Our School Staff

Meet Our Leadership

Mrs. Dolan

Mrs. Gerry Dolan

Headmistress

Mrs. Gerry Dolan

Headmistress

P.E. (Grades K - 1)

As headmistress, Mrs. Dolan loves helping teachers continue to develop and expand their teaching skills and use their gifts to engage the students in order to help them grow in knowledge, wisdom and virtue.  “It is a great privilege and joy to work with such a talented group of Catholic educators.  The collegiality is beyond compare. We read, learn, discuss, and analyze together.  We are a team, giving the best to our students, each other, and the school community!  We engage the heart, mind, and soul of our students… We connect what we teach to the children's lives and form the whole child.”  Outside the halls of St. Austin, Mrs. Dolan can be found spending time with family, biking, walking, working out, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, taking in a Cardinals’ baseball game, or listening to Christian music.  Her favorite saints are St. Anthony of Padua and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  She truly lives by her favorite scripture verses: Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” and  Proverbs 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

Education

B.S. in Elementary Educations, Eastern Illinois University

M.A. in Educational Leadership, Saint Louis University

Mr. Thomas Capps

Second Master

Mr. Thomas Capps

Second Master

Teacher of Latin (Grades 1 - 8), Hebrew/Scripture (Grades 5 - 8), History (Grades 5 - 8)

Mr. Capps is a graduate of Harvard College where he received a BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.  He uses his passion for classical education to help his students grow in faith, pursuing the virtue of excellence in education which, in turn, brings us closer to Christ.  Mr. Capps’ favorite saint is St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of Northumbria (origin of the Capps family), a British monk who united Celtic and Benedictine monastic traditions, and an exceptionally patient individual.  He has previously led St. Austin summer camps including “Calligraphy,” “Create your own Language,” and “Tolkien” (author of his favorite book The Silmarillion).

Education

B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard College

Meet Our Talented Faculty

Miss Lauren Prize

PreK Teacher

Miss Lauren Prize

PreK

Miss Prize brings great tenderness and a world of discovery to her students through the Montessori method of education.  “This is what teaching is for me - sharing the experience of learning.”  She especially loves introducing her students to the work of artists and musicians. Miss Prize’s favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  Her favorite saint is St. John the Evangelist, who rested his head near Christ’s beating Sacred Heart at the Last Supper and remained at the foot of the cross. “I want to be like St. John, full of confidence in the love that God has for me and returning an overflowing love and confidence in Him.”  Miss Prize’s hobbies include hiking, discussing philosophy, creating/designing/sewing clothing, and reading.  She has offered St. Austin summer camps including Crochet Camp, Jane Austen Camp, and Embroidery Camp. 

Education

AMI Montessori diplomas for both Primary (ages 3-6) and Elementary (grades 1-6)

Currently pursuing a B.A. in Philosophy, Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Mrs. Brigida Leonard

PreK Teacher Aide

Mrs. Brigida Leonard

Pre-K Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Leonard earned her B.S. in Education from Maryville University.  She brings a deep faith to The St. Austin School and loves to see a child light up with happiness when their understanding of what is being taught “clicks.”  Her favorite saint is St. Michael the Archangel who helped her feel brave while battling cancer.  She loves the quote by St. Mother Teresa, “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”  Outside of school you can find Mrs. Leonard baking and enjoying the outdoors with her family. 

Education

B.S. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Maryville University

Miss Grace Valenza

PreK Teacher Aide

Mrs. Brigida Leonard

Pre-K Assistant Teacher

Miss Valenza is a recent High School graduate and is excited to work with PreK students this year. Her favorite thing about the St. Austin School is the incorporation of faith in the education of children. She loves watching the children grow in the classroom. She says, “The children who attend St. Austin are expanding their intellect and enhancing their faith every day which is very evident in their words and actions.” Outside of teaching Miss Valenza’s main hobby is music. After a long day, she loves to sit and play her piano, which is such a rewarding hobby for her.

Miss Elizabeth Houser

Form I Teacher

Miss Polly Capps

Form I (Kindergarten)

Miss Houser earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  She loves having the opportunity to serve her students and to be a conduit of God’s love for them. Miss Houser also loves helping students who are experiencing challenges to persevere and to overcome them. One of her favorite saints is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who combined his zest for life and having a good time with a burning love for God and desire for holiness. Outside of the classroom, you will find Miss Houser singing, playing piano, and dabbling in photography and handcrafts.  

