Meet the Team
Mr. Anderson grew up outside of Baltimore, MD where he attended The University of Maryland Baltimore County. While at UMBC he received a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. In 2007, Mr. Anderson moved to New Orleans to begin working for the Animal Husbandry Department at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. This is Mr. Anderson's first year teaching, and he looks forward to beginning his teaching career at Holy Name of Jesus. He is currently enrolled at Loyola University to receive his Master of Arts in Teaching. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Anderson is the Head Coach of the Brother Martin Lacrosse Team and looks forward to adding lacrosse to the sports offered at HNJ. Mr. Anderson is also an avid SCUBA diver. Other than his numerous pets, his favorite animals are Zebra Sharks and the Giant Pacific Octopus.
Ms. 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.
Ms. Kari graduated from the University of New Orleans. She has devoted her teaching career at HNJ where she has taught Pre-K 4 for 12 years and Pre-K 3 the last 2 years. Miss Kari enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. She is an avid supporter of the New Orleans Saints, Pelicans, and Tulane Athletics.
Megan Bayer is thrilled to bea part of the Holy Name of Jesus School staff as the Admissions Coordinator and Office Assistant. She is an HNJ parent to Rosie (Graduate), Julia (5th grade), and Joey (2nd 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 a part of the office staff and looks forward to working with the Holy Name parents and students during the upcoming school year!
Ms. 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. Ms. Lisette received a Bachelor 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 grades. Ms. Lisette 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. Ms. 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 working with the students in the theatre program at HNJ. Ms. Lisette also loves swing dancing and playing with her nieces and nephews.
David Blamphin is starting his 22nd year at Holy Name. He taught Physical Education at HNJ for nineteen years before becoming Dean of Students in 2016. 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 is currently enrolled at Xavier University, where he is scheduled to receive his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership in May of 2019. During the fall, David helps coach the HNJ cross country team. David has also coached flag football, basketball, and baseball at Holy Name since 1997. Currently, David serves as the vice president of the New Orleans Athletic League, of which Holy Name is a charter member. The New Orleans Athletic league is home to all of Holy Name of Jesus School's athletic programs. David enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Grace (10 - 3rd Grade,) and Caroline (4 - PK 4,) 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 Baby Cakes. He also enjoys running and listening to music.
Mrs. Ruth Blum has been teaching for over 25 years and has been at Holy Name since 2010. Prior to Holy Name, she taught at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She also worked as the Education Director at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Mrs. Blum has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Loyola University and a Master in Educational Leadership from Holy Cross University. Mrs. Blum and her husband are both native New Orleanians and members of Holy Name of Jesus Parish. The Blums have two grown children. In addition to spending time coming up with ways to be creative in the classroom, Mrs. Blum loves to read, draw, needlepoint, and spend time with her husband on the weekend.
Mrs. Gretchen Schonberg Breaux graduated from Loyola University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She earned Dean’s List distinction and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. Mrs. Gretchen taught third grade and Pre-K at a parochial school in Metairie 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, Mrs. Gretchen was responsible for implementing the Reggio Emilia approach to child development into a newly constructed early childhood center. Mrs. Gretchen joined the faculty of Holy Name of Jesus School in 2012 as a Kindergarten teacher, a position she held for four years. In the Fall of 2016, Mrs. Gretchen assisted Holy Name in the development of a Pre-K3 program, and she has continued to work with the smallest children of Holy Name since that time.
Mrs. Gretchen enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Ralph, an attorney, and five children. She particularly enjoys traveling to spend weekends with her son and daughter, who attend rival SEC universities, and watching her other three children at their numerous sporting events, including baseball, soccer, lacrosse, track, and sailing. Mrs. Gretchen also spends considerable time volunteering her services with her church and her children’s schools. As a result of these efforts, Mrs. 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.
Mrs. Clark is a native New Orleanian who returned last year after living and teaching in Alabama for 12 years. She attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart and received her bachelor degree from the University of Alabama and master degree from LSU. Mrs. Clark has been teaching for 23 years. She has been married for 26 years to Culpepper Clark and has two sons who both attend LSU. Mrs. Clark loves teaching 5th grade Religion and Social Studies and coaching the Quiz Bowl Team.
Margaret Duzane is starting her second year at Holy Name of Jesus. Ms. Margaret is new to the Kindergarten team this year and cannot wait to get started! Ms. Margaret graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She enjoys writing and spending time outside.
