Faculty & Staff
Mr. Josh Anderson, Manager of Annual Giving and Special Assistant to the Headmaster
Mr. Anderson joined Providence Academy in 2015. His background includes experience in admissions, financial aid, and development in higher education and independent schools. As Manager of Annual Giving he is responsible for meeting institutional fundraising goals, building relationships with internal and external constituents interested in supporting Providence Academy's mission and contributing to the Annual Fund. In his role of Special Assistant to the Headmaster he supports Dr. Todd Flanders with special analysis and project management. Mr. Anderson holds Bachelors degrees in both Business Management and Psychology from the University of St. Thomas and is currently pursuing his MA in Educational Leadership & Administration. He is passionate about advancing the mission of Providence Academy and helping others use their Time, Talents, and Treasure to provide students with opportunities to grow in Faith, Knowledge, and Virtue.
Mrs. Cindy Bauer, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Bauer possesses more than two decades of teaching experience and joined Providence Academy in 2003 as a Kindergarten teacher. Her previous experience includes over ten years as a Pre-school Coordinator for a Catholic school, as well as a director of a child-care center for a Catholic church. She holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Kindergarten Education from the University of Wisconsin at Stout. Mrs. Bauer also has extensive training in a method for coaching students with dyslexia.
Ms. Julie Behrens, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Phone: (763) 258-2524
Ms. Julie Behrens first came to Providence Academy in the spring of 2018 as a long-term substitute for Upper School Mathematics. She received her degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Augustana University in Sioux Falls. While there, Ms. Behrens served all three and a half years as the lead Mathematics department tutor, and occasionally she was asked to fill in for a professor in lower level Mathematics courses.
Mrs. Susan Bevington, Upper School Chemistry Teacher
Mrs. Bevington is the Upper School Chemistry teacher. With a bachelor’s degree in Textile Chemistry and master’s level coursework in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, she has worked in the areas of textile chemistry, analytical chemistry, and hazardous waste consulting. She has a Masters of Arts in teaching from Bethel University and enjoys sharing her love of chemistry and practical experiences in industry with Upper School students.
Dr. Jeff Biebighauser, Upper School Latin & English Teacher
Dr. Jeff Olsen Biebighauser teaches Latin and English in the Upper School. He holds a BA in Classics and Humanities from Valparaiso University and a MA and PhD in Philosophical Theology from the University of Nottingham. He has been teaching at Providence since 2010.
Mr. Dominic Bissonette, Manager of the Arts Center
Mr. Dominic Bissonette is the Technical Director for all Providence Academy Music and Theater performances. He teaches technical theater, middle school drama, middle school industrial arts and wood-shop. Mr. Bissonette holds a Bachelors Degree in Technical Theater from St. Cloud State University. Prior to Providence, he worked for the Children’s Museum, The Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater and at The Chanhassen Dinner Theater.
Ms. Katie Bjorgaard, 2nd Grade Teacher
Miss Katie Bjorgaard teaches 2nd grade at Providence Academy. She hails from Grand Forks, North Dakota and is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia. Miss Bjorgaard received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and her Master’s in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. She previously taught first and third grade at a Catholic school in Grand Forks for six years, four of which included preparing her third graders for the Sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation. In addition, she taught second grade for Grand Forks Public Schools. Miss Bjorgaard feels passionate about educating the whole-child, helping her students deepen their relationship with Jesus, and creating positive, loving, and lasting relationships with her students and their families.
Mr. Joshua Blonski, Upper School Dean of Students
Mr. Joshua Blonski started working at Providence Academy in 2014. He currently teaches Latin at both the Middle and Upper school levels. A graduate of Syracuse University and New Jersey native, Mr. Blonski previously was the dean of students in a private school setting where he also taught Theology, Latin, and Philosophy for 6 years in New York before joining the Providence Academy community.
Dr. Yvonne Boldt, Biology & Chemistry Teacher
Dr. Boldt teaches Biology at Providence Academy. She earned a doctoral degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota. She was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University and worked as a lead scientist for a biotechnology company, Incyte Genomics, in Sunnyvale, California. She has taught microbiology at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, and brings special professional interests in contemporary questions of science and religion. Dr. Boldt has long been active with church youth groups, and has also taught religious education in her parish.
Mrs. Heidi Bowman, 1st Grade Teacher
Mrs. Bowman has been teaching at Providence Academy since we opened our doors in 2001. Mrs. Bowman currently teaches first grade at Providence but has also taught second grade and kindergarten. Her undergraduate degree in elementary education was received from St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, and she has a master's degree in Curriculum and Design from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis. Mrs. Bowman has a great love for younger children and a broad commitment to education that includes international experience.
Mrs. Ann Brown, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Ann Brown earned her educational degree from the College of St. Benedict and her Masters of Education from the College of St. Scholastica. She teaches third grade and has been with Providence Academy since 2006. Mrs. Brown has over 30 years of experience in the field of education and has served as classroom teacher in grades 2-11 as well as principal for two different Catholic elementary schools. In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Brown coordinates with the archdiocesan child safety requirements for the PA community and facilitates VIRTUS Training.
Mrs. Colleen Carron, Physical Education
Mrs. Carron instructs a wide variety of ages in physical education. Mrs. Carron earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Mississippi State University. Most recently, Mrs. Carron served as the physical education and health teacher for students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade at Benton County Christian School in Arkansas, where she also coached the boys and girls basketball teams. Mrs. Carron brings more than nine years of teaching and coaching experience to Providence Academy.
Mrs. Nicole Clark, Lower and Middle School Band
Mrs. Nicole Clark is a graduate with the highest honors from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse with concentrations in both instrumental and vocal music. Her performance background includes recitals in alto saxophone, piano and voice. She brings to Providence Academy a diverse background of almost 20 years in music education. She has taught vocal music, music theory, general music, concert band, and marching band in Rice Lake, WI, Spring Grove, MN and Lake City, MN. In addition to teaching, she has served as a music director and cantor at the Newman Center Parish in La Crosse, and a cantor at Mary Queen of Peace, St. Anne's, St. Thomas, and St. Michael. Mrs. Clark directs the cadet and concert bands at the academy, teaches band lessons and Middle School general music, and coordinates and accompanies music for the Middle School liturgy.
