Call us: (413) 583-8550

Staff

Mrs. Shelly Rose

Mrs. Shelly Rose

Principal

Mrs. Christina Ratkiewicz

Mrs. Christina Ratkiewicz

Pre School

My name is Christina Ratkiewicz. I earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Elms College and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood with Special Education from American International College. I have  over 20  years of experience teaching young children.  In 2015, I earned The Grinspoon Teacher of Excellence Award.

I am a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Church.  My family and I live in Wilbraham.  I am so happy to be part of the St. John the Baptist School family!

Mrs. Jennifer Hewes

Mrs. Jennifer Hewes

Kindergarten

My name is Jennifer Hewes, and I have been the Kindergarten Teacher at St. John the Baptist School for the past twelve years.  I graduated from UMASS-Amherst in the year 2000 with honors.  I have a double major in Elementary Education and Sociology.   After completing college, I became an Applied Behavior Analysis Tutor for an autistic child for a year while also working at StonyBrook Children's Center in South Hadley as a preschool teacher. In the year 2001 I changed shifts a bit and accepted a job as a teacher at Academy Hill School for Gifted Children in Springfield, MA.  I worked at Academy Hill School for four years and learned a great deal while working there. I enjoyed being able to differentiate the curriculum for children who were on various levels.


I accepted a job at St. John the Baptist School in the year 2005 as a Kindergarten Teacher.  I was thrilled to be able to work in a nurturing environment, and I was even more thrilled to be able to have my twin daughters attend the as well.  I love my job, and I enjoy teaching Kindergarten for so many reasons.  I love the stories that the children tell, I love to laugh with them, and I love teaching the students and seeing their excitement each day when they learn something new!  Teaching reading to Kindergarten students is my favorite part of the day.  There is nothing more precious than seeing the children embrace the gift of literacy. 

Miss Grondin

Miss Grondin

First Grade

I graduated in 2004 from Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development with a Concentration in Early Child Education.

I taught First Grade for a year at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Springfield. This is my 12th year teaching at St. John the Baptist School. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach your children.

Mrs. Tetrault

Mrs. Tetrault

Second Grade

My name is Wendy Tetrault, and I am excited to start the year as the second-grade teacher at St. John the Baptist School. I graduated from Eastern CT State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and worked in human resources prior to pursuing my career of teaching. I have a degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University, and I am certified to teach grades 1-6 in Massachusetts. I am a member of St. Edward Parish in Stafford Springs, CT where I recently taught grade 4.

Mrs. Meneke

Mrs. Meneke

Third Grade

Hello!  My name is Laura Meneke.  I am excited and looking forward to being your child's 3rd grade teacher!   I am originally from Texas, but moved to Massachusetts a few years ago. I am certified in both Texas and Massachusetts in Elementary Education grades 1-6 as well as Mild to Moderate special needs, grades K-8.  I also hold a Sheltered English Immersion endorsement.  I have over twelve years of teaching experience, half of which was as an elementary classroom teacher and the other half as a special education teacher. 

I’ve been married to my husband for 26 years.  We have three grown children, two boys and a girl.  We also have several pets.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, working in my flower beds and relaxing by the ocean.

I will be setting up the REMIND app for smartphones.  This way, I can send out text messages to communicate with you and send out various reminders as needed.

Mrs. Gaj

Mrs. Gaj

Fourth Grade

My name is Heather Gaj, and I graduated from Westfield State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History. I am certified with the state of Massachusetts to teach grades 1-6. I have been teaching in the Springfield Diocese at St. John the Baptist for sixteen years. I belong to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Granby. I am married to my husband Peter, and I have two daughters; Madyson and Kyrsten.

Mrs. Szwarckop

Mrs. Szwarckop

Fifth Grade

My name is Stacy Szwarckop, and I earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Human Resources  from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. My experience includes working for the Department of the Navy, Judge Advocate General, as a Human Resources Manager and management analyst, which included supervision of its training program. Enjoyment of adult learning and education inspired me to redirect my attention to the foundation of learning. I returned to college to earn a Master's Degree in Education. Prior to joining Saint John the Baptist School in 2008, I worked at Saint Stanislaus in Chicopee, teaching 5th and 6th grade.  

