STAFF

Mrs. Amy Strom

Headmistress

Mrs. Elizabeth Decker

Pre-Kindergarten, Athletic Director, and Administrator

Mrs. Decker is in her 7th year at Providence Academy. She taught 3rd grade for 6 years before moving to an administrative role. Formerly known as Miss Shewmon, she just celebrated 3 years of marriage in August and has a 1 year old son. Mrs. Decker is originally from Arlington Heights, Illinois, and moved up to the La Crosse area for college in 2007. She graduated from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona in 2011, went back to Illinois for a year, and quickly realized that she needed to return to the area. She never doubted that this is where God wants her and she thanks Him for the gift of this classical education and the gift of this faith community. In her free time, Mrs. Decker loves to spend time with her family, travel, explore new coffee shops, and be outdoors.

Mrs. Sue Schaller

Pre-Kindergarten

Mrs. Schaller is in her 3rd year here at Providence. She is a Mother of 6 and Grandmother of 9. While raising her family Mrs. Schaller also had a daycare in her home along with many foster children over the course of 12 years. She and her husband Joe find great joy in taking care of the little ones that God has blessed all of us with. Mrs. Schaller also has worked at Headstart as a Teacher Aide. She enjoys the energy and enthusiasm that the children have and by being around them you can’t help but feel it too. Mrs. Schaller often volunteered at Providence and was truly delighted when asked to become a member of the Providence Staff. Mrs. Schaller says this job here is a gift from God.

Miss Brooke Pronschinske

Kindergarten

Miss Pronschinske grew up on an organic dairy farm near Rushford, MN and has spent the past two years working at St. Mary's Primary school in Winona. She holds a A.A.S degree and is currently working towards her B.S. in Early Childhood Education. Her passion is working with children and she feels very blessed to be working at Providence Academy. In her spare time Miss Pronschinske likes spending time with family and friends, hiking, reading, and studying the Catholic faith.

Miss Katie Gees

First Grade

Miss Gees is in her 7th year of teaching First Grade at Providence Academy. She is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, IA, with a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. Originally from the La Crosse area, Miss Gees is happy to be back in ‘God’s Country’ and feels blessed to continue working with such an outstanding, faith filled community. Although she loves all things ‘First Grade’, her favorite subject is reading, and she enjoys sharing that passion with her students. In addition to teaching first grade, Miss Gees enjoys coaching cross country and serving high school students in confirmation formation. In her free time, Miss Gees loves swing dancing, playing piano, and being outdoors.

Mrs. Jennifer Tradewell

Second Grade

Mrs. Tradewell has over 15 years of teaching experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. During the past 13 years she has taught various grades at Providence Academy in the lower school. Prior to that, she has had teaching experiences in inner city and rural environments. She has continued her education at Viterbo University focusing on literacy and special needs. She currently resides in the area with her husband and 3 children.

Miss Angelyn Von Rueden

Third Grade

Miss Mary Liebert

Fourth Grade

Miss Liebert is a former graduate from Providence Academy. She has a Bachelor of the Arts in Liberal Arts from Wyoming Catholic College. Having been educated in the Great Books while at Providence Academy and at Wyoming Catholic College, Miss Liebert is thrilled to be back at Providence where her interest in the Liberal Arts first began. She is in her 3rd year teaching 4th grade.

Mrs. Jill Miley

Fifth Grade

Mrs. Jill Miley is starting her first year of teaching at Providence Academy. She graduated from Saint Vincent College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Communication. She and her husband of one year are from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where they met at Bishop McDevitt High School. Mrs. Miley is very excited to be learning about and teaching classical education for the first time. Her favorite subjects include English and Religion, but she is thrilled to be able to teach all of the subjects for fifth grade.

Mr. Jacob Barkett

Sixth Grade

Mr. Barkett is beginning his first year at Providence Academy. He graduated in December of 2016 with a B.A. in History from Hillsdale College, where he began to understand the necessity and beauty of classical education for the human person. Before coming to Providence, he spent a year working with a landscape company until God opened the door to Providence. He's most excited about passing on his love of God and learning through the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman heritage, which finds its blossom within the Catholic tradition. Mr. Barkett enjoys birdwatching, and hopes one day to catch a glimpse of the elusive "Lord God Bird", the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. He lives in Sparta with his wife and two children (14 months and coming in March 2019).

