Faculty and Staff

Administration, Office & General Staff


Sr. Mary Juliana, O.P.

Sr. Mary Juliana, O.P. was raised in Copperas Cove, TX. She graduated from Aquinas College in Nashville with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and in 2005 received a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. She did post-graduate work at Xavier University in Cincinnati and at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver.

Sister Mary Juliana is first a Dominican Sister, one who has given her life to God and has committed herself to the task of the Dominican Order, namely sacred preaching for the salvation of souls. She entered the Motherhouse in Nashville, TN, in 1998 and made her final vows in 2005. Since ’98 she has been about the Lord’s work in many schools teaching primarily grades 2 through 8 and administering two of the Congregation’s schools in Maryland and Minnesota. In each of the Congregation’s schools, she strived to create an atmosphere of conversion for all students that they may be formed into the image of Christ Himself. Her passion for administration is seeing this conversion begin in the earliest days of preschool and grow throughout the child’s excellent formation in education. It is her pleasure to serve each child and each family.

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Assistant Principal

John Arndt

John Arndt was educated by the Benedictine Sisters in Cullman, AL, in grade school, the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey in high school, and the Jesuits of Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. This education, along with his experience in teaching alongside the Dominican Sisters at St. Rose Academy, have taught him full well not only the importance and value of a Catholic education, but also the unique and irreplaceable gift of consecrated religious in schools. Mr. Arndt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 2006 and his Masters in Catholic Educational Leadership from Marymount University in 2016. He has been in some capacity at Saint Rose since 2010. During the summer, he is director of Camp St. Bernard in Cullman, AL. He is married to his beautiful wife, Katie, and absolutely adores his daughter Lucy.

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Ricky Ayo


Administrative Assistant

Admissions Director

Vivian Hults

Vivian Hults was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She attended New York City Catholic schools run by the Dominicans, the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Jesuits. She is a graduate of Fordham University with a degree in Modern Languages and Education.  Mrs. Hults had a career in advertising in both New York City and Chicago before becoming a full-time mom in a suburb of Washington, D.C.  Her husband, Scott, has been her partner throughout their adventures.  She has served the St. Rose community since 1994 as the receptionist, secretary, and currently as Administrative Assistant and Admissions Director.  Her daughters are both graduates and her grandchildren are currently enrolled at St. Rose Academy.

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Director of Institutional Advancement

Christine Salberg

Christine Salberg is Saint. Rose’s Director of Institutional Advancement.  Prior to coming on board with Saint Rose, Mrs. Salberg worked for ten years with the Diocese of Birmingham, first as the Assistant to the Director of Religious Education at Prince of Peace Church in Hoover, and then as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools and the Director of Catholic Education and Lifelong Formation.  Mrs. Salberg was raised in South Florida and moved to the Birmingham area with her husband Jeff in 2006. Mrs. Salberg enjoys spending her free time with her husband, tending to her many plants and then taking photos of them both.

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Scarlet Bishop

Scarlet brings a certain “sunshine” to our staff here at St. Rose.  She works at the front office with Vivian, answering phone calls, substitute teaching, and helping anyone who needs assistance.  We’re so thankful and blessed to have Scarlet’s joyful presence with us!  She loves spending time with her family, traveling, and staying involved at her Parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

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Business Manager

Charlotte Ayo

Charlotte Ayo was born in Lake Charles and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She attended Catholic elementary and high schools run by the Mercy Sisters and the Notre Dame Sisters.  Charlotte began her career with the Internal Revenue Service for 10 years before becoming a full-time mom.  She and her husband Ricky have two sons, both graduates of Louisiana State University.  They have one granddaughter and a grandson on the way.  Charlotte enjoys following LSU sports but not as much as her devoted husband of 42 years.

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Director of Resource

Emily Colon

Emily Colon is excited to be continuing her time with the Saint Rose family in the capacity of Director of Resource. She attended Birmingham-Southern College, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. She and her husband Chad, a medical student at UAB, grew up in Birmingham. They love Alabama football and spending time at the beach.

