Teacher & Staff Feature
- Mrs. Bennington, Campus Minister
- Mr. Blake, Dean of Students & Director of Campus Ministry
- Mrs. Carlson, Social Studies Teacher
- Mr. Dahlman, Science Teacher
- Mr. Ferkinhoff, Math Teacher
- Ms. Hoey Germann, Theology Teacher
- Ms. James, World Languages Teacher
- Dr. Junker, President
- Mr. Kocon, English Teacher
- Ms. Koessler, Science Teacher
- Mr. Matzoll, Teacher & Athletic Trainer
- Mrs. McInerny, Theology Department Chair/Theology Teacher
- Ms. Michels, English Teacher
- Mr. Miller, Choir Director
- Mr. Miller, Theology Teacher
- Mr. Million, Campus Minister
- Mrs. Nichols, Director of Enrollment & International Students
- Ms. Peterson, Assistant Director of Enrollment & International Students
- Mr. Rehfuss, Chemistry Teacher
- Ms. Schauer, Alumni Relations & Events Coordinator
- Mrs. Schmidt, Science Teacher
- Mrs. Smith, English Teacher
- Mrs. Swanson, Health & Physical Education Teacher
- Mr. Thibodeau, Science & Engineering Teacher
- Mr. Vance, Theology & English Teacher
- Mr. Wareham, English Teacher
- Mrs. Wiemiller, Spanish Teacher
- Mr. Wolfe, Science Teacher
- Mrs. Wysocki, English Teacher
Mrs. Bennington studied at the University of St Thomas and later went on to get her Masters from St Mary's University. She has worked at Totino-Grace for eight years and says that her favorite thing about working at TG include:
- Being able to connect with students outside of the classroom.
- Being able to help students discover and/or grow in their faith journeys.
- She went into education because she believes it is essential to the success of us as humans and to the success of our society. Specifically, she went into Lasallian education because it is one that provides both meaning and meaningfulness to students today because partnered with the Catholic Church, it adapts with our changing society, because it works for dignity and respect of all people and because love is at it's core. She truly believes it has the potential to change our world!
Outside of work Mrs. Bennington likes to run and work out, play with her dog Huey, go for drives with her husband and dog and hike. Her favorite places to dine in the Twin Cities are Saint Dinette and Turrito's Pizza.
FUN FACT: Mrs. Bennington coached a U.S. Paralympic record holder!
Mr. Blake is the Dean of Students and Director of Campus Ministry and has been with Totino-Grace for 15 years! He was previously at a school in Baltimore, MD and we are glad he came back to MN. He obtained his masters from Concordia University (St. Paul) and his undergrad in Theology and Pastoral Youth Ministry from Saint Mary's University.
When asked what his favorite thing about his job is, he said, "My favorite part of my job is getting to work in partnership with parents, guardians, students, and teachers. The nature of my job is that I am often working with students during difficult moments and I see my role as providing a bridge for them towards a more positive relationship with their school community, home, peers, and classrooms. One of our Lasallian commitments is 'Together and by Association'. It is a promise to families, students, and staff that once you are an Eagle, you will never struggle alone."
Mr. Blake loves coaching at all levels in a variety of sports, especially soccer. At this stage of his life, he appreciates getting to split much of his coaching time between working with our high school athletes in the boys soccer program and coaching his children through their youth activities. He and his wife love low-budget travel/adventures and daily activities, like cooking for his family and being an active dad. In regards to favorite places to dine in the Twin Cities, he states that his entire family does not eat out much, but he does live a culturally diverse community and he appreciates every opportunity for an authentic taco or tamale.
FUN FACT: In college, he played rugby and in the winters, he is active with pick-up broomball and basketball.
Mrs. Carlson is one of our social studies teachers at Totino-Grace and is completing her first year with us in the 2019-2020 school year, having taught at two other public schools in the Twin Cities. She attended Saint Mary's University of Minnesota for her masters degree and the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate, majoring in Journalism - Public Relations & Advertising.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "After college, I worked as the Communications Manager for Children's Hospital Association, CHA. CHA's mission is to raised money and support programs and services at Children's Minnesota that are underfunded or not covered by insurance. I loved what I was doing and felt I was really making a difference. As part of my job, I would communicate with doctors, nurses and program directors. I loved hearing about their interactions with the patient population and families during times of need. They were on the 'front lines' and played an important role as an advocate for the kids. And I wished to play a similar role. I always knew, that one day I would be a teacher. I wanted to be on the 'front lines' and be an advocate for my students. While working at CHA, I decided to go back to school and get my teaching license. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I truly love being able to support my students on a daily basis."
