Meet our Faculty & Staff
Fr. Mike Van Sloun
Father Mike Van Sloun joined St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community as pastor on July 1, 2013. Previously, he served as pastor at the Church of St. Stephen in Anoka for twelve years and was their associate pastor for six years prior. Before his priesthood ordination on May 20, 1995, Fr. Mike was a Crosier religious brother and a secondary school educator, first at Crosier Seminary High School in Onamia, Minnesota from 1976-1989, and then at Central Catholic High School in Grand Island, Nebraska from 1989-1991. The next four years were spent in study at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago where he earned an M.Div. in theology with a specialization in Sacred Scripture, and in ministry at St. Benedict the African Parish. Special ministerial interests include bible study, articles on theological topics, religious photography, retreats on cross spirituality, and pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Recreationally, Fr. Mike likes to go for daily runs, and he is an avid sports fan who particularly enjoys the University of Minnesota, especially Golden Gopher Basketball, as well as the Timberwolves, Vikings, and Twins.
Mr. Patrick Fox
Patrick Fox earned his B.A. degree at St. John's University in Collegeville and his advanced degrees, a master (M.A.) and a specialist (Ed.S.) in education, at the University of St. Thomas. He began teaching social studies then shifted to administration, first as the associate principal at Wayzata West Middle School and then as Principal of Chippewa Middle School in the Mounds View District from 2002 to 2007. He spent the last seven years as a Catholic school principal at St. Michael's Catholic School in Prior Lake. Patrick is a champion of excellence in learning, authentic student assessment, improved learner outcomes, curriculum development, the use of technology for students and faculty and classroom management. He currently is the president of the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Principals Association (ACSPA), and he is the past-president of the Minnesota Middle School Association (MMSA). He is at the forefront of education in Minnesota and he serves as a mentor and advisor to other school administrators.
Mrs. Jen Nick
My husband and I moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin in August of 2011 with our four girls. We found St. Bartholomew School for our oldest in September of that year. We have been members of the parish and school ever since, and could not be happier. Since our girls are now all in school, I have had the opportunity to evolve into working as the Programs Director. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I worked in a corporate setting for five years. I feel so fortunate to be able to work in the same building where my girls go to school. It has given me even greater perspective on what a wonderful school and community we have here at St. Bartholomew.
Mrs. Devon Kirschner
As a long time Plymouth/Wayzata resident and St. Bart’s parishioner, I am thrilled to join the outstanding staff at St. Bart’s School this year! I enjoy seeing familiar faces throughout the building in various capacities, whether in the office, on the playground, or in the cafeteria for lunch. I grew up in this community and returned in 2009 from Colorado with my husband. We have three delightful sons who keep us busy. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, taking walks, and trying new recipes.
Health Office Paraprofessional
I am an Iowa girl who moved to Minnesota in 2005 for "only one year." I met my husband one month later and have been here ever since. I struggled to find a community that felt like home for many years but was kept busy by my three young children. When it was time to find a home and school for our oldest, my husband and I toured St. Bart's and felt called to be part of this community. We found a house up the street, enrolled her in Kindergarten, became parishioners and have never been happier! In the past few years, I have sought out as many volunteer opportunities as possible and held various PTO positions knowing I wanted to work at the school one day. Lucky for me that day came and I absolutely love getting to know the kids and giving them the care they need to feel better.
Mrs. Hannah Valdez
Preschool Teacher & Site Director
BA Pre-Primary & Elementary Education, Northwestern University, St. Paul
I have taught preschool with Lake Area Discovery Center since 2007. Some of my favorite things to do are traveling, crafts and spending time outdoors.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Miss Madison Williams
BA Early Childhood Education, Minor in Special Education - University of Northwestern - St. Paul
God put a special place in my heart for young children ever since I was a child. I grew up volunteering in the nursery and Sunday School at my church. I also babysat all my young neighbors.
Throughout college, I worked as an assistant teacher at a preschool and found my passion working with 3-5 year olds. I’m fascinated with social and emotional development at this age and love to provide experiences for preschoolers to learn while having fun in the process.
I graduated from the University of Northwestern St. Paul with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education. St. Bart’s is my first job out of school and I couldn’t be happier!
