Faculty and Staff


Administration & General Staff


Principal

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.

Click Here to Email

 

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 Saint Rose Academy, has 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 and his beautiful wife Katie are the proud parents of two daughters, Lucy and Maggie!

Click Here to Email

 

CFO

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 Saint 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 Saint Rose Academy.

Click Here to Email

 

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 with the Diocese of Birmingham for ten years, 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.

Click Here to Email

 

Receptionist

Scarlet Bishop

Scarlet brings a certain “sunshine” to our staff here at Saint 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.

Click Here to Email

 

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 a granddaughter and a grandson.  Charlotte enjoys following LSU sports but not as much as her devoted husband of 42 years.

Click Here to Email

 

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.

Click Here to Email

 


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 Catholic High School.  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 Saint Rose Academy.

Click Here to Email

 

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 four years later.  When Chase began 4K, Karen came to work at Saint Rose as the 1st Grade Aide and is now the 3K Aide.  She has been here thirteen years. Karen lives in Gardendale with her husband, Chuck, their two sons and four dogs.

Click Here to Email

 

4K Teacher

Lori Inglis

Lori Inglis is a retired public school teacher from Charleston, SC where she taught Preschool Special Education, PreK, Kindergarten and First Grade. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the College of Charleston. Ms. Inglis’s teaching certifications include Special Education and Early Childhood Education.

She moved to Birmingham last year to be near her first grandbaby. Her son Brett is currently working on his PhD at the University of Alabama and is married to a Birmingham native Sarah Aultman. They are parents to Alice who is two years old. Ms. Inglis also has a daughter Rebecca who will graduate from Physician Assistant school in North Carolina this July. Ms. Inglis loves spending time with her family and exploring the Birmingham area with her dog Lily. She is a member of St. Michael’s Church in Charleston and is visiting Trinity Church in Homewood where she is now living. She is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to teach at Saint Rose Academy.

Click Here to Email

 

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 a recent graduate.

 

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 Saint Rose Academy.  As Saint Rose Academy forms its students in goodness, so has it formed Sr. Annunciata as a teacher and a religious sister.

Click Here to Email

 

Primary School Assistant

Library Assistant

Sr. John Margaret, O.P.

Sister John Margaret is a native of Nashville, TN. She professed her vows 30 years ago with Sister Annunciata. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Belmont College, and has also completed Levels 1-3 formation courses offered by Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Sister has taught for 18 years in Tennessee from Pre-K4 through 6th grade. She taught double grades at St. Patrick’s School in McEwen, TN.  Many of her students keep in touch with her and have their children at St. Patrick’s. She also taught 11 years at St. Pius X Classical Academy where she first met Mr. Arndt. Sister has also spent 7-8 years cooking in the kitchen for the Motherhouse, and she recently spent the last four years cooking in the Diet Kitchen for the Infirmary Sisters. Besides teaching and cooking, she loves arts and crafts. She loves coming up with creative ideas for auctions and loves painting the wooden peg people into Saints.

“May each of us look toward the Saints and follow after our Lord just as they did.”

Click Here to Email


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 Saint 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 Saint Rose graduate and a Senior at The University of Alabama; Gannon, a 2010 St. Rose graduate and a Junior at UA; Griffin, a 2014 Saint Rose graduate and a Junior at John Carroll Catholic High School, and Gage, a 2015 graduate of Saint 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.

Click Here to Email

 

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.

Click Here to Email

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.

Click Here to Email

 

Grade 3 Teacher

Grade 5 Science Teacher

Lillie Strachan

Lillie Strachan (pronounced Strahn) is a graduate of both Our Lady of the Valley and John Carroll Catholic schools in Birmingham. Upon graduation of John Carroll in 2011, she attended the University of Alabama. There she received a B.S. in psychology in 2015, and a M.A. in elementary education in 2017. While in college, Ms. Strachan worked full time at a local restaurant and also worked as a graduate assistant for two professors. During her elementary education masters program, Ms. Strachan completed over 1000 hours of student teaching in Tuscaloosa schools. With that experience, the research gained through the coursework, and your prayers, Ms. Strachan has no doubt that she and her students will have a wonderful year in 3rd grade full of learning, joy and Christ!

