Tammi Haas

BA Flagler College

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
University of South Florida
Email: thaas@stjosephwhschool.org

John Reilly
Assistant Principal

BA National Louis University 

M.Ed DePaul University
John Reilly began his career as a Catholic educator in 1997 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He taught middle school and eventually became the assistant principal before moving to Florida in 2010. He has a bachelor’s degree from National Louis University and a master of education degree in teaching and learning from DePaul University in Chicago. He is passionate about Catholic education and is proud to be a part of the St. Joseph Catholic School community.

Before his career as a Catholic educator, Mr. Reilly worked in the corporate world, and he was a business owner. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He and his wife, Mary, have six adult children and five grandchildren. 

Email: jreilly@stjosephwhschool.org

Marlene Motsch
PreK-4 Teacher

BA Stockton University

M.Ed Walden University

Marlene Motsch was born and raised in NJ. She enjoyed growing up in a small town close to the beach. Marlene and her husband Mark have two sons, Mark and Matthew who both attend SJCS. She and her family moved to Winter Haven in 2014 and fell in love with SJCS.

Marlene earned her BA in Psychology and her BA in Elementary Education from Stockton University and her MS in Education from Walden University. Marlene has over 15 years of teaching experience. She taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades before becoming a PreK teacher in 2002. Before moving to Florida, Marlene was the Director and PreK4 teacher in a Catholic school for 10 years. She joined the SJCS faculty in 2014 shortly after moving to Florida.

Marlene is very blessed to work with her mother, Aris, here at SJCS. Becoming part of the SJCS family, as a teacher and parent, is one of the best decisions Marlene has ever made.

Email: mmotsch@stjosephwhschool.org

Stacey Fedderly
PreK4B Teacher

BS Elementary Education University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (minor Early Childhood Education)
Stacey Fedderly was born and raised in Wisconsin.  She graduated with honors from University Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education.  After teaching 2nd grade for a short time she took some time to raise her young children.  During that time she continued teaching at the Sylvan Learning Center in Lancaster, Ohio.  Stacey is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. She and her husband have four wonderful children who also attend school here at St. Joseph and Santa Fe.  Stacey attended catholic school as a child and now feels extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to work here and be a part of this Catholic community.  She loves working with children and feels honored to be teaching Pre-Kindergarten.

Email: sfedderly@stjosephwhschool.org
Judianne Dry
Kindergarten Teacher

BS Bloomsburg State College elementary education

MS Bloomsburg State College Education of the Hearing Impaired
Judianne Dry has taught kindergarten at St. Joseph Catholic School for sixeen years. Mrs. Dry grew up in Berwick, Pennsylvania, where she attended Catholic grade school.  She has earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education and a Master’s of Science in the Education of the Hearing Impaired from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Dry has her Advanced/Master Level Certification through the Diocese of Orlando Catechist Program.

Mrs. Dry moved to Florida with her husband Randy in 1982.  After teaching hearing impaired students in Polk County for three years, Mrs. Dry became a full-time mother, staying home for the next fifteen years. She stayed involved in education by tutoring many children throughout that time.  Mrs. Dry has four children, all of whom graduated from St. Joseph Catholic School. Before joining the faculty of St. Joseph, Mrs. Dry was actively involved as a volunteer and room mother at St. Joseph. She now spends her free time enjoying her family, especially her three grandchildren.

Email: jdry@stjosephwhschool.org


  Ricci Keown
Kindergarten Teacher

BS Primary/Elementary Education Florida Southern College
 Ricci Keown was born in Ottawa, Illinois and lived in the Midwest before moving to Winter Haven when she was nine years old. She started attending St. Joseph Catholic School in fifth grade. After graduating from Winter Haven Public High School, Ricci obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Primary/Elementary Education from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Ricci has taught third grade in Tampa, mixed aged preschool in Madison, Wisconsin, and first grade and PreK3 at St. Joseph Catholic School. She currently teaches Kindergarten.

