Meet our Administration Team
Patrick Gallivan (Principal)
Frassati Catholic Academy Principal Pat Gallivan is blessed to have spent his life as a student, teacher, and principal in Catholic schools. He sees great things in the future for Frassati Catholic Academy, which has a talented faculty that ensures Frassati students grow in faith and knowledge.
Principal Gallivan began his teaching career at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in New Brighton, Minnesota. He then moved with his wife to Norfolk, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, while she pursued a career as a naval officer. While in Jacksonville, Principal Gallivan earned his master’s degree in educational leadership.
Five years later, the Gallivans found themselves back in Minnesota. Principal Gallivan became the principal at Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers, where he helped add a middle school. At the same time, he earned his educational specialist degree and K-12 Administrative License from the University of St. Thomas. Principal Gallivan then became principal of St. Mary of the Lake School.
In his years as a student, Principal Gallivan attended Kindergarten at St. Columba and grade school at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He attended Hill-Murray High School and earned a middle school science teaching degree from University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he studied geology and biology.
Principal Gallivan is confident Frassati’s STREAM focus will enable the school to continue to provide a 21st-century education that will prepare students for a bright future here on Earth and make them worthy of the heavenly promises of Christ.
Fr. Ralph Talbot (Moderator)
Frassati Catholic Academy Fr. Ralph Talbot has served as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake since July 2011 and was appointed as moderator of Frassati Catholic Academy by Archbishop Nienstedt in 2013. After his ordination in May 2004, he served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of St. Paul for one year and pastor of St. Jude of the Lake (Mahtomedi) for six years.
Fr. Ralph Talbot was born in Anoka, Minnesota, where his father, four brothers, and one (very lucky!) sister still live. His mother died in 2005. Fr. Ralph Talbot attended St. Stephen Catholic School for grades 1 through 8 and graduated from Anoka Senior High School. He earned a degree in secondary education from St. Cloud State University and a law degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Fr. Ralph Talbot served as an Assistant State Attorney in Miami, Florida, for ten years, where he prosecuted a variety of criminal cases.
In 1998, Fr. Ralph Talbot returned to Minnesota and entered the St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas. He was ordained on May 29, 2004.
Fr. Joe Bambenek (Chaplain)
Fr. Joe Bambenek has been a pastor of the Church of St. Pius X since July 2013 and was ordained a priest in 2010. Before joining the Church of St. Pius X, Fr. Bambenek was an associate priest at St. Michael Church in St. Michael, the chaplain of Ave Maria Academy in Maple Grove, and associate priest at Nativity of Our Lord Church in St. Paul.
Fr. Bambanek grew up in Hastings and attended Hastings Parochial School. He graduated from Hastings High School. After high school Fr. Bambanek took a tour of the “M” states: He went to college in Missouri, graduate school at MIT in Massachusetts, and worked for the Consumers Energy and Michigan Electric Transmission Company. He completed pre-seminary studies at Ave Maria College in Michigan before returning to Minnesota to enter St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas.
Fr. Bambanek enjoys traveling, photography, and other active forms of recreation.
Peggy Kemp (Administrative Assistant)
I graduated from Mankato State University with a degree in Elementary Education. I was a special education teacher for 5 years and earned a Master’s Degree from St. Mary’s University. I then made a career change and worked at my father-in-law’s insurance agency for many years. When he retired I decided to make a change as well and went to work at St. Pius X (where my daughters were students). I am happy to have been a part of the Frassati team since its inaugural year.
In my free time I enjoy laughing, reading, crossword puzzles, walking, going to the cabin and spending time with my family and friends.
Meet our Teachers
Pat Barry (Preschool)
I joined the preschool staff of St. Mary of the Lake in 1999, and have been fortunate to be a part of Frassati Catholic Academy Preschool from its beginning in 2014. I hold a B.S. in Vocal Music Education (K-12) from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and love the opportunity to sing and dance with the children! I have a passion for working with young children and cherish the energy, creativity and curiosity they bring to each day. Sharing and nurturing the love of God with these little ones continually renews my own faith.
Outside of school, I enjoy reading, running or walking (usually with my dog!), teaching water exercise classes at the White Bear Area YMCA and traveling with my family.
Dawn Follmer (Preschool)
In 1999 I joined the preschool staff at St. Mary of the Lake, and I’ve been blessed to be part of Frassati Catholic Academy Preschool since its inaugural year. I received my B.A. in psychology from Hamline University. After living in Italy for two years I decided to return to school. I went to St. Catherine University to complete my Prekindergarten license. Later I earned a K-6 Elementary with Preprimary Specialty License and Masters of Art in Education degree at St Catherine University.
I love working everyday with young learners, and sharing my love of God with my students.
