Meet Our Administration and Faculty

Meet Our Administration and Faculty

Our Administration

MARGOT E. TERRY HEARD, Headmistress and co-founder of Saint Nicholas School, has a BS degree in Child Development from the University of Texas, Austin. She has been a school head in Episcopal and Catholic schools, including being the founding administrator of four schools. She wrote the textbook series, Languages Through Phonics, Books R, A, B, and C, in 1997, and another, Languages Through Phonics: Infant Learning Books 1-6, as well as the LP Handwriting series. She is involved in developing outdoor education and field trips for school children at the Lazy A Ranch. She is Chairman of the Board of Directors of GPO, Inc., a General Partnership. Mrs. Heard is President and Director of Saint Nicholas Schools, a non-profit corporation established in 2012. On June 1, 2019 Saint Nicholas Schools took over the operation of Saint Nicholas School at the Bethany location.

M. ELIZABETH HEARD CLARKE, Head Teacher, has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. She also had post graduate work at the University of Texas at Dallas in education, philosophy, management, instruction, and curriculum. She has Montessori Certification through the National Center for Montessori Education, Houston, and has teaching experience in Montessori and Catholic schools. She completed her Montessori internship at Saint Nicholas in 1988 and returned to the school in 2010. She teaches language arts, history, and religion. She is bilingual (Spanish and English) and serves on the Board of Directors of GPO, Inc. Mrs. Clarke is Secretary and Director of Saint Nicholas Schools, a non-profit corporation, which began operating Saint Nicholas School in June 2019.

RONALD JOSEPH JAMES, Accountant, has a Bachelor of Science degree from Park University, Parkville, MO in Management and Accounting. He has eighteen years as staff accountant in Houston companies. His responsibilities include monthly bank reconciliation, payroll/general ledger reconciliation, accounts payable and administration of the Simple IRA, health, dental, and disability benefits. His duties also include building supervision and projects and coordinating with the Building Superintendent and owners of the building. He is Treasurer and Director of Saint Nicholas Schools, a non-profit corporation, which began operating the school in June 2019. He enjoys greeting children at carpool arrival time. He came to SNS in 2017.

BERNADETTE LUCIA P. CASTRO is Director of Admissions for Saint Nicholas School and Licensing Director. She received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Economics from St. Theresa’s College, Cebu City, Philippines, a Catholic school, and studied Early Childhood Education at the University of California in Los Angeles, California. She is the recruiter for hiring. Her duties include licensing standards, food service, purchasing, work schedule supervision, and communication. Mrs. Castro came to SNS in 2006.

GRACIELA GARCIA is Director of Montessori for Saint Nicholas School. Her responsibilities are to coordinate the Montessori programs and to supervise and provide inservice to the Montessori teachers and assistants. She approves Year Plans and Lesson Plans for the Lower School. She manages the testing programs of Languages Through Phonics, the ABC Test, and the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills for the Lower School. Students are individually tested at 18 months, 2 years, 3 years, and at the end of the Primary I, II year for the “Baby LP” program. Ms. Garcia studied psychology at the University of Houston and has Primary Certification from the National Center for Montessori Education, Houston and completed her internship at Saint Nicholas. She came to Saint Nicholas School in 1987. She helps greet children at carpool arrival time.

LAUREL WELKEY manages Accounts Receivable, the Uniform Shop and other fundraising, payroll, and benefits. She is setting up an alumni database for the school. She has an Associate in Arts Degree from the Houston Community College and is studying psychology at the University of Houston. She is the early administrator on duty and greets children at carpool arrival time. Ms. Welkey came to SNS in 2004.

Our Elementary and Middle School Teachers

KATHLEEN MARY WOZNIAK, Music Teacher, received a Bachelor of Music degree at Baylor University and is Texas Certified with a EC-12 in Music. She is an Ordained Minister, Bible Teacher, and has taught music at schools and churches. She is our piano and voice teacher at Saint Nicholas. Ms. Wozniak came to SNS in 2013.

