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St. Bridget Principal

Ms. Joelynn Lahr joined St. Bridget Parish School in July 2016 as the School’s principal.  

 

Office Assistant

Mrs. Gilles joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2012 as Office Assistant. Prior to working at St. Bridget, she was a stay-at-home mom, website designer, gallery assistant, and held numerous office positions. Mrs. Gilles received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History and Fine Arts-Sculpture from UW-Milwaukee. She and her family reside in River Falls and are active members of St. Bridget Parish. 

In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, cooking, reading, and playing board games with her family and friends. Mrs. Gilles is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she loves helping people and being part of a faith community.

 

Pre-K/Elementary Teachers

Mrs. Lisa Bents joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2009 as a paraprofessional in Kindergarten.  She also assisted students in Second Grade with one on one Reading support.   An opportunity to teach Pre-Kindergarten became available, so in 2010 Mrs. Bents was excited to transition into the position that she currently holds.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she assisted in the faith formation  program at St. Bridget Church, and taught Pre-Kindergarten part-time at Rainbow Christian Preschool, in Lakeland, MN. Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Elementary Education and minor in Early Childhood Education  from Viterbo University in 1993.

Lisa is passionate about laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning, through creative play experiences, and activities to support all areas of development.  She especially loves to incorporate music into daily routines.  Lisa resides in River Falls with her husband Scott, daughters Tess and Natalie, and a variety of pets.  In her free time, Lisa enjoys reading and spending time on the lake with family. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she sees the love that God has for all reflected in all of the smiling faces of the children every day!

Mrs. Kim Langer joined the St. Bridget Parish School in 2013 teaching Pre-Kindergarten.  Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she taught Pre School for 14 years in River Falls.  Mrs. Langer received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin River Falls.  Kim wants all children to love school so they all go on to be lifelong learners.  She wants them to have a good relationship with their peers, teachers and Jesus.   Kim resides with her husband in River Falls as all three children have graduated or close to graduating from college.  In her free time she loves to garden and do mosaic art.  She is excited to be part of the St. Bridget mission because children here can learn how to be a child of God. 

Mrs. Dannell Nordstrom joined the St. Bridget Parish School family in 2002 as a student teacher in the first grade classroom. Mrs. Nordstrom has been teaching here ever since. During her time here Mrs. Nordstrom has taught in a K-1 multiage classroom, a Preschool classroom, and in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom. Mrs. Nordstrom currently team teaches with Mrs. Kim Langer in one of our full time Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she attended UW-River Falls where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Dannell and her husband John live in Woodbury, Minnesota with their 4 children William, Lucas, Matthew and Liela. During their spare time they enjoy being together as a family at the cabin in Spooner, Wisconsin. Mrs. Nordstrom enjoys teaching hands on, hearts on, minds on learning activities that invite the students to learn and explore. She believes teaching the whole child is vital to Early Childhood Education. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she can continue to teach in a Christian family environment encouraging students grow spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Mrs. Jill Tiffany joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2014 as a PreK teacher.  Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she taught for one year in the preschool room at Trinity Family Center in Hudson.  Mrs. Tiffany received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor of Early Childhood from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Jill’s teaching interests include hands-on activities and teaching about the season of Christmas.  Jill resides with her family in Baldwin. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling.

Ms. Samantha Hawkins joined Saint Bridget Parish school in the year 2012 as a Pre-kindergarten teacher.  During her time at Saint Bridget’s, Ms. Hawkins has taught; Pre- Kindergarten,  Kindergarten and  First grade Multi Age and Kindergarten .

Prior to teaching at Saint Bridget’s, she enjoyed subbing in the River falls school district, as well as working as a Supervisor in the Kids Club program in South Washington County schools.

Ms. Hawkins received her bachelors of Elementary Education at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Samantha's teaching interests include incorporating Art into the lessons, hands on activities and centers. Samantha resides with her 15-year-old Dachshund in Minnesota.  In her free time; she loves to read, spend time in the garden and be with family and friends.

Mrs. Elizabeth Parsons joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2015 as a technology teacher. Mrs. Parsons currently is a kindergarten teacher at the school. Prior to coming to St. Bridget Parish School Mrs. Parsons would as a substitute teacher for South Washington County and Hudson School District. Mrs. Parsons received her degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Gustavus Adolphus College then went on to receive her teaching certification from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Elizabeth’s teaching interests include centers, math, and incorporating multiple subjects together.

Elizabeth resides with her husband in River Falls. In her spare time she enjoys walking her dogs, going for hikes, and just hanging out with her husband.

