AECC Meet The Staff

AECC Meet The Staff

AECC CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR since 1994 

Erica Argue

Erica Argue

⬧ Dennis and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1989. We have 4 children who attended Ascension School (youngest two, graduates of The Little School) + 2 granddaughters, one currently enrolled in The Little School.
⬧ Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Policymaking from Washington University in St. Louis. Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University (Tempe) + 30 hours of post graduate work in early childhood education (most from Maryville University), including Project Construct, speech and language disorders. Completed the Archdiocese of St. Louis Leadership Program (May 2011) and Paul VI Catechism Certificate (May 2015.) Missouri Lifetime Teaching Certificate in the areas of Special Education (K-8), Elementary Education (K-8), Early Childhood (Birth-grade 3)
⬧ Teaching Experience: 10 years with St. Louis County Special School District (Pre-K and Middle School); St. Luke’s Preschool in Palm Harbor, Florida; Ivy Chapel School for Young Children in St. Louis; St. John’s Early Childhood Center in St. Louis.
⬧ Co-Founder, Co-Chair, member of West County Director’s Association since 1998. 
⬧ Served on Missouri Voluntary Accreditation Teams twice as Team Leader; Served as Co-Chair for SLAEYC Director’s group; Member of NAEYC since 1979.
⬧ Served on Ascension School Board and Ivy Chapel School Board, Ascension Athletic Association Board for 6 years; Volleyball Coordinator and Coach for 10 years; Concession Stand Manager for 9 years; Ascension School Drama Club Director for 6 years.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Active Tennis player and Former Head Varsity/JV Tennis Coach for John F. Kennedy Catholic High School boys’ and girls’ teams 2005-2017. Recipient of USTA MO Valley St. Louis 2013 “No-Cut High School Coach of the Year” Award. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and crocheting in my free time.


 

OFFICE MANAGER

Chris Collins 

Chris Collins


⬧ Michael and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1979. Our daughter, Natalie, attended Ascension Elementary School K-8. She is married and employed by Washington University Anesthesia Group.
⬧ My husband and I own an electrical contractor company for which I handle all the administrative duties.
⬧ Employed with The Little School since the first school year 1995-1996.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Blessed to have my family nearby which keeps me busy. I also enjoy traveling and interior design.


 

2-3’s TEACHERS

Ronna Whitchurch

Ronna Whitchurch

⬧ Patrick and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1996. Our daughter Monica attended Ascension for her elementary education. She followed her mom’s footsteps and is currently a kindergarten classroom in the Rockwood School District.
⬧ Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, University of Missouri. Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction, University of Houston +30 hours post graduate work in early childhood & childhood development. Certifications include elementary education, early childhood, & remedial reading.
⬧ Teaching Experience: 31 years in Ritenour School District working with the primary grades as well as remedial reading. Substituted in the Rockwood School District at the Early Childhood Centers. The Little School's 2-3's teacher since 2015.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: I am a Cardinal baseball fan & enjoy watching the games with my family, as well as playing with my dogs, scrapbooking, and reading.

Jane Urschler

Jane Urschler

⬧ Charlie and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1990. Both of us grew up in St. Louis and both attended St. Louis University. We have 6 children: Three attended The Little School and all six attended Ascension School. Joe is a graduate of Mizzou with a Masters in Accounting. He currently lives in San Francisco and works for Deloitte. Maggie is a graduate of Mizzou with a degree in Biology and is currently in Med School at UMKC in Kansas City. Jack is a 2018 graduate of University of Alabama with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Nick currently attends Mizzou in the Masters of Accounting program. Zach is a sophomore at SLUH. Kathryn is a freshman at Visitation Academy.
⬧ Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing from St. Louis University.
⬧ I enjoyed working at Ascension in Food Service with K-8 students 2012-2018 and look forward to teaching preschool at the Little School! I volunteer with Ronald McDonald House and am a Wish Granter and Volunteer with Make-A-Wish Missouri.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with my family and friends, traveling (especially to visit our kids), Cardinals baseball, reading and running/walking with friends.


 

3-4’s TEACHERS

Laura Swallow

Laura Swallow

⬧ Brad and I have been members of Ascension Parish for 11 years. We have 2 children. Danny is in seventh grade and David is in fifth grade at Ascension School.
⬧ Master of Arts in Educational Administration from University of Missouri and Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, University of South Florida. 
⬧ Teaching Experience: Kindergarten and 4th grade for 7 years where I was awarded “TEACHER OF THE YEAR” from Manatee County School District in Bradenton, Florida; 1st grade teacher at Rossman School in St. Louis for 1 year; 3rd and 4th grade teacher for Parkway School District for 4 years; Reading and Math Tutor for grades K-4; The Little School since 2012 with 4-5’s and 3-4’s.
⬧ Licensed Cosmetologist, volunteer at Ascension Parish/School, Home Decorating, Cooking/Baking, Gardening, Boating, Scrapbooking, Wine Tasting, and caring for my family
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Being part of Ascension Parish Family and the opportunity to teach at The Little School is truly a blessing!

