Classroom Teachers
9osd57qitcg30h3f5c2nrmcif7l.jpgJill Mahoney • Kids Kingdom Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Learning through art and music is something I grew up with, crave, and now share with my students. Together we play, learn, and create while we practice school-readiness skills. Language skills are important to me and in our classroom. Greeting someone properly and having the ability to convey thoughts and ideas is something we practice and integrate into our daily routines. With so much screen time available to kids, we strive to provide them with multiple opportunities to converse and share through language. Every job I’ve had, since I was a teen, has been connected to early childhood. I knew this field would become my career as I attended Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota to attain my education. Just months after graduation in 1994, I came to SJA and feel very fortunate to have been a part of our school family for this long. Spending time with young, eager learners in Kids’ Kingdom is something I have never taken for granted. Experiencing new discoveries with my preschoolers continues to be very enjoyable and rewarding. How lucky I am to witness them make connections, problem solve, accomplish a new task, conquer a new skill. I still feel the spark when they get excited!
6w9ujvvgw94i22jdnzdrwf08d2l.jpgErin Neville • Pre-Kindergarten Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Hi! I’m Erin Neville, and I am teaching pre-kindergarten this year! It’s my seventh year here at St. John’s Academy, and tenth year teaching. My husband, Danny, and I moved here from Aberdeen, SD where I taught one year of Title I Reading, and two years of kindergarten. We have two children, Emma and Landon. I attended Northern State University, and I majored in Elementary and Special Education with minors in Early Childhood and Kindergarten. I love teaching and am so excited to be a part of the SJA family!
o7b397wjsfkr9hh63qlsrpusi9l.jpgWenda LeFevre • Kindergarten Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Growing up you always get the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response was always a teacher. My mom taught 2nd grade and I loved going to school to help her in the classroom. I continued my desire to be a teacher by attending Dickinson State University and getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education along with Early Childhood and a Spanish Minor. I began my teaching career as a Middle School Foreign Language Teacher in Grand Forks, ND. I introduced four languages to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. I never thought my teaching journey would take me to a middle school but I am glad it did. After teaching in Grand Forks for two years my husband and I moved our family to Jamestown, ND. The next 5 years I stayed home and took care of our three children. I couldn’t stay away from the classroom, one afternoon a week I volunteered my time and taught Spanish to students at St. John’s Academy. I didn’t know at the time that my teaching journey would keep me at St. John’s Academy.
Jodi Trumbauer • Kindergarten Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Hello!  My name is Jodi Trumbauer and I am teaching kindergarten this year at St. John's Academy.  I graduated in 2001 from Hamline University in St Paul, MN with a K-8 teaching degree and major in Religion.  I taught preschool in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD.  I also taught a year of 2nd grade in Lyme, NH.  I grew up in Minnesota but have lived in North Dakota, South Dakota and New Hampshire since marrying my husband, Jeff in 2002.  We have four children, Katie-10th grade, Leah-7th grade, Joe-4th grade and Andrew-kindergarten.  I enjoy teaching many subjects but my favorite is to share my faith and teach my students about Jesus.  I feel so blessed to be apart of the St. John's Academy family.  Colossians 3:12-17
Briana Schafer • First Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Greetings! My name is Briana Schafer and I teach First Grade at St. John’s Academy. I love coming every day because the students are so full of energy and brighten up my day! I learn right along with my students every day. It is such a great feeling knowing that I am making a difference in a child’s life. Teaching at St. John’s Academy is especially unique for me because I went to St. John’s as a student. It’s fun to now be able to relate to my former teachers as coworkers and mentors. Thank you for visiting our webpage.

Meghan Rene • Second Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • meghan.rene@k12.nd.us
Hello! My name is Meghan Orr, and I am so excited to begin my teaching career at St. John's Academy! I attended SJA Kindergarten through 6th grade. I graduated from the University of Jamestown in May with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Reading and Math. I had planned to be a substitute teacher; however, God had a different plan for me! I am so glad I was given this opportunity. I get to grow my faith with God and teach students more about Him each day. St. John's Academy is a special place, and I am grateful to be a part of it.