Mrs. Carlson's hobbies are cooking and trying new recipes; she makes dinner almost every night. Her husband always jokes that she uses every pot and pan they own on a daily basis, so cleaning up must also be on her list of hobbies. She also enjoy the outdoors, walking, biking, swimming, boating, gardening, and basically anything that involves being in the sunshine! She loves the restaurant Don Julios because they have the best chips, salsa and queso or the restaurant Mancini's if she is craving surf and turf! Make sure to check those local places out if you need a bite to eat.
FUN FACT: The Carlsons are expecting a baby girl in July of 2020! This will be their first child and they are looking forward to this new adventure. Congratulations on your future Eagle!
Mr. Dahlman studied Chemistry at St. John's University, and later went on to get his Masters from St Mary's University. He has taught at Totino-Grace for 13 years and says that his favorite thing about teaching is getting to know the students.
"We all have unique stories and I enjoy learning those stories. I became a teacher because I love learning. Accompanying students as they learn is very rewarding." He says being a science teacher comes with a special bonus..."you get to do cool stuff!"
Outside of teaching, Mr. Dahlman's primary hobby is baseball. In fact, he has coached baseball every year he has been at Totino-Grace. He also enjoys cooking, running and completing random projects around the house (for example building a big sandbox for his four kids).
FUN FACT: Did you know Mr. Dahlman participated in theater while in high school? Some of the productions he was featured in were Little Shop of Horrors, The Hobbit, and Wind in the Willows.
Finally - if you're heading out to support local restaurants during this time, you can catch Mr. Dahlman supporting Brasa and The Tavern Grill.
Mr. Ferkinhoff studied Math and Secondary Education at Hamline University. He has taught at Totino-Grace for four years.
When asked what his favorite part about teaching is, he said it is interacting with and getting to know the students! He continued to say, “100% the reason I enjoy coming each day to interact, watch them grow, develop as students and developing as people. My high school experience was phenomenal and the reason is because I was so involved, met and continued to develop my relationships and friendships. The teachers who supported me were the biggest influence on me and on why I wanted to be a teacher. I went to Hamline University because my teachers in high school continued to support me throughout college."
Outside of teaching, Mr. Ferkinhoff loves sports. He coaches TG football, basketball and baseball. He also loves watching sports and plays for the St Anthony Hogs. He plays video and board games and enjoys being active and socializing with friends. His favorite places to dine are Culver’s and Panino’s.
FUN FACT: Mr. Ferkinhoff was a two time all MIAC sportsmanship team winner (one player from every football team in his college conference).
Ms. Hoey Germann has been a theology teacher at Totino-Grace for six years, coming to us from another private high school in the Twin Cities. She obtained her masters degree from St. Mary's University and attended the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate education, majoring in Religious Studies.
When asked what we her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "My favorite things about teaching Theology is that I get to talk about God everyday. I get to hear young people share their questions, curiosities, and searchings for God. It is for this reason that I went into Theology. I love hearing people's stories of faith and struggle and how they find God and sacredness in it. I feel really blessed to hear the stories I do from our students. Often, when I talk to parents, they don't ever get to hear this side of their son or daughter. It's a real privilege to walk the journey of faith with our students."
Ms. Hoey Germann loves being outside and especially enjoys hiking. The Superior Hiking Trail is her favorite place to be! She also enjoys reading and playing board games. She is gluten free and Italian food is her favorite. According to her, the best place to get good Italian food in the Twin Cities is Biaggis!
FUN FACT: She used to perform in an improve theatre group where she juggled and ate fire! She says that she won't be doing that anymore.
Ms. James has been teaching Chinese at Totino-Grace for the last four years, having previously taught at a preparatory school in St. Paul. She obtained her masters degree from the University of Minnesota, after completing her bachelors degree from Augsburg College, majoring in K-12 Education and World Languages.
When ask what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "My favorite part of teaching is seeing students succeed and they do! Some succeed wildly, such as a former French student who is now a television screenwriter and producer (for LAO, both in France and the US, for example)."
