Our Faculty and Staff Bios

 
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Educational Background: 

Saint Louis University

University of Phoenix

Franciscan University of Steubenville 

Certifications

Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Catholic Leadership

Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision

Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education

Missouri Career Certificate as a Principal

How long have you been in education?

21 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

My wife and I have six children. We are members of St. Theodore in Flint Hill Parish. I have two children who attend St. Dominic High School.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I am so grateful to share the mission of Catholic education with the families of St. Charles Borromeo each day. We get an opportunity each day to be the hands and feet of God for these children and share his heart and love. Children a tremendous gift and it is such an honor to have the opportunity to play a part in working their parents to help them understand their call to sainthood.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

St. Charles is a community that has historical faith roots. What a blessing to be connected with the legacy of the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and the Jesuits who help founded this school.

What is your philosophy in teaching?

Our hope is that we can help each child recognize they were created as part of God's plan of salvation. God created each student with unique talents and abilities. We, as Catholic educators, are called to support the parents as the primary educators and help the students realize their potential for greatness and their call to sainthood. Through the education that we provide, we help children experience the joys of childhood, grow in virtue, build their intellect, and form a meaningful relationship with Jesus. Our hope is that one day they will recognize their talents and gifts should be used to make a difference as citizens and active members of the faith.

What made you want to become an educator?

My hope was that I could be an instrument for God's plan in Catholic education. I have spent many years growing in knowledge and leadership to serve the mission. Children need to know they have opportunities to succeed. They need to understand that failures are going to happen and we are going to be them when it does happen. Failures are opportunities to grow and in the end hopefully all those failures lead to sainthood.

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Michelle Winkler

Assistant Principal

Educational Background: 
East Central Jr. College
William Woods University 
Lindenwood University

Certifications:
Associate Arts in General Education
BA in Elementary Education 1-6, and Minor in social studies
MA in Educational Administration K-12
Paul VI Religion Teacher Certification
Partial Library Media Specialist

 

How long have you been in education?

19 Years

 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We have two children that attend St. Charles Borromeo School. We are both former collegiate athletes so we very much enjoy watching and coaching our children in their sports. When we are not running from sporting event to sporting event, we are huge Blues fans and enjoy going to games. 


What is your philosophy in teaching? 
My philosophy in education is that all students have the right and opportunity to receive the best education they can in the best way possible for them individually. Students learn in so many ways and when finding what works for them, they can grow and achieve things they never knew they could. I believe that students must have a voice in their learning and learn by being fully engaged in their learning, not ideally sitting by. Every student has a voice and every student matters!

What made you want to become an educator?
My entire life I have wanted nothing more than to become a teacher and work in the field of education. Further in my teaching career, I have had the opportunity to have worked with many wonderful teachers and administrators. In my early years I knew I wanted to help lead and guide teachers just as much as the students. I want to give back to our school the growth mindset attitude and help our teachers help our kids to be the best they can be.

 

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Teresa Holliday
Preschool Director
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Educational Background: 

Florissant Valley Community College

Harris Stowe

Associates in  Early Education/ Project Construct

 

How long have you been in education?

30 years

 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have a daughter ( Emily 25, my step daughter), son (Joseph 18), he is in the Air Force, and a son (Michael 16). We spend most of our time with family and traveling for soccer with our younger son. 

 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I love being a Preschool Teacher! I enjoy seeing the excitement in each student when learning something new. Watching students explore, create, learn and build relationships all while using  the tools/materials that are given to them is rewarding as a teacher. 

 

What is your philosophy in teaching?

My philosophy in teaching is to always meet students where they are at. To provide an environment where they can grow intellectually, physically, mentally, and socially. Each student is an individual with strengths, interest, and knowledge to extend their learning. All children should be taught with patients, love and respect.


 

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Ashley Smith
Preschool Teacher

Educational Background: 

Lindenwood University

 

Certifications:

Bachelors in Early Childhood Education

 

How long have you been in education?

