Meet the Team
Miss Kari Anderson is excited to begin the Pre-K 3 Program at HNJ. She is a proud alumna of HNJ, class of 1995. Miss Kari graduated from the University of New Orleans. She has devoted her teaching career thus far at HNJ teaching Pre-K 4 for the past 12 years. Miss Kari enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is an avid supporter of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.
Kenneth Antin has been teaching at HNJ for one year, which was also his first year of full-time teaching. Prior to that, he worked as the kitchen manager for Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University, where he cultivated his love of literature and writing. Mr. Antin has been involved in educating young people since he was sixteen. He lives in St. Charles parish, where he enjoys swamp-living with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and new baby girl, whom he welcomed into the world this summer.
Lisette Bayle is a native New Orleanian. Her father attended Holy Name, and had she been born a boy, she would have most likely done so as well, however she attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart from Kindergarten through her senior year. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Vanderbilt University and began a career in advertising and public relations, until she realized that working with children was her true passion. With that realization, she went back to school at the University of New Orleans and became certified to teach Pre-K- 3rd grade. She believes this is the best decision she ever made and has been happily educating little learners for ten years now, all of them at Holy Name. Miss Lisette loves to act and sing. You may have seen her in the ensemble in community theatre productions around the city. She is excited that Holy Name now has a theatre program and looks forward to working with the students in this year’s productions of “Schoolhouse Rock” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Miss Lisette also loves swing dancing and playing with her nieces and nephews.
David Blamphin is starting his 20th year at Holy Name. This is his first year as Dean of Students and seventeenth year as Boys Athletic Director. He taught Physical Education at HNJ for the past nineteen years. David, a member of Holy Name's Class of 1987, graduated from Jesuit High School in 1992 and from Tulane University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and a Minor in Business Administration. David has also coached flag football, basketball, and baseball at Holy Name since 1997. Currently, David serves as the president of the New Orleans Athletic League, of which Holy Name is a charter member. The New Orleans Athletic league is home to HNJ's football, boys basketball, swimming, cross country, soccer, and baseball programs. David enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Grace (8) and Caroline (2), and his wife, Kris. "Coach Dave" is an avid supporter of Tulane Athletics, the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the New Orleans Zephyrs. He also enjoys running and listening to music.
Ruth Blum has been teaching for over 25 years. This is her seventh year at Holy Name. She is an alum of Loyola University. Just this summer, she completed a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Holy Cross. Both Mrs. Blum’s husband and son attended Holy Name. She and her husband are members of Holy Name Parish. Mrs. Blum loves to read, needlepoint, draw, and think of ways to be creative in the classroom. Mrs. Blum also devotes a great deal of her spare time to creating memories for our HNJ community through the development of our school yearbook.
Gretchen Schonberg Breaux graduated from Loyola University in 1995 with a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She earned Dean’s List distinction and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. Gretchen taught third grade and Pre-K at a parochial school in Metairie, Louisiana for eight years, after which she moved to an all-girls school in New Orleans teaching in the Toddler 2, Toddler 3, and Pre-K programs for nine years. During this period, Gretchen was responsible for implementing the Reggio Emilia approach to child development into a newly constructed early childhood center. Gretchen joined the faculty of Holy Name of Jesus School in 2012 as a Kindergarten teacher, a position she held for four years. Gretchen is currently assisting Holy Name in the development of a Pre-K3 program, and she looks forward to working with the smallest children of Holy Name for many years.
Gretchen enjoys spending time with her growing family, which includes her husband, Ralph, an attorney, and five children, all of whom currently attend/attended Holy Name of Jesus School. She particularly enjoys spending time with her children at their numerous sporting events, including baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and sailing. Gretchen also spends considerable time volunteering her services with her church and her children’s schools. As a result of these efforts, Gretchen and her husband, Ralph, both received the 2011 Order of St. Louis IX Medallion from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, one of the highest and most cherished honors bestowed by the local Church on a member of the laity, in recognition of their dedication and years of volunteer service.
Beth began teaching middle school science at HNJ in 1989. She has a bachelor’s degree from LSU (Go Tigers!) in physical geography (earth science), a master’s degree in elementary education from UNO, and a K-8 teaching certification. After teaching science at Isidore Newman for three years, she returned to UNO to complete an additional 24 hours of physics, chemistry, and calculus courses.
