Meet the Team
Miss Kari Anderson is excited to be teaching in the Pre-K 3 Program again this year 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 12 years and Pre-K 3 last year. Miss Kari enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is an avid supporter of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans.
Mr. Antin began teaching at HNJ in 2015. 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, and Adele, who turned one in June. Mr. Antin is also the sponsor of the very active Beta Club.
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 to continue workling with the students in the theatre program. Miss Lisette also loves swing dancing and playing with her nieces and nephews.
Megan Bayer is thrilled to be joining the Holy Name of Jesus staff as an Office Assistant. She is a Holy Name parent to Rosie (7th grade), Julia (4th grade), and Joey (1st grade). Megan and her husband, Justin, moved their family to New Orleans in January of 2015 from Dayton, OH. The Holy Name community welcomed them with open arms and made the transition mid-year such a smooth process. New Orleans is now home and they all love exploring this amazing city!
Megan graduated from the University of Dayton in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a minor in Communication. She worked in the marketing field for several years in Cincinnati, OH and Burlington, VT before starting a family. For the past 12 years she has worked part-time from home while primarily focusing on raising their family.
Megan is more than happy to be joining the office staff and looks forward to working with the Holy Name parents and students during the upcoming school year!
David Blamphin is starting his 21st year at Holy Name. He taught Physical Education at HNJ for nineteen years before becoming Dean of Students last year. 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.
Megan Bonser was born and raised in Rockville, MD, outside of Washington, DC. She came down to New Orleans in 2007 to attend Tulane University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Art History in 2011. After working as an event planner and wedding coordinator for five years, she realized that her true passion was being around children and enrolled at the University of New Orleans to work on her Masters in the Arts of Teaching degree. She is so thrilled to be joining the HNJ team as a Kindergarten Assistant while finishing her degree at UNO. When she is not at Holy Name or UNO, you can more than likely find her in the Superdome cheering on the Saints (Who Dat!) or traveling around the country to visit family and friends.
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.
Denise is a native New Orleanian who has just moved back with her family after living in Alabama for 12 years. She attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart and received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Alabama and Masters Degree from LSU. Mrs. Clark has taught at Sacred Heart, Stuart Hall, and Verner Elementary (Tuscaloosa, Alabama). She has been married for 25 years to Culpepper Clark and has 2 boys who both attend LSU. Mrs. Clark is so excited to join the HNJ family as a 5th grade teacher!
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 19 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 17 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, EIGHT and a half!!
Vivian Dobson is the assistant computer teacher. This is her third year teaching at Holy Name of Jesus. She graduated from The University of New Orleans and enjoys DIY projects around the house and is afanatic! Vivian attended Holy Name and is proud to be an alumna that has returned as a teacher! Vivian’s son, Sebastian, is a 4th generation family member attending Holy Name, and he has been at HNJ since PreK4! Her grandparents met at Holy Name and sent all of their children to HNJ. Vivian was also married at Holy Name of Jesus Church. HNJ is considered a second home and runs deep in her blood! GO GATORS!
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 29 years, of which 28 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 was born and raised 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 her 5 brothers.
Mrs. Gardner 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 K-8. She has previously taught at St. Pius X School for 5 years before taking 8 years off after her third child. She has 3 beautiful daughters, Erica Gardner DeFelice, Michelle Mouledoux Gardner Mather, and Holy Marisa Gardner, who all live in New Orleans.
During her years as a full-time mother, Denise 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.
Mrs. Gardner loves to travel, cook, take walks, garden, read, do crossword puzzles, and enjoys Suduko. She also enjoys a nice meal out or in with family and friends and babysitting her grandchildren. Her oldest two daughters have given her 5 lovely grandchildren, 2 grandsons and 3 granddaughters, with one more due this December.
Mrs. Gardner has taught at Holy Name of Jesus since 1996 as a middle school social studies and math teacher. Teaching math has been her favorite! Mrs. Gardner was also the sponsor of the National Junior Beta Club for many years and continues to help today.
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.