Education

B.S. in Early Childhood Education, Franciscan University

Miss Alexis Sallwasser

Form II Teacher

Miss Alexis Sallwasser

Form II (Grade 1)

Miss Sallwasser has a passion for teaching and loves to spend her days learning and diving into the world through the eyes of young minds. She loves the small, close community of The St. Austin School where everyone is friendly and supportive.  Miss Sallwasser especially enjoys teaching Science because there is so much fun learning through hands-on experience.  Like her favorite saint, Pope St. John Paul II, she loves to camp and her perfect day would be spent at camp canoeing on a lake, hiking the trails, and rock-climbing. She says, “There is no time I feel closer to God than when I am surrounded by his wonderful creation!”

Education

B.S.E. in Elementary Education, University of Central Missouri

Mrs. Mary Agnew

Form III Teacher

Mrs. Mary Agnew

Form III (Grade 2)

Mrs. Agnew uses her many years of teaching experience to bring a deep understanding of the faith and sacraments to her students. Her favorite subject to teach is English. “I most enjoy watching the joy on my second grade students’ faces when they are learning. When I tell them I am going to teach them about nominative and objective case personal pronouns and they cheer, it makes my heart glad!” Mrs. Agnew’s favorite saint is St. Monica, because she is the patron saint of mothers. Outside of school you can find Mrs. Agnew cooking and taking care of her grandchildren. Her perfect day would start with a walk, attending Holy Mass, followed by a nice hot cup of coffee. She would have plenty of time to teach her students, look over their homework, take a nap, cook dinner, and finish up with an evening walk to look at the moon phases. 

Education

B.A. in Education, Harris-Stowe University

M.A. in Education, University of Missouri St. Louis

Miss Catherine Gilmore

Form IV Teacher

Miss Catherine Gilmore

Form IV (Grade 3)

Miss Gilmore earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Saint Louis University.  She loves to teach reading and believes that Classical Education helps her students to be seekers of truth and lifelong lovers of wisdom.  Her favorite saint is St. Faustina because, “through her, Christ shows us his merciful love in a very unique and profound way.”  Miss Gilmore loves the radiant and contagious joy of the students every day inside and outside of the classroom. “The surest sign that God is alive in you is joy” (Bishop Robert Barron). Outside of school you can find Miss Gilmore running, writing, and cooking strange vegetables. When asked what is one school supply you can’t live without, Miss Gilmore replied, “Coffee is a school supply, right?”

Education

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Dallas

M.A. in Teaching, Saint Louis University

Mrs. Mary Rose Capps

Form V Teacher

Miss Mary Rose Dixon

English/Literature (Grades 4 & 5), Math (Grades 4 & 5), Religion (Grade 6)

Miss Dixon earned her B.A. in Biology and Theology from the University of Dallas. Her education reflects her love of teaching about anything that reveals the beauty of creation ranging from learning about human nature in literature to the simple order of numbers in math. She says, “by seeking the good, the true, and the beautiful, each child is able to develop a deep appreciation for God and everything that He has given to us.” Miss Dixon’s favorite book is The Confessions by St. Augustine. “His restless pursuit of truth and Christ inspire us to seek God continuously and remind us that God is always drawing us to Him.” When she is not teaching, Miss Dixon enjoys sewing, gardening, and any outdoor activity.

Education

B.A. in Biology & Theology, University of Dallas

Mr. Phil Councilor

Homeroom Form VIII
Science (5-8)
Math (6, 8)

Mr. Phil Councilor

Math (Grades 6 & 8), Science (Grades 5 - 8)

Mr. Philip Councilor earned his B.A. in History from the University of Missouri, Columbia.  He models the philosophy of classical education by showing his students that through the Catholic worldview everything is connected in God’s greater plan.  He has a passion for contributing something good to the world through teaching and sharing Christ with his students.  His hobbies are spending time outdoors, fishing, reading, and engaging in physical fitness. His favorite prayer is the Rosary and Our Lady is his favorite saint.

Education

B.A. in History, University of Missouri

Mr. Thomas Capps

Homeroom Form VI
Latin (1-8)
History (5, 6)

Mr. Thomas Capps

Second Master

Teacher of Latin (Grades 1 - 8), Hebrew/Scripture (Grades 5 - 8), History (Grades 5 - 8)

Mr. Capps is a graduate of Harvard College where he received a BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.  He uses his passion for classical education to help his students grow in faith, pursuing the virtue of excellence in education which, in turn, brings us closer to Christ.  Mr. Capps’ favorite saint is St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of Northumbria (origin of the Capps family), a British monk who united Celtic and Benedictine monastic traditions, and an exceptionally patient individual.  He has previously led St. Austin summer camps including “Calligraphy,” “Create your own Language,” and “Tolkien” (author of his favorite book The Silmarillion).

