Many years ago, when I was a student in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, I was required to practice teaching to a group of summer school students at St. Adalbert. Little did I know then that 20 years later, I would be invited to return to this special school to serve as an administrator. It has been a blessing to rejoin this community of deeply committed and gifted teachers and to walk alongside them as they teach, guide, and love their students.
Prior to my current role at St. Adalbert, I served for 16 years as a middle school language arts teacher in the cities of Montgomery, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and finally, in South Bend. I earned my Master’s in Education degree from the University of Notre Dame as a member of ACE, after graduating from Notre Dame with a B.A. in English. From 2001 to 2003, I completed administrative coursework in the ACE Leadership program.
My husband and I have four children who are Catholic school students themselves, and their “busy-ness” keeps us busy. If there’s time in my week for a little self-indulgence, you’ll find me curling up with a good book, trying out a new recipe in my kitchen, or enjoying a walk or hike outdoors.
In spite of all the years I’ve spent as a student or a teacher in Catholic education, nothing could have prepared me for the great joy that comes from being in the presence of St. Adalbert students each day. Encountering their smiles is, for me, the best part of being here.
Sight words. Play-doh. Learning Centers. Smiles. Welcome to the world of St. Adalbert Kindergarten! I'm Kristi Jones and I have had the privilege of being the Kindergarten teacher for 19 years at this wonderful school. In Kindergarten, we enjoy sounding out words, learning 100 sight words, visiting the pumpkin patch, celebrating the 100th Day of School, beginning to add and subtract, learning how to play and get along with others, and much, much more.
Attending a Catholic school when I was younger inspired me to become a teacher in the first place. It is all I ever wanted to do and has lived up to all of my expectations and then some! When I'm not at school you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and walking my four-legged baby.
What I love most about St. Adalbert is the warm and welcoming feeling you get when you're here. You cannot find a better place! Our students and families are the best.
-South Bend West Side Native
- Indiana University Graduate
- Kindergarten Endorsement from Bethel College
- Light of Learning Award Recipient
Welcome! Bienvenidos! Witamy! My name is Jennifer Crain and I teach first grade here at Saint Adalbert School. I have been here as a teacher since 2004, but since Saint Adalbert was the school of my mother, all of her siblings, and even my grandfather, I have been around one way or another since birth.
In 2004 I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree from Manchester University in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. While in college, I was able to study and practice the Reggio Emilia Method, which focuses on student centered learning. During my time at Saint Adalbert, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the English as A New Language Program through the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. Through the program, I learned a lot about how to better serve the unique needs of our non-native English Speaking students as well as the most effective strategies to help all of my little ones master the English language. I hold dual licensure from the state of Indiana in Elementary Education and English as New Language. I have won the Diosican Light of Learning Award twice, once in 2010 and once in 2016.
I have worn many hats around the school during my time here. I currently serve as the liaison for the College Mentors for Kids Program, which connects our students one on one with students from the University of Notre Dame. The goal of the program is to help our students realize their potential as future college students. I also serve as the teacher representative for Saint Adalbert School to the Diocesan Council of Teachers.
There are a lot of things to love about our school community. One of my favorite things about Saint Adalbert School is the sense of community. From the moment you walk in the door, you can feel that this place is special. The kindness and care with which the children and adults treat each other constantly amazes me and encourages me to be the best that I can be.
First Grade is the year where our little ones learn to read. Much of what we do is focused on becoming readers and growing a love for the written word. First Graders have such a love of learning and a zeal for the work they do. It is always an exciting moment when they begin to see themselves as readers and start decoding language in the world around them. Another thing I love about teaching first grade is that by getting to know our students when they are very young, I get to see them grow over the course of many years before they go on to high school. I am always filled with a sense of pride and hope when I see them head off to high school.
I have been fortunate enough to mentor a number of student teachers from Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College, Indiana University South Bend and the University of Notre Dame. I really enjoy the work I do with these young men and women because it helps me to think about my teaching in new ways and pushes me to try new things in my classroom. I am always happy to hear from them about their work in their own classroom and I am extremely proud of each and every one of them.
Hi! My name is Blanca Leverton (Alvarado). I have been teaching at St. Adalbert Catholic School for 6 years as the second grade teacher. I completed my student teaching at St. Adalbert’s and after graduating from Indiana University South Bend in 2013, I became the 2nd grade teacher! I attended Washington High School here in South Bend, but attended elementary and middle schools in Texas. At a very young age I knew that I wanted to become a teacher and inspire students to be the best that they can be, just like my teachers inspired me throughout the years. On the first day of my student teaching I knew this was an amazing place to be at and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
We learn and prepare for so many things in second grade, but the most important rite of passage as Catholics is that students will prepare for two sacraments. As a second grader, students prepare to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Watching our students prepare and grow in their faith is what fundamentally makes us a Catholic school. As part of their everyday learning in second grade, students receive instruction in math, reading, science, social students, spelling, vocabulary, Fun-dations, writing, and bilingual religion.
