High School Prep Faculty

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Anthony Antista

Anthony Antista

Teacher: Music, Grades 4 - 8
tantista@stmichael.net

A native of Southern California, Dr. Antista attended California State University at Fullerton where he received a Bachelors degree and a Masters Degree in Voice Performance and has also earned a DMA in Voice Performance and Opera Directing from the University of Arizona. Before moving to Arizona with his wife, Tracey, and their three children, Joel, Andrew, and Rachel, Dr. Antista performed many operatic and musical theater roles around the Southern California area. Tony has performed with the Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera, Orange County Opera, Inland Opera, Opera Works, and many civic theaters in the area. His teaching experience ranges from teaching and directing music with young people ages K-8, to directing operas at the University of Arizona, California State University at Fullerton, and California Baptist University.

Doctorate: Voice Performance & Opera
University of Arizona
Master of Arts: Voice Performance
California State University, Fullerton
Bachelor of Arts: Voice Performance
California State University, Fullerton



Judith S. Breault

Judith S. Breault

Middle School Division Director / Teacher: Math, Middle School
jbreault@stmichael.net

Mrs. Breault started substituting at St. Michael's in 1978, taking a part-time position as Girls' P.E. instructor in 1979, and becoming a full-time teacher in our Lower School for 10 years.  In 1991, Mrs. Breault began teaching middle school math, and is now our Director of Middle School.  She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Middle School Association. In her spare time, Mrs. Breault performs with a dance troupe and enjoys tap dancing, travel, and challenging her students with problem-solving puzzles.

Bachelor of Science: Mathematics
University of Connecticut



Anne Burnson

Anne Burnson

Teacher: Lanugage Arts/English, Grade 6-7
aburnson@stmichael.net

Ms. Burnson began teaching Middle School Language Arts / English at St. Michael's in 2017. She moved back to Tucson after several years in San Antonio. She received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in English at the University of Arizona, where she taught several classes of Freshman Composition. For the last twelve years, she has taught 4th-8th grade English at St. Luke';s Episcopal School and St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio. She is excited about joining the wonderful faculty at St. Michael's and sharing her love for literature and writing with her middle school students in Tucson. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, reading, art, and music.

Master of Arts: English
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts: English
University of Arizona



Amy Divijak

Amy Divijak

Teacher: History, Grade 7-8
adivijak@stmichael.net

Mrs. Divijak began teaching at St. Michael's in 2001. Before coming to St. Michael's, she taught middle school social studies in the public schools for twelve years. She is a member of the National Council for the Social Studies, the Arizona Geographic Alliance,  and Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Divijak is married and has a daughter. Originally from Pennsylvania, Mrs. Divijak is a life-long Steeler's fan.  She spends her summers at Chautauqua Institution in New York, and she enjoys outdoor activities, reading, traveling, and planning the annual eighth-grade spring trip to Washington, D.C.

Master of Arts: Teaching and Teacher Education
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology
University of Arizona
Teaching Certificate: Secondary Teaching Credential
Social Studies Teaching Certificate, Middle School Endorsement, State of Arizona
SEI Endorsement



Jennifer Gould

Jennifer Gould

Director of STEM Education / Teacher: Math, Middle School
jgould@stmichael.net

Ms. Gould returned to St. Michael’s in the fall of 2016 with many years of teaching experience as well as expertise in curriculum development, technology training and peer mentoring. Ms. Gould is an enthusiastic champion of STEM education. In addition to teaching three sections of math in the middle school, she coordinates the St. Michael’s Annual STEM Festival and Science Fair, co-chairs the school’s robotics team, and coaches a team of middle school mathletes who compete in local, regional and state-level math competitions. In 2012, she was honored as a Raytheon Math MovesU Math Hero. She has also participated in several partnership programs through the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent and the University of Arizona, including: the STEMAZing Project, GTEAMS and Project Astro. Ms. Gould is a member of several professional organizations including the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). In her free time, Ms. Gould enjoys an active lifestyle that includes yoga, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Master of Education: Elementary Education
University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles



Alex Hawes

Alex Hawes

Teacher: Language Arts and English, Grade 6 and 8
ahawes@stmichael.net

Mr. Hawes has taught at St. Michael's since 2003. Before going into teaching, he was a writer and editor for ZooGoer Magazine at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. He also worked in the photo-editing department at National Geographic Magazine. Mr. Hawes is an avid nature writer and photographer and has written freelance articles for wildlife publications. At St. Michael's, he is a faculty advisor to Eagle's Quill, the school's literary magazine.  He also teaches outdoor photography and is the Co-Director of Curriculum for the school.