Ms. James' interests are languages, culture, and travel. She taught high school in China and lived in Belgium and West Africa. Recently, she visited her son working in Colombia and in Jordan. Her family has also hosted many students from a variety of countries, such as Afghanistan, Brazil, China, South Korea, Thailand, Hungary, Vietnam, etc. She is also very interested in technology. She even has taught remotely from the U.S. to China, LIVE, with a 14-hour difference! She loves to cook at home, with recipes from all over the globe, hosting people from everywhere to share their experiences.
FUN FACT: She has a big dog (husky) named Malachi!
Dr. Junker has been Totino-Grace's President for the last six years, having served at another school in southern MN and one in MS. He obtained his undergraduate degree from St. John's University in English and Political Science. He then received his Doctorate and Masters from Mary's University.
When asked why he went into his line of work, he said, "I was drawn to education because I wanted to make a difference in young people's lives. I wanted to help them see how capable they are to contribute to our world."
Dr. Junker's hobbies include attending TG events to support students, attending his own kids' events to support them, exercising, reading, and camping in the Boundary Waters. His favorite place to eat is at his parents' home, because he loves his mom's cooking. If he had to say a restaurant, it would be Carmelo's Ristorante in St. Paul, for their wonderful selection of Italian food.
FUN FACT: He was on a state championship hockey team in 1983. He also interned for a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C., Dave Durenberger!
Mr. Kocon has been with Totino-Grace for 19 years and is an English teacher, having previously taught at two other schools in the Twin Cities. He obtained both his masters and undergraduate degrees in English from the University of St. Thomas.
When asked what his favorite thing about teaching is, he said, "Connecting with students and assisting them in their study of English. I have always enjoyed writing in my life and helping students to understand the power they have in the spoken and written word is a critical part of my job as an English teacher. I probably went into education because of some great teachers and mentors I have had over the years."
Mr. Kocon loves to waterski, draw, paint (usually oil or acrylics, but lately starting using watercolors), woodwork, garden, play tennis, golf, play card games (especially pinochle, 500, cribbage), and spend time with his family. His favorite place to dine in the Twin Cities is Red Robin because he loves their bottomless root beer floats!
FUN FACT: At the age of 46, he asked for a pair of ice skates for Christmas but his family didn't gift him any because he knew he didn't know how to skate! He went and bought some himself and learned how. Now, he finds time every winter to skate for exercise.
Ms. Koessler has been a science teacher at Totino-Grace for six years, having taught at several other schools in the Twin Cities before coming here. She obtained a Masters of Science in Education and studied Life Science and Education/Earth Science Education at the University of Minnesota - Duluth.
When asked about her favorite thing about teaching, she said, "I love that everyday my job is different than the day before. I love that I get to know incredible human beings and do a small part in supporting their development and helping them find their passions. I went into teaching because I have a profound appreciation for the natural world and its processes and I want to share that with as many people as I can."
In her free time, Ms. Koessler loves biking, running, camping, ultimate frisbee, nordic skiing, canoeing, hiking in the woods, reading good books, and playing games with her friends and family! Her favorite place to eat in the Twin cities is The Harriet Brassiere.
FUN FACT: She has been sledding and surfing on the same day!
Mr. Matzoll is a teacher and athletic trainer at Totino-Grace and has been here for 24 years! He obtained his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training/Education from Mankato State.
When asked what his favorite things about his job are, he said, "My favorite thing about being a teacher is the interaction with students, making learning fun, watching them grow into young adults, and being a positive role model and mentor for them. My favorite thing about being an athletic trainer is the pride & privilege I have working with TG athletes. It’s never fun when an athlete is injured, but the joy you get when an athlete is able to safely return to the sport they love after their hard work and dedication is rewarding."
Mr. Matzoll's hobbies include exercising, fishing, working on projects around the house, and playing backyard games with his family (cornhole is currently at the top of the list).His favorite place to dine in the Twin Cities is Biaggi’s or Red Cow.
FUN FACT: He worked as a summer athletic training intern for the Vikings during college.
Mrs. McInerny is the Theology Department Chair and a theology teacher. She has been with Totino-Grace for five years, having previously taught at a school out in New York City! She obtained her masters degree from the University of Notre Dame and attended the College of St. Benedict for her undergraduate degree in English.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "I love when students have lightbulb moments! Watching them work through a problem or idea, and then seeing them find an answer or have it apply to their own lives is the best part of my job. I went into teaching because there were some awesome people who supported me to reach my goals as a student, and I wanted to do that for students too."
