PADRE PIO ACADEMY - Independent Catholic School K-8 - Shawnee, KS (Kansas City)


2016-17 Faculty Staff Members

Mrs. Cathy Starke (Kindergarten)  Mrs. Starke has her Bachelors of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University and her Masters in Human Development and Family Life from KU. She also has her Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Certificate from KU and has been trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd!  She has 22 years of teaching experience both in a school setting and as a homeschool Mom.  Her love for this age group, education and experience is a great gift to this classroom. Our youngest students leave the classroom knowing the love that God has for each and every one of them thanks to Mrs. Starke and our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.

Mrs. Ann Marie Alvey (Grade 1)  Mrs. Alvey has her Masters of Arts degree in Family and Child Counseling from St. Mary's College.  She is not new to Padre Pio Academy as she has taught Latin 2 to the middle school students in the past.  Mrs. Alvey is a Spiritual Mentor with the Apostles of the Interior Life.  She also has taught in the home school co-op for several years and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for 18 years.  Mrs. Alvey brings the experience of a mother and teacher to the classroom and is very excited about teaching these young students a love for reading and their faith.  The greatest part is that they don't even realize they are learning!

Miss Margaret Klassen (Grade 2)  Miss Klassen has her Bachelors of Theology degree from the University of Dallas.  She is also a certified Catechesis of the Good Shepherd instructor.  Before applying to Padre Pio Academy, she served as Catechist at a Montessori School for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and was in the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for 5 years!  All of these experiences have helped her to create a faith filled learning environment in the classroom.  She also has some wonderful mystery readers that visit her classroom!  These surprise visitors come and read a story to the classroom as a special treat for the kids.

Miss Annie Kalis (Grades 3 and 4)  Miss Kalis graduated from Benedictine and did her student teaching specializing in 3rd grade!  She was a part-time assistant for Padre Pio Academy for one semester last year and is excited to be a part of the community on a full time basis!  She has a love for the Lord that radiates when you talk with her which I am sure will rub off on our 3rd & 4th grade class.

Mrs. Karen Hernandez (Dean of Faculty, Grades 5 and 6)  A native of the Kansas City Metro, Mrs. Hernandez is one of those very special individuals who, after gathering much valuable life experience, turned to education as a way to help others achieve. Her background includes supervisory and leadership roles in several industries.  As the mother of a Padre Pio Academy graduate, she is particularly attuned to the needs of both students and their parents. 

Miss Courtney Dunn (Grades 7 and 8) (Dean of Operations) After completing high school here in her native Kansas, Miss Dunn chose California’s Thomas Aquinas College for her undergraduate work. Her background includes expertise in eye-related health technology and three years experience tutoring for an organization serving mostly underprivileged children in the Washington DC area. She incorporates multiple strategies to help our oldest students grasp the challenging curriculum presented to them as well as become great role models for our younger students. 

Mrs. Jenny Wallace (Dean of Students, Administrative Assistant)   Mrs. Wallace has her Bachelor's of Science in Journalism from University of Kansas.  She has owned and managed her own business and also done website development.  Her experience with children of all ages has prepared her for the Dean of Students position.  Additionally, her love for the faith and God-given talents are such an inspiration to all the students. 

Mr. Anthony Shoulta (Art, Latin, 7th-8th Science & 5th-8th Grammar) Mr. Shoulta is a recent graduate of the University of Dallas with a philosophy degree graduating Cum Laude!  He has a strong desire to serve the church and loves kids.  While he is new to the teaching world, he is a fast learner and will be a great addition to this very busy classroom.  He is one of 5 boys and is excited about teaching Latin & Science. 

Mrs. Joanne Hanson (Chairman of the Board)  Padre Pio Academy co-founder and chairman of the board, Mrs. Hanson is a lifelong resident of Kansas with deep family roots in northwestern Johnson County. She brings a nursing educator background and career experience as a Registered Nurse to our science curriculum, giving it a unique practical perspective. She gets her inspiration from the Holy Spirit as He guides this school in the path Our Lord has chosen for it.  

Mrs. Margaret Kerr (Teacher's Assistant) Mrs. Kerr has her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Dallas and has been very involved with fundraisers in her home parish.  In her philosophy of education she states that "there are as many different kinds of saints as people" and "we must strive to become the people God created us to be".  What a blessing she will be to all the students as she floats from room to room and assists at recess.  Hopefully, our students will be inspired by her to strive for sainthood.

Ms. Darlene Summerour (Music)  "I love music!" is what we heard recently from one our students.  A Bachelor's of Music Education from St. Mary's University followed by a Masters in Music Education from UMKC's Conservatory of Music has given Mrs. Summerour all the tools to be a fabulous music instructor.  To top it off, her 35 years of teaching experience prior to Padre Pio Academy has greatly enriched the music program at the school. 

Mrs. Frances Occhiogrosso (Latin III) Mrs. Occhiogrosso was a Computer Science teacher for K-8th grade and a teacher's assistant fro 1st & 2nd grade prior to homeschooling her own children.  She has also taught School of Religion for 15 years.  She was introduce to the Latin curriculum that we use during her homeschooling years.  Our students love her energy and enthusiasm for Latin!

Mrs. Carol Bleything (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) Mrs. Bleything has been teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Holy Trinity for years when we recruited her to take over our 6-9 year program.  If you haven't heard about this program, I encourage you to learn more.  It is an amazing Apostolate for teaching these innocent souls the love God has for each one of them.

Mrs. Janel O'Donnell (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) Prior to having children, Mrs. O'Donnell's past teaching and counseling experience makes her a perfect fit for our Atrium.  She teaches the Catechesis Program to our youngest students.  She was trained a few years ago and has assisted at other programs.  Her love for working with these young students is very evident in the classes she provides.  Her class on Monday morning is open to pre-school children.  Please contact the school for more information.



The earth could exist more easily without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

-Saint Padre Pio