Stacy Henke, Principal
Mrs. Henke has over 20 years of teaching experience and a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education. At St. Mary’s, she has taught 4th grade and helped with Science Olympiad, created professional development activities, assisted with the Science Fair, worked on Green Schools Project, and helped with the Young Authors program. She became St. Mary’s Principal in 2021 and continues the tradition of experiential learning, faith focus, and loving discipline that make Catholic schools strong. Mrs. Henke welcomes each student through the doors in the morning, and she is a strong but gentle leader of St. Mary’s School.
Angela Nuxoll, 8th Grade Homeroom & Junior High English Teacher
Mrs. Nuxoll has taught for over 20 years in Catholic education! Before St. Mary’s, she taught at St. John the Baptist in Smithton, but most of her experience has been at St. Paul Catholic School in Highland where she lives with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Ellen. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cheering for the Chicago Cubs, attending her daughter’s band competitions at Mater Dei, and performing in local theater. Mrs. Nuxoll is excited to bring her love of literature and creative writing to the junior high students!
Leah Huelsmann, 7th Grade Homeroom & Junior High Math Teacher
Mrs. Huelsmann started her St. Mary’s School teaching career in 2015. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with middle school endorsements in Mathematics and English Language Arts. Mrs. Huelsmann’s 7th graders attend Space Camp, are responsible for school-wide paper recycling, and take part in many extracurricular activities — in addition to sports, many of the students participate in band, chorus, robotics, and service projects. The whole class learns the value of service by doing projects with nursing homes and senior centers during the school year.
Kirsten Tucker, 6th Grade Homeroom & Junior High Science Teacher
Mrs. Tucker joined the St. Mary’s School faculty in 2017. She brings over 30 years of teaching experience with her to St. Mary’s! She is excited to continue St. Mary’s tradition of hands-on learning in the Junior High Science Lab. She especially looks forward to the 7th grade class trip to Space Camp and inviting guest speakers from different fields of science.
Anna Shannon, 5th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Shannon has taught at St. Mary’s School for 14 of her 25 years of teaching experience. She has an Elementary Education degree from St. Louis University. Besides teaching 5th grade, Mrs. Shannon helps moderate the Spring Play, Speech Meet, Spelling Bee, Young Authors, and Red Ribbon Week. She keeps her 5th grade class fun and interactive with Veterans Reports and Interviews, an extensive Native American unit, and the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program/graduation.
Julie Poos, 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Poos was a fourth grade teacher for three years before teaching at St. Mary’s. Prior to teaching, Mrs. Poos was a special education assistant in the Edwardsville School District for six years, four of those in fourth grade. In 2018, Mrs. Poos earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from SIUE. As the mother of two St. Mary’s alumni, Abigail Podshadley (class of 2014) and Jackson Podshadley (class of 2017), Mrs. Poos has a strong belief in Catholic education and loves to share her faith with her students. She is also a proud military wife to husband of almost four years, Casey, a Master Sergeant in the Illinois Air National Guard.
Michelle Dant, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Dant has taught at St. Mary’s School for 20 years! She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from McKendree College and endorsements in middle school language arts and social sciences. Before teaching 3rd grade, she taught 1st grade and Kindergarten at St. Mary’s. As St. Mary’s School’s 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Dant keeps learning fun and interactive with a Flat Stanley project, building and erupting volcano models, and extensive president reports and book reports. 3rd graders present many of their projects for public speaking experience.
Deana Strack, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Strack has been teaching at St. Mary’s School for 21 years! She particularly loves teaching 2nd grade where she teaches sacramental preparation for First Communion and First Reconciliation in her own St. Mary’s Parish. Mrs. Strack attended Eastern Illinois University and SIUE and holds an Elementary Education Certification with an emphasis in Social Sciences. Among the highlights of 2nd grade at St. Mary’s are a traditional Thanksgiving feast and a field trip to attend mass at the Old Cathedral the day after First Communion. Mrs. Strack also co-moderates St. Mary’s Girls on the Run program.
