Father Lawrence Seyer | Pastor

Father Lawrence Seyer grew up with four sisters, one of whom is his twin, in Connecticut. He moved on to the University of Oregon where he earned a degree in economics in 1983. For a number of years he worked in marketing research in Los Angeles before deciding to enter St. John's Seminary. After being ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1997, Father Lawrence worked as the Associate Pastor at St. Barnabas in Long Beach. From there he served as Associate Pastor at St. Peter Claver in Simi Valley. Father Lawrence joins Our Lady of Mount Carmel after most recently spending eleven years at Our Savior Parish and the USC Caruso Catholic Center in Los Angeles. While at Our Savior he was very involved with the spiritual lives of the students, faculty, and alumni and oversaw the multi-million dollar campaign to design and build the new church and center at USC. Father Lawrence enjoys skiing, sailing, golfing, traveling, and learning in his free time.

Tracie Simolon | Principal

Originally from Indiana Tracie Simolon received her bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Notre Dame. Upon graduating she moved to San Diego to serve as an Americorps volunteer teacher at Nativity Prep Academy in the Logan Heights neighborhood. As a member of the first cadre of teachers, Tracie assisted in opening the school. While teaching fifth and sixth grades at Nativity Prep, she earned her Multiple Subject credential from the University of San Diego. Tracie joined the Our Lady of Mount Carmel School faculty in 2004 as the seventh grade homeroom and middle school math teacher. In 2005, she returned to Mount Carmel's middle school part-time following the birth of her daughter. The Simolon family has since welcomed sons in 2008 and 2011. Before becoming principal Tracie served as the school's vice principal for five years.


Faculty and Staff

Amy Zoltoski

Amy Zoltoski | Kindergarten

Mrs. Amy Zoltoski grew up in Santa Barbara, attending Notre Dame School and Bishop Garcia Diego High School.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at San Diego State University. After teaching for several years, she returned to school and earned a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Reading. Mrs. Zoltoski spent six years teaching third grade in Nevada prior to returning to Santa Barbara. She enjoys sharing her love of learning with her young students in Kindergarten and helping them build both academic and social skills during their first year in school. Mrs. Z and her husband have two sons and enjoy spending family time at the beach.


Erica Holtgrewe | First Grade

Erica Holtgrewe is originally from Vancouver, Canada but came to Santa Barbara to reconnect with her American roots and to pursue her teaching career. Erica has classroom experience in a variety of classes ranging from Kindergarten to eighth grade. Commonly known as Mrs. H., Erica was able to combine her love for sports and teaching while she taught Physical Education in Ojai for two years. She also co-taught in a third grade class where she ran reading groups, taught math centers, and did full group language arts activities. Mrs. H. decided to go back to school to further her education, attending Azusa Pacific University and graduating with a Masters Degree in Educational Counseling. Mrs. H. and her husband have two sons. Erica feels very blessed to be the first grade teacher and a part of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel community.



Carly Van Eyck | Second Grade

A Carpinteria native, Mrs. Van Eyck attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Child Development with a Minor in Psychology. There she took a year long course on integrating technology in the classroom. After graduating from Cal Poly, Mrs. Van Eyck went on to UCSB to earn a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters in Education. She has served as the PE and technology teachers at OLMCS over the years and is excited to begin a new year as the 2nd grade teacher. 



Larissa Feramisco | Third Grade | Vice Principal

Mrs. Larissa Feramisco joined the Mount Carmel School faculty in the fall of 2000 as the sixth grade homeroom teacher. After teaching middle school for eight years, she was blessed with the opportunity to teach third grade, where she has been ever since! Mrs. Feramisco grew up in Carpinteria and graduated from Carpinteria High School. While in high school, she volunteered in elementary school classrooms, which solidified her dream of becoming a teacher. She attended the University of Redlands and graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After a couple of years in the classroom, Mrs. Feramisco returned to school and earned a Masters Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Feramisco enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and daughter.

Jennifer Caesar | Fourth Grade

Mrs. Jennifer Caesar began teaching at Mount Carmel during the 2021-22 school year. In addition to teaching at OLMCS, all four of Jennifer’s children attended the school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Mrs. Caesar has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with BCLAD certification and a Masters in Education. Besides being an involved parent for 13 years at the school, she has also served on the Mount Carmel Church pastoral council and brings her prior experience working in the classroom as well as owning and operating My Gym Children’s Fitness Center. She is beyond thrilled to work in fourth grade where she can share her love of California history, incorporating technology into daily learning, and exploring many different genres of writing.


Kyla Rightmer

Kyla Rightmer | Fifth Grade

After graduating from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in 1996, Mrs. Rigthmer continued her Catholic education at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, a minor in Sociology, and a California Teaching Credential. Kyla later earned her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Antioch University, Santa Barbara. She began her career at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Fall of 2004 teaching fifth grade. In the Fall of 2006, after two wonderful years in fifth grade, she became the kindergarten teacher. During this time, Mrs. Rightmer also coached the middle school girls volleyball and soccer teams. After five fun and creative years in kindergarten, she received the opportunity to challenge herself again and became the eighth grade teacher in the Fall of 2011. In 2017-18 Mrs. Rightmer returned to her teaching roots taking on the role of fifth grade teacher once again.


Eun Kim

Eun Kim | Sixth Grade

Miss Eun Kim grew up in Carpinteria, attended Cate School, graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in History and received and cleared her California Multiple Subject credential from Antioch University. She student taught and substituted in the Ventura, Goleta, Cold Springs, and Carpinteria Unified school districts prior to joining the staff at OLMCS. Since coming to Mount Carmel in 2006, she has taught a variety of middle school subjects and currently teaches math and science for grades six through eight. Miss Kim also serves as Student Council moderator for our school's student leaders. On Sundays, parishioners at St. Joseph's Church might find her behind the piano. She enjoys playing golf, hiking, and spending time with friends on the beach.