qu9fqr7khg0gptz4oy6xm7zxlol.jpgPeggy Vandal • Second Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Hi! I am Peggy Vandal, and I am excited to be part of St. John’s Academy again! Our two children, Jessica and Paul attended SJA, and my husband, Steve, and I have always had a love for this school. When both our children were in school, I started working in the Faith Formation Office so I had many contacts with the teachers and students at SJA. Then I decided to go back into teaching as a substitute teacher for all the elementary schools in town which I did for the past five years. This was a great experience, and I met a lot of nice people and learned many different things from working in all the schools. I had always thought that I would continue subbing until my son graduated from high school, but the saying holds true, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” I guess God had other plans for me, and I am truly happy to be here! Since I have started back at SJA, there have been many times where my heart just overflows with gratitude, and I feel so blessed to be here. I will work hard to help bring your children closer to the Lord and to continue in their academic growth. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions. God bless!

qu9fqr7khg0gptz4oy6xm7zxlol.jpgTamara Gapinski • Third Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
“... I believe that each of us, no matter what our age or background or walk of life, each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation." ~Michelle Obama What or how can we contribute to our country and world to make it a better place? This question is one that often has me thinking of the sweet young faces that enter through my door every school day. I believe one of the largest components of our life is to be able to love one another and I try to carry that over into my classroom. We are all blessed with imperfections and that is what makes us so wonderful and it allows us the experience of appreciating the good with the bad. My students learn throughout the year that we are all God’s children and the importance of living our lives as life-long learners – looking for answers if we have questions and growing in love with all humans no matter race, creed, hairstyle, age, or disability. Together we can help our children become great contributors to society and I look forward to us all working together (parents, teachers, students, administrators, etc.) as a team. When we work together we are able to build a solid foundation for our children and that foundation will follow them the rest of their lives. Blessings, Mrs. Tammy Gapinski

Josie Beckman Fourth Grade Teacher 701-252-3397  [email protected]

Hi! My name is Josie Beckman and teaching here at St. Johns Academy has always been a dream of mine. I am a first-year teacher and teach the fourth grade. Which I LOVE. I was able to work here for many years in the childcare program. Once I was to choose where to do my student teaching, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. After my student teaching experience, I stepped into a long-term substitute position at SJA and was again reminded of how special this school is. One of my biggest fears growing up was being unhappy with the career I would choose. I can honestly say that I wake up every morning excited to come to work. Each and every day I am encouraged, loved, supported, and pushed to be the best human I can be. Most importantly, being able to share the love of Jesus with my students and co-workers is what makes this place so incredibly wonderful. The Holy Spirit is on the move, in our classroom, through the halls, and all around this school. I will always be so grateful that I get to spend the hours of my days working with these kids and friends. God is so good. “Oh, I give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, and his steadfast love endures forever” Psalm 107:1   

