About

Faculty & Staff

Heads of School

Mrs. Colleen Lynch, Head of School

Colleen Lynch is St. Gabriel’s Catholic School Head of School. Ms. Lynch has been an educator for over 25 years and a part of the St. Gabriel’s family since 2014. She earned her BA in International Business Relations and East Asian Studies from Brown University and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Lynch is an avid runner, adores traveling, and loves being mom to two amazing children. She is passionate about all things St. Gabriel’s and helping children, teachers, and families along their educational journeys.

Mrs. Jacqui Glenn, Head of Lower School

Jacqui Glenn has a Bachelors in Environmental Science from Western Michigan University, a Masters in Educational Psychology from University of Alabama, and a Certificate in School Management & Leadership from Harvard University. After teaching outdoor and environmental education, she transitioned to the classroom in 1999. Ms. Glenn believes that education is a powerful tool for change and aspires to help children discover their unique gifts and talents. She, her husband, and three daughters are outdoor enthusiasts; she also enjoys traveling, yoga, and reading.

Dr. Blanca Snyder, Head of Middle School

Blanca Snyder joined St. Gabriel’s in 2018 as the 8th grade math teacher prior to taking on her role as the Head of Middle School, bringing with her 10 years of experience across a range of educational settings. Blanca earned her B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Applied Psychology from DePaul University, a M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Miami, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston. Blanca sees it as a privilege and joy to be able to impact a child’s educational journey, helping them feel valued and loved, while fostering a passion for learning and a deepening of faith.
 

Early Childhood Program - PreK 3

Michelle Estep, Teacher

Michelle Estep is driven by an immense love of children to provide the most holistic educational experience possible for all of her learners. She, having over 11 years of teaching experience, is passionate about guiding children to expand their natural talents while providing opportunities for further discovery of mind, body and soul. Ms. Estep is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Bachelors of Journalism.

Sasha Murphy, Assistant Teacher

Sasha Murphy joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2018, bringing with her 10 years of teaching experience. Sasha loves teaching because she enjoys helping children achieve their best. Their joy and curiosity is contagious. Born and raised in Houston, Sasha earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family & friends, see live music, craft, and just enjoy life.
 

Early Childhood Program - PreK 4

Yolanda McElhaney, Teacher

Yolanda McElhaney received bachelor degrees in Spanish and Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, as well as her Masters in Elementary Education from Texas State University. Mrs. McElhaney became a teacher to be a positive educational influence for her students while creating a fun, safe, and loving environment for them to experience while learning. Mrs. McElhaney resides in Buda with her family and enjoys spending her time cheering on her three sons at their various sporting events.

Amanda Thomas, Teacher

Amanda joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2020. Amanda graduated with her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and teaching credential from Texas Tech University. Amanda has spent thirteen years learning in the Catholic school system herself and is elated to give back to the loving and supportive environment that made her who she is today. In her free time, Amanda loves walking the boardwalk downtown, boating with friends, traveling and exploring all the amazing activities that Austin has to offer!

Ashley Gonzalez, Assistant Teacher

Ashley Gonzalez, formerly known as Ms. Trevino, is one of the loving Pre-K 4 assistants and Dance Teacher at St. Gabriel’s. She joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2019. Mrs. Gonzalez loves teaching because she enjoys influencing and assisting her students to reach their full potential. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Mrs. Gonzalez earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Education from Texas State University. In her spare time, she loves to spend quality time with her newlywed Husband, Christopher and step-daughter, Nevaeh.
 

Meghan Maigatter, Assistant Teacher

Meghan Maigatter has been working in education as a substitute and after school source of support for two years. Mrs. Maigatter has a B.A. in Kinesiology with a focus in Athletic Training from St. Edward's University. She grew up in DC and misses the mountain hiking she loved to do there. She is always open to suggestions on good hiking in and around Austin and loves spending her free time outside with her family!
 

Early Childhood Program - Kindergarten

Kristen Dalton, Teacher

Kristen Dalton, a native Austinite, joined St. Gabriel’s in 2016 and has over seven years of experience in education. Kristen earned her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University and loves teaching because of the joy and enthusiasm she is blessed to witness in her young students. When not in the classroom, Kristen enjoys spending her time with her son and dog, relaxing at home, or working on a furniture refinishing project.  

Amy Karakourtis, Teacher

A native Texan, Karakourtis joined St. Gabriel's in 2017 and holds a B.S. in Child Development from Baylor University. She taught at The Duke School for Children in Durham, NC before being a stay-at-home mom to three amazing human beings. She loves creating a classroom atmosphere where children feel deeply known. One of Amy’s goals is to help her children understand that making mistakes means you are trying and continuing to try when things are hard is something to celebrate!

