MEET THE OFFICE STAFF
Anne Huber, Director
I first started working with young children when I was attending the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, MN. I began working in their Child Development Center and Montessori school when I was a freshman in college and I have been working in the field of early childhood education ever since! I received my Early Childhood Education degree as well as my K-6 Elementary teaching license while I was at St. Catherine’s.
I was hired as the director of the Saint Ambrose Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) in May 2000 and prepared the ECEC for its opening in September 2000. I believe that a quality early childhood education program is crucial to a child’s success in school as well as future life skills. We strive to create an environment where all children can grow and learn in a safe, nurturing, Christian environment.
I currently reside in Oakdale and enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy scrapbooking, card making, nature photography and spending time outdoors hiking around State and National Parks.
Ann Marie Seidl-Valento, Assistant Director
I have been working in the early childhood education field for over 25 years and have been a part of the Saint Ambrose ECEC staff since it opened in August of 2000. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1995 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and am passionate about the importance of quality early childhood education in young lives!
I live in Cottage Grove with my husband and two sons. In my spare time, I enjoy watching my boys play hockey and soccer, traveling and spending time with family and friends!
Nicole Albrecht, Administrative Assistant
MEET THE BUMBLEBEE STAFF
Cathy Vomastek, Infant Teacher
I have been at Saint Ambrose ECEC since March 2008. I received my 4-year degree at Mankato State University. Before coming to Saint Ambrose I ran my own licensed home daycare business for 20 years. I am married and have six grown children and four beautiful grandchildren! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with our "big" family as well as biking, reading, and cooking.
Sara Skogsberg, Infant Teacher
I have been with St. Ambrose since September 2006 and have worked with nearly all age groups. I am married and we have two children. Lillian, our oldest, started at Saint Ambrose in the Bumblebee Room and is now getting ready to head off to Kindergarten. Our son, Ryan, is currently in the Monkey Room, but will soon be a Cub! I have attended both UW-Stout and UW-River Falls. My hobbies include house-boating on the St. Croix River, little projects around the house and spending as much time as I possibly can with my family!
Michelle Richards, Infant Teacher
I have been working at Saint Ambrose since May 2016. I am from White Bear Lake and I have lived here my whole life. I went to Century College and St. Paul Technical for Early Childhood and I have worked in the field for 22 years. I have worked with all different age groups, but I have that my true calling is the babies. I am very close with my family and we like to travel together to a variety of places. I am also a big Gopher, Viking, and Twins fan. I enjoy being outdoors and going hiking and finding new trails / paths to explore.
MEET THE TURTLE STAFF
Sue Brenna, Pre-Toddler Teacher
I have been at St. Ambrose since August 2005. I have a degree in Elementary Education and since college I have taught at two other centers as an infant teacher for 5 years and as a preschool teacher at a Head Start Program for 11 years. I have been happily married for 28 years and we live in South St. Paul. We have a daughter, Aspen, and a dog and cat! We love being outside as much as we can…our favorite place to visit in the summer is Duluth. I have also taught swimming lessons for the past 35 years and previously coached swimming at 2 different high schools.
Kyra Leonard, Pre-Toddler Teacher
Hello, my name is Kyra Leonard. I am a graduate of St. Paul College and have an AAS degree in Child Development and an Applied Science degree in Child Development. I am excited to have the opportunity to work again with the teachers and children at the Saint Ambrose Early Childhood Education Center. I started working here as a classroom aide from 2012-2014 and I have now returned as a classroom teacher in 2018! For the past 4 years I have worked in the 833 school district with special needs children in the Kindergarten and Preschool levels. I have also worked as a director in a Summer Park and Rec program, Kids Club and as an assistant and lead teacher in a preschool. I enjoy Figure Skating and skate on a Synchronized Skating team that has competed at the National level. I also teach skating lessons for the City of Woodbury, coach individual skaters and synchronized skating teams. I have enjoyed working with children all my life and teaching children has always been my career choice since I was a little girl. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in the Saint Ambrose family and excited for the coming years.