Passionately pro-life, Beth has coordinated the pro-life programs at HNJ for the past 18 years. She began the Spiritual Adoption Program for 7th graders at HNJ. She has been a member of the fund-raising board of Access Pregnancy and Referral Center of Catholic Charities for the past 16 years.
When Beth first arrived at HNJ there was no science lab or any lab materials to speak of. One of the accomplishments of which she is most proud is prompting the construction of the HNJ middle school science laboratory and helping to design it and creating a science storeroom well-stocked with supplies and equipment. She also wrote a $200,000 state grant proposal for technology and software to improve middle school math, science, and technology education and a $15,000 Toshiba grant proposal to fund new microscopes for the middle school.
Beth loves introducing young people to the wonders of God’s creation. In her free time, she enjoys reading and gardening, and she is learning to sew. She is very active in her church, Christ Anglican Catholic Church, where she has been a member of the vestry since 1997. Beth loves cats and has, at present, NINE and a half!!!!!
Vivian Dobson is the new assistant computer teacher! This is her second year teaching at Holy Name. She attended Loyola and UNO for undergraduate studies. She enjoys doing DIY projects around the house and is a Pinterest fanatic! Vivian’s son, Sebastian, is a 4th generation family member attending Holy Name! So, Holy Name is considered a second family to them!
Elaine Ferrara teaches spanish to grades 3 through 7. She is a native of Brazil and and American citizen. Señora Ferrara earned a Bachelor of Science in Language Teaching and a Master of Science in Applied Linguistics. She has also completed coursework towards her PhD in Applied Linguistics. Señora Ferrara is also certified to teach ESL and has more than 25 years of teaching experience in public and private schools, as well as universities including UNO and Tulane.
Since 1973, Vincent Fouchi has been an educator in the Public, Private, and Catholic Schools. He has taught all grade levels and served as an Administrator in the Public School System of St. Charles Parish. Vincent earned a B.A. degree from L.S.U.N.O. and an M.Ed. degree from Tulane University. Vincent held the Office of President of the Louisiana Reading Association and the Louisiana School Executives. The 2016-2017 academic year will be his 10th year at HNJ.
Ms. Francioni is part of a big family, four brothers, three sisters, and many cousins! She loves working with young children and looks forward to meeting and getting to know the children in her class each year. Ms. Francioni graduated from UNO in elementary and early childhood education. She taught kindergarten and first grade at St. Francis Xavier for three years and has been at Holy Name for 28 years teaching kindergarten and preK-4. Ms. Francioni sings in a church choir, loves to do Jazzercise, travel, and spend time with family and friends! The HNJ community has always made her feel like family, and she feels lucky to be a part of it.
Janet Fuchs has been teaching for 28 years, of which 27 years have been at Holy Name of Jesus School. She has been working in Kindergarten the entire time. Ms. Fuchs graduated from Andrew Jackson High School. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren.
Paulette Gamard is starting her 40th year at HNJ. For most of those years, she taught second grade and is now the assistant in the first grade. Mrs. Gamard attended Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana for three years and graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has three sons and one daughter, all of whom attended Holy Name. Mrs. Gamard is blessed to have 10 grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them.
Denise Gardner was born and raised here in New Orleans. She is one of seven siblings, 5 boys and 2 girls, including 2 sets of identical twins. Luckily she has an identical twin sister, Alyce, to balance things out with all my brothers!
Denise attended all Catholic schools for her education: St. Pius X, Mount Carmel Academy, and Loyola University of the South. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1981 and is certified to teach K – 8. Denise has previously taught at St. Pius X School for 5 years before taking 8 years off after having her third child. She has 3 beautiful daughters, Erica Gardner DeFelice, Michelle Mouledoux Gardner Mather, and Holy Marisa Gardner.
During her years as a full-time mother, she was a room mother, Girl Scout leader (2 troops), and substitute teacher. She also served on many SPX Mothers’ Club committees and as a Eucharistic minister.
Denise loves to travel, cook, take walks and jog, garden, read, do crossword puzzles, and enjoy Suduko. She has season tickets for the New Orleans Saints games and also enjoys a nice meal out or in with family and friends. Denise has 4 lovely grandchildren, 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters, with one more due this December!
Denise has taught both social studies and math in middle school at Holy Name of Jesus since 1996. She was also a sponsor of the National Junior Beta Club for 17 years.
Jeanette Garry attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication and Special Education. She taught at the Texas School for the Deaf for seven years and lead the school’s Signing/Singing Choir.