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Preschool/Early Childhood Education

3K Teacher

Laura DeCastra

Laura attended St. Barnabas School from Kindergarten through 8th Grade and graduated from John Carroll High School in 2009.  Teaching comes naturally to her.  Her grandparents were teachers in Memphis, TN, and both her parents currently teach at John Carroll. Laura has worked with children since she was 16 years old.  Her experience includes nursery and summer daycare at Briarwood Christian, Little Angels Day Care in Florence, and St. Peter’s summer program.  In June 2016 she married John DeCastra, her boyfriend of 5 years. Laura is enjoying building the 3K program at St. Rose Academy.

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3K Aide

Karen Tuggle

Karen Tuggle was born in Chicago, IL, and moved to Alabama at a young age.  She received a Marketing degree from UAB.  She worked at SouthTrust Bank and Compass Bank until she became a stay-at-home mom after adopting her son, Joseph, from Russia. Her youngest son, Chase, was born 4 years later.  When Chase began 4K, Karen came to work at St. Rose as the 1st Grade Aide and is now the 3K Aide.  She has been here 10 years. Karen lives in Gardendale with her husband, Chuck, their two sons and their dogs, Shadow and Sasquatch.

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4K Teacher

Sr. Mary Charles, O.P.


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4K Aide

Ann Fondren

Ann first came to Saint Rose in 2003 as the P.E. teacher for grades 5K-4 and as the part-time 4K aide before becoming the full-time 4K aide in 2007.  She feels abundantly blessed to have worked alongside Mrs. Plaisance until her retirement in 2016. She thinks 4K is the most important year of school and truly believes she has the best job ever! The best part of her day is taking the children to visit Jesus in The Blessed Sacrament and helping them learn to read. Her youngest daughter attended Saint Rose and her grandson is currently enrolled.

5K Teacher

Sr. Annunciata, O.P.

Sr. Annunciata, a New Mexico native, has been a professed Dominican Sister for 29 years.  She received a BS degree from Belmont University, a MS degree in Early Childhood from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a MS degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Sr. Annunciata has also completed the Levels 1-3 formation courses offered by the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and is working towards becoming a Catechesis trainer.  Sister has taught for 27 years, of which 20 have been spent teaching kindergarten here at St. Rose Academy.  As St. Rose Academy forms its students in goodness, so has it formed Sr. Annunciata as a teacher and a religious sister.

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Elementary & Middle School Education

Grade 1 Teacher

Raine Anselmo

Hailing from Cajun country in Southwest Louisiana, Mrs. Raine Anselmo is beginning her 12th year as the St. Rose Academy’s first-grade teacher.  She graduated from St. Thomas More Catholic High School in Lafayette, LA, then followed her father’s dream and attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She was a Dean’s list graduate in 1992, earning a B.S. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. She taught Kindergarten in the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham for 3 years following graduation before staying home to raise her children. Mrs. Anselmo earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UAB in 2009, where she was an honor graduate and was chosen most outstanding graduate student by the School of Education faculty. She is the proud parent of 4 children: Aryn, a 2009 St. Rose graduate and a Senior at The University of Alabama; Gannon, a 2010 St. Rose graduate and a Junior at UA; Griffin, a 2014 St. Rose graduate and a Junior at John Carroll Catholic High School, and Gage, a 2015 graduate of St. Rose Academy and a Sophomore at John Carroll Catholic High School. Mrs. Anselmo loves teaching 1st grade! The class motto is “work hard, play hard” because that is exactly what they do. Children are active learners who enjoy learning the important academic lesson while becoming confident and secure in their autonomy as young Christians. Mrs. “A” creates a safe environment where children can try new things and aren’t afraid to make mistakes. She enjoys educating the whole child and truly feels called to teach in a Catholic school setting. In her downtime, she enjoys cooking, gardening, decorating, traveling, and just hanging out with her children, her husband George, and their dogs Muddy and Mabel.

