(504) 942-1850 contactHC@holycrosstigers.com

Meet the Faculty

Headmaster, Mr. Charles DiGange, ’64

New Orleans Primary School

Mr. Charles DiGange, ’64, Headmaster

Welcome to Holy Cross School. From our humble beginnings in 1849 to the magnificent campus we dedicated in 2010, we have been able to offer a holistic approach to education for more than a century. In the tradition of our beloved founder, Blessed Basile Moreau, C.S.C., at Holy Cross we educate the whole person – mind, body, heart and soul. And now, we have an exciting opportunity to expand our “Boys to Men” mission to the youngsters in grades pre-k through 4. The facility on Elysian Fields is close to our Middle and High School campus, allowing us to enrich the lives of our youngest Tigers through big brother activities, field trips, library and sports-related visits. But the Primary campus remains its own, distinct center of learning and age-appropriate discovery. I look forward to continuing the mission of Father Moreau and shaping the lives of the next generation of Holy Cross Men.

 

 

Primary and Middle School Principal, Mrs. Teresa Billings

New Orleans Primary Catholic School

Mrs. Teresa Billings, Primary and Middle School Principal

From our founder, Father Basile Moreau, we have been charged with the mission “We do not want our students to be ignorant of anything they should know.” In order to fulfill this mission we have aligned our curriculum to prepare students to be successful in college and in life. We begin this journey as early as pre-k. Our teachers work together as department and grade-level teams in order to review individual student data and design curriculum to ensure students are prepared for the challenges of the next grade. Students develop critical thinking skills and problem solving skills that will help them build on their prior knowledge.

At the Primary level, these challenges take on a decidedly fun tone. The boys are immersed in a negotiated learning curriculum where self-discovery is fostered. The boys spend time exploring and expressing their own feelings and learning interpersonal skills as well. Soon, they begin to acquire “school-readiness” skills through use of our sign-in center, job board, math manipulatives and more. With faculty guidance, our boys learn to work cooperatively on projects. They work together, sharing ideas and, most importantly, listening and respecting the ideas of others. It is a magical time and the beginning of an exiting journey.

Primary School Faculty

Mrs. Belinda Baker, Director

Holy Cross School Primary New Orleans

Mrs. Belinda Baker, Director

It is a privilege to bring the Holy Cross education to the primary school level for families of New Orleans. I have been an educator in Catholic schools since 1981. I have a BS degree from Louisiana State University in Elementary Education and a certification in Early Childhood Education. I have had the privilege to work with wonderful students, faculties and families who touched my life in a very special way. Previously, I worked as a teacher and the Director of the Early Childhood Program. Through my work with young children, I have learned the importance of giving students meaningful and engaging experiences. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to provide these same experiences at Holy Cross Primary School.

 

 

Mrs. Barbara Holstein, Teacher Assistant/Aide

Mrs. Barbara Holstein, Teacher Assistant/Aide

Mrs. Barbara Holstein, Teacher Assistant/Aide


I am excited to start our second year at Holy Cross Primary! This is my 15th year as an educator in the catholic school system. In addition to being in administration, I will also be assisting in the 2nd and 3rd grades. I was born and raised in New Orleans, and my husband and I are the proud parents of three sons and a daughter.

 

 

 

Mrs. Jennifer Strahan, Pre-K Teacher

Mrs. Jennifer Strahan, Pre-K Teacher

Mrs. Jennifer Strahan, Pre-K Teacher


I am honored to return to Holy Cross Primary for another exciting school year! I am a New Orleans native and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Loyola University in 2003, and have been teaching in the Catholic school system for the past thirteen years. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year at Holy Cross Primary!

 

 
 

Mrs. Carol Allison, Pre-K Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Carol Allison, Pre-K Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Carol Allison, Pre-K Assistant Teacher


I am happy to be a new member of the Holy Cross Primary family. I graduated from Louisiana State University and have taught in Early Childhood for the last sixteen years. I am married to a wonderful man and have a son and a daughter. I love to garden, cook, read and travel in my spare time.

 

 

 

Ms. Amy Canalis, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Amy Canalis, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Amy Canalis, Kindergarten Teacher


I am a Georgia native with Bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of New Orleans. I have four years of experience as a lead Pre-K teacher as well as one year of Kindergarten here at Holy Cross. I am very excited to be a part of the Holy Cross Primary team again. We have a bright year ahead!

 

 
 

Mrs. Lori Kerner, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Lori Kerner, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Lori Kerner, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher


I am excited to be part of the Holy Cross family as a member of the Primary School. I graduated from the University of New Orleans and taught second and third grade for 27 years before coming to Holy Cross Primary in August of 2015. My husband, Tommy, and I have two daughters.

 

 

 
 

Mrs. Emily Zachary, First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Emily Zachary, First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Emily Zachary, First Grade Teacher


I am very excited to be back at the Primary School for the 2016-2017 school year! I am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but New Orleans has been my home for the past 8 years. I graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Early Childhood Psychology and Early Childhood Education in 2012. I have experience teaching at the Kindergarten and First Grade levels. I am thrilled to be part of such a great team at Holy Cross!

