"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." -- Henry Brooks Adams
Barbara Cole – Principal
Our Faculty and Staff:
The faculty and staff of Saint John Neumann Catholic School are committed to shaping minds and evoking a spirit of community. SJN is a place where students are provided a solid foundation through Differentiated Instruction, where they are introduced to the arts and sciences, and where they learn the skills necessary for critical thinking in a changing world. Saint John Neumann Catholic School has a talented and dedicated staff singularly focused on the spiritual, emotional, and academic development of all students.
Welcome to St. John Neumann Catholic School. I have the honor of being the principal of this wonderful school. When you enter St. John Neumann School, you become a part of our family. Our students do not enter the doors alone; student's family enters with them. Families, students, and the school family of faculty and staff commit themselves to the vision of the school. We all work in partnership in achieving and continuing the excellence of St. John Neumann Catholic School. We strive hard to fulfill our motto of SJN being a place “Where Children Experience Success”.
This is my 12th year as the principal of St. John Neumann School, my 22nd year in a principalship, and my 30th year in education.
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and my Master's Degree is in Elementary Administration. I have taught grades 2-4-5-6 and college courses. I attended Catholic schools for both grade and high school.
We are an “educationally” based family. My husband is a librarian in an elementary school; our daughter is a middle school teacher. I also have a
son in Germany. Besides our two wonderful children, we have been blessed with three grandsons.
Gayle Mitchiner – Assistant Principal
My name is Gayle Mitchiner, and I have been a teacher and administrator at SJN for over 20 years. I earned a B.S. in Education from North Georgia College and have done post-graduate work in several universities including: USC, Indiana University, and UNC. I presently serve in the role of Assistant Principal.
I am the wife of a career military officer and have taught in many states and foreign countries. We have three sons, nine grandchildren, three dogs, and a myriad of grand dogs and cats.
Jill Ayres – Preschool Teacher
My name is Jill Ayres. I love teaching at SJN. My children both went through school here and now are in Middle school and High school.
I have a BSE from SUNY Cortland and an M.Ed. From UNLV. I have taught for about 15 years.
In my spare time, I play golf, travel and spend time with my family.
Ellie Boger – PreSchool Teacher
My name is Ellie Boger. I finished college with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Longwood College in Virginia. I teach 4-year-olds and love the creativity the children bring to the classroom. This is my fourth year at St. John Neumann; I am enjoying it! I have three grown children and two beautiful grandchildren. I have been living in Columbia for over thirty years. I enjoy free time with my family and friends and love to travel and bicycle.
Ashley Konieczko – PreSchool Teacher
My name is Ashley Konieczko and I have the incredible opportunity to teach PreSchool this year. I love being able to work with our youngest students as they begin their educational journey! This is my third year teaching and my first year at St. John Neumann. The school holds a very special place in my heart because I was also a student here! When I was asked if I would like to join the school community, it was an immediate YES!
I graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish (I am also the Spanish teacher!). I went back to USC and got my Master of Teaching. I am married to Elliot Konieczko, and although we do not have any children right now, we enjoy spending time with our 2 dogs. When I am not teaching, I love to be on the beach reading a good book!
PreSchool Assistant with Ashley Konieczko
My name is Whitney Lyman, and I have enjoyed five fulfilling years as a teacher at SJN. Currently, I am an assistant in Mrs. K's pre-school classroom while directing the childrenŐs ministry at Columbia First Nazarene church part-time. I received my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Anderson University in Indiana. I feel right at home in the SJN family, not only as a teacher, but also as a former student. I am grateful to have the opportunity to teach at such a wonderful school with some of the educated teachers who taught me as a child.
