Hello! My name is Samantha Blake and I was born and raised here in Montrose, Colorado. I attended Colorado Mesa University and obtained a BS in Psychology in 2012. I have been a parish member of St Mary Catholic Church since my baptism as a baby. My faith is very important to me. I have been a part of Pope John Paul II Academy going on 4 years now, and I am blessed to be a part of the amazing staff now. I love learning and teaching. This year I look forward to teaching mathematics and science: two of my favorite subjects! I am looking forward to working with the wonderful students and outstanding staff at PJP2A for the 2017-2018 school year.
Miss Bot grew up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota. She attended Christendom College in Virginia and majored in Theology. She has always loved being with children, and after college was very excited to begin teaching. She has taught 4th grade at Pope John Paul II Academy for two years and is happy to be back for another year. She is eager to start another year of discovering all that is true and beautiful with her students. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing piano, running, knitting, and sewing.
Hello, my name is Theresa Hardin and my journey to teaching has been a long one. I was raised in California in a family of eight children and met my husband at a young age. We have been married 37 years and have been blessed with four children ranging in age from 29 to 13. We have lived near Hotchkiss for the last 25 years, where in addition to being a homemaker, my family and I previously opened and operated Hardin’s Natural Foods. My husband currently owns and operates Hardin’s Welding & Crane Service. I have home schooled all of my children at various times, which is how I discovered my love for learning and teaching. I was homeschooling our youngest daughter while completing my teaching certification degree and before being hired as the 5th grade teacher at PJP2A for the 2015/16 academic year. We are both very excited to be returning to PJP2A for our third year. I look forward to the incoming 5th grade class, while my daughter looks forward to 8th grade. Besides my love for learning and teaching, I enjoy assisting at Mass, working on house projects, cooking, singing, traveling to Catholic shrines, reading, and being with family. I look forward to working with your children and supporting your family’s educational and faith goals.
Kindergarten, 4-5 Art
My name is Jen Tull and I was born and raised in Southern California. I moved to Montrose six years ago and was one of the first teachers hired to teach at Pope John Paul II Academy when it opened in 2008. I am entering my 17th year of teaching and have taught 7th grade Social Studies, 5th grade, and 3rd grade. I currently teach Kindergarten, and I love working with the little ones. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in History. I am currently enrolled in a Master’s of Education program at Regis University. I am working on a degree in Special Education so that I can better help the students at PJP2. In my spare time I love to read, craft, and have game nights with friends. I also have three very spoiled basset hounds that keep me busy, and I am the primary caregiver for my elderly father. I am looking forward to a great school year and cannot wait to meet my new students.
Pre-Kindergarten, Music, Spanish, K-1 P.E.
Few people are blessed to know what they want to do as a career early in life. From the age of 10, I knew I was going to be a teacher. My road to K-4 has been full of many unexpected turns. After graduating from Ouray High School and spending a year in Venezuela as a foreign exchange student, I started my college studies at the University of Northern Colorado. In 1990, I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Rifle, Ouray and Montrose public schools were my first places of employment. A little over a decade ago, my family made the decision to convert to the Roman Catholic faith, and as a result, I have worked at Pope John Paul II Academy for the past 4 1⁄2 years. Although my oldest daughter was too old for the grades that we offered, my other three children have attended this school. In addition to my love of teaching, I also enjoy being outdoors. You might find me biking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing or taking pictures of the gorgeous Colorado scenery. I look forward to teach not only academic subjects but introduce little people to God, His love for them, and the goodness of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Patrick Gordon
Principal & 6th-8th Latin
Mr. Gordon is beginning his fourth year as principal in the 2017-2018 school year. Having grown up in the Montrose community, he is now honored to serve the families within the Pope John Paul II Academy. Mr. Gordon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Ave Maria University and a Master’s in Education from Western State Colorado University. Having previously taught middle school grades, Mr. Gordon has managed to stay connected to the classroom through teaching various courses in his tenure as principal. This year, he will be teaching Latin to our middle school students. In his time outside of school, Mr. Gordon enjoys hiking and camping in the beautiful state of Colorado, playing the piano and organ, studying philosophy and theology, and spending quality time with his family and friends.