Ms. Dwyer is starting her fifth year at Holy Name of Jesus School and could not be more proud of the learning community! She attended Catholic school her entire lifestarting at St. Pius X, then to St. Mary's Dominican High School, and finally at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Human Development. Ms. Dwyer began teaching in the Memphis City Schools during which time she earned her first Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. After four years of teaching in Memphis, she was missing home and returned to teach at Stuart Hall School for Boys. During her tenure there, Ms. Dwyer taught religion, 4th grade ELA, coached soccer, and was the Middle School Team Leader. She also embarked on her journey toward earning a doctorate by obtaining a second master degree, this time in Educational Leadership. Ms. Dwyer's next endeavor lead her to Our Lady of Lake Catholic School in Mandeville where she was Curriculum Coordinator before coming to HNJ. She believes strongly in being a life-long learner and has continued her studies as a Fellow at the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans, being selected to attend a summer program at the Principals' Center of Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2015, attending professional development, and staying abreast of the current research. Ms. Dwyer plans to continue her work toward a PhD as well.
In her spare time, Ms. Dwyer treasures being "Nanan" and "Aunt Jess" to a host of nieces and nephews, spending time with family, traveling, playing with her boxer, Chicory, and watching the Saints play! As she begins her 19th year as an educator, Ms. Dwyer is more excited about educating young minds than she was on her first day of teaching.
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 with a degree 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.
Ms. Janet Fuchs has been teaching for 30 years, of which 29 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.
Mrs. Katie Gallagher is starting her 14th year of teaching and is excited to be joining the HNJ family. She is a native New Orleanian who graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in 2001. Katie earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in 2005. She has taught PreK, K, 1st, and 2nd grades in Catholic, Independent, and Public Schools. Katie and her husband have two sons, Egan and Porter, who will be 3rd Grade and Kindergarten Gators this year! She is thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten and looks forward to watching her students learn and grow academically, spirituality, and socially this year!
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.
Mrs. Jeanette Garry attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication and Special Education, with a minor in Psychology. 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 at Tulane Medical School, moved to New Orleans in 1983 where Jeanette worked for the Archdiocese as a Family Counselor at the Catholic Deaf Center. 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 teaching for 33 years. She has been at Holy Name for 26 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 has a passion for traveling and exploring new places, learning about different cultures, religions, and history, and bringing those experiences into the classroom to her students.
Ms. Frances Givens began her education 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 Ms. Givens discovered her passion for teaching and completed her teacher certification at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. She also holds a Bachelor of Science from LSU in Baton Rouge. Ms. Givens 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 second 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.
Dedicated member of the Holy Name staff for 20 years.
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 be teaching in the PreK 3 program again with Ms. Kari Anderson. She has been at Holy Name for 22 years and 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 7 grandchildren, and her friends.
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!
Mrs. Patricia Hughes was born and raised in Metairie, LA. She graduated from Chapelle High School and the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career at Holy Name of Jesus in 1998 and taught there for several years. Mrs. Hughes and her husband, Brian, were married in 1999. A few years later, she took a break from teaching to stay at home with their three children, Brock (16), Bradley (14), and Tanner (10). Mrs. Hughes began substituting at Holy Name in 2013 until she returned full time to teach 4th grade in 2018. This year she will be teaching 2nd grade and is looking forward to a fabulous year. Mrs. Hughes enjoys spending time with her family and most of her free time is spent watching her children participate in extracurricular and sporting events.
Ms. Colette Huval graduated from Ole Miss in 2016 and is currently continuing her education at the University of Holy Cross. This will be her third year teaching first grade at Holy Name of Jesus! Ms. Huval enjoys all activities outdoors, spending time with loved ones, and the arts. She is very excited for this year and cannot wait to meet all of her first grade students!
Mrs. Ann Inderbitzin was born and raised in the New Orleans area and she is a graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina, where she lived and taught for several years before returning to her hometown. She has been happily married to her husband, Rolf, native of Switzerland, for ten years. Ann is excited to return to teaching at HNJ after five years of being a stay-at-home mommy to their two precious boys, John Parker (J.P.) and Marcel. She previously taught Middle School Math and Science at Holy Name and is looking forward to a great year working alongside Mrs. Pam Miller in the Computer Lab! In her spare time, Ann enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and traveling!
Mrs. Courtney Jansen is excited to return for her third year at Holy Name of Jesus School. She started her career at HNJ as the Director of Later Gators and then moved to the Director of Religious Education and a middle school religion teacher last year. Prior to coming to HNJ, Courtney served as the Director of Camp Abbey in Covington, LA. Mrs. Jansen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She also has a Master of Arts in Education Administration from LSU and is working on her Master 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 planning their next vacation.
Ms. Nicole Joseph, is a new Kindergarten assistant teacher, she was born on St.Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and lived there with her parents and four younger brothers until she moved to New Orleans, LA in 2011 to attend Loyola University New Orleans. She has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Chemistry from Loyola, and a Master in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University in Florida. Ms. Nicole has been working at Newman in their after school program and summer camp for five years and has been a lower school substitute at Newman for three years. She and her fiance, Jackson, are planning to marry in April! Ms. Nicole is very excited to be a new member of the HNJ team!