Ricci has three children: Zoe, a high school student and Payson and Evie who are students at St. Joseph Catholic School. Ricci is also certified to teach dance through Florida Dance Masters and teaches Jazz Dance at the Ballet Conservatory Dance Centre in Winter Haven. Ricci enjoys working in the school where she grew up, and she is humbled to share the experience with her own children. Ricci loves the family atmosphere of the school, and she is honored to be part of such a wonderful teaching staff.

Email: rkeown@stjosephwhschool.org

Janina Freeland
Grade 1 Teacher

BA University of Central Florida

Janina Allende Freeland was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She has lived in Winter Haven since she was five years old. She was a student at St. Joseph Catholic School Winter Haven from first through eighth grade. She attended Santa Fe Catholic High School and believes strongly in a Catholic education. After graduating high school, she attended Stetson University in DeLand, FL where she participated in the music program and worked toward her Early Childhood Education degree. In the year 2000, she transferred colleges and graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. She met her husband, Brian, at UCF. After they were married they moved back to Winter Haven. Janina worked at Denison Middle School teaching ESOL to grades 6-8. After a year of teaching at Denison, she applied for the first grade position at St. Joseph in the summer of 2004. Both Janina and her husband, Brian, are teachers for the Diocese of Orlando. 

Janina has two daughters, Ava (7) and Kendall (3). Her daughter Ava has Autism. Janina and her family are very active participants in the community for local Autism organizations. The journey of Autism has helped her in teaching and understanding that every child is unique and learns differently. She has been teaching at St. Joseph for 9 years. She enjoys coming to work every day, and feels blessed every morning to wake up and loves her job!

Email: jfreeland@stjosephwhschool.org

Jhoanna Carmody
Grade 1 Teacher

BS University of Nevada Las Vegas

Jhoanna Mukai Carmody is an active parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church and has been part of the St. Joseph family since her move to Auburndale in 2011She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when she was 12 years old.  She lived in many places, but it was during her time in Tampa as a Catechist for Christ the King Church that she realized her true calling as a teacher.  She pursued this dream and obtained her teaching certificate through the EPI program in Hillsborough County.  Prior to teaching, Jhoanna was a medical researcher and nutritionist for years.  She graduated from University of Nevada Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. 

Jhoanna is also a certified yoga instructor. She incorporates yoga in her classroom as she wants to promote a healthy imagination, openness to learning and positive self-esteem.  She loves to travel and learn about new cultures.  She is a volunteer for Guardian Ad Litem and local animal shelters.

Email: jcarmody@stjosephwhschool.org

Stacy Wells
Grade 2 Teacher 

BS and MA College of St. Rose
 Stacy M. Wells was born in Schenectady, New York and resided there until 2005.  After graduating High School, she went on to obtain her college degree in Education. She graduated in 1993 with a BS in Elementary Education and in 1996 with a Masters in Early Childhood Education from The College of Saint Rose. She was a Pre-K four teacher for a year and then became a stay at home mom. 

In 2005, she moved here to Florida and became a business owner for three years. They are parishioners of the church. In 2010, she joined the St. Joseph faculty as a substitute teacher and then a classroom assistant to first grade. In 2011 she became a co-teacher in Language Arts in second grade.  In January 2013 Mrs. Wells became the math teacher for grades 4 and 5 and the 5A homeroom teacher. In August 2013 she became the 2A teacher.