Alexandra Hookway, 1st Grade Teacher
Ms. Ali Hookway was born in San Diego, California but moved to O’Fallon, IL when she was ten. She has been teaching for five years and previously taught first grade for three years and third grade for one year at a Catholic school in O’Fallon. Ms. Hookway says, “I love teaching in a Catholic school because there’s a strong sense of community and commitment to the Catholic faith.” When she’s not teaching, Ms. Hookway loves to read, ride her bike, hang out with her family, and spend time with her boyfriend and dogs, Kyd and Ripley.
Laura Guetterman, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Guetterman has taught at St. Mary’s School for 15 of her 17 years of teaching experience. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Science degree specializing in Reading. She is a Certified Reading Specialist and Title 1 teacher in Reading and Math. The highlights of Kindergarten for Mrs. Guetterman are center time, the 8th grade buddy program, and guided reading groups. The Kindergarteners enjoy a healthy combination of technology and traditional learning, including art, music, and PE each week.
Kathy Blumberg, 4-Year-Old PreK Teacher
Mrs. Blumberg has been teaching Kindergarten or Preschool for 28 years! Her 4-year-old PreKindergarten class includes music, art, and computers along with learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes, prayers, and problem solving. St. Mary’s PreK class is especially blessed to meet baby animals from Mrs. Blumberg’s own farm each spring! Mrs. Blumberg has brought in chicks, ducklings, piglets, bunnies, and her own pet goat! Mrs. Blumberg designs St. Mary’s Yearbook and has served as Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach in past years.
Abbey Cramsey, 3-Year-Old PreK Teacher
Miss Abbey attended SIUE and earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in Special Education. She has had experience teaching in a Special Education Head Start program and a Pre-K classroom before coming to St. Mary’s. Miss Abbey looks forward to introducing our youngest students to St. Mary’s and teaching them to love learning!
Marsha Etzkorn, Computer and Music Teacher, Band Director
Mrs. Etzkorn teaches Computers and Music to St. Mary’s School Kindergarten through 8th grade. She also serves as the Coordinator of St. Mary’s Technology Committee and leads the school’s liturgical chorus. Mrs. Etzkorn has over 30 years of teaching experience at various levels in Technology, Vocal Music, General Music, Instrumental Music, and Physical Education.
Leigh Janes, Art Teacher
Ms. Janes teaches Art to St. Mary’s School Kindergarten through 8th grade. She has been teaching for over 25 years! She holds two Master’s Degrees and is a professional artist. In addition to teaching as the dedicated art teacher at St. Mary’s, Ms. Janes works with seniors in their homes, has worked with developmentally disabled adults in a group home, and teaches private and small group art lessons in her home. Besides everyday teaching, Ms. Janes looks forward to the 4th and 5th grade field trip to the New Cathedral Basilica and the St. Louis Art Museum each year.
Matt Bettlach, Physical Education Teacher
Mr. B has been teaching P.E. at St. Mary’s for 5 years. He teaches Kindergarten through 8th graders every week. In addition to teaching P.E., Mr. B coordinates St. Mary’s Field Day in the Spring. It is one of his favorite things about St. Mary’s — seeing the hard work of the teams, faculty, and volunteers payoff when the students are enjoying themselves. Another highlight of each year is the St. Mary’s Hockey Tournament during Catholic Schools Week. Outside of St. Mary’s, Mr. B has been coaching high school soccer for 16 years. He coaches girls varsity and boys freshmen teams at Triad High School in Troy, IL.
Mary Kay Gossman, Resource Teacher
Mrs. Gossman works one on one with many of St. Mary’s students who need a little extra help. She also provides some extra-challenging work for students who excel in certain areas. Mrs. Gossman’s teaching experience includes substitute teaching at St. Mary’s and working in public schools. You’ll often see her with her grandchildren who also attend St. Mary’s!
Cheryl Sauer, Teacher’s Aide (4yo) and Extended Care Director
Mrs. Cheryl has over 20 years experience working with children as an Aide and as the Extended Care Director. She helps St. Mary’s School in many ways. Every student in St. Mary’s School knows Mrs. Cheryl, and she welcomes them each by name in the morning and in the hallways throughout the day.
Katya Briesacher, Teacher’s Aide (3yo)
Mrs. Katya has been a great helper in our preschool classes over the years! Her own children attend St. Mary’s School, so she knows the traditions, culture, and love for learning that St. Mary’s perpetuates. She is also a great resource for parents of our youngest students.
We are St. Mary’s – a school to believe in!