New School Year, New Beginnings

Wednesday, August 17th marked the first day of our 2022-2023 school year. New kindergartners and new students walked the halls for the first time. Students entered new classrooms and took a new seat. But students weren’t the only new people on campus. Not only are we ushering in a new principal this year, but we are also welcoming 9 new faculty and staff to The Franciscan School. We are thrilled to welcome our new staff and excited to see all the ways they will share their skills and experiences with our students.

Dawn Smith, TFS Principal, shares “We are truly blessed with the success we’ve had in hiring our new faculty and staff. We have several teachers whose own children attend TFS, one whose spouse is a faculty member, and another who rejoins the faculty after a few years working elsewhere. Everyone returned well rested and excited about starting a new school year.”

Our 2022-2023 new faculty and staff are:

Alan Johnston, 8th grade Science

Matt Davis, 8th grade Social Studies

Erin Higgins, 4th grade ELA

Giselle Garrett, 1st grade ITA

Kathleen Loeschorn, Technology Coordinator

Ed Manville, 5th/6th grade Religion

Vicki Ramstetter, 3rd grade Teacher

Jennifer Davis, Assistant Principal

Grace Longley, 1st grade Teacher

In an effort to get to know our new faculty and staff a little better, we asked them a few questions about their backgrounds and what they are looking forward to this year.

What excites you most about the TFS community?

Alan Johnston: “I am most excited about how friendly everyone is and how much the community feels like a family. As a parent as well as a teacher, I am also quite excited about the programs and opportunities my daughter will have in 5th grade and middle school.”

Matt Davis: “The religious aspect of the school and the strong academic reputation of TFS.”

Erin Higgins: “I am excited to be part of the warm, welcoming environment that fosters a close relationship with Christ and encourages personal development. I am THRILLED to be teaching fourth grade literacy. Fourth graders are so powerfully independent and curious. They can think deeply and grow so much throughout the year. It is a privilege to work with them during this critical time in their lives.”

Giselle Garrett: “What most excites me about the TFS community is the welcoming spirit and kindness that abounds. I will also be joining my kids here!”

Kathleen Loeschorn: “The community that is evident through the shared prayer each morning.  The true focus is first student and family.”

Ed Manville: “Sharing my Faith with Students, Faculty, and Staff.”

Vicki Ramstetter: “I love seeing the connection to our faith as a Catholic community come through daily in not only religion class, but morning prayer, mass and other subjects. I'm excited to be part of this wonderful school.”

Jennifer Davis: “I am mostly excited about meeting all of the students and sharing an hour with them at Mass on Wednesdays. The unity and fellowship during that time is incredible, and the liturgy is so beautifully geared towards the children.”

What is something unique about you that you would like to share that may be of interest to our TFS families?

Alan Johnston: “I am a massive Star Wars fan! I am also a first generation American in my family. My parents moved to the U.S. from Northern Ireland in the 1970s.”

Matt Davis: “I worked here at TFS from 2002-2007 as a Social Studies teacher. Also, I served in the military in the United States Navy for 24 years in the medical field.”

Erin Higgins: “My family and I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying nature, especially hiking with our dog, Ollie.  We are enjoying exploring all that the beautiful Raleigh area has to offer. I have lived in Maryland (birth to college), Massachusetts (college to 2017), New Jersey (2017 to present), and now North Carolina!  I adore playing kickball and sports with students!”

Giselle Garrett: “I am fluent in Spanish!”

Kathleen Loeschorn: “I am a huge Disney fan and try to visit Disney World as much as possible.  It is the place we have made many family memories and go to when we want to celebrate. I have been to Disney in Paris and visited the DVC resort in Hawaii multiple times.”

Ed Manville: “I once (Accidentally) met Mother Teresa.”

Vicki Ramstetter: “I love to travel and have been to Disney 5 times in 6 years.”

Jennifer Davis: “I served 6 years in the Navy. I am proud of my service and I love my country. Being a patriotic person, it is appropriate that my daughter was actually born on the Fourth of July.

Grace Longley was out of the country and unable to answer these questions in time, but we are pleased to have a 2015 TFS graduate back with us as a teacher! Grace graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and she was a substitute teacher with TFS from 2019-2022.

We pray for God's grace and mercy as our new teachers and our entire school begin a new school year. Go T’Wolves!

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