Faculty and Staff

Administration, Office & General Staff


Sr. Mary Elizabeth, O.P.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth, O.P. was born and raised in Joliet, IL. She holds a B.S.W., M.S.W., and a M.Ed. in Elementary and Secondary School Administration, and has taught multiple grades through the years. She has served as principal in the states of Tennessee, Virginia and Illinois, and currently serves as principal of our beautiful St. Rose Academy. Sister loves the South and is extremely happy to serve in a school owned and operated by her religious congregation, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.

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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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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 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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Institutional Advancement Director

Christine Salberg

Christine Salberg is St. Rose’s Director of Institutional Advancement.  Prior to coming on board with St. Rose, Mrs. Salberg worked for 10 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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Chief Financial Officer

Rick Ayo

Ricky Ayo joins St. Rose Academy after a career of over 37 years in regulatory and finance with Bellsouth/AT&T. Mr. Ayo was educated entirely within Catholic schools by the Dominicans, School Sisters of Notre Dame, and the Jesuits. He is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce/Accounting. He and his wife Charlotte have resided in the Birmingham area since 1995. His main interest outside of work is simply all things LSU and, above all, his granddaughter.

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Accounting Assistant

Mike Burns

Mike Burns graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a BSc in Business Administration.  He retired from CSX Railroad after 35 years of service.  Mr. Burns served a total of 20 years as Division Secretary-Treasurer for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.  He came on board at Saint Rose in January of 2010 but was no stranger to the school, as his 3 children all graduated from St. Rose.  He is married to Rose Rietta Burns.

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Daniel Ray

Daniel is a huge asset to our St. Rose family. He always has the biggest smile on his face and he’s always eager to help around the school. He loves all things Alabama football and has such a heart for the students, families, and faculty of St. Rose. He recently came into The Catholic Church and is so excited to fully be apart of the Faith!


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

Mrs. Carney

Bio coming soon

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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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5K Aide

Rachel Brown

 Rachel Brown graduated from John Carroll High School in 2009. She then attended the University of Alabama, where she graduated with a degree in American Studies. She loves being able to work at her alma mater, graduating from St. Rose in 2005. She said she’s very blessed to come back and work alongside her own Kindergarten teacher, Sister Annunciata. Rachel has a passion for the Montessori style of education, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Montessori Education from the University of Loyola Maryland. Her hobbies include cooking, drawing, and Jazzercise.

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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 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 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 down time, 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

Kathleen Cantu-Crouch

Bio coming soon

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Grade 4 Teacher

Emily Colon

Emily Colon is excited to be joining the Saint Rose family as the 3rd grade teacher.  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.  She has taught third grade for four years and particularly loves teaching math and incorporating children’s literature into the curriculum.

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Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher

Sr. Patrick Stephen, O.P.

Bio coming soon

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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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Grades 1-5 Religion Teacher

Sr. Mary Charles, O.P.

Bio coming soon

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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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Music and P.E. Teacher

Athletic Director

Lura Huddleston

Mrs. Huddleston is beginning her ninth year of teaching Music and her fifth year at St. Rose Academy.  In addition to teaching general Music, Mrs. Huddleston teaches Choir, Private Voice and Piano, Physical Education, is the Athletic Director and is working towards her Master’s Degree in Administration and Catholic School Leadership.  Mrs. Huddleston loves the family atmosphere and excellent education that St. Rose Academy provides. She is married and has three children attending St. Rose.

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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 twenty-eight years, this being her eighteenth year at St. Rose.  Originally from New Orleans, Ginger received her BSc degree from LSU. She received her Middle School Math certification in 1990, and is recognized throughout the Alabama Department of Education as a “Highly Qualified” teacher.  She and her husband have two children, Caroline and William. Her students are influenced by her love and knowledge of math.

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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 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

Michele Coco

Michele Coco joins Saint Rose academy for her 1st year in 2016 after an 8-year sabbatical to raise and home school 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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 Resource Coordinator

Michele Harb

Michele Harb was educated by the Dominican Sisters in her home state of Tennessee and has been thrilled to have her 5 children also receive the blessing of a Dominican education at St. Rose.  Already a long-time part of the St. Rose family as a parent, Mrs. Harb eagerly joined the faculty in the 2011-2012 school year.  She brings to the position a lot of teaching experience, both in-state and out-of-state, and in both public and private school settings.  Mrs. Harb graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education.  Raising her children, which has consumed most of her last twenty-eight years, has also given her great knowledge and wisdom which she eagerly shares with the children and faculty of St. Rose Academy.  

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