Sarah Anderson image
Q

Sarah Anderson

LS Music

Sarah has a B.A. from Augustana College

Sarah Anderson

K-12 Music

Q

Dr. Sandra Argüelles

LS Spanish

Dr. Sandra Argüelles

K-6 Spanish

Q

Ezekiel Aurelius

Latin & Mythology

Ezekiel Aurelius

Latin & Mythology

Sarah Anderson image
Q

Luke Austin

6th-12th History

B.A. – University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee
M.A. – University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

“A thorough knowledge of the past, the ability to critically assess evidence, and a capacity for organizing and clearly expressing an argument provide myriad and useful advantages to those who possess them. I challenge my students to achieve a nuanced understanding of history, to apply its lessons to deal with contemporary issues, and to develop the skills essential for success in life beyond Rivermont Collegiate.”

Luke Austin

MS/US History

Q

Aubrey Barnes

4th Grade

B.A. – Western Governors University

Aubrey Barnes

4th Grade

Q

Amy Carbonneau

5th Grade

M.A. – University of Nottingham

Amy Carbonneau

5th Grade

Q

Robb Christensen

3D Art & Ceramics

M.A . – Saint Xavier

Robb Christensen

3D Art & Ceramics

Q

Robb Christensen

3D Art & Ceramics

M.A . – Saint Xavier

Meg Civiletti

3rd Grade

Q

Sarah Coomber

Kindergarten

B.A. – Carleton College
M.Ed. – University of Toronto
B.Ed. – St. Ambrose University with a Reading (K-8) Endorsement.

“My goal as an educator is to create a learning environment that embraces the natural curiosity, creativity, and joy of the young learner.”

Sarah Coomber

Kindergarten

Q

Julia Durango

3rd Grade

B.A., M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Julia Durango

MS/US English

Q

Elaine Ferris

MS/US Science

Masters – Drake University
B.S. – Northern Illinois University

Elaine Ferris

US Science

Q

John Ferris

7th Grade Mathematics

John Ferris

7th Grade Mathematics

Q

Sydney Greer

Kindergarten -12th Grade Art

B.A. – Augustana College

“My goal, through an encouraging and constructive environment, is to offer a combination of structure and choice. Furthermore – to expose students to the elements and principles of design through a wide variety of mediums. It is my aspiration to equip each student with the knowledge and skills to be able to successfully express emotions and communicate powerful messages to the changing world around us.”

Sydney Greer

K-12 Art

Q

Tiffany Johnson

English as a Second Language (ESL) & US Teaching Faculty

B.A. – Southern Illinois University
M.A. – University of Iowa

Tiffany Johnson

MS/US English & English as a Second Language (ESL)

Q

Allyson Knanishu

2nd Grade

M.S. & MLA – Western Illinois University
B.Ed. – St. Ambrose University

Allyson Knanishu

2nd Grade

Q

John Mahlo

1st Grade

B.A. – Western Illinois University

“I love that Rivermont’s small class sizes give us the opportunity to meet every student’s academic needs individually.”

John Mahlo

1st Grade

Q

Zackary Murphy

Physical Education (K-10),
Assistant Dean of Student Life, &
Assistant Athletic Director

563-359-1366
zmurphy@rivermontcollegiate.org

Zackary Murphy

K-12 Physical Education,
Assistant Dean of Student Life, & Assistant Athletic Director

Q

Dr. Blanchard Onanga Ndjila

English & French

Doctorate – Bordeaux 3 University in France
Masters – University of Iowa
Masters – Poitiers University in France
B.A. – Poitiers University in France

“For me, teaching comes down to sharing my own educational background, my own story and teaching experiences to motivate students to learn and understand the positive impact they could make on the world through education. So far, that part of my teaching has always been very well received and appreciated by the students. Therefore, I always like to help them realize areas they need to work on the most. In the final analysis, teaching, to me, is all about sharing my knowledge with the students. This is primarily done by encouraging them to participate in in-class activities. It is also done by setting goals and giving them the academic tools that will ultimately help them develop, mature, and interact with the world. Interacting with students in such a way that encourages them to ask me as many questions as possible is important to me.”

Dr. Onanga is also a published author. His books include: NKANI: An African Prophecy and Onkere: An African Boy’s Story of Struggle, Resilience, and Determination 

Dr. Blanchard Onanga Ndjila

MS/US English & US French

Q

Montanna Nicolai

Mathematics

B.S. – Northwest Missouri State University, M.S. – Northwest Missouri State University

“I teach the art of problem-solving, not number crunching. I push my students to view mathematics as an ecosystem where everything supports each other and builds on each other. Everything I teach them is connected to what they already know and understand. This empowers them to feel confident in using every tool at their disposal to solve any problem.”

Montanna Nicolai

MS/US Mathematics
Registrar

Q

Sangmin Park

MS/US Mathematics & Computer Science

Sangmin Park

MS/US Mathematics & Computer Science

Q

Maggie Pena

Pre-Kindergarten
(2-3 year olds)

Maggie Pena

Pre-Kindergarten
(2-3 year olds)

Q

Hayden Richardson

Middle School Science & Mathematics

Hayden Richardson

MS Science & Mathematics

Q

Leigh Ann Schroeder

PS-12th Curriculum Coordination & 6th-12th Grade History

B.A. – Augustana College

“What I would like students to take away from my classes, is that history is ever unfolding and alive, not just dates and names in a book. History is a story with characters, conflict, and compromises that need to be discovered to better understand the situations we are in today. Learning from the successes and failures of the past, allows us to move forward as a society.”

