Our School Staff

Meet Our Leadership

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

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Mr. Thomas Capps

Second Master

Mr. Thomas Capps

Second Master

Teacher of Latin (Grades 1 - 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 kind 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

Mrs. Sophia Hogg

PreK Lead Teacher

Mrs. Sophia Hogg

PreK

Mrs. Hogg has a calm nature and desires to provide a nurturing environment in the PreK classroom that will encourage the children’s love for learning. She wants her students to experience the wonder and awe of God’s creation and to further their knowledge of the Catholic faith. Mrs. Hogg has prior experience teaching preschoolers using the Montessori method and is especially passionate about teaching children language skills. She has a strong devotion to St. Agnes who is her patroness, and her favorite saint quote is from St. Augustine who said, “Because God has made us for Himself; our hearts are restless until they rest in him.”

Education

B.S. in Human Development and Family Science, University of Missouri-Columbia 

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Mrs. Brigida Leonard

PreK Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Brigida Leonard

Pre-K Teacher Assistant 

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

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Miss Grace Valenza

PreK Teacher Assistant

Miss Grace Valenza

Pre-K Teacher Assistant 

Miss Valenza is a teacher assistant for PreK. 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 the piano.

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Miss Elizabeth Houser

Form I

Miss Elizabeth Houser

Form I (Kindergarten)

Miss Houser earned her B.S. in Early Childhood and Special Education from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.  She has a passion for teaching reading and is fascinated by the amazing capabilities God has given the human mind. She loves the beauty and richness of the liturgical year and seeks to bring this into daily life in her classroom. Miss Houser’s greatest joy in the classroom is getting to know each of her students individually and helping them grow. She is inspired by classical education’s emphasis on forming students in every aspect of their lives. Outside of the classroom, you can find her singing and listening to music, praying in Adoration, and spending time with her family. Her favorite school supply is her desk stash of chocolate.

Education

B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, Franciscan University of Steubenville

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Mrs. Alexis Eagan

Form II Lead Teacher

Mrs. Alexis Eagan

Form II (Grade 1)

Mrs. Eagan 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, “I feel closest to God when I am surrounded by His wonderful creation!”

Education

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

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Miss Barbara Redington

Form II Co-Teacher

Miss Barbara Redington

Form II (Grade 1)

Miss Redington loves children and finds joy in providing a loving and nurturing environment where the students are enthusiastic about learning. Prior to teaching at St. Austin, she has nine years of elementary teaching experience. She has a great love for the Catholic faith and is excited to teach the students more about their faith. Her favorite saint is St. Faustina and her favorite prayer is the Te Deum. She enjoys reading, attending Adoration, going to farmers' markets, and visiting with friends in her free time.

Education

B.A. in Elementary Education, Indiana University

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Mr. Will Todt

Form III

Mr. Will Todt

Form III (Grade 2)

Mr. Todt enjoys engaging and motivating children in their learning. He particularly looks forward to preparing the second-grade students for the sacraments. Mr. Todt is passionate about a Catholic and Classical approach to education because he appreciates that educators have the liberty to focus on developing the image of God in the students. His favorite book is Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his favorite saint is Our Lady. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, beekeeping, farm work, rock climbing, and playing music.

Education

B.A. in Philosophy, University of Vermont

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Miss Lauren Prize

Form IV

Miss Lauren Prize

Form IV (Grade 3)

Miss Prize brings great tenderness and a world of discovery to her students.  “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)

B.A. in Philosophy, Holy Apostles College and Seminary

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Ms. Mary Grace Quinlan

Form V

Ms. Mary Grace Quinlan

Form V (Grade 4)

Ms. Quinlan earned her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education) with a minor in Spanish at the University of Dallas. She also attained a Masters in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from the Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain. She loves providing the tools of learning to her students so that they may find the truth and beauty that surrounds them in their daily lives. Ms. Quinlan also has a multitude of books that she loves to read and hopes that her love for literature will be emulated through her teaching.  She has a strong devotion to Mother Teresa who says, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." Outside of teaching you can find her sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee, spending time in prayer, and playing board games with friends.

Education

BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Dallas

MA in Multicultural Education, Universidad de Alcalá 

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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 kind 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

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Dr. Jeff Pauls

Homeroom Form VII
English (5, 6)
Math (5)
Religion (5, 7/8)

Dr. Jeff Pauls

Form VII Homeroom, English (5,6), Math (5), Religion (5, 7/8)

A well-seasoned teacher, Dr. Jeff Pauls is passionate about encouraging his students to become life-long learners. He has taught at every level from fifth grade through post-graduate and looks forward to training the minds of his students to think deeply, analytically, and classically in union with the truth of Christ and His church. His favorite saint is St. Joseph, and his favorite quote is from St. Catherine of Sienna who said, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” He enjoys competing in triathlons, visiting national parks with his family, and eating grilled salmon and sweet potato fries.

