 years. She currently resides in League City with her husband and three children.

     

    Email: shawna.glad@stclarehouston.org

    Paula Eamon

    Music

    Mrs. Paula Eamon had been teaching music privately in Colorado and Texas as she was raising her family, before coming to St. Clare of Assisi School in 2001. " I believe that education should take into consideration the whole person: academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That is what I see here at St. Clare of Assisi and I'm glad to be a part of that."

     

    Email: paula.eamon@stclarehouston.org

  • Physical Education/Health

    Liz Filer

    P.E./Health

    Extended Day Director

    Ms. Filer has worked at St. Clare for nearly 9 years. She started teaching in the 2-year-old class with our MDO program and is currently working through her teaching certification. She plans to receive her Bachelor's degree at UH Clear Lake within the next year or two. She has two children and loves staying busy. Finding new and interesting ways to challenge each and every child is an exciting way to spend every day.

     

    Email: liz.filer@stclarehouston.org

  • Religion & Foreign Language

    Lourdes Scotka

    Religion

    Mrs. Scotka attended UNAM in Mexico City, and National Center for Montessori Education where she earned her certification in Early Childhood Montessori Education. She is also a certified Catechist. Mrs. Scotka has 19 years of experience working with children and enjoys sharing God's love and knowledge with her students. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband, daughter and extended family. She also enjoys attending Mass, helping others and spending time outdoors and dancing.

     

    Email: lupe.scotka@stclarehouston.org

    Cindy Kempf

    Religion

    Cindy Kempf received her Masters in Theology from the University of St. Thomas in 2008.  Her daughter attended St. Clare and will attend Stephen F. Austin in the Fall.  Her son will be a junior at Clear Lake High School.  "I love working at St. Clare and having the opportunity to share my faith with others".

     

    Email: cindy.kempf@stclarehouston.org

     Alicia Schwager

    Spanish

    Senora Schwager was born and raised in Mexico City. She received her Masters from Escuela Nocialnal para Maestros and obtained her teaching certification from Texas A&M University. Senora Schwager taught Spanish for 8 years at Trinity Espicopla School in Galveston and bilingual Kindergarten and Pre-K for 14 years at CCISD. "I have had many great experiences here at St. Clare while watching my grandchildren grow. I enjoy coming to work each day, knowing that I work for and among staff who are totally dedicated to help each and every child succeed in every possible way."

     

    Email: alicia.schwager@stclarehouston.org

  • Technology & Library

    Theresa Chovanec Library

    Sue Foster

    Computer

    Ms. Chovanec spent 15 years in the corporate world in administration and left to be home with her children.  After 10 years, when her children were 9 and 3, she returned to the workforce. Both of her children attended Catholic School and when the Library Manager retired she decided to apply for the job and has never looked back. This was her “dream job” as she loves books, reading, and children. Her background in administration worked tremendously in her favor as the largest part of managing a library is administrative. She believes that the children are the “icing on the cake”. After 20 years in a Catholic School library, she retired in 2015. "It has been a pleasure coming out of retirement to share my love of books and reading with your children at St. Clare".

     

    Email: theresa.chovanec@stclarehouston.org

    Mrs. Foster attended Santa Monica College and Loyola Marymount University. She taught in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 24 years before moving to Texas and joining the St. Clare staff in 2007. She is married and has three children, four grandchildren, and two black Labs who keep her busy when she isn’t reading or playing with computers.

     

    Email: sue.foster@stclarehouston.org

We provide a Catholic atmosphere in which students have the opportunity to grow into responsible members of the Body of Christ.

St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School

3131 El Dorado Blvd, Houston, TX 77059

T: (281) 286-3395