Kimberly Koch, School Administrator / Principal
Kim is beginning her 25th year at St. Mary’s Academy, and her 12th year as our school administrator. Kim desires to “motivate our youth to become respectful, responsible citizens.” One of the reasons that Kim has enjoyed her job so much is because of the students and staff, especially “how closely we all work together.”
Kim received her Bachelors of Science in Education from Linfield College and a Masters of Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.
Kim and her husband Brian, a St. Mary’s alum, have two children; Ethan, a graduate of Linfield College, and Emma, an SMA alum and sophomore at Columbia Gorge Community College.
Wendy Palmer, Development Director
Beginning her 17th year at St. Mary’s Academy, Wendy works on many projects simultaneously. With the work of many volunteers, Wendy runs the Annual Appeal and oversee’s the school’s fundraisers, in addition to working with the St. Mary’s Academy Foundation of The Dalles Board. “My job at St. Mary’s is made easier and more interesting by the parents and their children. It is a wonderful community.”
Wendy and her husband Bob have two children who are alumni of SMA; Jordan, an actor, who graduated in 2019 from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, and Emily, a senior at the University of Idaho.
Renate Clark, Secretary
Renate begins her 5th year at St. Mary’s Academy as our school Secretary. She enjoys working with the students and parents.
Renate enjoys baking, painting, wood-burning, and hiking in her spare time, as well as spending time with her family. She and her husband Ryan have five children. Daughters, Sofia, an eighth-grader, and Evelyn, a seventh-grader, both who attend St. Mary’s Academy, and daughters Gabbie and Geelah who attend eighth and sixth grade, respectively, and son Griffin a sophomore at Dufur School.
Extended Care & Pre-School
Paula Daggett, Extended Care Coordinator / Pre-School Teacher
Paula is beginning her 7th year at St. Mary’s Academy. Before joining the SMA team she spent two years as a Pre-School Aide and seven years as a Pre-School Teacher/Director.
Paula and her husband Shawn have two daughters; Anna and Mollie.
Ginger Ranslam, Extended Care / Pre-School Aide
Ginger has been a part of the SMA team since 2014. She was born and raised in The Dalles and has been working with children of all ages since graduating high school. She attended Eastern Oregon University where she studied Psychology and Theatre.
Her favorite part of working with kids is that they always keep her laughing.
Renee McCabe, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Renee celebrates her 14th year here at St. Mary’s Academy as our Pre-Kindergarten teacher. Renee came to SMA with many years of experience teaching pre-school in The Dalles.
Renee and her husband Dale have two children; Austin and McKenzie, who both attended and graduated from Oregon State University – Go Beavers!!
Judi B Timmons, Pre-Kindergarten Aide
This is Judi’s 4th year at St Mary’s Academy as a teacher. Her daughter Abigail attended the SMA Middle School. Judi comes with many years of experience volunteering in schools. She has a degree in Art and pursues her creative side in textile arts and crafts. However, during Pre-K, blunt tip scissors, play-dough, and tempera paint suffice.
Jody Brace, Kindergarten Teacher
Jody begins her 17th year at St. Mary’s Academy as our kindergarten teacher. Jody graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Oregon State University and received her Master’s Degree from Portland State University. Jody enjoys working with the kindergarteners because they are so curious and eager to learn.
In her spare time, Jody enjoys reading, baking, biking, kayaking, and spending time with her husband Dan and two daughters attending St. Mary’s, Josie, who is in sixth grade, and younger sister Brandi in fourth grade.
Jessi Bennett, First Grade
Jessi is back at St. Mary’s Acadmey and begins her second year as our first grade teacher, before leaving to complete her teaching degree Jessi worked in our Extended Care Program. We are thrilled to have Jessi back on our staff at St. Mary’s
Kelsey Wallace, Second Grade
Kelsey returns to St. Mary’s Academy as our Second Grade Teacher. Kelsey graduated from Oregon State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an Early Childhood option and completed her Master’s at the University of Grand Canyon.
Kelsey began going to school here at St. Mary’s Academy in the 4th grade and graduated from 8th grade. Kelsey and her husband Grayson welcomed daughter Emerson in December.
Gena Wade, Third Grade
Gena joins the SMA family as our Third Grade teacher this year. Gena has a degree from George Fox University in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Education from University of Portland, as well as a Master’s Degree in Special Education from A.U.M. She has over 21 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings from Pre-K through the 12th grade. Having taught English Language Arts, special education, and 4th-6th grades. She feels extremely blessed to fulfill her teaching passion at St. Mary’s Academy.
Gena and her husband have two sons, both of who have special needs, and reside here in The Dalles. Her family also includes two horses, a chihuahua, two bunnies, and three chickens.