Mrs. Garry and her husband Bob, a Virologist, moved to New Orleans in 1983. They have three wonderful daughters, twins Katie and Stefanie, and Courtney, all of whom attended Holy Name from Pre-K through 8th grade. Mrs. Garry has been at Holy Name for 24 years, teaching 4th grade and now Middle School Social Studies.
Mrs. Garry loves spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, theater, and sports. She also loves traveling, exploring new places, learning about different cultures, religions, and history, and bringing those experiences into the classroom.
Frances Givens’ education began at Holy Name of Jesus School where she attended kindergarten through third grade. Her teaching career also began at Holy Name of Jesus School in 2008 where she was employed in the office, was an assistant art teacher, and taught second grade science and social studies. It was at this time that Frances discovered her passion for teaching and completed her teacher certification at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from LSU in Baton Rouge. Frances has been a fourth grade teacher at HNJ since 2012. For students to be successful, she believes in creating an environment where each student feels safe and cared for. This can be accomplished through words of praise, encouragement, and sincerity in everything said to them, as well as what they say to each other. In this classroom setting the students will feel free to take on challenges, try new thing, and meaningful learning can take place.
Debra Ann Sutherland Hedrick, Mrs. Deb as the students call her, has had the pleasure of teaching in the New Orleans area for the past forty years. Of those forty years, almost twenty of them has been as the lead Art teacher for Holy Name of Jesus School. She received her teaching credentials from the University of New Orleans and has taught at St. Joseph School in Gretna, freshman Mass Communications classes at UNO, and was Art Director for the Marketing and Communications Department of the University. All the while Mrs. Deb worked at the University, she had a yearning to go back to teaching young people.That yearning came to fruition after taking time off to have her daughter, Kati, who is a graduate of HNJ. One day while in fourth grade, Katie volunteered Mrs. Deb to be a substitute for her sick art teacher, and I she has been in the art room ever since...and loving it! Mrs. Deb's favorite saying about teaching art at HNJ is that "where else can you work and get paid to play all day?"
Mrs. Deb has taken many professional development courses in the art field over the years. During graduate school, she studied with renowned regional artist Ida Kohlmeyer. She has been a member of the ADDA (Art Director and designers Association) of New Orleans, attended a workshop at the Sedona Arts Center under professional ceramic artist, George Ott, is a member of the NAEA (National Art Education Association), and a memeber of the LAEA (Louisiana Art Education Association). Mrs. Deb has also attended many national conventions and has taken many workshops on timely developments in the art education field. Most recently, she has studied the artistic and cognitive development of the middle school learner as well as that of the early childhood learner.
Mrs. Deb's hobbies include traveling with her husband and visiting art museums where she has also had the opportunity to study. Mrs. Deb's married daughter, Katie, graduated with BFA in graphic design and art business from Spring Hill College and is now a web designer, but most importantly she is the mother of her first grandchild, Wylder.
During the summer along with travels, Mrs. Deb is the printmaking and mixed media art teacher for the Loyola Kids Art Summer Camp. She has a passion for creating art and shares it in the Later Gator After school care program, as well as in monthly art club meetings. Art Club has developed into a high demand extra-curricular activity with many young budding artists participating.
Mrs. Deb looks forward to a great year teaching the children that "Art is not perfect, so give it a try". She loves to incorporate art history in lessons, along with the use of current technology. Mrs. Deb achieves great artistic growth in students by meeting their needs through small group instruction in the classroom while exploring different cultures and art movements in history.
Mrs. Deb has an open door policy with parents and loves visitors in the art room. Throughout the years, she has had other teachers come and learn from her new methods of how to incorporate art into their classrooms. Parents are welcome to come and discuss their jobs in the art field. Each year, she hosts the Spring Art Salon of Student Art. In the past year, she has had the support of the administration to revive the second grade Greek Fest and look forward to the revision of Christmas Crafting with Parents this year. Mrs. Deb has been fortunate enough to have seen many of my former students enter the art field with successful careers and hopes to see many more learn that "Art is not perfect...so give it a try!"
Ms. Tudi Hodes is excited to begin the PreK 3 program with Ms. Kari Anderson. She has been at Holy Name for 20 years, plus she taught nursery school for 10 years. She is a season ticket holder for the Saints and the Pelicans. Ms. Tudi enjoys being with her children, her 6 grandchildren, and her friends.