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Grade 2 Teacher

Sr. Mary Lucy, O.P.

Sister Mary Lucy Sundry grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. While studying elementary education at Winona State University, she discerned her vocation to the religious life. In 2000, she entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, professed first vows in 2002 and perpetual vows in 2007. After graduating from Aquinas College in Nashville, Sister Mary Lucy began teaching second grade. She has served in schools in Nashville, TN, Greenville, SC, and Bolingbrook, IL. She also completed a master’s degree in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

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Resource Teacher

Grades 1 and 2 Aide

Dora Bolus

Dora Bolus is a native of Birmingham.  She taught special education in the Birmingham City School System for twenty-five years, and since 2008 she has been the resource teacher at Saint Rose Academy. She received her undergraduate degree in elementary education with a minor in special education and a master’s degree in learning disabilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Ms. Bolus is also a member of Saint Elias Maronite Catholic Church where she prepares the second graders for their First Holy Communion.

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Grade 3 Teacher

Tracee Brewer

Tracee Brewer is excited to join the Saint Rose family! She recently moved to Birmingham from Gretna, Louisiana with her husband and three boys and we are so grateful that the Lord has brought her to us! Tracee has taught in both public and Catholic elementary schools since 2008, primarily in 1st through 3rd grades. Her approach to reading and math centers, as well as her positive behavior strategies, will be among the many gifts she brings to her students!

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Grade 4 Teacher

Brigid Spina

Brigid Spina is no stranger to teaching the faith to young people. She has taught religious education to 5th-grade students for the past 7 years at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. She began her teaching career in 5th grade for 4 years at Clay Elementary School where she brought her love for science to her students by joining them at Space Camp in Huntsville and by providing a 5th grade Science Fair. She has been a substitute teacher at Oak Mountain Elementary and Intermediate schools for the past 3 years. We are grateful for the zeal and commitment to challenging each student that comes to her this year in 4th grade at Saint Rose!

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Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher

Music and P.E. Teacher

Athletic Director

Laura Huddleston

Laura Huddleston has a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Montevallo and will be graduating in December with a Masters in Catholic School Administration and Leadership from Marymount University. In addition to teaching general Music, Mrs. Huddleston is the 5th Grade homeroom teacher, the Choir director, and the Athletic Director.  She is a trained singer and offers private voice lessons. Mrs. Huddleston loves the family atmosphere and excellent education that St. Rose Academy provides. She is married and has one daughter continuing her Catholic education at St. Bernard Preparatory School, two sons at St. Rose Academy, and a little one at home.  She has seen firsthand through her children and her own Catholic education how faith formation and the support of the Dominican sisters forms and leads our children and staff to Christ.

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Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher

Rachel Lee

 Rachel Lee could not be more thrilled to continue her teaching career with the middle school grades at Saint Rose.  She is a graduate of the University of Alabama, majoring in Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies.  While in undergrad, Rachel made the Dean’s list and President’s List and also studied abroad in Ireland.  Rachel loved student teaching with the middle school grades and achieved her “Highly Qualified” certification upon graduating.  After a two year stay in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Rachel and her husband, Barton, have enjoyed being back in their hometown where they both graduated from John Carroll High School.  They attend Our Lady of Sorrows Parish where Rachel went to grade school.  Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and their puppy, Piper, going to Alabama football games, and spending time at the lake with family. 

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Grade 7 Homeroom Teacher

Grade 6 English Teacher

Grades 7 and 8 Literature Teacher

Grade 8 History Teacher

John Arndt

John Arndt was educated by the Benedictine Sisters in Cullman, AL, in grade school, the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey in high school, and the Jesuits of Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. This education, along with his experience in teaching alongside the Dominican Sisters at St. Rose Academy, have taught him full well not only the importance and value of a Catholic education but also the unique and irreplaceable gift of consecrated religious in schools. Mr. Arndt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 2006 and his Masters in Catholic Educational Leadership from Marymount University in 2016. He has been in some capacity at Saint Rose since 2010. During the summer, he is director of Camp St. Bernard in Cullman, AL. He is married to his beautiful wife, Katie, and absolutely adores his daughter Lucy.

