Faculty and Staff

All classroom faculty members are licensed teachers, with Bachelor’s Degrees or Master’s Degrees in Education.  All faculty members continue their educational efforts to keep current with best teaching practices.

 

  Grade:  Pre-Kindergarten
Mrs. Cindy Eckert

My name is Cindy Eckert, and I teach the preschool classes here at St. Joseph’s School. I grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Grand Rapids with my husband and our two daughters over twenty-five years ago. Our girls are now married, and God has blessed us with two grandchildren (so far). My favorite thing to do is spend time with our family.

I have always loved working with children. Back when I was in sixth grade, my friend and I started a ‘Kiddie Care’ in our neighborhood. I decided to follow my passion and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with concentrations in math and early childhood. After years of volunteer work in education and some substitute teaching, I began teaching on a regular basis. I was privileged to work with three-year-olds for thirteen years and four-year-olds for four years. I truly enjoy teaching preschool-age children. Their enthusiasm for life and learning is infectious. I am excited to be able to once again tell young children about God’s great love for them. It is heart-warming to hear them share what they have learned about Jesus’ payment for their sins through His death and resurrection. Working at St. Joseph’s School is a pleasure. The support and camaraderie between the teachers and staff help to make it more than just a job.

 
Principal
Mrs. Teresa Matetich

Thank you for your interest in learning more about St. Joseph’s School and our personnel. 

I walked into St. Joseph’s School as principal in 2000, the same year my youngest son walked into St. Joseph’s Kindergarten.  (Both of my sons went to school here.) Prior to my experience here, I was a teacher in both public and Catholic schools, including eight years in the public school system in Alaska.  I have degrees in Elementary Education and English from St. Catherine University and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.
God, my family, learning, and children are my joys in life.  I am blessed to work in our Catholic school.  Stop by to meet us and see the wonderful learning that takes place here!

 

  Grade:  Kindergarten
Ms. Laura Hoolihan

 

My name is Laura Hoolihan and I am the kindergarten teacher at St. Joseph's Catholic School.  My career as an Elementary teacher has primarily been in grades K-2.  I have been involved at St. Joseph's School for several years as my three grown children have attended this school.  I have had many enriching experiences being involved and working here, including, volunteering, teacher assisting and a valuable substitute teacher.  This is my fourth year teaching kindergarten.  The staff is dedicated to each and every student and we are lucky to have great families who are very involved in their children's education.

I truly enjoy this age of children as there is tremendous growth and independence as well as an excitement for learning!  Our days are filled with  many exciting opportunities to learn and grow in a safe and spiritual setting.  We are also very fortunate to be able to share in our faith development.  In addition to the traditional hands-on learning we enrich our curriculum with teacher directed computer instruction and the use of Smartboards and ipads.

 
Secretary
Mrs. Carmen Watland
Welcome to St Joseph’s School.  My name is Carmen Watland. My position is school secretary. I am new to this position this school year 2016-2017, however, I have been with St Joe’s since 2009 as playground supervisor.  It was heartwarming to be offered the school secretary position and to be able to spend more time with the children and staff at this wonderful school.
  Grade:  1
Mrs. Marina Whight
My name is Marina Whight and I am the first grade teacher at St. Joseph’s School. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few things about myself. I have been a teacher at St. Joseph’s School for over 35 years, receiving my B.A. degree in Education from The College of St. Benedict. In 1999, I attained a Master’s degree in Education from The College of St. Scholastica with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. I am married and have two sons who are alumni of St. Joseph’s School.My goal, my mission as a teacher, is to instill a love of learning in my students and to help them realize the ability to learn lies within them. This mission I take very seriously because I believe the first grade experience is important in formulating your child’s expectations for years to come.  
Music
Mrs. Ann Dick
My name is Ann Dick and I am the K-6 music teacher at St. Joseph’s.  I have a  background in piano, theology, and elementary education.  I use this background each week to teach music skills, choral singing, and also to coordinate the weekly children’s mass.  I am thrilled to be able to work with students in each grade and am passionate about incorporating our liturgy each week into the music class.  The students are very involved in the weekly mass and their many talents are obvious!  It is a joy working with the students at St. Joe’s and watching them develop musically through the years!
n6hzq5oe5ehdlg9ef1bctf3g5dl.jpg  Grade:  2
Mrs. Mary Cahill
My name is Mary Cahill. I am a 1982 graduate of the College of St. Benedict. I taught for 8 years at St. Mary's School in Worthington MN. I moved to Grand Rapids in 1989. I began working at St. Joseph's School in 1998. I enjoy teaching second grade for a number of reasons. I like the enthusiasm the children have to learn. I love teaching the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. I am amazed each school year how much I learn from my students as well as what they learn from me. I enjoy working with our school staff. We make a great team.  
vavdfjtcfamcrfjce6nywawuq5l.jpgPhysical Education
Karen Nash
 

My name and is Karen Nash, and I am the physical education teacher at St Joseph’s School. I grew up in Maple Grove MN and studied physical education at St Cloud State University. I started my teaching career at a private school in St Paul MN, and in 2016 I jumped at the chance to move to Grand Rapids to teach physical education. In addition to teaching, I coach high school fastpitch softball and youth T-ball. I love being a physical education teacher because I am able to help students learn and grow in a unique learning environment that is designed to create healthy active learners.

