This year, the St. Paul’s family has been blessed with seven new faculty members — including two upgrading from part-time to full-time status — that anticipate many fulfilling years teaching at SPS. The new full-time faculty members include Emilie Allen, Austin Ashcraft, Barrett Baumgartner, Julie Beck, Joanna Case, Josh Gast, and Tiffany Kennedy.
English teacher Emilie Allen, an LSU Criminology graduate, did not even consider becoming a teacher until she went to get her masters degree. She originally thought about teaching middle school students, but later decided to teach at St. Paul’s.
“St. Paul’s seems to be a place that aims to teach guys about all aspects of life — not just academic facts,” noted Allen, who enjoys playing sports and reading during her free time.
Austin Ashcraft, Religion 8 teacher, was offered a job at a school in Orange County, Calif., but turned it down to teach at St. Paul’s. He loves New Orleans and knows that St. Paul’s has a great history. He is very excited about his new position and describes teaching at St. Paul’s as “an adventure.”
“It’s where boys become men,” said Ashcraft. Something interesting that students may not know about Ashcraft is that his cousin is sophomore, Dante Payne.
Barrett Baumgartner — Religion teacher, Campus Minister, and Assistant Director for the school’s drama productions — is no stranger to St. Paul’s, as he is an alumnus and has been working part-time for the school for the last few years. Baumgartner sees St. Paul’s as more than just a school; he views it as family.
“St. Paul’s is a way to get young men ready for the real world after high school,” noted Baumgartner.
Julie Beck, Earth Science teacher, previously taught in public school, but always desired to teach at a Catholic school. Beck was ecstatic to be hired by St. Paul’s, but notes that it was not until she arrived on campus when she realized how inclusive of a school St Paul’s is.
“I am also really happy to be working with the 8th graders. They are just trying to find their way, and it makes me happy to be a part of the beginning of their educational journey,” said Beck. Beck has two daughters that attend feeder school St. Peter Catholic School, enjoys reading science-fiction novels, and likes to build things, such as the catapult she made this summer.
English teacher Joanna Case is no novice Catholic school teacher. Previously teaching at St. Scholastica Academy, Case filled in for SPS English teacher, Christina Difilippantonio-Jolley, who took maternity leave during the spring semester of the 2012-2013 school year. Case is having no problems settling in to St. Paul’s, as she is familiar with the school from last year.
“St. Paul’s is an atmosphere of support around the students and administration,” noted Case.
Josh Gast is a St. Paul’s alum who desired to return to St. Paul’s ever since he was a student. Gast enjoys his job at St. Paul’s and feels that the most important thing about work is loving what you do. Aside from teaching U.S. History, Business, and Physical Education, Gast is also the wide receiver coach for the varsity football team.
“St. Paul’s holds students to a higher standard than most schools. It prepares them for the future,” said Gast, who played football for Coach Nick Saban at LSU.
Tiffany Kennedy, native Southern Californian, is now in her eleventh year of teaching math.
“I love St. Paul’s because of many reasons. The first being the high regard for God, quality education, and high expectations of students,” said Kennedy. “The second reason is the amazing faculty here. The math department, especially, they have welcomed me and made me feel respected and cared for.” When not in the classroom, Kennedy and her family enjoy cooking, gardening, football, and tubing on their boat.