Our Teachers & Staff

Today, the school is blessed with a highly talented and dedicated faculty and staff, committed and engaged students and parents, and a supportive and involved parish. As a result, our school community is vibrant, high performing, and faith filled.

Cressy Epperly – Principal

I am very happy and excited to be at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic IB World School. My teaching and educational administrative career spans the course of a few decades, and all the while, I have been a parent, teacher, and student of education in all of its many facets.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction, and an Educational Specialist Degree from the University of St. Thomas. I have worked as an adjunct professor preparing future teachers at St. Catherine’s University and have mentored many student teachers at the schools I have been at. In 2010 I was awarded the Distinguished Principal of the Year Award from the National Catholic Education Association.

As Principal of St. Jude of the Lake I have the privilege of guiding both students and staff forward in their learning goals. Working and learning within Catholic communities has been an important part of my life as a student, parent, and an educator. It is a blessing and a privilege to be here.

Emily Overhaug – Kindergarten

As the kindergarten teacher at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic IB World School, I strive to create a meaningful, nurturing, and exciting start to each child’s academic career. I keep each child engaged and motivated to learn more through creative and rigorous activities. I believe in order to have this meaningful learning experience that I must teach to the child as a whole; each child in my class will succeed not only academically, but also socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Education:  Elementary Education with emphasis on Language Arts and Communication from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN.

Molly Cullen – First Grade

I am so excited to meet many new faces and create experiences in our beautiful school. I promise to dedicate my full attention to my 1st grade students. I will strive to create a comfortable learning environment, and I commit to becoming a resourceful and qualified facilitator of students. I am so excited for our year of many firsts!

Education: B.A. in Elementary Education from the College of St. Benedict.

Molly Balshaw – Second Grade

I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the great community here at St. Jude of the Lake. I enjoy the love and eagerness of learning in second grade. My background in education is working in both private and public schools, tutoring for various age groups, and working with a summer school program.

Education: Elementary Education K-6 from the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota.

Chuck Scobba – Third Grade

I have truly enjoyed the children and the families that have gone through our school during my time here. I have taught 1st grade, 4th grade, and now 3rd grade. The International Baccalaureate program has given me the opportunity to look at the world through a different lens, it has challenged me daily, and it has made me a better teacher. I engage the students by connecting their everyday life experiences with what they are learning in the classroom. This helps them ease into more rigorous academic work to prepare them for future success while also having a lot of fun at the same time.

Education: M.Ed. in Religious Education from the University of St. Thomas and B.A. in Elementary Education from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.

Jeanne Thoemke – Fourth Grade

I am excited for the opportunity to teach 4th grade students! I truly enjoy sharing the educational journey and watching their spiritual, academic, and social growth throughout the year. Students in my classes further develop the skills necessary to succeed in middle school and beyond.

Education: M.A. in Education and B.A. in Business from the College of St. Catherine.

Jill Ryan – Fifth Grade, Art, and Support Strategies

I am thrilled to be the Fifth Grade teacher and Art Specialist at St. Jude of the Lake. I love our community, and I am very much looking forward to building relationships with each child during our art classes, our fabulous class of upcoming fifth graders, and of course their parents!

Education: M.A. in Aesthetics in Education and B.A. in Integrated Science from the University of Denver.

Mike Langer – Physical Education, Spanish, IB Coordinator

Regardless of subject matter, I believe that children learn best when they are in an environment that is safe, welcoming, and fun.  It is my goal that my classes consistently reflect this philosophy!

Education: M.Ed. in K-6 Education from the University of St. Catherine, M.A. in Recreation Management from the University of Minnesota, and B.A. in Communications from the University of Minnesota.

Annie Chapel – Music & Theatre

I believe that learning music helps people see beauty around them and creates a sense of community. I engage students with interesting and challenging lessons every day. I strive to create a safe and comfortable environment in which students respect and value one another while learning through hands-on experience. The students have the freedom to create their own music as part of the music curriculum.

One of the most exciting times of the year in the music room is preparing for our annual all-school Spring Musical. All the students work hard together with me to create a fantastic production. Last year, it was “Annie Jr.” and this year, we will be putting together “The Lion King Jr.” Teaching music to young people and witnessing the growth in my students is extraordinarily fulfilling for me.

Education: B.A. in Music and B.M. in Music Education from Saint Olaf College.