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Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff are committed to meeting the unique needs of each student who walks through the doors of St. Joan of Arc Catholic School.  The teacher to student ratio is 18:1 and over 50 percent of St. Joan educators have master’s degrees.  The enrollment for the 2018-19 school year in grades K through 8 is 166.  Additionally, the school is supported by professionals specialized in speech, learning disabilities, reading, math and psychology.  All employees and volunteers who have contact with students undergo thorough screening, including background checks through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification (BCI&I).  For complete information on screening policies, see the revised, Policy for the Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse  section 1.2 (p.3).

Samantha Converse
Converse, Samantha
Kindergarten
Mrs. Converse is St. Joan's Kindergarten teacher. She joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2014. She graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education.  Living in downtown Cleveland gives Mrs. Converse many opportunities to enjoy all the things she likes to do away from school. She loves exploring the city, trying new restaurants, going to concerts and cheering on her favorite Cleveland sports teams. Mrs. Converse loves spending time with her family, especially her nieces and nephew.  She looks forward to her yearly trips to North Michigan each summer with her extended family.
MaKaela Lapso
Lapso, MaKaela
First Grade
Mrs. Lapso strongly believes that teaching children is her God-given purpose in life. She loves seeing little faces light up with awe and wonder when they explore the beautiful world around them. Mrs. Lapso received a B.S.B.A degree with a major in Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design from The Ohio State University. After obtaining her Master’s in Education from John Carroll University, Mrs. Lapso spent six months as a substitute teacher before joining the faculty of St. Joan of Arc in 2017. In her free time, Mrs. Lapso enjoys exploring the sights and sounds of Cleveland with family and friends, she especially loves outings with her new husband, a fellow Buckeye, and Penny, their goldendoodle puppy.  She is also an active yoga instructor, yogi and runner.
Caitlin Bias
Bias, Caitlin
Second Grade
Mrs. Bias teaches second grade at St. Joan of Arc. She's been teaching for the past six years.  In 2018, Mrs. Bias and her husband welcomed their first baby, Benjamin, to their family. In her freetime, the new family of three loves to take their dogs for walks around their neighborhood. Mrs. Bias received her education degree from the University of Dayton.
Lisa Cowoski
Cowoski, Lisa
Third Grade
Mrs. Cowoski is the third grade teacher at St. Joan.  She joined the St. Joan faculty in 2014 and has 15 years of teaching experience. In her spare time, Mrs. Cowoski enjoys spending time with her three children and husband.  She also enjoys reading and outside activities. Mrs. Cowoski graduated from Cleveland State University where she received her degree in Social Work and Special Education. She also attended John Carroll University where she earned a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education.
Christine Elliott
Elliott, Christine
Fourth Grade
Chris Elliott is the 4th grade teacher at St. Joan of Arc.  She has spent her entire teaching career, 43 years, inspiring the students of St. Joan. Ms. Elliott holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Notre Dame College. In addition, Ms. Elliott has taken many graduate graduate level courses focused on math and social studies. Ms. Elliott has a Master Catechist Certificate. In her free time, Ms. Elliott enjoys reading, visiting historical sites, dancing and spending time with family and friends. She also really enjoys all kinds of math!
Susan Bondra
Bondra, Susan
Fifth Grade
Ms. Bondra is home-base for the fifth graders at St. Joan. In addition to teaching Religion to her homeroom students, she also teaches Science and English Language Arts to both the fourth and fifth grades. She joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2015 and has been teaching for eight years.  Ms. Bondra holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Ohio University and has taken several graduate level classes. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Bondra enjoys reading the latest middle school novels and spending time with her family, especially her new grandson. Ms. Bondra also enjoys walking her dogs and working in her garden.
Joseph Nieves
Nieves, Joseph
Sixth Grade
Mr. Neives joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2017 after graduating from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. No stranger to St. Joan, Mr. Nieves did his student teaching at the school. In his spare time, he enjoys spending it with his family, especially his niece and nephew, and playing video games with his brothers.  
Nancy Ball
Ball, Nancy
Seventh Grade