12 years

 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have a 7 year old son (Brennan). In our free time we enjoy hanging out with friends and family, and watching Brennan play baseball.

 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

The kids! They help me realize that sometimes you need to slow down and enjoy the little moments. I enjoy getting to watch every child grow and develop throughout the year. I love seeing the children get excited when they accomplish something new. Just watching them grow and form relationships with each other is very rewarding.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

As a first year teacher at St. Charles Borromeo, the sense of community and togetherness is one of the first things I noticed.

What is your philosophy in teaching?

My philosophy in teaching is that children will learn through play while using their imagination.

What made you want to become an educator?

My 2nd grade teacher. From the time I was in second grade until I graduated college, she was someone I looked up to and always strived to be the teacher she was.

Heather Floodman
Kindergarten Teacher

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Educational Background: 

University of Missouri- Saint Louis

Certifications

Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with certifications in Early Childhood (birth to 3rd) and Elementary (1-6) Education 

How long have you been in education?

7 years in working in schools (with a break in the middle to raise and educate my own children!)

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

My husband Bill and I have been married for fifteen years and we have three children. Ellie (12), Fiona (11), and William (8), all attend school at here at SCB. We brought home our newest family member in 2020 - an English Mastiff named Zeus.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

1 - The kids! Watching the joy in their eyes when my students master a new task, complete a project, or simply finish a good book is the best. And 2 - I get to play, sing, dance, create, and laugh every single day!

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

The sense of community. When my family came to Borromeo in 2019, we all felt welcomed and made new friends from the start. It was an easy move when I had the opportunity to join the Borromeo School staff. I love being surrounded by supportive and welcoming people everyday.

What is your philosophy in teaching?

My philosophy in teaching is that children learn through their environment and experiences. They need an environment rich in opportunities for them to make messes, explore, and PLAY!

What made you want to become an educator?

From a young age I looked up to a family friend who was a kindergarten teacher. She was patient and made learning fun and inviting for her students. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher just like her. The more I work with students, the more joy I find in being an educator!

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Mary Scheffer
Kindergarten Teacher

Educational Background: 

I attended St. Charles West High School, earned my Elementary Ed. degree from William Jewell College, and completed a Masters in Special Education at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

Certifications:

Early Childhood Education

Elementary Education

Learning Disabilities

Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities

I am also a National Board Certified teacher. 

 

How long have you been in education?

I have worked as an educator since 1983! I worked for the Francis Howell School District for 33 years, mostly teaching 1st and 2nd grades, and retiring in 2016.  I then taught in long-term substitute positions in Howell, the City of St. Charles Schools, and at Borromeo. I joined the St. Charles Borromeo staff full time in August of 2020 as a kindergarten teacher.

 
Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

I grew up in Saint Charles on a farm in the Cave Springs area.  My family has been here for many generations. My hobbies include genealogy, making digital scrapbooks, and enjoying music and theater. I have two adult children I am very proud of.  My son works for a mortgage company in Columbia, MO and is also a jazz musician.  My daughter works for the Clayton School District. Her family lives in St. Charles as well.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

St. Charles Borromeo is a very welcoming and encouraging school.  This is not only for the students and families, but I noticed this as a new teacher at the school.  I attended a parochial school growing up and a Christian college as well, so faith has always been a big part of my life. I feel blessed to get to work at Borromeo and talk to 5 year olds daily about God and how he is part of their lives.

What is your philosophy in teaching?

Teaching is a LOT more than just showing a lesson and expecting a child to learn.  Teachers need to be observant of strengths, struggles, have an understanding of what is developmentally appropriate, and uses data to determine what a child needs to succeed.  No two days are the same and each child is unique. This knowledge helps to build relationships with students and to help them grow.

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Lacie Borth
1st Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Southeast Missouri

WGU

Certifications

Bachelor's in Elementary Education

How long have you been in education?

8 years including preschool and first grade.

