(239) 334-7707
2055 Heitman Street, Fort Myers, Florida 33901

Meet the Teachers


Mrs. Isabelle Romano, BA

I am a Ft. Myers native and a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Church.  I am proud to say that I was baptized, made my First Holy Communion and Confirmation also at St. Francis.  My first job when I was in High School was at the Daycare and continued through college.  I was delighted when I graduated college to begin teaching Kindergarten here at the school.  I have three wonderful boys, Mikey and Nicholas who attend St. Francis and Christopher who is two years old.  My husband and I love spending time boating and going to the beach with our boys and just being together.  After spending two years at home to be with my children I am thrilled to be back again at St. Francis teaching the PK 3 children.

Mrs. Anne Boddison, BS

I graduated from St. Francis Xavier and Bishop Verot High School.  I attended college at  Florida Gulf Coast University where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I taught Kindergarten for 5 years here in Lee County before becoming a stay at home mom.  My husband and I have two children, Emily and John who both attend St. Francis.  St. Francis has such a warm and welcoming feeling and I am delighted to be here teaching VPK.  I love being outdoors whether it is going camping or heading to the beach with my husband and children.


Mrs. Joan Becker, MS 

I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio.  I have a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree as a Reading Specialist from the University of Akron. I began my teaching career in 1975 at St. Sebastian School in Akron, Ohio as a first grade teacher.  In 1982, I moved to Florida with my husband and began teaching at St. Francis Xavier School.  After teaching reading in middle school for one year and second grade for seven years, I returned to the first grade classroom for 19 years.  I am delighted to be teaching Pre-K now!  I have both VPK Staff Credentials and VPK Endorsed Director Credentials.  I have one son involved in electronic technology.  My hobbies are reading and going to the movies.  My web site can be found at www.beckerteacher.com


Mrs.Trish Goldbach, MS

Mrs. Goldbach was born and raised in New York State. She has always wanted to teach. In fact, when she was in 4th Grade she dreamed about having a closet full of colorful construction paper, glitter, paint and glue and now she has it! Her undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida and she has a Master's Degree in Varying Exceptionalities from Barry University. Currently, Mrs. Goldbach has a Staff Credential and is completing her Director's Credential for VPK.  Mrs. Goldbach loves cats and finally adopted a kitten last year! He is marmalade (orange tabby) and white. Her "boy", now 3 years old, is named Indiana Jones--Indy for short! She lives in Venice with her husband, Jeff. She has both of her brothers, Geoff and Brett, living in the same town! Mrs. Goldbach is very grateful to God for her family and all of their love. Mrs. Goldbach and her husband attend Epiphany Cathedral Church in Venice. They met at a Young Adults Meeting there and were married 8 years later!  Her goal in teaching VPK/Pre-K is to show God's love to the children every day, introduce them to prayer and its power, and to help them "get ready for Kindergarten!" She hopes to teach Pre-K for a long time to come!


Mrs. Maureen Proce, BS

I have two beautiful daughters, and a wonderful husband.  I was born and raised right here in Fort Myers.  I went to St. Francis and Bishop Verot.  I enjoy spending time in the Georgia Mountains.  I love taking long walks.  I also love going to the Library and book stores.  I enjoy watching and playing sports, volleyball is my favorite.

Ms. Kim Ogburn, MA,ED

I am a Ft. Myers native and proud Alumnus of both St. Francis and Bishop Verot! I also went to the University of Florida where I received my Bachelor and Master's degrees in Early Childhood Education.  After college, I moved to Houston, Texas where I taught Kindergarten and I'm happy to be back at St. Francis in Kindergarten as well!  I love Gator football, going to the beach, reading and traveling!