PreSchool Assistant with Ellie Boger
My name is Tiffinie Lee, I earned my Bachelor degree in Education and completed a Lay Ministry certification program from the University of Dayton, Go Flyers! After college, I was blessed to be the Director of Youth Ministry at my home Parish in Franklin, OH. Then I moved to South Carolina and began my teaching career in Camden, SC. I have taught second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. I have been working in the classroom for ten years. I am also a volunteer for our SJN Parish Cub Scout Pack and appreciate the opportunity to volunteer my time for such a wonderful program. This is my fifth year at SJN and I LOVE it! My son attends SJN and my husband and I feel very fortunate to be able to send our son to such a fantastic school!
PreSchool Assistant with Jill Ayres
My name is Debbie Scott, and I am a preschool assistant in the four year old program. I received my BA degree in elementary education from Ohio State and received my Master's degree in reading from USC. I have taught in the public school system for 30 years, retired, and then realized I missed the children. I knew I wanted to work at SJN, and was so excited when I was hired. This is now my fifth year!!! My own children attended this wonderful school starting in preschool. They both graduated from Cardinal Newman and from USC. I am so blessed to have a very supportive husband, Edward, and am looking forward to another exciting year of learning.
Carol Hudson – Kindergarten Teacher
My name is Carol Hudson. I love teaching kindergarten at S.J.N. I graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Elementary Education. I have been teaching kindergarten for over 30 years, and I think I have the perfect job.
I am married to Bucky Hudson, and we have two grown children, Kelty and Zack.
My hobbies are reading, biking, camping, and traveling with friends and family.
Susie Stafford – Kindergarten Teacher
I am Susie Stafford, one of our Kindergarten teachers. I am a graduate of USC with a B.A. and M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education.
I have taught for over 30 years and am now in my 15th at SJN. I taught Kindergarten at Heathwood Hall for 17 years before joining the faculty of SJN. I LOVE Kindergarten. The children are at a perfect age when they can't wait to learn, and they enter the classroom each day with smiles and an eagerness for what we have to teach them. SJN has the best and most supportive faculty and families. This school is the BEST"!!
Bridget Zelachowski – Kindergarten Teacher
Hello! I am Bridget Zelachowski. I have been married 24 years to my husband, Ron. I have two step-daughters. Eliza, the oldest, graduated in 2002 from Miami (FL) University with a degree in Architecture. Joellen, the youngest, graduated in 2003 from the University of Eastern Kentucky with a degree in Recreational Therapy. I received my B.A. from Marshall University. I attended Otterbein College for my Graduate Program. I have held teaching certificates from the states of West Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, and South Carolina. I have been at St. John for 13 years. My recreational time is spent going to the beach, playing golf, and reading. Some of my favorite books are Curious George, Arthur, and Madeline.
Linda Lighthart – Kindergarten Assistant
Mrs. Hudson's Kindergarten Class
Hello, I am Linda Lighthart, assistant teacher in Kindergarten. I was born and attended school in South Carolina. Although I attended the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for Radiology, I stopped working after I had my two children. Little by little over 20 years, I spent more and more time in the classroom, first as a volunteer and eventually as an assistant teacher. I love children and animals, and I spend much of my time tending to my animals: 6 dogs, 8 cats, a horse and a pony. I am so blessed to belong to the SJN family.
Kindergarten Assistant with Mrs. Stafford
Kindergarten Assistant with Mrs. Zelachowski
Hello! My name is Anna Wunderlich, and I am an assistant in Kindergarten. I love teaching and have done so for 16 years. I earned my Master's in Social Work from Syracuse University.
I have been married for 28 years and have two children. My son graduated with a BS in Chemistry from Clemson University, and my daughter graduated from USC with a BA in Criminal Justice. My hobbies include hiking, camping, cooking, reading, gardening and taking care of my son's corn snake.
Lisa Angelini – First Grade Teacher
My name is Lisa Angelini. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at The University of South Carolina. I am a first grade teacher here at SJN and loving it! This is my fourth year at SJN. I am thankful to be working with such great teachers, students and families. I am originally from Ohio, but have been living here in Columbia for 10 years. I have family all over the country and I love traveling to see them. I also enjoy spending time with friends and doing outdoor activities.