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I am married to my high school sweetheart for 16 years and we have one daughter named Ava (14). We are a busy and active family who love to spend time outdoors and at my daughters softball games.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I love spending time with the students and learning about each of their unique gifts. I am blessed to share the moments of their success in the classroom.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

Saint Charles Borromeo has a warm and welcoming community. We feel just like a family, I love that when I come to work I truly feel I am coming to my home away from home.

What made you want to become an educator?

I think God gave me a gift to connect with young students and I feel strongly to answer that calling. I love to spend my days in the classroom and help students grow in their faith, academics, and in their social emotional health.

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Karen Santel

1st Grade Teacher

Educational Background:

Fontbonne University

Certifications:

Catechist

Early Childhood Preschool-3rd Grade

Elementary 1st-8th

 

How long have you been in education?

Have been teaching 44 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I am happily married to Joe Santel who is retired but makes deliveries for Tool Service Center 1-2 days per week. My son Randall, 36 years old, owns food challenges.com and is a professional eater. My daughter Michelle, 32 years old, is in dining at Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood and works with Senior Citizens. Tiger Lily, my precious 5 year old cat, is adorable and is in charge of our household!

 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

St. Charles Borromeo is not only a great school but also a wonderful community. A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to appreciate an outpouring of love and support from families at SCB and words cannot express my gratitude. I have enjoyed teaching at SCB for 21 years and hope to continue teaching first grade and working with the younger students until I retire. First grade is a year where children grow in their faith and in their academic knowledge. I enjoy their smiling faces and the silly things they say. Every night I thank the Lord for being able to help the students learn and prepare for their futures.

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Jamie Bredensteiner

2nd Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Southwest Missouri State

Lindenwood University

Certifications:

Elementary Education Grades 1-6

Masters in Classroom Teaching

How long have you been in education?

16 years

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I love to see the growth each student makes within a year.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

The community and family feeling!

What is your philosophy in teaching?

Every classroom is a unique community. My role is to assist each kiddo in developing their own learning style and work to their fullest potential. My job is to engage them and teach them but not just fill their time. I enjoy incorporating hands on learning as well as cooperative learning opportunities within my classroom. 

 

What made you want to become an educator?

My first grade teacher! I always played school and my brother was always my student!

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Kari Higgins

2nd Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Monmouth College - Monmouth, Illinois

 

Certifications:

Bachelors in Elementary Education

Early Childhood 

Middle School Language Arts Endorsements

How long have you been in education?

14 Years 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I’m married to Brian and we have two sons, Henry and Harrison. We are truly blessed with our little family and thank God for them every day. We love spending time exploring the great outdoors together. Our favorite place to be is anywhere with a white, sandy beach. 

What made you want to become an educator?

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. I grew up spending my days in my mom’s classroom and loved pretending to be the teacher. I would always take her teacher guides and set up my own pretend classroom while she graded papers or worked with students. I had the best experiences with teachers throughout my life and they have shaped me into the teacher that I am today. I knew from a very young age that being a teacher was what I was meant to become. The best part of my day is when I get to spend it with my students and they learn something new. Teaching the sacraments has been such a blessing too!

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

St. Charles Borromeo is a loving and caring community. It is nice that we have the feel of a small family where we love and care for each other through the good and bad. I subbed here after I got married and moved to the area and always felt welcomed by the faculty and staff. Four years later, I was hired to teach second grade and have been here ever since. Growing up Catholic, I did not have the opportunity to attend Catholic schools because there weren’t any in the area. I knew that my faith was important and after college I was drawn towards Catholic schools because I could openly share my faith with my students. I am so thankful for this community who has loved and supported me through the good and bad times.  St. Charles Borromeo is truly a wonderful place to call home. 

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Gwynne Kahrhoff

3rd Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 
Lindenwood University

Certifications:

English

Spanish

How long have you been in education?

