Susie Thomas

School Secretary

Susie Thomas is in her 35th year as the Administrative Assistant of Ascension School. She attended St. Edward School and graduated from Jeffersontown High School. She has two sons, Bradley, Jr. & Troy Thomas, and 5 grandchildren, Kenley, Farrah, Presley, Maverick & Rhett! In her spare time she loves, hiking, biking, working out and the lake and the beach!

You can reach Susie at

Valerie Shell

Kids Time Director

Valerie grew up in St Louis, Missouri. She attended college at Southwest Baptist University where she obtained a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in the field of early childhood for 25 years. Valerie and her husband Michael have three children; Trinity, Autumn and Justice. In her free time she enjoys shopping, hiking, pinterest projects, DIYing around the house and hanging out with friends and family.

You can reach Valerie at

Katie Monaghan

Director of Afterschool and Summer Camp

Katie graduated from the University of Kentucky where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Community Leadership Development. Previously, she attended Assumption High School and is a graduate of Ascension (2011). Katie is excited to be back with the Ascension community serving old and new faces alike. In her free time, she enjoys coaching basketball, working out, and spending time with friends and family.

You can reach Katie at


Ann Sinkhorn

3 Year Old Teacher

Ann is the three-year-old preschool teacher. She has been working in preschool for over 30 years. She attended the University of Louisville and has continued her education at JCC in the early childhood development field. She and her husband Kurt are parishioners at Ascension and they have a daughter Molly that graduated from Ascension. She enjoys gardening, sewing, crafting, and spending time with her family.

You can reach Ann at

Laura Stout

Assistant 3 Year Old Teacher

Laura is the assistant three-year-old preschool teacher. She has over 20 years of experience educating young children from six weeks of age through preschool. She has her Child Development Associate Credential and is a Certified Nursing Assistant. Laura recently married her best friend Stephen. She has a son named Justin who is the research manager in the Spinal Cord Injury Department at Fraiser Rehab. Laura enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren and loves being called “G”, attending plays, sporting events, and car shows with her family and friends.

You can reach Laura at

Abby Cahoe

JK Preschool Teacher

Abby Cahoe is in her 7th year teaching at Ascension and has been working in preschool for over 12 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education from Campbellsville University. She is a product of Catholic schools attending Immaculate Conception and Mercy Academy. She is married to her husband Chad and they have two daughters, Collins and Callie Jo, who both attend Ascension. Abby enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting and creating, fishing, farming, watching movies, cheering on the Wildcats, and just enjoying life.

Abby can be reached at

Nancy Gatewood

Jr. Kindergarten Assistant

Nancy has been teaching at Ascension for 14 years. She enjoys watching the children grow throughout the years since she has been at Ascension. She has 3 children, Megan, Jake, and Ryan. In her spare time she likes to swim and read.

Nancy can be reached at

Autumn Shell


Autumn is fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a teacher! She just finished teaching second grade and is excited to transition to Kindergarten! Autumn attended Bellarmine University studying Elementary Education with a focus in behavior disorders and special needs! She has also taught for JCPS! She is the final Shell family member to join the Ascension Family alongside her mother, father, and sister! When she is not teaching she is spending time outdoors, with friends, or traveling!

You can reach Autumn at

Margaret Burchell

Kindergarten Assistant

Margaret began working at Ascension during the 2019-20 school year.  After teaching preschool for over 10 years, she was happy to have the opportunity to join Ascension as a Kindergarten Assistant.  She has been married to Tim for 34 years, and they have two sons, William and Ben. Both boys graduated from college and have successful careers. In her spare time, Margaret likes to read, spend time with her family and friends, go for walks and bicycle rides, travel, and try new hobbies, including a tomato garden and scrapbooking!

You can reach Margaret at

Olivia Harris

1st Grade Teacher

Meet Olivia Harris! Olivia recently graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Elementary Education. Olivia enjoys playing tennis and being surrounded by friends and family. Olivia is friendly, determined, and wears her heart on her sleeve. Olivia is excited to join the Ascension Family and use her passion of teaching to shape the minds of our students.

Olivia can be reached at

Sherry Strohmeier

1st Grade Assistant

Sherry was a Pre-K teacher at St. Matthews Baptist for 13 years. She is married to Philip and they have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. Sherry is also a parishioner at Ascension. In her spare time, She enjoys visiting her daughters and grandchildren in Florida, going out to eat, and boating at the lake.

