School Faculty

Photo of Mrs. Alissa Turner Mrs. Alissa Turner School Principal

Starting early in my life, I wanted to be a teacher. I earned my undergraduate degree in Music Education from Carthage College in 2003. I taught General Music and directed the parish Youth Choir at St. Matthias from 2004-2017. While in graduate school at Cardinal Stritch University, I taught General Music at St. Eugene in Fox Point, WI from 2017-2021. In the fall of 2021, I returned to St. Matthias to serve as the Principal. It is my desire to serve and partner with educators, parents, students, parish, and community members so that together we can build strong, faith-filled, and academically successful young people.

On a personal note, I live with my husband, Matthew, and our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Hercules. Matthew teaches high school Social Studies, serves as Athletic Director, and coaches varsity baseball. We enjoy music, baseball, backyard fires, and are major foodies.

Photo of Ms. Susan Blaha Ms. Susan Blaha Administrative Assistant

I started working at St. Matthias in 2014 as the school’s Administrative Assistant. I am the “front desk” person and I have many different responsibilities including tracking attendance, filing forms for the state, and organizing the student accounts.  One of my favorite jobs is giving tours to families who are interested in joining St. Matthias School. The community at St. Matthias School is like a family – and I love “showing off” how awesome it is!

Photo of Mrs. Deanna Burss Mrs. Deanna Burss Curriculum and Resource Teacher

I have been teaching at St. Matthias Parish School since the fall of 1996.  I attained a bachelor’s degree in education from UW-Whitewater and a reading teacher license from Cardinal Stritch University.  I am a St. Matthias Parish member along with my husband, Jim.  I am especially involved in the handbell choirs at St. Matthias.

During my years at St. Matthias, I have had many opportunities to work with students of all different ages.  I spent my first 22 years at St. Matthias teaching the Kindergarten program and then first grade.  Currently, I work with small groups of students or one on one to provide extra support as needed in reading and math.  I coordinate IEP evaluations with the Milwaukee Public Schools as needed and work with our Title provider to schedule additional academic support for students.  Additionally, I work with the staff by providing curriculum and instruction support to them throughout the school year.   One of my favorite activities at St. Matthias School is teaching students in 7th and 8th grade to play handbells.  Students volunteer for the handbell choir, practice weekly, and perform at All-School Masses and select Sunday and holiday Masses throughout the year.

Photo of Mrs. Michelle Bublitz Mrs. Michelle Bublitz K4 Teacher

I have been teaching at St. Matthias Parish School since the fall of 2013.  I attained a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Carroll College/University and also have minors in Early Childhood and Adaptive Education. I am a St. Matthias Parish member along with my husband, Paul. I have 2 children, Benjamin and Abigail who were baptized at St. Matthias.

K4 is often the first year children start their school career. A lot happens this first year, learning letters and numbers, colors and shapes, how to write, cut and glue, who Jesus is and stories about Jesus are just some of the academics covered. K4 is also about the social and emotional development of the children, making friends, following rules, using manners, being respectful to everyone, recognizing your own feelings as well as the feelings of others are some of our social and emotional concepts. Our K4 classroom is guided by the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) and is a play based curriculum. The K4 students at St. Matthias School learn what school is in a warm, inviting and fun place!

Photo of Mrs. Cindy Naumann Mrs. Cindy Naumann Educational Assistant
Photo of Ms. Kayla Richardson Ms. Kayla Richardson K5 Teacher

My name is Kayla Richardson. I am a new teacher here at St. Matthias. I will be teaching Kindergarten. I earned my Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education at Concordia University in Mequon. I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with children and as I went through my time in college, I knew that teaching was what God had called me to do. I love being a part of shaping the minds and spirits of our next generation. Kindergarten is a fundamental year for our students, and I am excited to lay that foundation not only in academics, but also for their spiritual well being. Kindergarten is full of learning, creativity, growth, and having a lot of fun while we do it! I always say that it is not just the students who learn in the classroom, but I also learn so much from them during our time together, and I look forward to that.

