124 Columbus St.
Bakersfield, Ca 93305
(661) 327-7741 ext. 3
Preschool Director- Melanie Rinehart
I grew up here in Bakersfield, the youngest of four children and the daughter of two teachers. I am a 2004 graduate of Garces Memorial High School and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Child Development from CSU, Bakersfield in 2008. During college, I worked with children with Autism as a behavioral therapist and at MARE as a therapeutic riding instructor for people with disabilities. After graduating, I taught preschool in beautiful San Clemente until I had my first child. I am the mother of three; Emma, Elliana and William and am currently pursuing my special education teaching credential and Master’s Degree.
I am thrilled for my new positions this year as the Preschool Director and Special Education teacher for K-8th grade. This will be my fourth year as part of the OLPH family and I look forward to another great year!
“For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Little Dolphins Teacher- Theresa Amarante
Hello, My name is Theresa Amarante and I am one of the teachers in the 2 & 3 year olds Little dOLPHins class. I was born in Burbank California, the 2nd out of four children. My family moved to beautiful Bakersfield when I was 11 and I have lived here ever since.
My parents, particularly my mom, have always encouraged their children in education. I attended Bakersfield college originally majoring in Psychology. After taking a child development class and doing observations at the preschool I realized that I had a natural interest in young children and their development. I switched my major to child development. I went on to get my B.A. degree in Child Development from Cal State University Northridge. I have four grown children now John, Joseph, Thomas and Jacqueline. All four are OLPH graduates and the three boys have their four year college degrees. Jacqueline will receive a degree in Psychology Spring 2018 from Cal State University Channel Islands and plans to go onto graduate school.
I feel it is a privilege to teach young children in a Catholic school environment. One can never stay sad or angry when being around little children! They are a gift from God and we love helping them learn more about God through their daily activities that include sharing, listening to stories, and using all their senses to explore and create.
In addition to working with young children, the things I enjoy the most are: spending time with my family, walking, visits to the ocean, reading a really good book and chocolate!
Little Dolphins Teacher- Beatriz Suarez
My name is Beatriz Suarez. I have nine years combined experience working with young children as a teacher assistant and now I am a preschool teacher in the toddler classroom. This will be my 10th year working at O.L.P.H. I love working with young children and I feel they respond well to me. I love to teach and I love making a difference in our children. I have taught, supported and guided each child throughout their learning. I’m looking forward to a wonderful group this year. I will be team teaching with Miss Theresa. I’m happy to teach with her again and I’m very excited to have my little one starting this year at O.L.P.H. It will be fun having her in my toddler classroom.
Busy Bees Teacher- Maria Gaytan
Hi, I’m Mrs. Maria Gaytan.
Teaching is an absolute passion of mine! I am so excited to work with you and your child. It’s going to be a year full of fun, learning, and lots of adventures. I will be co-teaching in the preschool Busy Bees. I am so grateful to be apart of the O.L.P.H. family.
I have been married for 24 years and have a daughter, Ivanna who is 9 years old. Ivanna started at O.L.P.H. when she was just 2 years old. She is now in 4th grade. I am both thankful and proud to be apart of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School and Church.
Busy Bees Teacher- Rita Martin