Mrs. Mary Gribble joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2008 teaching first grade. Prior to coming to St. Bridget she taught second grade, coached at the middle and high school levels and was the Director/ Teacher of the Country Goose Preschool.  Mrs. Gribble received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Mary loves to create an enriching classroom environment where all can succeed. Mary and her husband Phil have two children and reside in the River Falls area.  In her free time she loves to run, read, cook and spend time with her family. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because here at St. Bridget we are a family of learners, striving for the best in all, guided by our Catholic faith.

Mrs. Lisa Bodin joined St. Bridget School in 2008 as a Pre-Kindergarten and Before/After School Care Teacher.  In 2013 an opportunity to move to second grade was accepted.  The gift to teach young minds as well as elementary students has brought her great joy.  Prior to coming to St. Bridget she student taught in Hudson, Prescott, and New Richmond, WI.  Mrs. Bodin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. 

Lisa’s teaching interests include preparing students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion, creating life-long readers and writers, and instilling a love for God and others.  In her spare time she spends quality time with her husband and son and also plays a wide variety of sports. She is excited to be part of St. Bridget mission because she enjoys sharing her faith with her students, parents, and co-workers.  Lisa resides in River Falls, WI

Mrs. Cathy Wunrow joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2013 as a first grade teacher and is currently teaching third grade. Her prior teaching experiences include teaching kindergarten and third grade for the Baldwin-Woodville School District. She has also taught preschool in River Falls. Mrs. Wunrow received her BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She and her husband, Dan, live in River Falls and have 3 children. Mrs. Wunrow’s interests include reading, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Wunrow enjoys teaching at St. Bridget Parish School because it is a family-like atmosphere where students, staff, and parents work hard to learn new things and share God’s love.

Mrs. Jackie Poellinger joined St. Bridget Parish School this year as our 4th Grade Teacher.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget Parish School, she worked for four years as a kindergarten/Pre-K aide at St. Francis School in Ellsworth, WI. Mrs. Poellinger received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and has a minor in early childhood. Jackie’s favorite subjects to teach are language arts and religion.  Jackie resides with her family in Beldenville, WI. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, fishing, and 4-wheeling. The indoor activities that she enjoys are cooking and reading.  She is excited to be apart of St. Bridget mission because she is very passionate about sharing God’s message with children, and helping them to become the best-version- of themselves in Christ.

Ms. Emily Beckius joins St. Bridget Parish School in 2016 for her first year teaching 5th grade.  Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, receiving her degree in Elementary Education in 2015.  She is excited to bring in new ideas and activities for learning to make her classroom a fun and engaging place for her students.  Ms. Beckius enjoys all subjects in school, but her favorites to teach are reading and social studies.  Emily recently moved to Hudson, Wisconsin and is enjoying the community.  In her spare time she likes to spend time with her fiancé, Marcus, go to the cabin, and spend time outdoors.  Emily is getting married on June 17, 2017.  Ms. Beckius is excited to be apart of the St. Bridget mission because she wants to be a stepping-stone in her students lives as they learn with their faith and culture every day they are present at St. Bridget.  She wants to leave a mark on her students as they move on to become our future. 

 

Middle School Teachers

Ms. Michele Jarosch joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2014 as the 4th grade teacher. In 2016 she moved to middle school to teach math and science. Before coming to St. Bridget she worked at Hill and Cashman-Hill Funeral Home. During this time she was also attending undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, where she received her degree in Education. She currently lives in River Falls, WI. When Michele is not at school she can be  found at the parks, lakes, playing board and card games at home, playing make believe or building with Legos, or Pokemon Going with her son. She takes an annual family trip up to Two Harbors, Minnesota every year to camp. When she gets some down time, Michele enjoys reading. Michele is truly proud to teach at St. Bridget because of the amazing families and staff that we are blessed to work alongside, and because of the children whom we guide into amazing servants of Christ.

Mr. Michael Leary joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2003 as a part time middle school social studies teacher. He left St Bridget’s for a portion of two school years in 2006 to deploy with the Air Force to Saudi Arabia.  He returned and began teaching full time by also teaching middle school religion.   

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, Mr Leary joined the Air Force as a security and law enforcement specialist.  He continued his service in the Air Force Reserve retiring with 26 years of service in 2008.  He has worked construction and maintenance for Holiday Inn, and was a press operator for 3M.  Upon completion of his degree in Geography, he traveled to Taiwan, ROC to finish his study of Mandarin Chinese.   After receiving his teaching degree he worked at Meyer Middle School, leaving that position when he was activated for duty by the Air Force after 9/11.  

Mr. Leary received his degree in Geography in 1989 and a degree in Secondary Education in 1999 from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Mr. Leary’s teaching interests include geography, history and theology.  He also emphasizes research and speaking skills by incorporating them into his curriculum

Mr. Leary lives outside Roberts, Wi with his wife, Shirley and their children Timothy and Elizabeth.   In addition, his family plays host to his parents, several chickens and their goofy black lab, Shadow.

