Faculty and Staff
Mrs. Harer was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Chapman University, where she earned her BA in Liberal Arts. She has lived in Huntsville since 2011 and has taught in catholic schools her entire teaching career. She has taught grades 2nd – 6th and has a passion for helping students in need of extra support.
Mrs. Susan Page holds a BA in French, and a BA in Communications, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She and her husband Paul have been married for over 30 years. Their 2 daughters are graduates of Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School and St. John Paul II Catholic High School, where she taught French and worked as Director of Admissions. Mrs. Page enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family (and loves when all 3 of these happen simultaneously at the beach!)
Mrs. Sneed earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University with a double major in Finance and Economics. She was thrilled to join the Office Staff at Holy Spirit in November of 2021 and loves her world of spreadsheets and analysis. Her interests include time outdoors with her family (especially visiting National Parks), playing games, working puzzles and drinking coffee.
Mrs. Julie Baldwin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Auburn University in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education. She works as our Orton-Gillingham trained reading coach for grades K-4. Mrs. Baldwin helped implement the PALS reading program at our school this year partnering our second graders with Millie the miniature Schnauzer, and Ms. Ashley from Therapy Partners, Inc.
Mrs. Angie Gilchrist is from Northern Virginia. She is married and has two high schoolers, one at Saint John Paul II Catholic High School and one at the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.
Catherine Doran is a 2013 graduate of Saint John Paul II Catholic High School. She graduated in 2016 from the University of North Alabama where she majored in Sociology and Family Studies. She obtained a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University in 2020. During her time at Walden University, she interned with Elk River Teen Treatment Program and Bradford Health Services. Catherine has been a member of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church since moving to Huntsville in 2009. She joined the Holy Spirit Regional School family in January 2017. She currently has her Associate License in Counseling (ALC).
Mrs. Cathy Jodon holds a BA in Business Management from Marshall University and a Masters in Human Relations from Oklahoma University. She began working at Holy Spirit School in 2013, and in January 2016 was promoted to Business Manager and is now the Events Coordinator. Mrs. Jodon is married and has two caring daughters who attended Holy Spirit School and now St. John Paul II Catholic High School. She enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening.
Mrs. Richard has always loved art and design since she can remember and she always finds herself doing something creative to keep herself busy, even as a kid. She is a Graphic Designer and owns her own small business that she works from at home. On her free time, she loves to quilt, crotchet, make jewelry, take walks with her labrador Brody and spend time with her husband and daughter, Mackenzie.
Mrs. Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelor in Management with a double major in International Business from Florida International University (FIU) in 1987 and received her Teacher Certification from Athens State University. Mrs. Alonso and her family moved to Huntsville, Alabama in 1997 and she has been teaching Spanish at Holy Spirit School since 2009. She loves her job at Holy Spirit because it’s like her home away from home. She is married and has three wonderful children that have all attended Holy Spirit School and St. John Paul II Catholic High School. Their daughter Miss Christie Alonso is the 2nd grade teacher also at Holy Spirit. Mrs. Alonso enjoys spending time with her family, taking pictures, making rosaries to donate to charity, and making photo books. Faith is very important to Mrs. Alonso.
Mrs. Candace Jacobs, who is a Huntsville native, has been teaching at Holy Spirit School since 2003. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, where she was top of her class as Sum Cum Laude. Candace attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville on a full cross country scholarship and later ran track and field for the university. She got married to her wonderful husband, Erik, in October 2004. They have two boys: Jonathan, who graduated from Holy Spirit School, and Aarron, who is in 2nd grade. She still runs today and competes at a competitive level.
Karen Lico is a native New Yorker. She received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University and a Master of Science in Education from Southern Connecticut State University. Mrs. Lico taught middle school Language Arts and Literature, directed a Library-Media Center and integrated a Digital Literacy program in grades preK-8 at St. Luke’s School in Barrington, Rhode Island. Mrs. Lico was excited to be the first facilitator of the Fr. MacMahon STREAMLab and to begin to develop the STREAM curriculum here at HSRCS. Beginning in 2021, Mrs. Lico assumed responsibility of the Library Media Center, and is mentoring our students as they explore the very best of the world of literature and its connection to the 21st century technological world in which they live in. A mother of two, and a recent transplant with her husband to Huntsville, Mrs. Lico is passionate about teaching in the faith-filled community of Holy Spirit School.