I am married with two children and have two grandchildren. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, country music, traveling and Italian cooking.
Debra Christensen (Preschool - Grade 3 Learning Specialist)
I have been teaching at Frassati Catholic Academy, St. Pius X and St. Mary of the Lake for many years in Kindergarten, 2nd grade and as Preschool Director/Teacher. I have degrees in K-6 and Special Education from Dakota State University in South Dakota, Early Childhood from the University of River Falls, and am very excited to have recently had the opportunity to complete a certification program through the University of St. Thomas in Autism Spectrum. I truly enjoy working with young children as their love for learning and excitement for school is amazing. Teaching is always exciting, ever changing and never boring. I love the experience of seeing the children learn and develop confidence in all they do.
I am married, have 3 daughters, a son-in-law, and two granddaughters. I enjoy a variety of hobbies including traveling, sewing, and especially spending time with my family and friends.
I look forward to getting to know you and your child!
Patty Clauson (Kindergarten)
My name is Patty Clauson. I taught kindergarten for 37 years at St. Mary of the Lake, and I started at Frassati Catholic Academy in its inaugural year. Kindergartners are so refreshing and very funny. I love being with them every day and getting to know their families as well!
I graduated from the College of St. Benedict with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and completed my Master of Arts in Education degree at St. Mary’s University. I am a trained administrator of the Gesell School Readiness test, which measures school readiness for children in preschool through fourth grade.
I am married with three children and have four grandchildren. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading great books, cooking, and riding my bike.
Rebecca Lynch (Grade 1)
In 1981, I began my teaching career as a music teacher. I received a BA in Music education from Luther College, and a MA from the University of Iowa. In 1991, I earned an elementary education license (1-6) from the University of St. Thomas. I have been teaching first or second grade ever since. I completed work on an ELL certificate in 2011.
I live in St. Paul with my husband, David. We have two adult children, both of whom graduated from St. Pius X School and Cretin-Derham Hall. I enjoy playing the piano and singing in the choir at Lumen Christi Catholic Church.
One thing I love about teaching first grade is the enthusiasm first graders bring to school each day. It is my goal to provide a loving and caring classroom environment where that enthusiasm will be nurtured and each child will be encouraged to develop to their full potential.
Elizabeth Sierminski (Grade 1)
Originally from Racine, WI, I graduated from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) in 2008 with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Italian. I taught in the Mounds View school district for one year before coming to St. Mary of the Lake School, where I taught kindergarten until the creation of Frassati Catholic Academy, where I teach first grade. In my free time I enjoy outdoor sports and compete in various sporting events. I also enjoy reading, drawing, and ice cream.
Debra Lehn (Grade 2)
Hi, my name is Deb Lehn. I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota. I graduated from Mankato State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. I started my teaching career as a Chapter I teacher in Wells, Minnesota. I was a first and second grade teacher at Sacred Heart in Waseca, which is part of the Winona Diocese. (A little piece of trivia…I was the first teacher ever hired who was a former student. I’m proud of this fact!) Then my husband and I moved to the Twin Cities and I became a second grade teacher at St. Pius X in White Bear Lake. In 2014, I became a second grade teacher at Frassati Catholic Academy. My husband and I have a son. I like to read, watch movies, and spend time with family at the farm or cabin.
I love teaching and believe every child can learn and be successful. I am excited for every new day with my class. I look forward to working with you. Together, we can help your child succeed.
Mary Lindley (Grade 2)
I grew up in Green Bay, WI in a family that valued Catholic education. My mother and father were willing to make great sacrifices to send my three sisters and me to Catholic schools. I admire my parents’ sacrifice and remain forever grateful. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at St. Norbert College and completed my Master of Arts in Reading at the University of Minnesota. It has been a blessing and a privilege to teach in Catholic schools for over thirty years. Helping students grow in their Catholic faith and become the “best versions of themselves” is what I strive to do and what brings me joy!
Jeanne Bennek (Grade 3)
I am very excited to be a part of Frassati Catholic Academy where I can continue to share my passion for learning about this beautiful life God has given to us. It has been a blessing and a pleasure to be a teacher in this building since my graduation in 1974 from the College of Saint Benedict with a major in elementary education and a French minor. During my years as a teacher at St. Mary of the Lake I guided many students, including my own three children and some children of former students, through their third grade year. A few of the good things in my own life are my faith, family, friends, reading, cooking, gardening, walking, and of course, my students and their families.