Mrs. Teresa Claypool, Middle School Dean of Students
In addition to being dean of Middle School students, Mrs. Teresa Claypool teaches English and Religion in the Middle School at Providence Academy. Prior to joining Providence, she taught English and Literature for nine years, as well as Religion and Spanish at St. Raphael’s Catholic School in Crystal, Minnesota. In addition to teaching, she served as athletic director, student council advisor, and activities coordinator. Mrs. Claypool incorporates her sense of humor and enthusiasm into her interactions with students while helping to strengthen the spiritual life of each child. Her creativity and love of reading are evident in her daily lessons. Mrs. Claypool received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Education from North Dakota State University, and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Reading Licensure from the University of St. Thomas.
Mrs. Claire Commers, Librarian
Mrs. Commers serves as the Librarian at Providence Academy. As a founding faculty member, Mrs. Commers is always eager to share her love and appreciation for reading and excellent literature with the Providence Academy community. Mrs. Commers holds a Bachelor’s degree in School and Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Library Media Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. To further benefit our readers, Mrs. Commers has completed her course work with the University of St. Thomas and is a Licensed Reading Specialist.
“Only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young ...”
- Walter de la Mare, English poet
Ms. Emma Crane, Middle/Upper School Choir Director and NET Team Coordinator
Miss Emma Crane is the Middle and Upper School Choir Director and NET Team coordinator at Providence Academy. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.M. in Vocal Music Education and a minor in Catholic Studies. Miss Crane's professional experience includes time working as a research assistant to the Chair of the Music Department at the University of St. Thomas, leading rehearsals and warm-ups as a choral assistant to the Director of Choral Studies at UST, directing the University of St. Thomas Law School Choir, and tutoring undergraduates taking music theory. Additionally, Miss Crane served as a Totus Tuus team leader in the Diocese of St. Cloud and has experience accompanying and cantoring for Masses at parishes in and around the metro area.
Mrs. Annette Crider, Middle and Upper School Learning Specialist
Annette Crider has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Elementary Education and a Master of Education with a major in counseling. She is originally from Michigan where she taught kindergarten, first and third grade and then worked as a high school counselor. After moving to Minnesota, she worked as a high school Student Success Coordinator and a middle school counselor. She started at Providence in the fall of 2015. She is a member of the National Education Association and the Learning Disabilities Association of America. She is also a licensed K-12 school counselor.
Ms. Rachel Crouse, Spanish Teacher
Ms. Crouse teaches Spanish and Journalism in the Upper School. She holds a Bachelor or Arts degree in Spanish from Berea College, a Masters in Spanish Literature from Western Michigan University, and a Masters in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. Ms. Crouse's teaching and curriculum is enhanced by her experiences studying abroad in Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Prior to joining the Providence faculty, she worked as an interpreter in Kentucky public health and later taught Spanish at Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.
Mrs. Karen Dierberger, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Karen Dierberger graduated from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She began her teaching career with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Brownsville, Texas. Following her one-year service commitment, she taught second grade for seven years in Minneapolis. Mrs. Dierberger has a variety of teaching experiences, including co-founding and teaching in a preschool cooperative, facilitating adult creativity and journaling courses, substitute teaching across all grade levels (pre-K through high school), and working as a Reading Specialist for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. This will be her fourth year at Providence Academy. “Education is more than just imparting knowledge,” she says. “It is about building relationships. I believe that students thrive when you establish strong connections with them and their families. I enjoy uncovering the unique perspective and needs of each of my students, and using that understanding to help them achieve great things.”
Mr. Kevin Donohue, Spanish Teacher
Mr. Kevin Donohue teaches Spanish at Providence Academy. Spanish is his first language, and having taught at various grade levels, he brings a wide range of experience to PA. Mr. Donohue taught Theology at the University of St. Thomas. He also taught Spanish while serving as the principal of St. Columba. Mr. Donohue acquired his love for teaching while serving as a high school teacher in both Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP) and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission High School in Belize, C.A. He holds a master's in Divinity and a bachelor's from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul.
Mr. Brian Dudley, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mr. Brian Dudley teaches third grade at Providence Academy. Mr. Dudley holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in coaching from the University of St. Thomas. He formerly taught first grade at a Catholic School in St. Paul and also coached basketball, softball, track and hockey.
Mr. Eric England, Coordinator of Transportation
Mr. Eric England has served as the Transportation Coordinator at Providence Academy since 2011. In this role he oversees all aspects of transporting students to and from school, field trips, athletic events and extracurricular activities. Mr. England has been in school bus operations management since 1998 with experience in private schools, public schools, and as a school bus contractor.
Mrs. Gladys Estoista, Business Manager
Mrs. Gladys Estoista manages the financial and business aspects of Providence Academy. Prior to joining PA, Gladys gained extensive experience in accounting and business affairs, including with the non-profit organizations Bridge for Youth, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and Project for Pride in Living, Inc. Gladys earned an M.S. in Accounting from Colorado State University, and a B.S. in Accounting from Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines.
Mr. Brian Estrada, Associate Dean of College Counseling
Mr. Brian Estrada has served as Associate Dean of College Counseling since August 2013. He worked in college admissions for nine years, first at Vanderbilt University and then at Dartmouth College. As an admissions officer, he was directly responsible for reviewing student applications and for training and supervising admission readers. He has given talks on college admissions and college counseling at secondary schools and professional conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He graduated from Texas Christian University with Phi Beta Kappa honors and also holds a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University-Bloomington and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College.
Mrs. Sarah Evens, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Evens obtained her degree in education from St. Catherine’s University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and holds a master’s in education from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mrs. Evens has more than 20 years of teaching experience at several elementary grades including first, and fourth grade here at Providence Academy. He love for teaching Kindergarten is abundantly clear as soon as you step into her classroom.
Mrs. Marcia Farniok, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Marcia Farniok's passion for learning and love for younger children is evident in her commitment to education that includes international experience. Mrs. Farniok previously taught Kindergarten and first grade locally and also in Massachusetts. She has held workshops for elementary teachers to the Internally Displaced Persons’ camp of Gulu, Uganda, where she also taught in the Kindergarten classrooms. She also has four years of management experience in the hotel industry. Mrs. Farniok earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a Nutrition Minor at the College of St. Benedict, her Master of Education at Boston College, and she is also a licensed Reading Specialist K-12.
Ms. Sherry Felker, Math Teacher
Ms. Sherry Felker instructs Middle and Upper School students in mathematics. Before joining the faculty at Providence Academy in 2008, she taught mathematics and computer applications to middle and upper school students in both public and independent school settings, including The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey. Most recently, she taught mathematics at The Blake School. Prior to teaching, she was a database analyst with RCA. Ms. Felker holds a master's degree in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire.