Mrs. Emily Baier (formerly Miss Baldwin) is another Montrose native. After being homeschooled K-12, she attended Christendom College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. The 2017-2018 school year will be Mrs. Baier’s fifth year teaching and coaching at Pope John Paul II Academy—where she also became reacquainted with her now-husband, a childhood friend. Despite majoring in literature, Mrs. Baier’s passion is history—specifically world history—and she strives to bring the past to life for students in her classroom as they discover the hand of God throughout time. Mrs. Baier also loves to share her passion for the Faith, literature, art, and sports with the students at Pope John Paul II Academy: in addition to her regular teacher duties, she also assists in writing and directing the yearly Christmas Play put on by the school, as well as coaching basketball, volleyball, track, and Workout Wednesdays. Outside of school, Mrs. Baier’s pastimes and interests are watching and playing basketball; hiking and traveling with her husband; reading historical nonfiction; writing; and spending quality time with family and friends.
I live on our family farm but I am originally from the Denver area. I have four wonderful children, two daughters and two sons and two grandsons. I enjoy traveling and country music, fishing, and being with my family. Some of my most memorable trips were to Nashville, Hawaii and Germany. I am a certified teacher for the state of Colorado and have a B.A. in Elementary Education with many hours devoted specifically to reading intervention. I am really looking forward to teaching at Pope John Paul II Academy and meeting all the students and parents!
The heart of our school is our teachers. Their service to our children is born out of their faith and their desire to see each child grow to his or her fullest potential.
Jacinta Scheetz grew up in Montrose. After being homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade, she attended Christendom College in Front Royal, VA. There she obtained a B.A. in history. She has worked as a parent adviser and curriculum developer for two of the largest Catholic homeschooling organizations in the U.S. She has also taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, as well as Middle School and Junior High math and Latin, and high school Theology, Literature, and History seminars. In her free time, Miss Scheetz enjoys reading, agriculture and animal husbandry, hiking, dancing, sports (especially volleyball), and visiting with friends and family.
Hello, my name is Andrew Herman. I am from Nashville, Tennessee, and I am excited to join the PJP2A community this fall! I have many years rooted in Catholic education. I studied preK-12 in Catholic schools before attending a Jesuit University where I earned a B.S. in Elementary Education. After I graduated from Spring Hill College, I moved back to Nashville where I taught second grade for 3 years. Now, I look forward to joining a Catholic community and giving back to the faith that has taught me so much. My passions are teaching and being outdoors. I absolutely love to go camping, climbing, kayaking, and hiking to name a few. I look forward to all the new and exciting things this chapter in my life will bring, and I am especially excited to meet the students and families at PJP2!
Dr. Michael Brezinsky, M.D. – President
Mr. Pete Baldwin – Secretary
Mr. Andrew Schmutzler – Treasurer
Mr. Michael Ceniceros – Member
Dr. Lou Dwyer, M.D. – Member
Mrs. Amy Nelp – Member
Mr. Chris Warren – Member
a Private Academy in the Catholic Tradition
My name is Luanne Baumann. I am the 1st grade teacher. I am originally from Northeastern Oregon and have been teaching since 2008. My first six years were spent in the Milton-Freewater School District, in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. I taught 1st grade for two years and the BESST (Behavioral Emotional Social Skills Training) classroom for four. After that, I taught 3rd grade at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Sterling, CO and have been with PJP2A since 2015. I love my Catholic faith and teaching, and I am very excited to share both with your kiddos.
I also enjoy the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping, etc.), farming, karate, etc. May God bless you!
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67051 Sunnyside Rd.
Montrose, CO 81401