In Ms. Strachan’s spare time she enjoys spending time with family, friends and her 3 pets. She has two dogs named Teddy and Millie, and one cat named Gus. Also, Ms. Strachan loves to travel, especially to Alabama football games! She also attends St. Francis Xavier Parish here in Birmingham.

Click Here to Email

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!

Click Here to Email

 

Grade 5 Teacher

Sr. Maria Cecilia, O.P.

Sister Maria Cecilia has a BAIS with an emphasis in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina and an MA in Theological Studies from Notre Dame University, Sydney, Australia.  Sister has spent fifteen years committed to the education of young people in the Catholic School setting, spending 12 years in the elementary school with experience in grades fourth through eighth, and 3 years at the high school level teaching Theology to ninth, tenth, and twelfth graders.  Sister Maria Cecilia grew up in Birmingham and is delighted to be returning to her alma mater. Faith and family, both her Dominican and immediate family, are of paramount importance to her.  Sister has been blessed to attend two World Youth Days in Toronto and Madrid. She enjoy sports, reading, and spending time at Lake Martin. Sister Maria Cecilia looks forward to reconnecting with her Saint Rose family and serving our students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade.

Click Here to Email

 

Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher

7th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Grades 5-8 History Teacher

Grades 1-4 PE Teacher

Scott Saavedra

Mr. Saavedra received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Auburn University in 2009 and his Masters in Secondary Education from Samford University in 2016. He is originally from Northern California where he graduated from Archbishop Riordan Catholic High School. He has been a resident of Alabama for 13 years and currently resides in Helena. He is blessed to have a twin sister who lives in Seattle with her husband and their adorable dog Kratos. Mr. Saavedra taught history at Opelika Middle School and St. Aloysius Catholic School in Bessemer where he was Athletic Director as well as the physical education teacher. Mr. Saavedra enjoys sports, traveling, and spending time with his three dogs, Aussie, Truffle, and Skip.

Click Here to Email

 

Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher

Grade 6 English Teacher

Grades 7 and 8 Literature 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 Saint Rose Academy, has 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 and his beautiful wife Katie are the proud parents of two daughters, Lucy and Maggie!

Click Here to Email

 

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 Saint 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.

Click Here to Email

 

Librarian

Sr. Mary Reginald, O.P.

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’!”

 

Click Here to Email

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 fourteenth year at Saint 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.

Click Here to Email

 

Grades 6-8 Spanish Teacher

Nadia Barajas

Nadia Barajas, born and raised in Madrid (Spain), has a B.A. in English Studies, a Spanish Teacher Diploma, and a Teaching Certificate from Complutense University in Madrid. She has also finished several courses of MAEd/ESL International Track from University of Alabama in Birmingham.

She has worked as a translator and interpreter among other jobs, but teaching is what she really loves. She has been teaching English and Spanish to adults and children for more than 10 years, and she really enjoys learning with her students, passing her thrill for learning on to them!

She has been living with her husband and two children in Birmingham since 2014. She loves to travel, to know new places, and she is very fond of reading, hiking and cooking.

Click Here to Email

 

Grade 8 Homeroom Teacher

Grades 5-8 Math Teacher

Ginger Hensley

Ginger has been teaching for thirty years, nineteen of those years at Saint 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!

Click Here to Email

 

Grades 5-8 Science Teacher

Marilyn Niemann, Ph.D.

This is Dr. Niemann’s third year as a science teacher at Saint Rose.  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 Saint 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.

Click Here to Email

 

Choir Director

Athletic Director

Lura Huddleston

Lura 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 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 Saint Rose Academy provides. She is married and has one daughter continuing her Catholic education at St. Bernard Preparatory School, two sons at Saint 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.

 Click Here to Email