Susie Thomas

School Secretary

Susie Thomas is in her 36th 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

Paulette Stinnett

School Counselor

Paulette Stinnett is new to Ascension School this year. She attended St. Raphael School for 1st-2nd grades prior to her family being transferred to Winchester, KY where she attended St. Agatha School for 3rd – 5th grades. Her family transferred back to Louisville where she completed elementary school at St. Raphaels.  She attended Assumption high school her freshman & sophomore years before her family was transferred to Owensboro, KY where she graduated from Owensboro Catholic High School. Her undergraduate college years were spent at Brescia College, Owensboro, KY, and Bellarmine College, Louisville, KY graduating with a degree in Psychology.  She completed her Masters Program at the University of Louisville in School Counseling,  Since graduating from U of L she has held a counseling position at Sacred Heart Model School, St. Rita Catholic School, St Gabriel Catholic School (retired 2019) and subbed as a counselor at St. Edward Catholic School. She has two grown boys, a retired husband, and a new kitten. In her spare time she is a table leader for a Women’s Bible Study, and mentors missionary girls from other states. Her passion is working with children to help them make good choices in life and to follow the Golden Rule.

You can reach Paulette 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

Katie O’Bryan

JK Preschool Teacher

Katie O’Bryan has been teaching preschool since 2019. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm for teaching to the Ascension family! She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Indiana Wesleyan University. She and her husband Doug are both Louisville natives and their two children, Lily and Josh, attend Ascension. She enjoys reading, traveling with her family, writing, painting and growing deeper in her Faith.

You can reach Katie 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 Monaghan


Autumn has a love of the adventure and wonder that Kindergarteners bring to her day. She has previously taught 2nd grade at Ascension and for JCPS. Her favorite thing about Ascension is getting to work alongside her mom sister, sister-in-law, and husband. When she is not teaching, she loves to spend her time with her husband, outdoors, shopping, and cooking!

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 is married to Tim, 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 Greenwell

1st Grade Teacher

Meet Olivia Greenwell! 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 started out at Ascension as our TK teacher and then moved into the role of 1st-grade teacher. Olivia is excited to continue at Ascension as our 1st grade teacher!

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

1st 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

Haley Phelps

3rd Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 3-5 Language Arts

Haley received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in Elementary Education in 2010 and a master’s degree from the University of the Cumberlands in Teacher Leadership. She taught for 9 years in the public school system before becoming a stay-at-home mom for the past 3 years to her 3 children, Garnett (6), Jaxon (4), and Olive (2). Haley and her husband, also named Garnett, have been married for 8 years. Their family joined the Ascension community last year, and have been enjoying getting involved and meeting so many new people.

You can reach Haley at

Trinity Bennett

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 & Religion

Christina entered her third year at Ascension after teaching for 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 and Patrick. Christina enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the outdoors, sewing, and rooting on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

You can reach Christina at

Donna Jackel

Gr’s. 3-8 Science

Donna is the elementary science teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Masters’s in Education from the University of Louisville. She has a lifelong passion for science. Donna has three daughters, two grandsons, and another grandchild on the way. 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 outdoor concerts.

You can reach Donna at

Hannah Pennington

6th Grade Homeroom
Gr’s. 6-8 Language Arts

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

Danny Monaghan

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

Shannon Dunlap

Gr’s K-5 World Language

Shannon is a newly-retired teacher from Indiana where she taught for 30 years both in the NAFC school corporation and also in high schools in the Indianapolis area where she is from. Over her career, she has taught exploratory foreign languages, French, and history. She has lived and studied in Europe. Shannon and her husband Jesse have five sons between the ages of 25 and 33. They welcomed their first grandchild this past spring and are very excited to be grandparents. In her free time, she enjoys traveling (loves history!), sewing and crafting, doing activities with her family, and reading. She is excited to work with the students in K-5 this year!

you can reach Shannon at

Ann Smith


Ann is in her 28th 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 bachelor’s degree in art education. She went on to receive her master’s 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

Megan Soverns

PE Teacher

Megan is returning to teaching after a five-year stint at St. Martha where she served as the school’s PE and Health teacher. Megan graduated from Western Kentucky University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Family Science and a master’s degree in Recreation and Sport Administration. Previously, she attended Sacred Heart Academy and is a graduate of Ascension (2001). In her free time, she enjoys coaching her kids sport teams and spending time with her family.

You can reach Megan 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 a 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

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.