Ms. Givens has two beautiful daughters, Victoria and Olivia. Victoria is in her fourth year of her residency at LSUNO, and Olivia just completed her first year at LSUBR. She loves spending time with her family, reading, theater, and traveling. She has been able to use her travel experiences to share first hand experiences with her students.
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 eleventh year teaching 3rd grade at Holy Name of Jesus. She received her B.S. Degree in Business Management from the University of New Orleans in 1985, and later decided that she wanted to be an important factor in the education of children. She returned to UNO to pursue a Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education, which she received in 2012. She began her teaching career at Holy Name in 2007 and has loved the school ever since. It is a wonderful place for children to receive an education in a caring and nurturing environment.
While at UNO, Mrs. Hodgson was a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and the UNO Starlettes Dance Team. She enjoys outdoor sports such as fishing and swimming, and she also loves to spend time dancing and reading. Mrs. Hodgson currently lives in Metairie with her husband and teenage son who is a Senior at DeLaSalle High School.
Mrs. Hodgson is one of the original creators of the 3rd grade Zoo School Program. This curriculum is designed through Holy Name and Audubon Zoo and allows the children to engage in hands-on projects and activities where they complete an in depth study of plants, animals, habitats, and environments. The kids absolutely love it, and it is such a great experience that is fun and educational for all.
Ryan Hooks earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration and a minor in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge (’12). He is in his first year as an instructor and coach at Holy Name of Jesus School, though he has taught in Prague and coached previously. Coach Hooks is an advocate of healthy eating and hustle.
Gators give their Total Effort in Every Endeavor!
Colette Huval began teaching at Holy Name of Jesus School in 2016. She graduated from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and is continuing her education at University of Holy Cross. She enjoys cooking, painting, and being outdoors.
Courtney Jansen is excited for her first year teaching religion and serving as the Director of Religious Education at HNJ! Last year she was the Director of Later Gators and prior to that served as the Director of Camp Abbey in Covington, LA. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She also has a Masters of Arts from LSU in Education Administration and is working on her Masters in Pastoral Leadership at Notre Dame Seminary. In addition to her work with the school, she is the Youth Minister for Holy Name of Jesus Parish. Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband and son and traveling.
Carolina Lambert, a native Spanish speaker originally from Miami Beach, was born and raised in a little town called Surfside. Born to Cuban immigrants, Carolina Lambert grew up speaking Spanish at home and then continued to study the Spanish language all throughout her life.
She has a passion for the Spanish language and hopes to continue to learn more about Spanish speaking cultures through her experiences and study of the language.
She has been teaching in New Orleans for 5 years and has lived in the city since 2009. Carolina also recently graduated from Loyola University's Spanish interpretation and translation program where she received a certification in Spanish legal and medical interpretation and translation.
New to the HNJ School, but a parishioner at the church since 2009, Carolina is really excited to begin teaching Spanish to children this year, being that her passion for Spanish has been a life long journey!
Nancie Linder has been teaching in Early Childhood for 25 years. This will be her 10th year teaching Pre-K4 at Holy Name. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with Certification in Early Childhood from Loyola University (1992) and a Master of Education from Tulane University (1997). Nancie attended Holy Name and Mercy Academy. She is married to her husband, Joey, and they have a daughter, Sara. Sara is a recent graduate of Holy Name. Nancie enjoys spending time with her family, fishing, and cooking.
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 fifth year as a teacher and fourth 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.
Nataleigh Markey is starting her 15th year of teaching and is excited to be joining the HNJ family. She is a native New Orleanian who graduated from Louise S. McGehee School. She has a BA in Psychology and holds a Louisiana State Teaching Certificate, both from the University of New Orleans. She has taught in both private and public schools. Mrs. Markey and her husband have 2 children, a son who attends Holy Cross and a daughter at Ursuline Academy. When she is not teaching, she loves to craft!
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.
Libby Burton McGinn, a Nashville, Tennessee native, graduated Cum Laude from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama in 2010 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. While at SHC, she earned Dean’s List distinction. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, where she served as the Vice President. She was also a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, where she served on the executive board as the Recruitment chair and the Ritual chair. Libby moved to New Orleans in 2010 and taught 4th grade at Holy Name of Jesus for three years. After three years of teaching, she became the Director of Admissions and Special Events. In 2014-2015, Libby attended the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans Aspiring Leaders Program.