Mrs. McInerny's hobbies include volleyball, running, any water sports, and writing. Her favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities is a gluten free place called the Sassy Spoon!
FUN FACT: She has two little girls, five year old Eilish and three year old Frankie, pictured above!
Mrs. Michels has been an English teacher at Totino-Grace for 29 years. She previously taught at another school in Anoka and was an ESL teacher in Japan for one year! She obtained her masters degree from the University of St. Thomas and majored in English for her undergraduate degree from the College of Saint Benedict.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "I am energized by students! For more than 30 years, there has hardly been a day when I wasn't excited about going to school. I feel inspired by students' enthusiasm for learning, kindness to one another, engagement with our community, and pride in all things TG. I have had the great fortune of having many different roles in my career as an educator; I am most proud of the daily connection I make with students in the classroom. It's why I became--and continue to be--a teacher."
Mrs. Michels says that cooking is one of her favorite ways to relax and be creative. She loves reading and is a self proclaimed newshound and current events junkie. Her family (husband, Paul Cleary- who also works at TG!, and two daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth) is the love of her life and a constant source of support and joy. Finally, she loves being part of her Catholic parish, serving in many roles including lector and sacristan. Having recently moved to St. Paul, she has been exploring wonderful places to eat such as Pajarito, Hyacinth, The Lexington, Iron Ranger and Augustines.
FUN FACT: She grew up on a hog farm in Southern Minnesota; the farm has been in the family for three generations. She attended Mankato West High School. One of her high school activities was cheerleading (see photo above)!
Mr. Miller is one of Totino-Grace's theology teachers and has been with us for 24 years! He previous taught at another high school in the Twin Cities, after he received his masters from the University of St. Thomas and his undergrad in History/Social Studies from St. John's University.
When asked why he loves teaching, he said, "I love talking about LOVE! Jesus made us to love and be loved. It is so exciting to challenge myself and our students to live out this principle in daily lives. As St. John de Sales said, 'Be who YOU are, and be that very well!'"
Some of Mr. Miller's hobbies include watching his three children play Lacrosse, Dance, Hockey, Baseball, Track & Field and Cross Country. He also enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, and woodworking. His favorite places to dine in the Twin Cities are The Sunshine Factory (in Plymouth); Malone's (in Maple Grove), and Sarna's (in Northeast MPLS).
FUN FACT: He is the same exact age as Michael Jordan AND he is the last person to win the Woody Woodchip Award at Robbinsdale High School before they closed the school. He jokes that the plaque is probably in a landfill somewhere.
Mr. Million has worked at Totino-Grace for six years and is one of our campus ministers. He attended St. John's University/College of St. Benedict and majored in Theology/Communication/
When asked why he went into his line of work, he said, "Every day I get to hang out with good kids and do good things with them. I get to serve others. I get to help navigate faith life for a high schooler. I get to create fundraisers to raise money for amazing organizations. I have great coworkers and incredible students. I had phenomenal male role models at TG when I was a student, great teachers and great coaches. They inspired me to go into education because they made such a great impact on my life."
Mr. Million's hobbies include sports, basketball, acrodunking, track and field, video games, watching movies, DJ'ing, dancing, eating Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen Blizzards, working out, and trivia with friends.
FUN FACT: Mr. Million claims to have taught Jimmy Butler how to play Cribbage, have a lightning bolt scar, and have made seven half court shots in a row. You be the judge of those!
Mrs. Nichols is a graduate of Totino-Grace and has been working for the school since 2010! She is currently the Director of Enrollment & International Students. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science & International Studies from the University of Minnesota - Duluth.
When asked why she went into her line of work, she said, "After spending almost 20 years in politics, I was looking for a new career path. Working in admissions for my alma mater and the place my children would eventually attend, meant working at a place that I have cared about for almost three decades. I love seeing the students who were reluctant to enroll at TG transition into spirited Eagles who are thriving and loving school."
Mrs. Nichol' hobbies include travel, sailing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, iceskating, and feasting at every little neighborhood bistro she and her husband can find. Their favorite places are Handsome Hog, Louis Ristorante Rooftop, Young Joni, Blue Door, and Hai Hai.