8 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

My husband Matt and I have been married for almost 24 years.  We have 4 boys: Jordan(22), Daniel(19), Luke(16), and Ryan(12). The six of us spend time watching movies, playing games, being outside, participating in charity events and attending sports.  We will forever be “Kahrhoff Strong”....#IGOTTHIS! 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I have been teaching at St. Charles Borromeo for 8 years now.  During my 2nd year, I quickly learned that I was not only a teacher, but I now had an extended family. I like that we are a school that is open to change and growth on many different levels.

 

What made you want to become an educator?

Teaching is the culmination of all the things I enjoy.  I love getting to spend time each day contributing to the development of my students.  Nothing is better than having those  in-depth class discussions about a topic that you are covering that challenges students to think, ask questions, and grow as a person.  I want to be that teacher that challenges, encourages, and strengthens each child.  School is more than just a place to learn.  Students should leave my class at the end of each day having academic, spiritual, emotional, and self growth in some capacity or combination.

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Kate Schmittgens
3rd Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Truman State University

Certifications

BS in Psychology

MAE Elementary Education

How long have you been in education?

8 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I've grown up in St. Charles, where I attended grade school at St. Joseph Cottleville before going to John F. Kennedy Catholic High School. I love reading, spending time with friends and family, and finding new coffee shops to enjoy!

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I enjoy teaching because of the kids and the excitement that can be found in learning each day. I love how their minds are so open to new information, especially when learning about the faith and God. Each day brings a new (and sometimes wild) adventure!

What made you want to become an educator?

I have wanted to be an educator ever since I can remember! I have always had a passion for learning and for working with children. Each of my teachers growing up had a lasting influence on my life. Through their examples, I hope to create a welcoming and loving environment where students are challenged to be the best 3rd graders they can be while growing in faith, love, and learning.

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Julie Mohan
4th Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Fontbonne University for my MA in Specialized Reading and Education Certifications Maryville University for my BA in Psychology/Sociology

Certifications

Special Reading K-12

Elementary Education 1-6

Language Arts 5-9

Social Science 5-9

Religious Education

How long have you been in education?

This is my 8th year in the classroom. I tutored for the 6 years I stayed home with my kids.

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I grew up in St. Louis and attended Holy Infant for grade school and Cor Jesu for high school. I married my husband, Dan, in 2008. We have two kids, Catherine (9), and Joseph (6).

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I get to help students grow in their abilities and also in their confidence as a learner. They can do amazing things with the right supports and the right tools.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I love having the support and freedom to teach the students in the ways they will learn best. I appreciate that relationships are such an important part of the school's philosophy and that each student gets to be known and valued for who they are.

What made you want to become an educator?

I love helping kids learn, especially learn to read and understand what they read since it is integral to success in every area. Working with third graders at Edgewood Children's Center during my undergraduate practicum solidified my love of teaching.

 

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Emily Wilson

4th Grade Teacher

Educational Background: 

Lindenwood University

Certifications

BA Elementary Education

MA Elementary Education

Paul VI Religious Certification

How long have you been in education?

24 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I have been married for 23 years.  I have three sons and one daughter.  My oldest son graduated from Ranken and is a diesel mechanic.  My 2nd son is in his 2nd year at State Tech working towards a degree in aviation maintenance.  My 3rd son is a sophmore at Orchard Farm, and my daughter is in 7th grade at SCB.

What made you want to become an educator?

I knew all my life that I wanted to be a teacher.  I’m the oldest of five girls so I was always helping my sisters with their school work at home.  I can remember being in 1st grade and knowing that was going to be a teacher when I grew up.

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Shannon Hodges

5th Grade Teacher

Educational Background

St. Louis University 

 

Certifications:

Elementary Education and Masters of Elementary Education: Reading Emphasis

How long have you been in education? 

11 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I have been married for sixteen years to my husband James. I have four children, Colin 14, Patrick 11, Christopher 7 and Piper 5. Next year we will all be at Borromeo together. 

Why do you enjoy teaching

Teaching is an amazing and unique profession. You often hear teachers talking about their kids. They are not talking about their biological children, they are speaking of their students. And it is no wonder. Many times you spend more time with your students than your own children. Each day those students make you laugh and make you cry. You feel their joys and you worry about them, just like a mother. Every  year you develop a new and distinct family which I feel is a truly wonderful gift. 