Kelly Rossini, Pre-Toddler Aide
I have worked at St. Ambrose since it opened in September 2000. I have mainly worked with the infant and toddler age groups while I have been here. I really enjoy watching them grow and learn new things each day! In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephews, reading and watching hockey.
MEET THE MONKEY STAFF
Carla Elbert, Toddler Teacher
I have been part of the teaching staff here at Saint Ambrose since 2001. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and a C.D.A (Child Development Associate degree) Equivalency from Broward College in Florida. I have been married for over 25 years and have two grown children. I have lived in Woodbury for over 18 years and love living in MN, since moving here from Florida many years ago! I love to cook, watch movies, garden and being outdoors!
Brianna Freeman, Toddler Teacher
I started working at St. Ambrose in October 2003. I worked as an afternoon aide in every age group from infants to preschool. I continued to work here as I obtained my AA Degree from Inver Hills Community College in May of 2007. I left in August of that year to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato. I feel as though I never really left though, because I would return on school breaks to substitute or just to visit with the children & staff! I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in May 2010. I was lucky enough to return to Saint Ambrose ECEC as a teacher in August 2010!
I grew up in Cottage Grove and currently live in Oakdale. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, watching movies and spending time with family and friends. I also love spending time with my four godchildren, who I adore. I thoroughly enjoy my time here at Saint Ambrose in the ECEC and I love being in the Monkey Room. I look forward to meeting all of our families and spending time with your children!
MEET THE CUB STAFF
Amy Buccek, 3-year old Teacher
I have worked at Saint Ambrose since August of 2000. Throughout my time here, I have worked in all of the different classrooms and I enjoy all the ages and stages of a child's learning process! I am a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a degree in Child and Family Studies. I also have my Minnesota Teaching license for birth-third grade. My husband Jason and I have been married since June 2010. We are the proud parents of 3 cats ~ Lily, Leo, & Lucky. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, going to Twins games, Gopher & SCSU hockey games and scrapbooking.
Colleen Pywell, 3-year old Teacher
I began working at Saint Ambrose in March 2013. I have worked in Early Childhood Education since 2002. I earned double Bachelor of Arts degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2007. I enjoy travelling a lot and met my husband, Rob, while studying abroad in England. We have been married since 2010 and we had our first child, Edmund, in August 2017. He is currently in the Bumblebee Room, but will be moving up to the Turtle Room soon! We live in White Bear Lake. I also enjoy reading, cooking, roller derby, house projects, and spending time with my family.
Mary Peterson, 3-year old Teacher
I have been working at the Saint Ambrose Early Childhood Education Center since May 2017, but I have been in the early childhood field since 2001. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with young children. My husband and I have three sons and a golden doodle named Mojo. Raising my sons has been one of my biggest blessings! When I’m not with my sons, I enjoy Bodyflow, cycling, and going on walks with Mojo.
MEET THE STAR STAFF
Andrea Waller, 4-year old Teacher
I graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a BS in Family Consumer Science. My emphasis was in Family Life and Child Development. I have been at Saint Ambrose since December 2007. In my spare time I enjoy being with my two boys, Lucas and Jackson, and my husband, Bryant. We love travelling and spending time with friends. I also enjoy scrapbooking. I love working at Saint Ambrose and seeing the kids grow as they move from the infant, toddler and preschool rooms and eventually to the halls of the big school!
Bridget LaBrosse, 4-year old Teacher
I have been working at the Saint Ambrose Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) since March 2015. I grew up in Stillwater, MN and I now live in Woodbury with my husband. I graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development. I enjoy crocheting and spending time with my family and friends in my spare time. I love working with children and watching them learn and grow each day!
Tara Novotny, 4-year old Teacher
Hello! I hold an Associate degree in Child Development and Early Childhood Education from Saint Paul College. I have been teaching at Saint Ambrose since January 2016. I have initially taught in the older toddler classroom, and recently made the move to the 4-year old preschool classroom. In my free time, I enjoy going for walks, baking, cheering on the Wild and Vikings, and travelling. My favorite part of teaching is seeing a child master a skill for the first time!
