Our Faculty & Staff
St Nicholas School has a dedicated, caring faculty and staff. Many of our faculty and staff are graduates of Catholic Education themselves, and a number of our faculty members are alumni of St. Nicholas School Additionally, we are proud that 57% of our faculty members hold Masters Degrees in Education.
To learn about our faculty and staff members, please click a name below or contact us! Or jump to Administration, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Elementary School, Junior High School, our special subjects faculty , or staff and extended care to learn more about our teachers and staff!
Jan Popolizio, Principal
Father John Poncini, Pastor
Stacy French, Vice Principal, Director of Admissions
Christine LoDestro, Teacher
Staci Cheu, Transitional Kindergarten Instructional Assistant
Elizabeth Nosal, Kindergarten Teacher
Kate Lincoln, Kindergarten Instructional Assistant
Elementary School, Grades 1-5
Lauren Ewing, 1st Grade Teacher
Heidi Hagenlocher, 2nd Grade Teacher
Elyssa Vasquez, 2nd Grade Instructional Aide / Extended Care Teacher
Ellen Jewell, 3rd Grade Teacher
Kerry Marzoni, 4th Grade Teacher
Stacey Wilson - 5th Grade Teacher, Social Studies, Religion, Math & Athletic Director
Cliona O'Keeffe, Elementary Science Teacher
Joannie Paulsen, 4th Grade Instructional Aide
Jin Su Seo, Science and Mathematics
Serena Poon, 3rd Grade Instructional Aide & Extended Care Coordinator
Serena Poon grew up in the Bay Area and attended the University of Los Angeles where she received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education Studies in 2020. During her time in college, she was involved in various organizations such as UECC Americorp and Summer Bridge, mentoring and tutoring students from K-8 in multiple subjects. She's excited to be with the students at St. Nicholas as she learns more about the joys of teaching!
Junior High School, Grades 6-8
Mary Gallivan, 6th Grade Homeroom, Language Arts & Religion
Stacey Wilson, Mathematics Teacher and Athletic Director
Carlos Eulate, 8th Grade Homeroom, Language Arts, Social Studies & Spanish
Adrienne Pauli, 7th Grade Homeroom, Language Arts & Social Studies
Nancy Talesfore, Mathematics & Religion Teacher
Angela Owens – Science and Religion
Jin Su Seo, Mathematics and Junior High Science
Melanie Talakai, 6th Grade Instructional Aide
Ms. Talakai was born in San Francisco and raised in East Palo Alto. Ms. Talakai has a love for service, especially service to God. She is an avid volunteer, and grew up dedicating her time and skills in various platforms throughout her community such as: giving 10+ years of volunteering at her local family health clinic and home parish, St. Francis of Assisi Church, in East Palo Alto. Her parish was a cornerstone in her spiritual journey and devotion to Jesus Christ, His Church, and His teachings. As a parishioner, she learned how to prepare and serve hot meals to the impoverished souls of her community, perform Polynesian entertainment at large parish events, participate in Youth ministry, and eventually become a Young Adult leader. Ms. Talakai realized the importance of solid Catholic education from having countless encounters with youth in ministry. In 2016, Ms. Talakai decided to pursue a vocation as a Contemplative Nun while working for adults with disabilities. After she discerned out from religious life in 2019, Ms. Talakai fell back into the rhythm of life back at home, and now follows her initial passion towards becoming an elementary school teacher. On her free time, she enjoys the Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Lectio Divina, nature walks, and a great book.