What made you want to become an educator?

I came to teaching later in life. My first profession out of college was in sales. Although there is no doubt it was a more glamorous career, it was not as gratifying a career. I wanted a job which would leave this world better than I found it, and I felt education was that path. After ten years I do not regret my decision.

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Deborah Poertner
Middle School
English Language Arts

6th Grade Homeroom

Educational Background: 

Lindenwood University 

Certifications

MA - Education

K-12 Reading Specialist

K-12 Spanish

B-3rd grade

English Language Arts 5-9

How long have you been in education?

15 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

My husband Dan and I have four sons and three grandsons. My family and I live in St. Charles. We are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Charles. Our family enjoys spending time together on the lake, vacationing in Branson and traveling to visit family in New York.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I enjoy teaching because I have a passion for teaching and learning. I enjoy getting to know my students and building relationships that foster trust and mutual respect. My students bring me joy and energy making each day an adventure. My students teach me how to be a better teacher, how to laugh, and how to grow in love.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

Everyone works together to meet the needs of our students. All faculty and staff are always willing to help and provide support to students and to each other. I am looking forward to being with my students and watching them grow while they journey through the middle school grades!

What is your philosophy in teaching?

I believe that all kids are natural born learners who have an innate curiosity that drives them to want to learn. All students can learn in the right environment with the right tools. Building relationships with students is the key to success in the classroom. Every student learns in their own way and at their own pace. Meeting students where they are and guiding them to reach their full potential is my goal for every student. I believe that it is important and necessary to educate the whole child not just academically but also socially and emotionally. Education is a journey through learning and growing together in which teacher and students can and should enjoy the ride.

What made you want to become an educator?

I have great memories of past teachers in my life. I have always admired and respected teachers for their selfless provision to their students. I enjoy working with children and watching them reach their full potential. I feel blessed to be in a profession that provides rewards that last a lifetime.

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Jennifer Resinsch
Middle School Science
7th Grade Homeroom

Educational Background: 

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

 

Certifications:

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction

Elementary Education 1-8

General Science 4-8

Language Arts 4-8

Social Studies 4-8

Elementary Religion 

How long have you been in education?

I have been in education for 25 years; 19 years teaching middle school science in both public and private education and 6 years in early childhood as a Parent Educator with Parents As Teachers.

 

 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I have been married to my husband, John for nearly 22 years and we have 3 children.  Anna is majoring in nursing at St. Louis University, while our 2 boys attend St. Dominic High School and are involved in football, basketball, and baseball.  We enjoy travelling to new places as well as spending time with family and friends.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I love teaching science at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School.   The small class sizes fosters relationships between students, teachers, and families.  It is a privilege to teach the same students for three years and watch students grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  I strive to create a warm, nurturing classroom environment where all students are challenged and engaged in learning as they discover the wonders of science in their daily lives. 

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Dr. Mary Lee Hardy
Middle School Math
8th Grade Homeroom

Educational Background: 

Bachelors and Masters of Education: Kansas State University

Doctorate: University of MIssouri - St. Louis

 

Certifications:

Elementary Education

Middle School - Mathematics

How long have you been in education?

40 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

Married with two adult children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren

What made you want to become an educator?

I knew my God given gift was teaching ever since I was seven years old. I used to play “school” with cardboard boxes as desks and stuffed animals/dolls as my students. My entire career has been in the field of education in a variety of positions. I have worked for non-profits, public and private schools and in the corporate setting. St. Charles Borromeo School feels like a family. Everyone genuinely wants to be the best version of themselves to serve God.

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Weston Kenney
Middle School Religion
8th Grade Homeroom

Educational Background: 

Western Kentucky University 

Certifications

Campus Missionary with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students - Designed and led Bible studies and formation groups, emphasizing helping others grow spiritually and intellectually in their faith.