5dgkn1ft1pf13e09vzi0pjgs05l.jpgKaren Eckroth • Fifth Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Greetings! My name is Karen Eckroth and I teach 4th grade at SJA.  I enjoy learning with my students and watching as their knowledge and skills grow. Fourth grade is an exciting and challenging year. Students strengthen the skills and strategies they have gained through their years and apply them in their everyday activities. We work on reading skills and explore a variety of literature through AR tests as well as interesting book projects. Fourth graders also explore the regions of the United States and our great state, North Dakota. Research is a big change this year as well. Students study saints and states and demonstrate what they learned in a creative way. I can be reached by phone (252-3397) at school between 8:00 – 8:25 and 3:00 – 4:00, or by email.
1o601zhtr6anevmdig0e4rq7h0l.jpgYvette Yatskis • Sixth Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
When I attended St. John's Academy as an elementary student from 1974-1980, I would have never guessed that one day I would come back as the 6th grade teacher! I am thankful and blessed that my journey has brought me back to SJA! I graduated from Jamestown High School in 1986. I attended the College of St. Benedict for one year until I followed my future husband, John, to NDSU where I graduated with a major in English Education. We married in 1989 and returned to Jamestown in 1990. I taught 9th grade English at JHS for one year and then moved to the 7th grade. I knew I had found my niche; I love working with middle schoolers! As much as I adore teaching, I took some time off to raise my children. I went back to the classroom when my children were school age and was fortunate to find myself back with 7th graders. After teaching a total of 14 years for the public school, I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to make a huge change in my career. All of the things I truly love are embodied in my new position at SJA. I love to teach, and now I will be able to teach all subjects to my students...what an exciting adventure! I've mentioned my love for middle schoolers, so 6th graders? Awesome!! I have always dreamed of being able to teach at a Catholic school...dreams do  come true! My love and passion for teaching and learning drive me to be an energetic and creative teacher. My goal is that my students will find joy and success in pushing themselves to accomplish more than they ever thought possible. We will encounter challenges and work hard, no doubt, but we will also have an amazing time together!
Kristin Higgins Seventh Grade Teacher
Andrea Hournbuckle • Library & Resource Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Hi, my name in Andrea Hournbuckle. My journey began at St. John’s Academy when I was four. I am so excited to once again be a part of the SJA community. I graduated from Jamestown College with a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Needs. I was honored to have the opportunity to student teach at SJA in the second grade. I enjoy the Christian atmosphere at SJA. I am very excited to begin the upcoming school year!
5igvn788z9kl7vxaa8r9k934yjl.jpgLeslie Horgan • PE Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Hello! My name is Leslie Horgan. I am excited to teach physical education here at St. John’s Academy (SJA). I am connected to SJA in a number of ways. My wife, Gina, was a student at SJA. Our six children have all attended SJA. Presently, our youngest is our final child at SJA. I also worked as an office assistant at SJA from 2011 to 2017. My time at the school sparked in me a desire to teach, particularly at SJA. Thus, in 2017, I returned to college to get a degree in physical education (PE). I completed my degree in May 2019 at Valley City State University. My philosophy is student learning in physical education in three domains – psychomotor, cognitive and social/emotional. The primary goal is for students to gain an appreciation for lifetime fitness. Finally, I seek to focus on the development of the whole student, which at SJA includes their spiritual and faith growth. For parents that need to communicate with me, I can be reached by email.
3evtjsmr7tpdiyxmcpdehrwviil.jpgJulie Sprague • Music Teacher • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
Greetings! My name is Julie Sprague. I was born and raised in Jamestown, ND. I attended college at Jamestown College graduating in 1991 with majors in Music Education, Vocal Performance, Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood. I started teaching music at St. John’s Academy in 1992. While growing up I dreamed of being a singer or a teacher. I became both, a music teacher. I teach general music to grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Some of the things we learn about are music theory, instruments of the orchestra, and composers and their music. We also prepare for and participate in Eucharist at St. James Basilica. I am so blessed that I have the opportunity to teach at a Christian Catholic school where I can share my God given talents to teach about Christ and Eternal Life through music. God has blessed me with a rewarding job, a great husband, and two wonderful, handsome sons. We enjoy our home in the country.
Mona Tottingham • Resource/Counseling • 701-252-3397 • ext. 121 [email protected]
Hello.  My name is Mona Tottingham. I serve as the counselor and resource teacher for SJA.  I graduated from Jamestown High School in the late 1970's.  I have a BS from MSUM, a BA from UJ, and an M.Ed from NDSU in Counseling.  I have worked as a teacher and then school counselor since the early 1980's.  
I thought I was going to retire from Education, but God's Word sent a message for me to apply here at Saint John's Academy.  I only live one block from school and it is wonderful to walk to work every day.
I have two grown boys who both live in North Dakota.  I have three elementary aged grandchildren who are the love of my life.  Children make me smile.  I am so grateful to work with wonderful administration, teachers and of course the best students ever.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you.  I welcome all emails and phone calls. 
Nikki Fritz • Childcare Director • 701-252-3397 • [email protected]
My name is Nicole Fritz. I attended elementary school at Sargent Central in Forman ND, and moved to Jamestown in 2008. I then graduated from Jamestown High School in 2014. I attended Valley City State University with my focus on early childhood education. I transferred to Lake Region State College in 2016 to complete my degree. I graduated in May 2018 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am very excited to be able to help shape little minds educationally, as well as having the ability to show and teach them about God’s love for them! I am very blessed and grateful to be here at St. Johns Academy!
Professional Services Provided By Outside Agencies
 Lisa Krueger • Special Education • 701-252-3376 • [email protected]
Special Education services are provided by the James River Special Education Cooperative.

HI! I am Lisa Krueger and I work in the area of special education through the James River Special Education Cooperative. I received my degrees from Minot State University and Michigan State University. I currently travel to several schools and was glad to add St. John's Academy to that list. My husband and I live south of Jamestown; we enjoy horseback riding and spending time outdoors. I look forward to meeting you soon!
Anna Marie Sanderford • Speech • 701-252-3376
Speech services are provided by the James River Special Education Cooperative.
Deana Mack • Title 1 Instructor •  •