Debbie Geddings – First Grade Teacher
My name is Debbie Geddings and I am so excited about teaching first grade at St. John Neumann School. My husband, Jay and I have been married for 10 years and have two children, Elizabeth and Tillman, who attend this wonderful school.
I was born and raised right here in Columbia, South Carolina. I received my Bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and have ten years of teaching experience. I am honored to be a part of the SJN family, where magical things happen!
Carolyn Williams – First Grade Teacher
My name is Carolyn Williams, and I am a mother of four; Ashby, Katherine, Ian, and Charles, and a grandmother of seven; Carrie, Jack, Drew, Julia, Sam, Riley and Jonathan. I have been married to Luther Williams for 43 years. He is a pediatric cardiologist. I am beginning my 40th year of teaching. (I really began teaching at the age of 15!) I am beginning my 17th year at SJN. My hobbies include teaching First Grade, reading, and watching football. I received an A.A. from Anderson College and a B.A. from Coker College. I have taught second, fourth, and fifth grades, as well as having been a Middle School Principal and Admission Director. However, the best job that I have ever had has been teaching first grade at SJN.
Julie Beu – Second Grade Teacher
My name is Julie Beu. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and my Masters in Divergent learning from Columbia College. While completing my schooling, I was a volunteer in the Discovery Center and a substitute for SJN. I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to be a second grade teacher at this fantastic school. I am the youngest of three girls. My father was in the Army, so I have lived in Kansas, California, Germany, and am now happy to reside in South Carolina. I love the beach, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Katie Smith – Second Grade Teacher
My name is Katie Smith and this is my 3rd year teaching second grade at SJN!
I was born in Anderson, SC. I received my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Presbyterian College. This will be my seventh year teaching. I have taught 3rd, 5th, and reading intervention.
I am also the head girls' soccer coach at Brookland-Cayce High School. I look forward to a great year at SJN!
Kristen Smith – Second Grade Teacher
My name is Kristen Smith and I am so excited to be teaching at SJN. I earned my Bachelor's degree at University of South Carolina in Early Childhood Education. My love for teaching began when I was twelve and worked with younger children after school. I eventually began working at a Montessori school where I became inspired to become a teacher. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, knee boarding, and biking. I love the outdoors, especially camping in the mountains. I am so excited to be part of the SJN family!
Melinda Beach – Third Grade Teacher
I'm Melinda Beach, and this is my ninth year at St. John Neumann. I love teaching third grade at this great school. I am an avid Gamecock fan with a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina. I taught sixth grade for two years, PreSchool for four years, and Kindergarten for one year. This will be my sixth year in third grade. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two boys, and two delightful labs.
Jeri Stanek – Third Grade Teacher
My name is Jeri Stanek, and I'm excited to be starting my third year in third grade at St. John Neumann! I received my B.A. in math and statistics from Virginia Tech and earned my Master's degree in Teaching at USC. Before coming to St. John Neumann I taught technology to Kindergarten through fifth grade. As a child I was an Air Force "brat" and lived all over the world. After living in many different places I'm thrilled to call South Carolina home for the past 10 years. My husband, Tom, and I have a 12 year old daughter, Allison, and a mutt named Freckles.
Linda Treadway – Third Grade Teacher
I am Linda Treadway. I was born and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana and graduated from the University of Montana. I have been teaching at St. John Neumann Catholic School for many years. I love the challenges of teaching third grade and hope each of my students find the same sense of joy that I do in learning and discovering new things.
Nancy Amrol – Fourth Grade Teacher
My name is Nancy Amrol, and I teach fourth grade.
I am from the beautiful Pine Tree State of Maine. I graduated from Mt. St. Mary's College in New Hampshire with a B.S. degree and received a Post Bac degree in Early Childhood from the University of South Carolina.