 

 
 

Ms. Nicole Fangue, First Grade Assistant Teacher

Ms. Nicole Fangue, First Grade Assistant Teacher

Ms. Nicole Fangue, First Grade Assistant Teacher


I am extremely excited to join the Holy Cross Primary School family for the 2016-2017 school year. I grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana, and have now been living in New Orleans for the past year and a half. I am a recent graduate from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. I have also committed the last 8 years of my life to Catholic mission work in Guatemala. This will be my first year of assistant teaching and I cannot wait to apply my skills while also gaining experience and knowledge along the way!

 

 

Mrs. Emily Pastorek, Lower School Language Arts Teacher

Mrs. Emily Pastorek, Lower School Language Arts Teacher

Mrs. Emily Pastorek, Lower School Language Arts Teacher


I am thrilled to be Holy Cross Primary’s Language Arts teacher. I am originally from the city of New Orleans. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Louisiana State University in 2012. I am entering the 2016-2017 school year as a fifth year teacher. I am dedicated to teaching because I enjoy watching my students grow spiritually, academically and socially. I am looking to a great year teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade Language Arts.

 

 
 

Mrs. Nicole Fuller, Lower School Math Teacher

Mrs. Nicole Fuller, Lower School Math Teacher

Mrs. Nicole Fuller, Lower School Math Teacher


I have been teaching at Holy Cross since 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the first year at Holy Cross Primary School. I have 29 years of teaching experience at other schools in the New Orleans area. I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Loyola University New Orleans. I am very excited to be teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade math.

 

 
 

Mrs. Lisa Englert, Lower School Science Teacher

Mrs. Lisa Englert, Lower School Science Teacher

Mrs. Lisa Englert, Lower School Science Teacher


I am thrilled to be back for another great year at Holy Cross Primary. I grew up in the New Orleans area and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School. I earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Louisiana State University in 2008. After graduation, I returned home and began teaching science in Catholic schools. During my first year, I was selected as a member of the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. I am also a certified PLTW Launch Lead Teacher.

 

 
 

Mrs. Dee Montalbano, Lower School Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Dee Montalbano, Lower School Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Dee Montalbano, Lower School Assistant Teacher


I was a Holy Cross parent for 16 years and held many positions on the parent club board. I am a graduate of Cabrini High School, attended University of New Orleans and a retired surgical technologist. After retiring, I worked in a catholic school in St. Bernard Parish and then I moved to assistant librarian at Holy Cross. Last year, with much excitement with the opening of the first boys school Pre-K-12th grade, I became an assistant teacher at Holy Cross Primary School. I am thrilled and very blessed to begin my 6th year at Holy Cross and to work with the little tigers at Holy Cross Primary. My husband, Jeff, and I have three sons. Our twins graduated in 2008 and our youngest son in 2015.

 
 

Mr. Andrew Watley, Religion Teacher, Guidance Counselor

Mr. Andrew Watley, Religion Teacher, Guidance Counselor

Mr. Andrew Watley, Religion Teacher, Guidance Counselor


What a blessing it is to be called to another year at this wonderful school. I am originally from New Orleans and although I am a graduate of St. Augustine High School, Holy Cross now has my heart. I graduated in 2009 from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology. This academic school year will be my 8th year teaching religion/theology. I graduated with a dual Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Behavioral Counseling in 2015 from the University of Holy Cross and I am also entering my second year in my doctoral studies in Counselor Education at the same institution. I am looking forward to working with you and your son throughout this year.

 
 

Coach Chris Heine, PE Teacher

Coach Chris Heine, PE Teacher

Coach Chris Heine, PE Teacher


I am looking forward to beginning a new year at Holy Cross Primary School. I have a B.S. in kinesiology from Louisiana State University. I am entering my 7th year of teaching elementary Physical Education. I am excited to see what the 2016-2017 school year has in store for the students at Holy Cross Primary School.

 

 

 

Mrs. Theresa Ducote, Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Theresa Ducote, Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Theresa Ducote, Spanish Teacher


I began my teaching career in 1971. I received a BS in Elementary Education from LSU. I am certified in early childhood education as well as all elementary grades. I studied Spanish at Malaga Plus, an Intensive Immersion School, in Malaga, Spain. My husband, Gene, is a Holy Cross Grad and also attended the former St. Raphael School located here at the site of the new HC Primary School. I love this school.

 

 
 

Ms. Marisa Sorrentino, Music Teacher

Ms. Marisa Sorrentino, Music Teacher

Ms. Marisa Sorrentino, Music Teacher


I am beyond happy and excited to be teaching music at Holy Cross Primary for a second year. I am not a Native of Louisiana or even the south for that matter. I was born and raised in Danbury Connecticut, and moved to New York where I attended Five Towns College. There I received a Bachelor’s in Music with a concentration in Classical, Jazz, and Commercial music. I taught in Long Island, New York for three years before moving down to New Orleans last summer. I believe that there is a musician inside us all, and I can’t wait to begin working to bring that out in each of our students here at Holy Cross Primary.

 

 

 

Ms. Jessica Guillet, Art Teacher

Ms. Jessica Guillet, Art Teacher

Ms. Jessica Guillet, Art Teacher



 

 

 

 

Ms. Michelle Billings, Librarian

Ms. Michelle Billings, Librarian

Ms. Michelle Billings, Librarian