Kindergarten: Robbie McGinty
My name is Robbie McGinty and I am the Kindergarten teacher. I started teaching at St. John Fisher School in 2002. I received my B.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and my Master’s degree in Education from the University of Portland. I am originally from Seattle, Washington. I taught in a preschool for two years and later at a Montessori school before I found this wonderful place! I am very happy to be with this exceptional community.
First Grade: Joanne Grenz
I come to you with a B.S. in Education with a Reading Endorsement and an emphasis in Art. I have been teaching since 1986 and have rewritten my teaching philosophy many times. As my years in teaching increase, the length of my philosophy seems to decrease. For me, learning is a never ending series of steps. When a child feels safe, supported, interested and is enjoying what is being taught, they will proceed to the next step. It is my goal to do these things while addressing the spiritual, academic and developmental needs of each individual child to the best of my abilities and insight. And for first graders, the more hands on the better!
Second Grade: Darlene Sheridan
I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon all my life. Growing up in a rural area, I loved to play outside and learned much from the world around me. When my little sister was born I fell in love with the idea of working with children. Being a lifelong learner myself, I received my reading endorsement and master’s degree in education from the University of Portland. I love to hike, travel, read my Bible and spend time with my family. We have so much to be thankful for. Children show me every day the joy of life as they make me laugh.
Third Grade: Arden Albertini
I was born and raised in Montana and am part of a large extended family with several aunts, uncles, and cousins that were, or are, teachers. So I was destined to go into the “family business”. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Montana State University, “Go Bobcats!” and I did my fifth year at Portland State. I love going to movies and visiting art museums and galleries.
I try to create an atmosphere in the classroom where every student will feel successful, safe, and enjoy coming to school. Third Graders enjoy reading many good books, doing art projects, and learning new things about the world through their Travel Buddies. They also look forward to visiting OMSI, the Portland Art Museum, and seeing an Oregon Children’s Theater play. Our visits to the West Hills Retirement Center several times during the year is also a highlight.
Fourth Grade: Rita Schoenheit
Hi! I am your 4th grade teacher for the 2016-2017 school year. I was born in Portland, Oregon and am the oldest of seven children. I enjoy being part of a large family and believe it has helped prepare me for life in the classroom.
I attended Central Catholic High School and loved the opportunities the school provided for service in the community, as well as the academic and spiritual environment. Following high school, I attended Gonzaga University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. In December 2008, I completed a Master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction at Portland State University.
It has been my privilege to work as part of the St. John Fisher community for the past nine years. In November 2007, I was hired as a substitute teacher for Robbie McGinty while she was on maternity leave. I then worked in the first grade classroom for Joanne Grenz. The following school year, I was Amy Lawrence’s assistant in the fourth grade classroom, then I finally received a classroom of my own in 2009. My experiences here at St. John Fisher have been very rewarding and it is a blessing to be part of such a wonderful community.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, cooking meals with my sister, attending trivia, taking trips to the coast, and playing with my precious nieces and nephews.
Fifth Grade: Colleen Ronchelli
I am originally from California and grew up with a wonderful and large extended family. Even though this is my second year at St. John Fisher, this is my eleventh year teaching. I have taught in the second, fourth, and fifth grades. I completed my undergrad work at Santa Clara University and earned my credential and Masters from Loyola Marymount University.
I strive to connect to all my students while treating them with respect and dignity. Along the way I hope to help them grow academically and spiritually, while challenging and preparing them for middle school and beyond. I have a passion for teaching especially when it comes to Catholic school. I love not only being able to teach my faith, but also to journey with the students on their own faith journeys as well. It is truly a blessing to work in a Catholic school! I am so excited for the 2016-2017 school year!