Mrs. Amanda McClernon

Upper School History and Literature

Mrs. McClernon is a former graduate of Providence Academy and is delighted to be in her 6th year of teaching here. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Thanks to her liberal arts education, she enjoys many different subjects including history, literature, math, politics, theology, and science. Her favorite subject is history, particularly American Military History and the Vietnam War; however, she also enjoys literature. A few of her favorite books are Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Homer’s Odyssey, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Dereliction of Duty by H.R. McMaster, and A History of the American People by Paul Johnson.

Mr. Carl Wolk

Upper School Religion

Mr. Wolk is a native of Connecticut. He graduated with a B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA in 2012. His senior thesis was titled, “Distributism and Medieval English Peasant Life: Testing the Historical Vision of Hilaire Belloc.” On Easter of the same year, he entered the Catholic Church, converting from Protestantism, and before that, atheism. After graduating, he began an M.A. in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, which he completed at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC in 2015. He successfully defended his Master’s thesis, “How the Philosophical Doctrines of St. Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham Affect Their Theological Doctrines of Grace and Charity.” This is his 4th year as the theology teacher at Providence Academy.

Mr. Austin Faber

Upper School Math and Science

Mr. Faber is entering his first year as the Upper School Math and Science teacher. He is originally from Sandusky, Ohio, the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” and he came to Wisconsin initially for college before – in God’s Providence – discovering the Academy. Mr. Faber earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics and Theology from Marquette University in 2017, and deeply appreciated this liberal arts education opening him up to a wide array of philosophy, theology, literature, history, science, and mathematics. Mr. Faber enjoys playing and watching soccer, and his favorite saints are Bl. Solanus Casey and St. Augustine. For the 2018-2019 school year, he will be the instructor for Algebra I, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and Physical Science.

Mr. Michael Foster

Upper School Latin

Mr. Foster is in his second year of teaching at Providence Academy. Originally a southerner, he moved to the La Crosse area in 2016 to marry his wife, Caty, who gave birth over the summer to a beautiful baby boy. Mr. Foster has multiple degrees in music, including a Master’s in Classical Guitar Performance from Georgia Southern University, a B.A. in Music with a minor in religion from Valdosta State University, and an A.A. in Audio Production from the Art Institute of Atlanta. During his undergraduate he began his study of Latin, which has been a passion ever since. For the 2018-19 school year Mr. Foster will teach Latin, Grammar, and Classical Guitar.

Mr. Franz Klein

Upper School Literature and Rhetoric

Originally from Stevens Point, Mr. Franz Klein is in his second year teaching part-time in Providence Academy's Upper School. Mr. Klein is a Ph.D. Candidate in Literature at the University of Dallas. He taught and coached for four years at St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh, N.C., before returning to Wisconsin in 2017 with his wife and their five boys to establish Kleinshire, their small organic produce and pastured meats farm near Cashton. Mr. Klein earned his Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy & Classical Languages at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. He studied in Rome as a seminarian for the Diocese of La Crosse and then, after leaving the seminary, wrote for the Catholic Press for a number of years while earning a Master's in English at Winona State University. His doctoral dissertation, which he hopes someday to finish, focuses on interpretive issues in the fiction of the Catholic, southern writer, Flannery O'Connor. For the 2018-19 school year Mr. Klein will teach Ancient History and Modern European Literature.

Mrs. Patty Kirchner

Upper School Math and Science

Mrs. Patty Kirchner graduated in 1978 from Valley City State College in Valley City, ND with a BS in Education. She has a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics and a minor in Physics. She presently teaches Chemistry, the chemistry portion of Physical Science, Pre-Algebra, and Geometry.

Mrs. Olivia Wolk

Music

Mrs. Wolk graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a B.A. in Sacred Music and Theology. She has taught private voice lessons for seven years, and is specially trained in both solo and ensemble singing in the sacred and classical music traditions. She teaches music to grades K-12, and directs the Providence Academy Schola. She is in her 4th year of teaching Music at the Academy.

Mr. John Walsh III

Art

Mrs. Mary Turner

Gym

Mrs. Mary Hendrickson

Speech Therapist

Mrs. Jill Marshall

Administrator

Mrs. Karla Hansen

Administrator

Mrs. Megan Laylan

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Laylan is in her 3rd year at Providence Academy. Mrs. Laylan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Kinesiology (Exercise & Movement Science). After graduating she joined the staff at the St. Paul Catholic Center on the UW Campus as the music intern for two years. She and her husband moved to La Crosse after getting married in June 2016. In addition to spending time with friends and family, Mrs. Laylan enjoys singing, playing piano, and playing team sports.

Ms. Jean Kachel

Lunch Coordinator