2020-21 New Faculty and Staff
Join us in welcoming our new faculty and staff for the 2020-2021 school year!
Mrs. Caroline Little: Preschool Coordinator
Mrs. Little’s illustrates her passion for educational leadership and fostering a love of learning in her students by “building trusting relationships and providing quality instructional content and delivery”. With 14 years of teaching experience with students ages preschool to college at a variety of learning levels, Mrs. Little spent 8 of those years teaching in a Catholic Preschool. Not only that, she worked as a Dental Assistant Instructor for two years, so only excitement at a lost tooth! She earned her M.A. in Education and B.A. in School Social Work from the University of St. Thomas. Mrs. Little also brings a comprehensive lists of professional licensures and certifications as well as administrative experience. As an active practicing Catholic, Mrs. Little is dedicated to serving the spiritual, emotional and intellectual needs of each child as well as creating a positive learning environment for her students. Welcome, Mrs. Little!
Mrs. Jenny Loch: Preschool teacher
Mrs. Loch previously taught second grade at Saint Agnes before taking a seven-year hiatus to be at home with her children. She returned last year as a first grade teacher and will now move to the Preschool room. Mrs. Loch earned her BA in Elementary Education and Psychology at the University of St. Thomas, and she also obtained training in Level I Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She kept very busy during her time away, serving her home parish of Holy Trinity in South St. Paul as a volunteer religion teacher and director of their Catechesis of The Good Shepherd program. Mrs. Loch comments: “Teaching at Saint Agnes is a wonderful experience and has had a lasting impression on my life. I am a strong supporter of Catholic education because I believe students educated in Catholic Schools have academic strength, are morally conscious and are Christ-centered.” She is thrilled to also have her own children attending Saint Agnes School. The Preschool is lucky to have Mrs. Loch!
Miss Diana Vandenburg: Religion K-4
Miss Vandenburg comes to us after serving with NET Ministries and Totus Tuus with experience educating young people about the beauty of the faith. Her travels took her across the pond on pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Rome. Miss Vandenburg also spent time Student Teaching in Nebraska during her time at Benedictine College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a concentration in Theology. Others describe Miss Vandenburg as kind, a problem solver, and works to cultivate a positive culture in her work environment. Exploring new teaching strategies to implement in her classroom speaks to her creative capacities dedicated to helping each student reach their full potential. Welcome, Miss Vandenburg!
Sister Maria Karol, OP: Grade 1
Sister Maria Karol, OP received a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University and spent time teaching second grade, as well as a Sacrament preparation in Georgetown, Texas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Sacramento, California. Preparing her students to receive the Sacraments for the first time has been the highlight of her teaching experience. She has experience in solo voice and choral performance, theater, and textile arts. Sister Maria Karol grew up in a military family as the second oldest of eight children. She lived in several states before her family settled in Rolla, Missouri where she received a classical education from Mother of Divine Grace. She first started thinking about being a sister at the age of 5, and her call to religious life grew stronger during high school. She entered the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in 2010 and made her Profession of Final Vows on July 25th, 2018. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia through their Summer Religious Program. Sister Maria Karol, welcome to the Saint Agnes family!
Mrs. Mary Eckberg: Grade 1
Mrs. Eckberg is back from a year leave-of-absence with her young children! We are excited to see her back teaching First Grade, a role she’s mastered at Saint Agnes School since 2012. Prior to teaching at Saint Agnes, she earned a B.A. in Elementary Education with a 5-8 Communication Arts and Literature license from Minnesota State University, Mankato where she anticipates graduation in 2021 with an M.A. in Elementary Education. Mary has excellent rapport with students, caring for them and their needs both academic and social, while also managing a classroom with high expectations and consistent management. Mary is a great colleague to her fellow faculty members and an excellent instructor. She embodies professionalism, and is a great witness to the character ideals, virtues, and faith that we hope to inculcate in our students. In short, Mary Eckberg is someone you want to be a part of your faculty.
Mr. Ken Sullivan – Humanities Teacher
Mr. Sullivan comes to us from Pittsburg, the City of Champions, with over six years of teaching experience! With a B.A. in History from Duke University and J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School, Mr. Sullivan brings a strong academic background and a concentration on excellence. As a NCAA Division I athlete, he is passionate about building strong leaders who challenge those around them to be the best version of themselves. Mr. Sullivan merged his love for running with his business experience with the creation of the nonprofit GOH Run. In his experience, “The ultimate goal of a classic, liberal arts education is to transform a student to think and read critically”. Mr. Sullivan’s multidisciplinary education instilled in him an appreciation for the complementarity between history, economics, and legal forces.
Ms. Valerie Morel – Science Teacher
You may recognize Ms. Morel from her time coaching track and cross country at Saint Agnes, or maybe from her time as a Summer Series Instructor. In her experience as an educator, she writes “As a science teacher, I intentionally create hands-on, engaging science lessons that promote student excellence and growth in all areas: academic, social, and spiritual”. Last year, she spearheaded the implementation of the Full Option Science System curriculum at St. Croix Catholic School and gave support to fellow colleagues during this transition. She received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Earth Science and M.A. in Education from Creighton University. During her time teaching at Risen Christ Catholic School, she was a part of the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps through Creighton University which provided her with the skills to teach a diverse student population. She is passionate about helping students see the complementarity of faith and science, as well as grow in interpersonal skills. Welcome, Ms. Morel!
Emma Dingbaum: Admissions and Marketing Coordinator
Miss Dingbaum is a recent graduate from the University of St. Thomas where she received her B.A. in English and Catholic Studies. Her courses in Catholic Studies awakened her mind to the vast beauty of the Catholic faith, and she sees this replicated in Saint Agnes’s culture. Her studies took her to Rome, Italy for a semester where she remembers how “Rome illustrated the fullness of living life with Christ. It brought a particular freedom, a love of study, and a beautiful wonder to my life, and I am forever grateful”. During the summer of 2018 she served with Camp Wojtyla in the mountains of Colorado as a Servant Leader leading young people through outdoor activities into a lasting relationship with Christ. Between childhood ski trips and roughing it in the wilderness at camp, she is no stranger to mountain life and always up for an adventure! She looks forward to meeting members of the Saint Agnes family and advancing the mission of Saint Agnes School through her work. Welcome, Miss Dingbaum!
Ms. Miriam Holmes: Grade 6
Miss Miriam Holmes comes to Saint Agnes with seven years of teaching experience and two years of administrative experience in the United States and Scotland. After receiving her Bachelor of Education from the University of Glasgow, she taught for two years in Scotland before spending time at Koinonia Academy in New Jersey. As the Vice Principal at Koinonia, Miss Holmes managed curriculum development, parent communication, Catholic faith formation, and daily life at the academy.
Her time speaking at numerous Catholic and Ecumenical events, working with the Missionaries of Charity in Pollok, Scotland, serving with University Christian Outreach, and volunteering as an elementary youth group leader in several youth initiatives demonstrates Miss Holmes’s strong work ethic and dedication to the formation of her students. Miss Holmes believes the “formation of virtue and character to be of the utmost importance in Catholic education and I ensure these principles are implemented throughout my curriculum.” Welcome to the Saint Agnes family!