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Department Teams

Department Teams

English Language Arts
Mrs. Abuharoon
Ms. Trant
 
Math
Mr. Frommholz
Mr. Gries
 
PE
Mrs. Skidmore
 
Science
Mrs. Stough
 
Social Science
Ms. MacAlistaire
Mrs. Morris
 
Electives 
Mrs. Daniel
Mr. Jesch
Mr. Lewis
Mrs. Skidmore
 
SAI
Mrs. Brennan
Mrs. Mohler

Meet the Esencia Middle School Teachers

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS TEAM

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS TEAM

MRS. ABUHAROON
Christine Abuharoon teaches middle school English at Esencia.  She has been teaching in CUSD for 25 years, and is also proud to be a product of CUSD. In her free time, she loves to travel with her husband and kids, and is an avid philanthropist.  She also loves her dog, Dino.
 
MRS. MOHLER
Christy Mohler is an Education Specialist at Esencia Middle School. After 16 years of experience as an elementary educator, she made the transition to middle school SAI. Christy received her Bachelor's degree and Multiple Subject teaching credential from The Master's University and her Education Specialist teaching credential from National University. She has been married for 24 years and has two beautiful daughters who attended CUSD schools in the Spanish dual immersion program and are currently in college. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.
 
MS. SMOLINKSI
Mrs. Smolinski is teaching middle school English and Threatre Arts. She is entering her 22nd year of teaching and has enjoyed every minute. Mrs. Smo, as students like to call her, is an avid reader, pickleball player, and e-bike rider. When she isn't teaching you might find her at the beach dodging waves or stand-up paddleboarding with friends and family in Dana Point Harbor
MATH TEAM

MATH TEAM

MR. FROMMHOLZ
Eric Frommholz teaches Math 7, Math 7 Accelerated, and Math 8 here at Esencia. This is his 15th year teaching. Mr. Frommholz graduated from Long Beach State with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy and a Master’s of Arts in Mathematics Education. His passion is teaching and he wants to build confidence and a mathematical mindset in every student. Students should leave his class knowing that trying and failing are okay and part of learning. Success will come with hard work and dedication.
 
MR. GRIES
Mr. Gries started his career teaching 5th grade at Vista Del Mar K-8 school in San Clemente and has taught middle school math for the past 12 years.  He has always found K-8 schools to be a cultivating, close knit, positive experience for students and teachers alike.   His experiences teaching with the dedicated and passionate Esencia staff  have inspired Mr. Gries to always work hard, be flexible, and put student learning first. He recently completed his Master’s degree in Foundation Level Math from Cal State Fullerton.   He has always had a passion for math and views math as a vital tool in understanding our world.  He says,  “look forward to being a part of your mathematical journey.”
 
SCIENCE TEAM

SCIENCE TEAM

MRS. STOUGH
Kathleen Stough teaches 6th and 8th grade science. She received her undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology from UCSD, and holds a Biological Sciences Credential, as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning. She grew up locally, and continues to live in the area with her husband, and their two young boys. She is excited about the opportunity to work with Esencia students to ensure that their middle school science experience is a great one.
 
MS. SULLIVAN
Cheyenne Sullivan is a science teacher at Esencia Middle School. She is particularly passionate about Biology and Environmental Psychology, and has field experience in the coral conservation and ecotourism sectors. Cheyenne is an extensive traveler and an enthusiastic (if not skilled) cook. She is happy to say that she has been teaching science for three years, and is immensely proud to be an Esencia Hawk.
 
SOCIAL SCIENCE TEAM

SOCIAL SCIENCE TEAM

MS. MACALISTAIRE
Rachiel Macalistaire has taught middle school in the Capistrano Unified School district for twenty-plus years. Traveling, cooking, gardening, and the vintage design world are her passions.  She can be found most Sundays at an antique flea market or swap meet. 
 
MRS. MORRIS
Caitlyn Morris is proud to be a part of the Esencia Hawk Middle School team and family! Caitlyn received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology: Human Services at Westmont College and earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching and Educational Leadership at National University. Caitlyn’s educational philosophy is that all children are unique individuals with different learning styles and paces with every child having the capability to not only learn but excel. Her goal is to make learning meaningful and fun by providing engaging, hands-on opportunities for students to stretch their understanding. In addition, she seeks to empower her students to grow into who they are meant to be! Outside of school, Caitlyn loves to explore the world with her kids (especially Disneyland) and to read every book she can fit into her family's crazy schedule. 
ELECTIVES & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

ELECTIVES & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

ASB/PE
MRS. SKIDMORE
A product of schools in the Capistrano Unified School District, Michelle Skidmore graduated from UC Davis with a Psychology degree, earned her teaching credential from National University, and later completed her Master’s of Science in Education with an emphasis in Reading at Cal State Fullerton. Working in a variety of grade levels during her 26 years of teaching, she is currently teaching P.E. & ASB.She feels privileged to teach young people that hard work pays off, sometimes doing one’s best means learning from mistakes, and - her own motto - "Excellence Requires Extra Effort!" She is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys baseball, tap and African dance, reading, cooking, interior design, the beach, and - most importantly - traveling. 
 
MR. FINNERTY
Brendan Finnerty teaches middle school Physical Education here at Esencia.  It is his second year teaching.  He started coaching in 2010, which fueled his passion for educating our youth.  In his free time, he enjoys going to the beach with his wife and three children
 
BAND/ORCHESTRA
MR. JESCH
Mr. Jesch has had a lifelong affair with music. While his musical tastes are quite broad, his absolute favorite band is Earth, Wind and Fire. When he turned 9 years old, he picked up the trumpet. He continues to regularly perform and give private lessons locally. He received his Bachelor's in Music Performance from Chapman University and his Master's in Teaching from the University of California, Irvine. He enjoys spending free time with friends, family, and his dog Scooter. 
 
CAREER TECH/YEARBOOK
MRS. FROMMHOLZ
Maggie Frommholz has been a middle school math teacher in CUSD for 13 years. She is excited to be teaching various elective courses at Esencia this year such as ELD, Career Tech, and Yearbook. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her husband and riding around town on her bike.
 
 
SAI TEAM

SAI TEAM

MRS. PROIA
 
MRS. MOHLER
Christy Mohler is an Education Specialist at Esencia Middle School. After 16 years of experience as an elementary educator, she made the transition to middle school SAI. Christy received her Bachelor's degree and Multiple Subject teaching credential from The Master's University and her Education Specialist teaching credential from National University. She has been married for 24 years and has two beautiful daughters who attended CUSD schools in the Spanish dual immersion program and are currently in college. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.