Classroom Teachers

9osd57qitcg30h3f5c2nrmcif7l.jpgJill Mahoney • Kids Kingdom Preschool Teacher • 701-252-3397 • jill.mahoney@k12.nd.us

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! 

Nikki Gange • Kids' Kingdom Preschool Teacher • 701-252-3397 • nicole.gange@k12.nd.us

My name is Nicole Gange. I attended elementary school at Sargent Central in Forman ND, and moved to Jamestown in 2008. I 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. In October of 2022, I married my husband Brandon. I am very excited to be able to help shape little minds educationally, spiritually, physically, 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!

6w9ujvvgw94i22jdnzdrwf08d2l.jpgErin Neville • Pre-Kindergarten Teacher • 701-252-3397 • erin.neville@k12.nd.us

Hi! I’m Erin Neville, and I've been teaching at SJA since 2012. 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 • wenda.lefevre@k12.nd.us

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.

Angela Hansen • 1st Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • angela.hansen@k12.nd.us

I grew up on a farm near the small town of Marion, North Dakota with my two brothers and one sister.  We were very busy caring for the many animals on our farm as well as working in the fields.  By the time I was in 5th Grade, I knew I wanted to be a schoolteacher.  I was blessed with some very wonderful teachers who made teaching look fun and exciting!  I was given opportunities to work with the elementary students during my study halls and I knew it was something I wanted to do.  I attended VCSU and graduated with a double major, Music and Elementary Education. In 1992, I was married and started my first teaching job at North Sargeant School in Gwinner, ND.  Three years later, I took an elementary music position at Lisbon Public Schools in Lisbon, ND.  Lisbon was my career home for 20 years, and then I taught up in the northwest corner of the state in Powers Lake and Kenmare.  My husband and I returned to the Montpelier area where I taught for 2 years then returned to Lisbon.  I am now at St. John’s Academy and loving teaching Band and 1st Grade.  I have had the opportunity to teach math, health, science, and music at the middle school and elementary levels.  I love challenges and change.  I have 3 grown children, 2 stepchildren, and 5 grandchildren.  God has helped me meet so many wonderful people throughout my teaching and I am excited for the chapters ahead in my life!

Briana Schafer • 1st Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • briana.schafer@k12.nd.us

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. 

qu9fqr7khg0gptz4oy6xm7zxlol.jpgAlicia Bata • 2nd Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • alicia.bata@k12.nd.us

Hello! I grew up in Jamestown and graduated from JHS in 2004. I then attended VCSU where I received my degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. My husband and I got married in 2007 and then moved to Oakes a few weeks later. We were both part of the Oakes Public School system for the past 16 years. I taught a variety of grades while in Oakes; including Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. In 2020, I received my Master's degree in Reading Education from UND. We have two daughters, Mariah and McKinley. My family keeps busy attending all of my daughters' sporting events. We also enjoy going for walks, bike rides and traveling. We especially love traveling to National Parks and hiking in the mountains. I am very excited to be coming back to my childhood home, being closer to family, and sharing all that Jamestown has to offer with my girls.

Meghan Rene • 2nd Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • meghan.rene@k12.nd.us

Hello! My name is Meghan Rene (pronounced "rainy"), and I started teaching 2nd grade in 2019 at St. John's Academy. I was born and raised in Jamestown, attended SJA, graduated from the University of Jamestown in 2020 with a degree in Elementary Education, then completed my master's degree in 2021 in curriculum and instruction. I married my high school sweetheart, Austin in 2021, and together we have a mini goldendoodle, Rizzo. I am so glad God has given me the opportunity to teach in a faith-based environment. Every day I get to grow my relationship with God and teach students more about Him. St. John's Academy is a special place, and I am truly grateful to be a part of it!

qu9fqr7khg0gptz4oy6xm7zxlol.jpgTamara Gapinski • 3rd Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • tamara.gapinski@k12.nd.us

“... 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

Jodi Trumbauer • 4th Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 •  jodi.trumbauer@k12.nd.us

Hello!  My name is Jodi Trumbauer and I am teaching 4th grade 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, all of whom attend or attended SJA. 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

6w9ujvvgw94i22jdnzdrwf08d2l.jpgPeggy Vandal • 5th Grade Teacher • 701-252-3397 • peggy.vandal@k12.nd.us
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!
1o601zhtr6anevmdig0e4rq7h0l.jpgYvette Yatskis • 6th Grade Home Room & Middle School English Language Arts • Dean of Students • 701-252-3397 • yvette.yatskis@k12.nd.us

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 a 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!

