Come and meet our St. John LaLande Teachers and Staff. We are proud of our highly experienced and educated staff. Their passion and dedication to teaching helps form St. John LaLande students who are: Rooted in Faith. Grounded in Excellence. Prepared for Success.
Ann Wright, Principal
Mrs. Wright joined the St. John LaLande school community in the fall of 2015 after serving many years as assistant principal at Archbishop O’Hara High School. She holds a Master’s Degree in school administration from William Woods University, a Master’s Degree in geography from MU, and an undergraduate degree in business and social studies from William Woods University.
Mrs. Wright is married to her husband William, a retired theologian, and is the mother of three children, all graduates of Catholic high school and university. She enjoys quilting, reading, swimming, O’Hara sports, and spending time with family and friends.
Christine Russell, Middle School Science
Mrs. Russell has taught Middle School Science at St. John LaLande for the last 11 years and prior to St. John Lalande, she taught at Our Lady of Lourdes for 29 years. Mrs. Russell received her Bachelor’s degree from Avila College, Master’s degree in Elementary Education from UMKC, and 12 graduate hours in Physics from Rockhurst University.
Mrs. Russell has been married for 36 years and has 3 children. The family has 3 dogs, 3 chinchillas, 4 guinea pigs, a snake, and many hissing cockroaches that they call pets (maybe, not the cockroaches). Cooking, baking, reading, and scrapbooking are some of the things that keep Mrs. Russell occupied.
Sue Robb, Religion Teacher
Mrs. Robb has been teaching at St. John LaLande for 13 years. She has taught Kindergarten, 3rd grade, and several Middle School subjects; she is active in many parish ministries. Mrs. Robb holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Central Missouri.
Mrs. Robb is married and has two teenage children (both St. John LaLande graduates) and two dogs. She is passionate about animals, recycling, and caring for God’s creation. She is a dedicated blood donor and is approaching her 200th platelet donation. Mrs. Robb volunteers for Kansas City Hospice, providing respite care and pet care to the dying. Currently, she is studying to become a spiritual director and hopes to help others see how God is working in their lives. Mrs. Robb’s goal as a teacher is to instill in each student a lifelong love of learning and a love of God and our rich Catholic traditions. She honors the many sacrifices parents make to give their children a Catholic education, and she sees the face of Christ in each student and teacher in the SJLL family.
Casie Scott, Middle School Social Studies, 8th Grade Religion
Mrs. Scott has been teaching at St. John LaLande for 9 years, after spending 15 years in the corporate world working for American Century Investments. While at American Century, she worked in Investor Relations, Shareholder Communications and Marketing. Mrs. Scott earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Criminal Justice and holds a Master’s of Arts in Education from the University of Central Missouri.
At St. John LaLande, Mrs. Scott teaches middle school social studies, 8th grade Religion and is the middle school coordinator. In 2010, Mrs. Scott was honored at the Missouri Scholar’s Academy by a former student as a teacher who “made a difference” in their life.
Mrs. Scott and her husband have been married for 21 years. They have three sons as well as three dogs. Mrs. Scott also coaches girls lacrosse at Lee’s Summit West High School. In her spare time, Mrs. Scott enjoys reading, sports, and being involved in her boys’ activities.
Barb Spencer, Preschool-8th Grade Art Teacher
Mrs. Spencer has been teaching at St. John’s for the past eleven years. She has 26 years of teaching experience. Over the years she has taught nearly everything from Preschool through 5th grade. Mrs. Spencer has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from University of Central Missouri
Mrs. Spencer has been married for 31 years. She has two daughters that were adopted from China. Mrs. Spencer’s oldest child is currently majoring in Graphic Design at Pittsburg State University. As a family, they love to travel and have an extensive group of friends around the country they enjoy visiting. Besides traveling, she likes to read, watch movies, spend time with friends, and go to church. Mrs. Spencer chooses to teach at a Catholic school rather than a public school because she feels like she is doing what God put her here to do. That is, to teach children not just the academics, but how to make good life choices. She also loves being a part of a community that cares about and for each other.