Photo of Mrs. Connie Wachowiacz Mrs. Connie Wachowiacz Educational Assistant
Photo of Mr. Pike Piekenbrock Mr. Pike Piekenbrock 1st Grade Teacher

Hello! My name is Mr. Robert (Pike) Piekenbrock. After attending St. Matthias as a young learner, I am very excited to be back working with a new generation of students. Prior to joining the St. Matthias team, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a certificate in Dyslexia from the University of Dayton. At the core of my teaching philosophy is the commitment to igniting students’ interests and curiosities. I love learning and hope to pass on that same love for learning in my classroom. Other interests or hobbies of mine include music, traveling, and tennis.

I look forward to a great year of exciting learning. Go Bulldogs!

Photo of Mrs. Elaina Spencer Mrs. Elaina Spencer 2nd Grade Teacher

My education path began back in 2011 while teaching a before-school Spanish class.  I realized I absolutely loved teaching and decided to go back to school.  I received my teaching license from Cardinal Stritch University in Regular Education PreK-6th grade in 2011.  I also received my Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005.  From 2011-2022, I taught Spanish to students in K5-8th grade.  As an educator, I strive to guide children on their educational journey so they grow, sharpen their collaboration skills, build confidence, and overall give children the best learning experience they possibly can.

Saint Matthias is a special school for my family.  My mom, aunts, and uncles all attended St. Matthias School and my mom was so excited to have a chance to visit the classrooms again this summer (she was eager to help me set up my new classroom).  My grandparents attended church every Sunday at Saint Matthias and the school and parish held a very special place in their hearts.

On a personal note, I spend my time enjoying life with my husband Jay, our Pitbull, Lambeau, and our three cats, Sassy, Lucy, and JJ.  I’m an only child and am extremely close with my mom and dad.  I absolutely love everything about fitness and enjoy strength training and running.  Currently, I’ve ran 9 half marathons, 1 marathon, and 1 ultramarathon (31 miles).  Running for me is an opportunity to reflect on life, enjoy nature, and challenge myself as best as I can!!

Photo of Mrs. Gale Niemczynski Mrs. Gale Niemczynski 3rd Grade Teacher

My name is Gale Niemczynski.  I started teaching 3rd grade at St. Matthias in January of 2023. I love God, teaching and learning, and singing. All of these have shaped my choices, passions,  and decisions.  I graduated from Evangel  College in Springfield,  Missouri with my Bachelor’s Degree. Soon after I got a 4th grade teaching job in Milwaukee Public Schools(MPS). After getting hired at MPS  I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree. I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching Math and Science.  While teaching in MPS I learned a lot and developed a lot of skills. My favorite subjects to teach are science, math and social studies.  Also during my time in MPS I passed my National Board Certification and qualified again after it lapsed.   I recently retired from MPS after working there for 30 years but God in his infinite plan brought me here to teach 3rd grade at St Matthias.

On a personal note I live in Milwaukee with my husband Jeff.  We are proud of our son who is serving in the US Airforce.  We have 3 wonderful grandsons!!!!

Photo of Mrs. Rachele Wehr Mrs. Rachele Wehr 4th Grade Teacher

My name is Rachele Wehr.  I have been teaching at St. Matthias School since 1990.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in education at Marquette University.  My three children are alumni of St. Matthias. St. Matthias is my second family.

Faith is evident in my classroom, and it is intertwined in all activities.   Each day begins with a decade of the rosary and is followed by reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Students are enriched weekly with music,art, and physical education classes as well.

Some of the highlights of fourth grade are the following: going on an overnight camping trip, creating new inventions, reading to our junior kindergarten reading buddies, hosting a Halloween bake sale, creating 4th Grade Candy Cane Lane, reading a variety of exciting texts, writing narratives and persuasive essays, and taking educational field trips!