Mrs. Patty Gorrell, BS

I was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, and moved with my family to Ft. Myers at the age of nine.  My two sisters, brother and I all graduated from Bishop Verot High School.  I attended Florida Southern College in Lakeland and graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Learning and Elementary Education.  My first teaching experience was in 1980 when I was hired to open the first Kindergarten class at St. Francis.  I moved to the Boston area for seven years and then returned to Ft. Myers to teach Kindergarten and 1st grade at Orangewood Elementary and later Littleton Elementary.  My husband, Jim, and I were married in 1994.  We have two children attending St. Francis.  I'm very happy to be a part of the St. Francis family once again.  I am blessed to have continued support from my family and sister (also a teacher) for their help in preparation for this exciting new year.


Mrs. June Durand, MBA

I am proud to be a native Floridian and graduated from both the University of Miami and the University of Florida.  I became part of the St. Francis School family in 1992 when my oldest child began Kindergarten.  Since then, all three of my children, one daughter and two sons, have graduated from St. Francis and Bishop Verot, and now attend college.  I designed and planted the school butterfly garden in 1998, worked as the Fifth Grade teacher assistant, taught Kindergarten, and am delighted to be in my third year of teaching First Grade.  My husband and I are avid walkers and we love to explore and hike in the wilderness.

Mrs. Bonnie Hendricks, MA

I am originally from Upstate New York, but have called many places home, including the Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Denmark.  Twenty four years ago, my husband and I moved our family to Southwest Florida. All three of our children graduated from both St. Francis Xavier and Bishop Verot High SchoolThis is my 8th year teaching at St. Francis and my second year in first grade. When I’m not developing lesson plans, I enjoy reading American History, working crossword and Sudoko puzzles, and playing with my beagle, Cedar.


Mrs. Tracy  Kenney, BA

I was born in Panama City, FL on Tindle Air Force Base.  My dad was a career officer in the Air Force, so I lived and attended schools all over the United States and Europe.  We moved to Ft. Myers in 1975.  I graduated from Cypress Lake High School here in Ft. Myers and USF in Tampa.  In 1980 I began teaching 5th grade at St. Francis.  Since then I've also taught kindergarten and 1st grade.  Now I love teaching 2nd Grade!  I am a parishioner at St Katharine Drexel in Cape Coral.  I have five grown children.  I love animals and originally dreamed of being a veterinarian.  We have two dogs and a cat.  In my free time I enjoy relaxing at home with a movie, shopping, going to the beach, and eating out.

Mrs. Maria Niebuhr, BBA

Originally from New York, I moved to Florida in 1997. After a career in commercial banking began teaching at St. Francis 8 years ago and loving every minute. I have three children, daughter, Danielle just graduated St. Francis and is now at Bishop Verot; Michael is an airline pilot, and Christopher is a senior at Syracuse University. I also have a wonderful husband of 18 years.  I love musical theater, reading, cooking and decorating.


Mrs. Shelly Rieske,BA

I moved to Florida 30+ years ago. North Fort Myers High School,  Edison and Univ. of S. FL (Ft. Myers Campus)are my alma maters.  I taught in public school,  before coming to St. Francis 8 years ago.  My 2 children are the most important people in my life.  I am very active in my home parish of St. Katharine Drexel,a Girl Scout Leader and Boy Scout parent volunteer.  My hobbies include scrapbooking, reading, and I am taking up walking. 

Mrs. Roberta Sedgwick

I've been a 4th grade teacher for 28 years and 3rd grade for the past 3 years. I also taught in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. I have two married daughters and five grandchildren. .  I was born in North Carolina but raised in Washington State until the middle of the 4th grade when the family moved back to North Carolina. I love to read, hike in the North Carolina Mountains, exercise and visit family and friends.



Kim Anderson, BA

My name is Kim Anderson.  I am originally from Michigan, but grew up here in Fort Myers.  I am a graduate of both St. Francis Xavier and Bishop Verot.  This is my eighth year teaching.  I have taught 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade.  I lived in North Georgia for the past 6 years and am happy to be back home in Florida!  I obtained my Bachelor's degree from Florida Gulf Coast University.  I completed additional teaching courses at Brenau University in Georgia.  I have completed half of the credits for my Master's in Elementary Education and I plan to continue to pursue this degree.  My interests include reading, traveling, and spending time with my family.  I am very excited to be back at St. Francis and thank everyone for the warm welcome!