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!
Mrs. Stella Lambert is a native New Orleanean. She attended Sacred Heart for grammar school and Newman for middle and high school. A graduate of Tulane University, she studied philosophy and the liberal arts. She spent the 13 years post-college working for her family’s clothing business, but upon becoming a mother, she realized that her true calling was to work with children and young people in a Catholic school environment and to foster their love of learning, God, life, and each other.
Mrs. Nancie Linder has been teaching in Early Childhood for over 25 years. This will be her eleventh year teaching Pre-K 4 at Holy Name. Nancie is a proud alumna of HNJ (1983) and Mercy Academy (1987). 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). She is married to her husband, Joey, and they have a daughter, Sara (HNJ Class of 2017). Nancie enjoys spending time with her family, fishing, boating, and cooking.
Mrs. Beth Loisel was born and raised in the New Orleans area and graduated from the University of Holy Cross with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She has been an educator for 23 years, most of which were spent teaching first and second grade. She has also held other positions in the field of education such as, Reading Interventionist, Master Teacher, and Curriculum Specialist. She is so excited to be back in the classroom at Holy Name this year! Mrs. Loisel can't wait to meet her new students and their families!
Mrs. Loisel is married and has four daughters. Her oldest three are in college, and her youngest will be starting 8th grade at De La Salle in the fall. In her spare time, she enjoys attending concerts, reading, watching movies, and watching lots of Netflix series. Mrs. Loisel is also a big Saints and LSU fan! She is looking forward to starting the school year and is so proud to be part of the Holy Name of Jesus family!
Dedicated member of the Holy Name staff for 16 years.
Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Kimberly Manning moved to the South to attend Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2010. After college, she taught second grade for several years and decided to branch out to work in the field of Special Education. Most recently she was a Case Manager at a prominent early intervention Autism center in the Greater New Orleans area. She also helped develop a curriculum to help clients while transitioning from the clinic to a typical classroom setting. This is her first year at HNJ, and she is very excited to be teaching Pre-K 3! While not at HNJ, Kimberly loves to travel and explore new cities. We she’s not out on an adventure, you can find Kimberly swimming, reading, or doing art projects at home!
Mrs. Nataleigh Markey is starting her 16th year of teaching and is excited about her second year at HNJ as a fourth grade teacher. She is a native New Orleanian who graduated from Louise S. McGehee School. She has a B.A. 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 two children, a son who attends Holy Cross and a daughter at Ursuline Academy. When she is not teaching, she loves to craft!
Ms. Miranda will be starting her third year of teaching Kindergarten at Holy Name. She is a New Orleans native and graduated from Louise S. McGehee in 2011. Ms. Miranda then went on to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Special Education. Ms. Miranda has experience teaching children of all ages and even taught Special Education for one year before coming to Holy Name. She loves traveling and spending time with friends and family. Ms. Miranda recently became engaged over the summer and is looking forward to her wedding in April 2019!
Megan Mathews is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. She holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Ms. Megan is currently licensed through the State of Louisiana as a 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 Ms. 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.
Ms. Meredith Morrison is so excited to be starting her third 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 moved to New Orleans in August 2016 and has fallen in love with the city. Ms. Morrison feels so privileged to be a part of the wonderful Gator family! Her favorite thing about 5th grade is witnessing her students make real world connections during class discussions and investigations. Ms. Morrison is also the coach and sponsor for the HNJ cheer squad! In her spare time, she 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.
Robin Peters is delighted to be the Gators' 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!
Ms. Grace Piatt has lived in Louisiana her whole life but is fairly new to The Big Easy. There’s NO place she would rather call home…scorching summers and all! This year Ms. Piatt is starting my 2nd full year of teaching. She graduated with a degree in early childhood education at McNeese State University in December 2014 and started teaching 1st grade in Sulphur, LA immediately. Ms. Piatt loves it! These curious, spirited 6-year-olds teach her new things daily, and she truly enjoys spending her day with them. After one and a half years teaching at a public school in Sulphur, Ms. 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 HNJ and the city and cannot wait to see the exciting changes this new year will bring! When Ms. 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.
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 35 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 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.
Melissa Puglia is beginning her 17th year as an educator with 15 years of teaching experience in the classroom. Melissa graduated from Mount Carmel Academy and Louisiana State University. She attended the University of Hull as an exchange student during her junior year in college. Melissa earned her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and her Reading Specialist Certificate from the University of New Orleans. She is trained as an ADHD coach, a Reading Specialist, and a Dyslexia Screener/Consultant.
