Mrs. Rita Kissel is the Principal of St. Clare Catholic School. Mrs. Kissel has worked in the Diocese of Palm Beach for over 18 years in a variety of capacities including: 3rd. 5th and 6th grade teacher, Media Specialist, Assistant Principal, and Dean of Discipline and Student Affairs. She has a background in business and sales as well as education and leadership. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University, a Masters in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University, and an Education Specialist Degree in Ed. Leadership from Barry University.
Mrs. Kissel is married to David Kissel and together they have four children and three grandchildren. She is passionate about family and Catholic education.
Mrs. Rachel Polak has been employed at St. Clare School for six years. She began as the Spanish Teacher for grades 3-5, and for the three following years, she taught 5th Grade. In November of 2017, she was promoted to Assistant Principal. After graduating from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, she began her teaching career in first grade at a private Christian school and then went on to teach second grade at the former St. Francis of Assisi School in Riviera Beach. A move to Atlanta brought her to fourth grade at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School. Since joining St. Clare, Rachel has since earned her Masters in Education from Florida State University.
Mrs. Polak changed professions in 1997 and spent 14 years being a full-time mom to four children. She has been married to her husband for 21 years. Her children, Hannah, Luke, Sarah, and Mary have all graduated from St. Clare School. Passionate about her faith, there is no other place Mrs. Polak would rather work or worship than St. Clare. She is a lector for masses at the church, and in her spare time enjoys being active with her children’s sports teams, spending time at the beach, working out at the gym, and entertaining family and friends.
- Gail Alfred
- Regina Appleby
- Deanne Aubuchon
- Kathy Baumann
- Angelina Bell
- Sara Bernardin
- Claudia Black
- Mary Breen
- Gina Brett
- Laura Budnyk
- Donna Cantwell
- Kathleen Cleare
- Jamie Cleary
- Kelly Cleary
- Yoelsys (Joy) Cordoves
- Anne Craig
- Lauren Flood
- Erica Herbst
- Linda Hernandez
- Donna Hollander
- Jordan Isiminger
- Donna King
- Athena Kosier
- Donna Kreidler
- Christine Laurro
- Diane Logsdon
- Will Martin
- Kathleen McDonnell
- Pamela McDowell
- Cristina Miller
- Maureen Mylott
- Tim Mylott
- Rebecca Nelson
- Julia O'Ceallaigh
- Tricia Proefrock
- Baylie Ring
- Sara Schmidt
- Joanne Schwartz
- Lee Serena
- Samantha Sheilds
- Karen Smith
- Elaine Tous
- Linda Watson
- Pam Winder
- Katie Zientarski
- Tina Zientarski
Mrs. Gail Alfred joined the St. Clare community when her children became students in 2013. She has worked part-time in the school clinic since 2016. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!), she moved to Chicago where she met her husband, Todd, and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Loyola Chicago. Her son and daughter are in middle school at St. Clare, and Mrs. Alfred is thankful that her position allows her to get to know the students and parents throughout the school. In her free time, Mrs. Alfred loves traveling, exercising, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and kids.
Mrs. Regina Appleby is a Learning Strategist at St. Clare Catholic School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Boston University and a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She works with teachers and parents to develop accommodations that will meet learners’ needs in the classroom. She also works with learners in small groups or individually to review and support academic skills that are introduced in the classroom, and she is also able to support testing in a smaller, more individualized setting if needed. Mrs. Appleby is an alumnus of St. Clare Catholic School and has taught here for over 17 years. Mrs. Appleby has been married for 27 years and has four children who also attended St. Clare Catholic School. When she has free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time on the boat with her family.
Mrs. Deanne Aubuchon has been a teacher at St. Clare Catholic School since 2005. She spent the first 11 years teaching 5th grade, and is now teaching middle school Social Studies and Literature. She is the student advisor for the SCCS Student Council and has been co-director of the annual school variety show for many years. Mrs. Aubuchon grew up in a small town in northwest Minnesota and graduated from Mayville State University in N.D. After graduation, she moved to South Florida to be closer to her family. Before coming to St. Clare, she worked at Our Savior Lutheran School teaching 5th grade and kindergarten, and then JFK Medical Center Charter School teaching kindergarten. Mrs. Aubuchon is happily married to her husband, TJ and together they have 6 children and 2 grandchildren.