Mrs. Tracy Wilson
BA Elementary Education, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
I am excited to be a part of the wonderful community at St. Bartholomew Catholic School! I am from the Plymouth and Wayzata area. I have experience teaching 1st grade and recently taught Kindergarten in the Wayzata School District. I also teach for the District’s Summer Academic Reinforcement Program for incoming 1st and 2nd graders. As a Kindergarten teacher, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to enrich the academic, spiritual and social growth of my students and to set the foundation for a life-long love of learning.
Miss Shannon McMahon
BA in Elementary Education - Purdue University
I’m so grateful to be part of the St. Bartholomew School Community! My three older brothers and I were born and raised in South Bend, Indiana (Go Irish!) We grew up attending Catholic schools until college and we cherished the special bonds we created at those schools. I graduated from Purdue University with my BA in Elementary Education. I began my teaching career as a K-2nd grade Reading Specialist at a Catholic elementary school in South Bend. I then had the opportunity to teach Kindergarten at the same school. I greatly appreciate this age group for their eagerness to learn, kind spirits, and energy!
Mrs. Elaine DeMarte
I relocated to Minnesota in 1994 from New Milford, Connecticut. I have been fortunate to be part of the St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community for 16 years. The families, students and staff have been a special part of my life. It has been a joy to assist in the preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, impacting the growth and development of each student. St. Bart's is the best!
Mrs. Olivia Kubal
BS Early Childhood Education, University of North Dakota
I have always wanted to be a teacher. As a child, I would make math and spelling tests and create ‘classrooms’ for my sister, telling her ; “Learning never stops.”
As I grew older, so did my love of teaching. In high school, I joined clubs that allowed me to teach and tutor inner city students. My love for teaching continued through college at the University of North Dakota, student teaching, and now in my first years of teaching.
I am thrilled to be part of the St. Bart’s faith and school community. As a first grade teacher, I provide engaging and enriching activities to ignite curiosity and promote academic, spiritual, and social development of my students.
I am blessed to be able to instill a life-long love of learning in my students, because “Learning never stops”.
Miss Ali Johnson
1st Grade Teacher
BA in Early Childhood & Elementary Education - Winona State University
I grew up in a small town 45 minutes from Green Bay. I attended Winona State University where I earned my degree in Early Childhood & Elementary Education. I also ran on the track team. As a first year teacher, I feel so blessed to have found the St. Bart's community! I am a life-long learner and I am excited to instill that passion in my students as they grow academically, spiritually, and personally. Outside of school, you can find me running around the lakes, reading in my hammock, or hopping on a plane to travel.
Miss Kara Korton
1st Grade Teacher/Long-term Sub
BS in Elementary Education - UW River Falls
I am originally from Rogers, Minnesota. This is my first experience teaching in a Catholic school, so I am looking forward to meeting the St. Bart’s community. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls with a BS in Elementary Education. Outside of school, I enjoy cooking, gardening and watching figure skating. I am looking forward to beginning my teaching career at St. Bart’s!
Ms. Emily Bilski
2nd Grade Teacher
BA Elementary Education, St. Mary's University Winona.
I grew up in Fridley, Minnesota with my three older brothers. Faith and family are two of the most important parts of my life and I love to see them both grow in the community here at St. Bart's. I attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. I remember, in fourth grade I struggled with math. My teacher took the time to work with me in a way I could understand, and one day it just clicked! I went into teaching so I could pass that feeling on to my students. There is no greater joy than watching a student work their way through the process of learning something new. The pride I felt in fourth grade math has followed me through the years and I am so blessed to be able to pass it along. What a wonderful journey it has been for me to realize that the lesson my teacher taught me was math, but in fact so much more.
Mrs. Cathy Anderson
3rd Grade Teacher
BA Elementary Education, College of St. Benedict, MA Curriculum and Instruction, University of St. Thomas.
I have been teaching for more than 23 years and the opportunity to teach these precious children and learn from them at the same time is truly the most amazing experience. What makes it even better is the Catholic environment in which we learn and play because we have Jesus with us every day. I love it!
Ms. Bridget Gabel
4th Grade Teacher
BA Elementary Education, College of St. Catherine, German Minor, College of St. Catherine.