Grade: 3
Mrs. Anna Acheson
My name is Anna Acheson and I teach 3rd grade at St. Joseph’s.  This is my 10th year teaching at St. Joseph’s and my 15th year teaching in Catholic schools.  I am very passionate about Catholic education.  I love being able to share my faith with my students!  It is wonderful to work in an environment where Christ is the center. Celebrating the Mass each Wednesday and the peace of praying the Rosary as a school are two of my favorite parts of teaching here. I enjoy working in a small school where I know all of the students and their families by name and am able to see them progress through the years.  
Computer
Mrs. Jana Rooney
Welcome to Computer Class!

My name is Jana Rooney. This is my 6th year instructing here at St. Joseph’s School.  I am so looking forward to sharing my knowledge of technology with your students during the 2016-17 school year.

As a specialized instructor, I feel that it is important for the students here at St. Joseph’s to receive technology instruction because it provides them with a further depth of understanding, the opportunity to continue their school work with additional time and other places for learning, a learning (pull) vs. teaching (push) technique, new media for self-expression, a chance for an individual pace and sequencing, and communication with people around the world. Technology gives students the resources to strive for excellence in their schoolwork, increasing their grade point average along with their self-esteem.

St. Joseph’s students will also be instructed all year in keyboarding with Mrs. Kelly Gandy. Your student will build muscle memory by practicing the correct keystrokes on the computer. Mrs. Gandy and I stress more the importance of typing accurately with the correct fingers and always keeping fingers on the home row instead of speed. Speed will come naturally with practice and time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach me at the school (218-326-6232) or email me at [email protected] Thank you!

  Grade:  4
Mrs. Teresa Kane
My name is Teresa (Tok) Kane, and my husband and I grew up in this area. My extended family is here which has a lot to do with us moving back here to Grand Rapids in 2010. I am a wife and mom first and am very proud of my three children. I have always enjoyed working with children- since I was growing up myself. I worked with children in activities and babysat. Education was important to me and I wanted to help other children with theirs. There is something I enjoy about every age group and grade, but Fourth Graders are fun! I am excited about their learning, and they get excited too. At this age, children like being with you, can work independently, have interesting discussions and questions, and like their learning. I have a lot of fun with them. I really like being at St. Joseph’s School. I inquired about openings as soon as we moved here in 2010, and feel blessed to be able to teach here. I like the small school, family like atmosphere. It is the best fit for me. A Catholic School education is such a wonderful foundation for children. It helps them grow up so healthy. God is the focus of our day, and we work because He wants us to work here on Earth. We praise God with our abilities. My children were fortunate to be able to attend a Catholic School. I saw everyday how wonderful it is!  
Grade:  5
Mrs. Anne Kelling
 


My name is Anne Kelling and I am the fifth grade teacher for St. Joseph’s School.  My experiences as a mother and substitute teacher led me to recognize my passion for elementary education.  Our two boys attended St. Joe’s, and I began subbing there as well as the public schools.  In 2014, Mrs. Matetich asked me to fill in as a long-term sub for the sixth grade and I was introduced to full-time teaching and all its responsibilities! The experience inspired me to earn my teaching license in 2017 at St. Scholastica and I am now a few credits away from completing my Masters. I find it very gratifying to share my Catholic faith with the students at St. Joseph’s. 


My passion is to help children learn and succeed and the real reward comes from the longer-term interactions and relationships with the students and their families.  It is indeed a privilege to be a part of this wonderful St. Joseph’s faith community.

 

 jpiamdqsqo5bolkkre6mf9q07zl.jpg Grade:  6
Mrs. Lori Lagergren

My name is Lori Lagergren. I grew-up and attended Catholic schools in St. Cloud. I graduated from The College of St. Scholastica in 1996. From 1996-2007 I taught at St. James Catholic School in the West End of Duluth. In the fall of 2007 we were blessed to have the opportunity to move to Grand Rapids, so I could teach 6th grade at St. Joe’s. It is such a wonderful community, and my husband and I are thrilled that our two children could attend St. Joe’s through 6th grade.

Middle level learners are my passion. Students at this age are intrigued with the real world around them and begin to realize the impact each person can make in our world. My goal is to help students love learning- for the sake of reaching their fullest, God-given, potential.

 
 8iuf54kh0inzhrds89d9v0wkl6l.jpgSchool Librarian
Mrs. Barbara Hughes

 

I love books and working with children so I consider myself very fortunate to be the new librarian at St. Joseph’s School. My name is Barb Hughes.  I retired from teaching in 2015 after many years teaching 2nd grade in Wayzata.  My husband and I have considered Grand Rapids our second home since 1991 and were thrilled to be able to move here full time in 2015.  After meeting staff members and substitute teaching at St. Joseph’s School, I realized how much I missed the excitement of being with kids.  I was delighted when asked to be the librarian.  Please visit the library.  I’m here Tuesdays and Thursdays and would enjoy meeting more families.
                  

 

Staff

Mr. Jim Berg   (Custodian)   

Miss Leah Bettin   (Para)

Mrs. Deryn Christensen (Para)

Mrs. Sarah Detjen   (Cook)

Mrs. Cathy Erickson  (School Nurse)

Mrs. Kelly Gandy   (Para)

Mrs. Mary Helen Haarklau    (Title I-District)

Mrs. Misty Heinz   (Cook)

Mrs. Kim Moen  (Para)

Mrs. Gerri Simmons   (Para)

Mrs. Susie Stauffer    (Playground Supervisor)

Ms. Jodi Weber   (SAC Director)