Dr. Todd Flanders, Headmaster
Dr. Flanders has served as headmaster of Providence Academy since its inception in 2000. He holds a BA with a concentration in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, an MA in history from Truman State University, and a Ph.D. in theology from Boston College. He has taught history and theology in both college and high school, co-founded a residential college program and served as director of career services at Truman State, and was director of educational programming at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty before coming to Providence. Dr. Flanders speaks on topics of education, religion, and the free society, currently serving as lecturer with the Acton University program and the Harry J Flynn Catechetical Institute.
Mrs. Susan Fobbe, 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Fobbe has more than a decade of teaching experience, primarily in the fourth through eighth grades. She has taught in the fourth and fifth grade during her time at Providence Academy. Mrs. Fobbe earned her degree in elementary education at St. Cloud State University with a minor in information media. Mrs. Fobbe currently serves as a fourth grade teacher and coordinator of fourth grade at Providence Academy. She strives to build relationships with her students as they share, study, and learn to love one another in Christ.
Mrs. Rachel Fogle, Middle School Science Teacher
Mr. Chris Fussy, Physical Education Teacher
Mr. Chris Fussy teaches Physical Education in the Lower, Middle, and Upper schools as well as 7th grade Health. He has also coached middle school basketball here at PA since 2011. Mr. Fussy holds a Bachelors Degree in 5-12 Health Education and K-12 Physical Education from the University of St. Thomas. He completed his student teaching here at Providence under the tutelage of Mr. Seifert and Mr. Subialka during the fall/winter of 2011. He spent the following spring substitute teaching at various Catholic and Public schools in the area. He received his first teaching position at Community of Saints Regional Catholic School in West St. Paul where he taught Elementary and Middle school PE, as well as serving as the Athletic Director for their 5-8 athletics program. During these two years, Mr. Fussy continued coaching middle school basketball here at PA and felt very blessed to continue to be a part of the community. In the fall of 2014, he was hired as a Physical Education and Health teacher at Providence Academy and continues to coach basketball as well as being an Upper School student council advisor.
Mrs. Nancy Galgano, Lower School Director
Mrs. Nancy Galgano serves as the Lower School Director, with responsibility for the operations of Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 including all Lower School Extended Day and Lower School After-School programs and activities. In addition, she serves as the senior administrator/director of spring break camp and summer programs. Prior to this position, she taught second grade at Providence Academy. Mrs. Galgano holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of St. Catherine and a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University. In addition to her teaching background, Mrs. Galgano has substantial experience in the areas of religious education, and educational leadership, including serving as president of a pre-school in California and managing a group of professional corporate trainers for Citibank in New York.
Mr. Michael Gerads, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Mr. Michael Gerads is an Upper School Mathematics Teacher at Providence Academy. Mr. Gerads has been teaching for over 25 years. Most recently, he was the Middle School Math and Religion Teacher at St. Raphael Catholic School in Crystal. Prior to that, he taught math for 14 years at Cooper High School in New Hope. While there, he was also the head coach of both the boys’ and girls’ swim teams. Beyond the classroom, Mr. Gerads enjoys volunteering with his parish youth group and as a coach for a Special Olympic swim team. He holds a B.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and an M.A. in Teaching and Learning from St. Mary’s University in Winona. Mr. Gerads has also completed the Catechetical Institute through the Archdiocese and is currently enrolled in the Catholic School Leadership Program through the St. Paul School of Divinity.
Ms. Erika Greene, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Phone: (763) 258-2524
Ms. Erika Greene is an Upper School mathematics teacher. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound in the Seattle area with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Business Administration, and Computer Science and played collegiate volleyball. Right after college, she worked as an IT Analyst/Web Programmer and then earned a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Mathematics from Western Governors University. Ms. Greene has coached volleyball and taught at Catholic schools in both Hawaii and Utah before moving to Minnesota.
Mrs. Kate Gregg, Upper School Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Amanda Gregory, Business Office Assistant
Mrs. Amanda Gregory has been a member of the Providence Academy staff since we opened our doors in 2001. Mrs. Gregory presently serves as the Business Office assistant, but has also supported the lower and middle school divisions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the College of St. Benedict, and an Accounting certificate.
Mrs. Kelly Harrington, Director of the Upper School
Mrs. Kelly Harrington presently serves as the Upper School Director at Providence Academy. During her tenure at Providence Academy, Mrs. Harrington has also taught fourth graders, led as Grade Level Coordinator, served as the Lower School Curriculum Coordinator, Pre-Kindergarten Coordinator and Lead Teacher, and most recently served as the Middle School Director. Mrs. Harrington's professional background includes teaching several grades prekindergarten through high school and coaching several sports including collegiate and high school softball. Mrs. Harrington holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Spanish, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed. S. from the University of St. Thomas.
Mrs. Ann Heitzmann, World Language Department Chair & French Teacher
Mrs. Annie Heitzmann chairs the World Language Department and teaches french in the Academy's Middle & Upper Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Before joining Providence Academy, Mrs. Heitzmann taught at South High School in Minneapolis, Middle School #51 in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Mahtomedi High School. Mrs. Heitzmann’s teaching and curriculum is enhanced by her experiences studying abroad in Belgium, South Africa and throughout France, as well as her experience leading student travel abroad.
Mrs. Amelia Hejna, Upper School English Teacher
Amelia Hejna serves as the Upper School Learning Specialist and teaches Upper School Literature, as well as advising the book club and Eta. This is her fifth year at Providence Academy! Prior to joining the Providence community, she taught junior high and high school English and Theology at three different Catholic schools in Tennessee and Virginia. Mrs. Hejna spent eight wonderful years in temporary vows with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, TN and credits them for her love of sharing Jesus with young people in the Catholic school setting. She and her husband are looking forward to welcoming a little one into their family this November! She spends her free time reading, cooking, running, and cross-stitching. Mrs. Hejna is delighted to get to know all the Providence families and support them in their journey to know the Lord more deeply and live more intentionally.
Mr. Edward Hester, History Teacher
Mr. Hester has been teaching at Providence Academy since 2006. He currently teaches European History, Economics, and Current Events, although he has also taught Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Worlds, as well as various Religion classes. Mr. Hester holds a BA in Theology from Christendom College, and an MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College. Before becoming a teacher, Mr. Hester worked in various fields including industrial purchasing, restaurant management, home inspection, and construction. Mr. Hester also served in the US Army Reserves and the VA National Guard as a construction surveyor and an 81mm mortarman.
