Summer Spotlight on Staff – Mr. Cahill

Today, the spotlight is on Mr. Cahill, our multi-talented middle school math teacher! This summer he has enjoyed spending quality time with his family, taking a trip to visit friends and family out east, and camping in the Redwoods. He is gearing up for the coming school year and, in addition to teaching math again he is excited to expand the Hand Chime Ensembles he introduced at our school last year and extending it to more grade levels. Mr. Cahill loves working in an environment where is able to learn and grow in his faith along with the students. His favorite thing about Ascension though is the community. “Everyone is always looking out for everyone else,” he says, “it doesn’t matter if you are a student, parent, teacher, staff, church member, or visitor – everyone is willing to lend a helping hand to make sure everyone is included.”

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Ms. Farrell

Mrs. Farrell has over 20 years of teaching experience, and she will be starting her 3rd school year here at Ascension as a middle school teacher and the 5th-grade homeroom teacher. She says her favorite thing about Ascension is the community stating, “I feel at home and that I belong at Ascension Lutheran School.” This summer she is enjoying spending time with friends and family and catching up on some reading! For the upcoming school year, she is looking forward to helping a new group of 5th graders to be successful in middle school!

Learn more about Middle School at Ascension

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Mrs. Payne

Our wonderful Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Payne truly loves the families at Ascension! As a teacher here since 2016, she has been blessed to have wonderful families each year and is looking forward to meeting and connecting with our newest families. She believes that it takes a village to raise a child, and she can’t wait to get our new village connected by sharing updates about the upcoming school year and getting acquainted at the Kindergarten Meet and Greet on August 23! She herself is also a parent of an Ascension student, so she experiences first-hand just how significant that strong community support is in a student’s life!

Learn more about Kindergarten at Ascension.

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Mrs. Jonas

Our principal, Mrs. Jonas, can list many reasons she loves Ascension Lutheran School. Her favorite thing though is our emphasis on preparing bold, compassionate leaders to serve in a Christ-like manner. Looking ahead to the coming school year, she is excited about continuing to make the Makerspace and Outdoor Classroom integral parts of the learning experience.

Mrs. Jonas is looking forward to celebrating special milestones with her family this summer! She and her husband are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary! Her oldest daughter is also getting married in August. She is looking forward to having many friends and relatives join them in the celebration!

An interesting fact that you might not know about Mrs. Jonas is that she absolutely loves to fish! She has fond memories of her grandpa teaching her. While she prefers trout fishing over bass, she says that so long as she’s got a pole, bait/lure, and a lake… she’s good!

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Ms. Phillips

Deanne Phillips has over 20 years of teaching experience and has been instrumental in developing our Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs. Ms. Phillips currently serves as Assistant Principal. She shares that the thing she loves most about teaching at Ascension is the people, finding that it is truly a family here where teachers, as well as students, are encouraged to discover and cultivate their passions and gifts.

Ms. Phillips is a champion of developing our Nature Explore program. She is excited to continue expanding this program next year with the goal of obtaining Nature Explore Certification for our TK-8 campus. An integral part of this vision is the new garden space, which is now in planning stages, and will include an outdoor kitchen, greenhouse, and much more! Ms. Phillips is looking forward to more time teaching and learning outside with all of the classes TK-8, integrating all aspects of our curriculum and taking it outdoors. “I hope to develop an appreciation and respect for nature in all of our students and to connect them in new ways to God’s creation,” says Ms. Phillips, “It could be summarized perhaps by these words:  Discover, Learn, Appreciate.” She loves being out in nature and learning about wildlife in different areas. This summer she is going to Ireland and England and exploring all there is to see in a camper!


Summer Spotlight on Staff – Coach Clem

Coach Clem serves as our middle school PE teacher, health teacher, and athletics director here at Ascension. Each year, Coach Clem looks forward to having excited students participate in a sport or two and encouraging the athletes as they progress through their season.  Ascension participates in the Tri-Valley Christian Athletic League and offers Girls Volleyball and Flag Football in the fall, Boys and Girls Basketball in the winter, and Boys and Girls 5 v 5 Soccer and Co-Ed Volleyball as winter sports.

