Grades 5-8 are years with many changes and important milestones. Students experience sudden growth spurts, and emotional maturity has to play catch-up with physical maturity. During grades 5-8 students begin to understand different points of view and friendships take on greater importance. Feelings are often expressed more in posture, tone of voice and body language than they were in earlier years.
David Baldwin instructs seventh-grade geography and eighth-grade American History and Government. He wants students to see history from all sides and strives to help the students know the Constitution in the intent in which it was written.
Former students return to tell David that they now tutor others in Government, which for him is the best part of teaching. Having taught elsewhere before coming to St. Joseph’s, David found that working with our students is his true calling.
He says our students are the most rewarding young people he has ever had the privilege to teach.
Craig Barçal teaches one section of fifth- and both sections of sixth-grade English and Language Arts. He works to ensure that all students perform grade-level work.
For Craig, the best part of teaching is when the students are clearly engaged. He focuses on being in fun and respectful relationships with students and feels working here is working on the right side of history.
Ron Byers is the sixth-grade World History instructor and teaches one section of fifth-grade Language Arts.
He especially loves the challenge of making history come alive for students.
For Ron, the ability to pray with students each day and encourage them both academically and in their faith is the best thing about teaching at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Students need strong faith to reach success and navigate difficulties.
Sarah Brown-Moran instructs sixth- seventh- and eighth-grade students in Math and Science. She feels privileged to watch students grow and change intellectually over the three-year period. For her, students are learning Science when they are able to apply it to the real world.
Like so many other teachers at the school, she understands the importance of building relationships. Seeking to mold students into individuals who will flourish in society, she tries to model proper interaction with others to the students.
Matt Mohnen teaches seventh- and eighth-grade Math with the goal of preparing students to be productive members of society. Mastery at Math means a student can teach another student the concepts. Matt strives to help students connect math concepts to their lives because this engages them and helps them better understand the material. In fact, he says that is the best part of being a Math teacher.
When Lori Ness first came to St. Joseph’s Indian School, she thought she wanted to leave teaching behind, and she enjoyed her new role as a houseparent. But when her position as sixth- and seventh-grade Math teacher opened up, she had a change of heart. She returned to the classroom to experience the joy of seeing students light up when they know what they are doing. She feels children have mastered a math concept when they can achieve 80% or better, and the way she gets them there is by building relationships with them.
You will find Linea Schoenhard helping seventh- and eighth-grade students to master English and Language Arts, a combination of reading, writing and grammar. Linea works to build student confidence so they learn to tap their own creativity and persistence to achieve goals. Like many of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s teachers, she loves the “Aha!” moments. Echoing our mission statement – mind, body, heart and spirit – she enjoys watching students grow academically, physically, socially and spiritually. She builds her relationships with students on trust and being there when they need her.
Brock Sundall is the fifth-grade Math and Science teacher. Mastery in his classroom is when one student is able to teach another the concepts they have learned.
Like many of our teachers that you meet, Brock’s favorite moment is when a student “gets it.” He strives to make learning relevant to students and says, “Students generally don’t care what you know, until they know you care.”