Leigh Ann Schroeder

PS-12th Curriculum Coordination & 6th-12th Grade History

Q

Christine Shepherd

Montessori Infused PS (3-5 Year Olds)

Christine Shepherd

Montessori Infused PS (3-5 Year Olds)

Q

Maria Surma

6th-12th Grade Spanish

Bachelor’s – ELS Teacher, Argentina
Master’s – Bilingual Education, Western Illinois University

“I would like to think of myself as a challenger, an eye opener, a brain teaser, a guiding hand through the exquisite complexities of language. I want my students to develop language skills rather than knowledge. Their skills will help them solve any puzzle. Their knowledge might sometimes prevent them from flying.”

Maria Surma

MS/US Spanish

Q

Melissa Sweeney

MS Maker Space,
LS Technology, & Faculty IT

Melissa Sweeney

MS Maker Space, LS Technology, & Faculty IT

Q

Amber Weeks

Junior Kindergarten
(4 year old)

B.A. – Blackhawk College/Western Illinois University

A quote from my children’s favorite book. “The very Hungry Caterpillar” story is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.” Eric Carle

Amber Weeks

Junior Kindergarten
(4 year olds)

Q

Dr. Scott Wellnitz

Upper School Science

B.S. – University of Kansas
Ph.D. – Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Scott Wellnitz

US Science

Contact Administration

Q

C. Max Roach

Headmaster

Max is a passionate and collaborative career educator entering his 23rd year in the Education industry. Mr. Roach completed his B.A. in Education from Westminster College and began teaching in Salt Lake City. Roach attended graduate classes at the University of Utah and is ABD for a M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language. Seeking instead to enter administration, Mr. Roach started over and completed his M.Ed. in Educational Management and Innovation. Additionally, Mr. Roach was asked to join the All Kinds of Minds National Teaching Faculty and National Facilitator Advisory Board. Headmaster Roach also completed coursework at Vanderbilt University to become a Peabody Fellow of Education in Independent School Leadership.

Max’s wife, Alethea, has supported Rivermont Collegiate as a registered nurse and girls’ dorm parent. Their oldest son, Aidan, graduated from Rivermont in 2022. Their three school-aged sons, Porter (16), Charlie (14), and Henry (7), are enrolled at Rivermont. Max and his family are passionate outdoor adventurers, enjoying hiking, biking, snow sports, camping, etc. Max enjoys playing the ukulele, teaching classical Japanese martial arts, and traveling.

Mr. Roach has worked as a classroom teacher, learning specialist, Department Chair, and Dean of Teaching and Learning Division Director before heading a school. Mr. Roach is now entering his 8th year as a Head of School.

563-359-1366
mroach@rivermontcollegiate.org

C. Max Roach

Headmaster

Q

Collin Lawrence

Assistant Head of School

563-359-1366 Ext. 335
clawrence@rivermontcollegiate.org

Collin Lawrence

Assistant Head of School

Q

Drew Boster

Director of Development

563-359-1366×314
dboster@rivermontcollegiate.org

Drew Boster

Director of Development

Q

Payton Brasher

Director of Residential Life

563-359-1366
pbrasher@rivermontcollegiate.org

Payton Brasher

Director of Residential Life

Q

Bonnie Campbell

International Programs Director

563-359-1366×304
bcampbell@rivermontcollegiate.org

Bonnie Campbell

International Programs Director

Q

Michelle Grimm

Dean of Students & Athletic Director

563-359-1366 Ext. 321
mgrimm@rivermontcollegiate.org

Michelle Grimm

Dean of Students &
Athletic Director

Q

Tia Green

Human Resources Manager & Accounting Specialist

563-359-1366×309
tgreen@rivermontcollegiate.org

Tia Hodge

Human Resources Manager &
Accounting Specialist

Q

Michael McCauley

College Counselor

563-359-1366 Ext. 324
mmccauley@rivermontcollegiate.org

Michael McCauley

College Counselor

Q

Linda Paget

Assistant to the Headmaster

563-359-1366×301
lpaget@rivermontcollegiate.org

Linda Paget

Assistant to the Headmaster

Q

Gina Reed

Finance Director

563-359-1366×315
gina.reed@rivermontcollegiate.org

Gina Reed

Finance Director

Q

Becca Rice

Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs (PK-5th), Administrative Assistant (PK-5th), & Rowing Coach

563-359-1366×337
rrice@rivermontcollegiate.org

Becca Rice

Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, Administrative Assistant (PK-5th), & Rowing Coach

Q

Charles Rodriguez

Facilities Director

563-359-1366×347
crodriguez@rivermontcollegiate.org

Charles Rodriguez

Facilities Director

Q

Kristin Skaggs

Admissions Director & Assistant Head of School for International Partnerships

B.A. – St. Ambrose University

Kristin Skaggs

Admissions Director & Assistant Head of School for International Partnerships

Q

Christine Starling

Becherer Hall Receptionist & Assistant to Becca Rice

563-359-1366×336
cstartling@rivermontcollegiate.org

Christine Starling

Becherer Hall Receptionist & Assistant to Becca Rice

Q

Marc Studer

Chef

563-359-1366×336
mstuder@rivermontcollegiate.org

Marc Studer

Chef

Q

Jill Weitzel

Communications Director

563-359-1366×308
jweitzel@rivermontcollegiate.org

Jill Weitzel

Communications Director

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