Third Grade

Third grade is a big transition year. They are not primary students, but not quite upper graders. There is a lot of new learning and discovery that takes place in this monumental year. Third graders are no longer focusing on learning to read, but they are reading to learn. We believe in a well rounded and inclusive curriculum. We want third graders to ask questions, search for answers and find new pathways to solving problems. This is the year where they learn about the wonderful community they live in and its rich history. We want them to appreciate the natural  beauty of their home and always work to protect it. We plant the seeds for lifelong learning, becoming an engaged citizen and working toward making the world a more empathetic place.



Mary Paterson

I grew up in Carpinteria and went on to receive my degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. Go Huskies! While I loved my four years in Seattle, I returned home to attend UCSB to obtain my M.Ed and teaching credential. I began my teaching career in Oxnard where I taught for four years. In 2006, I began working for the Goleta Union School District at El Camino where I worked for ten years. I’ve taught 2nd-3rd-4th-and 5th grades, along with multiple combination classes.  


For the last nine years, I’ve loved being a part of the Kellogg community. Third grade is the perfect grade!  It’s a sweet spot where students still enjoy aspects of primary learning, but grow into sophisticated and responsible upper graders. I love inspiring students to become problem solvers, stay organized and practice using strategies to access academic content in depth. Based on our studies of local history I encourage students to become integral members of our community.  Students in my classroom collaborate, communicate, care for each other and use their creativity to learn at their own pace. Our incredible grade level team emphasizes social emotional well-being, inclusivity, social justice and the importance of kindness. 


When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our two children, and our dog. My hobbies include running, traveling, scrapbooking, watching sports, going to the beach, hiking, reading and spending time with my family and friends.

Kacie Stempel

I have taught in Goleta since 2004 and have enjoyed teaching at Kellogg the past 9 years. I feel lucky to be a part of a community that celebrates diversity and focuses on inclusion.  I have a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in United States History, a Multi Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in Education from UCSB. I have spent the majority of my career teaching 3rd grade and I find it to be a magical age. They are growing and maturing as students and they are full of curiosity.  Third graders are reading to learn instead of learning to read, opening up a whole new world. 


I live in the Kellogg neighborhood and I have two sons that are also Bulldogs. My daughter is a freshman in high school.  I grew up just outside of Santa Cruz, but have lived in Santa Barbara since 1999. My husband and I are proud Gauchos. I enjoy traveling, especially to the mountains, snow skiing and coffee.

Amy Damron

My path to Kellogg has been a winding one but I have learned so much along the way. After receiving my Multi Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in Education at UCSB I  accepted my first teaching position in the Bay Area where I worked for 10 years teaching third grade. While I loved my life up north I decided to come home and accepted a job teaching 5th grade in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Eight years ago I decided to join my sons at our home school in Goleta (Kellogg) and have been here ever since. I have spent the majority of my time in the upper grades but am now currently teaching 3rd. I have loved being a part of the third grade team for the past couple of years. The curiosity, energy and growth with this age group is inspiring and keeps me on my toes! 

I view teaching in a holistic way and place great emphasis on connecting with my students. I encourage them to take an active role in shaping our classroom while also providing them with the academic guidance and challenge necessary to help them grow as learners and as compassionate, thoughtful citizens

In my free time I love to be outside, whether it be for a walk on the beach or hiking in the mountains with my husband and two boys, it recharges me to be out in nature! I am also passionate about nutrition and enjoy sharing this with my students and family.