Four Veteran Educators Retire from BMHS

Friday, May 20, 2022 was a very special day on campus as faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends gathered to celebrate four amazing educators and their service to Bishop Montgomery. Debbie Skelley, Christine Collette, Dulcie Galdámez and Kathryn Bagnell (left to right) were honored at a retirement ceremony at the Schneider Retreat Center. They have a total of 137 combined years teaching at Bishop Montgomery and they have impacted the lives of thousands of students and have dedicated countless hours to helping the Bishop community. 

Kathryn Bagnell, who retired in June, came to Bishop Montgomery 15 years ago and was a beloved teacher in the English department. She taught  English 1 as well as American Literature and was involved in CSF tutoring over the years. Bagnell was also one of those teachers who supported every aspect of life at Bishop Montgomery. She could always be found at a game, a drama or music performance, or participating in a faculty vs. student softball game. 

Debbie Skelley retired in June after teaching in the English department for 40 years. Every day, she could be found in Room 308 where she welcomed her students to a class decorated in pink. Skelley was known for teaching her students to have a love for literature and writing and it seems that every student she had was given a lovable nickname that she always called them, even years after they graduated. Skelley served as a mentor to so many teachers on campus and was always a teacher that alumni came back to visit. Skelley’s legacy will continue to live on at BMHS as her son, Ryan (Class of 2004), teaches math in Room 309 and is a varsity assistant baseball coach.

Following the 2021 school year, Dulcie Galdámez retired after teaching in the BMHS World Languages department. Over the course of 40 years, she taught thousands of students and impacted the lives of so many, including the many teachers who she mentored. She began her time at BMHS teaching French and soon after began teaching all levels of Spanish. Upon her retirement, Galdámez reflected on her time at BMHS: “I made friendships that will last a lifetime. That sense of community is the reason I stayed at BMHS for so many years.” 

Christine Collette retired in 2020 after an amazing 42 years at Bishop Montgomery, where she taught Physical Education, Health, Typing, Geography and World History, among other classes. She also served in other capacities over the years, including Athletic Director, Drill Team Moderator, and Girls’ Dean. From 1978-1990, she served as Head Softball Coach and led BMHS to three league titles and four CIF playoff appearances. Collette, Galdámez and Skelley are three of only six people to work at BMHS for at least 40 years. 

To these four incredible women, we wish you the best on your retirement and thank you for your commitment to our school and our students.

One of Bishop’s most beloved employees is moving on after 15 years at the school. Athletic trainer – and Bishop alumna – Jamie Kamiya-Haagsma ’00 and her family are relocating to Idaho. Jamie has been a primary reason for the success of many athletes and teams over the years. “Never in a million years did I think I would work at a high school, much less the one I graduated from! For 15 years this has been my home away from home and I couldn’t imagine it any different. I will be forever grateful for the grace, love and trust that the kids, coaches and parents have put on me. I will truly miss my daily conversations and laughs. It warms my heart to know that my office was considered a safe place for so many over the years to just hang out and wait for rides or practices to start. I truly believe that God led me to this wonderful place and is now leading me to my next adventure (but seriously, what is more adventurous than working with high schoolers?) Keep working hard, trust in God, be kind and forgiving and love big!”

In April, TBK Director Eric Hankey was named Assistant Conductor of the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band. In May, he served as conductor for Torrance’s “Patriotic Concert in the Park.” Additionally, Hankey also performs with the Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra.

English teacher Shannon Rooney was featured on the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising website as the March 2022 Educator Spotlight. Rooney invited Cecile Fayen of FIDM to her Honors English 2 class to speak about graphic design and advertising. “As an educator, FIDM has been really great in providing resources,” says Rooney. For more, visit

Bryan Dopp, who teaches Government and History at BMHS, serves as the chair of the Planning Commission for the City of Rancho Cucamonga (yes, he drives each day from Rancho Cucamonga!)  He works developing the city’s general plan and making decisions on development applications for housing, commercial/retail/industrial development. He also worked with the Institute for Local Government on a handbook released this year for all planning commissioners around the state that deals with procedures of meetings, laws, and local governance issues and policy (housing) topics in California.

Otto Cifuentes and his Spanish students celebrated Día De La Madre in May with a very special project. Students created a Google site dedicated to their mothers complete with an original poem, a card, an acróstico and more. Students then created a video reading their poem to their moms.