Sixth Grade: Julianne Joyce
I am teaching sixth grade this year. I moved to Portland a year ago from Boise, ID. This is my first year teaching at St. John Fisher, but my sixth year overall. I have taught seventh through twelfth grade Social Studies in Nebraska and Oregon. I earned my bachelor’s degree in History and my teaching license from Gonzaga University. For graduate school, I was a part of the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps through Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and earned by master’s degree in Teacher Leadership. I look forward to exploring the Portland area and am excited for the 2016-2017 school year!
Seventh Grade Math & 5-8 Science: Patsy Shaha
Thank you for your warm greetings in my onset at St. John Fisher School. I have the wonderful privilege of being the new Gr. 5-8 Science and Seventh Grade Math teacher. I am new to Oregon and I am originally from Alaska. I am of the ethnic heritage called Alutiiq (ah-loo’-tick). My husband and I came to Oregon a year ago with our last three of eight children, to have “an extended vacation”. We rented out the house; left the cars with the grown children, and hit the road. Our one year in Oregon has truly been heavenly. The five of us attempt to spend every weekend experiencing something new in this wonderful state.
As an educator with over twenty years in the profession, I continue to strive everyday to meet the needs of each individual learner. And, I truly believe in “using the village to raise the child”. It is common for me to take a night in the week to take some time to contact parents – to celebrate student successes; to collaborate on other best-practices to help the learner, to seek help in helping and guiding each unique child. I am honored to be your child’s teacher, and a part of the wonderfully kind St. John Fisher School.
Eighth Grade: Amy Lawrence
I was born and raised in Portland. I went to Central Catholic High School and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in psychology. After graduation I became a golf professional and spent several years in that field. I decided to make a career change and went to graduate school at Concordia University and earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching.
It was my experiences as a student at Central Catholic High School that made me want to become a teacher. The teachers were more like family and had a very positive impact in my life. They took a genuine interest in me and my family and there was a real sense of community. I loved the Catholic values and faith dimension as well as the academic environment.
I like to spend my free time with my family doing most anything outdoors. I love to walk, run, hike, bike, raft, ski, and snowshoe. I also love to read, listen to music and go to concerts and sporting events. I like to travel, get out on foot and explore the world.
7th/8th Religion, Spanish, 8th Math, Ceramics: Deacon Scott Kolbet
For fourteen years I served as pastoral associate at St. John Fisher, teaching 7th grade religion for all of those years. Recently, I began teaching full time at SJF school. I have a BA in Religion and MA in Theology, mainly because I love learning about the faith. The focus for 7th grade is “To know and follow Christ” as we learn about the New Testament and Morality. The focus for 8th grade is “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” (the law of praying is the law of believing). My hope is that the Christian faith becomes a personal experience as we grow more fully in community at St. John Fisher.
Middle School Math: Scott Osborne
Hello! I am a native Portlander and product of Catholic schools and I am pleased to say I have been teaching at St. John Fisher since 2007. I attended Jesuit High School and graduated from Gonzaga University after studying art and elementary education. I also have earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University. I enjoyed all eight of my years teaching 5th grade, but am very happy to have made the transition to middle school math, which has long been my favorite subject to teach. In my classes, I value critical thinking and problem solving skills, and encourage my students to do the same. Math can be a challenging subject if approached with a closed mind, but offers a look at how the world works that is unrivaled.
Academic Support Coordinator: Reyni Racklin
I was born and raised in Oakland, California, the child of Italian immigrants who instilled strong Catholic and humanitarian values in me. Education was so important to my parents that they made many sacrifices to allow me to attend Catholic schools through High School. Following graduation I studied psychology and public health at UC Berkeley and then went on to receive a Masters of Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA. As a counselor, my focus was on school-aged children and families. Life can and does take some interesting turns, however, and I found myself with a PT job working with an autistic child in his home-based program. My work with this child led me back to school for a Masters in Education at Holy Names University in Oakland as well as a certification in Educational Therapy. While in Oakland I worked at Raskob Day School and Learning Institute as a classroom teacher as well as a 1:1 educational therapist. Following that I was the K-5 Learning Specialist at as private school in San Francisco.