Many moves have given me the opportunity to teach in California, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and South Carolina. I especially love teaching fourth grade, which I have done for fifteen years at Saint John Neumann Catholic School.
In my leisure time, I enjoy my family, eating Maine lobster, dreaming of the beach, biking, reading, and working in my garden.
Rachel Ferrario – Fourth Grade Teacher
My name is Rachel Ferrario, and I am so excited to be a fourth grade teacher at St. John Neumann.
I am originally from Michigan and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. I also hold a master's degree from Weber State University in Utah, and am a National Board Certified Teacher. This is my 13th year of teaching, with experience in grades PreK through 8. My husband is in the South Carolina Air National Guard, and we have put down roots in lovely South Carolina after 12 years of travel and adventure in the active duty Air Force.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching college football (Go Blue!), and spending time with my husband and two boys. It has always been my dream to teach in the same school my children attend, and we have all found our home at St. John Neumann!
Tammie Maddock – Fourth Grade Teacher
My name is Tammie Maddock, and I am very happy to be at SJN. I have an undergraduate degree in Marketing and a Master;s degree in Business Administration from Clemson University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina. My teaching experience includes time in PreSchool, second, and fourth grades, but my greatest educational experience has come from my own three children. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family, and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of the SJN family as both a parent and teacher.
Stacy Carns – Fifth Grade Teacher
My name is Stacy Carns and I am thrilled to be teaching 5th grade at SN this year. My husband Tim has just retired from the Army after 22 years of service. We have two lovely girls that are a part of the SJN family in 1st and 4th grades. Our family is happy to finally settle down and call Columbia our new home. I have had many opportunities to use my Elementary degree to teach both here and abroad. This will be my ninth year of teaching. I look forward to many more wonderful years right here at SJN.
Connie Chambers – Fifth Grade Teacher
Hi! I am Connie Chambers. This is my eighth year at St. John Neumann. I am still very excited to be here. It is like working with my family. I retired from Lexington School District 2 after 31 years of teaching. I have taught 2nd, 4th and 5th grades.
Erika Fallaw – Fifth Grade Teacher
My name is Erika Fallaw. I love teaching children of all ages. I received my BA in elementary education with a minor in Spanish from Columbia College. While in college I was also cross enrolled at the University of South Carolina where I completed Army ROTC training and received my commission in the U.S. Army upon graduation. While in school I was also fortunate to meet my husband, Christian. We are happily married and have 2 wonderful children Madeline and Ella.
Upon completion of my time in the military I returned to South Carolina and accepted a teaching position in Richland District II in 2001. I taught at Windsor, Forest Lake, and Polo Road elementary schools. I am very excited to be a fifth grade teacher at SJN Catholic School.
I love spending time with my family, exercising, and helping all children achieve academic success. It truly makes me feel good when I see children learn and grow. Two additional things to know about me are; I love my Gamecocks and I am fluent in Spanish. I look forward to many great years with the children and families of SJN Catholic School.
Cheryl Cambre – Sixth Grade Teacher
Hi! I am Cheryl Cambre, and I'm in my 18th year of teaching at SJN. My 29 years of teaching experience include everything from PreSchool to teaching eighth grade algebra. I have taught in schools in Japan and all across the United States.
I received my undergraduate degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a Masters in Elementary Education from Charleston Southern University.
My family consists of one retired military husband and three daughters: Theresa, a doctor of Internal Medicine, Laura,a teacher at Cardinal Newman, and Colleen, a graphic artist specializing in web design.
I enjoy teaching science, religion, and math to the sixth grade. I feel very fortunate to be at a school where field trips can be taken to support our programs.
Megan Robbins – Sixth Grade Teacher/Guidance Counselor
Hi! I am Megan Robbins and this is my second year teaching at SJN. I have a B.S. in Education with a major in English and a minor in Health from Central Michigan University and a M.A. in Guidance Counseling from Argosy University. This is my 6th year teaching and I have taught grades 6-9. My husband, Travis, is a Physical Therapist in the U.S. Army and we have two children who attend SJN. I feel so fortunate to be able to teach at the school my children attend and both my family and I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful school community.