Rebecca Munns (Grade 3)
Hi, my name is Rebecca Munns. I have lived in White Bear Lake since I was 2 years old. I graduated from Saint Mary’s University-Winona with a B.A. in Elementary Education K-6. In the fall of 2014, my teaching career began here at Frassati Catholic Academy as a Preschool After Care teacher and a PreK-8 substitute teacher. What I love most about third grade students is their eagerness for learning and their willingness to try something new. I strive to create a classroom environment where students feel welcome, take risks, and learn and grow in the Catholic faith. Together, we will help your child strive to reach his/her fullest potential as both a student and a child/disciple of God.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, attending concerts, watching movies, and am an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins. I’m looking forward to a great year of learning, laughing, and praying with your child!
Emily Blaser (Grade 4)
I am thrilled to join the Frassati Catholic Academy community! I graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in May 2016 with an Elementary Education degree and a Theology minor. I am very excited to start my first year of teaching at FCA. I am very grateful to be in this community and be a part of so many students faith and education journeys.
I grew up in a small town in Illinois, but I fell in love with Minnesota when I went to college. I have attended Catholic schools all of my life, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my faith with my students. In my spare time, I love playing games and spending time with my friends and family. I hope to help your students grow academically, socially, and spiritually.
Patti Cibuzar (Grade 4)
I grew up in beautiful Duluth, MN and graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a double major in Elementary Education and German. I received a Masters degree in Public Administration from Hamline University and have taught in in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for more than 20 years. Since 2003, I have had the great privilege of teaching many, many wonderful fifth grade students at St. Mary of the Lake/Frassati Catholic Academy. I am a lover of books, dogs, gardening and sports and am thrilled to be a member of the Frassati school community.
Meet our Grade 5 & Middle School Teachers
Michelle Heinz (Math)
I received my BA degree at Bethel University in St. Paul MN, major in History/minor in math. Upon graduation I wanted to see the world so I became a flight attendant and flew for five years. I went back to school to earn teaching licensure in 2005 through the College of St. Scholastica. Currently, I am licensed K-6 and middle school Math. I had taught middle school math for six years at St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Stillwater; 5th grade through Algebra II. I have three children enrolled at Frassati Catholic Academy. With three kids in hockey, I can often be seen at one of the White Bear hockey arenas. I run year round and am usually training for a 10 or 12K. I live for summers and enjoy anything outside. I enjoy the eagerness middle school kids have to explore their independence and their courage to try new things.
Catherine Urban (English (6) & Religion)
Rheanna O’Brien (English (5) & Social Studies)
Sue Schmidtbauer (English (7 & 8) & Literature)
I have been teaching since 1990. I taught literature to grades 6-8 for the past 15 years and science for the same grades for 6 years. As a science teacher, I have been working to incorporate engineering concepts and projects into science. Additionally, I have experience teaching social studies, religion, and Minnesota history. I enjoy teaching because I believe that education is important to helping students become responsible, creative citizens and learning is a never ending adventure.
I am licensed in elementary education, and also have middle school licenses in English, science, and social studies. I have a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Critical Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas. I have a Doctorate in education from Hamline University.
I have participated in other activities that have enhanced my understanding of STEM. I spent time working on STEM curriculum for the MN Zoo. I spent a summer as a TWIST (Teachers Working in Science and Technology) teacher at 3M. Both of these experiences added to my understanding of the engineering process and have enabled me to share the experiences with the students.
In my spare time I enjoy kayaking, gardening, working out and enjoying time outdoors when it isn’t too cold. My future goal is to try paddle boarding.
Laura Hennes (Science & Technology)
I graduated from St. Cloud State with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After graduation I spent a few years teaching fourth grade in Texas. I then owned and operated a home daycare while I started my own family. In 2001 I was fortunate enough to be employed by St. Pius X School as the Preschool Director/Lead Teacher. In my time at St. Pius X School my duties have included Preschool Director/Lead Teacher, Assistant Principal, Fourth Grade Teacher, Fifth Grade Teacher, Middle School Math and Religion Teacher, and K-8 Technology Coordinator. I am trained and certified in Project Based Learning, Gifted, Creative, and Talented education, and SMART notebook. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three adult children at our small hobby farm. I love to camp and be outdoors.
Meet our Specialists
Rebecca Jacobson (Music)
Rebecca Jacobson teaches at Frassati Catholic Academy in partnership with MacPhail Center for Music. In addition to teaching K-8 general and vocal music, she has taught violin and piano for 25 years.
With the goals of student proficiency and lifetime enjoyment always in mind, Ms. Jacobson challenges her students to surpass their own expectations. She enjoys using improvisation, composition, classroom instruments, and good vocal technique to encourage musical competence, fun, and all-school performances that make students feel proud!
Ms. Jacobson is co-founder and performer (violinist and soprano) with the Twin Cities-based ensemble, Sonori Colori. She holds a B.A. degree in violin and vocal performance from Luther College. She lives in St. Paul with her husband and two young daughters.