Mrs. Kathy Baumann was a substitute teacher at St. Clare for over 10 years prior to joining us full time in
2107, after spending 20years raising her family. She is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of The
College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN. Both of her children are graduates of St. Clare. During her years
being a parent at our school, Mrs. Baumann headed up countless fundraising events and functions and is
past president of our Home & School Assn. Currently she is heading up a Lighthouse committee for the
schools Leader & Me initiative. Kathy brings a love of children and a passion for Catholic education to
When not at work she enjoys reading, travel, boating and all things associated with the beach. She and her husband, Jeff have been married for 31 years.
Mrs. Bell was born in Tyler Texas, but raised in South Florida since the age of three. She has been teaching on and off since about 2006. Having a passion for music, and a strong background in Church music, she decided to pursue obtaining her Music Teaching Certification for the state of Florida in 2014, during which time she began studying towards her certification. Mrs. Bell orginally went to college for Psychology and graduated in 2006 with a BA from FAU. She enjoys doing a variety of outdoor activities, such as trail running, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, zip lining, and white water rafting when the opportunity arises. She has a strong passion for the outdoors and for protecting God’s beautiful animals, and would most likely be a full time animal rescuer or an outdoor event coordinator if she had not worked in a music profession.
Sara Bernardin is the Director of Religious Education at St. Clare. She graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor of science and received a masters in communication disorders from the University of Florida. She has worked at St. Clare since 2008, first as a teacher’s assistant, then as the speech therapist and now in religious education. She loves working with the students to prepare them for their sacraments. Mrs. Bernardin and her family are parishioners at St. Clare, and both of her children graduated from St. Clare. In her free time Mrs. Bernardin enjoys reading, watching movies and traveling.
Claudia Black has been the School Counselor at St. Clare for the past three years. Mrs. Black has worked as a School Counselor for the past 9 nine years both in the public school system and in the Diocese. Mrs. Black holds a Bachelor’s in Administrative Studies and a Master’s in School and Guidance Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is passionate about her career and helping her students’ grow in their personal, intellectual, and social areas. Mrs. Black has been married for 25 years and has two grown children, Patrick and Victoria and Ollie a one year old Golden Retriever.
Ms. Laura Budnyk has been the middle school English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at St. Clare Catholic School since 2001. She grew up in North Palm Beach and is a graduate of St. Clare Catholic School and Cardinal Newman High School located in West Palm Beach. After high school, she attended and graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and she received her Master of Science in English Education from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Budnyk is also the Athletic Director at St. Clare. She is passionate about God, family, education (ELA Arts in particular), and Notre Dame football, of course.
Mrs. Donna Cantwell is the Director of Institutional Advancement and Physical Education teacher, and has been employed at St. Clare School since 2004. Mrs. Cantwell studied at the University of Florida and received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Central Florida. Before teaching at St. Clare, Mrs. Cantwell taught middle school Physical Education and grades K-4 at various schools in Orlando, Florida. In addition to teaching, her responsibilities at St. Clare have included teaching middle school Social Studies, sponsoring the St. Clare Student Council, organizing and implementing the Buddy Program, facilitating the Leader In Me program, and coaching girls’ softball and volleyball. In her spare time, Mrs. Cantwell enjoys running and spending time with her friends and family.
Mrs. Cleare has been at St. Clare for 4 years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern
University and taught at District schools for 14 years. Her teaching experience
includes grades 1 – 4 and Computers and Media Pre-K – 8 th . She believes that
educating the whole child will garner great gains, and is so happy to have the
opportunity to teach at St. Clare Catholic School. Kathy loves to learn and continually
takes classes online to keep her teaching and learning skills sharp.
Mrs. Cleare has been married 20 years to her husband Tom, and has 2 sons (Carson
who graduated from St. Clare in 2014 and Conner who is in 8 th grade. She loves to
read, relax and spend time with her family and her dog Emmi.
Ms. Jamie Cleary is the Middle School Science Teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. This will be her first year as a St. Clare Saint. She has been teaching in Palm Beach County for the past 10 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida. Go Knights!
Ms. Cleary has a daughter, Brinley, who is her pride and joy. She also has an adorable Pomsky puppy named Charlie. She is a native Floridian, raised in Wellington and comes from a Catholic family. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, photography, musical theater, and visiting Walt Disney World!
Señora Yoelsys Cordoves is the Upper School Spanish teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. Born in Cuba, Sra. Cordoves earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Central Florida. Prior to St. Clare, she taught Spanish at UCF as well as being a private tutor to children and adults in English and Spanish. Her passion is aiding her learners’ understanding of the Hispanic culture and their language. She is married to the Pastor of the First Hispanic Baptist Church of West Palm Beach; and also a U.S Navy Chaplain. They have two children. Mrs. Cordoves is also the coordinator of the elementary and middle school ministry at her church.