Email: swells@stjosephwhschool.org

Tina Elias
Grade 2 Teacher

BA Warner Southern College
Mrs. Elias is excited to be a member of the SJCS faculty. She and her husband, Steve, were married at St. Joseph Catholic Church and have been members for 16 years. Their daughters, Lauren, Elizabeth, and Julianna have all attended or are currently attending SJCS. Mrs. Elias graduated from Warner Southern College with a BA in Organizational Management. After working at State Farm Insurance for many years Mrs. Elias mentored a 3rd grade student and felt a true calling to be a teacher. She attended Polk State College's Educator Preparedness Institute and obtained her Florida Teaching Certificate in Prekindergarten/Primary Education Ages 3-Grade 3. Mrs. Elias is in her 6th year teaching. She is passionate about each student feeling a sense of belonging in her classroom. She wants learning to be a rigorous, yet exciting journey for her students. Mrs. Elias has enjoyed being the 2nd Grade, First Communion teacher for St. Joseph Church's CCD classes. She is also a Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Christ Renews His Parish Team 13. In her free time, Mrs. Elias enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, and reading.

Email: telias@stjosephwhschool.org

Colleen Blanton
Grade 3 Teacher

BA University of South Florida

A third grade teacher at St. Joseph School, Colleen Blanton has her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She is also certified as an Educational Media Specialist.  Prior to teaching third grade, Colleen was the Media Specialist.

Colleen Blanton is a parish member here at St Joseph. She is a mother of four, one child currently attends St. Joseph School and three are St. Joseph School alumni.  Colleen enjoys being able to teach at the same school her children attend or attended.  She feels blessed to worship at the same Church with many of her students.

Email: cblanton@stjosephwhschool.org


Nancy MacPhee
Grade 3 Teacher 

BS Elementary Education Ball State University 

M. Ed. University of South Florida
 Mrs. Nancy MacPhee has over ten years of teaching experience.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ball State University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. Mrs. MacPhee has both Media Specialist and Elementary teaching certification. 

Mrs. MacPhee, her husband Mark, and their three children have been active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church for over fifteen years.

Email: nmacphee@stjosephwhschool.org

 Katie Maurath
Grade 3 Teacher

Katie and her family moved to Florida 4 ½ years ago from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  Prior to working at St Joseph Catholic School, Katie worked for Delta Airlines for 9 years.  Katie and her husband John have 5 children who all attend St Joseph Catholic School.  She is very grateful that she and her children have the opportunity to be a part of the St Joseph Catholic School community.  Katie and her family are also active parishioners at St Joseph Catholic Church.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys hanging out with her family and cheering on her favorite sports teams.  She and her family especially love to cheer on the Oklahoma State University Cowboys!

Email: kmaurath@stjosephwhschool.org

Mari Lawlor
Grade 4 Teacher 

BA Florida Southern College 

Mari Lawlor holds a degree in Elementary Education from Florida Southern College. She plans to work towards a Master Degree specializing in reading instruction, and continue to pursue foreign language and linguistic studies. Since 2009 she has been working as a certified Dance Instructor teaching Ballet, Jazz, and Tap to children at the Ballet Conservatory.

Email: mlawlor@stjosephwhschool.org

Amy LaPlante
Grade 5 Teacher

BA Eastern Kentucky University

Mrs. LaPlante is originally from Ft. Collins, Colorado. She attended Eastern Kentucky University on a track scholarship, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Exceptional Education and Elementary Education. Mrs. LaPlante earned her endorsement in Gifted Education here Tampa, Florida. Prior to teaching fifth grade, Mrs. LaPlante was a Math and Science Coach in the School District of Hillsborough County.  

Amy LaPlante and her family are parish members here at St Joseph’s Church. She is a mother of three wonderful children. Mrs. LaPlante feels one of her greatest blessings is to teach in a loving and supportive environment where her children attend school and where her family attends church. 

Email: alaplante@stjosephwhschool.org
 Lora Edwards
Grade 5 Teacher

I am a long time member of the St. Joseph Parish. I am also a St. Joseph Catholic School alumni. I attended the school from Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade. I graduated from SJCS in 2000. I attended the University of South Florida and received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I enjoy coaching the Girls Junior Varsity Basketball here at St. Joseph, and I am also the 5th grade Academic Team coach. In my free time I enjoy swimming, dancing, movies, and reading.

