As we bring this wild year to a close, we wanted to update you on our personnel changes for the fall. While we have more than the usual number of staff members leaving this year, we can rest confident in the fact that God is calling them TOWARDS something new in their efforts to build up the Kingdom, not AWAY from SJA. And as our God is ever faithful, He has kept us in mind at all times, sending some truly extraordinary educators to our school next fall. Below is an update on our personnel changes for the 2021-2022 school year.
Tracy Gay and Liz (Enna) Tujague will both be leaving our Guided Studies/Student Services Department. Mrs. Gay is moving on to pursue her certification in school psychology, and Mrs. Tujague is staying home with her new baby Tommy next year. Both have taught Guided Studies at SJA for the last three years.
Lynda Higgins has been hired to join and help lead our Student Services team. Lynda has been principal at Resurrection Catholic School for the last ten years. Prior to that she served as a resource teacher at Good Shepherd and Resurrection for a total of nine years. She will be taking on some leadership responsibilities within our Student Services department in addition to teaching Guided Studies. Maggie Petz, an SJA alum who has been Liz Tujague’s long-term sub this semester, will be teaching Guided Studies next year. Ms. Petz has her Bachelor’s in Psychology and will be finishing her Master’s in School Counseling next year while also teaching for SJA.
Kirsten Miller has discerned dedicating a year of service to Maggie’s Place in Phoenix, Arizona as a member of Americorps. She has taught English at SJA for the past eight years.
Hether Lytton has been hired to join our English department. Mrs. Lytton taught high school English in Blue Valley for 13 years before moving to the Chicago area, where she has served as a high school assistant principal and a K-8 principal for the last 8 years. Her family moved back to the area this fall, and she has been serving as a substitute administrator in Blue Valley this year. Her son Ryan is a sophomore at SJA.
Antionette Ishmael will be leaving St. James to teach closer to her home in Missouri. Mrs. Ishmael has taught English and coached Debate and Forensics at SJA for the last fifteen years. She will be joining the staff at Rockhurst High School to teach English. Mr. Walberg will be taking over as Debate and Forensics coach; the English position is yet to be filled.
Tyler Supalla is moving to the Wichita area with his new wife this summer after she was placed there for her medical school residency. Mr. Supalla has taught Latin and Western Civilization for us the past six years.
Dr. Joe McDonald has been hired to teach Latin. Dr. McDonald has his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Classics from Brown University. He has been teaching Latin in the Blue Valley School District the past six years.
Alex Keith and Charles Lanza will be leaving our Theology Department. Mr. Keith has been hired as the new assistant principal at Bishop Miege next fall! He has taught at SJA for eight years and has served as Theology Department Chair and Dean of St. Gregory’s Community for the past six years. Mr. Lanza and his family are moving to the Boston area to be closer to his wife’s family. He has taught theology at SJA for the last five years.
Beth Meier and Mary Harpole will be joining our Theology Department. Mrs. Meier has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Dallas and has Master’s degrees in Theology and Education. She worked for the Archdiocese for several years before staying home with her kids. She went back to work five years ago teaching religion and science at Prince of Peace. Ms. Harpole is graduating from Benedictine this spring with degrees in Theology and Secondary Education. She student-taught at SJA under Katie Walters and Alex Keith this past semester.
Corbin Hernandez will be switching careers this summer. Mr. Hernandez began serving our country as a member of the National Guard this past year, and is also planning on working in the construction industry. He has taught drama and been our performing arts director for the last five years.
Sarah Smeltzer Wright has been hired as our drama teacher and director. Mrs. Wright is an SJA alumna who went to Benedictine College for her undergraduate degree before getting a Master’s in Performing Arts at Savannah College of Arts and Design last year.
Kaitlin Jadlowski is moving to the Dallas area this summer to be closer to her family. She has taught freshman math at SJA for the last four years.
Katie Kuckelman will be joining our math department this fall. Ms. Kuckelman is a Kansas State alumna who taught middle school math in the Gardner district for two years before moving to Ascension Catholic School, where she has been teaching math for the past 8 school years.
Ruthie Greenhalgh is moving to Pittsburg, Kansas, to be closer to her new fiance. Ruthie has served as a Campus Minister at SJA for the last four years.
George Meyer will be our new Campus Minister in the fall. Mr. Meyer graduated from Benedictine in 2019 and has spent the last year living and doing mission work with the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.
Christine Lemmon will be joining our staff to teach Computer Science in the fall. This position has been generously funded by the Brown Family Foundation, and Mrs. Lemmon will be partnering with Mrs. Hendrix to enhance and grow our Computer Science offerings at SJA. Mrs. Lemmon has been teaching Technology/Computer Science and helping lead the STREAM program at St. Ann’s the last two years. Prior to that she worked in the corporate world in various capacities for Integrity Digital Design, Kansans For Life, and Monster.com. She completed her Master’s in Ed from K-State last May. Her combination of corporate and classroom experiences is going to be an amazing asset for our kids!
Angela Schermerhorn – Angela will be a full-time college counselor for us next year! Mrs. Schermerhorn has taught Biology, Anatomy, and College Explorations for us the past eight years. As she begins this new position, she will be completing a College Counseling professional development program through Rice University, and is going to be a tremendous asset to our students and families in this role.
Alyssa (Dold) Tujague will be moving from a full-time position as our Director of Marketing and Design to a part-time role as she pursues freelance opportunities for her creative talents. Taylor Nill, an SJA alumna (‘16) and current assistant volleyball coach at SJA, will be joining our Advancement team as Director of Strategic Communications. Ms. Nill will be managing website content, the weekly Community Update, outside communication, day-to-day graphic design needs, and social media implementation.
As has been communicated previously, Mark Huppe is retiring as our Activities and Athletic Director, bringing to close a 45-year career in Catholic education within our Archdiocese. Jared Herzet has been hired as our new Activities and Athletic Director. He currently serves as an assistant principal at Cure of Ars school.