FUN FACT: While she lived in Washington, DC for a few years after college, she was in a summer house in Dewey Beach, Delaware with 11 other people who worked on Capitol Hill (but it was nothing like the reality show on TV)! She was once mistakenly allowed in a SCIF (essentially a room meant to share classified information). It was considered a big security breach and she was super nervous and worried that she would get in trouble or lose her job. Thankfully, none of that happened!
Ms. Peterson has been with Totino-Grace since 2019 and is the Assistant Director of Enrollment & International Students. She obtained her masters degree in Organizational Leadership and Policy Development and bachelors degree in Italian Studies from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus.
When asked why she went into her line of work, she said, "During my undergraduate studies, my intentions were to be a translator and work at the UN. However, I realized I love languages as a hobby and not as a career. I had studied abroad in Italy and taught English abroad in Thailand. After that, I wanted to work in international education to help students have the enriching experiences overseas that I did. I decided to get a graduate degree that focused on higher education and worked at two colleges before TG. Now, I can share my passion for international experiences and travel for work!"
Ms. Peterson's hobbies include traveling, reading, theatre, dungeons and dragons, hiking, trivia, board games, and hanging out with her fat, orange tabby cat named Jack! She and her boyfriend love exploring places to eat around in the Twin Cities. Their favorites are Benedicts for breakfast in Wayzata and Psycho Suzi's in NE for a tiki bar style dinner.
FUN FACT: She fell off of an elephant in Thailand and also lost a Thai boxing match (there is sadly video proof)!
Mr. Rehfuss has been at Totino-Grace for 18 years and is a chemistry teacher. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate in Chemistry from UC Berkeley.
When asked why he went into his line of work, he said, "I live for education...I have a Ph.D. I love the students, explaining the world, and having them reach their full potential."
Mr. Rehfuss' loves playing bridge and almost any other card game. He and his wife are working on their travel bucket list! So far they have done Ecuador (The Galapagos), Peru (Machu Picchu), China (all over), and look forward to whatever comes next! His favorite place to dine in the Twin Cities is Toyko Sushi in Maplewood.
FUN FACT: He was a high school gymnast and his family tree contains relatives that fought in the Revolutionary War!
Ms. Schauer is Totino-Grace's Alumni Relations & Events Coordinator. She has been with the school for three years and was a graduate herself! She obtained her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary's University of MN, majoring in Human Services.
When asked what her favorite thing about her job is, she said, "The people I get to connect with: alumni, parents of alumni, current parents, students, friends of TG, and my colleagues. The community that is at TG makes me feel like I am part of another family and makes TG my home away from home. This job of alumni relations and events coordinator is a dream job for me. I applied for this job because I have always wanted to help advance the mission of Totino-Grace through connecting with alumni and planning events. Like I said before TG is like a second family for me, that is partially because I have lots of family that are alumni, current students, or future students of Totino-Grace. It is very fun to be part of something that gave so much to me, it is a way of giving back to a community that shaped me into the person I am today."
Ms. Schauer enjoys spending time outside biking, running, fishing, and occasionally hunting. She loves traveling, especially on the TG service immersion trips. Her favorite places to dine at Noodles, Hyvee, or Pitsburgh Blue!
FUN FACT: She has traveled to Haiti five times. She is also one of the 16 out of 19 grandchildren on her mom's side that has or will have attended TG and both of her parents and many of her aunts and uncles attended TG!
Mrs. Erin Schmidt studied Biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris and went on to get her Masters of Arts in Education: Natural Science and Environmental Education at Hamline University. She has taught at Totino-Grace for 17 years. Mrs. Schmidt says her favorite thing about teaching is the students. "Getting to know each and everyone of them and making personal connections with them. I teach to share my love and passion for the environment with them. My goal as an educator is to inspire my students to become curious about the world around them, to connect the human and natural world, and ultimately empower my students to action to become good stewards of this beautiful planet."
Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Schmidt has a long lists of interests!
- Scuba Diving
- Wake Surfing
- Escape Rooms
- Geocaching with her kids
- Running and working out
FUN FACTS: Mrs. Schmidt and her husband are both TG alums. She has traveled to over 20 different countries. She has dove 78 times the max depth of 110 feet (Blue hole in Belize), she is a National Geographic Certified Educator and assuming it doesn't get cancelled she is off to Belize this summer to work with EarthWatch to help Scientists monitor the shark and ray populations!