Mrs. Susan Zell, MA

This begins my eighteenth year at St. Francis and 26th year teaching. Like my three children who graduated from here, we consider this experience to be a firm foundation for both faith and education. My master’s degree in reading from Appalachian State University confirms my passion that reading is a fundamental skill for learning and tool for recreation!   I look forward to learning every day with my students!


Mrs. Rosemarie Furlong, MA

I am very happy to be teaching at St. Francis Xavier.  I started teaching as a substitute teacher for Lee County schools and St. Francis in 1996.  After spending many years as a teacher and Elementary Principal I realize the place I love most is the classroom.  I cherish the parents, students, teachers and staff.  I hold a Bachelor's degree with a major in Education and a Master's degree in Education and Supervision K-12.  I am a Eucharistic Minister at St. Therese's Mission Church where I volunteer.  Movies are my hobby along with Sudoku puzzles.

Mrs. Debbie Tousey, BA

I am originally from Michigan but I've lived in Florida for over 25 years. I started teaching 3rd grade here at St. Francis in 2000 and I am currently teaching 5th grade.  I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren all of whom I adore!  My hobbies include baking, cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with my family.  My husband and I spend our weekends doing household chores, bicycling, and figuring out when our next trip to see the grandchildren will be. God has provided our family with many special blessings all of which I am so thankful. 



Mrs. Karen Galloway, BS,
Diploma in Pastoral Ministry

This is my 13th year teaching at St. Francis.  I previously taught 11 years in a Catholic high school in Ohio.  I am married to Dave and have three grown children and three granddaughters.  My children attended Catholic schools.  I enjoy boating, working out in the gym and the Ohio State Buckeyes. (my degree - BS ed, diploma in Pastoral Ministry).

Social Studies

Mrs. Mary Schmidt, BS

I grew up in Portland, Maine, and attended Catholic school through high school.  I graduated with a teaching degree from the University of Southern Maine.  I taught, for many years, in a Catholic shool in Maine, before moving to Florida.  I have two grown sons, and three wonderful grandchildren, all of whom live here in Florida.  I enjoy traveling back to Maine for my yearly reunion with college friends.  Reading and gardening are my favorite activities away from school.  My eight years at St. Francis have been very special to me.


Mrs. Angela LaPorte, BA

I'm a graduate of St. Mary's School and John Baptist High School in Bangor, Maine. I graduated from St. Joseph's College in Standish, Maine.  I taught for over thirty years at St Joseph's and St. James School in Biddeford, Maine. My husband is a retired fire chief. We moved to Florida in 2002 to be near our married daughter and granddaughter. In fact they are our next door neighbors. My interests include reading, cross stitching, and spending time with my family.

Language Arts

Mrs. Bobbi Jo Wisocki, MS

As a former Falcon myself, I am thrilled to be back doing what I love, which is teaching language arts.   I am originally from Johnstown, PA (go Steelers!), although I grew up here in southwest Florida.  I graduated from Auburn University in 1993 with a B.A. in English and earned my M.S. degree in English Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2000.  I have been teaching for thirteen years.  I live in south Fort Myers with my husband, Todd, and my son, Owen, who will be joining me here at SFX in January!  We love the area, and I truly love being back home here at St. Francis.



Mrs. Nancy Truman, BA

I am married with two adult children, and I have many interests.  I am especially fond of cross stitching, doing jigsaw puzzles, reading (especially mysteries), and I dabble in various other crafty endeavors.  I love to decorate and I am a hopeless clothes horse!


Mrs. Patricia Gill, BS

Mrs. Pat Gill is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and has taught mathematics at St. Francis for the past decade.  Mrs. Gill is married to Mr. Mike Gill, who teaches at Bishop Verot High School.  She has two sons.  Both graduated from St. Francis Xavier and Bishop Verot.  Zachary is an attorney and Patrick is studying medicine.  Mrs. Gill enjoys hiking, visiting our national parks, sporting events, crafts and home projects.