Mrs. Anne Craig is a Learning Lab instructor in Intensive Reading at St. Clare Catholic School and has been at the school for 32 years. She is also the sponsor for the Yearbook Staff and the Dance Committee and organizes the fund-raising nights at Barnes & Noble bookstore. Mrs. Craig received her B.A. degree in English Literature and Composition from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Mrs. Craig has a passion for traveling and has visited the following countries: United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Cyprus, Iceland, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Guadeloupe, Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Canada. When not teaching and traveling, Mrs. Craig enjoys reading, gardening, beach-combing, and caring for animals.
Ms. Erica Herbst is the Prek 3 teacher at St. Clare. She has been at St. Clare for 3 years now working in the Preschool program. Ms. Herbst grew up in North Palm Beach and attended St. Clare from 2nd grade through 8th grade. She graduated from Cardinal Newman High School in 2014 and went to Florida Atlantic University. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and minored in Leadership Studies.
Mrs. Hernandez has been teaching for the past 15 years. She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University and began her teaching career in Pre-K. She taught middle school Spanish for one year. When she had her 3rd child and she stayed home for a few years with him. When she returned to work, she started teaching upper elementary, and has been there ever since. Mrs. Hernandez absolutely loves working with this particular age group. Her greatest joy is being the mother of three beautiful children. Andrew is 25, Alexa is 24, and Aidan is 14 years old. She enjoys reading, relaxing on the beach, and just being outdoors. She is very blessed with being part of St. Clare’s community.
Mrs. Hollander was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1961, her family relocated to Palm Beach County. She lives in Palm Beach County Estates with her husband of 45 years. They have three children whom are married and they have a total of seven grandchildren, two are attending here at St. Clare Catholic School.
When she was 15 years old and in high school, she started working in the retail field through the DECA program. She started heShe career in preschool in 1985. She has educated and cared for children ages birth through five and aftercare children five through twelve. She has had the joy and satisfaction of working as the director of several local preschools in her career. Mrs. Hollander holds a Level II Director Credential, and a CDA (child development associates degree). She is so proud of a goal that she accomplished: which was to accredit a few preschools that she worked in, with the APPLE (Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment) certificate.
Her goal here at St. Clare is to work in an environment that she can educate the children to love Jesus as she loves Jesus.
Mrs. Jordan Isiminger is a kindergarten teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. This will be her second year with the school. She has been an elementary school teacher for 4 years in the public and private schools. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education from Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. She is currently certified to teach Age 3 through grade 3.
Mrs. Isiminger is from Augusta, Georgia and moved to Florida in 2016 to be closer to her college sweetheart. Her husband, Curry, is a St. Clare graduate and North Palm native. They have a nine year old yellow lab named Rocky, who is their fur baby! In her spare time, Mrs. Isiminger enjoys spending time with her family, boating, and traveling.
Mrs. Donna King is an assistant to the teachers in the preschool and first grade. She has worked at St. Clare for ten years, and enjoys being a part of the team that educates children at the elementary level. Mrs. King has previous experience working as a preschool teacher and aftercare instructor to 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old children. Mrs. King graduated from Furman University with degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
Donna King is married and has three children, all of whom have graduated from St. Clare School. She herself also graduated from St. Clare. She enjoys reading, photography, and most especially, time spent with her family.
Mrs. Athena Kosier is a second grade teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. This is her fourth year of teaching elementary education. She is an alumni of St. Clare and Cardinal Newman. She is also a graduate of the University of Florida and Palm Beach State College. A native of Palm Beach County, she currently lives in Boca Raton with her husband, their three children, and a variety of pets!
Diana Logsdon is the VPK/Pre-K4 Teacher. A native to Palm Beach County, she attended St. Juliana’s Catholic School and Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach. Mrs. Logsdon is a proud graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Education, where she earned her BAE(‘89) and M.Ed(‘90). After several years teaching 1st and 3rd grades in South Bay, Mrs. Logsdon was recruited to teach a Preprimary 3-6 year old class at Northboro’s Montessori Magnet Program while she earned an MS(‘96) in Early Childhood and Montessori Education from Barry University. She spent 10 years as a Stay at Home Mom and then worked for 6 years as the PreK-5th Grade Montessori Program Coordinator and VPK Lead Teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School. In 2013, Mrs. Logsdon joined the St. Clare Faculty as the VERY FIRST PreKindergarten Teacher at St. Clare Catholic School.