Mr. Dan Hickel, Middle & Upper School Science Teacher
Mr. Dan Hickel teaches science in both the upper and middle school levels, as well as serves as assistant coach to Providence’s Cross Country team. Mr. Hickel earned his B.S. in Physical Sciences Education from Winona State University and soon after moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where he lived and taught for 4 years. During that time, he was accepted to a summer internship at NASA headquarters in Ames, CA, earned a Masters in Science Education from Hawaii Pacific University, and presented his graduate thesis at the International Learners Conference in New York City. Mr. Hickel is also an assistant coach of Providence Academy's Track and Cross Country teams.
Dr. Arthur Hippler, Religion Teacher
Dr. Arthur Hippler is Chairman of the Religion Department at Providence Academy, where he has taught since 2006. He also teaches as an adjunct professor in St. Paul School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas and as an instructor in the Harry Flynn Catechetical Institute for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California, he received his Doctorate in Philosophy from Boston College. He is the author of four books, two on Catholic social teaching and two iBooks on C. S. Lewis. He is married with five children.
Mrs. Sarah Hogan, Director of College Counseling and Learning Support
Mrs. Sarah Hogan has over two decades of experience in the field of secondary and post-secondary admissions and college counseling. She currently serves as Director of College Counseling and Learning Support at Providence Academy, where she has also served as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. During her tenure at Providence Academy, Mrs. Hogan oversaw Pre-K-12 enrollment management and outreach efforts and established a comprehensive college counseling and Pre-K through 12 student support program for the school community. She has coordinated both entrance testing (e.g. ERB) for students enrolling at Providence Academy and college entrance testing (e.g. PSAT, ACT), providing pre- and post-test advising, plus guiding the meaningful analysis of resulting data to inform curricular and learning support interventions. Mrs. Hogan has implemented a peer-led tutoring program, developed a college application workshop for rising seniors, as well as created and executed a yearly College Day event for Upper School students and parents.
Prior to her decade plus in the secondary school setting, she served as Director of Alumni Relations and as Associate and Interim Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at her alma mater, the University of Dallas. Mrs. Hogan is a long-standing member of NACAC and MACAC, and her current leadership experience includes a second term of service on the MACAC Board of Directors as Co-Chair of the Minnesota National College Fair and she recently became an inaugural member of the Naviance Advisory Board, where she will begin a term on the counseling advisory board for a Big 10 university. She previously served as a Co-Chair of the Naviance User Group initiative through partnership with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.
Mrs. Amy Hohenecker, 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Amy Hohenecker came to Providence Academy in 2013 and teaches fourth grade. She formerly taught fourth grade at a local Catholic elementary school and in a multi-age classroom in South Dakota. Mrs. Hohenecker holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, along with a minor in Physical Education, from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD and a master's degree in education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Mrs. Hohenecker is an Assistant Coach for the Junior Varsity and Varsity cross country team and is also the Head Track Coach at Providence Academy.
Mrs. Danette Jaeger, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Danette Jaeger has been a teacher at Providence Academy since 2014. She graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Prior to coming to Providence she spent ten years teaching a variety of grade levels at area Catholic Schools. Mrs. Jaeger has been a part of the Providence Academy community, serving as the Lower School Extended-Day Coordinator, since 2003. She continues in this role and also serves as the coordinator of the P.A.L.S. summer program.
Mr. Jonathon Janz, Religion Teacher
Jonathon Janz is an instructor in the religion department, serving both the middle and upper schools. He has also worked as an instructor in the science department. Mr. Janz earned a Master of Arts in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas, a Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has also completed coursework in doctoral-level programs for kinesiology and physical therapy, and has over a decade of experience training collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes. He has been published in exercise science journals, magazines, and websites and has experience as an instructor, adviser, lecturer, consultant, and research assistant for various universities and private organizations. Mr. Janz is an Instituted Acolyte and helps to coordinate many liturgical functions at Providence Academy. He is also the ministry leader for altar servers at the Cathedral of St. Paul and serves as a master of ceremonies for major liturgical events in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Mrs. Angela Jendro, Religion Teacher
Mrs. Angela Jendro teaches Religion in the Middle and Upper Schools at PA. She holds a Master's Degree in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas and Bachelor Degrees in Theology, Philosophy, and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas as well. In addition to teaching in the school setting, Angela has a long history of teaching in parishes both as a speaker for adults and as an instructor for Confirmation preparation. She has a deep appreciation for the gift of our Catholic faith, and loves the opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel with students.
Mrs. Adrienne Johnson, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Teacher
Mrs. Adrienne Stankey-Johnson has been teaching in the archdiocese for 20 years as a K-8 Music Specialist. She considers herself a playwright and has written and produced many plays. Mrs. Johnson was nominated for an educator Grammy for her plays, The Annunciation of Mary, It’s a Beautiful Day at JohnPaul 2 School, and most recently, Meet the Beatles, the last theatrical production at St. Mark's School. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree from Juilliard in Piano Performance. This summer, she performed in Boston as part of the 2019 international Piano Festival. Mrs. Johnson is delighted to join the Providence family and looks forward to sharing her skills and talents with this community.
Mrs. Lara Johnson, Lower School Art Teacher
Mrs. Lara Johnson is the Lower School Art Instructor for grades Kindergarten through Third. She graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. She started her teaching career at Breck School, serving in various teaching roles, including Lower School Art. While earning her Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education from Dominican University, Mrs. Johnson taught at the Brickton Art Center in Park Ridge, IL. Mrs. Johnson is also a working artist, using her drawing and illustration skills to complete works of art for her personal business. Before coming to Providence Academy, Mrs. Johnson was the Lower School Art Instructor at New Life Academy in Woodbury.
Mr. Thomas Jones, Upper School Band
Mr. Thomas Jones directs the Upper School Symphonic Band, provides all Upper School wind and percussion lessons, and teaches 8th grade music history. Prior to coming to PA in 2012, Mr. Jones taught instrumental music in Southern California for eight years where he lead wind bands at all levels in grades 7-12, taught competitive field marching band, studio rock band, and music history. In addition, he served as a guest clinician and adjudicator for regional band festivals at the middle school level, and lead regional high school honor bands. He has performed as a member of The Bakersfield Winds, and a guest performer with the Bakersfield Youth Symphony. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from St. John’s University where he graduated with honors.
