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ST. John the Baptist Our Staff

Our Staff

Nicholas Fonte
Principal
nfonte@stjohns-excelsior.org

Mr. Fonte has dedicated his life to Jesus Christ and is committed to serving him through Catholic education. He graduated from the University of  Notre Dame with a Bachelor's Degree in Great Books in which he studied the major works of Western philosophical, theological, scientific, and literary thought. He lived and worked in an Honduran Catholic orphanage for two years, and upon returning to the United States, Mr. Fonte continued his commitment to the poor through serving homeless families in Los Angeles. Early in 2005, the Lord called Mr. Fonte to Catholic education, in which he served as a high school teacher and campus minister before pursuing a Master's Degree in Theology at the Pontifical John Paul ll Institute in Washington, DC. Mr. Fonte joined a team of educators that founded Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Virginia. He served as a religion teacher and the Dean of Instruction & Student Life for eight years, while also earning a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Fonte now finds himself blessed to lead St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School.

 

Fr. Alex Carlson
Pastor
fr.carlson@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Robin Kragness
Administrative Assistant
rkragness@stjohns-excelsior.org

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English Literature, Robin began teaching third and fourth grade in a private Christian school. Robin created curriculum for a 5th grade enrichment class when her children started going to school while living on the island of Maui. The Kragness family felt led to move to Minnesota, exchanging perfect weather for top notch schools and snow. Robin worked for several churches in the West Metro as Children's Ministry Director, Office Administrator and Administrative Assistant. The Lord led her to St. John's after much prayer and trust in him for a long term fit. She is grateful to God for the challenges of learning TADS, supporting Mr. Fonte along with the guides and teachers, encouraging the children, as well as enjoying the entire staff of God's people here at St. John's Parish and School. 

 

Toddler Program:

Carissa Posch
Toddler Community Guide
cposch@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Carissa studied Philosophy at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL, and she is currently enrolled in the AMI Assistants to Infancy credential program at the Montessori Training Center of Saint Louis. She has previously taught in the Toddler Community of two Montessori schools in Florida as well as worked as a nanny for many years. She enjoys volunteering as a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd aide in the Level I Atrium and is excited to pursue catechetical training for the Toddler Community at St. John the Baptist. She is also an auxilliary member of the Order of Malta. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, volleyball, and travel. A passionate believer in the Montessori method, Carissa delights in seeing the world through a child's eyes and has a profound respect for the dignity of the young child.

 

Robin Goetz
Toddler Assistant
rgoetz@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Montessori Preschool/Kindergarten Program:
 

Michelle Marzec
Children's House Guide
mmarzec@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Michelle received a degree in Elementary Education with a Major in Mathematics and a Minor in Integrated Science from Northern Michigan University. In 2014 she completed the Primary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota and received her Association Montessori Internationale Primary Diploma. Michelle previously worked in a Pre-Kindergarten room at a Catholic School in Michigan and in a Montessori Upper Elementary at another Catholic School in Minnesota. Over the years she has been involved in various Church ministries including choir and Life Teen. She is very excited to be a part of St. John the Baptist school as the Children's House Guide.

 

Cassie Gierszewski
Children's House Assistant Guide
cgierszewski@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Traditional Preschool Program:
 

Colleen King
Lead Teacher
cking@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Mrs. King is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict and received her Master's Degree in Education from Boston University. After college, Mrs. King worked in a psychiatric hospital for troubled youth, followed by a counseling job at Oak Park Heights maximum security prison. After their marriage, she and her husband lived and worked in Germany for 3 years. Upon returning and starting a family, they felt called to be foster parents, which they did for over 10 years. After retiring from child foster care, the Kings decided to foster puppies which led to adopting 2 of them. The Kings have been married for 27 years, have 4 amazing children, two dogs and one fat cat which they love.