Email: ljedwards@stjosephwhschool.org

 Joan Wurth
Middle School Religion Teacher

BS Radford University

Joan Wurth, a native Virginian married to a native Floridian, has four children all born and raised in Lake Wales, Florida.  Teaching experience includes grades K, 6,7, and 8 in various subject areas including ELA, Social Studies, Science, Theology, and Math in Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio.

The Wurth family attends Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lake Wales.

Education includes a degree in Early Childhood Education from Radford University in Virginia.  Graduate Studies and continuing education include University of Tennessee, (Curriculum and Supervision courses), Catholic University of America ( Ward Method Music), Aquinas College (elementary education), and Notre Dame Pontifical Institute at Christendom College, Arlington, Virginia.

Email: jwurth@stjosephwhschool.org

 Kathryn McGillin 
Middle School
Social Studies/Math Teacher

BA and M.Ed University of Florida

Ms. Kathryn McGillin teaches Middle School Social Studies and Mathematics. This is her third year teaching at St. Joseph Catholic School. She previously taught middle school social studies in St. Johns County, Florida. Ms. McGillin attended the University of Florida where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Education in Social Studies Education. Upon graduating from college, Ms. McGillin moved to New York City and worked for one year in the theater industry as a casting assistant, but moved back to Florida after realizing that she was truly called to be a teacher. She holds Florida teacher's certification in Social Studies 6-12, Middle School Mathematics 5-9, and Drama 6-12. In her spare time, Kathryn is an avid consumer of books, television shows, and movies.

Email: kmcgillin@stjosephwhschool.org

Shelby Pierce
Middle School 
Social Studies/ELA
BA University
Ms. Pierce was born in Lakeland and was active in athletics growing up. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and education. She currently coaches basketball and soccer here at St. Joseph. In her spare time she plays soccer in an adult league in Lakeland.

Janel Magnole
Spanish Teacher

BA Boston University 

Janel Magnole has been a part of the St. Joseph family since 2007.  Originally from New Jersey she moved to the various states due to her husband’s employment.  Wanting to be closer to family, she and her husband relocated to Florida. She applied for various teaching positions and was confident that St. Joseph was where she was meant to be.  Janel holds a B.A. in Spanish and a Certificate in Secondary Education from Towson University.

Janel has taught middle school Spanish in the public school of New Jersey and Arizona, and is in her ninth year here at St. Joseph.  As a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, she feels blessed to be able to watch her two daughters, Alaina and Alivia, grow up in the family-oriented community of St. Joseph.

Email: jmagnole@stjosephwhschool.org

Charles Proctor
Middle School Math Teacher

BS  Iowa State University in Ames

MA  University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Charles Proctor has been a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church for more than 20 years.  Mr. Proctor is active in many Church ministries and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.  All three of his sons had the privilege of attending St. Joseph Catholic School.  Since obtaining his Florida teaching certification, Mr. Proctor has taught for 15 years at St. Joseph, four years in 4th grade, and the rest teaching middle school mathematics.

Mr. Proctor has enjoyed coaching the boys’ soccer and flag football teams for St. Joseph.  He serves as the faculty advisor for the National Junior Honor Society and for the Mathcounts team.  Mr. Proctor serves as the coordinator for three Knights of Columbus youth events: spelling bee, soccer shoot competition, and free throw competition.  Mr. Proctor has a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill.  He also completed additional coursework for his teaching certification from Florida Southern College.  He has been married to his beautiful college sweetheart, Lorraine, for 34 years. 

Email: cproctor@stjosephwhschool.org

Carol Polkowski
Science Teacher

BS Cleveland State University

MA Loyola University, New Orleans

MS Nova Southeastern University

Carol Polkowski has taught at St. Joseph Catholic School for the over 25 years.  After teaching 3rd grade for 11 years, she moved to science where she has taught grades 4-8 for the past 14 years. She is also the Director of Religious Education at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Bartow. 

