Kathy Griffis, Ph.D.
In addition to teaching Intro and AP Biology, Dr. Kathy Griffis serves NDA as director of the Stem Pathways (SP2) program and STEM coordinator. She joined the school six years ago after teaching at The Buckley School for 20 years. Look for her on Friday afternoons preparing the robotics and rocketry teams for victories in many area competitions. She earned grants from NASA and the National Association of Rocketry to start the rocketry program and develop related curricula. Northrup Grumman also awarded Dr. Griffis a grant to fund NDA's first VEX Robotics team.
Erin Gooch discovered her love of teaching through Partners in LA Catholic Education (PLACE) Corps, LMU’s nationally recognized Catholic teacher service corps. After earning her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of San Diego, she joined PLACE and worked on her Master’s degree and teaching credential while serving in the LA Archdiocese. In addition to math and science skills, Ms. Gooch strives to instill confidence in her students and their abilities both in and out of the classroom.
Although Cibrina Hoffman is a new addition to the science faculty at NDA, she brings more than six years of experience to her college prep, honors, and AP Chemistry classes. With an undergraduate degree in physics from American University and a Master’s in education from Pepperdine, Ms. Hoffman also leads the Women Engaged in STEM (WESTEM) group. In addition to her science lessons, she strives to model and teach time management to her students.
Need the formula for slope? See Mr. Janken. Want to be more confident with money and finances? See Mr. Janken. Formerly a certified financial planner, Glen Janken launched a second career when he joined NDA seven years ago to teach math --from Algebra 2 to Calculus to Statistics. Sister Marie Paul Grech, SND, inspires him with "Help me remember I'm not teaching 'just' a subject. I'm teaching a way of life, a way of love."
Ron Lebron has taught Algebra and Geometry at NDA for more than 18 years, so it will come as no surprise that he believes balance is the key to success in high school and beyond. Mr. Lebron is a study in contrasts: a veteran of the U.S. Navy, he also enjoys the “Twilight” series. When he's not working hard for and with his students, he's playing hard with his family and rooting for the Bruins.
As he leads the AP Computer Science Principles course, Oscar Navarro draws on his more than 10 years of teaching and educational technology experience. In addition to his high school classes, Mr. Navarro teaches in LMU’s Tech Integration Program. The 2017 Crystal Apple Award recipient encourages his students to pursue varied interests in an effort to maximize future opportunities. And he should know – the tech expert earned his undergraduate degree in English literature from Cal State Dominguez Hills before pursuing a Master’s in educational technology at Long Beach State.
Honors Algebra 2, Honors Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus teacher Merzak Toubal is passionate about both learning math and teaching it to others. He can, in fact, teach math not only in English, but also in French and Arabic. While working on his undergraduate degree in computer science and his Master's in applied mathematics, Mr. Toubal earned awards in both calculus and computer studies. He brings more than nine years of experience to NDA and believes that education must be coupled with good character.
Chris Vivo, Ed.D.
Dean of Math and Science Dr. Chris Vivo is more than a skilled math and physics teacher. He’s also an expert in Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. Dr. Vivo brings nearly 25 years of experience to NDA and encourages his students to believe in themselves. After earning his undergraduate degree in biomedical/electrical engineering from Brown, he earned a Master’s in biomedical engineering and a doctorate in educational leadership, both from USC.