Mr. Onder received his Bachelor’s In Music from the University of North Alabama (ROAR LIONS!) and his Master’s in Music Education from Alabama A&M University. He has one daughter, Adrianne, whom he LOVES performing music with. Mr. Onder performs at many different venues in the community. He enjoys playing music at Mass more than anywhere else. He has a dog (Ollie) who is the best friend he’s ever had!
Joe Rist began teaching at Holy Spirit in 2003. His degrees include Elementary Education and a minor in special education from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a degree in Finance from Auburn University. During his free time he enjoys competing in triathlons, trail and road running, and spending time with his wife and three children. He is an active member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Mrs. Aynslee Smithee is an artist, a minister, and a teacher. She has a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Mississippi and an M.F.A. from the University of Alabama. Before joining Holy Spirit she taught Drawing Foundations, 2D Design and Color Theory, Painting Introduction, and Figure Painting at UAH. For Mrs. Smithee, creating art is a way to express the magnificent and beautiful love of God and a way to reach out and invite others into an exploration of scripture and the liturgical life of the church.
When she isn’t at Holy Spirit surrounded by the amazing, creative kids, she enjoys spending time on projects in her studio, painting en plein air, watching the Great British Baking Show, singing in the choir, and having spontaneous living room dance parties with her two children, her husband Jacob (who is a much better engineer than dancer), and their two sweet doodles, Poppy and Chloe.
Miss Gardiner holds a BA degree from Troy University and is certified to teach K-6th. This is her first year teaching at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School. She has previously taught second and third grade in Enterprise City Schools. In Enterprise, she taught math/science. When Miss Gardiner is not at school, she enjoys playing her Switch, watching musicals, and doing anything that relates to Disney.
Mrs. Melissa Shuman recieved a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama – Huntsville in 1999. She taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Huntsville City Schools until 2005 when she stayed at home with her children. In 2010, she started working as a librarian at the Huntsville Madison County Library. In her ten years at the library she decided that she missed teaching and started teaching Pre-k. She got married in 1999 and has five children.
Mrs. Johnson (previously known as Ms. McQueen) was born and raised in Harvest, Alabama. She is currently working on her degree in early childhood education. Her goal is to one day teach English overseas. Her dreams are to one day open an animal rehabilitation center and own a bookstore of her own that also pairs with the center. She enjoys reading, taking care of animals, and spending time with her friends and family.
Mrs. Kim Knight is in her 5th year at Holy Spirit and loves teaching Holy Spirit’s smallest Tigers! She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education.
She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Third, Fourth, and Fifth grades, as well as Seventh and Eighth grade Math. She has covered the states of Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, and even Germany, and now Alabama! Her husband is retired from the U.S. Army, and they have a son and daughter, both attending Auburn University.
When not teaching her littles, Mrs. Knight enjoys reading, working in her yard, and spending time with her family and friends.
Mrs. Rebecca Conrad is from Prescott, Arizona and has worked with children for over 20 years. The Conrad family joined the Army in 2004, and this gave them the amazing privilege of traveling the world as well as providing Rebecca with opportunities to teach children of various ages worldwide. She has taught at a DODEA school in Baumholder Germany, a Montessori school in Hawaii, and just prior to moving to Huntsville, she taught at Sacred Heart Catholic school in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona. She has been in Huntsville just over a year and was a substitute teacher at Holy Spirit School for the 2019/2020 school period. She received her degree through North Central University. She has three daughters; two attend Holy Spirit and the third is attending NAU in Flagstaff, AZ. Rebecca is an accomplished artist who has taught painting and has been awarded for several pieces of work in Europe.
Alex McNichol graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education for grades K-6. She has been teaching kindergarten at Holy Spirit School since the Fall of 2017, and believes this is the best job ever! When Miss McNichol is not at school, you can find her getting overly competitive while playing board games, cooking/baking, hanging out with family and friends, and spending time with her beloved cat, CC. Miss McNichol is excited for another wonderful year!