Wendy Hodgson is starting her tenth year teaching 3rd grade at Holy Name of Jesus School. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of New Orleans in 1985, and recently decided that she wanted to be an important factor in the education of children. Therefore, Mrs. Hodgson returned to U.N.O. where she received her Teacher Certification in Elementary Education, grades 1-5. She began her teaching career at Holy Name in 2007 and has loved the school ever since. It is a wonderful place to receive an education in a caring and nurturing environment.
While at U.N.O., Mrs. Hodgson was a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the U.N.O. Starlettes Dance Team. She enjoys outdoor sports, such as fishing and swimming, and also loves to dance and read. Mrs. Hodgson currently lives in Metairie with her husband and teenage son who is a student at DeLaSalle High School.
One of our main highlights in 3rd grade is Zoo School. We have a Science curriculum designed through HNJ and Audubon Zoo where the children engage in hands-on projects and activities, and a thorough study of animals and their habitats. The kids absolutely love it, and it is a great educational experience that is fun as well as educational for all!
Colette Huval is starting her first year teaching and cannot wait for this upcoming year to begin! She attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and graduated this past May. She enjoys cooking, painting, and being outdoors.
Mr. Jansa is proud to start his first year at HNJ, teaching 4th Grade Science and Religion. He is originally from Austria and moved to New Orleans three years ago. He attended Clark University in Massachusetts as well as Vienna University and the Viennese College for Pedagogy before settling at UNO. For leisure, he enjoys reading and creating graphic novels and spends as much time with his family and two dogs as possible.
Amber Kent is starting her second year teaching Spanish to pre-K through 2nd Grade at Holy Name. She studied Spanish as a foreign exchange student at the Language Institute in San Francisco de Dos Rios, Costa Rica and has worked as a missionary in Mexico. Mrs. Kent graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge and returned to her high school, Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, where she taught Spanish and Dance for eight years and was the Half Time Coordinator for the school’s championship football team in addition to her position as Event Coordinator for the Shreveport Country Club. Her daughter, Adelaide, is in her third year at Holy Name.
Nancie Linder has been teaching in Early Childhood for 23 years. This will be her 9th year teaching Pre-K4 at Holy Name. She holds a Bachelor's in Elementary Education with Certification in Early Childhood from Loyola University ('92) and a Master's in Education from Tulane University ('97). Mrs. Nancie's is married to her husband, Joey, and they have one daughter, Sara. Sara will be in 7th grade this year at HNJ! Mrs. Nancie attended Holy Name, as well, and likes to to hang out with her family, go fishing, cook, and play with her dog, Nola, in her spare time.
Allie Madden attended Virginia Tech where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Philosophy. While in college, she volunteered teaching English at a nearby refugee resettlement which guided her to a career in education. After graduating, Mrs. Madden earned teaching certificates in Texas and Louisiana in Elementary Education and English as a Second Language.This will be her fourth year as a teacher and third at Holy Name. Mrs. Madden grew up in Maryland, but after moving here in 2014 for her husband’s work, they are so happy to have found a home in New Orleans.
Coach Markey has been at HNJ since 2000. Before coming to Holy Name, she taught physical education, social studies, was an athletic director, and coached at the high school and elementary level at five different schools in the New Orleans area. Coach Markey is originally from the Chicago area and received an athletic scholarship to Arkansas to play volleyball and basketball. She coached two years at the high school level in Arkansas and earned Coach of the Year after her second year at Marshall High School. Coach Markey began her college coaching career at Southeast Missouri State University while earning a Master's degree. She coached on the collegiate level for 8 years before coming to New Orleans.
Coach Markey went back to school five years ago to become certified as a dog trainer and volunteer her services to several of the dog shelters in the New Orleans area. She is a huge fan of the Saints and the Chicago Cubs.
Miranda Matherne is so excited to be starting her first year at HNJ! She graduated from Ole Miss (Hotty Toddy!) with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Special Education. This will be her second year teaching, and she could not be more excited to be teaching Kindergarten. Miss Matherne loves working with children and watching them learn and grow! She has experience teaching Special Ed and working with children of all ages. Miss Matherne was born and raised as a New Orleans girl but also loves traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. She loves spending time with family and friends. Miss Matherne is also a lover of ice cream, puzzles, cats, and Saints football! She looks forward to a fun and fantastic year and meeting all of my students and parents!
Megan Mathews is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. She holds a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Ms. Megan is currently licensed through the State of Louisiana as a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor and nationally as a Certified Counselor.