When she has the time, her hobbies include oil painting, sewing, and her horses. She also enjoys listening to books, while doing puzzles on her iPad.
Kathrine Murray, Fourth Grade
Katherine begins her first year at St. Mary’s. She is thrilled to be teaching Fourth Grade at St. Mary’s! Katherine comes from a long history of working with students in all age groups. She has worked as an Instructional Assistant and as a Classroom Teacher.
Katherine lives in Hood River with her husband and two college-aged children, and loves all things animals! And, fun fact, she attended Catholic Schools for 9 years growing up…she even wore a plaid skirt in High School!
Beth Skobkariova, Fifth Grade
Beth is returning this year as the 5th grade teacher. Last year she was the maternity sub for Mrs. Wallace. The year before that she was a student teacher in the 4th grade classroom.
Beth recently married Igor Skobkariov and ran her first marathon. In her spare time, she likes to run, hike, camp, paint, and travel.
David Wring, Physical Education
This is David’s first year teaching Physical Education at St. Mary’s Academy. David attended Treasure Valley Community College for two years, studying Education, as well as being team captain of the Cross Country and Track teams. David plans on continuing his education beginning winter term at Grand Canyon University online.
Outside of school, David loves to skateboard, run, go bowling with his family, and cliff jumping into the river (please don’t try this without adult permission and supervision).
Carrie Seitz, Language Arts / Math
Carrie is the Language Arts teacher for the middle school. Her favorite reasons for teaching at SMA include the great kids, small classes, and wonderful staff; this is Carrie’s 22n year teaching at SMA.
Carrie holds a Bachelors of Arts in English and a Masters in Teaching, from Eastern Oregon University. Carrie and her husband, Tim, have two wonderful children: Hanna age 22, and Michael, age 14. In her spare time, Carrie enjoys reading, baking, fishing, and hiking with her family.
Darcey Hodges, Social Studies / Math
Darcey is beginning her 4th year at St. Mary’s Academy as our Social Studies teacher. Darcey grew up in Wyoming and moved to The Dalles her sophomore year. She graduated from WOU and holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching. Darcey taught PE and Health at TDMS before joining us at St. Mary’s.
Darcey had the opportunity to play basketball and soccer while in college and has three very active kids. They love playing sports, hiking, fishing and are always looking for their next adventure.
Greg Johnson, Science / Math
Greg is beginning his 7th year at St. Mary’s Academy as our Middle School Science teacher. Greg moved to The Dalles in May of 1985 after receiving his Bachelors of Science in Agriculture from Washington State University. Greg is working on his Master’s in Education at Grand Canyon University.
Greg owns a farm on Three Mile Road where they grow sweet cherries, raise pigs and goats, and have a pumpkin patch. Greg has played, refereed, and coached soccer since he was seven years old. He also enjoys snow skiing in the winter and vacationing on the coast.
Greg and his wife Kim have been married for 31 years and have two children: Laura, age 29, and Mark age 25, both attended St. Mary’s Academy.
Natasha Monroe, Band
Natasha joins us in her 5th year at St. Mary’s Academy as our Band Instructor and is in her 7th year of teaching band after graduating from George Fox University with her Bachelor’s in Music Education. Natasha has also received a Master’s Certificate in Arranging and Orchestration through Berklee Online. She has performed in six countries, in both solo and ensemble settings, on the piano, flute, and piccolo. Natasha has accompanied soloists, school choirs, church choirs, wind ensembles, and concert bands; as well as performed in concert, pep, marching, and jazz bands.
Her love of music is evident in her enthusiasm for teaching and spending her extracurricular time performing in orchestras, pit (for theater), small ensembles of various sizes, and singing in church, school, and community choirs.
Marisol Meza, Religion
We are pleased to welcome Marisol back to St. Mary’s as our Religion Teacher. Marisol grew up in The Dalles and Dufur and attended St. Mary’s from 2nd through 8th grades. She graduated from Dufur High School. This is Marisol’s first role as a teacher but she has been a homemaker for 12 years and learns best through her kids. She grew up in the church singing in the choir with her dad before leaving for college. Marisol is looking forward to this amazing opportunity as our religion teacher here at SMA.
Music is Marisol’s passion and she has learned to read music and picked up several instruments over the years. Marisol loves to cook and bake, and fitness has become a passion. She and her husband have three children Alessandra, Giuliana, and Carlos. They enjoy visiting new places and going on adventures.
Jose Elizarraras, Environmental Services
Jose begins his 3rd year at St. Mary’s Academy. We are thrilled to have Jose on our team.
Araceli Perez, Environmental Services
Araceli begins her 3rd year at St. Mary’s Academy. We are so lucky to have Araceli on our team.