You can reach Sherry at

Hanna Duff

2nd Grade Homeroom

Hanna is excited to be back for a second year here at Ascension-Parish.  She absolutely loves teaching second grade and helping our catholic families prepare for the two very special sacraments of first reconciliation and first communion.  She previously taught abroad in Guatemala for four years.  Hanna graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Elementary Education.  While in Guatemala, she got her masters from Framingham State University.  Three of Hanna’s cousins attended Ascension, and her grandmother was a member of our parish, so this community has always held a special place in her heart.  In her spare time, she likes to play volleyball, kickball, do yoga, read, travel, cook, and go hiking!

You can reach Hanna at

Kathy Tudor

2nd Grade Assistant

Kathy has been working in education since 2006.  She began her career teaching pre-K at St. Matthews Baptist Preschool. In 2010 she followed her children to Christian Academy of Louisville to continue teaching Pre-K where she taught for 11 years. After hearing so many wonderful things about Ascension School she was excited to have the opportunity to join the faculty in 2021.  She is originally from Cincinnati, OH (Go Bengals!) but she and her husband Mike have called Louisville home since 1997.  They have two children, Emily and Logan, and a fur-baby Beagle mix named Lily.  When she is not teaching she enjoys working in her garden, cooking, reading, playing games with her family, hiking, and running trails with her husband.

You can reach Kathy at

Stephanie Schmitt
Gr’s. 3-5 Language Arts

Hi, my name is Stephanie Schmitt. I am a Louisville native and an Ascension alum. I am the 3rd-grade homeroom and 3/4/5 Language Arts teacher. This will be my 8th year in elementary teaching. I have a love for literacy and am passionate about getting books into the hands of children while creating lifelong readers and writers. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Bobby and we have a precious one-year-old daughter named Sage. I enjoy spending time with family, friends, and our cute Husky Aero. My passions outside of school include being a mama, health and wellness, and anything creative.  I attended Bellarmine University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Learning and Behavioral Disorders and continued my education there receiving a Master of Arts with a Literacy Endorsement. I have also specialized in Project Based Learning and competency-based education strategies. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working at such a wonderful school with equally amazing families and students.

You can reach Stephanie at

Trinity Shell

4th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 3-5 Math

Trinity has lived in Louisville all her life and loves everything it has to offer! Trinity attended Walden School K-8th grade and then graduated from Eastern High School. Following, Trinity attended the University of Louisville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood. Trinity also had the opportunity to study abroad in Red Bank, Belize where she taught Math in a first grade classroom. She is in the process of obtaining her Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from Bellarmine University. This will be Trinity’s fourth year teaching at Ascension and she continues to help in the Ascension Summer Program as well. When Trinity is not teaching or spending time with children, she enjoys crafting, kayaking, camping, spending time with family and friends, and traveling new places.

You can reach Trinity at

Christina Crush

5th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 3-5 Social Studies

Christina comes to Ascension after teaching for the past four years at St. Francis of Assisi. Prior to that, she taught fourth grade at St. Edward, her alma mater, in Nashville, Tenn. She moved to Louisville after she and her husband, Patrick, were married. They have two children: Mary Catherine (2 years old) and Patrick (5 months old). Christina enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the outdoors, and rooting on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Her newest hobby is sewing, and she hopes to sew her daughter’s flower girl dress for a family wedding next May!

You can reach Christina at

Donna Jackel

Gr’s. K-5 Science

Donna is the elementary science teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Masters in Education from the University of Louisville. She has a lifelong passion for science. Donna has three daughters and a grandson. Donna is a parishioner at Ascension. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, and going out to eat and during the summer she can be found enjoying the lake.

You can reach Donna at

Vilma Makram

Gr’s. K-5 Spanish

Vilma is a first-generation American, born to Guatemalan immigrants. She grew up in California, where she attended Cerritos College.Vilma began teaching Spanish for the Archdiocese in the fall of 2017. For the past four years she has served as a teacher for Classical Conversations cottage schools and has homeschooled her children since 2007. She is active in her church’s children ministry, specifically in the area of special needs, and she loves teaching and learning God’s word. She also enjoys spending time in nature with her family.

You can reach Vilma at:

Hannah Pennington

6th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 6-8

Hannah Pennington is excited to be starting her first year of teaching at Ascension. Hannah has been a long-time member of the Ascension community, having graduated from Ascension herself in 2013. Hannah is a recent graduate from Western Kentucky University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys anything sports-related, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

You can reach Hannah at

Daniel Vowels

7th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 6-8

Dan has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Louisville and a Masters Degree in Education from Spalding University. Dan and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for 22 years and have two children, Julia and James, both of whom were baptized at Ascension.  Julia is a recent graduate of Mercy Academy and is attending Bellarmine University. James is a senior and varsity wrestler at Saint Xavier High School. Dan has a 14 year Pomeranian named Sweetheart and a 6 month old kitten named Johanna. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.

