The Miriam Academy Head of School and founding faculty and staff were handpicked to create this brand new learning institute for our families. Please read more to learn about this terrific team or watch some of them share why they chose Miriam Academy:
Meet the Teachers
Chris Holmes, Humanities Teacher
Chris Holmes joins Miriam Academy with 15 years of teaching experience in English/ Journalism: five at Clayton High School and the past ten at Hazelwood West High School. He also teaches at Missouri Scholars Academy, a summer program for gifted students at the University of Missouri - Columbia, where he is studying Educational Psychology. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Truman State University and is certified in English, Journalism and Special Education. In 2009, Chris was selected as the Governor's Council on Disability Educator of the Year. In 2015, Chris was chosen as the Missouri Teacher of the Year.
Kathy Puettmann, Special Education Teacher
Kathy Puettmann brings more than 14 years of hands-on teaching experience as a special education teacher to Miriam Academy. With an expertise in building programs for students with learning disabilities, Kathy most recently was with St. Alban Roe School where she created and implemented the resource program and project-based enrichment program. She also held positions in the Archdiocese of St. Louis as a special education and classroom teacher. Kathy graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities. She is certified in Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education 1-8.
Brandi McKenney, Math Teacher
Brandi McKenney has expertise in customizing learning and monitoring growth in math education for high school students. Brandi has taught Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra II in co-teaching environments at high schools in the Mehlville, Affton, and Riverview Gardens School Districts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-Math from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is currently completing a Master of Arts in mathematics from Webster University.
Melissa Luecke, Science Teacher
Melissa Luecke brings extensive teaching experience from McCluer High School in the Ferguson Florissant School District, where she taught Chemistry, Honors Advanced Chemistry and Physical Science. Additionally, Mrs. Luecke has past experiences coaching swimming, writing curriculum, chairing the science department and being the Cohort Advisor for “At-Hope” high school students. Mrs. Luecke is certified in Unified Science—Biology and Chemistry 9-12 grades. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri—St. Louis.
Michelle Rocco, Art Teacher
Michelle Rocco has five-plus years of experience in individualizing art lessons for high school students in a variety of mediums including textile, clay, photography, 2-D and 3-D art. Michelle most recently taught art at Affton High School and previously served as the art teacher for Kennedy Catholic High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Webster University and is currently completing a Master of Arts in Studio Art at Fontbonne University.
Norman Rich, PE/Health Teacher
Norman Rich has held physical education, teaching and coaching positions for more than twenty years in various school districts in St. Louis. His career includes serving as an adaptive PE specialist with Special School District in the Rockwood School District, and serving as a health education and physical education teacher in the Parkway School District. He is a certified American Red Cross CPR Instructor and holds certifications in life saving and water safety. Norman also served as head coach for water polo, swimming and diving at Rockwood Summit High School and is currently the Baseball Commissioner for the Ballwin Athletic Association. Norman holds a Masters of Education in Physical Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Kate Brothers, Guidance Counselor
Kate Brothers has extensive experience in transition programming for students with learning disabilities. Kate recently retired from a career as a guidance and special education coordinator with Special School District-Webster Groves. She also worked in the Mehlville School District as a guidance counselor. Kate has a Master’s of Arts in Special Education Administration (K-12) from Lindenwood University and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Southeast Missouri State. She is certified in Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education 1-8.
Donna Perrot, Speech and Language Pathologist
Donna Perrot started her career in the Fort Zumwalt School District and for 10 years worked with secondary students with a variety of speech and language disorders. The next 14 years were spent with Special School District instructing middle and high school students and guiding them to set goals for the future. Donna served on the Student Support Team and Check and Connect for at-risk students who needed extra support to succeed.
Tristan Hicks, Occupational Therapist
Tristan Hicks comes to Miriam Academy with extensive field experience, having worked with both the Special School District and Saint Anthony’s Medical Center. Tristan has also worked at the Missouri School for the Blind, the Mehlville Early Childhood Program, a variety of rehabilitative hospitals through Supplemental Health Care, and held a part time position at Therapeutic Playtime in Arnold, MO. Tristan has both her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Science and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Saint Louis University.
Katherine Moorman, Administrative Assistant
Katherine Moorman served as a director with United Cerebral Palsy Heartland where she supervised personnel caring for young adults in respite care facilities and day programs. Katherine has extensive experience with budgets, grant writing and caring for medical needs in Individualized Care Plans. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Missouri State University.