Mrs. Ball teaches Social Studies to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. She joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2016 with 18 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Ball earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Notre Dame College of Ohio. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Ball keeps busy with her three adult children and five, soon to be six, grandchildren.  She enjoys going for walks, reading, watching movies and traveling.
Nathaniel Luengo
Luengo, Nathaniel
Eighth Grade
Mr. Luengo teaches English Language Art to the sixth, seventh and eighth graders in addition to 8th Grade Religion and Reading. He joined St. Joan’s faculty in 2017 and has five years of teaching experience. A graduate of two Jesuit institutions, Mr. Luengo earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University. He later received a Master in Education degree from John Carroll University. In his free time, Mr. Luengo doesn’t let the unpredictable Northeast Ohio climate prevent him from enjoying the great outdoors. When the weather cooperates, he enjoys golfing, fishing and number of other outdoor type activities.
Erin Molder
Molder, Erin
Technolgy & Math
Miss Molder teaches math to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and computer to students in Kindergarten through grade five. Miss Molder has been teaching for 13 years and has been with St. Joan of Arc for three years. A two-time graduate of John Carroll University, Miss Molder received both a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Middle Child Education and Mathematics from the university. When she’s not at school, Miss Molder loves anything sports related including, coaching, playing or just being a spectator. You may also catch her participating in local 5K races or spending time with her family.
Claudia Lund
Lund, Claudia
Physical Education
For the past four years, Mrs. Lund has been promoting the importance of physical activity to the students of St. Joan, but she has been teaching elementary students for the past 15 years. Mrs. Lund helps students develop non-locomotor and locomotor skills in the primary grades. In the upper grades, she introduces overall fitness and team sports, like soccer, basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse, just to name a few. When she’s not promoting physical fitness at school, she enjoys participating in many outdoor activities herself, especially golf and skiing with her husband of 33 years. She also enjoys family dinners and vacations with her adult children. Mrs. Lund graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Marxa Navez
Navez, Marxa
Spanish
Mrs. Navez has been teaching for the past five years. She joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2017. Mrs. Navez teaches Spanish once a week to grades one through eight.  She’s a graduate of Universidad Autonoma de Baja California where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology. In her free time, Mrs. Navez enjoys spending time with her husband and children. She enjoys cooking, crafts and traveling.
Pamela Rickard
Rickard, Pamela
Visual Art
Mrs. Rickard joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2018.  She is delighted to teach Art to every student in Kindergarten through grade 8. Mrs. Rickard has 14 years experience teaching art to children in classes offered at The Cleveland Museum of Art and also taught art for 11 years in the Warrensville Heights City School district. She holds an Association Montessori Internationale diploma and taught children, ages 2 ½ to 6, for 9 years in both private and corporate Montessori environments. Mrs. Rickard graduated from Ursuline College with a B.A. in studio art and received her teaching license from Notre Dame College. When she is not sharing her passion for art with her students, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family.  In her spare time you can find her hunting for vintage items she collects and also sells at local shows and antique stores!
Gina Huber
Huber, Gina
School Library Media Specialist
Ms. Huber has been a friendly-face in the St. Joan Media Center for the past six years and has been teaching for ten years overall. She’s a graduate of Cleveland State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and she later completed her Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University. Away from school, Ms. Huber loves spending time with her awesome extended family and cheering on her favorite Cleveland sports teams. She dreams of one day traveling across the U.S. and abroad.
Michael Waddell
Waddell, Michael
Music, Choir & Band

Mr. Waddell teaches music, choir and band. He joined the faculty of St. Joan in 2018 and has over 11 years of teaching experience.  He received his B.S. in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Master’s degree in Music Performance from Georgia State University. When he’s not sharing his love of music with the students of St. Joan, Mr. Waddell performs with brass bands across Ohio. You would never know it, but Mr. Waddell is a huge fan of amusement parks, the more extreme the rides they have, the better. What he enjoys the most however, is spending time with his wife and young daughter.

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OUR MISSION:
St. Joan of Arc Catholic School is dedicated to instill within each student a lifelong desire to learn, lead and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Learn. Lead. Live.
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