Mary Beth Lee | Seventh Grade

Mary Beth Lee grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley where she lives today. She graduated from Santa Ynez High School, attended St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a single subject teaching credential in English. After teaching seventh & eighth grade in Fremont, California, Miss Lee took a year off to do missions work, which included an outreach to Northern Ireland, where she worked in a youth coffee house and spoke in various schools and churches with her outreach team. Upon returning from Europe, Miss Lee taught sixth grade for four years at Our Lady of Grace School in Castro Valley, California. While teaching sixth grade religion, she found that she wanted to know more about the Bible, especially the Old Testament; so, in 2001 she went to the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) through Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Lakeside, Montana. SBS is an intense inductive bible school that takes the students through the Bible five times during the nine-month course. After completing SBS, Mary Beth stayed on to teach in the SBS for the next three years. During that time she also took a missions trip to Ukraine to teach in the SBS there. Miss Lee has a real heart for the Bible and a passion to see kids learn about and live out their faith. Miss Lee began teaching at OLMCS in the fall of 2005 and currently teaches middle school literature and religion. Miss Lee also serves as the Religion Coordinator for Our Lady of Mount Carmel School.

Lauren Bergesen | Eighth Grade 

Mrs. Lauren Bergesen joined the faculty in 2021-22 but is also no stranger to Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. Formerly the 1st Grade aide, 1st and 3rd grade religion teacher, and extended day care director at OLMCS, Lauren is excited to once again be a part of this wonderful community! Besides her teaching experience at OLMCS, Lauren brings several years of experience working with middle school and high school teens as a Youth Minister and Confirmation Director. She has a MA in History from the Franciscan School of Theology, as well as an Advanced Master Catechist certification from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She looks forward to helping the middle school students learn and grow and is honored to accompany the 8th graders during their last year as Lancers!




Virginia Persoon | Resource Specialist | Kindergarten Instructional Aide

Mrs. Persoon is a Santa Barbara native who attended St. Raphael’s School and Bishop Diego High School. She attended San Jose State University where she received her BA in History and earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After finishing school, she moved back to the area and worked in several local schools before taking the second grade position at Mount Carmel. She taught the second graders for 7 1/2 years before leaving to have her two sons. She was happy to return to Mount Carmel as 5th grade teacher for three years and then serving as our Resource teacher and assistant in Kindergarten. 


Katherine Madlem | Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Madlem, a graduate of Catholic education, is a certified legal secretary and a former personnel assistant. She holds an associate's degree in business and graduated with honors as a member of the California Community College Scholastic Honor Society (Alpha Gamma Sigma). She and her husband are strong advocates for Catholic education and are proud parents of two Our Lady of Mount Carmel School graduates.




Gloria Solano | Bookkeeping | Math Instructional Assistant

Gloria Solano completed her undergraduate studies at UCSB and received her multiple subject teaching credential from California State University Northridge. After earning her credential Mrs. Solano was a substitute teacher at Mount Carmel and the Carpinteria Unified School District, before coming on board permanently at OLMCS. She taught fifth grade for three years. With her extensive background in bookkeeping and as an accounting assistant, Mrs. Solano has transitioned to the role of bookkeeper for the school. She is a valuable resource to our students and teachers also serving as a math instructional assistant for the intermediate and middle school grades.



Jennifer Buur | Art Teacher

Jennifer Buur is a native of Santa Barbara who joined the faculty at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 2005.  She graduated from Santa Barbara High School with honors in Graphic Design, Studio Art and Fashion Design. Jennifer earned her Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in Studio Art from Santa Barbara City College. In addition to working with the children of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Jennifer teaches private art workshops for children, after school art courses at Montecito Union School, creates custom art work for clients and paints faces at birthday parties and events. During the summer Jennifer runs the Art Academy at Mount Carmel.  Jennifer lives in Santa Barbara with her family.


Sara Valerio | Pre-K Director

Mrs. Sara Valerio feels she has reached a major step in her career goal. Prior to her promotion as the Pre-K Director, she worked as the Kindergarten Aide and Extended Day Care Coordinator for two years at OLMCS. As an OLMCS graduate (1994), she is very happy to serve in this capacity. After graduating from Bishop Garcia Diego High School, Miss Sara obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development with emphasis on working with preschool age children from San Diego State University. She has ten years experience working with families in the San Diego and Santa Barbara area as a professional nanny and personal assistant. In 2007, Miss Sara received the Child Development Site Supervisor Permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She says working with young children has always been her passion. "There is no other place I'd rather be at this time in my life. I feel right at home." The start of the new Pre-K program was exciting for all of us and especially Sara Valerio. Miss Sara became a mother to a son in May 2007 and a daughter in January 2012.


Elizabeth Shirinian | Pre-K Teacher

Elizabeth Shirinian is originally from Los Angeles. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1990 to attend Santa Barbara City College, enrolling in the Early Childhood Education Program. In addition to her studies, Elizabeth worked with children ages 2 1/2 - 6 years of age for two years at the SBCC Children's Center. She has worked with children and their families in Santa Barbara county for over 15 years. Miss Lizzy is married with two sons, the youngest of whom graduated from OLMCS in 2014.

Emily Hernandez | First Grade & Preschool Instructional Aide


Danielle Anderson | Preschool Aide | Extended Day Care

Marianne Bartholomew | Instructional & Resource Aide


Bella Holland | Music | Extended Day Care


Anthony Martinez | Extended Day Care

Gabriel Ruiz | Custodian

Contact Information

  • 530 Hot Springs Road
    Santa Barbara, California 93108
  • (805) 969 5965


Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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