Dana Polk, Teacher

Dana Polk joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2015. Ms. Polk is passionate about helping our youngest Sabers know each one of them is loved and cherished. Ms. Polk earned her BS in Education from North Texas State University. She brings over 25 years of teaching experience to St.Gabriel’s. When Dana is not instilling the love of learning in our students, you will find her at the Texas A&M football games watching her son at step-off with the Corp of Cadets.
 

Suzanne McManus, Assistant Teacher

Suzanne McManus is one of the caring Kindergarten Assistants at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. Mrs. McManus joined the St. Gabriel's Catholic School family in 2018 and brings with her an understanding of sensory issues and the social/emotional needs of younger children.  She loves being with the Kinder students and supporting them as they learn and grow.

Audrey Smith, Assistant Teacher

Audrey has been working at St. Gabriel’s since August of 2020 as a Kindergarten Assistant. She earned her bachelors degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Texas Tech University in 2016. Since graduation, Audrey has worked as a math interventionist, preschool teacher, special education aid, and then kindergarten assistant. Audrey has always known she wanted to help children, she loves to see the wonder and amazement in their eyes as they succeed and become more independent.

Jenni Teague, Assistant Teacher

Jenni Teague is one of the wonderful Kindergarten Assistants at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. She joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2017 and brings with her 11 years of teaching experience.  Jenni loves teaching because she is a life-long learner and loves to see the joy and excitement children have about learning new things.
 

Lower School - First Grade

Claudia Ballak, Teacher

Claudia Ballak has been teaching for 28 years. She attended The University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education with a Bilingual Certification and ESL Endorsement. Mrs. Ballak continued her education with Southwest University allowing her to become Reading Recovery Certified; which gave her the opportunity to become a Reading Specialist. She is most passionate about teaching first grade and loves watching children grow throughout the year. 

Deborah Teten, Teacher

Having joined the St. Gabriels faculty in 2017, this will be Deborah Teten's 20th year of teaching. She attended The University of Texas at Austin and Sam Houston State University receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching. Ms. Teten loves teaching because she feels it is an honor to play a small role in the education and development of young learners. Seeing them grow not only academically, but socially, emotionally, and spiritually fills her heart with joy.

Kristen Wentworth, Teacher

Kristen Wentworth joined the SGCS family in 2020, bringing 10 years of teaching experience to our community. Kristen grew up always wanting to be a teacher and feels so blessed to be living out her dream! A native of Pasadena, CA, Kristen earned her BA in Liberal Studies, with a minor in Special Education from California State University, Chico. When not teaching, you’ll find Kristen spending time with her family, looking for the best tacos in Austin.
 

Ellis Glass, Assistant Teacher

Ellis Glass joined the St. Gabriel’s community in 2020. She loves being involved with 1st Grade because each day is new and exciting. Ellis hails from Mobile, Alabama, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. In her spare time, Ellis can be found paddle boarding or rowing on Lady Bird Lake and enjoying the delicious food that Austin has to offer.
 

Lower School - Second Grade

Maddie Cloud, Teacher

Maddie Cloud joined the St. Gabriel's family in 2020. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Maddie has always felt called to teach and sees it as a way to make a positive impact in the world. Ms. Cloud is a Colorado native but has moved back and forth between Texas and Colorado many times. When she isn't teaching Ms. Cloud enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, and making art.

Krista Hastings, Teacher

Krista Hastings joined the St. Gabriel's family in 2021. Ms. Hastings has come to us from California and is learning about all the greatest spots around Austin. She has an MA in Reading and Instruction from SDSU and over 25 years of teaching experience. Ms. Hastings loves inspiring kids to become lifelong readers and writers! 

Rebecca Bebelaar, Teacher

Mrs. Bebelaar joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2021. She earned her BS in Child Development from Texas State University. She has been teaching for five years, previously teaching 3rd Grade and Kindergarten. Mrs. Bebelaar is passionate about helping our students become strong learners and leaders. In her spare time, she loves baking and spending time with her family, including her dog “Natasha” and cat “Boris.”
 

Lower School - Third Grade

Katie Chloun, Teacher

Katie Chloun graduated from McNeese State University with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching for eight years and loves what she is doing. Ms. Chloun became a teacher to work with students and encourage their curiosity about the world of science. When she isn’t teaching, she is spending time with her young son and husband. Ms. Chloun enjoys going kayaking with her family and looking up new and fun things to do in Austin.

Kelly Linder, Teacher

Kelly Linder joined the St. Gabriel's family in 2017, bringing with her 8 years of teaching experience. Kelly felt a calling to be a teacher from a very young age and loves getting spend her day with children. A native of Austin and graduate of Westlake High School, Kelly earned her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas Tech University. Kelly and her husband, Ty have two young children, Leighton and Luke, who love attending St. Gabriel's Catholic School. 

