Sr. Christina Heltsley
Executive Director

Sr. Christina joined the St. Francis Center in 2000 and is responsible for all aspects of its operations. She has taught all grades and has been a school Principal (primarily in inner-city schools) and a Superintendent of Catholic schools. In 2009, Sr. Christina was honored as Redwood City’s “Citizen of the Year” and in 2015, she was inducted into San Mateo County’s “Women’s Hall of Fame.”

Sr. Christina has a BS in Elementary Education from Edgewood College in Wisconsin, an MA in Educational Technology from the University of San Francisco, a MA in Administration and Supervision from the University of Dayton, and a doctoral degree in Administration and Leadership from the University of San Francisco.

Sr. Christina has deep passion for the work of the Center and truly feels “blessed” to be able to walk with people and try to find creative ways to meet unmet needs.

Hugo Torres
Siena Youth Center Program Director

Hugo Torres, joined the SFC team in 2017.  He is the Director of Programs for Siena Youth Center and a classroom teacher for Holy Family School at the St. Francis Center. He has his BS in American Studies with a minor in Business Administration from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. He is certified to teach kindergarten through grade nine and holds endorsements in language arts, social studies, and mathematics.

All of Mr. Torres’ work has always been centered around Latino youth, education, and service. Before moving to California, Mr. Torres worked with the Latino youth in the town of Cicero in Illinois. He spent a total of 10 years with the Cicero Youth Commission as a volunteer, supervisor, and eventually director of programs. At the age of 17, Mr. Torres ran, managed, and operated his own after school and summer camp programs. He immediately made changes and implemented systems that helped the organization focus on being a fun, safe, and education environment for the youth. He also spent some time with Family Focus as the Community Schools Lead Instructor, where he taught classes focused on literacy and mathematics. At the same time, Mr. Torres served as the Program Coordinator for Community-based Learning at Dominican University for 3 years, where he helped college students get involved in organized community service that correlated to their courses.

Mr. Torres believes in building strong, personable, and meaningful relationships with the youth and their families. After school, Mr. Torres spends time tutoring and mentoring his students and the youth in the community. Being a child of immigrants and a first-generation college graduate, Mr. Torres will always emphasize the importance of education.

Jaqueline Rueda
Program Associate

Jackie has been a part of the St. Francis Center since 2001. There are some people who are absolutely irreplaceable- Jackie is one of those people!!! She keeps the donation process running smoothly, assists all of the volunteers, and when not at the Center, she is managing all of our low-income apartments. More than that, Jackie is an integral and irreplaceable member of the St. Francis Center family.

Tess Rowell Weber
Administrative Assistant

Tess Rowell Weber

Kathleen Hamilton
Science & Religion Teacher (Holy Family School)

 

Kathleen joined the teaching staff at Holy Family School in 2019, but she has volunteered at the St Francis Center for over a decade for the Christmas Toy Program and some ESL tutoring.  Kathleen had a prior career working with the Cardiac Surgery team at UCSF and Sequoia Hospitals. She then followed her true heart and started teaching Middle School Science at St Raymond Elementary School, Menlo Park for 10 years. She also taught Religious education at St Raymond Church for 15 years.  Kathleen currently teaches both science and religion to all the students at Holy Family School.

Kathleen attended University of California, Los Angeles  (Go Bruins!) with a BS in Neurobiology, and also obtained a Graduate degree from Stanford University (Go Cardinal!).

Kathleen hopes to bring enthusiasm, passion, rigor, and fun to her students. She is astounded and impressed with her students’ love of learning each and every day. She is honored to have the privilege of serving this special community that Sister Christina has formed.

She has lived in the area for many years with her husband and they have raised 3 children and 2 therapy pups together. Kathleen finds herself fortunate to have Faith, Family, and Friends present in her life….and especially Holy Family School.

Adam Janusz
4th Grade Teacher (Holy Family School)

Adam Janusz graduated from Dominican University in River Forest, IL in 2017. While at DU, Adam was a part of their NCAA men’s volleyball team, received the outstanding senior award for each of his two majors, and ultimately spoke for his graduating class at their commencement ceremony due to his being named Dominican’s 2017 Mulroy Award winner, Dominican’s version of valedictorian.

Within months of graduating, Adam moved to Redwood City to teach at Holy Family School. Outside of the classroom, you can catch Adam at all times of day enjoying his favorite outdoor movement, trail running.

 Adam is a passionate and amazing teacher; we are beyond lucky to have him so generously offer his talent, time and genuine skill here at SFC.

Edgar Tenorio
Assistant Director of Programs (Siena Youth Center)

Edgar Tenorio grew up in the Bay Area, and attended Santa Clara University. There, he studied Biology and Public Health. He first joined Siena Youth Center through the Public Allies Americorps program. He spent two years as the Health and Wellness coordinator, and eventually moved into the Assistant Director position. Edgar is passionate about health and education equity, and making sure that the students at Siena Youth Center have access to the resources they deserve.

Sean Vallor M.S.
Program Counselor (Siena Youth Center)

Sean has a lifelong passion for learning. He began his pilot training at age 13. He went on to get his private pilot’s license at age 17. Sean attended San José State University where he studied Aviation Maintenance Management. Sean worked for a regional airline for 12 years as both a first officer and a captain. In 2012, Sean took a leave from the airlines and began to work at Siena Youth Center as a tutor. Sean found the work with the community to be profoundly meaningful. He decided to change careers and pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology to serve the community.

Sean has created numerous educational and enrichment programs to expand the opportunities available to youth in the community. He believes strongly in fighting social inequity by providing mentorship, support, and educational experience for youth. Some of the programs that Sean has developed include Pilot’s Academy, Bulldog Surfers, Music Class, Art Class, and Chess Club. Sean heads the Education Department at SYC. He also provides after school tutoring and homework support for students. Sean graduated from Palo Alto University in June with a masters in Counseling Psychology. He is currently working on programs to help address the mental health needs of the community by creating better access to services and support.

Murphy
Therapy Dog

Murphy comes to work every day and is an excellent source joy and stress relief for the St. Francis community.

Grace
Therapy Dog

Grace roams throughout the St. Francis Center building each day, bringing joy to everyone she meets while looking for doggie cookies.