2023-24 New Faculty and Staff, Role Changes
Welcome New St. John's Faculty and Staff!
Dannele Pinson Baker
Dannele Pinson Baker comes to St. John's from the Deep Ellum Foundation where she was the Operations Manager. She will bring her experience in community center operations to support our finance and accounting team by producing financial reports, maintaining records, enhancing accuracy of our financial results, and ensuring our results comply with generally accepted accounting principles. Dannele holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Amy Dyer joins St. John's as Early Childhood Teaching Assistant and will work with Ms. Breed in the kindergarten classroom. Most recently, she has been a STEAM teacher for prekindergarten - kindergarten-age students at Highland Park Presbyterian Day School where she has enjoyed teaching students in a play-based environment with hands-on activities. Additionally, she has served as an early childhood teacher at Wilshire Baptist ECLC and Lake Highlands Baptist Preschool. Amy majored in early childhood education at Stephen. F. Austin State University.
Long-Term Substitute, Prekindergarten
A veteran independent school teacher, Linda Elliott comes to St. John's as a long-term substitute and will teach prekindergarten this fall. Linda has been a life-long educator, teaching lower and middle school students for more than three decades at The Hockaday School where she taught fifth grade geography and world cultures. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Rowan University and a MA in Education from The College of New Jersey.
Primary and Lower School P.E. Teacher
Kendall Smith comes to St. John's as our Primary and Lower School P.E. Teacher, and she will collaborate with our Physical Education faculty as well as the Director of Athletics to ensure students are engaged in innovative games, challenges, and skill-building activities to support their physical education, health, and wellness. Most recently, Kendall was the Lead P.E. Teacher and Athletic Coach for the Covenant School where she coached basketball and designed P.E. curriculum for students in grades K-8. She holds a B.S. in University Studies from Texas A&M University.
Parent Community Coordinator
Elizabeth Smith joins the School as the Parent Community Coordinator and will be the primary liaison for the St. John’s Parents Association, Booster Club, and Office of Advancement. She will work to implement parent initiatives to foster a culture of connection, volunteerism, and participation within our community. Elizabeth is a St. John's parent and has been an active volunteer for the School. She has served as Director of Welcoming Ministries for First United Methodist Church and as People Consultant, Human Resources Generalist, and Assistant Director for Ernst & Young. She holds a BS in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Human Relations from Texas Christian University.
Second Grade Teacher
Susan Thompson joins St. John's as our Second Grade Teacher. In addition to her most recent position as a project officer for the Environmental Protection Agency, she taught second and sixth grades at White Rock Elementary School and Richardson Independent School respectively. She is excited to return to the classroom to encourage and motivate students to help them reach their full learning potential. Susan graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education.
The following employees will have new roles starting with the 2023-24 academic year.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Jessa Adler will move from second grade to the fourth-grade classroom this fall. Jessa joined St. John's in 2019 and has taught first grade, coached basketball and soccer, and led several summer camps during Camp St. John's. She holds a BA from Baylor University.
Fifth Grade Math Teacher and Advisor
After serving as the Primary and Lower School Integrated Academic Technology Specialist, Rebecca Crouse will move to fifth grade to teach math. Prior to this most recent role, Rebecca taught fourth grade math and is committed to supporting students as they learn new and challenging math skills and concepts and are prepared for higher-level math in Middle School. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Austin College.
Josh Del Regno
Eighth Grade Science Teacher and Advisor
Josh Del Regno will move from his role as Middle School Integrated Academic Technology Specialist to the eighth-grade science classroom. Recently, Josh has served as long-term substitute in this classroom and will bring his experience to an integrated curriculum that strengthens students’ science process skills while exploring new scientific concepts. He will engage students in this lab-intensive environment that serves as capstone to a robust science foundation, so they are prepared for their high school science courses. Josh graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with degrees in Economics and Computer Science.
Seventh Grade Math Teacher and Advisor
Steve Herod will move to the seventh-grade classroom after teaching fifth-grade math last year. Steve has been a member of the St. John’s faculty since 2015. As a member of the math vertical team, he will collaborate with fellow teachers on curriculum and instruction as well as on the progression of students’ math skills so they will be able to visualize, discuss, and demonstrate mathematical concepts to extend their problem-solving skills and techniques. Steve earned an MA in Mathematics from Texas State University.
First Grade Teacher
Holly Maxwell transitions to First Grade after serving as an Early Childhood Teaching Assistant in Kindergarten. She will guide students during their first year in Lower School through project-based learning, collaboration, and differentiated instruction. Holly will integrate developmentally appropriate teaching of core curriculum skills in reading, writing, handwriting, math, science, and social studies within a nurturing environment. She earned a BS from the University of North Texas.
Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
Lauren Sassenus will move from the prekindergarten classroom to the transitional-kindergarten classroom this fall. Lauren joined St. John's in 2021 and enjoys teaching our youngest Lions. Lauren holds a BA from Texas Woman's University.