Sandy Reibel (Physical Education)
Mrs. Reibel started teaching Physical Education in 1979. She graduated from Lakewood Community College with an AA degree and went on to St. Cloud State where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education K – 12 with a coaching emphasis. Mrs. Reibel’s other teaching experiences are summer school gymnastics in the Mounds View School District, Social Dance Class at Lakewood Community College and also coaching gymnastics, basketball and softball for the White Bear Lake School District. Our Physical Education program includes introductions to many team sports, individual sports and Health Related Physical Education. Mrs. Reibel’s goal is to get all students to enjoy being active so they can lead a long and healthy life. Mrs. Reibel believes that Physical Education is an integral part of Catholic Education; promoting fitness, cooperation and lifelong activities.
Brenda Barrett (Spanish 5-8) & Art (5-8)
I hold a B.A. in Theater with a Spanish and Linguistics emphasis from Macalester College, a Master’s in Education and a MN teaching license from St. Catherine University, and a certificate in teaching ESL from the University of St. Thomas.
One approach to teaching a language may not work for everyone, so I use recognized curriculum ( Viva el español series and Realidades series) TPRS (Total Physical Response Storytelling), skits, listening and response exercises featuring native Spanish speakers, readings from Spanish books and on-line writings, and integrated lessons in Social Studies, Math, Art and Science.
In my spare time I teach with my family for the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY). I also run a Spanish summer camp for students in grades 2-8. I enjoy spending time with my family and our dogs, ethnic cooking, and working out, especially ZUMBA and Latin Dance.
I love getting to know the students as the unique individuals they are, and the thrill of the “ah-ha!” moment students have when they make new connections with their learning.
Sarah Geppert (Technology Grades K-4 & Spanish Grades PreK-4)
Sarah Geppert is pleased to be teaching at Frassati Catholic Academy. She graduated in 2007 from Evangel University with dual bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and Spanish and a mathematics minor. She has also completed graduate coursework for a master’s of science in chemistry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She has been a substitute teacher in the Rochester Public School system for four years, teaching everything from Spanish immersion kindergarten to high school English. She has also tutored for many years.
One of her favorite things about teaching is the final “lightbulb” moment when a student realizes he or she understands the concepts. She also enjoys the “new confidence” smile a student has after accomplishing a task that was previously very difficult. She looks forward to introducing students to computer science basics, including programming, using a variety of resources.
Meet our Support Staff
Jerry Bennek (Athletic Director)
Karen Brogan (Educational Aid, Grades 4-5)
With a secretarial and music background on hold to raise a family, I volunteered at St. Mary’s and Holy Family Middle School while my four children attended these fine schools as students. I became a teacher aide at St. Mary’s in 1994 when an opening became available. Soon after, I initiated after-school piano lessons for community enrichment and have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful students and families as their piano teacher. I am committed to the emotional well being of children and the support we need to give our hardworking teachers. In 2012, I started a pop tab collection program for the Ronald McDonald House Upper Midwest Charities. Every May, our school families make an annual donation to this worthy children’s cause. In my spare time, I enjoy family time, theater and the performing arts, travel, baking, working in my yard and a quiet walk in the woods.
Nicolette Olson (Extended Day)
Ann Stelter (Food Service & Media Aide)
Coralie Kroll (Health Aide & Business Admin.)
After graduating from St. Mary’s College with a degree in Business Administration, Coralie managed several local retail businesses before getting married and staying home to raise her four boys. In 2008, she became certified in first aid and was hired by District 624 as a substitute Health Aide. She has spent time at almost every school in the White Bear Lake school district. In November 2012, she was hired full time at St. Pius X School as the Health Aide. She started working at Frassati in its inaugural year.
In her spare time, Coralie enjoys camping, reading and spending time with her family.
Joy Wedan (School Counselor)
Email Joy Wedan: email@example.com
I am a licensed K-12 School Counselor and earned a Master’s of Science in Counseling and Student Personnel through Minnesota State University – Mankato. As a school counselor, my role is to come alongside students, parents, and teachers to support student success. I provide classroom social-emotional lessons and am available to meet with individual students or groups of students. I have worked with the Phoenix School Counseling group since 2005. This group provides counseling and assessment services to many private schools throughout the metro. For more information, go to www.drstevekahn.com.
I am married with three elementary-age children, so I spend most of my spare time managing the family calendar, keeping the refrigerator stocked, and driving kids to all their activities!
Catholic School Advisory Committee
Catholic School Advisory Committee
The Catholic School Advisory Committee is a consultative body that reports to and advises the School Administrator and Parish Leadership Council on issues of policy, budget, practice and program. The committee is comprised of members from the school families and the parish. Each meeting has time allotted for “open forum” where school families or parishioners may express their requests, views or concerns. The dates and times of meetings are published in the school’s monthly calendar.