It is with great passion that Ms. Megan is able, as a counselor, to help students explore ways to make changes in their daily lives for the betterment of themselves. She works with students through a person-centered lens that focuses on a safe/positive environment, empathy, and unconditional positive regard. Through this approach she believes that students have the capability to make significant changes.
Holy Name of Jesus has a special place in mMs. Megan's heart being a former student. She is honored to be a part of the Holy Name of Jesus family as the School Counselor.
Ms. Megan looks forward to continued work with our wonderful students, parents, and faculty in this encouraging time at Holy Name of Jesus.
Carolyn Mikulencak holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature (University of Tulsa, 1997), a masters in secondary English education (Agnes Scott College, 1999), and a masters in fine arts in fiction writing (UNO, 2013). She has worked as a high school English teacher, a writing tutor, and a college composition instructor. Her stories and essays have appeared in journals and magazines, such as Yemassee and the Oxford American. When not reading up on pre-colonial and colonial U.S. history for her 5th grade social studies class, she likes to run in Audubon Park with the Holy Name cross country team.
Meredith Morrison will be teaching 5th grade math and science! This is her first year to teach, but she completed a full year of student teaching over the last school year. Meredith received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from LSU in 2015 and earned my Master of Arts in Teaching from LSU this past May. She is a huge LSU football fan and enjoys traveling to new places. Meredith is so excited to be joining the Gator Family!
Leslie Perschall is a native New Orleanian who has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and Master of Communication Disorders from LSU. She worked as an audiologist for seven years before “retiring” to be a stay at home mom to two Holy Name Gators. Prior to teaching, Mrs. Perschall was involved with Holy Name as a substitute teacher, a Parent-Teacher Club board member, Brownie Troop leader, book sale co-chair, and Gator Grins coordinator. Mrs. Perschall is entering her third year teaching at Holy Name, previously as the assistant computer teacher, and now looking forward to creative pursuits as the assistant art teacher.
Lisa Stahl Petagna attended HNJ as a 7th and 8th grader along with her would be husband who sat a few seats in front of her in every class! She traveled across the street to Mercy Academy for high school and received her teaching degree from Louisiana State University. Mrs. Petagna continued her education at the University of New Orleans where she received a masters degree in special education.
Mrs. Petagna taught special education at St. Francis of Assisi for 3 years before her 32 year long teaching career at Holy Name!
HNJ has been her family and home for her entire life! It is here that Mrs. Petagna's 3 children also attended school and formed some of the strongest bonds between God, teachers and friends that have contributed to their success today. They truly are her honors and awards, as well as the thousands of kids that she hopes to have touched in a positive way and allowed them fond memories.
Mrs. Petagna is an avid tennis player and will never say no to a game, which is why most evenings you will find her on the court!
Robin Peters is delighted to join Holy Name School this year as librarian! Books and children are two of her favorite things ever, so this seems like a dream job. Ms. Robin is looking forward to meeting students and parents and sharing lots of wonderful stories during the year.
Ms. Robin grew up in Virginia and Tennessee and is a graduate of Sewanee/The University of the South. She moved to New Orleans shortly after college graduation, and finally felt at home. Ms. Robin had a career in journalism and public relations before taking a career break to be home with her daughter and went into education when she began school. Ms. Robin earned her teacher certification at Tulane and has taught kindergarten, first, and third grades.
In addition to books, Ms. Robin loves knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, and going to the theater and movies. She enjoys traveling with her husband and playing with her dog.
Ms. Robin is thrilled to be here!
Grace Piatt has lived in Louisiana her whole life but is new to The Big Easy. There’s NO place she would rather call home…scorching summers and all!! This year Miss Piatt is starting my 2nd full year of teaching. She graduated in Early Childhood Education at McNeese State University in December 2014 and started teaching 1st grade in Sulphur, LA immediately. I LOVE it! These curious, spirited 6 year olds teach her new things daily, and she truly enjoys spending my day with them. After one and a half years teaching at a public school in Sulphur, Miss Piatt decided to put her faith in God's plan and head east to seek out a Catholic school to call home. She has fallen in LOVE with the school and the city and cannot wait to see the exciting changes this new year will bring! When Miss Piatt is not teaching or working on school stuff, she loves crafting, traveling, reading, and cooking. She likes to keep busy, so she loves to meet new people and find things to do in this vibrant community. Miss Piatt looks forward to meeting her new class soon!