6w9ujvvgw94i22jdnzdrwf08d2l.jpgKristin Higgins • 7th Grade Home Room, Middle School Math • 701-252-3397 • kristin.higgins@k12.nd.us
I fell in love with math in 3rd grade thanks to Mrs. Hubbard. That love was nurtured throughout my junior high, high school, and college years by numerous influential teachers. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share my passion for math with my middle school students. My goal as a teacher is to help students understand why math works the way it does. I often tell the students that mathematicians are pattern detectives; once you discover the patterns, math truly begins to make sense. Although not all of my students will love math the same way I do, I strive to make my classroom a supportive learning environment where students are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. It's such a blessing to be able to witness many "ah-ha" moments when students begin to grasp and eventually own a concept. I appreciate the less obvious lessons that math teaches, such as persevering when things are tough, being patient with oneself when you don't understand something right away, knowing how to ask for help, and providing help without giving someone the answer. 
I could teach math anywhere, but I know God called me to teach at St. John's Academy. I am amazingly blessed to be able to integrate my faith in all that I do throughout my teaching day. What a privilege it is to delve into God's word and pray with my students. I am honored to play a small part in helping my students understand God's extravagant love for them and the beautiful plan He has for their lives. 
Lindsey Cramer • 8th Grade Home Room, Middle School Science • 701-252-3397 • lindsey.cramer@k12.nd.us

After growing up attending St. John's Academy and falling in love with this place as a child, having my five children eventually attend SJA as well, was a great blessing. In 2020, the Lord dramatically altered my life direction through the Holy Spirit when He called me back to SJA as a substitute teacher. Now, a short time later, by the grace of God, I get to serve our faith community as a full-time teacher! I am honored and humbled to be in a position to teach our students the 'facts', but I also see it as my duty to help parents form the students in the faith, and prepare them for their lives ahead. I am always open to hearing from you so please reach out to me if you have any comments or questions. 

Karen Eckroth • Middle School Social Studies, Student Leadership, Bible Timeline • 701-252-3397 • karen.eckroth@k12.nd.us

Bio coming soon!


2b2z1aua752wlv0suvz5amhv8el.jpgAndrea Hournbuckle • Library & Resource Teacher • 701-252-3397 • andrea.hournbuckle@k12.nd.us

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.jpgLes Horgan • PE Teacher • 701-252-3397 • leslie.horgan@k12.nd.us

Hello! My name is Les 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 • julie.sprague@k12.nd.us

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.

Dr. Jennifer Lipetzky • Counselor • 701-252-3397 • jennifer.lipetzky@k12.nd.us

Bio Coming Soon!

Nikki Gange • Childcare Director • 701-252-3397 • nicole.gange@k12.nd.us

My name is Nicole Gange. I attended elementary school at Sargent Central in Forman ND, and moved to Jamestown in 2008. I 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! 

Angie Rost • Assist. Childcare Director • 701-252-3397 • angela.rost@k12.nd.us

Hi, I’m Angie Rost- I graduated from Napoleon Public School and then graduated from NDSU in 2020. That summer, I worked at SJA for a short while & loved it! I taught in Edgeley for two years. Spring of 2022, God called me back to SJA & I have loved being back here. I love being a part of a Catholic School along with helping children grow and expand their learning. In my spare time, my husband and I like to go on walks, watch movies and spend time with family. I also enjoy refurbishing furniture and reading. I am excited to be here at St. John’s Academy.

Professional Services Provided By Outside Agencies
Lisa Krueger • Special Education • 701-252-3376 • lisa.krueger@k12.nd.us

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!

Jenna Newman • Title I • 701-252-3397 • jenna.newman@k12.nd.us

Mrs. Newman is employed through Jamestown Public Schools.