Mrs. Logsdon and her husband Kevin have three beautiful daughters: Karen, Katie, and Lily - all graduates of St. Clare Catholic School. She enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family, taking advantage of the fact that we live in beautiful, sunny South Florida.
Kate McDonnell is a kindergarten teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. Kate has been teaching kindergarten for 8 years. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Gilmour Academy. She moved to Florida in 2007 when she started college at Lynn University in Boca Raton. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 2011. She is a very positive, creative and enthusiastic teacher. In her free time she enjoys bike riding and walking her dog.
Mrs. Pam McDowell has been employed at St. Clare Catholic School for 29 years. She spent the majority of these years as a 3rd grade teacher, but recently moved to the Media Center. Her responsibilities have included organizing the yearly food drive, SCTV News, Yearbook and Literature with Middle School Learners. Mrs. McDowell earned her bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and is a proud Nittany Lion! After graduation, she taught first and second grade, then moved into Middle School special education in the Centre County (PA) School District before relocating to Florida. In her spare time, Mrs. McDowell enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, paddle boarding, kayaking, photography, and being outdoors. She is an avid painter and crafter.
Mrs. Cristina Miller is in the Wellness Clinic as an attendant since February 2018. Mrs. Miller is a graduate of Villanova University outside of Philadelphia, PA where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Mrs. Miller, raised outside of Washington DC, has called south Florida home since 1998 and now considers herself to be a true Floridian enjoying all things a tropical setting offers. Mrs. Miller resides in Palm Beach Gardens with her husband of 17 years, Ron and their son Robert, a student at St. Clare, and their funny dog, Juno, a spunky jack russell terrier.
Mrs. Maureen Mylott, aka “Mary Poppins” is the Teacher Assistant for Kindergarten and Pre-K. Mrs. Mylott does every job with an element of fun. She has been an Kindergarten Teacher Assistant for over 25 years. Mrs. Mylott’s past jobs have been pre-K 3-5 assistant, cafeteria service for the School District of Palm Beach Country, and restaurant management and service.
Mrs. Mylott enjoys her family and friends, sports, cooking, baking, reading, sewing, and learning new things. She also tutors children, helping them with homework and study skills. Mrs. Mylott loves working in a Catholic School so that she can watch children grow not only academically, but also spiritually by praying with them and talking about God and Jesus at school.
Mrs. Rebecca Nelson is the Middle School Math teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. She has been tutoring or teaching math since 1999. Her teaching philosophy requires complete participation in class - you may often hear her say, "Math is not a spectator sport!" She is a firm believer that we may not all consider ourselves 'good' at math, but if the effort is put forth and we believe in ourselves, everyone can be successful! Mrs. Nelson and her husband moved to South Florida shortly after they graduated from Florida State University. She has three children, all of whom have either graduated or are still attending St. Clare. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at St. Clare, she is the adviser to the St. Clare chapter of the National Junior Honor Society and serves on the Lighthouse Team. Outside of school, Mrs. Nelson enjoys reading, paddle boarding and the beach.
Mrs. Julia O’Ceallaigh has worked at St. Clare School since 1999 when she was hired as a 2nd Grade Teacher Assistant. She held that position for seven years before becoming a Kindergarten Teacher’s Assistant. During that time, she returned to school and finished her degree. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2008 and was hired as a 3rd Grade Teacher in 2010. She has also taught 1st Grade and 4th grade before became a 5th grade teacher in 2017.
Mrs. O’Ceallaigh has been a St. Clare parent since 1996 when she and her family moved to Florida. All three of her children graduated from St. Clare School.
Prior to fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a teacher, Mrs. O’Ceallaigh was a radiologic technologist for over 20 years. She loves to paddle board, run, read, and travel.
Tricia Proefrock began work at St. Clare in 2014. She spent four years as a tutor companion for one of St. Clare’s most cheerful students, traveling from second through fifth grade with him. Now in her fifth year, Miss Tricia is the teacher’s assistant for fourth grade, and enjoys interacting with the students each day.
Ms. Ring has been a First grade teacher at St. Clare school since Fall of 2017. She was baptized here at this parish, is an alumni from St. Clare School and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Education.
In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and near the ocean. Outdoor photography, fishing, snorkeling, hiking, traveling, kayaking and collecting seashells are only a few of her favorite past times. Ms. Ring loves sharing her passion for God’s Earth and creatures with her students.