Dr. Kevin Keiser, History Department Chair & Upper School History Teacher
Dr. Kevin Keiser taught Latin and history for four years at St. Cecilia Academy in Nashville, TN, before coming to Providence Academy in 2013. He has also taught theology at Aquinas College and in the permanent diaconate formation program for the diocese of Nashville. He holds an S.T.B., a Masters in Thomistic Studies, and a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy. Dr. Keiser's favorite historical topics include the Assyrians, Achaemenid Persia, the Roman principate, paleo-Christianity, the expansion of Islam, the rise of the Normans, the Gregorian Reform, the Crusades, and the 14th century. At Providence Academy, he serves as the History Department Chair and teaches the history of Western Civilization and Senior Religion (Reason and Revelation).
Mr. Brian Kennedy, Athletic Trainer
Brian Kennedy, ATC, is the Lead Athletic Trainer at Providence Academy. Brian earned his Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in Exercise Science and a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training from the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth.
He has worked with a variety of athletes of all ages and levels of play, including collegiate athletes with the College of Saint Scholastica soccer, softball, and hockey teams as well as basketball, soccer, hockey, and track and field at University of Wisconsin, Superior.
He provides immediate, on-field care to all athletes during games then helps guide rehabilitation in the case of injury. He creates return-to-play plans, and helps athletes have an injury-free season. Through a partnership with Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists and Allina Health, Providence Academy athletes are given a priority at clinics in West Health, Edina, and Minneapolis in the event he or she needs to be seen by an orthopedic specialist.
Mrs. Janine Kennedy, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Kennedy teaches Pre-Kindergarten at Providence Academy. She holds a masters degree in education from the University of Massachusetts and has been part of the Pre-K team since 2010. Mrs. Kennedy loves teaching Pre-K because it is amazing to watch the children grow by leaps and bounds throughout the years. She does her best to convince each child that they are uniquely brilliant and important. Prior to coming to Providence, Mrs. Kennedy also taught elementary and Pre-K in Boston and St. Louis.
Mrs. Julie Kennedy, Database Coordinator and Executive Assistant
Mrs. Julie Kennedy came to Providence Academy in 2004 and currently serves as the Registrar, Database Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Headmaster, Dr. Flanders. Prior to Providence, Mrs. Kennedy spent 12 years as an independent contractor as Project Administrator /Project Coordinator /Project Manager for a major multinational technology and consulting corporation. Mrs. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
Mrs. Ann-Marie Killion, FACS Teacher
Mrs. Ann-Marie Killion, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Home Economics at the University of Minnesota. She teaches Foods I & II in the Upper School, and the FACS course in the Middle School. Mrs. Killion also brings extensive textile industry experience, having worked in the fields of interior and apparel design.
Mrs. Melissa Krcil, Lower School Learning Specialist
Mrs. Melissa Krcil has served as the Lower School Teaching and Learning Specialist since 2012. As a founding member of the PA faculty, Mrs. Krcil taught third grade and was also the coordinator of that grade until 2009. From 2009 to 2012, she was a substitute teacher at Providence while spending most of her time at home caring for her young children. Mrs. Krcil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education grades one through six, with an emphasis in Special Education and a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2016, she completed a Master of Arts in Reading (K-12) program through the University of St. Thomas. As an experienced educator, her strengths lie in respecting and teaching each child as an individual soul and creating a positive learning environment through solid curriculum, discipline, and compassion. She brings a strong sense of mission and vision to Providence Academy.
Mrs. Kesney McCarthy, MA, LSC, Upper School Guidance Counselor
Mrs. Kesney McCarthy serves as the Upper School Counselor at Providence Academy. She is passionate about Catholic education at every level. Her previous experiences include work in both private and public schools. Most recently, she was a Guidance Counselor at St. Hubert School in Chanhassen. Before that, she spent time counseling students in the southern suburbs of Chicago and in Eden Prairie. She also has experience providing in-home family therapy through a private firm in the Twin Cities. Mrs. McCarthy earned her BA in Psychology from St. Mary's University in Winona, an MA in Counseling & Psychological Services from St. Mary's University-Twin Cities and her K-12 Counseling license from the University of Minnesota.
Fr. Michael McClellan, Chaplain, Middle School Religion and Latin Teacher
Phone: (763) 258-2541
Fr. McClellan has served as chaplain of Providence Academy since 2017. He is also a religion and Latin instructor for the Middle School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas, and a Master of Divinity from the St. Paul Seminary. Fr. McClellan is a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and comes to us with parish and school experience.
Mrs. Anne McCulloch, Upper School Religion Teacher
Phone: (763) 258-2538
Mrs. Anne McCulloch teaches Religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Catechetics as well as a Master of Arts degree in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Over the last ten years, Mrs. McCulloch has served as a Steubenville Youth Conference LEAD facilitator, LifeTeen content and curriculum contributor, director of youth and young adult ministry, campus minister, and middle school religion teacher. She has also coached collegiate, club, and high school women’s lacrosse in Ohio, Kentucky, and Minnesota.
Mrs. Kristine McElroy, 5th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Kristine McElroy teaches fifth grade at Providence Academy. Mrs. McElroy has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, along with a minor in music, from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. She also has a master’s degree in education from the University of St. Mary’s in Winona, MN. Prior to working at Providence Academy, Mrs. McElroy taught both first grade and fifth grade.
Mr. Daren Messmore, Athletic Director
Mr. Messmore is the school's athletic director. He first came to Providence Academy as one of the school's assistant athletic directors whose primary responsibility involved the outdoor athletic complex and dome operations. Mr. Messmore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education (K-12) from North Dakota State University in Fargo and a Master of Education in Sport Management from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Mrs. Sarah Millerbernd, 1st Grade Teacher
Mrs. Millerbernd came to Providence Academy with experience teaching 1st and 4th grade in Catholic elementary schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from South Dakota State University. Mrs. Millerbernd enjoys her days teaching first grade at Providence Academy since 2002. She feels very lucky to be teaching at the school where her three children attend as well.
Mr. Marshall Morris, Head Chef
Mrs. Maureen Murphy, School Nurse
Mrs. Maureen Murphy came to Providence Academy in 2006 as the school nurse. Her prior experience includes 10 years of hospital nursing in general medicine, cardiac step down, and intensive care. After completing her MBA from the University of St. Thomas, she worked in the medical device and health insurance industry. Mrs. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing degree from St. Catherine University.
Mrs. Sally Nathe, Enrollment Coordinator
Phone: (763) 258-2561
Mrs. Sally Nathe serves as the Enrollment Coordinator at Providence Academy. Her role includes admissions, enrollment, and day visit coordination. She joined the staff in 2000, one year prior to the inaugural school year. Mrs. Nathe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the College of St. Benedict.