Mrs. Anne Gellert, BS

I have two brothers.  I have been married to Barry for 31 years and we have two great children, Marisa and Michael.  Both of them graduated from St. Francis.  In my spare time I love to read mysteries and cook.  I collect frogs as anyone can tell when they step foot into the science lab.  They help me remember to Forever rely on God.  I am starting my 24th year at St. Francis and look forward to it being yet another memorable one.


Christina Stejskal

I am a native Floridian, and moved to Fort Myers after graduating from high school in Tampa.  After obtaining my bachelors from FGCU, I remained in the Fort Myers area working as an environmental consultant.  Over the years, I realized the care and compassion that I have for children.  This was especially evident after having two of my own, Trenton and Magnusson.  When I became the middle school math and science teacher, I was overjoyed at the opportunity.  The overwhelming support from my husband, family, and students reminds me daily of why I became a teacher.  I am so blessed to be a part of their lives, and a part of the entire St. Francis family. 

SPANISH/ VPK-6th Grades

Mrs. Evelyn Velasquez, BA

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and part of my life was spend in Puerto Rico. I have been teaching in St. Francis Xavier since 2001.I enjoy every moment teaching, going out to the movies and spending time with my family. I have two wonderful adult children Justine and Edwin Jr. Our little precious gift is Isabella Rose my granddaughter.

Spanish/7th & 8th Grades

Mrs. Alessandra Giordano, BA

I have been a proud resident of Fort Myers since 1982 and attended St. Francis Xavier School as a child.  After graduation from high school, I attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and have a wonderful son, Jack.  I enjoy spending my free time with family.


Mrs. Vanessa Lombardo, BS

I was born in Texas, and I moved to Captiva Island when I was 16 years old.  I attended Cypress Lake High School, Edison College, and went on to graduate from the University of South Florida with a degree in Education.  I am certified in Elementary Education (K-6) and Art Education (K-12).  I began teaching in 1995.  Over the years, I have taught 4th grade, 5th grade, and kindergarten.  Now, I am enjoying my position as the art teacher at St. Francis Xavier School.  I live with my husband, Carmen, and my daughter, Marina.  We have two cats named Sunshine and Angel.  We love traveling and boating together.  I always have several creative art projects underway at once.  I love painting, wood working, fusing glass, and much more.  My interests are constantly expanding and evolving.  It is never too late to learn something new and exciting!  Please click to view my Philosophy on Education.


Mr. Stephen Bedford, MA

I am from the Carolinas. I was born in Greenville, SC and lived in Greensboro, NC until I was 13. Then our family moved to Miami, Florida. I love Florida and have lived here most of my life. I have lived in Fort Myers since 1978. I love to jog and I have run in four marathons and two half-marathons at Disney World. I have two children and two wonderful grandsons (ages 5 and 7). I love to be online and watch the stock market when I am not busy doing other things. I am also an avid sports fan having grown up in Miami. It is exciting to be the IT Coordinator at St Francis Xavier School and be a part of the many changes that are coming. These will help prepare our students for high school and beyond.



Mrs. Kate Hamstra, BA

 I am in my 3rd year of teaching Computer class here at St. Francis.  I am a Fort Myers native (there aren't many of us around!) and a graduate of both St. Francis and Bishop Verot.  I live with my husband and our two "Boys", a Dachshund named Brady and a Corgi/Chihuahua mix named Bo.  We enjoy traveling around the country and overseas.  In my spare time I also like reading, riding my bike and rollerblading, watching sporting events, and playing Fantasy Sports (Baseball and Football)!  I love working with the students here at St. Francis not only as the Computer Teacher, but also as the 7th and 8th Grade Girls’ Basketball Coach.  Go Falcons!


Ms. Jacqueline Gelardi, MA

I enjoy traveling, especially to Europe.  I love the outdoors and being active.  I love to hike and explore the waterfalls of the N.C. mountains.  My therapy is jogging before I come to work in the mornings and a weekly kickboxing class.  I enjoy going to dinner and the movies, especially independent/foreign films.  The best parts of my days are probably the drive into school with my nephews.  Family time is important to me and I am blessed enough to have my parents, siblings, niece and nephews live within 10 minutes of me.  God has blessed me in so many ways, including the family that I have become a part of over the past 15 years at St. Francis School.    


