I’m happy to announce the appointment of several new instructors and instructional assistants for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. All are experienced and well-prepared educators who bring an abundance of talent to Villa’s academic program and I’m excited that they’ll be joining our team!
Our new instructors include:
Ms. Jenny Romischer, who will be leading our second P5 class for the upcoming school year. Ms. Romischer is a graduate of Western Washington University (B.A., Education & Interdisciplinary Child Development) and earned a Master of Science Degree in Education, Curriculum & Instruction (with a focus on early literacy) from the University of New England (Biddeford, Maine). She completed a student-teaching appointment and, later, a kindergarten assignment at the Prague British School in the Czech Republic from 2005 – 2007. Most recently, Ms. Romischer was an instructor and the Program Director for the preschool at St. Mark’s Cathedral School in Seattle.
Ms. Kelsey Connors – 1st Grade; for the last four years, Ms. Connors has been on the faculty of St. Catherine School in Seattle. During the 2010 – 2011 academic year, she served as a physical education and 6th grade science teacher; since 2011, however, Ms. Connors has taught 3rd grade at St. Catherine’s. She is a graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, California (B.A. Elementary Education/Child Development) and is an experienced youth soccer coach. Ms. Connors is also the sister of Ms. Lindsay Gomula, a mathematics instructor in Villa’s Middle School.
Ms. Heather Casper – 2nd Grade; Ms. Casper is currently completing a teaching assignment at the Match Community Day Charter School in Boston, Massachusetts, where she serves as a small group instructor for 3rd grade English language learners in mathematics and English language arts. Prior to this job, Ms. Casper completed a series of student-teaching assignments and field experiences at several public schools in Spokane as well as at St. John Vianney Catholic School, also in Spokane. Ms. Casper is a graduate of Gonzaga University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She holds a Washington State Certification (K-8) with a special endorsement for elementary education along with an English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification.
Ms. Abigail Nelson – 4th Grade; Ms. Nelson is a graduate of Gonzaga University (B.A., History with a Spanish Language minor) and the University of Portland (M.Ed., Education) where she participated in the Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE), a two-year, teaching and service program. She holds teaching certification in both Washington (reading endorsement) and Oregon (ESOL certification). Most recently, Ms. Nelson taught 4th & 5th grades at Saint Joseph School in Redding, California.
Ms. Erin Flotte – Middle School Mathematics; Most recently, Ms. Flotte has served as a long-term substitute mathematics instructor for the Office of Catholic Schools – Archdiocese of Seattle, primarily at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett. At Archbishop Murphy High School, Ms. Flotte prepared courses in honors geometry; honors algebra II & trigonometry; advanced placement statistics and advanced placement calculus; honors pre-calculus and a pre-calculus fundamentals course. She is a graduate of the University of Portland (B.S., Mathematics; B.S. Secondary Education) and recently completed her Masters of Education degree in Curriculum & Instruction and Mathematics Education at the University of Washington. Ms. Flotte also holds teaching certification for Washington and Oregon.
Two current Villa Academy staff members will assume new assignments for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Ms. Janice Isner will move from serving as an instructional assistant in our 1st grade classrooms to serving as the instructional assistant for our P4 class. Ms. Isner joined the Villa Academy community in 2012 as a P5 instructional assistant. Similarly, Ms. Pat Southern will move from her position as a 4th grade instructor to serve as the instructional assistant for our 1st grade teachers. Ms. Southern, a native of Rhode Island, has been teaching in the Seattle Archdiocese since 1979, first at Sacred Heart School in Bellevue and, since 1987, at Villa Academy.
Ms. Briana SteinCruz will join the faculty of Villa Academy this fall as a P5 instructional assistant, working with Ms. Romischer. Ms. SteinCruz was frequently called on over the past couple of years to serve as a substitute teacher at Villa Academy as well as at a number of schools in the Seattle Archdiocese. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Catholic Studies from the University of Portland along with a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from the University of Southern California.
Finally, Ms. Allison Vance will join the faculty of Villa Academy as an instructional assistant for our kindergarten teachers next fall. Ms. Vance is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and has earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, also at the University of Puget Sound. Most recently, Ms. Vance has taught art at the Thrive Art School (Seattle) along with serving as a substitute teacher at the Bush School since 2010.
In closing, I want to thank and congratulate my colleagues, Ms. Jody Elsner (Lower School Director) and Mr. James Joseph (Middle School Director), along with their applicant review teams on a job well done! Over the last few months, they reviewed scores of applications and resumes and participated in many interviews, demonstration-teaching activities and reference checks. I think they have secured some exceptional educators and I’m looking forward to having our newest colleagues join the Villa community this fall – making a “good thing” even better!
I hope you are all enjoying these early days of summer. I’ll be in touch, occasionally, over the summer to update you on “happenings” here…
John K. Milroy
Head of School