Mr. Michael Olson, Middle School English Teacher
Mr. Michael Olson served in the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) where he received his Master’s of Education, Language Arts. Mr. Olson is a founding faculty member of Providence Academy, as well the school’s founding Athletics Coordinator from 2001-2003. Throughout his tenure, he has served as: Curriculum Coordinator for the Middle School; English Department Coordinator; Dean of Students; Student Council Advisor; 8th Grade Team Lead; Boys and Girls Varsity Tennis coach (2x coach of the year), Boys and Girls Middle School Basketball coach, and Boys High School Basketball Varsity Assistant Coach; and has taught Middle and Upper School courses in English, Religion, Health, and currently teaches 7th and 8th Grade English in the Middle School.
Mrs. Karen Ostaffe, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
Mrs. Karen Ostaffe has been with Providence Academy since 2016 and has over 15 years of teaching experience. Karen has been a mathematics educator in both public and private schools during her career. She has experience in all levels of mathematics including Calculus and AP Statistics. Karen is originally from central Illinois and attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education. Karen also holds a Master’s in Education in Leadership and Supervision. In addition to her teaching experience, Karen has written textbook supplements for McDougall Littell and has been selected in the past to pilot new textbooks for the publisher. Before relocating to Minnesota, Karen taught mathematics at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. She worked as a Core Leader in the mathematics department and was responsible for the Algebra and Geometry curriculum and team leadership, mentoring teachers, and technology in the classroom.
Mrs. Stacy Paulsen, Middle School Science Teacher
Mrs. Paulsen holds a bachelor’s degree in natural science from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Minnesota. She completed her postgraduate teacher licensing program at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis with an emphasis on integrating technology in science education. Before joining the Providence faculty in 2015 as a 7th grade science teacher, Mrs. Paulsen taught in a variety of settings including undergraduate instruction in biological and cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota and St. John’s University, outdoor education with the National Park Service and Three Rivers Park District, community education, reserve teaching in local public school districts, and faith formation instruction in her local parish.
Mrs. Sally Peterson, Upper School Administrative Assistant
Sally Peterson started working at Providence Academy in 2014 and serves as the Assistant to the US Guidance Counselor, Director of College Counseling & Learning Support Services and Assistant to the Dean of College Counseling. She Graduated from the University of St. Catherine (St. Paul) with a Bachelor degree in Nursing. She was a Nurse Manager (RN) at Ophthalmology Associates, LLP - Southdale Eye Clinic in Edina for seven years.
Mrs. Kaitlin Pfiffner, Latin Teacher
Mrs. Kaitlin Pfiffner is a licensed Latin teacher. She currently teaches in the middle and upper divisions. Kaitlin is a graduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she studied Latin Education and Classical Studies. She has studied Latin and ancient Greek. Since starting at Providence Academy in 2012, she has taught in all divisions.
Mr. Michael Plucinski, Physics Teacher
Mr. Michael Plucinski came to Providence Academy in 2012 after teaching Physics and Physical Science for 5 years in Fairmont, MN. A proud faculty member of the Science Department, Mr. Plucinski teaches Physics and Engineering at PA and also serves as the lead mentor for PA’s FIRST Robotics Team, #4511 – Power Amplified! Mr. Plucinski is a graduate of St. John’s University where he earned a B.A. in Natural Science, with concentrations in Physics and Mathematics, as well as a minor in Secondary Education. He has also earned a graduate certificate in Engineering Education from the University of St. Thomas.
Mrs. Cathryn Quinn, Mathematics Department Chair and Middle School Mathematics Teacher
Mrs. Cathryn Quinn joined Providence Academy in 2002 and currently teaches in the Middle and Upper School and serves as the Mathematics Department Chair. With more than thirty years of teaching experience, she has taught in both public and private schools throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, as well as greater Minnesota. Her versatility in education has ranged from being a parent educator and gifted-talented program teacher, to teaching a variety of subjects at the elementary and middle school levels. Mrs. Quinn holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics Education Specialist PreK-12 from the University of St. Thomas.
Mrs. Fran Ramirez, Spanish Teacher
Mrs.Ramirez teaches Spanish to Middle and Upper School students at Providence. She started working at Providence in the 2015-2016-school year. She came to the Academy from Rockford School District where she taught Spanish I and Spanish Cultures to the Middle school students and Spanish I and IV at the High School for five years. She was also the Diversity Coordinator for the district. Prior to that, she had also taught Spanish for 14 years at St.Stephen’s School in Anoka. She is originally from Costa Rica and has lived in Nebraska and Minnesota for the last 25 years. Sra.Ramírez holds a bachelor’s degree in Kindergarten education from the University of Costa Rica, a master’s degree in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and holds a Spanish k-12 Spanish teaching license from Bethel University in Minnesota. She is very passionate in teaching Spanish and loves to share her Hispanic culture with the students.
Mrs. Jackie Raymaker, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Raymaker teaches pre-kindergarten at Providence Academy. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Education from Winona State University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Prior to Mrs. Raymaker’s current position, she has experience teaching preschool and kindergarten in Seattle, Washington.
Mrs. Beth Reopelle, 5th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Reopelle initially came to Providence Academy as a fifth grade teacher. She also worked a few years creating a Campus Ministry department and taught Middle School and ninth grade religion courses. Mrs. Reopelle holds a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. Her previous experience includes teaching math and science in seventh through twelfth grades and coaching cross country. Mrs. Reopelle has a love of learning in all subject areas but is most passionate about theology and science. One of her favorite things about teaching is seeing students make connections between the different branches of knowledge, which truly bear on one another and bring students "to an understanding of the infinite wisdom and goodness which the Creator has displayed in all His works." (Newman, Idea of a University).
Mr. Kyle Rickbeil, Director of Middle School
Mr. Kyle Rickbeil serves as the Director of Middle School, overseeing the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Prior to working at Providence Academy, he spent twelve years working at Trinity School, an Independent Catholic School ten miles from Baltimore, Maryland. While at Trinity, he served as a middle school director, middle school religion teacher, and a coach for Trinity’s basketball, cross-country, and track and field teams. After graduating from Cathedral High School in Saint Cloud, he studied Philosophy at Valparaiso University and earned a M.A.T. from Notre Dame University of Maryland through the Operation TEACH service-learning program. While living on the East Coast, he also earned a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision through Marymount University’s Catholic School Leadership program. Mr. Rickbeil has spent significant time researching the Finnish education system, learning how to apply the best practices from one of the leading education systems in the world to American Catholic schools.