Mrs. Emily Kinney, BA

I was born in Massena, New York and grew up in Greenwich, New York, a small village in upstate New York.  I received my BA at Central College in Pella, Iowa.  I spent my junior year abroad studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  I am certified in Educational Media (PK-12), Elementary Education (1-6), and French (7-12).  I taught Elementary French in New York state before moving to Florida 38 years ago.  I taught 4th grade for 8 years at St. Francis and enjoyed every minute.  I took a year off to travel with my mother, son husband and 2 Dobermans.  When I returned I worked as a volunteer in the Media Center.  I then became the Tech Specialist for 1 year and have been the Media Specialist for 12 years.  I enjoy helping the students become lifelong readers and learners.  My hobbies include reading, research, traveling, walking and singing as well as learning state-of-the-art technology.


Mrs. Darlene Stewart, MS

I have been teaching Video Production and Middle School Media at St Francis for 8 years. I have my degree in Business Education, and a Masters in Business Education. I am certified in Business Education and Elementary Education. I am attending FGCU in order to attain a Masters in Elementary Education. I also have two children attending our school.


Ms. Lisa Stevens, BA

I graduated from Saint Francis in 2003 and from Bishop Verot in 2007, so teaching at Saint Francis is like returning to my family! I recently graduated from University of Florida in August with a Bachelor's Degree in Music and a minor in General Theater. I love singing musical theater and learning about composers, among many things about music! I look forward to sharing my love of music with the children and teaching them how to read music at a basic level, composers (old and new), and expanding their knowledge of musical theater repertoire. I am looking forward to organizing an excellent choir for 4th-8th grade and eventually doing a fantastic musical! In addition to music, I am assistant coaching the 7th and 8th grade volleyball team, and I love watching football and basketball (go Gators!). I couldn't be happier to be back at Saint Francis right out of college, and I look forward to many happy years teaching here.


Mrs. Sherry Lavender, BS

I've been at St. Francis for 25 years. Graduated from Florida State College and masters work from Nova Univ.  Family:  Married to Jim Lavender for 35 years, Son Jesse who graduated from St. Francis,  Daughter in law Christina and grandson Levi, now at St. Francis and granddaughter Savannah.  Hobbies and interests:  running, hiking, water activities, painting, reading, Being outside. Favorite quote: Use what talents you possess:  The woods would  be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.

Mr. Leonard LoVerde, BS

Earned my Bachelor of Science Degree from the prestigious Physical Education College at Brockport State University of New York and has amassed over 30 years of teaching and coaching experience.


Mrs. Mary Cornell, BS

As a former ESE (Special Education) teacher from NJ I bring to St. Francis my 35 years of experience in working with children who exhibit learning challenges.  I am a graduate of the College of NJ and Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.S. degree as a Teacher of Developmentally handicapped (Pre-K through 12) and Transitional Counseling . I haveresided in SW Florida since 2005.  My daughter, a graduate of Bishop Verot High School currently attends Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. My second teaching career over the past 30 years has been in the world of fitness and I continue to enjoy teaching at two local gymns.

Reading Specialist

Sister Juliana Beck, BS

I moved to Fort Myers in 2010 to be closer to my parents to assist them in their golden years.  My community, Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland , supported this endeavor.  Prior to coming to St. Francis I taught in the city of Cleveland at Metro Catholic as an intervention specialist for students in grades kindergarten and first for nine years and first grade teacher for four years.  I received my BS Elementary Education from Steubenville University and MS in Educational Administration from the University of Dayton.  I have a passion for reading and wanted to learn more about assisting students with learning disabilities.  In 2008 I received my Ohio teaching license as an Intervention Specialist.  In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors biking and hiking.  Now that I am in Florida I enjoy walking the beach.