Heather Vallilee, Teacher

Heather Vallilee is St. Gabriel's 3rd grade ELA teacher. She joined the St. Gabriel's community in 2020, bringing with her 20 plus years of teaching experience. Heather loves teaching because she loves seeing the joy in children's faces when connections are made and experiencing the excitement when learning is made fun. In her spare time, you will find Heather spending time with family and watching her daughter play volleyball.
 

Lower School - Fourth Grade

Molly Bond, Teacher

Molly Bond joined the St. Gabriel’s family is 2011.  She loves to teach because it allows her to make a meaningful difference each and every day in the life of a child. Ms. Bond believes that watching children learn is one of the most amazing experiences to witness. A native of Beaumont, Texas, Molly earned her BS in Communication Science and Disorders from St. Louis University.

Cindy Miller, Teacher

Cindy Miller joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2005, bringing with her a range of teaching experiences over the course of her 30 years in the field. Ms. Miller loves to teach our intermediate students because she enjoys the opportunity to participate with students in their educational journeys. Having grown up in Wyoming, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Wyoming and her Master of Arts in Psychology and Theatre Arts from Texas State University.

Aubrey Young, Teacher

Aubrey Young enjoys teaching upper elementary students as they start to explore the world around them in deep ways and sparking life-long curiosity in the students. She earned a B.A. in Hispanic Studies at College of Charleston and later an M.A in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. Prior to SGCS, Ms. Young taught in the California bay area. Outside of the classroom, she can be found enjoying the heat and outdoors of Austin.
 

Middle School - English Language Arts

Mary Helen Acosta, Teacher

Mary Helen Acosta's 18+ years in education brought her to St. Gabriel's in middle school administration, but her devotion for developing students as readers and writers quickly led her back to the classroom where she promotes authentic literacy practices and cross-curricular application of skills. Mrs. Acosta holds a B.A. in English from Rice University, and master’s degrees in Public Administration (Texas A&M) and Education (UT Arlington). She is a certified Reading Specialist in Texas.

Monica Agostini, Teacher

Monica Agostini joined the St. Gabriel’s Catholic School family in 2011 and brings 25 years of teaching experience to the community. Ms. Agostini hopes to help students find their voices through writing. She was born in Italy but grew up in New Orleans, LA. (Go Saints!). She earned her Masters of Education with a specialty in reading from Loyola University. Ms. Agostini speaks English, Italian, French, and Dutch.

Casey Hagans, Teacher

Casey Hagans brings over five years of teaching experience to St. Gabriel's. He enjoys cultivating a love of literature and writing in his students. Mr. Hagans earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin. When he is not teaching, Mr. Hagans spends his time hiking, reading, camping, learning new skills, and with his family and friends. 
 

Middle School - Math

Susan Hall, Teacher

Mrs. Hall joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2015 bringing 33 years of experience to the community. She loves teaching because each year is a new learning experience for all involved.. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, grew up in Houston, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Texas Tech University. She’s taught in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. When not teaching, you’ll find Susan enjoying time with her friends and family.

Diana Hobbs, Teacher

Diana Hobbs first joined the St. Gabriel’s family from 2015-2018 as the 8th Grade Algebra and Geometry teacher before relocating to Dallas, TX for a few years. She is excited to rejoin the St. Gabriel’s community for 2021-2022 as the 8th-grade Algebra and Geometry teacher. Ms. Hobbs earned a BBA and BS from the University of Texas at Austin and is a certified 7-12 secondary mathematics teacher. She brings 26 years of mathematical teaching experience to St. Gabriel’s. When Ms. Hobbs is not helping her students see the beauty and value in themselves and mathematics, she is enjoying the Austin outdoor trails and lakes.

Monica Hruschka, Teacher

Monica Hruschka is excited to be returning to Austin to join St. Gabriel’s family to teach 7th Grade Math. Ms. Hruschka earned her BA in Education from Pacific Lutheran University and MS from Angelo State University. Ms. Hruschka has been teaching math, science, and German to middle and high school students in Connecticut for the past nine years. She enjoys sharing her love for learning with her students as well as learning from her students.
 

Kayla Solomon-Lane, Teacher

Ms. Solomon-Lane freshly joined St. Gabriel’s this 2021 year. She is passionate about bringing math alive to her students, and incorporating both project-based and social-emotional learning. Ms. Solomon-Lane studied piano and classics at Baylor University, before joining Teach for America and realizing she was made for education. She has now taught for over twelve years. Ms. Solomon-Lane lives with her husband, their toddler son, and their two pug rescues. She loves to travel, play the piano and games, and bake. 
 