Mrs. Kelly Roles, LS Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Kelly Roles joined the Providence Academy family in 2019 and serves as the Assistant to the Lower School Director. She graduated from Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame with a degree in Economics/ International Business and earned her MBA in Marketing from DePaul University. During her years at Hallmark Corporation and ComPsych, she gained a strong background in marketing and business operations.
Mr. Darren Rousar, Art Teacher
Mr. Rousar brings over 25 years of experience teaching fine art to Providence Academy. He has previously served as assistant director and an instructor at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy and vice president of The Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville. During his tenure at The Minnesota River School, he also served as an instructor and led art-based tours of Italy, England and Spain. He attended Atelier Lack and Atelier LeSueur, both in Minnesota, as well as Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, Italy. He has been a practicing professional artist for more than 35 years, focusing mainly on Christian themes. He is the author of six books about traditional art instruction. Mr. Rousar teaches art at Providence Academy.
Mr. Christopher Santer, Art Teacher
Mr. Christopher Santer is an award-winning artist with an extensive professional exhibition and commission record. His original paintings and drawings have been included in a variety of gallery and museum exhibitions from California to Georgia. Prints of his artworks for churches and schools hang in all 50 of the United States, and in 10 foreign countries, and he continues to add a new range of prints to his website, pacemstudio.com, every year. Some honors include the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists for 2004, and a featured profile in the national publication, New American Paintings, Volume 47. He taught studio art classes at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he received a master’s degree in painting. His undergraduate degree in commercial design and illustration was completed at the University of Dayton, in Ohio. He has additional experience working with young people through four years of service with NET Ministries of West St. Paul, and through his work for the Minnesota Historical Society at the State Capitol. Mr. Santer teaches art for portions of the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.
Mr. Adam Schmalzbauer, Upper School English Teacher
Mr. Adam C. Schmalzbauer serves as the chairman of the English Department at Providence Academy, teaching Upper School English. Responsible for instructing all Providence Academy seniors in the Senior English Seminar, Mr. Schmalzbauer will be teaching American Literature to sophomores again in the next school year. In the past, Mr. Schmalzbauer served the PA Community well by sharing his coaching experience with Providence Academy’s student-athletes, most recently on the basketball court and the gridiron. Mr. Schmalzbauer is an alumnus of Saint John’s University where he minored in Spanish literature while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in Collegeville, before gaining his Bachelor of Science degree in English Teaching from Winona State University. Mr. Schmalzbauer, who came to Providence from Rochester Lourdes High School, holds the distinction of being a professional writer, having published a series of sports history books for students.
Mrs. Dawn Schommer, Manager of Auxiliary and Development Programs
Mrs. Dawn Schommer came to Providence Academy in 2006 and serves as the Development Coordinator. Before then, she worked in the public finance division of a middle-market financial services corporation with various roles in financial management, analysis, and strategic planning. She also spent four years at home caring for her young daughters, who are now Upper School students at the Academy. Mrs. Schommer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Pepperdine University.
Mrs. Emily Semsch, Middle School Counselor
Mrs. Semsch is the School Counselor for Middle School students at Providence Academy. As counselor, she assists students experiencing a variety of personal, social and academic issues. She holds a master's degree in Professional School Counseling from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a bachelor's degree in English from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Mrs. Semsch is a licensed K-12 School Counselor, as well as a member of the Minnesota School Counselors' Association and the American School Counselor's Association. Before joining Providence, Mrs. Semsch completed internships at Benilde-St. Margaret's and Clover Ridge Elementary School in Chaska, where she focused on personal/social counseling for individuals and groups, classroom guidance lessons, academic counseling and future planning.
Mrs. Elise Sheehan, Upper School Science Teacher
Mrs. Sheehan came to Providence Academy in 2002 with twenty-four years of experience as a Medical Technologist and several years teaching experience at area Catholic schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo, a master's in Education and a graduate certificate in Curriculum design both from the University of St. Thomas. She has been the science department chair since 2006 and is a board member of the Minnesota State Science Olympiad program. She has a great deal of passion for hands on applications of science and a devotion to Catholic education.
Mrs. Melissa Simmons, Theater Director
Mrs. Simmons (Theater Teacher & Director, Sr. Speech Coordinator) After receiving her bachelor's degree in Theater from North Central University, Mrs. Simmons began teaching Speech and Theater classes at PA during the 2002-2003 school year. Since that time the drama program has grown from three productions a year to five, including, the US Fall Show, MS Winter Play, US One-Act, MS One-Act, and the US Musical. In addition, she has also worked with the Children's Theatre Company, Illusion Theatre, Emmrich Theater Production Co., and Theatre Unbound. Mrs. Simmons is currently pursuing a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Thomas.
Mrs. Connie Simons, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Connie Simons teaches Kindergarten at Providence Academy. Mrs. Simons has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Quincy University. She also possesses a seasoned child/classroom perspective, derived from many years of experience as a teacher in a Catholic school setting. She is a subject matter expert in the teaching of phonics, and was recognized in the 1995 archdiocese’s Outstanding Catholic School Teacher Award recognition program. Mrs. Simons has a reputation for creatively incorporating Catholicity in lesson plans and her efforts have been featured in several community and archdiocese publications. Mrs. Simons serves as the Kindergarten Coordinator and the overall Coordinator of Curriculum Review for the Lower School.
Mrs. Megan Simonson, English Teacher
Mrs. Simonson teaches English in Providence Academy's Middle and Upper Schools. A graduate of Saint Mary's University in Winona, she has a bachelor's in English Literature and a master's in Instruction. She has previously taught at Lourdes High School in Rochester, and Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria. Mrs. Simonson has experience teaching a wide variety of English curricula, and is currently Providence Academy's Speech Team Coach.
Mr. Ian Skemp, Upper School History Teacher
Mr. Ian Skemp teaches history in the Upper School, coaches Knowledge Bowl, and serves as the faculty adviser for the Dead Directors Society. Mr. Skemp was hired fresh off of getting his MA in American Studies at the University of Dallas. Before that, he earned a BA in Art History with a History Minor from the University of Minnesota. While finishing his BA, he taught Art History during Chesterton Academy’s inaugural year. During his time at PA, he has taught US History I & II, Debate I, History of Western Art, and Modern Western Civilization. He enjoys his role as a teacher at PA because it is a great environment for cultivating young minds during their formative years.