Ms. Maggie Robinson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University (Hail State!). She is a licensed educator in Mississippi (K-6 Elementary Education and 7-12 English and Social Studies Secondary Concentration) and Alabama (K-6 Elementary). Ms. Robinson taught kindergarten before joining the Holy Spirit family and she is excited to begin her second year in first grade. When not at school, Ms. Robinson enjoys reading, traveling and playing with her cat, Sterling.
Ms. Sarah Cuel earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from Middle Tennessee University in 2016. She is a licensed educator in Alabama (Early Childhood PK-3). Ms. Cuel taught Kindergarten for six years before joining the Holy Spirit family and is excited to be teaching first grade this year. When not teaching, she enjoys reading, exercising, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her dog, Chewy.
Mrs. Caruso holds a BA degree from UAH and is certified through the State of Alabama Department of Education to teach grades K-6. She has been teaching at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School since 1995 in the roles of primary aide, first grade teacher, and second grade teacher. Mrs. Caruso is co-creator of the yearbook and serves on the Holy Spirit Foundation Board outside of school. When she is not at school, Mrs. Caruso enjoys reading, playing games, and working as a volunteer usher for local theater groups.
Mrs. Komara has been a student, parent, and supporter of Holy Spirit School. She is now an aide and loves it! Mrs. Komara has four adult children, three sons and one daughter. Her favorite pastime is spending time with them. Mrs. Komara also loves attending her son’s basketball games (Go UAH Chargers!), traveling, reading and spending time with her kitty, Ollie and her puppy, Charlie.
Mrs. Cecilia Byrne was born and raised in Lima, Perú where she earned an Associate Degree in Advertising from the Instituto Peruano de Publicidad. She has lived in the US for more than 20 years along the Gulf Coast. While living in Mobile, AL she started working with kids and taught Spanish at a Catholic preschool. In 2018, Mrs. Byrne and her family moved to the Huntsville area and in August 2020, she began working at Holy Spirit School. Mrs. Byrne loves spending time with her husband, their two sons, and their little dog, Viral.
Mrs. Jane Buxton has a Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Biology Education from Troy State University and a Masters of Science degree in Math Education from Troy State University, Dothan. She has experience in teaching math and biology at John T. Morgan Academy in Selma, Alabama, and at New Century Technology High School here in Huntsville. Mrs. Buxton joined the faculty of Holy Spirit Regional Catholic school in 2014. While at Holy Spirit, she has taught middle school math and K-8 art. When not teaching, Mrs. Buxton enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and being a mother to her fourteen-year-old Australian Shepherd, Ozzy. Mrs. Buxton also enjoys traveling, reading, listening to music, and watching movies.
Laura Stout began working at Holy Spirit in 2008 as a substitute and has been teaching 3rd grade since 2010. She is originally from Granite City, IL (St. Louis area). She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Ms. Stout has previously taught 6th grade Title 1 and 3rd grade in Missouri, and Pre-K at a catholic school in Illinois. In her spare time, Ms. Stout likes to read, craft, play games, and spend time with her daughter.
Miss Elen Dunn graduated from the University of South Alabama with a B.S. in K-6 Teacher Education. Prior to college, she graduated from Pope John Paul II Catholic High School. In her free time she enjoys reading, trivia, and board games. She is looking forward to another exciting year at Holy Spirit!
Miss Courtney Giddings was born and raised in California but has lived in North Carolina, Massachusetts and moved to Huntsville 2 years ago. She is a graduate of Grand Canyon University with a BS in Elementary and Special Education. She spent 6 years working with children with learning and behavioral disabilities and as a substitute teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling and playing with her pets! She is so excited to join the Holy Spirit family!
Mrs. Katie Thompson is a Huntsville native who is excited to be home and raising her children in Huntsville and at Holy Spirit. She attended Providence College in Providence, RI for three years and, after marrying into the military, completed her B.S. in Economics at Kansas State University. Her husband’s military career has taken them to Kansas, Texas, New York, Alaska, and Tennessee. Mrs. Thompson enjoys spending time outdoors with her three boys and is excited to be a part of the growing Holy Spirit Tiger family!