I am originally from Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and moved to Minnesota to attend college. Prior to coming to St. Bart’s, I worked in the Wayzata Public Schools and taught at a charter school in Minneapolis. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, running, and traveling. I am very excited to be teaching at St. Bart’s and look forward to many great school years!“Dreams will not be thwarted, faith will be rewarded.” - Bruce Springsteen
Mr. Steve Hanson
5th Grade Teacher
BA Political Science, University of Minnesota
JD Hamline University School of Law
Teaching Certification, College of St. Catherine
Fifth grade is a time of great exploration and growth, both spiritually and intellectually. To foster that growth I try to create a culture of curiosity in the classroom. This culture allows students to meet the high expectations of the class and develop a love of learning. After 11 years of teaching, and 20 years in a totally different industry, I know God has blessed me with the greatest job possible . . . fifth grade teacher.
Mr. Scott Benjamin
6th Grade Teacher
BA, Accounting, Gustavus Adolphus College
MA, Elementary Education, Hamline University
In my hometown of Northfield, I attended St. Dominic’s Catholic School from Kindergarten through 6th grade. In those seven years of my life, I built a strong foundation in the Catholic faith and made lifelong friends. At St. Bartholomew, I get the same strong sense of community and Catholic culture I grew to love as a student. 6th grade at St. Bart's is tremendously significant because of the many leadership roles 6th graders experience at school and in the community. I feel truly blessed to work with our wonderful students during this pivotal and final year of their elementary school careers.
Mrs. Rose McNeill
Music & Media Center Teacher
BA Elementary Education, Long Island University, New York, MA Theatre, Long Island University, New York
“Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance!” What an exciting job I have! I am given the great opportunity to expose the students to music, theater and dance. All our students from preschool through 6th grade have music at least once a week, if not twice. I have an enormous passion for music and the impact it can have on children. The families of St. Bartholomew truly value the arts and understand how important they can be in a child’s education. It is a pleasure to work with the staff and children at St. Bartholomew school.
Mr. Jeremiah Miller
Physical Education Teacher & Clubhouse Director
BA University of St. Thomas
This is my 11th year here at St. Bart's. I attended Catholic schools my entire life and I am blessed to be able to continue educating young people in this wonderful community. I teach Physical Education, which I believe is one of the most important subjects as the arena of “play” often shows how human beings interrelate and often presents opportunities of challenge and progress. Moreover, it provides children with instant feedback to set and strive for goals. I am also the Athletic Director and have coached the Bulldog squads in basketball and volleyball. I have one teenage daughter Sam. We enjoy biking, walking, playing golf and reading about Saints together. Thank you for allowing us to participate in the lives of you and your children.
Señorita Shelby Farra
BA, Spanish Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
¡Hola! My love of speaking and learning Spanish began when I was a young girl and that passion has continued for the last 15 years. After teaching with Futura Language Professionals, I know that learning a second language can be so beneficial to growing young minds. I am thankful that I can share this amazing language and culture with the students here at St. Bart’s.
Mr. Chris Mayer
BFA Illustration, College of Visual Arts St. Paul
I have taught art at St. Bart's since creating the art program in 2000. I enjoy working with the classroom teachers to plan art units each year that are complimentary to their curriculum. One of my favorite projects each year has been leading each class as they create a painting on canvas for the Images of Spring auction.In addition to teaching at St. Bart's, I lead classes for children at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and am a swim coach at LifeTime Fitness in Chanhassen. In my spare time, I enjoy freelance photography, landscaping, printmaking and spending time with my family.
I am extremely blessed to be part of the St. Bart's School Community.
My husband and I relocated from Dallas, Texas in 2011 to be closer to our extended family in Minnesota. We currently reside in Saint Paul with our two children Chase (8 years) and Leila (5 years).
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling, and making memories.
Mrs. Anne Paske
My husband and I have been married 25 years and for about 20 have been living in Minnetonka with our three children Karl, Jimmy and Catherine. My cat Kate and dog Rozzie are the smallest members of our family. In my free time I enjoy attending our children's school and sporting events. My kids and I are proud to be the intermural kickball champions for the past two years for the city of Minnetonka. I have enjoyed being the Head Cook at St. Bart's since 2008. One of my favorite things about working at St. Bart's has been getting to know the staff and students. It has been so rewarding to watch our students grow over the past several years.