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.
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.
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.
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.
Mrs. Lori Determan, Business Manager
Mrs. Determan has served as the Business Manager for Providence Academy since 2003. She is responsible for the day to day financial operations of the Academy, including student accounts. Mrs. Determan holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting and two decades of accounting experience as controller for a construction and real estate development firm. Mrs. Determan holds a current Minnesota Real Estate Salesperson License and is a Notary Public.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Mr. Kurt Jaeger, Dean of Activities & Middle School History Teacher
Kurt Jaeger is a founding member of the PA faculty. As Senior Development Officer, he is responsible for new and increased annual fund gifts, planned giving, endowment and stewardship. All of these are essential for PA and all independent schools to grow in the 21st century. Prior to this position, Kurt served as Director of Athletics, and also taught second grade and Middle/Upper School Religion. Mr. Jaeger has a decade of teaching and administrative experience prior to coming to Providence. Mr. Jaeger brings over two decades of experience in administration and teaching and coaching children of all ages, K-12. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Moorhead State University, and also has licensure in Middle School science, literature, math, foreign language, Kindergarten and coaching. Mr. Jaeger is a certified athletic administrator.
Mr. Rick Johns, Athletics Director
Rick Johns joined Providence Academy before the start pf the 2016-2017 school year. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, both in elementary education. He brings more than 35 years of independent school experience to the AD position. Most recently, Johns served as director of athletics at Saint Thomas Academy. Prior to that, he spent nine years as director of athletics at the University School of Milwaukee. During this time Coach and AD Magazine named USM a Program of Excellence Honoree. This accolade is given to the nation’s best athletic programs for their off-the-field achievements. Before USM, Johns spent 25 years at The Blake School, as a teacher, coach and the last 10 years as the assistant athletic director.
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. 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. Elizabeth McIntyre, LS Administrative Assistant
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.
Miss Sarah Melhorn, Assistant Athletic Director: Indoor Athletic Facility and Middle School A.D.
Key components of Miss Melhorn’s role include the administration of the Middle School Athletic Program and management of all facets of the daily operations of Providence Academy’s indoor athletic facility.
Miss Melhorn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. Miss Melhorn has also earned a Master in Sports Administration from Valparaiso University.
Mr. Daren Messmore, Assistant Athletic Director: Outdoor Athletic Complex and Dome Operations
As the Assistant Athletic Director: Outdoor Athletic Complex and Dome Operations, Mr. Messmore focuses his efforts on the overall administration and management of all facets of the daily operations of Providence Academy’s outdoor athletic complex, including the seasonal Dome in the winter season.
He 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.
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.
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.
Mr. Kyle Rickbeil, Director of Middle School
Phone: (763) 258-2500
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. 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. 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.
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
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. Erica Winegar, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Mrs. Erica Winegar returns to Providence Academy as its Marketing and Communications Coordinator; she previously served as the Upper School Administrative and College Counseling Assistant. Mrs. Winegar graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a bachelor of arts degree in English and Spanish. She has nearly a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector as a communications professional, including the education, public media, and health industries, respectively. Mrs. Winegar served on the board of directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC) as well as the Friends of the Eden Prairie Library.