How long have you been in education?

1st year teaching

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

My simple pleasures include: - Reading the Bible (I bet you didn't see that coming). - Drinking coffee. - Making playlists on Spotify. ​ Oh, and I'm starting to learn how to play Pickleball; pray for me as I take on this endeavor.

What made you want to become an educator?

My time as a Catholic missionary brought me two desires: an intellectual desire to know more about our Lord and a desire to teach the next generation of Catholics the full truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. Reflecting on my Catholic education growing up, I not only needed the truth to be presented to me; more important, I needed someone to model it for me, a well-formed spiritual mentor who practiced what he preached. As a teacher, I intend to blend our faith’s intellectual side with how young people can practically live it out in their state in life, emphasizing their personal relationship with our Lord.

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Erin Beckemeier
STEM &
Librarian

Educational Background: 

Duchesne High School

Saint Louis University-B.A. Education

University of Missouri-St. Louis-M.Ed. Educational Administration

Certifications:

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Special Education

Elementary Education

Principal K-8

How long have you been in education?

18 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

I am married to Greg, who owns a small printing business. We have six children, ages 21, 17, 15, 12, 9, and 4. Our black lab, Raven, keeps us on our toes. We are parishioners at SCB. Outside of school I am actively involved in patient advocacy and supporting research for those with congenital heart disease and heart rhythm disorders. I serve on the Community Outreach Committee and Steering Committee of the Cardiac Neurodevelopment Outcome Collaborative as well as the Patient and Caregiver Committee of the Heart Rhythm Society.

 

What made you want to become an educator?

I enjoy teaching because no two days are the same.  Sure there are routines and schedules and curriculum-but each class, each student can shape the direction of the lesson and provide for a completely different experience from one moment to the next. My philosophy is to create an environment within my classroom where high expectations, positive interactions, and honest feedback set students on track for becoming the best version of themselves. My favorite facet of STEM education is witnessing students who have struggled in the regular classroom shine in this environment, and see themselves as problem solvers and thinkers for the first time. I aim to help them discover the gifts God has given them and how to use them to serve Him and their community.

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Leonard Bobrowski

Music Teacher

Educational Background: 

St. Louis University, 1979 (Summa cum laude)

Additional coursework at Florissant Valley Community College and the University of Missouri at St. Louis

Certifications:

Piano and organ certification from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians

How long have you been in education?

44 years - 25 at St. Sebastian, 1 at Our Lady of the Holy Cross, 18 at St. Charles Borromeo

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

I am single and an only child, so there really is not much family to mention, but I consider the staff, students and musicians at church part of my family.  In addition to teaching music, I currently serve as Director of Liturgical Music at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in Ferguson.  I am also a published composer and arranger of choral and handbell music, many of which are featured in the catalogues of two major publishing houses of Catholic music.  Outside interests include swimming, reading, baking, and live theater (Yea Broadway!)

What is your philosophy in teaching?

As someone who loves and was schooled in the liberal arts, I believe that students should be exposed to as much information as possible, so while I primarily teach music, I enjoy bringing in other subjects as well.  I am quick to include math, social studies, grammar, religion and elements of trivia into my lessons.  I love to learn and want to share that passion for knowledge with all the students.

 

What made you want to become an educator?

I began teaching piano in high school and continued through college.  Before my senior year I learned that my parish grade school still had not hired a music teacher for the coming school year, so I approached the principal and pastor and inquired about the position, thinking it might be fun (!)  I was able to teach a few grades while finishing my degree, and as they say, the rest is history.

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Patricia Classen

Spanish Teacher

Educational Background: 

I went to school in Mexico and in Kodiak, Alaska.

Certifications:

EDUCATION and TRAINING: Steward of Children (Children Abuse Prevention Training) University of Anchorage/Kodiak College A.A Degree, Alaska Institute for Justice: Interpreter Training Program, National Center for Construction Education and Research: Standardized Craft Training Program Completion including OSHA Training. Archdiocese of Anchorage: Hispanic Ministry Leadership Program Completion. Elementary Spanish l & ll, Intermediate Spanish l & ll, Interpersonal Communication. Customer Service Fundamental.