Janet Poché is in her fourth year at Holy Name of Jesus school working with students in first through third grades. She is a veteran teacher with 26 years of experience. Mrs. Poché's education began at Louisiana State University and she received her degree from the University of New Orleans in Elementary and Special Education. You can usually find her volunteering on Saturday mornings at the National World War II Museum as the Team Leader. Mrs. Poché was recently honored as Outstanding Floor Volunteer in 2015. She is a wife and mother of three children, and her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family.
Ms. Powers has been a teacher for 32 years in both private and public elementary schools. She graduated from Holy Cross College with a bachelor of science in elementary education and began her teaching career at St. Dominic School where she taught 4th grade for 10 years. Ms. Powers has also taught 2nd through 4th grades for another 20 years in the Orleans Parish/Recovery School System. She is honored and proud to have received numerous awards and recognition over her career such as, LA TAAP, School Leadership Team, Teacher Mentorship Program, and HDC Institute - Autism Spectrum Disorders (LSU). In her spare time, Ms. Powers enjoys reading and spending time with my family.
Elyse Ptak is an accomplished flutist, pianist, and vocalist. Growing up in a musical family of performers and composers, she became familiar with the “stage” at a very young age. Elyse had the regular opportunity of watching her father run daily rehearsals for the performances that followed each weekend. While still in high school, Elyse had the privilege of studying with Peggie Schecter, Julliard trained flutist, and founder of the New Jersey Chamber Music Society.
Elyse earned her bachelor degree from the State University of New York Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. She worked her way through college graduation by teaching private lessons in piano and flute. The experiences with her private students quickly inspired her to make teaching her career. Within her first year teaching, she had developed a private teaching studio with over 30 students per week.
She went on to earn her masters degree in education from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. Elyse began post graduate work as the music teacher at Midland Elementary School, in Rye, New York. She quickly rose to be the Choral Director at Mamaroneck High School, where she taught Concert Chorus, Swing Choir, and directed the yearly musical theater productions.
Elyse is also a songwriter. She has written and published two full length CDs of her original music and performed promotional shows with her band across the Northeast. She continues to write songs when she can find time.
Elyse is the mother of three boys, and moved to New Orleans in 2015. She is particularly interested in teaching young children in the classroom setting to help inspire, and engage children to participate in and enjoy creating, performing, and responding to music, both within the classroom and beyond.
Kellen Ranger joins our faculty this year after teaching for eight years at Stuart Hall School for Boys. Kellen was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She earned a bachelors of science degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Kellen enjoys singing, painting, and walking the park whenever she has a spare moment. Kellen's two daughters will join her at Holy Name, and she is so excited that they will be starting this new journey together!
Kris Stall Robinson has been working at Holy Name of Jesus for 15 years. HNJ has been part of her family her entire life. Miss Kris' father was a student at Holy Name, along with her, her brothers, and her sons. If anyone knows Miss Kris, her hobbies are fashion, horse racing, and visiting family members out of town.
Miss Kris is looking forward to a wonderful school year and meeting my new students.
Forever in our hearts!
Stephanie Sauber is a graduate of Mount Carmel Academy and Loyola University New Orleans, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and minors in secondary education and communications. For the past 11 years, Mrs. Sauber has taught English at Mount Carmel, and she is excited to begin her first year at Holy Name teaching 7th grade reading and English. Mrs. Sauber and her husband have a daughter and a son and are looking forward to welcoming their third baby early this fall. When she is not teaching or spending time with her family, Mrs. Sauber enjoys reading young adult literature.
Kaitlin Southwick was born and raised in Old Greenwich, CT. However, in June of 2006 she visited New Orleans to help with the post-Katrina relief efforts. Although she was only 16 years old, this city stole Miss Kaitlin's heart, and she never looked back. Miss Kaitlin attended Tulane University and graduated in 2012 with a bachelor of arts in child psychology. I completed my student teaching that fall, earning a certification in early childhood education.This will be her fourth year teaching Kindergarten at Holy Name. When Miss Kaitlin is not teaching, she likes to sail, kayak, and spend time at the beach. She is looking forward to another great school year!
