Faculty & Staff

Mrs. Nikki Giel

Principal: Mrs. Nikki Giel 651-842-6032
ngiel@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 12 years (all at Presentation)
Education:
M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of St. Thomas, certificate in Differentiated Instruction,
B.A. in Education from the University of St. Thomas In addition to her upcoming new duties as Principal of Presentation School, she is enrolled in the Murray Institute studies program at St. Thomas University where she will work towards the completion of her Education Specialist degree.

Hobbies: running, fitness, watching my kids participate in their activities, reading

Mrs. Sarah Hoppe

Kindergarten: Mrs. Sarah Hoppe
651-842-6051,
shoppe@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 16 years teaching experience; 14 at St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater in Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Education: Bachelor’s Degree from Augsburg College in 2000 with a major in elementary education. Two years later, I joined a learning community through St. Mary’s and earned a Master’s Degree in curriculum and instruction. My focus of study was community building in the classroom and sparking beginning readers.
Philosophy: I am so excited to be the new kindergarten teacher at Presentation! I feel that something magical happens to students in their first few years of school. I am so blessed to be a part of that magic!
Hobbies: I live in North St. Paul with my husband, daughter, son, and two cats. We spend much of our family time on Upper Turtle Lake in Wisconsin. In the summer we enjoy swimming, boating, and spending time with friends. In the winter my family enjoys ice fishing, sledding, and playing in the snow. I am not 100% on board with the outdoor winter activities. I much prefer the warm weather!

Mrs. Molly Newton

Kindergarten, Elementary Library, Middle School Art
Mrs. Molly Newton

651-842-6050, mnewton@presentationofmary.org
Education: M.A. in Education-Catholic School Leadership from St.Mary’s University
B.A. in Elementary Education and Psychology from the University of St.Thomas
Experience:15 years (1 at Presentation)
Philosophy: I am lucky to be a part of the Presentation Community where such wonderful faith-based education is taking place.  I aim towards creating an environment where students feel important, respected and believed in.  The classroom should be a positive place where students can share the unique gifts that God has given them. I look forward to being a part of helping these gifts to grow!
Hobbies: Spending time with family, baking, soccer and running

Mrs. Sue Underwood

Grade 1: Mrs. Sue Underwood
651-842-6041, sunderwood@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 41 years (34 at Presentation)
Education:
B.A. in Elementary Education/Special Education Hearing Impaired from Augustana College
Philosophy: Being a first grade teacher at Presentation has allowed me to emphasize my Christian faith in the learning process, help the first graders relate to each other in and out of the classroom and assist them in living their faith in their everyday lives. It is important to me to provide and encourage a safe and caring environment in order for the children to develop and grow as individuals. I believe it is important to develop a love and proficiency for the 3 basics of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic by the end of their first grade year. In my classroom, I motivate students through curriculum centered on their interests, fun projects, group and individual work, and hands-on learning activities. I will recognize the uniqueness and ability of each individual in meeting their needs.
Hobbies:
traveling, bike riding, movies and theater productions, shopping, family gatherings

Mrs. Jodi Keeley

Grade 2: Mrs. Jodi Keeley
651-842-6039, jkeeley@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 32 years (31 at Presentation)
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato
Philosophy: I strive to create a caring, nurturing, faith-centered classroom environment that encourages all students to work together and support one another in the learning process. I believe in helping children become successful, independent learners by setting high expectations, providing academic support to those in need,  and using a variety of teaching methods to meet individual needs. Guiding children in their academic, social, and spiritual growth is the most rewarding part of my job!
Hobbies: spending time with family, gardening, traveling, reading

Ms. Konny Fitch

Grade 3: Ms. Konny Fitch
651-842-6044, kfitch@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 45 years (40 at Presentation)
Education:
B.S. in Elementary Education from College of St. Therese
Philosophy:
I have enjoyed my many years as a student and now as a teacher at Presentation. I like teaching the basics within a respectful environment with an emphasis on faith, values, and the love of God. I strive to challenge each student and nurture the unique abilities of each one of them. I am a “lifelong learner” and that is my goal for the students I teach.
Hobbies: reading, golf at Como and Phalen, walking, and crocheting

Mrs. Molly Rice

Grade 4: Mrs. Molly Rice
651-842-6045, mrice@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 7 years (3 at Presentation)
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Philosophy: My goal as an educator is to create a welcoming, respectful learning environment that is susceptible to academic achievement, excellence, and personal growth. I enjoy implementing learning strategies across curriculum, and encourage my students to become independent problem solvers. Together through our daily practices, we work towards academic and personal responsibility and accountability. In addition, being able to teach the Catholic Faith truly completes my journey as a professional and as a follower of Christ. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the Presentation community.
Hobbies: spending time with my family and dogs, cooking, dining and traveling

Mr. Chris Magee

Middle School Religion & Social Studies: Mr. Chris Magee
651-842-6062, cmagee@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 9 years (3 at Presentation)
Education: M.A. in Christian Ethics from University of Notre Dame, B.A. in Theology from University of St. Thomas
Philosophy: With the highest sense of responsibility to the students I encounter, I believe that my role at Presentation is to be a genuine, caring presence in the middle school classroom. Within this Catholic educational setting, I have the opportunity to create a unique climate in which faith development and learning can be realized in a dynamic way. Respecting each learner as created by God with special gifts and needs, I hope to direct the learning process as both a guide and companion to the students.
Hobbies: camping, fishing, and traveling with family