Mrs. Debra Spears, Director of Marketing and Admissions
Mrs. Debra Spears serves as the Director of Admissions and Marketing, with responsibility for the directing the admissions process from point of inquiry to enrollment, coordinating all re-enrollment activities, recruiting of students, and implementing and overseeing marketing strategy and brand development programs and materials. In addition, she serves as the senior administrator for the Summer Activities and Auxiliary programs.
During her tenure at Providence Academy, Mrs. Spears has also taught various courses such as Personal Finance, Economics, Study Skills, Speech and Technology, served as the Middle School Dean of Students, coordinated the Summer Activities Programs, and most recently served as the Dean of Activities and Auxiliary Programs. Prior to joining Providence Academy, Mrs. Spears worked in the finance arena in various roles and capacities for General Mills. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Purdue University.
Mrs. Robyn Steinbrueck, 1st Grade Teacher
Mrs. Robyn Steinbrueck is teaching first grade at Providence Academy. She has more than 25 years of experience, teaching a variety of elementary grade levels including Kindergarten, third, fourth and fifth grade. Mrs. Steinbrueck is a native of the Chicago area, but moved to Minnesota to earn her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. In addition to teaching, she also serves as one of the Curriculum Coordinators in the Lower School. As an avid runner having completed numerous half and full marathons, Mrs. Steinbrueck shares her enthusiasm for the sport as the Lower School Running Club coach.
Mr. Tim Subialka, Physical Education
Mr. Subialka has been teaching Physical Education at Providence Academy since 2002. The majority of his thirty-five teaching career has been spent teaching Physical Education to Kindergarten through eighth grade students, as well as coaching various sports. Mr. Subialka states, "I believe physical education should give students a wide range of activities, helping them to explore and to challenge themselves. There aren't too many things better than to conquer a physical task which you once thought impossible." Mr. Subialka earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from St. Cloud State University and has spent his entire teaching career in catholic schools around the Twin Cities area.
Ms. Bridget Taylor, Middle School Assistant
Mr. Michael Tiffany, Director of Academics and Curriculum
Mr. Tiffany serves as Director of Academics and Curriculum, is conducting the Academy's accreditation process, and teaches College-in-the-Schools Latin. In prior years at the Academy, he taught College-in-the-Schools Ancient Greek, Debate, Photography, Publications, Industrial Art, engineering, science, and Studio Art I-IV. He also takes Latin students to Italy for two weeks every two years. He is accomplished in art, industrial design and drafting, classics, literature, speech, rhetoric, journalism, and computers. He holds degrees in English and Ancient Greek, from the University of Minnesota, and has completed all doctorial studies and exams in the Classics. Mr. Tiffany is a founding faculty member who came to Providence Academy from St. Paul Academy and Summit School in the summer of 2001.
Mrs. Susan Truax, Enrollment Assistant
Mrs. Felicia Villafan, 4th and 5th Grade Technology Teacher
Mr. John Wagner, Head Custodian
Mr. John Wagner presently serves as the Head Custodian at Providence Academy. John began his service to the Academy while the facility was being built in 2001, acting as custodian to the construction crew and watching and learning as the facility was being built. Additionally, he has served as the public address announcer and site manager for all Providence Academy indoor athletic events since 2003. Before coming to Providence, Mr Wagner served as Head Custodian at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School in Robbinsdale since 1992.
Mrs. Hannah Wegner, Middle School History Teacher
Mrs. Hannah Wegner first joined Providence Academy in 2019 as a long-term substitute teacher for our sixth and seventh grade history classes. Mrs. Wegner is licensed in three states as a History and Government teacher, and has classroom experience teaching English and Religion as well. She has also coordinated the Catholic youth program and Airman ministries at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and served in other child and youth programs. Mrs. Wegner holds a degree with highest honors in Adolescent Education from the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse.
Mrs. Rebecca Welch, 5th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Rebecca Welch has been teaching for primary grades at Providence Academy since 2003. She currently teaches fifth grade. She also serves as a Lower School Curriculum Coordinator. Mrs. Welch grew up in Sioux Falls, S.D. and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Cloud State University.
Mrs. Maureen Woeltge, Lower School Music Teacher
Mrs. Maureen Woeltge is a music specialist for second through fifth grade students and has taught music at Providence Academy since 2011. She has a BA in K-12 Vocal and Classroom Music and a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St Thomas. Mrs. Woeltge loves seeing her students grow as music appreciators and as expert music makers throughout the year. It is the joy of music that fuels each workday and it is prevalent in her classroom. The connections students make between themselves and the world around them through the medium of music provides an extremely satisfying sense of accomplishment for students in her classroom. Mrs. Woeltge also loves the outdoors, movies, and most of all, her husband. She is in an Irish band with her family, who play throughout the Twin Cities area.
Mrs. Beth Wolfe, Strings Teacher
Mrs. Beth Wolfe is the Strings Program Director and teaches a music appreciation class which is one of the elective offerings of our Middle School. She has been a professional performing artist and teacher in the Twin Cities for the last 40 years. Along with providing private lessons, she has taught in the Minneapolis Schools summer program, Breck School, Macalester College, Eden Prairie String Academy, and MacPhail Center for the performing arts. Mrs. Wolfe is a founding artistic director of the conductorless Philomusica Chamber Orchestra, a founding member of the Pentimento String Quartet and has performed with many professional groups including The Minnesota Opera, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Minnesota Summer Pops Orchestra, The Duluth Symphony, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and many others. Mrs. Wolfe is a student and former assistant of the legendary Mary West, and has studied at the University of Minnesota with John Tartaglia, assistant violist with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Lea Foli, former Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Mrs. Gail Woodbury, French Teacher
Mrs. Gail Woodbury has been with Providence Academy since its founding, teaching in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. Mrs. Woodbury holds a Bachelor of Science degree in French and Education from the University of Minnesota as well as a certificate in French studies from the University of Quebec, Chicoutimi. She is a licensed K-12 French teacher with 30 years of experience teaching pre-school through adult education. Previous to teaching at the Academy, she taught French at Roseville Area Middle and High Schools, Wooddale Montessori Academy and Minnesota Center for Arts Education. In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Woodbury has directed many student trips to France and Quebec and has held summer French camps for students in several metro area schools as well as for Providence Academy. Mrs. Woodbury’s teaching is enhanced by her experiences of having studied and traveled in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Martinique and Québec.
Mr. Chris Wrede, Middle School History Teacher
Mr. Chris Wrede has been teaching at Providence Academy for the past 15 years serving in both the Lower School as well as his current position as Middle School history teacher. Mr. Wrede earned a B.A. degree in education from the University of Minnesota – Duluth as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Thomas.