Janice Bliss – Administrative Assistant
I am the Administrative Assistant and this is my 19th year with St. John Neumann. I grew up in Idaho and graduated from Boise State University with a BA and a MBA in Business Administration.
I am married to Mike Bliss and we have two grown children, Jason and Laura.
Mary Ann Smith – Office Manager
Hi! My name is Mary Ann Smith, and I am the office assistant at St. John Neumann Catholic School. My children and I attended Catholic school, and I know how important a loving, nurturing, spiritual environment is to young people. Since retiring as a respiratory therapist, I have been blessed to work here for 13 years as a teacher, assistant, and office employee.
Lisa Schmidt – Bookkeeper
I am Lisa Schmidt, the bookkeeper for St. John Neumann Catholic School. I am also the mother of four children, Kirby, Jordan, Hayden, and Brennan who attend Cardinal Newman School. In 1991, I received my Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). I worked for 3 years as an auditor and then one year in financial reporting in New Orleans my home city. My husband and I moved to Columbia 9 years ago and immediately joined the St. John Neumann School family with our children. We have been so grateful for the wonderful environment here. I worked in the St. John Neumann Church office for 4 years as assistant bookkeeper and then as secretary. This is my 1st year at SJN School and I have enjoyed every minute of belonging to such a warm and inviting place.
Shelly Dunphy - Music
I'm Shelly Dunphy and it has been such a blessing to teach Music at SJN for the past 9 years. My job is full of the joy of music and play. It has been wonderful watching our students grow through the many fantastic performances we have shared over the years. I am looking forward to this year's Super Star performances more than ever before. You won't want to miss a single magic moment. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of South Carolina. My husband Brian and I have been married for 26 years. We have two grown sons, a terrific daughter in law, and a grandchild on the way!
Marian Hornsby - Art
I am Marian Hornsby and I have been an Elementary Art Teacher for over 25 years. I have a MAT in Art Education from the University of South Carolina and have taken numerous classes and workshops with an emphasis in painting.
I enjoy painting in oils in my free time and I especially enjoy painting the beautiful coastal landscape of my beloved Seabrook Island. My husband (Will) and I have 1 daughter (Molly) and 3 grandchildren. I have the perfect job for me because I get to make things all day and spend time with true artists (children) who teach me to create fearlessly.
Susan Sharpe - Art
Hello! My name is Susan Sharpe. My hope is that we will have a great time in Art this year at St. John Catholic Neumann. I want to inspire the children and expose them to many different art forms so they can find an area that they truly love.
There are many incredible artists in South Carolina and Columbia for us to discover and appreciate. I will definitely integrate my love of children's literature into our lessons. We will be sending oodles of artwork home, so be prepared to display your child's "masterpieces."
Karen Zimmerman - Librarian
As the librarian at St. John Neumann Catholic School, my goal is to inspire children to read and develop a lifelong love of reading! My education includes a B.S. degree from Illinois State University and a Masters in Library Science from The Catholic University of America. Ever since graduating from college, I have worked in a variety of libraries, from public to special to school. School libraries are definitely my favorite place to work! The students, teachers, and families at St. John Neumann Catholic School make coming to work each day a pleasure!
Janet Timmerman – Science Lab
I am Janet Timmerman and I have the privilege of teaching all of the students at SJN from Pre- School through sixth grade. I have a BS in elementary education and a Master's degree in science education. The Science Lab is a hands-on program which means the students don't just read about science, they conduct experiments, grow plants from seeds, build roller coasters, and look into outer space. We take field studies to places like The Challenger Center, Sesquicentennial State Park and our own backyard. I have been a teacher at St. John Neumann for 16 years and I love coming to work every day. I have 2 grown children and 2 grandsons.