As the Dean of Academics at Holy Name of Jesus School, Melissa’s responsibilities are assisting the Principal with instructional leadership with curriculum development and implementation, teacher evaluations and mentoring, parent communication, standardized testing, and monitoring student academic progress for PK3-7th grades. Also, Melissa loves running and coaching our students on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. She enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, visiting with her Godsons, and walking her Yorkie, Tootsie, around her neighborhood. Melissa is thrilled to begin her second year as an HNJ Gator and hopes to continue to foster a love of learning within the Holy Name community.
Mrs. Kellen Higginbotham Ranger has been teaching on the elementary level for 11 years. She graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Southern Mississippi. After beginning her teaching career at Stuart Hall School for Boys, Mrs. Ranger joined our Holy Name family in 2016 with her husband, Justin, and daughters, Mary Rose (8) and Louise (5). She enjoys vacations to the beach, walking her dogs, and spending time with family and friends. Mrs. Ranger's favorite things about second grade are developing independent readers, creating art projects to further skill knowledge, and helping those who want to make their First Communion through their special journey. Go Gators!
Dedicated member of the Holy Name staff for 15 years.
Mrs. Charlotte Ratcliff is thrilled to be joining the Holy Name of Jesus family! She comes with 34 years of experience as an educator. Mrs. Ratcliff earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Loyola University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Xavier University. She believes every child can learn and employs a variety of teaching strategies to reach each child. Mrs. Ratcliff is looking forward to teaching 6th and 7th grade math this year.
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 language arts.
Edie Steinhardt is excited to join the Holy Name community in the Pre-K3. Edie has very fond memories of her time as a student at Holy Name. She has been teaching for over 34 years, working with babies up through 5th grade.
In her free, time Edie can be found cooking and spending time with her four children and two grandchildren.
Ms. Kaitlin Southwick was born and raised in Old Greenwich, CT. 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 Ms. Kaitlin's heart, and she never looked back. Ms. Kaitlin attended Tulane University and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology. She completed her student teaching that fall to become a certified teacher in Early Childhood Education. This will be her sixth year teaching Kindergarten at Holy Name. She also helps coach our middle school Cross Country, Soccer, and Track teams. When Ms. 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 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.
Ms. Victoria Walters is starting her fifth year of teaching and her third year in the Holy Name of Jesus family. She grew up in Metairie and attended Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans for high school. Ms. Walters 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. Ms. Walters loves the New Orleans Saints and attending all the home games with her mom. When she can, she loves to travel. Even though she has lived here all of her life, Ms. Walters enjoys exploring new sites and restaurants with family and friends.
Nurse Allyson Wenning was born and raised in Baton Rouge where she graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy. She went on to graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelors degree in Business management and further on to graduate from Our Lady of the Lake College with a degree in Nursing. She has been a cardiac ICU nurse for the past 11 years at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and she is starting her second year at Holy Name as the school nurse.
She currently lives in Norco with her husband, Kenny; daughter, Elise; and son, Jake. In her free time she enjoys reading, shopping and spending time with family. She’s looking forward to another great year with the HNJ family!
After substitute teaching at Holy Name this past school year, Mrs. Brynn Willis is looking forward to joining the middle school team teaching the 6th grade! She attended LSU (Go Tigers) and earned a Master of Education in 2005. She began her teaching career in Slidell, LA at Little Oak Middle School where she taught 5th grade ELA and 4th grade math and science. She also taught a semester in a special education classroom. After substitute teaching at Lusher in 2010, she and her husband were sent to Houston to live for 2 ½ years. In Houston, Mrs. Willis stayed in the classroom and substitute taught at the Second Baptist School. Fortunately her husband, Rus, found a job back in New Orleans in 2012 and now the family is here to stay! After having her two boys and soaking in some much needed “mommy time," Mrs. Willis is excited to go back to work full-time.
Mrs. Willis has two boys, Hudson in 1st grade, and Spencer in Kindergarten. They have been attending HNJ for the past two years and both truly love HNJ! Mrs. Willis has really enjoyed becoming a part of the Gator family, too. On the weekends, Mrs. Willis enjoys walking her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Louis and Dexter, around Audubon Park and taking them to the dog park on the levee. She also loves attending festivals with her family, building Legos with her boys, and staying involved with school activities. If you ever see Mrs. Willis and her family out and about in the city, do not hesitate to say hi! Mrs. Willis and her family cannot wait for another exciting year at Holy Name.
Mrs. Kristin Winchester was born in Dallas, Texas but moved to New Orleans at the age of 10. She has been a part of the Holy Name staff for the past 12 years. She and Ms. Lisette have worked together for 10 of those years. Ms. Kristin is also in charge of the Holy Name yearbook.
Mrs. Kristin has one daughter, Keegan, who is 19 years old. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and taking pictures.