With the continuing spread of COVID-19, the Marian community has to make many adjustments this school year to create a safe environment. In addition to the changes taking place, a few new teachers and staff will take over for those leaving Marian and a four more paraprofessionals will be added to the staff to assist in COVID coverage. As it is sad to see teachers and staff leave, the new faculty are excited to start at Marian this school year and meet the students.
Counselor Mrs. Laura Gelecki retired in May. In her absence, Mrs. Anna Sully Sparwasser, former English, journalism and speech teacher at Marian from the early 1990s, will take her position. “In fact, Mrs. K. was the student teacher in my Journalism classroom,” Sparwasser said. She is the mother of incoming freshman Grace Sparwasser and aunt of Ryan Sully ‘22.
After working at Marian, she worked for Chicago Public Schools, Boys Town and Omaha Public Schools. In addition, she was a school counselor at the American School of El Salvador in Latin America. Mrs. Sparwasser is now returning to Marian after 26 years to be a counselor for last names H-N. “I feel like I am coming home to Marian,” Sparwasser said.
Ms. Jessica Jordano will be taking the place of former history teacher Mr. David Anderson. She will be teaching Pre-AP World History and Geography to freshmen and United States History to juniors. Ms. Jordano was born in Hawaii and was constantly moving throughout the country in a military family. In her New Jersey high school, Ms. Jordano was involved in political clubs and service clubs where she participated in church volunteering. She attended the University of South Dakota where she worked in an extensive student-teaching program. After teaching in Lincoln, she moved to Omaha. “I love this city because I am close to family and friends who have also moved here and because it is the home of Marian,” Jordano said.
Through Ms. Jordano’s teaching career, she has taught US History, World History, World Geography, American Government, Psychology and Religion to students ranging from grades 6-12. “I decided to come to Marian because it has an amazing reputation for excellence in educating young women who become empowered women of faith. I look forward to becoming part of the Marian community and contributing to the legacy,” Jordano said. She is excited to get to know her students and share her passion for history with them.
As former Spanish teacher Señora Amy Brabec leaves Marian, Señora Cassie Craig will be transitioning to full time and both Señorita Caitlin Gaule and Señora Amanda Pritchard will be taking on an extra class. Señora Craig has been teaching for 10 years, and three of those have been part time in order to spend more time with her children. Despite not having more free time throughout her week, she looks forward to teaching more. “I am excited to get back to a more regular schedule and not feel like I am going in a million different directions at all times,” Craig said. She will be teaching Spanish III, Honors Spanish III and Spanish IV.
Four new paraprofessionals, Mrs. Alison Britt, Mrs. Sarah Timpe, Miss Hannah Hennings and Ms. Pat Hannon, have also been hired as study hall moderators and substitutes for teachers quarantining at home.
Ms. Hannon said she has had a “diversified” career in education and public service. She has taught in high schools and colleges and given the last 25 years to the state government. She grew up in Iowa and graduated from Duchesne Academy. She attended Creighton and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Her favorite snack is peanut butter M&Ms.
Miss Hannah Hennings, daughter of Assistant Principal/Dean of Students Mrs. Kris Hennings, is from Council Bluffs, Iowa. She has a degree in Applied Health Science: Exercise Science, and since then she has worked for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and for a Medical EMR company, Cerner, in Kansas City. “I chose to come to Marian because with everything going on in this crazy world right now, teachers are really being put into the front lines of COVID and I want to make sure they have as much help as possible,” Hennings said. She will be in charge of temperature taking in the morning and mainly cover for remote teachers, but will provide help wherever needed.
Mrs. Alison Britt was born in McCook, Nebraska, but has lived in Wisconsin, Mississippi and California. She studied Economics in college and has previously been a Grants Administrator and Teacher Assistant. She chose to come to Marian because her daughter Paige Britt is an incoming sophomore. She will be supervising lunch, study hall, working at the front desk and helping where needed.
Mrs. Sarah Timpe is originally from Rapid City, South Dakota. She studied Family Science with a minor in Ethnic Studies. She has had jobs in refugee settlements, homeless outreach, foster care, hospice care and has been a campus minister in South Dakota. She got married this summer and is excited to help out at Marian this year. “I loved working in a Catholic high school in South Dakota, and was looking for the same sort of work and community,” Timpe said.
Mrs. Sparwasser, Ms. Jordano and the new paraprofessionals will be welcomed into the Marian community as they start their new jobs as well as Señora Craig, Señorita Gaul, and Señora Pritchard taking on extra responsibilities. The Marian community is grateful for the new faculty as they help ease the transition into a school year like no other.
See related story on the New Director of Diversity and Inclusion.