Staff & Faculty

Denise Filipek

Middle School Teacher

Welcome Everyone to Ms. Filipek’s Learning-nasium of Neuroplasticity!

I am so excited and honored to join the St. Anne’s School family this year. After a three-year medical hiatus from teaching, I am so grateful to be back where I am happy—in a classroom, helping young prople learn and grow! This year, I am guiding the 8th grade ELA, 7th grade ELA, and the 8th grade Physical Science classes. Together, we will be exploring the universe around us, the experiences of the wise people who lived before us, and our own ideas and our roles and responsibilities in the world.

A little about me: I am the product of both Catholic and public education! I am one of FOURTEEN family members to graduate from St. Polycarp Catholic School in Stanton. I graduated from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove. (More than half of my family graduated from Mater Dei, and we still go to games and events and cheer on the Monarchs too!) I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Journalism and Art History from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After college, I made a leap of faith and began my teaching career in Memphis, Tennessee as part of the first cohort of the Lasallian Alliance of New Catholic Educators (LANCE) at Christian Brothers University. LANCE is a sister program to Notre Dame’s ACE, and I am proud to have been a part of such an excellent teacher preparation program. Additionally, I have received training in teaching English Language Learners, Classroom Management, Technology in the Classrooms, and curriculum design and implementation. Over the summer, I have been attending workshops at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena to learn and get inspired with ideas for my STREAM classroom. My classroom is a perpetual laboratory, where I am always willing to try new ideas in order to help students learn.

In Memphis, I taught grades 9-12, English (including AP), History, and Journalism. I have taught middle school for over ten years in the Diocese of Orange: at Saint Polycarp, Saint Edward the Confessor (Dana Point), and Saint Catherine of Siena (Laguna Beach). I am returning from a three-year leave from teaching to focus on my health– culminating in a kidney transplant I gratefully received from my sister last year!

In all of my classrooms, since the beginning of my career, I have posted this quote from Saint Irenaeus: “The Glory of God is a Human Being Fully Alive.” I am eager to explore with my students all the ways that God calls us to be Fully Alive in Him. My classroom has three guiding behavioral norms to which we hold ourselves, and each other, accountable: Show Respect, Solve Challenges, and Make Good Choices. It is through these ways of conducting ourselves that we become more Fully Alive in the Glory of God. I look forward to making our classroom a place of curiosity, growth, experimentation, knowledge, and creativity!

Blessings for 2018-2019!
Ms. Filipek 🙂

(Okay, if you’re curious, here’s some ephemera:

  • I have three ridiculous weinerdogs: Henderson, Bingley, and Idgie. They’re basically my kids.
  • Yes, I do dress like this every day…I spent three years in bed, recovering from dialysis and seventeen surgeries, and decided to cheer myself up by ordering clothes online. I kind of went overboard.
  • I’ve traveled around the world following a band, and have been to over a hundred concerts.
  • My favorite food is currently the chicken kebab, extra garlic from Mama’s Kebab in Stanton. I will never turn down chilaquiles, lumpia, or mint chocolate chip ice cream.
  • I love going to Disneyland, the beach, comedy shows, and art museums. I don’t follow sports as much as I used to… but the Lakers HOPEFULLY be good this year.
  • I read a lot for my job, so in my off time I read mostly newspapers, articles, and cookbooks. My favorite book EVER is Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, and I still cry when I read it!)