Middle School - Social Studies

Thomas Marino, Teacher

Thomas Marino joined the St. Gabriel's family in 2014. Originally from West Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Marino earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Keene State College in Keen, New Hampshire. He loves to teach because he is a lifelong learner and wants to motivate students to have the same passion for learning. When he is not teaching, Mr. Marino loves to explore the Hill Country with his wife and daughter.

Andrea Flores, Teacher

Andrea Flores comes to us with over 8 years of teaching experience. She graduated from the UT San Antonio with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in early childhood education. Mrs. Flores discovered a passion for teaching at a young age and has since made it her mission to dedicate herself to helping shape young minds. She is a product of a Catholic School herself and is thankful to have the privilege to be able to teach under the Catholic faith.

Thomas Herbeck, Teacher

Thom Herbeck will join the St. Gabriel's family this year after spending the previous 17 years teaching social studies in Chicago. Mr. Herbeck earned his BA at Lake Forest College in Illinois and his MA in Social Studies Education from Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago. Mr. Herbeck loves to bring history to life through thoughtful class discussions and connections to the present day. Some of his greatest pleasures in life have been coaching and watching his son and daughter compete in sports.
 

Middle School - Science

Swapna Deepak, Teacher

Swapna Deepak holds a Masters degree in Chemistry and a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Calicut in India. She completed her UTeach certification program from the University of Texas at Austin and obtained her Texas Teaching certification for teaching science,K-12, in 2012. During her 14 years of teaching, she has always been excited at the opportunity to create and put to use inquiry-based, generative, and project-based lesson designs which resonates well with any enthusiastic learning community.

Mariah Sanchez, Teacher

Mariah is starting her second year as a full time science teacher and her fourth year at St. Gabriel’s. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Anthropology from Texas State University in San Marcos. She loves being able to share her knowledge of science and helping students see the joy in learning by relating science to everyday situations.

Mike Scallon, Teacher

Mike Scallon is the 7th and 8th Grade Science and Robotics teacher at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. He joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2000, bringing with him over 25 years of teaching experience. Mr. Scallon loves to teach because he believes that teaching is his calling. Born and raised right here in Travis County, Mr. Scallon is a 7th generation Texan. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Edwards’ University. Mike loves to hunt and fish with his Treeing Walker Coonhounds in his spare time.
 

All School - Theology

Andrea Flores, Teacher

Andrea Flores comes to us with over 8 years of teaching experience. She graduated from the UT San Antonio with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in early childhood education. Mrs. Flores discovered a passion for teaching at a young age and has since made it her mission to dedicate herself to helping shape young minds. She is a product of a Catholic School herself and is thankful to have the privilege to be able to teach under the Catholic faith.

Ken Jordan, Teacher

Ken Jordan joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2019, bringing with him 5 years of teaching experience.  Mr. Jordan loves teaching because he believes that teaching provides a life-changing opportunity to build relationships with students, inspire life-long learners, and discover God in all things. Ken is a native of Connecticut and a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Education.

Lydia Lowry, Teacher

Lydia Lowry is a proud Texan with 35 years of teaching experience. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Education, and is passionate about teaching our Catholic faith. Mrs. Lowry and her husband have two sons, and together they enjoy spending time at the ranch, hiking, and traveling. She loves the outdoors and imbues a great love for nature as a means of understanding the beauty of God more deeply.
 

Cecilia Resweber, Teacher

Ms. Resweber comes to St. Gabriel's with 31 years of teaching experience. She is passionate about developing relationships with her students as avenues to sharing her love of God and her enthusiasm for technology. Ms. Resweber is a mom of 4 and Nona of 2. She has two degrees from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and completed graduate work in Theology at Loyola (New Orleans). In her spare time, she loves watching her students compete in school sports!
 

All School - World Languages

Sandra Collins, Teacher

Sandra Collins is Colombian from Bogotá. She studied Marketing and Advertising in her homeland and when she moved to the US she entered Cleveland State University - graduating with a degree in Spanish and Literature. She later earned a Masters in Latin American Literature as well. She has a special affection for children because she sees in them the essence of the human being. She is happily married to a wonderful American and is the mother of two beautiful children.

Sean Williams, Teacher

Sean Williams has ten years of teaching experience. He holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Southwestern University, a BA in Classics from UC Irvine, and an MA in English from Texas State University. Mr. Williams spent many years as a Ceramic Artist in Austin. His wife Kelly and he have two grown kids. Mr. Williams spends his free time making pottery, playing guitar, and reading History. His love of learning keeps him excited about teaching and sharing with young minds.