Mrs. Hutchison

Mrs. Hutchison

Sixth Grade

My name is Kathy Hutchison, and I came to Saint John the Baptist School in September of 2007 after teaching in the Springfield School system for 35 years . I received my BS degree in education from Framingham State University.  I am trained in the Responsive Classroom method, and I use this  technique in my classroom.   I am a library trustee for the Hampden Free Public Library in Hampden, Massachusetts.

Mrs. Willis

Mrs. Willis

Seventh Grade

My name is Wendy Willis, and I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry from Western New England University. I have worked at Metals Analyst at Fountain Plating Co., Colt Firearms Corp., The Hartford Insurance Company and Con-Test Environmental Laboratory.

I worked as a substitute teacher while earning my teaching certificate. I came to St John the Baptist in 2006.

I have nine graduate credits in education.


Mrs. Jagodowski

Mrs. Jagodowski

Eighth Grade

My name is Maureen Jagodowski, and I was born and raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Graduating from Holyoke Catholic in 1967, I studied and earned my undergraduate degree and Master in the Art of Teaching degree from The College of Our Lady of the Elms. I taught for nineteen years at Blessed Sacrament School in Holyoke and have been a member of the St. John the Baptist faculty since 2005. Currently, I am president of a non-profit organization, For the Health of It in Western, MA, that is dedicated to suicide prevention for local middle and high school students presented by certified counselors through educational programs.

Mrs. Nogueira

Mrs. Nogueira

Grade 7 and 8 Math and Religion Teacher

My name is Donna Nogueira and I am a  Ludlow resident.  My family and I are parishioners of St. Elizabeth. I am a graduate of SJBS,  as are my three children.  I received my teaching degree from AIC and a certificate of middle school math from the Elms. I began teaching at SJBS in 1982.  Over the years I’ve held various positions.  Presently I teach Religion, Algebra and Pre-Algebra to grades 7 & 8.   

Mrs. Hayden

Mrs. Hayden

Computers

My name is Lisa Hayden, and I teach computers. In 1991 I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. While taking time to raise my family, I spent many years as a substitute teacher at Academy Hill School in Springfield, Massachusetts. For two years I facilitated a technology based enrichment program.

In 2009 I joined the staff at St. John the Baptist School as their computer teacher. My family and I are parishioners of St. Elizabeth Church. I feel very lucky to teach such enthusiastic learners alongside a very talented staff.

Mrs. Spice

Mrs. Spice

Art

After receiving my A.A. in Visual Art several years back, I decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy. Through that experience, I visited many cultural meccas that carried me further on my art journey:  Italy, Portugal, Israel and Turkey to name a few favorites.

Later, after staying home to raise my family, I felt compelled to go back to college to become a teacher. I went on to graduate with honors from the University of MA at Amherst, focusing on the field of Arts Education, and also obtained my MA PreK-8 Visual Art teaching licensure.  

I feel so fortunate to be able to teach art to the wonderful students here at St. John the Baptist School.  My husband, Craig, and I live in Ludlow with our two funny and creative children, Cecelia and Sam.

Mr. Gallagher

Mr. Gallagher

Physical Ed

My name is Conor and this is my third year teaching Physical Education at SJB school as well as working in the extended care program. Previously, I volunteered at the Vacation Bible School camp (VBS) as the Games Counselor for seven years and enjoyed it immensely. I served as an Alter Server for over 10 years at my parish, Christ the King Church in Ludlow, and found it to be a rewarding experience. I attended college at HCC but temporarily halted classes when I enlisted in the Air National Guard and took a year off of teaching in order to complete my initial training. I currently work at Barnes AFB as a traditional guardsmen in addition to teaching at SJB. I love working with children in a setting where I can use my knowledge of Catholicism and my passion for exercise together to help children grow in the faith and knowledge of health and fitness.

Mrs. Pereira

Mrs. Pereira

Music Teacher