Meet our Administration Team
Patrick Gallivan (Principal)
Fr. Ralph Talbot (Moderator)
Fr. Joe Bambenek (Chaplain)
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 (Kindergarten)
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!
Rebecca Munns (Kindergarten)
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. 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!
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.
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!
Elizabeth Sierminski (Grade 3)
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. At Frassati Catholic Academy, I taught first grade for three years and am now teaching third grade. In my free time I enjoy outdoor sports and compete in various sporting events. I also enjoy reading, drawing, and ice cream.
Emily Blaser (Grade 4)
I am thrilled to be part of 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 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 grateful for 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 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 fourth and 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; one at Frassati and two in high school. 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 (Religion & Learning Support)
Rheanna O’Brien (English & Literature - grade 5 & Social Studies - grades 5-8)
I am from the great city of White Bear Lake. I have a degree in elementary education from the University of St. Catherine with a specialty in middle school social studies and a STEM certification. I also hold a Bachelor of Science from Winona State University in paralegal studies.
In addition to teaching, I currently serve as board president and educational liaison for the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society and enjoy spending time with my husband, family, and my German Shepherd Mica.
Sue Schmidtbauer (English & Literature - grades 6-8)
I have been teaching since 1990. 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.
Andy Olson (Science & Tech/STEM)
Hello my name is Andy Olson and I am the science teacher. I have a science degree in Forestry from the U of MN and a Masters in Teaching from St. Mary’s University of MN. I love all science topics especially natural resources and ecology. I have a wife and 3 sons. I enjoy fishing, hunting, and assisting my sons with water sports like tubing and water skiing. I am the coach for my son’s hockey team and have coached baseball and football for all 3 of my boys. My goal is to expose and introduce science to the students so they can relate all science topics to their lives. Getting children excited about science and encouraging their curiosity and interest is so important.
Meet our Specialists
Rebecca Jacobson (Music)
Sandy Reibel (Physical Education)
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 Aide)
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)
I grew up in Stillwater and currently live in the wonderful city of White Bear Lake where I have been a resident for the past 21 years. I have worked for the Extended Day program for St. Mary of the Lake and Frassati Catholic Academy for a combined total of 23 years. I have also worked in special education for the past 16 years. I attended Metro State University with a specialty in at risk youth. In the past, I served on a child development committee for the Northeast Metro 916 program.
In my free time I enjoy the outdoors and Minnesota sports with family and friends. I feel blessed to be able to come to work each day and love what I do.
Ann Stelter (Food Service & Media Aide)
Coralie Kroll (Health Aide & Business Admin.)
Kelley Stoneburner (School Counselor)
My name is Kelley Stoneburner (“Miss Kelley”) and I am the School Counselor this year at Frassati. I will be in the building every Wednesday throughout the year. By way of introduction, I graduated from the College of St. Benedict with a BA in Government, and have a Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. School Counseling is my second career. I spent twenty plus years working for several companies, including Thomson Reuters and UnitedHealth Group, in Human Resources. My husband Tom and I have been married 30 years and have two children. When my children went off to college, I decided it was time to pursue my passion of working with children in educational settings. I truly enjoy working with students and doing all I can to help them grow in their social/emotional and academic skills.
Throughout the year I will be teaching lessons in the classrooms on self-control, friendship, perseverance, life skills, etc. I also organize small groups which meet with me to focus on strengthening social/emotional skills. Sometimes students can use some help dealing with anxious feelings in school, or other hard emotions. I can be reached at the email below, and am eager to help remove barriers interfering with your child’s love of learning.
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.