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Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher

Grades 6-8 Religion 

Grade 8 English Teacher

Grade 6 History Teacher

Grade 5 Latin Teacher

Sr. Vincent Marie, O.P.

Sr. Vincent Marie has been a Dominican sister for the past sixteen years.  During the last ten years, she has been teaching middle school students in several Dominican schools in Tennessee.  Most recently she taught 6th-8th-grade religion, 7th & 8th grade English composition and logic, and 6th-grade history and literature at St. Pius X Classical Academy in Nashville.  Sister holds a B.A. in history from Texas A&M, she received her teaching certification from Aquinas College, and she has completed a master’s degree in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.  She is very happy to serve the families of Saint Rose.

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Primary Religion and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Sr. Mary Charles, O.P.

After graduating from high school in 19**, Sister Mary Charles entered the Dominican Sisters of
Nashville, Tennessee. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Education from
Middle Tennessee University and went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Educational
Leadership and Supervision from the University of Tennessee. Sister received a Master of Arts
in Religious Education from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum University, Rome,
Italy). Sister Mary Charles has served schools on the elementary, secondary and college level as
both teacher and administrator for over 45 years. She also served as the Director of Teacher
Education at Aquinas College in Nashville for two different terms. On three occasions, Sister
Mary Charles was assigned here at St. Rose Academy as both teacher and principal. Sister is
thrilled to be returning to St. Rose for the fourth time and even more thrilled that she will be
able to reconnect with the grandchildren of the children she first taught. Sister spends most of
her week teaching religion and leading the young children in the experience of the Atrium of
the Good Shepherd where both Sister and child meet Jesus together in an encounter of love.
There is no greater gift than to enjoy being with the children in this relationship.

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Sr. Mary Reginald

Sister Mary Reginald, O.P. earned an Associates of Arts Degree from Aquinas College in Nashville and a Bachelor of Science degree from Siena College, Memphis, Tennessee. Later studies included a Master of Arts in Religious Education from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum University, Rome, Italy), a Master degree in Educational Leadership & Administration of Curriculum & Instructional Development, Xavier University, and doctoral studies at Tennessee State University. Sister has over 45 years of experience which includes teaching, administration, curriculum instruction, development and evaluation which spans Pre-K through college. She has been the librarian for the Dominican Sisters in Nashville,
for the past seven years.
“I consider my sacred Dominican calling one of leading others to Christ by word and example.     I believe learning is a lifelong process.  My zeal is directed to God’s will ~ to bring the best of my God-given talents to a situation . . . I believe the educational process is a responsibility that is shared by parents, educators, students and the community.  I believe that every child is God’s special creation and should be allowed to learn and grow in God’s love and mercy. I encourage each person to cherish his/her God-given gifts, talents and faith by loving God, others and themselves, in a respectful manner. Education is life-long learning! We must all learn to follow in the footsteps of Christ.  He came in truth, love, and mercy. We must live in the same way! Then, we will live out the St. Rose motto: ‘Veritas et Caritas’!”

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 Art Teacher

Deby Alfano

Deby Alfano grew up in Melbourne, Florida with two younger siblings.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in K-6 Elementary Education at Athens State University in Athens, Alabama and has over twenty years of experience working with children, fifteen of which she has spent teaching.  This is Mrs. Alfano’s twelfth year at St. Rose Academy, where she has shown her versatility and talent by teaching children in grades 2-5.  She is a self-taught artist and has taught children’s art classes at the Birmingham Museum of Art in addition to private art lessons at St. Rose.  She is deeply committed to the St. Rose mission to form the whole child and to bring the child to his/her full potential as a child of God.

