Staff

Mrs. Shelly Rose

Principal

Srose@sjbludlow.org

My name is Shelly Rose, and I have been at St. John the Baptist School for 22 years. I have taught preschool through high school before I came here. I taught grades 5, 6 and 7 and id remedial help at St. John's before I became principal. I earned the Grinspoon Teacher of Excellence Award in 2003. I am a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Belchertown. I love being a part of the St. John the Baptist School family!

Mrs. Ratkiewicz

Preschool

CRatkiewicz@sjbludlow.org

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. Vale

Kindergarten

Hvale@sjbludlow.org

My name is Helena Vale, I live in Ludlow with my wonderful husband, two children and fun little Olaf..(our family dog - not the real one :) I have been happily working and teaching here at St John the Baptist school alongside Mrs. Hewes, while also helping other wonderful teachers in various grades. I received my Bachelors degree and education at Western New England University. Graduated summa cum laude in my class. I decided I wanted to try the corporate world and did that for a while. I was working full time until I had my two daughters who are both successful graduates of St John the Baptist school. While my children attended school here, I became increasingly engaged in the entire school community and decided that I wanted to be part of the staff to help teach and guide children in positive ways. The years I have spent with students and faculty here have been the most rewarding and gratifying experience anyone could ask for. I believe that there is always something to learn and share each and every day. My mission as a teacher is to help children discover the joy of learning, and to help each child develop a strong belief in his or her own ability to achieve success in everything they do. I want them to recognize and respect each other, for who they are. To know that their hard work will push them to be their personal best. When not in school, you will find me anywhere out in nature. Hiking, Biking, skiing, swimming... and/or snuggled up with a good book.

Mrs. Aghjayan

First Grade

Aaghjayan@sjbludlow.org

My name is Abby Aghjayan. I attended Holyoke Catholic and went on to receive my Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education and English from Assumption College. After graduating, I spent 4 years as an Instructional Assistant in the Nashoba Regional School District, working with grades K-4.


I live with my husband, Alex, and our Great Pyrenees, Luna. In my spare time I am often found with a book in my hand or in the kitchen baking sweet treats. I am so honored to have joined the St. John the Baptist School family and be able to teach these wonderful students!



Mrs. Pilon

Second Grade

Ppilon@sjbludlow.org

My name is a Trish Pilon. I am looking forward to another wonderful year at St. John the Baptist School as the school’s second grade teacher. For the past few years, I have been working with Springfield Public Schools in special education. Over the years, I have also taught in other schools within the Diocese of Springfield as both a primary and middle school teacher. Recently, while working as a certified licensed teacher, I received my Masters in Special Education and Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement from Springfield College. Prior to this, I attended Bay Path University as well as Our Lady of the Elm’s College with a concentration of studies in education.

I live with my husband and son. We are new members of the St. Elizabeth Parish. I have served the community over the years by working with various Catholic education programs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-H for over a decade. In 2015, I was awarded the Saint George Award from Bishop Mitchell Rozanski for my many years of dedication to Catholic Scouting. I am a local artist and belong to several art leagues in the area. I love sharing stories about my silly dog, scouting, and family adventures.

Mrs. Meneke

Third Grade

Lmeneke@sjbludlow.org

My name is Laura Meneke. I am excited for this year and want to thank you for sharing your child with me. This is the start of my 17th year of teaching and my 5th year at SJB. I am certified in Elementary Education as well as Mild to Moderate disabilities (Special Education). I moved to Massachusetts from Texas ten years ago. I have been married for 30 years and have three adult children. I love going to the beach, especially down south, gardening, spending time with my family and my cats!

Mrs. Mentekidis

Fourth Grade

lmentekidis@sjbludlow.org

My name is Louisa Mentekidis, and I am very excited to be the Fourth Grade Teacher here at St. John the Baptist School. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Secondary Education as well as a Masters Degree in Education. I taught for fifteen years in public and parochial schools in New York City and Indiana before I left teaching to stay home with my children. During this time, I was actively involved with my Adult Education Program at my parish, St. Cecilia’s in Wilbraham. I have lived in Ludlow for twenty years with my husband and three children, two of whom are 2016 graduates of St. John the Baptist School.

Mrs. Szwarckop

Fifth Grade

SSzwarckop@sjbludlow.org

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.