Education

B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard College

Mrs. Pat Luna

Co-Teacher (3/4)

Mr. Phil Councilor

Mrs. Pat Luna is joining the St. Austin School with a long history in teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master’s in Educational Processes with certification from Maryville University. Her favorite saint is Mother Teresa who said, “It was never between you and them anyway.” Her favorite subject to teach is history because she always learns something new. She likes to focus on the spiritual life that faith-based education offers. Mrs. Luna has been married to her husband for 53 years and they have two children who have blessed them with nine grandchildren.

Education

B.S., Harris Teacher's College

M.A. in Educational Processes, Maryville University 

Mrs. Mary Ann Hunker

English/Lit./Logic (7/8)
Religion (6)
History (7/8)

Mr. Phil Councilor

English/Lit./Logic (7/8)

Religion (6)

History (7/8)

Mrs. Mary Ann Hunker brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to The St. Austin School. Mrs. Hunker has been fortunate to travel to almost all the continents and hopes to share her experience of the vast, wonderous, beauty of our multi-faceted world. Her favorite subject to teach is American History and cannot live without her three-hole punch. Mrs. Hunker also loves St. Bernadette and finds her vulnerability and trust in the Lord to be fascinating. Outside of teaching, you may find Mrs. Hunker spending time with her grandchildren, traveling, singing, and stitching needlepoint canvases. 

Education

B.S. in Secondary Education, Kent State University 

Mrs. Chrissy Barnidge

PE - Forms III - VIII

Mrs. Chrissy Barnidge

PE (Grades 2 - 8)

Mrs. Barnidge enjoys sharing her love for an active and healthy lifestyle with the students of St. Austin. She shows the children that being physically active can be fun. Mrs. Barnidge’s favorite form of prayer is the Rosary. She has a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and cherishes the knowledge that we all have two mothers: our earthly mother and our Heavenly Mother. When she is not inspiring students to challenge themselves in PE, Mrs. Barnidge enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, and staying active.

Education

B.S. in Occupational Therapy, St. Louis University

Mrs. Carrie Blase

Art

Mrs. Carrie Blase

Art (Grades K - 8)

Mrs. Blase brings to her students a great appreciation for the significance of art to society and the human person. Often, the Catholic faith is first learned through art. Western culture was built upon art and an appreciation for truth and goodness as reflected in the beauty of art. Mrs. Blase enjoys introducing her students to many different mediums and witnessing their unique take on a given project. Her favorite prayer by St. Clement of Rome concludes, “May every nation come to know that You alone are God, that Jesus Christ is Your Child, that we are Your people, the sheep that You pasture.”

Education

B.A. in Graphic Design and Communication, Florida Atlantic University

Mrs. Adela Chávez

Spanish

Mrs. Adela Chávez

Spanish (Grades PreK - 8)

Mrs. Chávez brings a love of the Spanish language and tradition to her students at The St. Austin School. Students look forward to her Spanish classes where they learn about the rich language and cultures of Spanish speaking peoples. Mrs. Chávez’s favorite saint is St. Teresa of Avila who said, “God alone suffices.” Within the liturgical calendar, Mrs. Chávez finds particular enjoyment in the season of Advent as we prepare for the coming of Our Lord.

Education

Bachelor in Accounting, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Masters in Business Administration, Maryville University

Dr. Patrick Bergin

Music

Dr. Patrick Bergin

Music (Grades K - 8)

Dr. Bergin brings his love of music history to the classroom teaching students not only how to sing and read music but also its rich and engaging history. Dr. Bergin’s favorite time in the liturgical calendar is Passiontide “for the liturgical pruning and its beautiful solemn chants that draw us deeper into Lent at the approach of the mysteries of the Triduum.” Outside of the classroom, he can be found playing board games with his children or reading, likely a work by his favorite author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Education

B.A. in Music Education, University of Missouri- St. Louis

M.A. and Ph.D in Musicology, Ohio State University

Mrs. Jane Frank

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Dr. Elizabeth Brunner

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (PreK & K)

Dr. Brunner finds the treasure of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is its foundation upon the twin pillars of scripture and liturgy. It does not dilute the mysteries of our faith but opens the children up to the wonder of Catholicism. Dr. Brunner’s favorite thing about The St. Austin School is the faith of the teachers and families; all are united and working toward the same goals for the students. Dr. Brunner’s hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, running, and most importantly, spending time with her husband and children.