Sophie Hong, Teacher

Sophie Hong joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2014, bringing with her 10 years of teaching experience. Sophie loves to teach because she enjoys making a positive impact on students' lives. A native of Taiwan, Ms. Hong holds a B.A. in English Education, a M.A. in English and American Literature from National Taiwan Normal University, and a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M. In her free time, you’ll find Sophie enjoying a book or movie and planning her next trip with her family.
 

Yadira McCarter, Teacher

Yadira "Yadi" McCarter joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2020. Mrs. McCarter loves to teach Spanish because she loves seeing students reactions when learn new things and especially when they develop the confidence to speak Spanish without fear of making mistakes. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Bogotá. Mrs. McCarter has been teaching K-8 grades for 6 years. She has one son. In her spare time she enjoys running marathons, hiking, trying different restaurants around town Austin.

Stephany Wey, Teacher

Stephany Wey joined the St. Gabriel’s family in August 2021. Ms. Wey is from Colombia. She has a minor in pre-school education and a bachelors in bi-lingual education. She has been working in education for 16 years. In her free time Ms. Wey likes to spend time with her 16 years old daughter.
 

All School - Physical Education

Gary Anderson, Teacher

Coach Gary Anderson began his teaching career in 1986. He earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and has taught Physical Education at all levels. In 1980, while attending the University of Northern Colorado, Anderson began coaching high school football and basketball. Since that time, Anderson has gone on to coach five state championship teams. Coach Anderson and his wife relocated from Colorado to Texas in March of 2020.

Tommy Romano, Teacher

Tommy Romano comes to St. Gabriel’s after enjoying time in Kunming, China where he was coaching basketball to boys and girls ages 4-18. Prior to working in China, Romano was the PE teacher at Calabasas Middle School for two years (2016-2018) in Rio Rico, Arizona. A native of Austin, Mr. Romano graduated from Westlake High School in 2007 where he was Co-captain of the Varsity Basketball team with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Mr. Romano earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon.

Jay Tiangco, Teacher

Jay Tiangco joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2016, bringing with him 9 years of teaching experience. He is committed to being a passionate teacher who strives to make his areas of expertise simple, interesting, enjoyable, and important for his students. A native of Manila, Philippines, Mr. Tiangco earned his bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Sciences/Organizational Systems Development from De La Salle University. 
 

All School - Arts

Kati Hellmer, Visual Arts Teacher

Katlyn Hellmer graduated from Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and is a certified EC-12 Art educator. She joined St. Gabriel’s expanding art program in 2020 and now teaches Pre-K- 1st grade Art as well as the 2D Art elective for 5th-8th grade. Ms. H is passionate about student self-expression and believes a successful classroom is where students have voice and choice in their creative process.

Milla Nyaga, Performing Arts Teacher

Milla Nyaga joined St. Gabriel's in 2018. Ms. Nyaga graduated from Tyumen Music College in 2004. In 2008, she earned a Masters Degree in Instrumental Music Performance at Tyumen State Academy of Fine Arts. In 2017, Ms. Nyaga earned a Masters Degree in Education with Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction with All-Level Certification in Music from Houston Baptist University. When not teaching music, Ms. Nyaga enjoys reading, surfing, hiking, running and spending time with family and friends.

Van Tracy, Performing Arts Teacher

Van Tracy is enjoying his fifth year at SGCS. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Musical Theater. After 10 years as a professional actor and musician, Mr. Tracy changed course and obtained his JD degree from Fordham University Law School in New York City. His insatiable passion for the arts finally dictated a departure from his 10+ year legal career and a return to the fine arts in the fall of 2017 when he joined SGCS.
 

Jennifer Webel, Visual Arts Teacher

Mrs. Webel joined St. Gabriel's in 2005.  She earned a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies, Scientific Illustration and minor in Spanish from the University of Georgia, Athens and an MA in Art Education with a focus in New Genre from the University of Arizona, Tucson.  Mrs. Webel loves sharing the joy of artmaking with children! She is married with two children, both of whom attend St. Gabriel's, and loves animals.

Cary Porter, Performing Arts Teacher

Cary Porter joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2021. Mr. Porter is passionate about music’s ability to connect while teaching us to strive for the highest ideals in our imagination, purpose, and abilities. Mr. Porter earned his BM in Performance from Baylor University and MM in Performance from Yale University. He brings over 22 years of teaching experience to St. Gabriel’s. Outside of school, you will often find Mr. Porter in the kitchen, continuously exploring his love for cooking.
 