Education

B.A. History, Truman State U

M.A. Educational Administration, Lindenwood U

Ph.D. Education (Teaching and Learning Processes), U of Missouri-St. Louis

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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

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Mrs. Mary Ann Hunker

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

Mrs. Mary Ann Hunker

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 

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Mrs. Pat Luna

Co-Teacher (2)

Mrs. Pat Luna

Mrs. Pat Luna has a long history of 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 54 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 

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Mrs. Lynn Hellmuth

Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Lynn Hellmuth

Mrs. Hellmuth studied Early Childhood & Family Development. After spending nearly 30 years as an at-home Mother, she feels fortunate to be a part of the St. Austin school mission. She is happy to be surrounded by the joy of children while having the opportunity to help them grow in faith and knowledge. She loves all the Saints because each one pushes her to greatness however, she has a special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. (If you ask her why she'll be happy to tell you!) Outside of school, you will find Mrs. Hellmuth spending time with family & friends, entertaining, taking walks, gardening, and working on art or some home project.

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Miss Ashley Herr

Teacher Assistant


Miss Ashley Herr

Miss Herr loves watching students discover new things through their education, and relishes the opportunity to help them grow in faith and knowledge. She appreciates the high standards that students are held to at St. Austin and likes how respectful and caring the students are. She particularly loves to teach catechism and history, and her favorite book is Dante’s Inferno. Miss Herr’s favorite saint is St. Philomena who stood firm in her faith even to the point of martyrdom. In her free time, she enjoys leatherworking, carpentry, and kayaking.

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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

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Mrs. Theresa Shaw

Spanish and PE

Mrs. Theresa Shaw

Spanish (Grades PreK - 8) and PE (Grades 1-8)

Mrs. Shaw is a well-experienced teacher with varied experience including PE and Spanish. She loves teaching children and helping them discover more about the world. Her favorite part of working at St. Austin is the ora et labora Benedictine spirituality. She has a great devotion to the saints, particularly St. Theresa of Lisieux, and outside of school, she loves to read historical biographies, golf, and swim.

Education

B.A. in Education and History

M.A. in Education

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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

Ward Method Certification 

Jackie Spellmeyer website

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 World’s Fair by T.L. Tedrow & Nothing to Fear by Jackie French Koller. 

Education

Bachelor of Health Science, University of Missouri


Administrative Staff

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Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Chaplain

Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Chaplain

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. 

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Mr. Mark Kraus

Development Director

Mr. Mark Kraus


Development Director

Mark Kraus is passionate about the St. Austin mission. He has extensive experience in both fundraising and program management, and he will use these skills to help us find our school’s next home. He is retired from an impressive career with Emerson and most recently led the strategy development and fundraising for the Maryville University Hockey Center. He is the father of five boys, two of whom attended The St. Austin School. His favorite thing about St. Austin is the community of positive, generous, smart, and caring people who become friends for life. In his free time, he likes to fish, hunt, and organize youth hockey. Mark hopes to continue St. Austin’s legacy by helping The St. Austin School thrive for years to come.

Education

Bachelor of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin

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Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

Admissions Director

Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

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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

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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

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Mrs. Mary Clare Florentin

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Florentin has a passion for Catholic and classical education, and she is happy to support The St. Austin School in the capacity of administrative assistant. Mrs. Florentin’s favorite part about The St. Austin School is “the small, family-oriented environment where everyone shares similar values which creates trust and unity between the families, teachers and staff.” In her free time, Mrs. Florentin loves to read, solve jigsaw puzzles, and write calligraphy. She also likes to take “mini road trips” with her family to nearby towns to explore historical sites and small towns outside St. Louis.

Education

B.A in Art History, Santa Clara University

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Mrs. Claire Andrews

Communications Assistant

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Communications Assistant

Mrs. Andrews earned her B.A. in English from the University of Dallas where she first fell in love with Catholic and classical education. She enjoys the friendly, faithful, and optimistic atmosphere at The St. Austin School and is excited to support the mission of the school through communications. Her favorite saint is St. Edith Stein who said, “All those who seek truth, seek God, whether this is clear to them or not.” Mrs. Andrews’ favorite book is Emma by Jane Austen, and she enjoys cooking, board games, and reading in her free time.

Education:

B.A in English, University of Dallas

 

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Mrs. Isabel Nolan

Development Assistant

Ms. Pat Nieberding

Development Assistant

Mrs. Nolan’s love for The St. Austin School community makes her a perfect fit for her role as development assistant. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and in her free time she likes to read literature and philosophy. Her favorite quotation from a saint is from St. Thomas Aquinas who said, “Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.” Mrs. Nolan’s perfect day would incorporate playing outside, reading a book, and having a fun family dinner.

Education:

Political Science B.A. and Philosophy minor from Ave Maria University
Graduate Certificate in Bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center
Certificate in Youth Ministry University of Dayton

Board of Governors 

Fr. Dominic Lenk-square

Fr. Dominic Lenk, OSB

Chaplain

Jim Spellmeyer website

Mr. Jim Spellmeyer

Treasurer & Business Manager

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Mr. Paul Hunker

Secretary

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Mrs. Willa Frattini

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Mrs. Gerry Dolan

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Mrs. Danielle Morgenthaler

Kinnison

Mrs. Colleen Kinnison

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Mrs. Jane McCabe