Mr. Moore has over 15 plus years of experience as an educator, and prior to becoming a school administrator, Mr. Moore taught in the Chicago Public Schools teaching diverse learners at William Howard Taft High School and Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School. Mr. Moore's love and passion for education began as early as childhood being influenced by elementary and high school teachers/mentors to strive for the highest levels of scholarship in academia. Mr. Moore served as principal in Memphis, Tennessee as well as Rock Island, Illinois before his appointment at St. Paul - Austin. He is currently completing doctoral studies in school leadership at Concordia University - River Forest.
Mr. Moore has a number of favorite verses in the Bible, but the one that resonates most with Mr. Moore is the Aaronic Prayer:
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."
Ashley Strong, PreSchool
Ashley Strong was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She received her B.S. in Biological Science with a minor in chemistry from Northern Illinois University in 2013. She has been teaching at St. Paul since 2015. She became the Preschool teacher at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Her hobbies include reading, going to museums, and traveling. Her favorite Bible verse is Ecclesiastes 9:11, “Again I saw under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”
Tamara McClain, Kindergarten
Ms. McClain has 15 years of experience teaching at the elementary level. She has taught in private schools and in the Chicago Public Schools. Ms. McClain has taught all the grades from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Ms. McClain always wanted to be a teacher; and has always felt called by God to the profession. After a great deal of soul searching, Ms. McClain pursued her passion, and went on to receive a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.
When Ms. McClain has found herself lost and confused in life, one of the Bible verses she relies on to give her the strength and courage to move forward is:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Tracey Brim, 1st & 2nd Grades
Bio coming soon!
Nicole Ortegon, Ph.D., 5th & 6th Grades
Nicole Ortegón completed her Ph.D. in cultural and educational policy studies at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). She also holds an Ed.M. in technology in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Ortegón has extensive undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching experience in the foundations of education. She formerly worked as a Pathways to Excellence for Teachers Instructional Coach for Concordia University Chicago's (CUC) Center for Literacy and adjunct professor at both CUC and LUC. This is Dr. Ortegón’s second year with St. Paul. She currently teaches grades 5-8.
One of her favorite bible verses is Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Mark Bersie, 7th & 8th Grades
Mark Bersie was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. He received a B.A. in elementary Education from Concordia University in River Forest, IL in 1978. He has taught at St. Paul ever since. He has taught in grades 3 and 4 and is currently teaching in grades 5-6 and 7-8. Math is his favorite subject. He is also the Athletic Director and coaches volleyball, basketball and track. His hobbies include reading, computers, visiting with family and friends, and taking naps. His favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31, “…but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.”