Staff

Our staff members are dedicated to the mission of Ascension Catholic School and to our scholars.

Shamir Brice

Sixth Grade Reading and Social Studies

Master's Degree in Secondary Education from Creighton University. Bachelor's of Arts Degree in History and Political Science. I appreciate that Ascension Catholic School is a unique community built around the ideals of hard work, continual improvement, and devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ascension has welcomed me to Minneapolis and is overall an inviting and supportive community.

Amy Brown

Grade 2

Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education from University of Northwestern - St. Paul Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from University of St. Thomas

Tracy Carpenter

Grade 2

Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of St. Thomas. Master’s Degree in Catholic School Leadership from St. Mary’s.

Jean Cerisier

Physical Education

Dr. Sousada Chidthachack Grande

Assistant Principal

Dr. Sousada Chidthachack Grande has worked in the field of education for more than a decade: the first five years as a licensed high school mathematics teacher, and recently as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Teacher Coach. Dr. Grande’s educational work has included being a University of St. Thomas Mathematics Instructor, a Minneapolis Public School District teacher, a University of Minnesota STEM Education Teacher Coach on a National Science Foundation Grant, and recently, the STEM Education Coordinator at University of San Francisco. Dr. Grande was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, but was raised in north Minneapolis for over two decades. She is a graduate of Minneapolis South High School, University of St. Thomas, and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Pure Mathematics, a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in STEM Education. Dr. Grande came to Ascension Catholic School in August 2017 to serve as the Assistant Principal. She enjoys mentoring and tutoring scholars in the area of mathematics and working closely with families to ensure a holistic approach to education.

Mary Connor

Latchkey Director 3rd-5th

Theresa Culpert

Grade 1

Education: Michigan State University, bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a specialization certificate in African Studies. 1 year overseas studies at the University of Zimbabwe. Currently in the Advanced Pastoral Spanish program at the University of St. Thomas. I am grateful for the opportunity to pray with my students! I value the diversity we have at Ascension, which allows us to learn from one another and prepares our scholars to compete in our global economy.

Jason Daisy

After-School Coordinator

Bachelors in Business Management from the University of Northern Iowa

Michael Depass

School Secretary/Latino Family Liaison

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, minor in Spanish, from Louisiana State University.

Patrice DeRosier

IT Director

BS Elementary Education - University of North Dakota BA Psychology - University of North Dakota Masters in Curriculum and Instruction - University of St. Thomas

Richard Eddy

Jr. High teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from Marquette University Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas. I appreciate the opportunity I have to interact and get to know eighty scholars and their families every year.

Jean Sanders Hodge

Latchkey Director K-2

David Hoffmann

K-6 Visual Arts

Bemidji State University – Bachelor of Science in Elementary K-6 Education. I love helping scholars explore and develop their creative skills.

Meg Hoye

Grade 1

BA Elementary Education 1-6, Southwest State University MA Reading K-12, University of St. Thomas Dyslexia Practitioner, International Dyslexia Association

Stephanie Isola

General Music K-3rd, 6th – 8th and Choir Director

Education: Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Minnesota I love working with the talented and creative students at Ascension School.

Dominique Junes

7th grade math and 8th grade science

Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from St. Cloud University and currently working on a Masters Degree from University of St. Thomas in Educational Studies.

Laura Justin

8th Grade English and Social Studies

Master of Education degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Middle School Communication Arts and Literature Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Ben Justin

Data and Assessment Coordinator

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, Masters of Education in Mathematics Education from the University of Minnesota.

Bridget Younce

Grade 3 #2

Degree in Elementary (grades K-6) and Special (grades K-12) Education from the University of Minnesota - Duluth

Michele Klein

Kindergarten

BA in Elementary Education with Kindergarten Certification College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn. MA in Curriculum and Instruction University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, with English as a Second Language Certification.

Johnny Kunst

Grade 6 Math, Science, Religion

BA Theology from the University of Notre Dame; M.Ed Education from ACE at the University of Notre Dame

Alicia LaCroix

ELL

BA in ELL Education (K-12) from University of Northwestern, St. Paul; Additional licensure in Bilingual Education and Elementary Education (K-6) from Hamline University

Natalie Major

Grade 3

BA Elementary Education - St. Catherine University Masters in Education/Reading Instruction -St. Thomas University

Benito Matias

Principal

Benito Matias has worked in the field of education for nearly 25 years, the last eight of which have been as a school administrator. Benito’s educational work has included being a Dunwoody College of Technology Instructor, a Minneapolis Public School District teacher, the Manager of the Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP), and the Executive Director of MetroTech Career Academy. Benito was born and raised in Minneapolis; he’s a graduate of Patrick Henry high school, Dunwoody College of Technology, and Bemidji State University, where he earned a BA in Industrial Technology. Benito came to Ascension Catholic School in 2013 to serve as the Dean of Students, and was named Principal of Ascension Catholic School in January of 2016.

CJ McGowan

School Counselor/City Connects Coordinator

BS in Therapeutic Recreation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI MA in School Counseling, Adler Graduate School, Richfield, MN.

Jamie Meyer

Kindergarten

Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Abilene Christian University. Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.

Jill Miller

Grade 5

Associate Arts Degree-North Dakota State College of Science, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education-University of North Dakota, Masters of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction-University of St. Thomas

Cathy Minear

Title I K-5th

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Augsburg College.

Joy Moeller

Music, MacPhail

BA, Education and Language Arts, Ottawa University, Ottawa KS Graduate Studies, Child Development, Language Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Suzuki Talent Education Violin Pedagogy Training, registered with Suzuki Association of the Americas I love being part of a community that embraces diversity — not just of ethnicity, but of culture, gender, age, life experience, education, spiritual gifts — all within the strong arms of the Christian faith.

Julie O’Connell

Grade 4 #1

Dennis Schildgen

Title 1

Kelly Wagenbach

Grade 4

Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Language Arts and certification in American Sign Language from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Ramon Wilder

Dean of Student Life

Amber Wright

Administrative Assistant

Domenic Wright

Technology