You can reach Daniel at

Danny Monaghan

8th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 6-8 Social Studies & Religion

Danny graduated from the University of Kentucky where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education with a focus in History and Political Science and his Master of Arts in Education with a focus in Secondary Social Studies Education. Previously, he attended Trinity High School and is a graduate of Ascension. In his free time, Danny enjoys spending time with family and friends and reading.

You can reach Danny at:

Taylor Pendarvis

Gr’s. 6-8 Math

Taylor was born and raised in south Florida and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in mathematics education before moving to Louisville in 2021. She is so excited to begin teaching at Ascension and have the opportunity to share her passion for math with her students.  Outside of school, Taylor loves to cook, garden and spend time with her fiancé and their two cats.

You can reach Taylor at

Dr. Michael Shell

Gr’s. 6-8 Trivium

Dr. Shell teaches philosophy, logic and ethics at Jefferson Community and Technical College here in Louisville and earned his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Kentucky.  He earned two Master’s degrees at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Biblical Languages and Archeology and did his undergraduate work in Bible and Biblical Languages at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. Michael and Valerie have three children: Trinity (who is well known to the Ascension family), Autumn, and Justice. Dr. Shell also pastors a small church in the west end of Louisville. In his free time, he enjoys reading and the great outdoors.

you can reach Michael at

Ann Smith


Ann is in her 25th year of teaching art at Ascension. Originally from Bardstown, Ky. She graduated from Bethlehem high school. She then attended Eastern Kentucky University where she received her bachelors degree in art education. She went on to receive her masters in elementary education from the University of Louisville.
Ann has been married to her husband Michael for 30 years. They are proud parents of their son Drew and daughter Audrey. They recently adopted their dog Sadie who is sweet, smart and quite the trouble maker!
In her free time Ann enjoys spending time with family and friends on her patio at home. She also enjoys taking time to paint and experiment with all forms of art in her home studio, attending outdoor festivals and practicing hot yoga.

You can reach Ann at

Barbara Wagner

Librarian / Computer Teacher

Barbara is the Library / Technology teacher.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisville.  She also has an Associate’s Degree in Data Processing Technology from Speed Scientific School at UofL.  She was a volunteer in Ascension’s Library for 12 years and a substitute teacher. Barbara is a parishioner at Ascension. She has been married to Tom for 28 years and has two children, Lauren and Madison. She enjoys walking, hiking and traveling.

You can reach Barbara at

Darla Radcliff

PE Teacher

Darla is the physical education teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Louisville. She has been at Ascension for 17 years. She was a 4th grade teacher for 12 years before moving to P.E. When not at Ascension, she is playing tennis, walking or watching her grandchildren!

You can reach Darla at

Josh Britton

Music Teacher

Joshua is a native of Rochester, NY, and has lived in Louisville only since August 2021. With a bachelor’s of science in music education from Roberts Wesleyan College in western New York, and a master’s of music from Florida State University, Joshua has performed as trombonist in professional ensembles throughout Indiana and Kentucky and as soloist in concert and at universities in recital. Joshua is also an active writer and has had several short stories and essays published. He enjoys red pandas, reading, baseball and football, and family movie nights with his wife and children.

You can reach Josh at

Kellie Hood

Learning Coordinator

Mrs. Kellie Hood, born and raised in Louisville, earned her B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Brescia College in 1998 at which time she began her teaching career.  In May of 2005, Mrs. Hood earned her M.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University Southeast. In 2010, she earned her Rank I in Instructional Leadership from Bellarmine University.  In over a twenty-year span in Catholic education, she has served in numerous capacities including teacher grades K-6, assistant principal, principal, and learning coordinator.

Mrs. Hood is committed to Catholic education and its importance in shaping young lives.  She cherishes spending time with both her extended and immediate family which includes her husband David, and their children Robin and Nash.

You can reach Kellie at

Lynnzi Hoehler


This is Lynnzi Hoehler’s second year at Ascension School as the school counselor. She attended Holy Spirit School and Assumption High School here in Louisville, Ky. Lynnzi graduated with her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisville and earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in School Counseling and Rank I from the University of Louisville’s School of Education. She has worked with children ages 3-18 for seven years as a volleyball coach, instructional assistant, and practicum student.

In her spare time, she likes to play sand volleyball with friends, craft, and spend time with her family and two dogs.


Lynnzi can be reached at

Jim Grider


Jim Grider attended Chenoweth Elementary and graduated from Waggener High School. He has three children, Mary Ann, Patricia and Sid, Jr. and eight grandchildren. Jim has worked as the maintenance supervisor at Ascension since 1999. When not at Ascension, Jim enjoys Nascar Racing and spending time with his grandchildren.