Master of Education: Elementary Education
University of Arizona
Master of Arts: Non-Fiction/Science Writing
Johns Hopkins University
Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology
Yale University



Lynn Jackson

Lynn Jackson

Teacher: Math, Grade 8
ljackson@stmichael.net

In addition to her work at St. Michael's, Ms. Jackson was the Director of Children's Religious Education at the University of Arizona Catholic Newman Center for eleven years. She taught religion classes to blind and visually impaired children at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind for nine years, led children and parenting groups while employed at Tucson Shalom House, taught summer classes for children in self-esteem and spirituality, and served as a volunteer tutor/special friend for Child Protective Services. Ms. Jackson continues her education by attending seminars and workshops in all areas of Religious Education. Ms. Jackson has been at St. Michael's since 1991.

Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire



Suzanne McCullough

Suzanne McCullough

Teacher: Latin, Grades 7-8
smccullough@stmichael.net

Ms. McCullough is a life-long learner and holds degrees in Anthropology, Museum Studies, Dance, and Art History. She has a great interest in history, politics, world affairs, global cultures, art, music, and dance. She has danced and traveled extensively, enjoys reading, and loves gardening and travel.  Ms. McCullough has four university students. Exploring the ancient world and the profound foundation it laid for all subsequent cultures is an invaluable component of every scholar's education.

Post Graduate Studies: Museum Conservation, Early Childhood Education, Art History
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts: Dance, Art History
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts & Science: Anthropology
University of Arizona
Teaching Certificate: Elementary Education, K- 8
University of Arizona



Elisabeth Monsma

Elisabeth Monsma

Teacher: Art, Grades 4-8
emonsma@stmichael.net

Ms. Monsma came to Arizona in 1999 from Minnesota for graduate studies and promptly fell in love with the climate, the scenery, and the wonderful people. She loves to explore all Arizona has to offer. Ms. Monsma has been happily teaching art and art history to K-12 students since 2002. She joined the faculty at St. Michael's in 2007. She finds it is a joy to guide students as they explore new media, gain skills, and discover their own unique creative potential. For her own creative outlet, Ms. Monsma makes dolls, knits, and she continues to explore printmaking and painting.

Master of Arts: Art Education
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts: Studio Art
Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Certification: K - 12 Art Specialist
Endorsement: Middle School & Secondary Art Education



Steven Owens

Steven Owens

Teacher: Middle School Math
sowens@stmichael.net

Mr. Owens comes to St. Michael's after 37 years of teaching both music and secondary mathematics. He is almost a "native Tucsonan", having arrived in Tucson when he was three years old. In addition to teaching music and mathematics, Mr. Owens has taught television production, theatre production, lighting and sound design, a survey of classic movies and television, and classes in thinking and logic skills.

When not engaged in teaching, Mr. Owens likes to spend time with his family: his wife of 36 years, Sheri, and his two children, Alexander and Christina. His is especially active in helping his autistic daughter, Christina, achieve independence and establish herself a a professional artist.

Master of Music:  Choral Music Education
University of Arizona
Post Masters:  Schubert Festival Symposium
The Vienna Conservatory of Music, Vienna Austria
Bachelor of Music: Instrumental Music Education
University of Arizona
Certifications: Arizona General Secondary Certificate; North Central Association Certified in Secondary Mathematics
Endorsements: K - 12 Music; Gifted Education; Secondary Mathematics



Hailey Sanders

Hailey Sanders

Teacher: Science, Grade 7-8
hsanders@stmichael.net

Ms. Sanders began teaching at St. Michael’s in 2017. She graduated from Arizona State University, where she received a B.S. in Chemistry and minored in Art History. While at ASU, she worked as a Supplemental Instructor for organic chemistry students, helped develop ligands for carbon dioxide sequestering, and was part of a research team tasked with verifying the authenticity of paintings. A lifelong fan of Bill Nye, Ms. Sanders is excited to teach seventh and eighth grade Science. She enjoys sandwiches, swimming, and books.

Bachelor of Science: Chemistry
Arizona State University



Matt Santucci

Matt Santucci

Teacher: Physical Education, Grades 4-8
msantucci@stmichael.net

Mr. Santucci has taught at St. Michael's since 2007. He previously spent a year as an intern in special education while completing his Master's degree coursework. After finishing his student teaching at a fifth-grade classroom in Connecticut, Mr. Santucci moved to Tucson to become the physical education teacher for grades K-5 in the spring of 2007. He then moved grades 4-8 in 2016.  He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, reading, and rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and USA soccer.