Education

B.S. in English, Truman State University

Ph.D. in Linguistics, Rice University

Mrs. Jackie Spellmeyer

Library

Mrs. Jackie Spellmeyer

Library (Grades K - 8)

Mrs. Spellmeyer truly opens the world of good literature to the students of The St. Austin School.  She especially enjoys reading to the children about American History and the saints.  Her favorite saint is St. Anthony who is always helping her find often misplaced items. Mrs. Spellmeyer’s favorite quote is by St. Mother Teresa, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!”  Her recommended summer reads are: The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede and My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell.

Education

Bachelor of Health Science, University of Missouri


Administrative Staff

Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Chaplain

Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Born and raised in Troy, Missouri, Father Dominic Link, O.S.B., professed his first vows in the fall of 1991 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1998. He holds degrees in Accounting, Business Education, and Theology. 

Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

Admissions Director

Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

Mrs. Mary Ann Mueth

Treasurer

Mrs. Mary Ann Mueth

Treasurer

Accountant

Mrs. Mueth has worked as an accountant in various roles for over 30 years and has also worked in Development and Marketing.  She runs a small business as a professional organizer.  Her favorite things about The St. Austin School are the families and school community.  Mrs. Mueth loves that the classical style of St. Austin draws on traditions and principles that much of society has discarded.  For example, St. Austin teaches cursive writing which many schools have discontinued in favor of keyboarding. Mrs. Mueth enjoys spending time with her husband and four grown children.  Her dream is to someday have a grandchild who will attend St. Austin. 

Education

B.S. in Accounting - Business Administration, Saint Louis University

Mrs. Tracy Stemler

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Tracy Stemler

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Stemler displays her devotion to The St. Austin School in the many ways she ensures the school runs smoothly. Her favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux because she reminds us to do little things with great love. Mrs. Stemler enjoys “seeing Christ made present throughout the school day in each classroom, and being reminded that all we do, we do to glorify God.” Mrs. Stemler couldn’t live without colored pens to create her very organized lists. When she is not working, Mrs. Stemler enjoys watching her son’s sporting events and spending time with family. Her idea of the perfect day would be hiking on a hot summer day followed by sweet tea and board games.

Education

B.S. in Accounting, University of Missouri

Miss Jacinta Florence

Communications Assistant
Co-Teacher (1)

Mrs. Amanda Wegrzyn

Communications Assistant

Co-Teacher (1)

Miss Florence earned her B.S. in Social Sciences from St. Gregory’s University and her Masters from the Augustine Institute in Leadership for the New Evangelization. She has a background traveling and speaking on chastity, theology of the body and pro-life issues. She’s excited to be in her role as Communications Assistant where she can share the truth, goodness, and beauty of classical education to those who are seeking the riches of Christ. Her favorite quote is from St. Iraneaus who says, “The glory of God is man fully alive,” because she tries to emulate this quote in her daily life. Outside of school, you will find Miss Florence running, cooking, hanging out with friends, and trying new restaurants with her fiancé.

Education

Masters in Leadership for the New Evangelization, Augustine Institute

B.S. in Social Sciences, St. Gregory's University

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Secretary

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Secretary

Ms. Nieberding is always ready with a smile to welcome those who enter the doors of The St. Austin School.  Her favorite book is Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean Pierre de Caussade.  Ms. Nieberding’s hobbies include participating in prayer groups, spending time with family, and last but not least, her dog Max.  Her perfect day would be spent at the Zoo with her grandchildren, a trip to Ted Drewes, and reading with grandchildren.

Education

B.A. in Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Mr. Michael Kress

Director of Development

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Director of Development

Mr. Kress has a deep belief in St. Austin's mission, as well as the experience, skills, and commitment required to lead us toward our development goals.  Mr. Kress is an alum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Heidelberg (Germany), and Grand Valley State University and has served as Rotary International Scholar to Austria and DAAD Scholar to Germany. He is certified through CFRE International.  

Board of Governors 

Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Chaplain

Mr. Jim Spellmeyer

Treasurer & Business Manager

Mr. Paul Hunker

Secretary

Mrs. Willa Frattini

Mrs. Dolan

Mrs. Gerry Dolan

Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

Kinnison

Mrs. Colleen Kinnison

Mrs. Jane McCabe