Our Teachers

Our teachers are the heart and soul of our school, the people who have dedicated the better part of their lives to providing a safe, challenging, exciting, Christ-centered learning environment for your children. We’d like you to meet them.

Chelsey Miller, Preschool Teacher

Kelly Schipper, Preschool Teacher 

“I feel called to do this work. Preschool is the foundation for future learning and an opportunity to gain confidence, social skills, and a strong sense of spirituality. I’m honored to have the opportunity to introduce the youngest students to St. Paul the Apostle School and blessed to be part of the dedicated staff.”

  • Master of Education in the Practice of Teaching, Early Childhood concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, minor in Language Arts
  • Continuous professional development through the Grand Rapids Diocese, Kent ISD, and online courses.

Morgan Theile, Kindergarten Teacher 


Melissa Klunejko, First Grade Teacher 

“I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with the children to help them become enthusiastic about learning. I love helping them on their daily path with Jesus. I appreciate the fact that high expectations and standards are the norm here at our school.”

  • Master of Arts, Reading Specialist Endorsement, Grand Valley State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Early Elementary Education, Early Childhood Endorsement, Central Michigan University
  • Continuing educating includes DIBELS workshops, an assessment that Michigan public schools are using for detecting early childhood reading levels and diagnoses
  • Love and Logic.


Eric Remington, Second Grade Teacher 

“I am so excited to be teaching at St. Paul the Apostle School. Having the opportunity to work with second graders is a great experience because I get to witness God’s love firsthand as the students prepare for Reconciliation and First Communion. I always look forward to a faith-filled, fun and exciting school year.”

  • Master in Education, Aquinas College
  • Bachelor of Arts, Grand Valley State University
  • Experience administering DIBELS and EBLI
  • Love and Logic

Kathleen Swain, Third Grade Teacher 

“In a Catholic school, a God-centered education is primary to the learning experience. Expectations are high spiritually, socially and academically and the children rise to the challenge.”

  • Graduate studies, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University
  • Bachelor of Science, Grand Valley State University, Psychology and Special Education
  • Highly Certified Religious Education recipient
  • Tutoring experience at Severe Learning Disabilities Center

Julie Ingle, Fourth Grade Teacher 


Sarah Gott, Fifth Grade Teacher 

“St. Paul is a very nurturing and engaging school. The parents are involved, and help in many ways. The students are top-notch and make it easier to teach the curriculum. I like being involved with the students and knowing more about them as individuals. With smaller class sizes, that is definitely possible!”

  • Master of Education, Aquinas College
  • Bachelor of Arts, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame
  • Learning Disabilities Endorsement

Caroline Strong, Junior High Language Arts Teacher 

“I believe being a Jr. High teacher is God’s calling for me. I love working with the young adults of St. Paul the Apostle and watching them grow as readers, writers, and people. I am honored to play a role in their lives and am blessed to be at such a wonderful school.”

  • • Grand Valley State University Teacher Certification program
  • • Graduate Studies, Grand Valley State University
  • • Bachelor of Arts, Grand Valley State University
  • • Major, English with literary emphasis and Secondary Education
  • • Minor, Psychology
  • • Reading and Writing Workshop approach to teaching English

Kevin Maitner, Junior High Science Teacher 

“As a science teacher, I strive to create learning experiences that both engage and spark intrigue in learners. It is my belief that the more students are afforded hands-on experiences and taking learning into their own hands, the greater their understanding and achievement of the concepts will be.”

  • Bachelor of Science, Ferris State University
  • Education Major
  • Integrated Science and Mathematics Minors
  • Next Generation Science Standard Aligned Curriculum Development at Michigan Tech and GVSU
  • Van Andel Institute Learning Model experience

Taylor Carter, Junior High Math Teacher 

  • Graduated with Honors from CMU 2015
  • Math major & ELA minor

Erica Emelander, Junior High Social Studies and Religion Teacher 

“Teaching here at St. Paul is the ideal job for me. Not only do I get a chance to teach a great group of kids, I also get a chance to discuss the Catholic faith with them, which is something I have always wanted to do. I am looking forward to being a member of the St. Paul community.”

  • Bachelor of Arts, Aquinas College
  • Major in Social Studies, minor in Language Arts
  • Catechist in the Grand Rapids Diocese

Christina Dugan, Junior High Spanish Teacher 

“It doesn’t get any better than teaching the Spanish language at a Catholic school with interested, eager and respectful students. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be with the St. Paul the Apostle School community.”

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto, St. Michaels’ College, German & French
  • Fluent in five languages
  • Owner, Languages Alive!
  • German born

Barb Saumier, Elementary Spanish Teacher 

“Learning a foreign language at an early age is beneficial to the growth of our student’s language development. I love to teach the St. Paul’s children and see how eager they are to learn. Sharing my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture to a student body that values their education is rewarding.”

  • Masters – Curriculum and Instruction, Michigan State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, K-12 certified in Spanish/Education, Potsdam State University, New York
  • Continuing Education, Member of MIWWLA (Michigan World Language Association)
  • Twenty two years teaching Spanish (20 of those years at the K-5 level)

Mary Balke, Choir Teacher, Reading Resource Tutor 

“The best thing about working at St. Paul is that it feels like “home”. It is a place where people truly care about each other and the well-being of each student, individual and family.”

  • Bachelor of Science, Special Education, Central Michigan University
  • Continuing Education: Response to Intervention, Orton-Gillingham, Dynamic Indicators for Basic Early Literacy Skills

Carla Graham, Librarian 

“With my pediatric nursing background, I am very grateful for the opportunity to bring my joy of working with children and my personal love of reading together in the role of school librarian. I look forward to breathing new life into the library and making it a fun and exciting place. The goal is to discover what each student enjoys while finding the perfect books to spark their interest in becoming life-long readers.”

  • Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Florida State University
  • Pediatric Nurse licensed in the states of Florida and Michigan

Judith Snow, School Counselor

“As a private practitioner, I have provided counseling services to children and families in the Grand Rapids area since 1990. It is a wonderful opportunity that I’ve been given to work with the students at St. Paul the Apostle School. The students and families are clearly valued, the environment is positive and supportive, and the children are delightful.”

  • Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology, Western Michigan University
  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Aquinas College
  • Limited Licenses Psychologist
  • Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Michelle Morrow, Principal 

“Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic School seeks to inspire the future leaders of this world on a daily basis through teaching the whole child – mind, body, and spirit.  It is my mission to motivate, encourage and empower each and every member of our school community to continue our mission of excellence as students, children of God, educators, parent-partners, community partners, and lifelong learners.”

  • Master’s Degrees American College of Education in curriculum instruction and development, and in educational leadership
  • Bachelor’s Degree  – Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN
  • Graduate – Catholic Central High School, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Graduate – Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Grade School, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 13 years experience as educator.  Godwin Heights Public Schools, eleven years, teacher and instructional specialist
  • 2 years – teacher in Chicago Public Schools
  • Lifelong member of Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Parish.