Rhonda Hurt

 Rhonda Hurt

⬧ Dan and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1978. We have two grown children. Justin graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Management Information Services. He works with my husband at our companies - St. Louis Pneumatic and Stoner Machining. Jenna graduated from Webster University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She lives in L.A.
⬧ Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from St. Louis University. Bachelor of Arts Degree on Communication Disorders from Fontbonne College. Certified Speech Pathologist; hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence; member of ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association.)
⬧ Teaching Experience: Speech Pathologist for De Soto Public Schools; Wentzville Schools, St. Martin's School for children with special needs; Private practice for 9 years; Recently retired from Ft. Zumwalt School District after 35 years of service. This is my first year at The Little School.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with family, going to movies with friends, concerts in the park, hiking.

 


 

4-5’s YELLOW ROOM TEACHERS

Bridget Challis

Bridget Challis

⬧ John and I have been members of Ascension Parish for 10 years. We have two children who both attended the Little School and are now at Ascension School. Megan is in 7th grade and Matthew is in 2nd grade.
⬧ Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from University of Missouri
⬧ Experience: 5th grade teacher at St. Genevieve DuBois in Warson Woods; 2-year term on the Little School Board of Education; 3-year term on the Ascension Board of Education; Little School teacher since 2017.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: I am an active volunteer at Ascension School and Parish. I coach the 7th grade girls Volleyball team and I am a member of the Ascension Parents Association Board. I enjoy reading, crafting, running, and being with my family.

Kerri Downey

Kerri Downey

⬧ Bill and I are members of St. Gerard Majella Parish. We have 2 sons - Tom (a Junior at Mizzou) and Paddy (a Freshman at Dayton.)
⬧ Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Early Education from University of Missouri
⬧ Teaching Experience: 2nd grade, Kindergarten, Jr Kindergarten at St. Clement school in Des Peres / Kindergarten at Oak Hill School since 2017.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: BBQs with my family, golf, crafts, sewing and needlepoint.


 

4-5’s BLUE ROOM TEACHERS

Lynne O’Connell

Lynne O’Connell

⬧ Bob and I have been members of Ascension Parish since 1978. We have 3 grown children who attended Ascension School.
⬧ Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis
⬧ Certified in Early Childhood Education
⬧ Teaching Experience: Parkway United; The Little School since the first school year 1995-1996
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Kids, dogs, golf, and painting

Liz Talerico

Liz Talerico

⬧ Rick and I have been married 34 years and have been members of Ascension Parish since relocating from the Boston, MA area in 1996. We have 5 grown children. Michael - University of Notre Dame ’08, SLU Medical School ’12, and an Ortho Trauma surgeon with The CORE Institute and Banner University Medical School. Caitlin - SLU ’10, R.N./N.P. in Nashville, TN. Mairin - University of Notre Dame BS '13 and MA '14 and auditor with the University of Notre Dame. Aidan - Truman State ’16 and a software engineer at Carfax in Columbia, MO. Kieran - a Patient Transporter at Mercy Hospital. A proud grandmother to Avery & Riley (Michael/Christina) and Patrick (Mairin/Joseph).
⬧ Bachelor of Science in Economics from Mount Holyoke College. Worked in large corporate lending for Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in NYC (bank training program-Assistant Vice President/1981-1986); Bank of Boston in Boston (Assistant Vice President/1987); and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in Boston (Vice President/1987-1988).
⬧ Teaching Experience: Howard Park Early Childhood Center; blessed to be at The Little School since 2006.
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Reading, NCAA football (Go Irish!), National Parks, and spending time with family, especially my grandchildren!


 

FLOATER MORNING TEACHER

 Leslie Nipper

Leslie Nipper

⬧ Al and I have twin sons, Christopher and Nicholas. Our sons attended the Little School, Ascension grade school graduating in 2016, and currently attend CBC High School as Juniors.
⬧ Graduated from Fontbonne University with a BA degree in Broadcasting.
⬧ Worked in radio as an on-air personality for 17 years. Also worked in television as Kids Club Host and fill in News Extra Host.
⬧ Worked as a cashier at Ascension for the past 10 years.
⬧ I love being a part of Ascension. I enjoy seeing the children at lunch and consider myself very lucky to be a little part of their day. I remember my boys attending The Little School and feel it is a very special place and now feel blessed to be a part of it!
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Cooking for my family, eating out, pets, enjoying nature and the outdoors, candy, watching my sons play baseball, shopping.


 

ENRICHMENT TEACHERS 

 Gretchen Boehm

Gretchen Boehm

⬧ Tom and I are members of Christ Prince of Peace Parish. We have 2 children - Claudia  is in 9th grade at Villa Duchesne and Erik  is in 6th grade at CPOP.
⬧ Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Webster University
⬧ Teaching Experience: The Little School Enrichment Teacher since 2012; Prior to that, Bright Horizons Lead Teacher Infancy thru Preschool Program and Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School 3rd grade Teacher
⬧ Board Member for Villa Duchesne-City House Alumni Association and member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority
⬧ Interests/Hobbies: Spending time with family, playing golf, being outside, and traveling

 

Karen McGowan

Karen McGowan

⬧ Joe and I have been married for 28 years and members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish since 1992. We have 2 children.  Maggie is at Yale for grad school and Emily lives and works in KC.
⬧ Teaching Experience: Preschool age since 2006 at Gateway Academy and St. Raphael the Archangel; The Little School since 2013
⬧ Interest/Hobbies: Spending time with family, eating out, reading, traveling and hiking.


 

 

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