 

How long have you been in education? 

I have been working on human services around children and seniors with disabilities for more than 27 years, but I have been in education for 13 years mostly volunteering at my daughter’s school.

 

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

My family and I moved in 2016 to Missouri from Kodiak Island, Alaska, where I spent the last 19 years. I grew up in a family of 12 kids and learned about the importance of keeping a united family and love for God.

Why do you enjoy teaching? 

I enjoy being around kids and the smiles on their faces when they learn something new, being a teacher helps me to be myself and unique.  

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I have a strong desire to work in a place where I can learn new skills and always focus on giving my best by serving God and others, like a big family. Every single day I appreciate the opportunity to be here. That's why I choose SCB.

 

What is your philosophy in teaching?

Do your best! "When you've done everything you can do, that's when God will step in and do what you can't do." - 2 Corinthians 12:10. Keep trying, you are not alone.

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Sara Huelsing
Art Teacher

Educational Background: 

University of Missouri- Columbia

Certifications

Art Education

How long have you been in education?

I taught for 8 years and then look 7 off to be a mom! This is my first year back in the classroom.

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I have been married to my husband Ryan for 14 years and we have 4 girls , all who now attend SCB! We love to play games and visit our family farm.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I love to see their individuality!

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

It's small and supportive atmosphere.

What is your philosophy in teaching?

I feel that as educators we should be teaching the whole student! I have the amazing opportunity to see students in an environment where they can explore, create and not always be worried about a "correct answer", grades or homework.

What made you want to become an educator?

I have always had a love for children and art. So, this career is a perfect blend of those two things!

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Jamie Kneale
Physical Education
& Health

Educational Background: 

Lindenwood University

Certifications:

Physical Education and Health K-12

How long have you been in education? 

Previously taught 9.5 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I am married with 2 children ages 13 (Madelin) and 10 (Chase).  Madelin is a 8th grader at Assumption in O’Fallon and Chase is in fifth grade here at Borromeo. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic for the City of Clayton.  We are constantly busy running around coaching and playing sports. I also coach JV Girls Basketball at Saint Dominic.

 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I love working with young people and in a field where I know I am making a difference.  Yes, physical education is a lot of games being played but the life- long fitness and staying active is the goal. I enjoy the personal connection with my students. I hope to influence my students in a positive way so that they can take the life-long skills taught with them wherever they go? I want them to know that I care about them and I hope that I can inspire them to stay healthy and active.

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I'm only my second year hear I am still the new kid on the block and St. Charles Borromeo has been extremely inviting and welcoming. Last year was a rough year being the new teacher and not getting to know my fellowteachers as much as I would have liked, but they have all been very supportive. This year has been a lot easier cause I know most of the kids and have started making those family connections. I love the 
community atmosphere and although I have not had a physical connection with the families of Borromeo, they too have been very supportive and welcoming.  I can not wait to be able to meet the families of the kiddos that I love to teach.

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Lisa Hunter
Learning Consultant

Educational Background: 

Fontbonne University

Certifications:

Special and Elementary Education

How long have you been in education? 

30 years, almost all of them in Catholic Education

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I grew up in St. Louis and have raised my own family here.  My two children are both grown now and pursuing careers of their own.  My son is a first year resident at SLU and my daughter is pursuing a masters in public health.  We have a shared love of reading and can be found devouring books in our spare time.

What made you want to become an educator?

I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher.  The perfect career would be one in which I could combine both my love for learning and my love for children.  I have been blessed to teach students with a variety of abilities.  I believe all children can learn, and I enjoy the opportunity to help students discover their potential at their own pace and in their own way as they discover all their capabilities.  For me, teaching is not just a job but a vocation!

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Cheryl Shaw
Interventionist

Educational Background: 

Truman State University

 

Certifications:

Elementary Education

Early Childhood Education

How long have you been in education?