Claudia Corbin, 5th grade
Ms. Corbin has been teaching at St. John LaLande for 13 years. She is currently teaching mathematics to the 4th and 5th grades and is the 5th grade homeroom teacher. Previously, she taught 5th grade at Our Lady of Lourdes in Raytown. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Math.
Ms. Corbin has a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. She loves animals, especially cats. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, in particularly Zumba and swimming, being with family and friends, and solving various types of word puzzles.
Ms. Corbin received the honor of being named to the “Who’s Who Among Americas Teachers?” three times in her teaching career by being nominated by former top graduates in their respective classes. She was also named “Teacher of the Week” by The Examiner. She is committed to Catholic Education and hopes that each child she teaches gains confidence in herself or himself, sees that differences are OK and discovers her or his own strengths. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the light go on in a child’s eyes when he or she finally “gets it”.
Sarah Monrian, 4th grade
Mrs. Monrian, an alumni of St. John LaLande, has been teaching at St. John LaLande since 2003. She currently teaches 4th grade. She has taught third, fourth and fifth grade homeroom and Social Studies. Mrs. Monrian earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Missouri.
Mrs. Monrian is married and has two young children. She is passionate about her family and sports. She believes that as a team, you may achieve anything. She has learned that St. John’s is an amazing school of Faith, Service and Education, but most of all, they are a family.
Adam Stevens, 5th grade
Adam Stevens is enjoying his 2nd year at St. John LaLande. He came to St. John’s from a teaching assignment in South Carolina. He is a graduate of Clemson University with an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in education. Mr. Stevens has a passion for science and technology. He is a fifth grade home room teacher and will be teaching technology for grades K-8 in 2016-2017. In his spare time, he enjoys sports of all kinds, especially volleyball. He will be launching our Project Lead the Way program this year and beginning a robotics club after school for grades 6-8.
Jennie Gaffney, Middle School Language Arts
Mrs. Gaffney has been teaching at St. John LaLande since 2002; she took a four year hiatus to stay home with her young children from 2007 – 2010. She has taught middle school English and writing and 3rd grade. Mrs. Gaffney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa.
Mrs. Gaffney is married and has three children who all attend St. John LaLande School and are actively involved in many SJL activities. Mrs. Gaffney teaches at St. John LaLande because she believes God has called her to teach children; she began her career teaching children and will end her career teaching children. Mrs. Gaffney is well aware of what a gift it is to teach at a school with such caring families and wonderful children; she feels blessed to work at her dream job each and every day. Mrs. Gaffney enjoys reading and running in her spare time.
Tricia White, 3rd Grade
Mrs. White has been a teacher at St. John LaLande School for 16 years. Most of her career has been spent teaching preschool. She has also taught Kindergarten and is currently teaching second grade. Mrs. White holds a degree from Emporia State University. She looks forward to coming to school each day and being greeted by her eager, little learners. “They are full of love, care, and compassion. Who else would you like to surround yourself with every day?”
Mrs. White is married and has two teenage children (a past and current SJLL student). Mrs. White stays busy with family activities and the recent addition of two new puppies.
Lois Hildman, 2nd Grade
Mrs. Hildman has been teaching at St. John LaLande for over 25 years. She currently teaches 2nd grade. Mrs. Hildman was born in Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading Education. Mrs. Hildman holds her Master’s degree in Math and Science Education from Webster University.
Mrs. Hildman has been married for 39 years to her husband, Paul. Together they have raised three children; two who reside in Denver, CO and one in Blue Springs. Mrs. Hildman currently has two grandchildren. Visiting family is her hobby during her free time.
Mrs. Hildman enjoys teaching at St. John LaLande; the best part are the kids. Seeing the students become independent learners and Christian leaders in today’s world would make any teacher proud to be a part of these special children’s education. St. John’s has enriched the lives of many, and continues to do so year after year.
Amy Schnieders, 1st Grade
Mrs. Schnieders has been teaching at St. John’s for 22 years. She attended Catholic School as a child and she is happy to give back to Catholic education. She enjoys teaching at St. John’s and likes being able to teach about God throughout her day, as He is incorporated into every subject. She currently teaches 1st Grade. She has 27 years of teaching experience, teaching in grades first through fourth. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Benedictine College.