Sr. Jeanne Branchaud

Sixth Grade

Jbranchaud@sjbludlow.org

I’m Sister Jeanne Branchaud, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. I have taught in various Catholic and public schools in Vermont and Massachusetts over the last 30 years. I have two BS degrees, one in Human Services and the other in Education. I also hold two Masters Degrees, one in Theology and the other in Special Education. I also just earned a Certificate in Woman's Leadership and Spirituality from Hartford Seminary. I have served as a campus minister and a chaplain for the Springfield Police Department. I also teach kayaking and rowing on the Connecticut River in my “spare” time.

Mrs. Willis

Seventh Grade

WWillis@sjbludlow.org

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. Gaj

EighthGrade

HGaj@sjbludlow.org


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.


Mr. Gallagher

Computers

Cgallagher@sjbludlow.org



My name is Conor Gallagher and I teach Computers. 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. I enlisted in the Air National Guard and took a year off of teaching in order to complete my initial training. I am 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 technology and exercise together to help children grow in the faith and knowledge.


Mr. Bradley

Art

Abradley@sjbludlow.org

My name is Al Bradley. It is a pleasure to be part of the SJB faculty, students and parents. I earned a BFA in Art Education and an MFA in Visual Design/Printmaking. I was chosen to be a fellow at Skidmore College in Painting and won the Margot Neugebauer award for Art Education at UMass.

I have been teaching art in Massachusetts and Connecticut for 26 years. Art is my passion, my life! I enjoy bringing happiness and knowledge to students. I come from a family background of successful artists. I exhibit my art and have won numerous awards as well as sold many pieces. I enjoy donating my art to various charities and organizations. My goal is to enrich souls and make aware to students the beauty and importance ART plays in our lives and in society. My door is always open so feel free to contact me.


Mr. Zulch

Physical Education



Mrs. Pereira

Music

Lpereira@sjbludlow.org

My name is Irene Saloio Pereira, and I am a lifelong resident of Ludlow and communicant of St. Elizabeth’s Parish. I am a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where I received my BA in Music Education with a Vocal Music emphasis.

My career started in the Spencer/East Brookfield School District in 1976. I taught music in 4 different schools within the District ranging from grades 1-8 and Chorus at David Prouty HS.

I was married in 1978, and took a hiatus from teaching as my husband pursued his career as a professional soccer player. We settled back in Ludlow when our first child was born. Between 1984 and 1986, though I spent the majority of my time at home with our daughters, I taught 2 classes- 4 days a week- at Wilbraham and Monson Academy. In 1990, when our second child began Kindergarten at SJBS, I started working at Wilbraham Middle School. I stayed there for 12 years. I then decided to fill a vacancy here at SJB, where by then our two daughters had graduated, and our son was in 1st grade. I stayed at SJBS for two years before accepting a position as the Chorus and Drama teacher at Ludlow’s Paul R. Baird Middle School in 2001. After 32 years of teaching, I retired at the close of the school year 2016.

My heart has always been with St. John the Baptist School …and as God would have it… there was a music vacancy here that allowed me the perfect part time schedule. I am thrilled to be able to continue sharing my love of music and drama with our students in a God filled setting once again.

My name is Irene Saloio Pereira, and I am a lifelong resident of Ludlow and communicant of St. Elizabeth’s Parish. I am a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where I received my BA in Music Education with a Vocal Music emphasis.

My career started in the Spencer/East Brookfield School District in 1976. I taught music in 4 different schools within the District ranging from grades 1-8 and Chorus at David Prouty HS.

I was married in 1978, and took a hiatus from teaching as my husband pursued his career as a professional soccer player. We settled back in Ludlow when our first child was born. Between 1984 and 1986, though I spent the majority of my time at home with our daughters, I taught 2 classes- 4 days a week- at Wilbraham and Monson Academy. In 1990, when our second child began Kindergarten at SJBS, I started working at Wilbraham Middle School. I stayed there for 12 years. I then decided to fill a vacancy here at SJB, where by then our two daughters had graduated, and our son was in 1st grade. I stayed at SJBS for two years before accepting a position as the Chorus and Drama teacher at Ludlow’s Paul R. Baird Middle School in 2001. After 32 years of teaching, I retired at the close of the school year 2016.

My heart has always been with St. John the Baptist School …and as God would have it… there was a music vacancy here that allowed me the perfect part time schedule. I am thrilled to be able to continue sharing my love of music and drama with our students in a God filled setting once again.

Mr. CJ O'Neill

Nurse

nurse@sjbludlow.org