Eighteen years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family.

I have been married to my husband, Joe, for fifteen years and have been members of the Borromeo Parish for 14 years. Our three children all attend SCB (Michael is in 7th grade, Ella is in 5th grade and Luke is in Kindergarten). We spend all of our time outside of school watching our children play a variety of sports.  

 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

 I truly love every moment teaching. I treasure the connections to my students, watching them understand a new concept and develop confidence in themselves as students and as individuals. I strive to help the students grow emotionally, socially and academically. Each of the children that I have had the privilege of teaching has taught me how to be a better person, better mother, and better teacher. 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

Before coming to work at St. Charles Borromeo, I was an active member of the parish, and felt the feeling of belonging. However, I discovered a whole new sense of community once we joined the school family at SCB. I love the friendships that my children have developed. I know they will have lifelong friends that share in their faith and interests. As a teacher, I also feel that there is a great sense of family among not only the students but also the staff. It is obvious that everyone that walks in the halls of Borromeo is cared for and valued. 

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Debbie Besmer

Classroom Assistant

Educational Background: 

University of Wisconsin LaCrosse

Certifications:

Certified Elementary Education 1-8

 

How long have you been in education?

35 years 

 

Tell us briefly about  you and/or your family.

I have been married for 44 years.  I have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.  I enjoy watching my grandsons play sports and playing with my granddaughter.  I love to read when I have time and visiting family in California.

 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

Seeing the growth of the little ones from the beginning of the year to the end makes me so happy.  Knowing I have made a difference in their lives makes me proud. 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

Since my first day here I have felt the love and support of SCB school.  The teachers work so hard to provide the best academic and spiritual education for the students

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Amy Booth

Classroom Assistant

Educational Background: 

Western Illinois University

 

How long have you been in education? 

11 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

I have been married for 22 years and we have 4 wonderful children, Meaghan (studying architecture at The University of Kansas), Cameron (attends Duchesne High School), Kannon and Kolton who are both students at St. Charles Borromeo. We enjoy playing and attending as many sports games as possible and spend our summers at the Lake of the Ozarks boating, fishing and skiing. 
 

Why do you enjoy teaching?

 love to see the connections, the ideas and those AHA moments! The growth of the students that you see every single day, week, and month and then towards the end of the year when they are truly ready to move on and have grown a few inches...I feel a sense of being proud that they were "my kids" for the year. I love that I can watch them grow from when they had their first day at SCB and watching them still walk the halls as the years go by.

 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

Most definitely the love of family and community is what has kept myself and my family at St. Charles Borromeo since I was in kindergarten. I grew up in the school, married at the Church and have had the greatest opportunity to watch my own children walk the same halls that I did so many years ago. The teachers love, support and connect with the children as if they are their own. The greatest gift of all is Love and it's the greatest feeling seeing that in the halls every single day at St. Charles Borromeo.

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Mary Jane Leonhard
Classroom Assistant

Educational Background: 

Maryville University

 

Certifications:

Elementary Lifetime

How long have you been in education? 

36 years

Tell us briefly about you and/or your family. 

Married to my husband, Mark, for 48 years. We have 3 adult daughters married and one son that we lost as a teenager in a car accident. We are blessed with 5 grandchildren that range from 27 to 11. Our two oldest attend St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Doctorate Program, while 2 attend Immaculate Conception, Old Monroe and 1 is at St. Thomas Moore in Kansas City, where our youngest daughter is Vice-Principle.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

It has been a lifetime goal, since I was in 4th Grade to be a teacher, helping each and every student be the most successful student they can be.

 

What do you like most at St. Charles Borromeo?

I am able to live my faith in my everyday teaching and help each student to grow in their faith as they learn.

 

What is your philosophy in teaching?

To never be afraid to learn something new and to always be open to changes that may come about.

What made you want to become an educator?

The example my 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Grove showed me; to never leave a student behind. There is a place for each and everyone of us.