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Grades 6-8 Spanish Teacher

Isabel Reaves

Senora Reaves, a native of Santiago, Chile, has been teaching Spanish at St. Rose since 2004.  She is married and has five children, four of which are St. Rose alumni.  She began her professional career in Chile as a speech and language pathologist working mainly with 2 to 4 year-old children with various pathologies, speech impediments, and developmental disorders like autism.  One of the highlights of Senora’s 20 years living in Birmingham has been the opportunity to teach St. Rose students about her native language and culture, share in her own children’s school life, and enrich her own spiritual formation thanks to the vibrant Catholic faith culture of the Dominican Sisters.

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Grades 5-8 Math Teacher

Ginger Hensley

Ginger has been teaching for thirty years, nineteen of those years at St. Rose. Ginger still looks forward to meeting new students and their parents. A New Orleans native, and a product of the Catholic school system, Ginger obtained her Bachelor of Science at LSU. In 1990, she obtained her certification in middle school math. Subsequently, she has been recognized by the Alabama Department of Education as a “Highly Qualified” teacher. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, Caroline and William. Ginger’s influence has been felt by hundreds of former students, and one of her favorite things is when an old student stops her on the street and expresses their appreciation for being in her class!

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Grades 5-8 Science Teacher

Marilyn Niemann, Ph.D.

This is Dr. Niemann’s second year as a science teacher at St. Rose.  After teaching last year with her husband, Dr. Baggott, she is now designing and teaching fifth through eighth-grade science labs with Ms. Coco and is the Science Fair “coach”.  Dr. Niemann is from New York and received her B.A. and M.A. from Queens College and her Ph.D. from the City University of New York in Biology before moving to Birmingham to start her research career at UAB.  As her three daughters transitioned from elementary to middle school, she developed a personal interest in and concern for the quality of their education. Consequently, she volunteered to teach fifth, then sixth grade Parish School of Religion for ten years at Our Lady of Sorrows.  As she approached the end of her research career, she obtained her M.A. in Secondary Science Education from UAB and for the next five years developed and directed the UAB Community OutReach Development (CORD) Summer Science Institute, Saturday Science Clubs, and after School Science programs for Birmingham area high school students.  After leaving UAB she became the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate (JCIB) IB/AP Biology and Environmental Science teacher and received the 2010 A+ College Ready Alabama AP Biology Teacher of the Year Award.  Upon retirement from teaching she volunteered at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) helping to develop and teach a hands-on middle school plant lab program as well as doing research on and mentoring two JCIB work-study students in the culturing of a rare Alabama fern which led to her being awarded the BBG Educator of the Year Volunteer Award in 2014.  She was again lured out of retirement by the opportunity to set up and teach PART-TIME at a faith-based school in St. Rose’s beautiful new science lab.  In her spare time, she enjoys talking to and visiting with family and friends, especially her two grandchildren, and is an avid tennis fan. 

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Grades 5-8 Science Teacher

Middle School P.E. Teacher

Michele Coco

Michele Coco joins Saint Rose academy for her 1st year in 2016 after an 8-year sabbatical to raise and homeschool her 7-year-old daughter.  Ms. Coco received her bachelor’s degree in Botany with a minor in Chemistry and French from Louisiana State University.  In July of 2008, Ms. Coco obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Secondary Science Education from Lagrange College in South Georgia. Attending Catholic Schools from 2nd to 12th grade in Baton Rouge, LA, St. Aloysius and St. Joseph’s Academy, Ms. Coco thoroughly enjoys teaching alongside the Catholic curriculum.  Her most recent teaching job, from 2001 to 2008, was at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, GA. Ms. Coco is an avid gardener and chef (specializing is Cajun cuisine and Iron Triber) with the assistance of her 7-year-old sous chef, Camille, her 4-year-old Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler mix, Bella, her orange tabby cat, Skittles, and her 55-gallon fish tank.  Geaux Tigers:)

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