Mrs. King feels blessed to be the Director and lead teacher at St. John's Preschool for the past 6 years. Each and every day is a gift to get to come to school and be part of such a vibrant, loving, Catholic preschool. Mrs. King loves her work and loves the people and students she does it with! She enjoys every minute interacting and learning with the students.

 

Claudia Chase
Assistant Teacher

 

Kathy Cleveland
Assistant Teacher


Julie Orr
Assistant Teacher
 

Elementary Program:


Angela Wroblewski
Elementary Guide
awroblewski@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Angela has spent over 17 years as a Montessori teacher in private as well as public charter Montessori schools at both the lower and upper elementary levels. She obtained her B.A. from University of St. Thomas with majors in both Education and Spanish. It was during this time that Angela took on the Summer Coordinator position for an afterschool and summer program in Minneapolis. After the invitation of a friend, Angela founded a Montessori Elementary school (1st-6th grade) in Blaine, returned to the University of St. Catherine's to complete her Montessori training and M.A. while teaching and sharing administration duties. Taking the opportunity to be the Director of Montessori Education committee and intern administrator at Bluffview Montessori School in Winona, Angela simultaneously completed her Principal's license through St. Mary's University of MN while teaching at the E2 level. At Bluffview Angela gained greater experience with closing the achievement gap during the process of writing and implementing a school improvement plan. Wanting further experience with Montessori charter schools, she took an E2 level teaching position at World Learner School in Chaska and became involved with the board and finance committee. Feeling called to a new challenge, Angela accepted a position to begin an E2 level at Great River School in St. Paul. After getting the program up and running, Angela took a Head of School Position at Bright Water Montessori and Elementary School in North Minneapolis but is very excited to be teaching again in the elementary classroom. Currently, Angela lives in Chaska with her husband and 5 children.

 

Sirena Woyt
Elementary Assistant
swoyt@stjohns-excelsior.org
 

Mrs. Woyt earned her Bachelor's Degree from Mankato State University in Elementary Education in 1996. She taught for two years in Houston, TX. There she taught third grade and was the lead teacher for an after school tutoring program that went to students homes and worked with parents and students to prepare them for success on the state standardized test. Upon returning to Minnesota, she began teaching in Catholic schools. She has taught kindergarten, second grade, third grade and fifth grade. She has also been a reading and math support teacher. Her passion is educating young children to love learning and discovering the world around them. Sirena has been married for 21 years and has a daughter, Anna, at Minnetonka High School. They also got a new puppy this summer, Dakota.

 

Middle School Program:

Nicky Schafer
Adolescent Guide
nschafer@stjohns-excelsior.org

Mrs. Schafer earned bachelor's degrees in Catholic Studies, Spanish, and Theology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas. She has studied internationally in Spain, Argentina, and Italy. After her undergraduate studies, Mrs. Schafer served in the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) where she earned a Master's degree in Education. She has taught courses at the Middle & High School levels in Religion and Spanish throughout her 10 years of experience at both Providence Academy in Plymouth, MN, and previously at St. John the Evangelist School in Southern Louisiana. Mrs. Schafer has also collaborated with students as a Student Council Advisor and retreat leader. She has led student groups abroad in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Mrs. Schafer found her path into the Montessori community through her training in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based religious educational program, which she implemented in her parish. She is currently earning her credential as a Montessori Adolescent Guide, a three-year program, with completion expected in 2018. Mrs. Schafer is a dedicated life-long learner, with a passion for evangelization, who seeks to help each student discover and release his or her God-given gifts for the service of the Church & the world, thus pursuing their particular vocation and lasting happiness.

 

Specialist Staff:

Sue Dressel
Librarian
library@stjohns-excelsior.org

 

Before Care/After Care Staff:

Robin Goetz
Before Care
rcooper@stjohns-excelsior.org

Cassie Gierszewski
After Care
kidsofthekingdom@stjohns-excelsior.org

Dave Zenz
After Care
kidsofthekingdom@stjohns-excelsior.org

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