Mrs. Schnieders is married and has four children. All of her children attended St. John LaLande School. She enjoys spending time with her family. Most often you can find her attending her children’s sporting events and school activities. She is also a huge Mizzou fan and attends their home games.
Kelley Knust, Multi Age Preschool
Mrs. Knust has been a teacher and student at St. John LaLande for over 30 years. She and her family have been a part of our parish community since they moved from St. Louis in 1980. Mrs. Knust has taught a variety of grades at St. John LaLande. She currently teaches the Multi-Age Preschool Program and is on the Athletic Board at St. John’s. Mrs. Knust holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from University of Central Missouri. She believes that her gift of teaching and love of Christ continue to bless her through her opportunities at St. John’s.
Mrs. Knust and her husband live in Grain Valley with their three children, two of them attend St. John’s. She enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with her family and friends, but her greatest passion is watching her children excel in their sports.
Patti Schollmeyer, Kindergarten
Mrs. Schollmeyer has been teaching at St. John’s for the past eleven years. She has taught kindergarten for eight years and first grade for one year. Mrs. Schollmeyer holds a Bachelor of Science in ED Speech-Language Pathology and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
Mrs. Schollmeyer is married and has two teenage children who both are graduates of St. John Lalande School. She and her husband are both involved here at St. John Lalande School and Parish along with volunteering and being involved in their children’s high schools and booster clubs. Mrs. Schollmeyer feels so blessed to not only watch the light bulbs turn on in her students’ heads, but to be a part of such a wonderful, nurturing environment.
Vivian McKinney, Assistant Principal, Resource Teacher and Drama Department
Vivian McKinney works part time in the office as Assistant Principal. She enjoys putting her love of organization to use helping with the day to day details of running a school. Mrs. McKinney has worked as the Resource Teacher for 10 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities from the University of Central Missouri with additional certification in Intellectual Disabilities and Emotional Disturbance. She has begun a second Master’s Degree in school counseling. In addition to her role as Resource Teacher, she is also the Drama Department Director. She directs the annual Fall play and Winter Talent and Art Show. Mrs. McKinney feels strongly that every child in our school will meet their highest academic potential!
Mrs. McKinney has been married for 24 years and has three children, ranging from ages 15 to 21. She is sought out as a volunteer consultant for public and parochial students with special needs. She volunteers regularly at O’Hara High School where her youngest child attends school. Mrs. McKinney’s favorite thing to do when she’s not teaching or volunteering is spending time with her family at home.
Jennifer Zorich, RN, School Health Nurse
Mrs. Zorich is a registered nurse with 18 years of nursing experience. She attributes her initial interest in a nursing career to a love for science and a fascination with the workings of the human body. Her first years of nursing were spent in adult acute care and critical care nursing. Later, after the birth of her first child, she began working at a pediatric primary care office. Although pediatric nursing hadn’t previously held an interest for her, Mrs. Zorich soon found that it was exactly what God called her to do. She spent the next 10 years working with pediatric patients and their families.
Mrs. Zorich joined the St. John LaLande staff as school nurse in 2008. Her years spent in pediatric primary care provided her with an excellent foundation for taking on the role of school nurse at St. John’s. She now knows that God was preparing her for this position. She feels blessed to work among children and families that are also a part of her faith community. In addition to working in the Health Room, Mrs. Zorich helps direct the annual fall play and the winter Talent & Art Show.
Mrs. Zorich has been married for 18 years. She keeps very busy with three daughters. Two of her daughters are St. John LaLande graduates and one currently attend St. John’s. Mrs. Zorich and her family have been parishioners of St. John’s since 2002.
Krista Mead, School Secretary
Mrs. Mead started at St John LaLande as a parent volunteer in 2003. She accepted a position in the school office as well as a Para in 2007, before assuming her current role. She attended the University of Southern Indiana majoring in business administration and accounting.