Ms. St. Romain will be teaching Fourth Grade English and Language Arts at HNJ this year! Although this is her first year teaching at Holy Name of Jesus, this year will be her fourth year teaching in Catholic schools. For the past three years, Ms. St. Romain taught at St. John Vianney School in Rancho Cordova, California. She is originally from River Ridge, Louisiana and attended Archbishop Chapelle High School. In 2013, Ms. St. Romain graduated with a bachelor of arts in theology with a minor in studio arts from Spring Hill College, and in 2015, she received my masters in education from the University of Notre Dame. Ms. St. Romain enjoys running with my puppy, Oreo, taking photographs of our beautiful city, and going paddle boarding. She also enjoys playing guitar and cooking. Ms. St. Romain is looking forward to seeing all of her students’ smiling faces on the first day of school.
Langston Terrel is a native New Orleanian and graduate of De La Salle (99'). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Entrepreneurship from Southern University at New Orleans (12'). Coach Terrel has been teaching the past three years at Lake Forest Charter School. This will be his second year at Holy Name of Jesus since he coached 5th grade football and basketball last year. Coach Terrel's hobbies include reading, writing, playing chess/basketball, and riding his bike. He believes that great hearts develop great people!
Caroline Toso will be the Kindergarten Assistant Teacher in Ms. Matherne’s class this coming school year. Last year, she worked in Holy Name’s Faculty Nursery, where she was fortunate enough to care for six beautiful children. They ranged in age from 8 weeks to 3 years old. Before that, Mrs. Toso was a “stay-at-home mom” for twelve years. She has four children, three of whom are currently attending Holy Name of Jesus School. She received a bachelor of science degree in English Literature from the University of New Orleans, after which she worked for a local insurance company for five years.
Agatha Vidrine began working at Holy Name of Jesus in 1994 as a Teacher Assistant. During these 22 years, she spent time assisting in both Kindergarten and the Pre-K 4 program. In 2002, she began working with the Later Gators after-school program and continues to do so. Agatha is the loving wife of Hilton “Tony” Vidrine and proud mother of Alyssa Vidrine, HNJ alumna class of 2000. Outside of HNJ, Agatha enjoys spending time with her family, traveling with her friends, and enjoying all of the unique things New Orleans has to offer. She looks forward to starting her next chapter at HNJ in the new Pre-K 3 program.
Victoria Walters has been teaching for two years and is new to the Holy Name of Jesus community this year. She grew up in Metairie and attended Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans for high school. Victoria received a bachelor of science in elementary education and a minor in business administration from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, she was on the Chancellor's Honor Roll. Victoria loves the New Orleans Saints and loves to attend all the home games with her mom. When she can, she loves to travel. Even though she has lived here all of her life, Victoria enjoys exploring new sites and restaurants with family and friends.
Mrs. Wood has a has a longstanding relationship with Holy Name of Jesus. In the mid 1970’s and early 80’s she was an HNJ Poodle (we became Gators in her 8th grade year) and her three children--Colin, Grace, and Julia--are HNJ Gators. Colin is now at Jesuit, Grace at Dominican, and Julia still at HNJ, currently in sixth grade. Mrs. Wood crossed the street to attend Mercy Academy for high school, a Poodle once again. Finally getting off the block, she went to LSU and graduated with a BA in history and then earned a secondary teaching certificate in social studies at UNO. When her husband Keith’s job took them to Atlanta, she began to realize her passion in religious education. Mrs. Wood became the director of youth ministry at their church there and became certified through the Archdiocese of Atlanta in Basic Religious Education and Youth Ministry. After moving back to New Orleans, Mrs. Wood started teaching fourth grade religion at Holy Name in Fall 2008. This inspired her to learn more, so she enrolled in graduate school at Loyola. In 2013, she received a master of pastoral studies degree from the Loyola Institute for Ministry. Mrs. Wood continued working at HNJ part time during graduate school as the Coordinator of Religious Education, and for the past five years has taught seventh grade religion. Last year, she served as Director of Religious Education for the school while teaching seventh grade and one section of Kindergarten religion. Life experiences and higher education have taught Mrs. Wood well, yet it is through HNJ that she has learned the most.
Mrs. Zelden grew up in New Orleans and attended Catholic schools. After graduating from LSU, Mrs. Zelden taught first grade at St. Aloysius in Baton Rouge. She also taught in Fairfax County Schools while living in Northern Virginia for six years.
Mrs. Zelden has five children, all of whom attended Holy Name. She has been an HNJ parent for fourteen years and is a parishioner as well. After staying home for many years, Mrs. Zelden joined the faculty in 2012.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and traveling with her family.