Mrs. Mary Jo Gilbert

Middle School Math and Science:
Mrs. Mary Jo Gilbert

651-842-6063, mjgilbert@presentationofmary.org
Experience: 36 years (17 at Presentation)
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota
Philosophy: I value the teaching I am able to do at Presentation School, as it allows me to share the Catholic faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church with my students. I want to foster critical thinking skills in all my students, so I focus on giving students questions, not answers, so students learn through self-discovery. Students are actively involved and engaged as they search for answers. Students need to think through the question asked and work out a response based on logic and reason.
Hobbies: gardening, reading, travel

Ms. Ashley Way

Middle School Math & English:
Ms. Ashley Way

651-842-6066, away@presentationofmary.org
Education: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from University of Cincinnati, certificate in Gifted, Creative, and Talented education, B.S.Ed. in Middle Childhood Education from Otterbein University
Experience: 11 years (3 at Presentation)
Philosophy: I identify myself as a middle school teacher because I love teaching this age group. As an educator of young adolescents, I work hard to promote academic, cognitive, moral, and social-emotional development of students as they prepare them to take their next steps into the world.  I think it is important to deliver curriculum, pedagogy, and programs that match the developmental readiness, needs, and interests of the students that I am entrusted to teach. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the Presentation family and find the cultivation of relationships with students, families, and colleagues the most rewarding part of my job.
Hobbies: family, live music, quilting, and being outdoors

Mrs. Michelle Hoemann

K-2 Reading/Math Support Specialist:
Mrs. Michelle Hoemann
651-842-6077, mhoemann@presentationofmary.org
Education: B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Wisconsin, Stout
Experience: 19 years (all at Presentation)
Philosophy:
 I believe in a warm, caring, nurturing and inviting environment for the children.  In my preschool program I strive to teach to each child at their level and capitalize on their individual strengths.  Because children learn in a variety of different ways I believe in multi-sensory learning piggy-backed with differentiated instruction for each child in my classroom.  I am amazed at each child’s strengths and the things they teach me daily.  As the K-2 reading and math specialist I strive to encourage, mold, challenge, support, teach and enrich each child’s reading and math skills.
Hobbies:
spending time with family and supporting kids in activities and sports, traveling, running

Mr. Warren Starr

Band Director: Mr. Warren Starr
651-748-2414, wstarr@hill-murray.org
Education: Certificate in Gifted/Creative/Talented Education from the University of St. Thomas, B.S. in Music Education from the University of Minnesota

Experience: Mr. Starr is Presentation’s band director, through the Hill-Murray Pioneer Pathways Fine Arts Program.  He began teaching at Hill-Murray School in 1981, and was the Coordinator of the former Parish Schools Band Program for 32 years, from 1984 through 2016.  Warren toured China with the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble in the summer of 1980.  He has played tuba with the 451st Army Band at Fort Snelling, the Tubadours at Valley Fair, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  He currently performs with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and his own brass quintet, Minnesota Brassworks.

Mrs. Therese Canton

Physical Education: Mrs. Therese Canton
651-842-6057, tcanton@presentationofmary.org
Education: B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in Physical Education, Coaching, Health Education, and Athletic Training
Experience: 23 years (18 at Presentation)
Philosophy:
My goal as a teacher is to help define and meet the needs of each unique student through physical education.  When students ask what purposes are served through physical education, I hope to provide meaningful answers.  Children become educated through physical experiences and there is inherent meaning just through play.  I hope students will enjoy healthful physical activities for a lifetime and recognize their body as a spiritual gift from God that can be used as a tool to serve others.
Hobbies: painting, gardening, home renovation, reading

Mr. Mynor Cruz

Spanish & Computer: Mr. Mynor Cruz
651-842-6065, mcruz@presentationofmary.org
Education: MBA and BA in Technology from the Galileo University of Guatemala
Experience: 28 years (11 at Presentation)
Philosophy: I am so lucky to be able to share my language and culture with my students in a Catholic environment, and at the same time to be able to grow in the technology field while teaching it. I believe that it is important for students to comprehend and to be open and accepting of people from different cultures and who speak different languages.  It is important for students to speak and enjoy a second language.  I believe it is also important for students to be very knowledgeable about technology and the use of computers, as this will better equip them for their work in high school and beyond.  I love working in a community where everybody is involved and supports education.
Hobbies: spending time with family and friends, listening to Spanish music, playing guitar, playing soccer, traveling, using and learning about technology

Mr. Mike Dick

Athletic Director: Mr. Mike Dick
651-842-6058, athletics@presentationofmary.org

Mrs. Sarah Lilja

Counselor (K-5): Mrs. Sarah Lilja
651-777-5877, slilja@presentationofmary.org

 

Ms. Andrea Hager

Counselor (7-8): Ms. Andrea Hager
651-777-5877, ahager@isd622.org

Mrs. Mary Fowler

School Nurse: Mrs. Mary Fowler
651-842-6034, mfowler@isd622.org

 

Ms. Linda Prazak

Secretary: Ms. Linda Prazak
651-777-5877 or 651-842-6030, lprazak@presentationofmary.org