While not at Holy Name, Libby enjoys spending time in her garden, being with her dog, Jack, running and biking around the parks, spending time with friends and family, shopping estate sales, and starting a new projects in her home! You can also find Libby on the tennis courts, where she coaches the HNJ Middle School tennis team!
Meredith Morrison is so excited to be starting her second year of teaching 5th grade math and science at HNJ! She is from Alexandria, Louisiana and is a proud alumnus of Louisiana State University. While at LSU, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority and served in the Academic Excellence board for her chapter. She was also a member of Kappa Delta Epsilon, an Educational Honor Society, where she served as vice president. She moved to New Orleans in August 2016 and has fallen in love with the city. She feels so privileged to be a part of the wonderful Gator family! Meredith is the new coach and sponsor for the HNJ cheer squad! In her spare time, Meredith loves to read, travel, attend LSU football games, and practice yoga.
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 fair co-chair, and Gator Grins coordinator. Mrs. Perschall became a full-time employee in 2014 as an assistant in the computer lab. In 2016, she moved to the art room where she is Mrs. Deb’s assistant.
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 33 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. This year her granddaughter, Lucy will be a fourth generation HNJ Gator in Ms. Nancie Linder's class!
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 fifth year at Holy Name of Jesus School and twenty-seventh year as an educator. She can be found working with students in first through third grades as a Reading Interventionist. She earned her degree from the University of New Orleans and is certified in Elementary and Special Education. She is a wife and mother of three children. Mrs. Poché enjoys traveling, gardening, and volunteering at the World War II museum. She also has been meeting with the Holy Cross Rosary Group weekly since 2001.
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 has been teaching on the elementary level for 10 years. A native New Orleanian, Kellen graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart and then earned a bachelors of science in elementary education at the University of Southern Mississippi. After beginning her teaching career at Stuart Hall Schol for Boys, Kellen and her two daughters joined our Holy Name family in 2016 and couldn't be happier. Kellen enjoys singing, painting, walking her dogs, and spending time with her family... especially if it's at the beach! Mrs. Ranger's favorite things about second grade are developing independent readers, creating art projects with the kids, and helping those who want to make their First Communion through their special journey. Go Gators!
Kris Stall Robinson has been working at Holy Name of Jesus for 16 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. And her niece and nephew currently attend HNJ. 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 her new students.
Forever in our hearts!
Stephanie Sauber, a life-long resident of the New Orleans area, attended Mount Carmel Academy and Loyola University New Orleans. She graduated from Loyola in 2005, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and minors in secondary education and communications. Following Hurricane Katrina, she lived in the Florida panhandle for a semester, where she taught freshman English and reading and became certified to teach in the state of Florida. She returned to New Orleans and then spent 10 years teaching English at Mount Carmel. In August 2016, she joined the Holy Name of Jesus staff to teach middle school English. She has a daughter who is excited to be an HNJ Gator this year and two sons who are future Gators. Mrs. Sauber is excited to start her second year at Holy Name of Jesus.
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. She completed her student teaching that fall, earning a teaching certification in Early Childhood Education. This will be her fifth 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!
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 will be entering is third year at Holy Name of Jesus. In addition to being a P.E. techer, he has coached 6th grade football, 7th grade basketball, Track and Field coordinator, and served as Chess Club moderator last year. Coach Terrel's hobbies include reading, writing, playing chess/basketball, and spending time with his family. “Do your best when your best is required; your best is required each day” is one of Coach Terrel’s favorite quotes. Coach Terrel believes in building relationships, respect, having a joy-filled heart, and teamwork.
Agatha Vidrine began working at Holy Name of Jesus in 1994 as a Teacher Assistant. Since then she has 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 still today. She started her current position as a Pre-K 3 Teacher Assistant in the fall of 2016. 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.
Victoria Walters is starting her fourth year of teaching and her second year in the Holy Name of Jesus family. 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, Mrs. Walters enjoys exploring new sites and restaurants with family and friends.
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 of Jesus. She has been an HNJ parent for fifteen 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.