All School - Health & Wellness

Lisa Hellmer, Counselor

Lisa Hellmer joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2006, bringing with her 25 years of experience as an educator/counselor. Lisa loves counseling in the educational environment because she feels passionate about guiding and supporting students and parents through all of life's challenges and developmental milestones. In her spare time, Lisa loves to spend time with her friends and family, sing, play flute, read, travel, laugh as much as possible.

Tracy Robson, Nurse

Tracy Robson, MSN-RN, BC-WHNP is the school nurse for St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. She has over 20 years nursing experience and is dedicated to providing compassionate care to the students and staff. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS and completed her Master of Science in Nursing- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner degree from University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys spending time with her children and family, traveling, and doing craft projects.

Amber Denny, Nurse

Amber Denny is a native Texan and Austinite. After showing interest as a child, mending her brothers' and friends' cuts and scrapes from playing hard outside, it was not surprising Ms. Denny ended up attending the University of Texas at Austin and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She bleeds burnt orange and still enjoys keeping up with any Longhorn sports. She has joined St. Gabriel’s as a nurse partnering with Nurse Tracy to help ensure students have a safe and healthy environment to learn and grow.
 

All School - Student Support Services

Mary Anne McDaniel, Director of Student Support Services

Mary Anne McDaniel joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2019, bringing with her 10 years of teaching experience. She loves to teach and is excited and honored to share her enthusiasm for lifelong learning with her students. Mrs. McDaniel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Transylvania University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading from Texas State University.

Barb Creed, Director of Service Learning and Learning Support Specialist

Barb Creed has been a life-long educator with more than 25 years of educational experience. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bowling Green State University and an M.ED in Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Catholic School Leadership from Marymount University. From a young age, Ms. Creed wanted to be a teacher and still loves the joy that comes with helping students succeed. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoying the outdoors.

Jenna Garcia, Learning Specialist

Jenna comes to St. Gabriel’s with 14 years of teaching experience. Jenna loves teaching because she enjoys creating a space where students feel comfortable exploring and growing. As an educator, Jenna hopes to continuously learn new methods to better meet the needs of all students. Jenna earned her Bachelor's in Middle School Math and Science Education from the University of North Florida. In her free time, Jenna likes to go for a run, ride her bike, or spend time relaxing at home.
 

Lisa Oggero, Reading Specialist

Lisa Oggero joined the SGCS community in 1999 and is one of the founding teachers at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. She loves teaching children in a Catholic school environment and believes The Holy Spirit was her Guide who led her to St. Gabriel’s. Ms. Oggero treats each of her students like the unique child they are by nurturing and guiding them on their academic journey. She earned her BS with a Reading Endorsement and Kindergarten Certification from Texas A&M University.
 

Education Leadership Team

Cory Bluemling, Director of STEAM

Cory Bluemling is in his tenth year working in education. He earned his MFA from the University of Delaware in Fine Art and his MA and BA from the California State University, Northridge in Ceramics/Public Art and Television/Film. Cory loves innovative problem solving and the ever-changing challenges that working in creative spaces presents. Cory is also a working artist and loves spending time with his family and making his daughter laugh.

Barb Creed, Director of Service Learning and Learning Support Specialist

Barb Creed has been a life-long educator with more than 25 years of educational experience. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bowling Green State University and an M.ED in Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Catholic School Leadership from Marymount University. From a young age, Ms. Creed wanted to be a teacher and still loves the joy that comes with helping students succeed. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoying the outdoors.

Mary Anne McDaniel, Director of Student Support Services

Mary Anne McDaniel joined the St. Gabriel’s family in 2019, bringing with her 10 years of teaching experience. She loves to teach and is excited and honored to share her enthusiasm for lifelong learning with her students. Mrs. McDaniel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Transylvania University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading from Texas State University.
 

Kathy Roy, Director of Religious Education

Kathy Roy has been a part of the St. Gabriel's parent community since 2011 - joining the staff in 2018. Kathy earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Texas A&M University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Texas State University. Kathy enjoys trips to the beach as well as Longhorn football games with her husband and two children.

Allison Starling, Director of Innovative Learning

Allison Starling is the Director of Innovation at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. Allison joined St. Gabriel’s in 2015, bringing with her 16 years of experience as a classroom teacher and instructional leader. Allison’s work is driven by her passion for creating authentic learning experiences, through instructional coaching, that manifest in future-ready students. In her spare time, Starling enjoys hiking with her dogs, as well as watching movies at home.
 

Enrollment Management & Financial Aid

Farah Golab, Director of Enrollment Management & Financial Aid

Farah Golab joined St. Gabriel's Catholic School as the Director of Religious Education in 2013. Previously, she served as the Director of Religious Education at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Houston, TX. Sharing her faith and incorporating it into the mission of SGCS is a passion she feels blessed to live out each day. In 2016, Farah began her role as Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid. Farah earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a Masters of Arts in Theology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. 

