English/Language Arts (8th Grade Homeroom)
Monica Keenan has been dedicated to the mission of Catholic Education for twenty five years.Ms. Keenan has been a member of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help family for seventeen years.
As a member of the junior high team, Monica teaches the language arts classes and guides adolescents spiritually and academically.
Mrs. Pryor has been teaching at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School since 2007. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from California State University and both a Single Subject (Social Studies) and Multiple Subject California Teaching Credential. She loves teaching Social Studies, Religion, and Math to the junior high students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help! Mrs. Pryor believes this parish community is a blessing to her and her family!
Crystal Watts’s career in music began when she married her husband Allen in 1981. They became “Just the Two of Us,” traveling the Los Angeles and Palm Desert areas, and making a living doing what they loved: singing and entertaining. Seven years later, they had their first child and moved to Bakersfield, Allen’s hometown. In 1988, they began singing at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church as music ministers. In 1997, after the birth of their third daughter, Crystal was hired by Monsignor Michael Braun to teach music and drama to the children at the school.
Over the years, Crystal has helped the music and drama program grow tremendously. What began as free downloaded plays off the Internet and small concerts in the cafeteria became licensed Broadway Disney shows and grand concerts with the entire school at some of the best auditoriums and theatres in Bakersfield.
All three of Crystal’s daughters attended OLPH from kindergarten to 8th grade, which is part of the reason she feels such a warm connection with the school. Crystal’s oldest daughter Ashley has a M.S. degree in Biology and works for Wonderful Orchards. Her middle daughter, Kristen, has her M.A. in English and teaches at Garces Memorial High School. Both live in Bakersfield with their husbands. Jessica, her youngest, is finishing up her B.A. degree in Entertainment and Tourism Communications at Fullerton State, where she now lives.
Crystal’s success as a music teacher is due to her extensive music education. In 1978 she began her vocal training in Los Angeles with Peggy Flannery and continued her training at Rio Hondo College. Most recently at Cal State University Bakersfield, she took many courses in Theory, Performance, and Conducting. She also studied vocal technique with Peggy Sears for 2 years and performed in the CSUB choir.
While this diverse education is very important to her, Crystal has found that the best educator is perhaps experience, which she has learned from her 21 years at OLPH, making her the longest working teacher on staff.
Crystal believes that everyone with a heart can sing, and the best way to bring out the potential of each student is with a challenge—because when children stop underestimating themselves, then adults stop underestimating them as well. Crystal will take this philosophy with her into her next 20 years.
7th Grade Homeroom/Yearbook Advisor
Kirsten Whitezell has been teaching at Our Lady of Perpetual Help since 2009. She spent 5 years as part of the Kindergarten team before taking two years off to have her three children. While taking that time off, she continued to stay involved in OLPH and substitute until 2016 when she came back to teach 4th grade for two years. This year Mrs. Whitezell is ready for another jump as she’ll be moving on up to junior high. She is so excited for her new venture in teaching US History and Algebra. More than ever, she looks forward to having the students that she once had all those years ago in kindergarten and continuing to watch them and others grow academically and spiritually throughout the year.
Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Teaching Mathematics
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
My name is Cammy Beard and this is my 20th year of teaching. I earned a degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development from San Diego State University. Then went on to complete the credential program and earn a Master in Education through National University. I have three children who attend OLPH, Joseph 9, Stella 7, and Walker 4. I have been married for 11 years to my husband David. We live on a working cattle ranch in Caliente and love spending time outdoors. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, cooking, gardening, running marathons and going on adventures with the family!
In our classroom, “We try everything at least once, we learn from mistakes, and we never, EVER give up!”