Mr. Leary has a wide variety of interests including travelling to historic and interesting spots all over the world, historical board gaming, model railroading, reading and hobby farming.  During the summer break, you can sometimes see him around town in his beekeeping suit as he maintains his beehives spread throughout the area.

He is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because of the opportunity he has to share his life journey exploring his faith and the depth of our Christian heritage and theology.  In addition, his passion for teaching history and geography with middle school student makes everyday exciting and fun.  Not only is it rewarding watching his students become thoughtful and curious citizens, but he has made many great friends among the students and parents.   

Ms. Billie Robinson joined the faculty of St. Bridget Parish School in the fall of 2012.  She teaches Language Arts and Reading in our middle school.  In addition, Ms. Robinson is the advisor for the yearbook. 

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, Billie worked in investments at The Hartford.

Ms. Robinson obtained her degree in Education through the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She earned a major in Elementary Education with a minor in Language Arts/Reading.

Billie loves to teach language arts and grammar through song.  She believes that with this differentiation, students have an easier time remembering rules and uses.  If your child has been in her classes, ask them to recite the Preposition Song.

Ms. Robinson resides right here in River Falls, Wisconsin. 

In her spare time, Billie enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and camping.

Ms. Robinson is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she believes in the quality of education at our school and understands the benefit of a Christian community.

 

Art, Music, and Technology Teachers

Mrs. Mary Perrizo-Peterson joined St. Bridget Parish School this year as our Art teacher and office assistant. Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she worked as a professional artist, taught art to children and adults through various venues in the St. Croix Valley Area, and has taught art with in both the public and private school environment. Perrizo-Peterson received her degree in Fine Art from UW-River Falls and later received her Teaching Certification in Art Education from UW-River Falls.

Mary’s teaching interests include engaging students in the creative process as they reach their full learning and life potential. Mary resides in rural Prescott where she lives with her husband Kevin and 7 year old black lab Millie. Kevin and Mary have one daughter, Stephanie who is a junior in college. In her free time, she likes to garden, decorate, serve with her church, and spend time with family and friends.

Mrs. L. Fuller joins St. Bridget Parish School in 2016 as both the music and technology teacher.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she has taught both the private sector as well as the public schools in the area of music education. Mrs. Fuller received her B.S. in Music Education from University of Minnesota – Mankato. Her teaching interests include instrumental/vocal music and utilizing technology to enhance learning.

Mrs. Fuller resides with her family in River Falls Township and in her free time, she loves kayaking, biking, walking and being with her family and pets. She  is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she feels a deep sense of calling to bring her skills and talents to enrich the lives of our students.

Mrs. Barb Kujak joined St. Bridget Parish School in the fall of 2012 as the Physical Education Teacher. Prior to coming to St. Bridget she taught Physical education for six years in Minnesota and then subbed for St. Bridget’s for 16 years.Mrs. Kujak received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Winona State University.Barb’s teaching interests include cooperative games, creative play, and team sports.

Barb resides with her husband in the River Falls area. In her free time she likes to bike, walk, garden and read.

 

Special Class Teachers

Mrs. Starla Dixen joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2013 as the GOAL Teacher. She has had the opportunity to grow the program from a part time position to a full time position and has been fortunate to have been part of the first 7th grade Wolf Ridge Environmental Education Retreat. Mrs. Dixen has choreographed some of the school spring shows as well as choreographed The Sound of Music for St. Bridget’s.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she had taught in the River Falls School District as a long term substitute most often at Greenwood Elementary School. She has started a dance program for children ages 3 – 103 and she has worked at many colleges and universities in Student/Greek Life/New Student Orientation. She is also a licensed massage therapist.

Mrs. Dixen received her Bachelor degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and has her Masters in Educational Administration from Illinois State University. Starla’s teaching interests include Dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham methodology, and outdoor/environmental education.

Starla resides with her family in Roberts, WI. In her free/spare time, she volunteers in the Young Women’s program at her church, teaches dance classes, reads and loves traveling.She is excited to be apart of the St. Bridget mission because she gets to be part of a family that cares about all of the students and their families. It’s a place that believes everyone can learn and sharing Christ’s love to her students is one of the best parts of her job.

Mrs. Brittany Heike joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2010 as a Kindergarten teacher. She has moved into new position this year as a GOAL teacher.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, Mrs. Heike attended the University of Minnesota where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Foundations of Elementary Education in 2008. She recently received her Masters of Education from The University of Minnesota in 2016.

Brittany’s teaching interests include working with children in small group settings and creating lessons that are specific to a child’s needs.

Brittany resides in River Falls with her husband, John, and 3 children, Olivia, Andrew, and Allie.