Photo of Mrs. Laura Stachnik Mrs. Laura Stachnik 5th Grade Teacher

I have been teaching at St. Matthias since the fall of 2018. I have a degree from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in Elementary Education. I started my career in middle school in MPS, and then worked as a substitute teacher in nearby suburbs, while finding my way here. I knew I would like my own classroom again. The path that led me to St. Matthias has been very rewarding. I look forward to many more years in our St. Matthias community.

I love teaching 5th grade with all of the wonderful topics we learn that fit so well together. I prefer to integrate the curriculum like reading novels about American Indians while we do social studies on FIrst Americans and American Indians. I even have a novel about scientists that we read during our unit on the planets! I believe that students need to learn how to think critically about topics, therefore, they need to see how much we can learn about one concept in so many different content areas. Of course, 5th graders have fractions and decimals in math to experience too. Learning is a lifelong experience and I want my students to love learning and ask lots of questions. We do many projects and make models, posters, or Google Slides to show our learning. I believe students have many ways to learn and show what they know so I offer opportunities that meet their needs. It is an exciting place to be in 5th grade at St. Matthias.

Photo of Ms. Elle Teubert Ms. Elle Teubert 6th Grade Teacher

I joined the staff in January 2019 but my journey with St. Matthias began long before then. St. Matthias was my home parish growing up, having attended Mass and Sunday School every week. I am beyond grateful that God brought me back to St. Matthias as a teacher. It is truly the greatest pleasure to get to work with these amazing colleagues, students, and families.  I have my Bachelor’s degree in Education with minors in Literacy and Spanish, and my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, both from Cardinal Stritch University. I have previously assisted with the school musical, and am an assistant coach for the Forensics team.

I love teaching, and absolutely love teaching 6th grade. In 6th grade my goal is to give students ways to critically think and creatively apply what they’ve learned. My favorite moments are ones in which we strengthen our classroom community. I believe all students can be successful with support and guidance. Throughout the year I embed project-based learning into each core subject. Students also attend classes in Physical Education, Music, Library, Art, and Project Lead the Way (a STEM class). We use technology in the classroom for various assignments and focus on collaborative group work in many lessons. Students contribute to our classroom community and strengthen their faith by sharing prayer requests and praises. In 6th grade, students bridge the gap between elementary and middle school, gaining independence, confidence, and a faith-fueled compassionate community!

Photo of Charlene Riese-Hattori Charlene Riese-Hattori Middle School Teacher

Teaching is a second career for me. I obtained my Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence Certification with a minor in English from Carroll University in 2010. After receiving my degree, I worked in Special Education, and then became a permanent substitute teacher in my home school district for three years. I always wanted a classroom of my own and was fortunate to find that at St. Matthias.

Prior to teaching, I worked in the areas of Public Relations and Marketing, primarily in financial services. I also hold a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Being the middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher allows me to combine my love of writing and world events. I strive to connect what we learn to the world around us, both near and far, and to the Catholic tradition and history.

My favorite part of teaching middle school is seeing the excitement surrounding student high school selections, as well as watching students continue to grow in compassion and faith, especially through my role as Student Leadership Team Advisor.

Photo of Ms. Katie Rogalinski Ms. Katie Rogalinski Middle School Teacher


My name is Katie Rogalinski and I teach Math, Science, and Religion to our Middle School Students. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary & Middle School Education from UW-Whitewater with a Minor in Science Education and I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in School Counseling at UW-Superior. St. Matthias Parish School is a strong, faith based community full of teachers who motivate their students to become lifelong learners. My favorite thing about teaching middle school is working with the students to become independent learners and getting them prepared to move onto high school. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, especially when we’re at the lake! I love cooking homemade meals and trying new food. I am proud to be a part of such a great team and to call St. Matthias Parish School my home.

