Teacher and Staff Profiles
Your child’s teachers and staff provide one of the most direct influences on his or her education. We pride ourselves in the quality of our teachers and staff, all of whom hold degrees and are certified. Our teachers also participate in ongoing professional development. Below is a brief profile of each faculty and staff member
Mr. Chase Closs – Principal
Chase, a former Baraga teacher of 6 years, has been principal at BBCS for two year. He has been involved in a variety of programs at Bishop Baraga, including the school’s athletic programs, introducing leveled learning to the upper elementary, and a variety of other extracurricular programs. Mr. Closs holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Saginaw Valley State University, a masters degree in Education from the University of Phoenix, and a Certificate for Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. His goals and research interests include developing programs and academic success for Catholic schools, mission-driven leadership, teacher education, and innovative instructional practices in support of exceptional Catholic education.
Chase can always be heard throughout the school with his animated voices and excitement for learning! He enjoys a variety of sports, his dog Duke, and spending time with his wife Ashley and their daughter’s Ryleigh and Charlotte.
(231) 627-5608 Ext. 1103
Mrs. Ann Couture – Secretary
Ann Couture is the secretary at Bishop Baraga School. She is a lifetime resident of Cheboygan and graduated from Cheboygan High School. Ann has two grandchildren, alumni of Bishop Baraga. When she is out of the office she likes to keep active spending time outdoors kayaking, playing pickleball, biking, watching her grandchildren play baseball, softball and spending time with her husband, Jim.
Mrs. Kayte Schryer – Preschool
Lead Preschool Teacher/Director, Kayte Schryer has been teaching at Baraga for the past 17 years. Together with Ms. Brenda, they have built the exciting play-based preschool environment. With daily art, hands on experiences focusing on large motor and fine motor skills, they make sure each child is ready for kindergarten. Kayte and her husband Todd have 3 boys; Parson, Elliott, and Reid. She enjoys spending time with her family in her free time.
Mrs. Brenda Dunham – Preschool Assistant
Brenda Dunham has been working at Bishop Baraga for 10 years. She has her degree in Art History from CMU. With her husband Andy she enjoys downhill skiing, spending time with her family, and motorcycling. Brenda and Andy have two children, Grayson and Tess, both currently attending college.
Ms. Gabrielle Stempky – Kindergarten
Mrs. Jan Franz – Instructional Aide
Jan is one of BBCS’s support staff. She can be seen greeting students and parents in the morning before each school day. Along with her many job titles she also helps out in the lunch room monitoring the students, playground monitor, and bussing patrol.
Jan is a Cheboygan native graduating from Cheboygan High school. She moved back to Cheboygan after her husband retired from the Air Force. Her interest in children has led to working 20 years in education. She is certified as a Para-professional under the No Child Left Behind Act and has been apart of the Baraga family since 2015.
In her free time she loves to work in her many flower beds, decorating and doing projects around her house. She loves to watch her family play softball when she can. Most of all she loves to be with her family spending time on their boat. She can also be found relaxing at their family cabin.
Mrs. Jennifer Budzinski – First Grade
Jennifer is the first grade teacher and a graduate from Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. She grew up in Cheboygan and is an alumni of Bishop Baraga. This will be her 11th year with Bishop Baraga! She currently lives in Cheboygan with her husband John and enjoys many extracurricular activities including kayaking, camping, boating, reading, and farming.
Outside of the classroom Jennifer is busy as BBCS’s fundraiser coordinator. She also sits on the Boosters board as the school liaison. The school’s annual Track and Field Day event is put on with the help of her, as is March Reading Month, Ski Club and she also sits on the Crisis Management Team. She is an active member of Sacred Heart Church were she is a regular Eucharistic Minister.
Jennifer is excited to be at Bishop Baraga, where she helps her students grow both in their academics and their faith.
Mrs. Jody Reager – Instructional Aide
Jody will be starting her 3rd year on staff at BBCS as another support staff member. Along with helping in the classroom, she can be found monitoring students at recess and in the lunchroom and assisting at student dismissal in the afternoon. She is a Cheboygan native and returned to Cheboygan in 2000 after living in the Marquette area for twelve years.
Outside of the classroom Jody loves to spend time with her husband, Charlie, and 2 daughters, Kelsey and Julia . She loves to camp, bike, kayak, snowshoe, and make soaps and candles.
Mrs. Linda Baxter-May – Second Grade
Linda will be starting her 3rd year in 2nd grade this year. She received a Master’s degree in education from Marygrove College and a Bachelor’s from Eastern Michigan University. She has over 12years experience teaching in a variety of settings.
Linda is a member of the Northern Michigan Jail Ministry in Cheboygan.
Linda and her husband have been a part of Cheboygan for close to thirty years. She has three children that she is very proud of and four grandchildren.
Ms. Haley Stempky – Third Grade
Mrs. Denice Sabolsky – Fourth Grade
Denice was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio and graduated from The University of Toledo in 1997 with her Bachelor in Education. She taught 5-8 Language Arts at her elementary alma mater in Toledo before moving to Sandusky, Ohio to raise her family of four boys. After being a stay at home mom for 11 years she was employed by Sandusky Central Catholic. In 2016, she and her family moved to West Yellowstone, Montana where she taught 5th grade.
Mrs. Sabolsky enjoys spending time with her husband and boys, exploring new places, and visiting Yellowstone National Park.
Mrs. Jill Kwiatkowski – ELA, Art Teacher & Fifth Grade Homeroom
Jill is a retired Bishop Baraga teacher returning to teach part time after a short retirement having taught at Cheboygan Catholic Schools since 1976 after graduating from Northern Michigan University. She has taught in all grades K-8. Some long term positions have been the Social Studies teacher for 5th thru 7th grades, Art Electives, Math Differentiated Learning, and 5th Grade Religion. She has filled in as Acting Principal when Mrs. LaBlance was away. Jill has been a longtime member of the Baraga Boosters raising funds to help keep tuition at an affordable cost and was a faculty facilitator for the Student Council and Battle of the Books.
Mrs. Katherine Lentell– Middle School Teacher & Sixth Grade Homeroom
Katherine is the 6th grade homeroom teacher, section 1 ELA teacher, section 2 math teacher, and upper hall science teacher. She graduated cum laude in her undergraduate program, magna cum laude in her graduate program, and is a member of multiple elite national honors societies. She has been a Bishop Baraga teacher for 6 years and is an active member of St. Mary’s St. Charles Parish in Cheboygan, where she is a lector and Eucharistic Minister. She is married to her best friend Brian, and they have two daughters who attend Bishop Baraga.
Ms. Cynthia Homant – Middle School Teacher & Seventh Grade Homeroom
Cindy is the Seventh Grade Home Room and one of the Upper Hall Social Studies, Math and Language Arts teachers. She is the tutor for the Study Table after school program. Ms. Homant is a veteran teacher of 33 years having experience in both public and Catholic schools (St. Ann’s and All Saints in Alpena and St. Jude in Grand Rapids). She brings with her experience as a Gifted and Resource Teacher in Colorado and comes with a Highly Qualified endorsement for Middle School Social Studies and will challenge and set high goals for students. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University.