Meet US

Learn a little about us...a lot about why we LOVE to teach.

Founded in 1958, St. Mary's Catholic School has a long history of helping develop tomorrow's leaders. Our staff of strong, excellent teachers have a combined experience of more than 150 years--at St. Mary's alone! Plus, we offer small class sizes (the average student-to-teacher ratio is 19:1), a challenging curriculum, a warm and caring environment, and a leading media center. All of this is what lets us provide well-rounded, individualized learning for our students. 


Read on to learn a little more about each of us, our approach to teaching, and why we LOVE what we do.  As always, feel free to contact us for any questions you might have, just go to the Contact Us tab above. Parents may email teachers, through SchoolSpeak.  


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Our Staff & Teachers

Mrs. Autumn Nelson        

"My hope for all students is that they become life long learners and become all that God has planned for them.  I feel so blessed that God has allowed us to be a part of that journey and positively influence each student at St. Mary's School."

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: BS Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia College, Moorhead. Masters in Technology from the University of St. Thomas.  


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: I am married with 3 children. I enjoy spending time watching my children in their activities and spending time with them. I also like to spend time outside, reading and listening to music. 



Ms. Jenn Ellering



Joined SMS Family 2017

"I am thrilled to be a part of the St. Mary's School family.  I was a student here and a parent of students here; I love what this school represents and how it benefits our community."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: After 20+ years of working in the medical field; I am excited to work with students and expand my knowledge.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  I am married and have 2 teenage children.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching the kids' sports, and going out to eat.  Some of my favorite activities are biking, kayaking/boating, and reading.

Ms. Dana Finken
Joined SMS Family in 2015

"All four of my children have attended Little Saints Preschool! I really love the program and am having fun teaching all of the program’s Little Saints!"


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  Child and Adult Care Education degree from St. Cloud Technical College.  Most recently worked as nanny for two families, and prior to that worked at City of Melrose HRA Rose View Manor as Administration Assistant. Was Owner/Director of  M.O.M.'S Little Angels Childcare Center in Albany where she planned curriculum for each age group ranging from 6 weeks old to 12 years in age.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: Is married to Joe, and has four wonderful children—one still attends St. Mary's School!

Madelyn Klaphake
Joined SMS Family in 2018

"I am thrilled to be able to work with the preschoolers and help them learn and excel at being the best they can be. I absolutely love working with the preschoolers in an awesome environment like St. Mary's!"


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  Associate in Arts and Diploma in Licensed Practical Nursing from Ridgewater College Hutchinson.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Married and have two children currently enrolled at St. Mary's. Enjoy crocheting, baking and spending time with family. 

Mrs. Stacie Fletcher
Joined SMS Family In 1993

"I strive to develop the complete child—by providing a high-quality education in a nurturing and caring environment.  I want my students to try their best, enjoy learning, and respect others."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  BA in Elementary Education from the College of St. Benedict.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Likes to spend time with family-especially her family's sporting events (baseball, hockey and football), reading and gardening.

Mrs. Jennifer Frank-Heinze
Joined SMS Family in 1998

"I strive to give each child the best learning opportunities: academically, spiritually and emotionally. I expect each child to try new things so they can be the best learners they can be.  Experiences are what make each of us grow."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  BS in Elementary Education and minors in Early Childhood education and Reading from Valley City University, Valley City, ND.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  I enjoy spending time with my husband, John, going camping, kayaking, and doing DYI projects together.  I also enjoy entertaining friends and family at our home. 

Mr. Zachary Thell
Joined SMS Family In 2019

"My goal as a teacher is to get the best out of every individual student and to create an environment where students feel comfortable and have fun while advancing as learners and people."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: BA in Elementary Education with a Minor in Special Education from St. Cloud State University

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Enjoys watching all kinds of sports with friends and family and playing baseball and softball with friends.

Ms. Kathy Wolff
Joined SMS Family In 2019

“I enjoy meeting each child where they are at both academically and socially, as well as discovering their strengths and talents.  My goal is to foster a love for learning in each child and help them reach their full potential.”


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: BS in Applied Psychology/Minor in Child and Family Studies from St. Cloud State University. Montessori teaching certificate/ Early Childhood Credential Saint Catherine. Taught Montessori Preschool/kindergarten for 12 years in St. Cloud.  


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  I enjoy spending time with my husband and children, friends and family, going for walks and spending time at the lake.

Ms. Amy Kloth
4th GRADE 
Joined SMS Family In 2014

"I feel very blessed to continue my teaching career in such a wonderful, faith-enriched learning environment.  I am very excited to be part of the St. Mary's staff family."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: BS degree in Elementary Education from Mankato State University; and a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Both her parents were teachers.  Is married with 3 children.  Her favorite weekend activity is watching movies with her family, and reading a good book with a cat curled on her lap.


Ms. Ellen Schaefer
Joined SMS Family In 2018

"The Lord gives us all many great talents and gifts. I strive to create a learning environment that encourages and inspires each student to develop those God given talents through their education."   


EDUCATION/EXERIENCE: BS degree in Elementary Education from St. Cloud State University.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: Enjoys reading, walking, baking, and spending time with friends and family.


Ms. Sue Pundsack
Joined SMS Family In 1988

"Our school motto says so much: Learn, laugh, believe, succeed. I hope students will embrace this and experience a real love of learning. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm and creativity with students. I appreciate the many gifts and talents the students, staff, and volunteers share with me and our school. It is an honor to be part of the St. Mary’s family."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  BS Degree in Elementary Education from St. Cloud State University


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Loves kayaking; biking; cross-country skiing; hiking with her dog, Skippy; playing music; drawing and reading.

Ms. Briana Worms
Joined SMS Family in 2015

"I am excited to use what I've learned as a mom as well as my Communications background and organizational skills to enhance the educational experience of the students and staff."

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  BA of Arts in Communications with a minor in Psychology from the College of Saint Benedict.  Has been a Sales Consultant with Mary Kay since 2002, and has held positions in the areas of communications, marketing and promotions.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Is a mom of 3 who LOVES to spend time with her family, volunteering for the school as a parent helper and enjoys traveling.  She also helps out with the Melrose Firefighters Auxiliary, Dutchmen Booster Club, and various things through the Church of St. Mary.

"I strive to make learning highly experiential for students—so they live it, not just learn it.  I want them to show respect, enjoy life and have fun being a kid."


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Educational Assistant Degree from Ridgewater College, Hutchinson, Minn.


ON THE PERSONAL SIDE:  Likes to spend time with family and friends.

Ms. Amanda Hellermann
Joined SMS Family in 2005

Our Caretakers

Allan Wiechmann
Matt Grossinger

Our Public School Team

Ms. Carrie Schulzetenberg
Public School Teacher
Mr. Matt Kiminski
Public School Teacher
Ms. Katie Meyer
Public School Teacher
Ms. Gloria Welle
Public School Para
Ms. Cherie Beumer
Public School Teacher

Visit the Melrose Area Public High School website to find information on the public school educators who teach at SMS.

 320 5TH AVE SE, MELROSE, MN 56352       320-256-4257     SMSMELROSEMN.ORG

Last Update 1/13/2020

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