Educating Our Future

"STAA is a great community with teachers, staff, and families that really care about children." -- Mr. Heding 


Dan Heding, Principal


My name is Dan Heding and I am proud to be serving my fifth year as principal of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. As a product of Catholic education from pre-school to college, I understand the impact that a high quality, Catholic education can have on someone. I received my master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University and have been in the Archdiocese as an administrator and middle school teacher for the past 13 years.

Originally from southern California I moved here 18 years ago and began my winters of shoveling snow. I am blessed with a wonderful, supportive wife and two beautiful children, one five-year-old son in kindergarten and a two-year-old girl. We enjoy camping, swimming, and visiting various fun places in and out of Wisconsin.

STAA is a great community with teachers, staff, and families that really care about children. I truly enjoy coming to work every day and seeing every student grow.


Janine Hubbell, Office Manager

I am Janine Hubbell, the Office Manager. This is my second school year with STAA as an employee.

I have two sons who attend STAA.  Andy in 7th grade, and Isaac in 6th grade. I feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful school for them to help them grow and learn in a faith based environment.

I have been involved in the home and school committee for the past 3 years, and I was part of the auction committee last year. Being part of these committees helped me to meet other parents and make a lot of great friends and it opened the door to new opportunities.

If you need any assistance or have any questions, just give the office a call or send me an email.


Sue Meister, K4



Monika Gorka, K5

My name is Mrs. Monika  Gorka and I am the K5 teacher.  This will be my second year at STAA.  I graduated from Alverno College with my Bachelors in Elementary Education with a support in Early Childhood.  I have been teaching since 2002.  I have a daughter who is 10 and also attends a Catholic School.  The best part of teaching Kindergarten for me is the joy and excitement of the children and their desire to learn and have fun.


Jennifer Bloom, 1st grade

Hello! My name is Jennifer Bloom and I am the first grade teacher here at STAA. I have a BS in Elementary Education (Pk-6) from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Go Pioneers! I have been teaching at STAA since 2004, our very first year! This school year marks my 16th year of teaching.

I love teaching at STAA because of the students, their families, and our staff.  I feel we have a great sense of community here and everyone looks out for one another.  Students leave STAA with many experiences and go on to do great things. 

Mrs. Bloom was one of just three teachers recognized as a Seton Teacher of the Year! Nominated by her peers and chosen by the Seton team, she is a true example of what it takes to be a phenomenal instructor.  Mrs. Bloom continues to demonstrate transformative classroom results and is exceptionally committed to STAA students and families.  Congrats, Mrs. Bloom! 


Katherine Mullahy, 2nd grade

Hello! My name is Katherine Mullahy and this is my second year at STAA.  I received my elementary education and psychology degrees from Marquette University.  In my short time at STAA, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the passionate, hardworking staff and look forward to a successful year with my students.  


April Szymczak, Master Teacher 3rd grade



Gwen Duquaine, Resident Teacher in 3rd grade


Kelly Orlowski, 4th grade



Sarah Zinkula, 5th Grade


Shannon Fuller, 6th grade



Lori Stolaski, 7th grade

My name is Mrs. Lori Stolaski, and I have been teaching at STAA since the beginning, 14 years ago!  I have a 7th grade homeroom and teach 6th-8th grade math.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education 1-9 with a math minor and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology, both from Cardinal Stritch University.  

My husband Mark and I love to travel and watch football, especially the Packers!  I love to read, scrapbook, and I waste way too much time on Pinterest!  

I love learning!  I want to help kids love to learn and discover their talents as well!  There is nothing better than seeing the “ah ha” moments throughout the year.  I love being part of STAA because of the family atmosphere, Catholic values, and all the wonderful students and families!


Melissa Steidl, 8th grade

I earned my elementary education degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (Go Badgers!!!) and have been teaching for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 1987.  I have been part of the STAA community since its inception.  I am currently the 6th-8th grade science teacher but spend most of my day with my 8th grade homeroom clan.

I love teaching middle schoolers!  Though the mood swings and raging hormones can be a challenge, the good definitely outweighs the scary!  I love their humor, insight and intense curiosity.  Every day brings something new and exciting!  I have the BEST job in the world (and not just because of the summers off)!  


Angela Gutierrez, Spanish

¡Hola! Me llamo Señorita Gutiérrez and I will be teaching Spanish to students in K5 through 8th grade this year at STAA as well as at St. Matthias Parish School. Though I have only been here a short period of time, it already feels like home. From the fantastically supportive staff to the energetic, empathetic and conscientious students who are firmly rooted in becoming better every day, I know I am in the right place. 

As I embark on this new journey in a private Catholic school, I will utilize the five years of formal teaching experience I’ve acquired (teaching Spanish at a private K3-8 Montessori school and being a bilingual 4th grade teacher a public charter school) as well as my own language learning history (studying Spanish, French, German, Swahili and Arabic, often three at a time, while attending UW-Madison) to establish a strong Spanish curriculum engineered to outlast the many years I intend on spending here at STAA. 

You’ll find me in the building on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday mornings. Feel free to email me or simply stop by during conferences! I would love to speak with you about your child’s accomplishments and adventures in Spanish!


Diane Karabon, Library

My name is Diane Karabon and I am the School Librarian. I have been the librarian at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy since the school opened and before that at St. Veronica School for a total of 20 years. 

Being the librarian is a great job. I love reading to the students and seeing their reactions to the stories. I enjoy helping them find their “perfect book” to read and see how excited they are about reading it. Acquiring books for the library that make the students enjoy reading is very gratifying to me. I am lucky that I get to have the students every year from K4 through 6th grade. I am able to watch them grow and mature and see their reading skills advance.


Luke Miller, Physical Education


Kayla Hardy, Art

Lori Pawlak, Music


Katie Janiszewski, Extended Care Director

Hello, my name is Katie Janiszewski and I am the Extended Care Director at STAA.

I am the product of a Catholic education, 1st grade through 12th. I then attended UW-Milwaukee. I have been married to my husband Nate for 15 years. We have 3 children who are students at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. I was a stay-at-home mom for several years and I did a lot of volunteering at STAA. Working at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy became a desire and goal of mine during this time. In 2013 my position opened up and I happily took on the role of Extended Care Director.


Jennifer Dolata, Food Services Manager