MARY S. WEST BAKER, Art Teacher, received her BFA degree in Art Education from Baylor University, Waco, TX. She is a certified Montessori teacher by the American Montessori Society for ages 3-6. She is Texas Certified for PK-12 Art, Early Childhood Education PK-KG, and English as a Second Language. Mrs. Baker came to SNS in 2017.

DEBORAH JEAN WHITTINGTON, Elementary, Latin and French Teacher for Saint Nicholas School, has a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Latin from the University of Houston, with study in economics at the University of Texas, Austin, and in biological sciences at San Jacinto College. She has an ESL Instructor Certificate from Literacy Advance. She has a Massage Therapy Certificate and has operated a small business with massage services. She is bilingual (English, French) and has solid skills in Latin and Spanish. She has taught all subjects, including high school Latin. She is a published poet, including in an international poetry anthology, The Theatre of the Mind, Noble House Publishers, London, UK. She volunteers for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and the Capital Area Food Bank. Ms. Whittington came to Saint Nicholas in 2009 and teaches infants through middle school. She is working on the development of the Latin and French editions of the Languages Through Phonics series for Infants through Level II for Saint Nicholas School.

SHERWOOD TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, Elementary, French and Physical Education Teacher, has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He returned to his home state of Kentucky, earning a Bachelor of Science in French. Following that he was tennis teacher and site director for Arthur Ashes New York Junior Tennis and Learning. He has more recently earned his Master of Arts in Education, in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Phoenix. He teaches mathematics, science, and technology. Mr. Williams came to SNS in 2009.

Our Primary Department

OBINNA L. “SISTER LUCY” OKPALA, Primary Montessori Teacher, has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology and a minor in Early Childhood Education from Martin University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is Montessori Certified for ages 3-6 and was trained in the Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. She is a Catholic nun and a native of Nigeria. Sr. came to SNS in 2012.

CARLA M. CALDERON, Primary Montessori Teacher, received Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Training Center for Infants through age Three with a SNS internship. She is currently attending Houston Community College and is working toward a major in Early Childhood. She was trained in the Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Ms. Calderon came to SNS in 2001.

Our Infant and Orientation Department

BELINDA CASTILLO RODRIGUEZ, Orientation Teacher, received her Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Training Center for Infants through Age Three with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Languages through Phonics curriculum at Saint Nicholas. Mrs. Rodriguez came to SNS in 2007.

DIANA RODRIGUEZ, Orientation Teacher, received her Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Training Center for Infants through Age Three with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Languages through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Mrs. Rodriguez came to SNS in 2013.

MARIA CHAVEZ, Orientation Teacher, received Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Training Center for Infants Through Age Three with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Saint Nicholas Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Mrs. Chavez came to SNS in 2009.

MAYRA CASTILLO NAYRA, Orientation Teacher, received her Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Training Center for Infants Through Age Three with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Mrs. Nayra came to SNS in 2015.

LINDA F. WRIGHT, Infant Teacher, has a BS Degree from Texas Women’s University with a major of Child Development. She has over twenty years’ experience with infants and toddlers. She has completed Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Training Center for Infants Through Age Three with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Mrs. Wright came to SNS in 2015.

MARY MEDILLIN, Infant Teacher, is working towards her Child Development Associate degree from Houston Community College. She obtained Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Training Center, for Infants Through Age Three, with a SNS internship. She was trained in the Languages Through Phonics curriculum at SNS. Mrs. Medillin came to SNS in 2004.

Reviews Of Saint Nicholas School

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Saint Nicholas School is one of the best schools/daycare in the Houston area! We had both our kids there before we moved abroad. The staff is genuinely caring and compassionate. Their curriculum is rich and our boy kept surprising us with new words/songs in different languages. We are very thankful to all teachers and staff at Saint Nicholas and definitely recommend to all!

Ghada Fakih

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Wonderful school for those seeking a comprehensive private education! The administration is dedicated and hardworking. I have really enjoyed working with them. I am also very excited about the new campus!

Kate DeVantier

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My kiddos 2 years here at SNS was awesome. Great learning environment with a healthy in-house lunch/snacks provided. The teachers and assistants new every child's name coming & going even if they were not in their class room, so we felt leaving our little guy in their care. Unfortunately the school relocated, and we had to find a closer location otherwise we would have stayed.

Lisa M