Religion, English | Gena was born in Venezuela, spent her childhood in France, her adolescence in the Bay Area (B.A. Psychology, University of San Francisco) and her married life first in Portland (M.Ed. Religious Education, University of Portland), where both her children were born, and for 32 years lived in Scottsdale, Arizona (M.C. Counseling, University of Phoenix. There she worked for fourteen years as a pastoral minister in a parish (religious education and liturgy), as a program director in a homeless shelter, as a professional choir manager, and for the last twelve years as Principal of St Matthew Catholic School, an inner city elementary parochial school (K-8th grade). From 1999 to 2015 she also maintained a part-time private counseling practice and she continues to teach Psychology remotely as an adjunct at Rio Salado College. At St Matthew, she and her husband, Patrick, built up a 67 person student body into a “filled to capacity” dual-language school. In 2016 Gena was awarded an honorary Doctor in Humane Letters degree by Boston College for cutting edge work bringing this model of learning to a student population not normally reached by this type of pedagogical approach. Following her husband’s death in 2017, Gena decided to “come home” to Portland to be close to her daughter and her family. She has spent three years at the University of Portland working and living in residence life and helping with campus ministry and this year is excited to be returning to the classroom to share her love of God, Scripture and religious studies with the young people of Valley Catholic Schools.