Mrs. Smith has been an English teacher at Totino-Grace for five years, having previously taught at two other schools in the Twin Cities. She obtained a M.S. in Education from Northwestern University after getting her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Notre Dame.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "I love helping students discover how literature connects us all, regardless of race, age, religion, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomics. Prose and poetry help us to develop empathy for others-- a quality that is needed in our world, now more than ever! When I was considering my career path senior year in college, I applied to master's programs in both journalism and education at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. I loved writing for my school newspaper in both high school and college, and I also loved my English literature classes over the years. In the end, I decided to pursue education, primarily due to the incredible experiences I had in Catholic schools for 16 years! As a high school English teacher, I feel honored to share my love of literature and learning with students."
Mrs. Smith enjoys traveling, cooking, going to the theater (especially The Guthrie), going to concerts, reading everything from non-fiction to fiction to poetry, and watching true crime documentaries. Her favorite places to dine in the Twin Cities are Rock Elm in Maple Grove and Olympia Cafe in Osseo.
FUN FACT: She grew up in Chicago and is a huge Cubs fan. She loves dogs and currently has a basset hound named Stanley!
Mrs. Swanson is a health and physical education teacher, having been with Totino-Grace for nine years! She previously taught at a public high school in the Twin Cities and received her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas, majoring in Education.
When asked what her favorite thing about teaching is, she said, "I am beyond blessed to be able to come to school each day and teach such incredible students! I love the opportunity to build relationships with students and help them grow on both an academic and personal level as well as help them see the value and meaning they bring to this world. I specifically chose health and physical education because I am passionate about sharing the endless benefits of health with others. My teaching approach is that all students, regardless of athletic ability or background, can find joy and value in leading a healthy lifestyle."
Mrs. Swanson said her family likes to be on the move! They enjoy playing and watching sports, biking, running, walking their dog, swimming, rollerblading, going to the cabin, fishing, boating, waterskiing, and playing games together. Their favorite (kid friendly) places we enjoy dining include: The Tavern, Panino's, Green Mill, and Osaka.
FUN FACT: Hockey is her favorite sport. While in high school, she invited to train at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, where she skated on the same sheet of ice that the "Miracle on Ice" took place. She played hockey at St. Thomas and spent 11 years coaching high school hockey afterwards, six of which were at Totino-Grace!
Mr. Thibodeau has been at Totino-Grace for 14 years, having preciously taught in Madrid, Spain! He is one of our science teachers and also teachers in the E3 (engineering) program. He obtained his masters degrees in Science Ed (University of Minnesota) and Engineering Ed (University of St. Thomas) and his undergraduate in Physics and Astrophysics from the University of Minnesota.
When asked why he loves teaching, he said, "I love teaching the variety of topics that I'm able to at TG, Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, and Computer Science. I've been able to create those courses and programs and I feel a lot of pride in that. I LOVE coaching girls soccer, it's my joy at TG! Teaching and coaching is a way for me to share my passions with others."
Mr. Thibodeau is super passionate about soccer: coaching, playing, and watching. He loves the outdoors, hiking, camping, boating, etc. and spending time with his wife and son. His favorite place to eat in the Twin Cities is Chimborazo in NE Minneapolis.
FUN FACT: As a kid, in addition to playing soccer, he spent many years doing Karate and skateboarding.
Mr. Vance is a theology and English teacher at Totino-Grace. He has been with us for 21 years and has never taught anywhere else. He obtained his masters degree from the University of St. Thomas and studied English for his undergraduate studies at St. John's University.
When asked why he went into teaching for his line of work, he said, "I pursued a teaching career because numerous teachers in my high school strongly impacted my love of life and love of learning. I wanted to be a standup comic, but with this job you get better benefits and the audience can't leave when I am not funny."
Mr. Vance's hobbies are reading, soccer coaching, soccer playing and soccer fandom, collecting soccer scarves (can you sense a theme here?), exercising, prayer, and mindfulness. His favorite place to dine in the Twin Cities is Broder's Pasta Bar.
FUN FACT: He was selected as Mr. Elk Grove at a fundraising pageant at his high school in 1988, due in large part to his Malibu tan and impressive shoulders. Her met his now wife when he asked her roommate on a date! He loves his brother and while there are a TON of things to love about being a member of the TG community, teaching with his brother is better than anything he could have ever asked for.
Mr. Wareham is one of Totino-Grace's English teachers. He has been with TG for 27 years and has never taught anywhere else! He obtained a masters degree from St. Mary's University and an undergraduate degree in English from St. John's University.