Photo of Mr. Dalen Heinzen Mr. Dalen Heinzen Technology and Project Lead The Way

I am Mr. Dalen Heinzen and I have been a very proud faculty member of St. Matthias Parish School since 1979. I attended the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and earned my degree in the area of physical education which I taught from 1979 to 2000. My interest in anything hands-on led me to pursue further study and certification in the area of technology and have used this knowledge to teach computer classes in grades K5-8 from 1998 to 2019 and basic engineering, computer science, and robotics through the PLTW (project lead the way) program since 2010. On a personal level, I enjoy sports of any type and am a volleyball official in my spare time as well.

It is my passion to see students discover themselves and what they can do individually and collaboratively that makes my job so enjoyable. To see a student solve a physical or engineering problem that leads to understanding is a blessing. That “aha” moment is a priceless one! It is very rewarding when past students make that special effort to share how something started in your classroom at St. Matthias has blossomed into a career they are proud of.

Photo of Mrs. Jackie Hilber Mrs. Jackie Hilber Librarian

I’ve been a parishioner of St. Matthias for many years, and my four children attended school here. I am happy to be in the library where I can share my love of books with all of the students, and encourage them to become lifelong readers.

Photo of Mr. Steve Joyal Mr. Steve Joyal Music Teacher

Mr. Joyal is in his second year teaching Music at St. Matthias. While the younger grades are learning about a variety of musical concepts – beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, etc. – the Middle School students are spending time with various performing styles (“On Stage”), such as opera, musical theatre, ballet,orchestra, band, chorus, rock, country, etc. – anything that revolves around a performance!

Expect concert performances in December for grades K4 and K5, another for grades 1-4, and a third in May for grades 5-8l. The Youth Choir is comprised of students in grades 3-8. A select few singers will also be selected as Cantors to assist in leading the Mass.

Mr. Joyal has been teaching music for close to 35 years, with the majority of that time spent in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District. In fact, there are a few families at St. Matthias that he has taught in the past! He enjoys working with all of the children and looks forward to an exciting year.

Photo of Sra. Julie Moore Sra. Julie Moore Spanish Teacher

I have been teaching Spanish at St Matthias school since 2019. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with a Spanish certification from 6-12. I graduated from the University of the Permian Basin, in Odessa, Texas.

Teaching Spanish has been my passion for 15 years.  It is a very enriching profession in which I have had the opportunity to be in contact with Spanish speaking people from different Spanish speaking countries.  My years in teaching Spanish has certainly enriched my life and hopefully those of my students. It reminds me that I do not have to leave my classroom, in order to teach different cultures, and travel.

I teach Spanish not only because it’s fun but because there is such a great need to know the language.

The most rewarding part of being a Spanish teacher is watching my students grow and learn, but also appreciate how the Spanish language can open up more doors for my students.

During the school year, my students are taught to communicate (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and connect with other disciplines. Grammar vocabulary, famous artists, and culture topics are just a few objectives that my students learn.

Photo of Mrs. Lisa Mushall Mrs. Lisa Mushall Art Teacher
Photo of Ms. Kaelie Polatowski Ms. Kaelie Polatowski Guidance Counselor

My name is Kaelie Politowski and I’m new to the St. Matthias team this year. I earned my Bachelors in Psychology from UW-Platteville in 2019 and my Masters in Educational Psychology from Alverno College in 2021. I’m currently working towards my Educational Specialist in School Psychology degree and anticipate graduating from Alverno in the Spring of For my internship, I will be at both St. Matthias and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Schools.

I will serve as the school counselor/psychologist and am beyond grateful for this amazing opportunity. I have a passion for instilling resiliency and a growth mindset in others, as well as being an advocate for mental health. I believe that educating the whole child is what leads to growth and success in this ever-changing world. By partnering with educators, students, families, parish and community members, I desire to help foster a friendly and safe learning environment for all individuals.

On a personal note, I enjoy taking my dogs for walks, traveling, playing volleyball, watching the sunrises and sunsets, listening to podcasts, going to church, and spending time with my family. I also recently got engaged this past April to my fiancé, Jacob, and plan to get married in the Summer of 2023.

Photo of Mr. Chris Rodriguez Mr. Chris Rodriguez Gym Teacher/Athletic Director