Coursework towards Master of Science: Elementary Education
University of New Haven
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology
University of Connecticut



Elsa Schaub

Elsa Schaub

Teacher: Science, Grade 6 / Math, Grades 6-7
eschaub@stmichael.net

Dr. Schaub teaches all sections of sixth grade science, as well as sections of sixth and seventh grade math. Before coming to St. Michael's in 2016, she taught middle school students for more than ten years. She designed, coordinated, and implemented environmental education and science inquiry programs for students in grades K-8 at the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning. She has also conducted research in the fields of science education, ecology, plant physiology, and tree rings. To Dr. Schaub the most rewarding aspect of teaching is helping students experience the joy of learning by engaging in inquiry explorations and problem solving. Dr. Schaub grew up in Portugal and goes back regularly with her husband, Mike, to spend time with family and friends. She enjoys hiking, reading, birdwatching, traveling, gardening, and music.

Doctorate: Science Education
University of Arizona, College of Education
Masters of Arts: Elementary Education
University of Arizona, College of Education
Masters of Science: Materials Science
Universidade Tecnica de Lisbon, Portugal
Bachelors of Science: Horticulture
Universidade do Algarve, Portugal



Dennis Senkbeil

Dennis Senkbeil

Teacher: Band
dsenkbeil@stmichael.net

Mr. Senkbeil became St. Michael's Band Director in 2017. He grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland. After graduating with a Bachelor in Music Education, he moved to St. David, Arizona, where he taught middle and high school band and choir for four years. He was blessed to be offered a graduate teaching assistant position with the University of Arizona, where he began work towards a Masters Degree in music education. He got married the same summer he accepted a position at St. Michael's. He and his wife (who is a teacher, too) are big pet lovers. In addition, Mr. Senkbeil is a huge sports fan and enjoys to read.

Master of Music Education
University of Arizona (2018)

Bachelor of Music Education
University of Maryland - Eastern Shore



Sara Van Straalen

Sara Van Straalen

Teacher: Spanish, Grades 4-8
svanstraalen@stmichael.net

Sra. Van Straalen grew up in Chino, California.  Along with her teaching credential in Elementary Education, she has also earned the Bilingual Cross-Cultural credential, which focuses primarily on Spanish language and culture.  Before moving to Tucson in 2002, Sra. Van Straalen had fourteen years of experience as a bilingual elementary teacher working with students whose native language was Spanish, .  She has enjoyed teaching at St. Michael's since 2005 and is currently teaching Spanish to grades 4-8.  She is the mother of Claire, a 2013 St .Michael's graduate, and Franklin, who is currently a St. Michael's middle school student.  Sra. Van Straalen also enjoys hiking, reading Spanish novels, and spending time with her family.

Master of Arts: Education
Claremont University
Bachelor of Arts: Sociology
Pitzer College, Claremont University
Credentials: Bilingual Cross-Cultural Education
                          Elementary Multiple Subject Teaching K-12

 

 



Mary Thiltges

Mary Thiltges

Teacher: History and Language Arts, Grade 6
mthiltges@stmichael.net

Mrs. Thiltges originally taught sixth grade in her home state of Utah. Upon moving to Arizona, she became the coordinator for the University of Arizona, Co-op/Summer work programs, recruiting and preparing college students for summer and semester work experiences. In 1992, she began substituting in grades K – 8. She returned to full-time teaching in 1998 as St. Michael's sixth-grade language arts and history teacher. She currently supervises the middle school Student Council. She is a member of the National Council for Social Studies, the National Association of Student Councils, and the Tucson Area Reading Council.  Mrs. Thiltges has participated in numerous biological surveys of desert tortoises and other species. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, and traveling.

Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education
Utah State University
Bachelor of Arts: Speech Communication
Utah State University
Arizona Teaching Certification K-8



Clare Yarborough

Clare Yarborough

Chaplain / Teacher: Religion 4-8
cyarborough@stmichael.net

Mother Clare spent her early professional life earning a doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation was based on fieldwork in Veracruz, Mexico where she studied Classic period influence from the Valley of Mexico. After her defense, she took a year off to be an intern at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church and from there discerned a call to the ordained ministry. Upon finishing her seminary work, she was ordained a priest and served as an assistant in charge of youth and family ministry at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Rochester, NY. After that appointment, she served several churches in the Diocese of Massachusetts, while continuing to be active in the ministry of family, youth, and children. Returning to Tucson, she served as Associate for Family and Seeker ministries at St. Philip's In the Hills for a brief period of time before coming to St. Michael's as chaplain and religion teacher for Intermediate and Middle School grades. In her free time, Mother Clare volunteers at The Hermitage Cat Shelter and also spends time cooking, reading, and enjoying time with her family.

Master of Divinity: Church History
Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
PhD: Anthropology
University of Arizona
Bachelor of Arts: Sociology and Anthropology
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Ordained Priest