Mrs. Polkowski has a BS degree from Cleveland State University, a Master of Arts degree in Theology from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a Masters Degree from Nova Southeastern U. in Science Education.  All 5 of her children graduated from St. Joseph.  She is very excited to now have her daughter-in-law teaching at our school and her 2 grandchildren attending as well!

Email: cpolkowski@stjosephwhschool.org

Cathy Doty
Resource Teacher

BS Elementary Education Florida Southern University

Cathy Doty is a long time member of St. Joseph’s Parish.  She enjoys teaching at St. Joseph Catholic School because it has a wonderful family atmosphere and delightful children.

Mrs. Doty has more than 30 years of teaching experience. She is the resource teacher working with students at all levels.  Mrs. Doty received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Southern College in early childhood/elementary education.  She has also completed the course work for gifted education.

In her free time Mrs. Doty enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Email: cdoty@stjosephwhschool.org

Katya Echenique
Technology Teacher

BA in Social Science with Concentration in Education

MAED Educational Technology Leadership 

Katya Echenique completed International Studies in Switzerland, holds a BA in Social Science/Concentration in Education and a Master’s in Educational Technology Leadership. Katya has worked at St. Joseph’s since 2006 and feels blessed to teach in a Catholic school where she can watch students grow academically and spiritually. She and her family are active parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Email: kechenique@stjosephwhschool.org

Lori Edwards
Physical Education Teacher

B.S. California State University, Fullerton

Lori Edwards has been a member of St. Joseph’s Parish since 1986. She is an active member of her parish and plays in the bell choir. All of her six children are graduates from St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She has been a teacher at SJCS since 1994.  As the Athletic Director for the school, she has been instrumental in expanding and developing a competitive sports program for grades 5th through 8th.

Coach Edwards began her education at the University of Georgia. After marriage, she transferred and completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education at California State University, Fullerton. She teaches PE to students from Pre-K 4 to 8th grade. She is a yearbook advisor and a volunteer coach.

Email: ledwards@stjosephwhschool.org

Denise Smith
Art Teacher

BFA International Academy of Design and Technology

Denise Smith was born in Arlington Heights, IL. After graduating high school, she attended The International Academy of Design and Technology on Orlando and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a (BFA) with special focus in Graphic Design. Denise is currently in a Master of Education in Elementary Education program and looks forward to continuing her studies in education even further.

Denise has lived in Orlando since she was nine years old. Denise is a strong believer in the Catholic Education System. She is a practicing Catholic and a parishioner at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Orlando, Fl. Denise has been blessed with one daughter, Shelby (7), who has attended Good Shepherd Catholic School in Orlando from Pre-k- onward.

Denise has worked in the graphic design field for years. She has designed page layout, graphic art, and illustrations for several nationally published magazines and companies. She enjoys coming to St Joseph Catholic School three days a week to enrich the creativity of the students. Denise loves her job and all her students! She feels blessed every morning to be alive. When Denise is not teaching she competes in local and state shows with her Paso Fino horse and enjoys rides daily.

Email: dsmith@stjosephwhschool.org

Virginia James
Music Teacher
Email: vjames@stjosephwhschool.org

Ana Estevez 
Guidance Counselor 

BS University of South Florida 
MS Indiana University Bloomington
Ana Estevez is the Guidance Counselor at St. Joseph Catholic School.  Mrs. Estevez is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who truly enjoys helping kids in need.   She assists in student social issues, conflict resolution, monitors service plan development and maintains and reviews all student service plans.  She has two girls that both attend St. Joseph Catholic School.

Email: aestevez@stjosephwhschool.org

 Mary Kay Swider
Resource Teacher 
BS Western Michigan University Kalamazoo

Masters in Elementary Ed. St. Leo University
Mary Kay Swider has been a member of St. Joseph’s Parish since May, 2006.  She enjoys teaching at St. Joseph Catholic School and is currently the resource teacher for grades K-2. This is her 10th year at St. Joseph Catholic School. 