Chrisann Luckie – Discovery Center
Hi! I am Chrisann Luckie, and I am starting my 18th year as the Discovery Center teacher at SJN. The Discovery Center was created to provide one-on-one or small group instruction for remedial or enrichment activities.
I have a degree in Early Childhood Education from The College of New Jersey. Prior to teaching at SJN, I taught for six years in the NJ public school system before becoming the director of a Learning Center in North Carolina.
I am married and have three children.
Holly Pobis – Director of Development
I was born in Savannah, GA and have a BA in Classics, and a BA in English from Stanford University. My first job was as a copyeditor with a publishing house in Columbia. My favorite foods are seafood and pasta. My career goal is to help existing and prospective SJN families stay informed and excited about SJN.
Ashley Konieczko – Spanish
My name is Ashley Konieczko and I am the Spanish teacher here at St. John Neumann. As a former SJN student, I am very blessed to be a part of the school community again! This is my second year at St. John Neumann. I graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, as well as a Master of Teaching. I also had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain for 3 months. While there I attended classes at la Universidad de Salamanca. I recently went back to Spain two summers ago to visit Salamanca with my family. I love teaching Spanish because I am able to broaden students' minds as they learn about not only a new language, but a new culture as well. My goal is to inspire them to want to learn more about other cultures and to improve their foreign language skills.
Victoria White – Latin/Instructional Specialist
My name is Victoria White and I am the Latin teacher and Instructional Specialist this year at St. John Neumann Catholic School. I have three beautiful sons and a wonderful husband who command most of my free time. I earned undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Elementary Education and a graduate degree from USC in Journalism. Since changing careers from advertising/public relations to education, I have taught several grade levels in both public and private schools.
Pat Ray – Physical Education
I am Pat Ray, the PE teacher for PreSchool-6th grade. This is my 8th year teaching at SJN. I received my BS degree from Appalachian State University.
I have two sons; one in college and one in high school.
Liz Baughman – Computer Lab
Hello! My name is Liz Baughman, and I am the technology teacher at SJN. I attended Furman University and earned my BA in English. Later, I earned my MA in Teaching from USC. I began teaching in 2000, and this year will be my fourth at SJN. I enjoy traveling, reading, and especially teaching.
Molly Williams – Extended Care
I was born in Columbia and have my BA.Ed in Elementary Education. Currently I am completing my Masters in Language and Literacy and teaching part-time at the Riverbanks Zoo. I volunteer with the Pawmetto Lifeline and enjoy eating pasta, brownies, and ice cream. I attended SJN from PreSchool through the 6th grade. I remember how loving and caring the teachers at SJN were.
Veronica West – Extended Care
Zlata Hallmon – Extended Care
I was born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An important part of my life included living through a war from 1992-95. I am married to a wonderful man and have one daughter; she is in the fourth grade at SJN. We moved to Columbia five years ago. This is my third year working in Extended Care and I love it. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love reading, shopping, and traveling. I also enjoy spending the summer with my parents, sisters, and nephew in Bosnia.
Terri Sebastian – Extended Care
Hi! I am Terri Sebastian and this is my fourth year working and playing with the children in extended care. This year I am also having a great time as a long-term substitute in preschool. I hold teaching certificates in Virginia and in South Carolina. My Bachelor's Degrees are in Early Childhood Education and Interdisciplinary Studies. I am continuing my graduate work at University of South Carolina. My family loves to travel especially to the Outer Banks of North Carolina or to any place to play golf. My husband, Deno, is the Director of Pharmacy Sales at BC/BS and plays piano at St. John Neumann Church at most Saturday evening Masses. Our daughter, Juliana is a Junior at Spring Valley High School. I like to stay busy! Crafting, scrapbooking, cooking, hedgehogs, shiny objects, reading and kids are justa few of my very favorite things.