Mrs. Sara Schmidt is excited to take on the role of Art Teacher at St. Clare Catholic School this year. Mrs. Schmidt previously taught for several years at another school in the Diocese of Palm Beach, and is happy to be back working with the diocese. She has some exciting projects planned for our students to explore, create, and learn about the wide world of art. She has a BA in Education from Florida Atlantic University.
Mrs. Schmidt has been married for five years and has two children, Ellie (3) and Teddy (1). She was born and raised in Central Florida before moving south for college, where she met her husband. In her days off, she loves to spend time with her kids, do photography, and go to the beach.
Joanne Schwartz teaches fourth grade and comes to us from Maryland public schools. Prior to that, she taught in Catholic schools, mostly in Connecticut, but also in Oklahoma. She has taught every grade level from pre-K through eighth grade.
Ms. Schwartz was born and raised in Connecticut, but she has explored and moved to different locations. She recently moved to Florida, seeking warm air and sunshine, as she followed her daughter to this area. You can find her walking or reading at the beaches, creating various crafts, and taking care of her little, old dog.
Lee Serena works in the front office, and handles Registration and Admissions for St. Clare School. She most recently joined us after three years at St. John Paul II Academy, in Boca Raton, where she was the Associate Director of Development. Now in her position in Registration/Admissions at St. Clare School, Lee appreciates interacting with the staff, parents, and especially the students.
Ms. Samantha Shields is the Physical Education teacher, and joined St. Clare School at the end of 2018. Ms. Shields studied at the University of Central Florida where she received her bachelor’s of science degree. Before teaching at St. Clare, Ms. Shields was the Sports Director and Marketing Assistant for the YMCA of Boynton Beach, FL. She is a basketball official for FHSAA and serves as a middle school coach for volleyball as well. In her spare time, Ms. Shields enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and going to the beach.
Mrs. Smith is relatively new to Florida having moved from her home state of Maryland in 2017, when a job opportunity for her husband brought their family to warmer weather. She left her career as a public servant with the State of Maryland for over 20 years, most recently with the Department of Social Services. Contributing to their community has always been a priority to her family having been very involved in Parks and Recreation as a board member and coaching. Both her professional and volunteer experiences serve her well in her role in the front office.
Mrs. Smith feels blessed to be a part of the St Clare community, having herself attended 12 years of catholic school in the Archdiocese of Baltimore she knows firsthand the importance of a catholic education. Her high school motto was Lux Tua Luceat, an excerpt from Mathew 5:16, “So Let your light shine before all so they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven”, and she strives to live by that every day.
Elaine Tous is the PK-2nd grade Spanish Instructor and K-4th Reading Resource Instructor. Mrs. Tous comes to us from the Department of Defense School System, highly qualified. Recently, she was the Instructional Support School Specialist in Reading in Fort Bragg, NC, and she has worked with ESL and ESE students as well as being a classroom teacher.
Mrs. Tous will be working with our K-4th grade Reading students who need extra support two half days per week in addition to her Spanish classes. She will be pulling students on our watch list to meet and test them. She then follows up with a schedule for those teachers with Reading support learners.
Mrs. Linda Watson is the Technology/IT Director for St. Clare School. She graduated from The University of Florida and continues to be a huge Gator fan. Mrs. Watson has previously worked at IBM, Pratt & Whitney and the Palm Beach County School District. She has taught at St. Clare Catholic School for 15 years but has been part of the St. Clare Family for over 25 years. Her background is in computer science and helping students learn about technology brings her the most happiness.
She and her husband have three grown children who attended St. Clare School from Kindergarten thru 8th grade. When not in the computer lab, you can find her travelling and enjoying photography.
Mrs. Tina Zientarski is the Religion teacher at St. Clare Catholic School. Through the word of God and she reminds each student of God's love for them and instructs them in church history, scripture and life of Christ. Mrs. Zientarski has her bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, where she graduated cum laude. Before coming to St. Clare, she spent 10 years teaching a fine art enrichment course at St Joan of Arc in Boca Raton. There she also helped commensurate The Edge, a Middle School Catholic Youth Ministry and was a core leader for several years. She has also taught summer camp art programs at Palm Beach State College. A volunteer for Catholic Charities for several years she would council women in the BirthLine clinic with whatever they needed to prepare for an unplanned pregnancy. Prior to that, she spent time at home raising her three children and working as a free-lance graphic designer. A regular at daily mass, Mrs. Zientarski’s faith is a very significant part of her life. Her children all participate in sports, where she has also done everything from coach soccer, take team photographs, and help manage booster clubs for high school swimming.