All three of her own children are alumni of Ascension Lutheran School who attended here Kindergarten through 8th grade. She loves this school and the individual attention that each teacher gives to their students! She also finds it special that our elementary teachers know students all the way through their middle school experience. The caring community that allows parents to be involved and feel welcome on campus for all grades is another aspect she feels to be valuable.

This summer, Coach Clem is excited to go house boating on Lake Powell with friends and family – something she’s always wanted to do. An interesting fact that you might not know about Coach Clem – Somewhere along her family tree, she is related to Ulysses S Grant (18th President of the US).

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Mrs. Rowlands

Today, it’s our 3rd-Grade teacher, Mrs. Rowlands who is in the Summer Spotlight. A founder and ongoing champion of the Makerspace here at Ascension,  she is always looking for ways to cultivate opportunities for students to connect their learning to the real world. “Teaching at Ascension is exciting,” says Mrs. Rowlands, “because while we are exploring academic concepts, we are simultaneously learning about how God calls us to be leaders and servants in our world.” She finds that this approach inevitably sparks inspiration, creativity, and excitement in the students she is with, whether in 3rd grade or the Makerspace.

This summer Mrs. Rowlands will spend some time in Ohio celebrating her daughter who will be receiving her white coat as a Physician’s Assistant! A fun fact about Mrs. Rowlands is that she has run 7 marathons and hopes to run an international marathon sometime in the future. We are extremely blessed by her energy, creativity, and passion for teaching!


Summer Spotlight on Staff – Dr. Maliski

Today’s Summer Spotlight on Staff features Dr. Susanne Maliski. History Teacher for grades 6-8, technology coordinator, and computer teacher for 1st through 5th grades are just a few of the hats that Dr. Maliski wears around our campus. During the summer, she loves the opportunity to travel and visit family. This summer, she plans to spend time camping and will visit Disney World. She’s excited to visit two states that she has not previously been to,  Rhode Island and Connecticut. This will be state numbers 32 and 33 towards her goal of visiting all 50 states.

Dr. Maliski is looking forward to and is busily preparing for the coming school year! She is again organizing our annual Disney Youth Education Series trip for middle school students. Dr. Maliski loves taking students on field trips and seeing them learn in new and different ways. As our technology coordinator, she is setting up new iPads purchased for 6th and 7th graders and setting up Google Classroom for our school. Additionally, she is working with the church to help plan service projects and our next Gifts of Hope project.

“My favorite part of Ascension is the community. I love seeing students and families grow over time,” commented Dr. Maliski adding that “One of my favorite things is attending graduation and celebrating each of our students.” She says that she is also thankful to work with some of the best educators around! She is also grateful to work in a school where she gets to worship and share her faith with her students.

Summer Spotlight on Staff – Señorita Berg

Each Saturday this summer, we will shine the spotlight on one of our wonderful staff members at Ascension Lutheran School. Today, we are excited to introduce our new Spanish Teacher, Anna Berg! Join us in welcoming Señorita Berg to our teaching staff! Included below is an introductory letter from Señorita Berg to our parents:

Dear Parents,

¡Hola! My name is Anna Berg and I am looking forward to teaching Spanish at Ascension next year for grades K-8. As an alum of Ascension, a lifelong member of the church, and a former student of Señora Scott, I feel blessed to be a part of this caring community, where students are challenged and supported to grow in their faith and love of learning.

I received my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University in Biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. During my student teaching at Flory Academy in Moorpark, I translated parts of my lessons in Spanish to strengthen understanding for Spanish speaking students. I have also tutored Spanish 2.

Señora Scott instilled a passion for Spanish in me that has only grown with my experiences. In 2008, I went on Ascension’s first trip to Peru, led by Pastor Steve, with my parents and two sisters. I took Spanish all four years of high school and continued studying it in college. In 2014 I visited Costa Rica on a service trip with CLU. There, I was able to use my Spanish to build relationships with the children at the orphanage we visited. In 2015 I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain where I had the opportunity to live with a host family and strengthen my Spanish.

I love rock climbing, camping, and crafting in my free time. I look forward to teaching your child at Ascension!

“We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.” ~ Ephesians 4:15

~ Señorita Berg