After my husband and I had our daughter and twin boys, we headed up to Portland and I have never looked back! Joining the SJF community is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can’t believe my fortune in landing such a special place. Over the past five years here at SJF I have become Tier II certified in Collaborative Problem Solving, which is powerful was to look at behavior and work collaboratively with children to durable resolve unsolved programs. I am currently in a program to receive my certification in the Orton-Gillingham approach, a highly researched methodology in working with at-risk and dyslexic readers. I welcome the opportunity to get to know as many children and families as I can, whether or not there are learning issues on board.
Library: Amy Richards
My name is Mrs. Amy Richards, and I am your Library/Media Specialist. Before becoming a teacher-librarian, I taught 3rd and 4th grades, and I served two years in the Peace Corps. I have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, a Master’s degree in Teaching, and an Educational Media Endorsement. When I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling with my husband, cooking, playing with my dogs, and reading.
Music: Don Vecchione
My name is Mr. Don Vecchione (Vek-ee-own-ee) and I am honored and humbled to be a part of this amazing community.
I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in the central part of the State as the son of a cattle rancher. After graduating from Atwater High School, I returned to Southern California where I received my degree in Applied Liberal Arts, with an emphasis in education, from Concordia University, Irvine. I have worked in the field of education for over 25 years, both as a classroom teacher (7th grade – St. Anthony’s School, San Gabriel, CA) and as a specialist in the areas of drama, music, and drill team competition. Before joining the SJF family, I was a substitute teacher, as well as being a resident substitute on the middle school level. In this capacity, I also served as the assistant choir director, choreographer, and the spring musical director and choreographer. I am a firm believer that the arts are an integral part of a child’s education and am passionate about sharing my expertise so that my students can appreciate and excel with their God-given talents.
On a personal note, God has blessed me with four wonderful children and three beautiful grandchildren. He as also blessed me as an award winning actor, singer, choreographer, and director of numerous theatrical productions, both on the community and regional professional level. I enjoy bowling, amusement parks, listening to MOST styles of music and watching ANYTHING “Disney”. Oh, and chocolate is my guilty pleasure.
Physical Education: Kelly Gray
I teach physical education (K-8) and health (3-8) at St. John Fisher School. I graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelors of Education in Physical Education and Elementary Education. Several years later, I earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching from University of Great Falls. My goal in teaching is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need to make healthy choices throughout their lives.
Research shows, and I believe, that there is a vital link between mind and body. A healthy body enables children (and adults!) to more fully enjoy all aspects of learning and assures a greater likelihood of success in desired endeavors. Recognizing this, SJF’s physical education program focuses on skilled movement, competitive and noncompetitive games, personal fitness, sport skills, and responsible behaviors. In health, students learn principles of nutrition, body systems, exercise, and lifelong wellness. Every student has the opportunity to be and feel successful in a safe and fun learning environment.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy
Technology/IT Manager: Lori Day
I have lived in Oregon all of my life and couldn’t be living in a better place. I graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology with an Associate’s Degree Software Engineering. I came to St. John Fisher school in Sept. 2005 after working in the business world for 15 years and became their first IT Manager. The next school year I was given the opportunity to teach computers and teach the elective classes Digital Photography, Programming and Digital Art. In Dec. 2012 I graduated from University of Phoenix with a B.A. in Elementary Education and in Oct. 2014 I received my Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership.
Technology have always been a love of mine and I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with the students. I love to see the light in their eyes when they understand what they can do with technology. The students are always challenging me to keep up to date on the latest technology. I believe the best way the students can learn technology is by using it themselves. In my classes we continue expanding knowledge in Google Apps for Education with Google Chromebooks. I continue expanding the student’s computer vocabulary knowledge, typing skills, troubleshooting skills and internet safety. When I am not teaching I am fly fishing, fly tying, riding my horses, camping, snow skiing or doing anything outdoors.
“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of a true education,” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.