Mrs. Julie Isbell is from Birmingham, Alabama originally. She attended Birmingham-Southern College and received a B.A. in English. She, then, attended Delta State University where she recieved a M.A. in English and Liberal Studies. She enjoys spending time with her son, AJ, husband, and family. She enjoys writing and researching. She has been an adjunct professor of English at Troy University since 2016.
Ms. Tiffany Noel is the Middle School Religion Teacher at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Digital Advertising from Louisiana State University. She loves to tell stories, work creatively, and communicate with different audiences. Ultimately, these passions and a desire to serve the Lord lead her to teach. She began her teaching career in 2021, and is very grateful she is able to share her Catholic faith with her students each day.
Mrs. Kelly Backer is so excited to be at Holy Spirit School to teach English Language Arts for grades 6-8. She holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education and an M.A. in English from the University of Alabama Huntsville. She has been teaching in Catholic schools for 14 years and has previously taught English Language Arts in grades 6-11. Mrs. Backer loves spending time with her husband, Alan, and two young boys. In her free time, she enjoys going running, baking, and shopping. Mrs. Backer attended Holy Spirit School as a student, so she is grateful to return as a teacher.
Mrs. Krefft has been blessed to be a part of the Catholic education system for over 30 years – first as a student, then as a parent and now also as a teacher. The encouragement and support of her family and teachers allowed her to earn a Bachelor of Engineering degree summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Duke University. She worked as a mechanical engineer and then as a Registered Patent Attorney for over 15 years. She tries to help students see how important mathematics is in various fields. She and her husband have three children, who are all Holy Spirit Tigers!
Mrs. Lynn McQueen was born and raised in Huntsville, a graduate of Grissom High School. She has degrees from Jacksonville State University in Recreational Therapy and Sociology, Calhoun Community College as an Alabama Licensed EMT, Athens State with a degree in Elementary Education, and A&M with a Masters in Elementary Education. She retired from Huntsville City Schools after 36 years of teaching 6th grade Environmental Science.
She has been married to her husband, Dr. Fitzgerald McQueen, for 27 years, and they are blessed with two children, Gerald – deceased at age 24 and Hope – Mrs. Johnson. In her spare time, she manages her own businesses as a Tupperware Consultant and A”DOOR” able Designs, selling handcrafted vinyl apparel, wreaths, and bows. Mrs. McQueen is a BIG Star Wars fan and Yoda is her favorite character. She loves cross stitching, quilting, and gardening.
Ms. Michelle Wall has a B.S. and M.S. in Secondary Education Math. She has been an adjunct professor at Calhoun Community College since August 2002 and a math teacher at Holy Spirit School since August 2016. Ms. Wall enjoys board games and number puzzles. She is the proud mother of a son who is getting a Master’s degree at UAB, in the hopes of researching a cure for cancer. She is a first-generation American, whose family immigrated from Germany in the mid-1950s.
School Support Staff
Mrs. Susan Shepard has been working at Holy Spirit School for 15 years. She worked in the After Care program as a leader and moved to manager. She now works as a Cafeteria Assistant. Mrs.Shepard has two daughters who attended Holy Spirit School and in her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising and swimming.
Mrs. Ava Joly is the mother of 6 children, 5 lifers of Holy Spirit, and 8 grandchildren. Ava and family began school at Holy Spirit in 1986. She was employed by Holy Spirit in 1993 and became the before/aftercare manager for many years. She was also the “milk Lady” in the cafeteria for many years. Currently, Ava is the Kitchen Manager.
Ava has been involved in various church activities and organizations over the years. She has been a member of the choir since 1986.
Scouting has also had a special place in her heart. She has held many leadership positions with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls since 1989. She has been an active member of the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting for almost as long.
Hobbies are Reading, Backpacking, Hiking, Swimming and Biking. She is also a member of Canine-Cruisers and Huntsville Obedience Training Club and is an instructor for Foundations agility. She and her dog also participate in Freestyle and agility events. One of their favorite things is performing their routine with the Canine Co-Motion freestylers for the elderly, children and anyone else that enjoys watching dogs.