In her free time, she enjoys photography and spending time with her family at the cabin.

She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because it is a place where parents and teachers work together to help every child succeed under the guidance of God.

 

Before and After Care Aides

Ms. Nikki Pizza joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2010 as an aide for the Before and After Care program. She was promoted to the Supervisor for the Before and After Care Program in 2012.

Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she lived in Milwaukee, WI for five years, before that in a suburb , West Allis for five years. She worked a variety of jobs in that time, had two children, adopted a cat and a dog. Ms. Pizza received her degree in Mass Communications- Broadcast Journalism from Moorhead State University, Minnesota. Her goal was to work in radio broadcasting/production. This year Ms. Nikki's interests in the Before and After Care program is an ambitious reading program for the students to participate in and many fun projects for arts and crafts to create, and is looking forward to another year full of dance parties, Friday movie matinees, and play time stations galore!

Nikki resides with her family in River Falls. In her free time she reads and studies French so she can go to Paris some day. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because each year is a new challenge to provide the most amazing experience for the St. Bridget kids.

Miss Lydia Chatt joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2013 as a Before and After Care Aide. Prior to coming to St. Bridget she worked at Helmer Printing and Shopko. Miss Chatt is currently a student at UWRF. She will be graduating in December of 2016 an art degree. Lydia’s teaching interests include incorporating art and craft into the Before and After Care Program.

Lydia resides in River Falls. In her spare time she enjoys going to concerts, making art, and exploring the outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because working with kids is really fun and she enjoys being able to share her faith with them. 

Miss Emma Joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2013 as a Before and After Care Aide. Prior to St. Bridget's she worked at Culvers while in high school. Miss Emma has graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College with an Associate's degree in Marketing and is planning to go back to school to get a Bachelor's degree in Retail Management and Merchandising at UW Stout.

Miss Emma currently lives in River Falls and in her spare time she enjoys hiking, powerlifting, yarn work and drawing. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she enjoys working with the kids and seeing how much they grow in their faith throughout the year.

Miss Fiona joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2016 as a Before and After Care Aide. Prior to coming to St. Bridget, she worked at multiple daycares and preschools as well as coached basketball. Miss Fiona is currently a Senior at UWRF seeking a Business Administration-Management degree. Fiona’s teaching interests include providing a safe and fun environment for students as well as incorporate her love and passion for sports and coaching into the program.

Miss Fiona lives on the UWRF campus during the school year, but resides in Waconia, Minnesota. In her spare time she enjoys playing basketball, working out, and spending time outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget mission because she loves children and and helping them grow in faith.

 

Food Service Director

Joined the St. Bridget team in the fall of 2010 as the Food Service Director/Lunch Lady

I arrived with an extensive back ground in the food service. Earning my B.S. degree from Shepherd Univ. in West Virginia where I went onto run all of their food service from 1989 to 2000.

Prior to that I was a trouble shooting/Training manager for the fast food division of Marriott before being bought out by McDonalds. I have managed McDonalds in several states. Of course, I am Serve Safe Certified.

I am originally from Bryn Mawr, PA where the rest of my family still lives. I have spent a total of 22 years on West Virginia, 2 years in Florida and close to ten years in New Richmond now.

Along with working here in the Kids Café, I also own the Lowrey Hotel in New Richmond which provides short and long term housing for people in society that would otherwise fall thru the cracks and not have a place to live. It is a true calling from God therefore I am not a nonprofit. I do the same thing as the Salvation Army does for the homeless, except I do it on my own. If you are more interested, please come in and chat for a while.

Other than spend all the time I can playing golf and traveling, I am a true believer in giving back. I have held positions on such boards as: Interfaith Care Givers, The Southern States Women’s Board, The Farm Bourgh, Jefferson County Community Center, Jefferson County Planning Commission, Farm home and Education Board, I’m a Big Sister, ran the kitchen at our fire hall in WV for 8 years and am an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

 

Custodian

Mr. John Johnson joined St. Bridget Parish School in 2017 as the head of the custodial/maintenance department. Prior to coming to St. Bridget he owned a commercial cleaning business for 12 years operating out of Ellsworth, WI. Mr. Johnson has been in the custodial field for nearly 20 years and is familiar with all the aspects of janitorial services as well as carpet cleaning and floor care. John is looking forward to bringing his knowledge of all the areas of commercial cleaning to St. Bridget School.

John resides with his wife Sheri in Ellsworth, WI. They have two sons, Abram and Drake, who both currently attend college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. They also have two daughters, Josie and Kaley, who are both in high school.

In his free time John enjoys spending it with his family, their dog Molly and their cat Gracie. John also enjoys playing cards, golfing and playing softball with friends. He is excited to be a part of the St. Bridget team because of the values that are put on faith, family and friendship.