Lower School Directory
Lower School Directory
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.
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 second grade at Providence but has also taught 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. 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
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 most recently working as a Reading Specialist for students K – 6th grade.
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.
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 15 years of teaching experience at several elementary grades. Mrs. Evens is currently teaching 1st grade.
Mrs. Marcia Farniok, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Marcia Farniok, second grade teacher, brings a world view and business training to Providence Academy. Mrs. Farniok previously taught Kindergarten and first grade locally and also in Brookline and Belmont, Massachusetts. Mrs. Farniok 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 achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a Nutrition Minor at the College of St. Benedict, and her Master of Education at Boston College and is a licensed Reading Specialist K-12.
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.
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.
Mrs. Amy Hohenecker, 3rd 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. Johannah Iniguez, Lower School Art Teacher
Mrs. Iniguez teaches Art to Kindergarten through third grade, Technology to fourth grade as well as a specialized art class in Middle School and Photography in the Upper School. She has previous experience as a high school art teacher. Mrs. Iniguez has a B.A. in Studio Art from Gustavus Adolphus College. She has experience working with a multitude of different art mediums and is currently working as an illustrator for a series of children's books. Mrs. Iniguez is also a proud Providence Academy alumna.
Mrs. Danette Jaeger, 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Danette Jaeger has been a fourth grade 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.
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. 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. 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.
Mrs. Elizabeth McIntyre, Assistant to Lower School Director
Mrs. Elizabeth McIntyre is the Assistant to the Lower School Director, and started in 2011 when her children were in the Upper School. She has a deep admiration for Catholic education, and Providence Academy's commitment to teach knowledge, faith and virtue. She brings to the position experience managing a small business office as well as work in admissions and marketing in a PK-8th grade private school. Elizabeth McIntyre has also been involved in an outreach capacity with a national charity working towards a cure for Type 1 diabetes since 2006. Mrs. McIntyre studied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Mrs. Sarah Millerbernd, 1st Grade Teacher
Mrs. Millerbernd came to Providence Academy with experience teaching first grade and fourth grade in Catholic elementary schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from South Dakota State University. Mrs. Millerbernd has taught 1st grade at Providence Academy since 2003.
Miss Catherine Ratelle, Lower School Music Teacher
Catherine is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, and currently holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in voice performance and the other in music education. She has been delighted to put these degrees to use as an elementary general music in several Catholic schools within the archdiocese, as the director of the youth choirs at the Church of All Saints in Minneapolis, and as a private voice and piano teacher. This summer Catherine began her graduate studies for her masters in music education, as well as her Kodaly and Orff music education certification. She also plans to continue on to an additional graduate degree in music history.
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. 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 selected commissioned artworks for churches and schools hang in all 50 of the United States, and in 5 foreign countries. 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.
Mrs. Ellen Shay, 4th Grade Long-Term Substitute Teacher
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. 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.
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.