Mariana Creixell, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management

Mariana Creixell has been part of St. Gabriel’s since 2013; as a parent volunteer, a substitute teacher, and as part of the Enrollment Department. She is passionate about Catholic education, having earned all of her degrees in Catholic institutions. After earning her MBA, Mrs. Creixell worked in marketing for The Estee Lauder Companies across several brands. Her favorite part of the day is talking with families about St. Gabriel’s amazing community, and her personal experiences as a parent. 
 

Finance and Human Resources

Coni Butler, Director of Finance and Human Resources

Coni Butler is a CPA in the state of Texas with 30 years combined experience in public accounting, manufacturing and non-profit corporations. She is a graduate from the McCombs school of Business at the University of Texas in Austin with a BBA in Accounting.  Coni enjoys the opportunity to serve as a leader at St. Gabriel's because it allows her to combine her faith and business acumen building an institution with long term viability that furthers the mission of the Catholic Church.

Valeria Moreno, Accounting Asst. and Accounts Payable

Valeria Moreno is a recent 2021 graduate from St. Edward’s University, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. During her college years, Ms. Moreno earned experience in various areas of accounting through her internships with RSM, the LiveStrong Foundation, and CoBank and is excited to join St. Gabriel’s community. If she is not on campus, you will find her swimming at the Barton Creek Greenbelt or trying new places across Austin.

Kirsty Jackson, Accounts Receivable and Receptionist

Kirsty Jackson joined the accounting staff at St. Gabriel's in 2021. Originally from Southern Africa, Ms. Jackson's family moved to Austin when her father began a long career at the University of Texas. Continuing her family's multi-generational habit of moving to far-off lands, she spent three years in England with a Christian missions organization. A UT graduate, Ms. Jackson has worked for churches, nonprofits, and corporations, and is excited to add a school to her workplace repertoire.
 

Cirenia Terrazas, Accountant & Payroll Coordinator

Cirenia joined St. Gabriel’s in August 2012 as the school’s Accountant. Cirenia has 19 years of total work experience and 9 years in Education. She holds a BS and MS in Accounting from the University of North Texas. Cirenia loves working in education because she believes a good education is the pathway that helps achieve life goals. When away from work, Cirenia enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. Her passions include attending sporting events, reading and cooking.
 

Information Technology

Audra McCleary, Director of Technology

Audra joined St. Gabriel’s in January 2016. She has over 25 years experience working in the non-profit and educational sectors including positions in advancement, enrollment management and I.T. Audra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental & Systematic Biology with a minor in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a Masters of Information Systems from Kennesaw State University, Georgia.

Matthew Glover, Network Administrator/I.T. Support Specialist

Matt Glover joined the technology team at St Gabriel’s Catholic School in 2018. In his role as Helpdesk Technician, he enjoys the wide variety of challenges he encounters as they always lead to learning something new. With more than 10 years experience in the technology networking field, he has held many different roles and has found that he has successfully become a jack of all trades when it comes to networking!

Alex Carpenter, I.T. Support Specialist

Alex Carpenter joined St. Gabriel’s - coming from Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Carpenter's prior work includes technical support specialist, audio production, IT Help desk, and technology inventory in private schools. He enjoys being a technical enthusiast, and strives to study both current and new technologies as well as improving existing systems. When he isn’t at the office, Mr. Carpenter enjoys spending time with his family, working on music production, and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
 

Institutional Advancement

 

Alicia Robertson, Director of Institutional Advancement

Alicia joined St. Gabriel's Catholic School in July 2012 and in leading fundraising efforts, special events, and parent volunteerism, is responsible for building a joyful culture of philanthropy. Before coming to St. Gabriel's, Alicia served Ascension Seton for 17 years in various roles from fundraising, volunteer management, pediatric ethics and Mission Integration. A mother of four, and a life-long Texan, she holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree from St. Edward's University.

Andy de Waal, Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement

In selecting a school for her children, Ms. de Waal left no stone unturned. But, the moment she toured St. Gabriel’s she knew her family had found their educational home. Seven years later, she is proud to combine her love of this community and professional expertise in service of our Sabers. As graduate of The University of Texas and former major gift officer for UT, Ms. de Waal has a passion for education and helping people find their own philanthropic interests to help change lives.

Jeni Messina, Special Events Manager

Before moving to her current role in 2021, Ms. Messina taught 2nd Grade for six years at St. Gabriel's. She brings sixteen years of private school experience to our community. A native of Minnesota, Ms. Messina earned her Bachelor of Science of Elementary Education from The University of North Dakota. When she is not planning an event, you’ll find Jeni in the mountains skiing, watching her children play sports, or looking for the best sushi in town.
 