Mrs. Mead is the mother of two alumni of St John LaLande, graduating in 2010 and 2013. She really enjoys being a part of St John LaLande School because of the positive impact the school has on the children that attend. The love and caring for the students makes SJLL a fun and unique place she cherishes and is proud to work at.
Kathy Gimmarro, Aide
Mrs. Gimmarro has been teaching Preschool at St. John LaLande since 2006. Prior to that, she taught at St. Bernadette’s for seventeen years, implementing their Pre-School program, and St. Mark’s for four years. Mrs. Gimmarro believes the Christian atmosphere of pre-school sets a firm foundation for children.
Mrs. Gimmarro has been married for 43 years and has three grown children and eleven grandchildren. Two of her own children as well as ten of her grandchildren have attended or are currently attending St. John LaLande. In her spare time, Mrs. Gimmarro enjoys shopping, reading and supporting her grandchildren’s sports and activities.
Lisa Hamilton, Director of Marketing
Mrs. Hamilton has been at St. John LaLande for the past 7 years. She is currently the Director of Marketing. She has also had the role of a Preschool Teacher, but takes her love of Marketing and applies it everyday at a school she loves! Mrs. Hamilton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Pittsburg State University.
Mrs. Hamilton and her husband have two children who attend St. John LaLande. She enjoys watching her children in their various sporting events. Mrs. Hamilton feels very privileged to attend school with them each day and is thrilled that she gets to do what she loves everyday!
Rex Nolen, Physical Education, Preschool-8th Grade
Mr. Nolen has been teaching Physical Education and Science in both public and Catholic schools for over 30 years. He has lived in Kansas City, Missouri his entire life. When Mr. Nolen is not teaching, he has fun performing around Kansas City and the Mid West as a Clown and Magician. He enjoys walking his Boxer, Lucy and working out at the gym.
Geraldine Dietsch, Multi Age Preschool Aide
Mrs. Dietsch started at St. John LaLande as a parent volunteer in 2009. She then started a sub job and a Friday secretarial position at St. John LaLande in 2014. Currently, she is the Preschool Aide for the Multi Age class. Mrs. Dietsch received her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, VA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration-Finance from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
Mrs. Dietsch and her husband have one child, who is now in 6th grade at St. John LaLande. She and her family have been a part of St. John LaLande Parish and School since they moved from Great Lakes, IL in 2009. Mrs. Dietsch enjoys cooking, reading, walking and spending quality time with her family. Her family pride and joy is to watch her son grow and excel at St. John LaLande.
Linette Sanjur, Middle School Math
Mrs. Sanjur has been teaching at St. John LaLande since 2015. She began her teaching career at Nativity of Mary and also taught at St. Mary’s High School. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University and her Master’s degree from Webster University. Mrs. Sanjur is married with 2 children. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, crafts and sewing.
Karen Brown, Pre-K-8th Grade Music Teacher
Mrs. Brown holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in music education from University of Central Missouri, and a Bachelor of Health Science degree in Occupational Therapy from University of Missouri. She practiced as a pediatric occupational therapist for 11 years, then spent several years at home with her children. After much soul searching, she discovered her true passion is teaching music, which led to this second career. Mrs. Brown has actively participated in various church music ministries since she was 6 years old and feels blessed to have the opportunity to teach at St. John LaLande.
Mrs. Brown has been married 27 years and has two daughters in college. She is a huge fan of the Kansas City Royals, and also loves Mizzou basketball and football. Her other interests include reading, flower gardening, crossword puzzles, and especially spending time with family.
Mrs. Kleoppel, Kindergarten Prep
This is Mrs. Kleoppel’s first year teaching at St. John LaLande. She is currently the Kindergarten Prep teacher. Mrs. Kleoppel graduated from Rockhurst University with her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and from the University of Kansas with a Masters in Social Work. Teaching children is her passion and she is excited to a part of the St. John’s family. Teaching at a Catholic school is especially important to her heart so as to instill a sense of faith and community among her students.
Mrs. Kleoppel has a husband Jimmy (SJL alum) and a son Brody who is 1 ½ years old. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family doing outdoor activities, root on the Royals, Chiefs and Jayhawks, and read.