Besides being a second grade teacher, I am also a wife and mother. I recently got married to my amazing husband Joshua Leverton and we are in the process of adopting our daughter Mia. We will also be welcoming our second child this summer! We love to visit zoos, aquariums, and any place that has water.
BS in Systems Analysis, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
M. Ed. University of Notre Dame
This year (2018-19) is my seventeenth at Saint Adalbert School teaching fourth grade (and I love it!). I am married to Katy and we have four children -Jenny, Matt, Tommy and Molly. I also have a beautiful granddaughter!
I love my students and their families, my family, the outdoors, soccer, basketball, and Irish music and dance. My favorite holiday is St. Patricks Day. I love visiting Maine in the summer. I love teaching because I enjoy the challenge of motivating each individual student to do their best. One of my most enjoyable things is to have old students come by and visit and tell me about what they have done with their lives since St. Adalbert. (That's an invitation!)
BS in Elementary Education, Holy Cross College
This is my first official year teaching 5th grade at Saint Adalbert School. I completed my student teaching with the reputable Mr. Clark in fourth grade during the 2017-2018 school year. Before teaching at St. Adalbert I worked as a teacher's assistant with fourth and fifth grade students at Holy Family School here in South Bend.
I enjoy reading, eating chocolate, and spending time outdoors with my family. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I love to travel. My favorite part of teaching is witnessing students' light bulbs going off when they begin to make connections and understand content that was previously misunderstood or challenging. The students, families, and staff here at St. Adalbert are truly a joy to work with.
I was born and raised in New Jersey where I attended a small Catholic grade school and large public high school. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where I received my BA in English. Prior to full-time teaching, I worked at Sylvan Learning Centers, was a stay-at-home mom, and then a substitute teacher. I studied education at Indiana Wesleyan and received my teaching license in 2009. I taught for two years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School outside of Indianapolis, and then moved to the South Bend area where I subbed for one year before finding a home at St. Adalbert in 2012. In 2015, I received my ENL certification through Holy Cross College. I love many things about St. Adalbert: I love that we get to celebrate Mass together, I love that I get to teach literature and language arts to the same students for three consecutive years, and I love that I get to work with this devoted staff. My goals for my students are that they think clearly and critically, that they communicate effectively, and that they grow in Christian virtue.
Though I grew up in New York, I have made South Bend my home for the last 25+ years, and continue to enjoy the history, diversity and rich culture of the Midwest (notice, I didn’t say winter weather). I enjoy spending time with my husband and four sons. As a family we love traveling, sports, music, the arts, and our dog Pablo.
From the 2nd grade classroom to Middle School classrooms, from resource work to after-school tutoring and activities, from school board work to book fairs to fundraisers—I have loved the opportunity to work with the great students, parents, teachers, volunteers, alumni and administration of the St. Adalbert School Community these last twelve years. I feel I have grown so much from my time at St. Adalbert School. I am especially happy to have always been able to share my love of reading with students of all ages. Having spent my entire education in Catholic schools, I feel blessed to continue to share in the life of a thriving Catholic community.
BFA University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
MEd Alliance for Catholic Education, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
ENL Certification Program Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana
Maureen T. Hallinan Award for Excellence in Catholic Education, University of Notre Dame
Light of Learning Award, St. Adalbert School, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Ms. O'Meara is excited to be celebrating her 5th year at St. Adalbert as the visual arts instructor and music teacher. She also leads the school choir and directs the spring musical.
In her own words: I am very happy to be back in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana where I was able to help my father and be closer to my two wonderful grown sons.
Jeannie O'Meara's accomplishments include (but are in no way limited to):
-Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame
-Master of Arts from the University of Minnesota
-Studied at L'Univerite Catholique de L'ouest
-Taught at Ciampino Airport in Rome
-Translated for Jacques Maritain Institute in Rome, Italy
-Teaching K-8 Music, choir and drama for 15 years in a Catholic School, in Seattle, Wahington
-Founded a Children’s Musical Theatre Company and served as Artistic/Musical Director for over a decade
-Earned my Kodaly/Orff Music certification and continued her studies in classical voice and flute
-Studied Spanish, Spanish Culture, and Art in Mexico at San Miguel de Allende
Her goal for the arts program at St. Adalbert is to share her passion for the arts and to inspire the students to develop their own passion and appreciation for the arts. She strives to prepare each and every student to have a solid foundation in music and art by teaching basic skills as well as a global and historical overview of the subjects.
In her 5 years at St. Adalbert she has produced and directed such shows as: Aladdin, Lion King, Peter Pan, Annie, and The Sound of Music.
When she has time, you can find her with her family, singing opera, reading, hiking, doing yoga, and/or traveling. And if you are really lucky she bakes a coconut cake once a year