Student Activities

Riley Litherland, Director of Student Activities

Riley Litherland is the Director of Student Activities at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. Riley joined the SGCS community as a teacher in 2013 and was named the Director of Student Activities in 2016.  Mr. Litherland is passionate about providing opportunities for students to find and pursue their passions outside of the classroom. Mr. Litherland earned his BS in Kinesiology from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Texas at Arlington. 

Crystal Kobe, Extended Programming Coordinator

Crystal Kobe earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Liberty University and has experience in non-profit, education, and corporate environments. Ms. Kobe is dedicated to providing an exceptional outside-of-the-classroom experience and strives to uplift and encourage each individual student in his or her daily walk at St. Gabriel's. She is happily married to a wonderful man, has two amazing children, and two of the very best dogs.
 

St. Gabriel's Catholic School Staff

Betsy Buisson-Fusselman, Assistant to the Head of School

Betsy Buisson-Fusselman joined the SGCS family in 2013 and served as a Kindergarten Assistant before transitioning into Administration. She grew up in Southwest Louisiana and attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Buisson-Fusselman believes her “why” is to do God’s work at St. Gabriel’s with a servant’s heart. She is also grateful to have met her husband at SGCS, with whom she shares two fur babies, Jacques-Imo and Mignonne.

Eva Cardenas, Receptionist

Eva Cardenas is from Laredo, Texas and moved to Austin in 2020. She attended catholic school as well as public schools both in Mexico and USA. Ms. Cardenas is a dentist in Mexico and a medical assistant in the US. She has worked with children most of her life as she grew up mainly in a hospital setting due to her father being a pediatrician and former Chief of the Health Department in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Mexico. As a hobby, Ms. Cardenas does cosmetic micropigmentation, cooking, sudoku, reading, learning a new trade, and exploring restaurants in Austin and surrounding areas. She loves working with children because she will always be a child at heart and just being around them and watching them bloom into great human beings is very rewarding.

Amanda Finlaw, Marketing Communications Manager

Amanda Finlaw joined St. Gabriel’s in 2021, after 5 years of work in public school communications in Pennsylvania and California. She has a BA in English Literature & Communications from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Ms. Finlaw is passionate about working in education because she can tell positive stories and share significant moments with communities.
 

Kirsten Funderburk, Librarian

Kirsten Funderburk has been working in education since 2005. She has a B.S. in Library Science and Information Technology from the University of Maine. She chose school librarianship because she enjoys bringing stories to life and helping children fall in love with books, reading and plain old curiosity. Curiosity is her favorite state-of-mind. Satisfying curiosity is her favorite activity. Reading is her guilty pleasure. She feels blessed to be working at St. Gabriel's Catholic School.

Lorna Gonzalez-Quiles, Assistant to the Head of Lower School

Lorna joined St. Gabriel's in 2010 as the Administrative Assistant to the Head of Middle School. After several years, Lorna transitioned to Administrative Assistant to the Head of School as well as administrative support to the Advancement Team. Lorna grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to the US mainland to attend Iowa State University where she graduated with a BA in Interior Design and a minor in Psychology. Lorna loves to travel, especially to visit family and friends in her native Puerto Rico.

Herica Grimaldo, Cafeteria Staff

Herica has shared her love of cooking with the St. Gabriel's community since 2007 and has enjoyed watching hundreds of SGCS students grow over the years! When she is not in the kitchen creating a delicious masterpiece, you can find Herica strolling through the old towns of Mexico, reading a good book, or enjoying a long walk with her husband.
 

Marie Maalat, Assistant to the Head of Middle School

Marie joined St. Gabriel’s in 2016 as Administrative Assistant to the Head of Middle School. Her love of problem solving, multi-tasking, and a passion for serving others keeps her busy with our middle school students. She received her Bachelor's in Business Administration with majors in Marketing and Management from Houston Baptist University. Marie was born in Manila, Philippines; grew up in Houston, TX; and also lived in Barcelona, Paris, and Dorado, Puerto Rico before moving to Austin TX in 2016.

Linda Matyas, Director of Facilities

Linda is one of St. Gabriel’s Catholic School founding staff members, having joined SGCS family at its inception in 1999.  She oversees the school facilities and operations which included leading the construction and expansion of the school’s grounds 2006 to 2016 with Knott’s Hall, Fuentez Building, as well as the prayer garden in 2019.  Prior to St. Gabriel’s, Linda has over 20 years as a General Manager of a manufacturing facility in California, where she managed a team of over 150 people and $20+ millions of sales revenues. When away from work, she enjoys her role as a wife, mother of 3 daughters and grandmother to 5 beautiful grandchildren.
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.