Mrs. Swider has a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University.  She accomplished her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Reading from St. Leo University, Florida.  She continues her professional development by participating in Kagan Workshops, NASA Kennedy Space Center Workshops, and NSTA (National Science Teachers’ Association) conventions throughout the United States.

Email: mswider@stjosephwhschool.org

 Office Staff


Susan Roberts

BA Western Michigan University

Sue Roberts has been with St. Joseph Catholic School for over 20 years.  She moved here from Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University.  She is a member of the St. Joseph Cantabile Choir, and enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters and grandson.

Email: sroberts@stjosephwhschool.org


Support Staff


Cynthia Arambarri 

Angela DePasquale 
Pre-K 3 Assistant

Angela DePasquale was born and raised in Winter Haven, Florida.  She graduated from Lake Region High School. Angela is married and has two children that attend St. Joseph’s School.  She has worked in the kitchen for five years, and enjoys working with the children  of  St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

Christine Hall
Classroom Assistant

Attended Columbus State University

Christine Hall was born in Columbus, GA where she graduated from Jordan High School.  She attended Columbus State University where she studied communications.

After Mrs. Hall married, she moved to Florida.  Mrs. Hall's two children attend St. Joseph.  She joined the St. Joseph family as a teacher assistant in preschool and also works with the preschool after care. 

Aris Pomarico
 Aris Pomarico was born in Albany, NY and moved to NJ just before her first birthday. She grew up in north Jersey and moved to south Jersey shortly after getting married. Aris retired from a career in banking in 2012 and began filling in as an assistant in the PreK program where her daughter was the director and teacher. She enjoyed working with the preschool students and soon became a permanent employee.

Aris and her family moved to Winter Haven in 2014 in search of warmer weather. She began working as a preK assistant at SJCS that same year. Aris's grandsons, Mark and Matthew attend SJCS and her daughter, Marlene is a preK4 teacher at the school. Aris feels blessed to have found a second family here at SJCS.
Yolanda Prieto

Nellie Schwinkendorf
Classroom Assistant

El Paso Community College

Nellie Schwinkendorf was born in El Paso, Texas.  She was raised in Juarez, Mexico before moving back to El Paso.  While she lived in Mexico, she attended a Catholic School from elementary through high school.  After high school she enrolled in El Paso Community College.  She worked for the state of New Mexico and Colorado for eight years as a bookkeeper.  She was married in 1998 to her husband Jon and moved to Florida.  Nellie has one daughter.  

Mrs. Schwinkendorf is the preschool classroom assistant for 3 year olds and works with Kindergarten in the afternoon.  She has been at St. Joseph and additionally helps the school by serving as a translator for Spanish speaking families.  She loves the communtity and the Catholic identity of St. Joseph.

Lydia Sanchez
 Lydia Sanchez was born and raised in New York City. She attended Manhattan Community College and studied business administration. After getting married she moved to Bergenfield, NJ and had a daughter and a son who attended St. John's Catholic School. Lydia moved to Florida in 1995. Her daughter is a RN at Moffitt Cancer Center and her son enlisted in the Air Force seven years ago after college. He is currently serving in Afghanistan.
Lydia's granddaughter is currently in 2nd grade at SJCS.

Lydia is extremely proud to be part of the SJCS family. She began working in after-care and is currently a 2nd grade teaching assistant. She believes it is a pleasure to wake up every morning and go to work where she is surrounded by angels of all shapes and sizes.

Debra Ann Terzo
Classroom Assistant

Nassau Community College

Debra Ann Terzo was born and raised in New York.  After graduating high school, she attended Nassau Community College , majoring  in Marketing and Business while working in retail management.   Debra and her husband Joe moved to Winter Haven where they built a home, raised their son, Justin, and owned and operated their Italian restaurant, Villa Terzo.  Justin graduated from St. Joseph where Debra was a Room Mom and participated in many school functions.    Soon after, she became the First Grade teaching assistant and is now the teaching assistant in Kindergarten.