When asked what his favorite thing about teaching is, he said, "I can honestly say that in all my time at TG, I have never not wanted to come to work. There is such a strong sense of community here. I know that some days may be tougher than others, but I have always looked forward to being with my co-workers, my students, and my athletes. Together, they all help make the good times more enjoyable, and they help ease the tough times. Why teaching? I entered college with the idea of eventually going to law school and becoming a criminal attorney. I loved the debate and argument of legal cases, at least how they were portrayed on television. But then I took a short story course in the 2nd semester of my freshman year at SJU. It was dynamic. The stories were captivating, often raising moral and ethical questions of characters and situations. Engaging discussions followed. During my junior year I switched majors from English to Journalism. But the pull of literature brought me back to English for my senior year. I'm glad it did. I have the best job ever."
Mr. Wareham's hobbies are tennis, biking, reading, politics, and music. His favorite place to eat in the Twin Cities is Pizzeria Lola (in S. Mpls.). It used to be a Kenny's Market convenience store where he worked in college! The transformation was cool to see and experience for him.
FUN FACT: He hit four home runs (all over the fence) in two games as a senior in high school on his Spring Break baseball trip.
Mrs. Wiemiller has been teaching Spanish at Totino-Grace for 22 years, joining us from a school in Wisconsin. She majored in Spanish and Education at the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse.
When asked what her favorite thing about her job is, she said, "I love the people: The students, the faculty, the staff, the alumni...I feel blessed to have met some of the best people in the north metro. And I love the language, the culture and all things about the Spanish-Speaking world. I chose teaching Spanish (after being a Chemistry/Biology major) because I realized that I wanted to work with people and have a profession that allows me to be creative. I chose Totino-Grace because I value Catholic Education. The LaSallian Charism of being Christ to our students motivates me each day."
When she isn't in the classroom, she enjoys being a mom first and foremost. As a family, they love to travel, have game nights, and do puzzles. Mrs. Wiemiller loves all things crafty- paper crafts, sewing, hand-lettering, and furniture repurposing.
If you want authentic Mexican food at a very reasonable price, she recommends Taco Loco at 42nd and Central in Columbia Heights. She loves that she gets to order in Spanish and soak up some language and culture with her quesadilla. She has even taken her class on a field trip there!
FUN FACT: She once attended Mass in Mexico followed by a pack of about 15 random dogs. Everybody at the church was giving her a funny look but thankfully they stayed at the (open) doors during Mass, waiting for her. She had to sneak out the side door to get home!
Mr. Wolfe has been with Totino-Grace since 2015 and is one of our science teachers. He has previously taught at two other schools in the Twin Cities. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemistry/Chemistry Education from North Dakota State University (NDSU). When asked why he likes teaching, he said, "I love working with the kids. I'm a life-long learner."
Mr. Wolfe is really into designing and creating things. He moves around a lot between art, CAD, electronics, and programming. His favorite place to eat in the Twin Cities is Rock Bottom Brewery.
FUN FACT: Each Christmas, his family does volunteer work to help feed thousands of homeless families on Christmas Day. Each family is given a warm meal, a visit from Santa, and some presents (toys, bikes) for the kids. It's something he looks forward to each year. Another fun fact is that he played soccer since he was three years old. It was a major part of his life until his back injury prevented him from continuing. At the USA Cup in 2002, he was a guest player with the Brazilian soccer team! They played a very competitive bracket and lost in the semi-finals. He still sees his coach bringing new players to Blaine, MN each summer.
Mrs. Wysocki has been with Totino-Grace for 14 years and is currently one of our English teachers! She obtained her masters degree from St. Thomas --MACI and her undergraduate in English from Viterbo University.
When asked why she went into teaching, she said, "Right out of high school, I was a social work major for a year, then dropped out. I hadn't quite found the right career path for me. When I 're-enlisted' in college, I knew four things: I loved my faith, I loved kids, I loved talking to people, and I loved stories. What better career is there when you have those loves than teaching English at a Catholic high school?"
Mrs. Wysocki's hobbies include singing, walking/hiking, reading everything in sight, traveling anywhere she can afford to go to, and going to anything live, such as concerts, theater, stand-up comedy. Her favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities are Taste of India or the Sample Room.
FUN FACT: She and her husband were in a rock band together and she is a HUGE Packers fan!