Joni Hedahl, 4-year old Teacher
I am happy to join the team at Saint Ambrose. I started here in October 2017. I attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and received my Bachelor's degree in Social Work. However, I ultimately ended up in the field of early childhood development. I have been a preschool teacher for over 25 years. Presently, I am teaching in the 4-year old classroom and I truly enjoy every minute! I love to see the sparkle in their eyes when they learn something new or share a story about something they're excited about. In my spare time I enjoy being with my family, reading, and going on bike rides.
MEET THE DOLPHIN ROOM STAFF
Michelle Prow, 5-year old Teacher
I have been working at Saint Ambrose since September 2007, but have been teaching in the early childhood field for over 20 years! I grew up in Stillwater and currently live in Lakeland. I graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with a B.A. in Business Administration. I am currently attending St. Mary’s University where I am working on my Master’s degree in Special Education. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, going to concerts and being with my family, friends and my dog, Kobe.
Rachel Vomastek, 5-year old Teacher
I first started working at Saint Ambrose in 2009, as a high school aide. In 2010, I left to attend college at University of MN-Duluth for three years, at which point I returned to Saint Ambrose ECEC and transferred to Concordia University where I took additional Child Development classes and Psychology courses. I then received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2016. I currently live in St. Paul and I am working on obtaining my Master’s degree in Education, as well as my initial MN teaching license for grades K – 6. Aside from my school and work life, I love spending time with my friends and family, biking, painting, and reading. I absolutely love Saint Ambrose and have been a member of the parish for over 15 years. I am thankful to be a part of the community of Saint Ambrose, and enjoy all of our wonderful families that encompass it.
Maryann Nelson, 5-year old Teacher's Aide
I started working at St. Ambrose in July 2003 and have been in the Early Childhood field since 1986. I previously worked at a Montessori School before starting at St. Ambrose. I have been married for over 40 years and have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. I live in Cottage Grove and enjoy working in my flower gardens - specializing in lilies. I also enjoy collecting agates and fossils. If you want to hear a cute pet story just ask me about my pugs. I enjoy all the wonderful children, their families and the staff at Saint Ambrose!
MEET THE CATERPILLAR STAFF
Shannon Paduano, 3 & 4-year old Teacher
I have been at the Saint Ambrose ECEC since 2001 and have been in the Early Childhood Education field since 1992. I am married and have two children, both of whom are now in college. I originally worked with the toddlers when I first started at Saint Ambrose, but the majority of my time has been spent teaching the three and four-year old Caterpillar friends! During my free time, I like to read, shop, spend time with friends or just relax with my family.
Tina Malvig, 3 & 4-year old Teacher
I have been teaching at the Saint Ambrose Early Childhood Center since 2001 and I have been teaching in the Early Childhood field since 1995. I have been teaching in the Caterpillar classroom for the majority of my time here at Saint Ambrose, but I also sub in all of the classrooms, as needed. I graduated from Crown College. I live in Woodbury with my husband Nathan, who owns Nathan’s Barber Shop in Lake Elmo. We also have 2 children: Greta and Everett. I love teaching and being a parent, too!
MEET THE FROG STAFF
Barb Finnegan, 4 & 5-year old Teacher
I have worked at the Saint Ambrose ECEC since 2001. My degree is in Elementary Education and I have been teaching in the Early Childhood field since 1985. While at the ECEC, I have worked in both the full-day, year-round program and, for the past several years, I have been teaching in the half-day, school-year program with the 4 & 5 year olds. I love teaching and watching the children learn new skills and concepts! My husband and I live in Cottage Grove and we have 2 grown daughters. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, shopping and spending time with my family.
Colleen Kelly, 4 & 5-year old Teacher
I have been working at the Saint Ambrose ECEC since October 2015. I graduated from St. Olaf College in 2014, with a Bachelor’s degree in History. I spent many of my weekends giving tours of the James J. Hill house in full costume for the time period. I live in Oakdale with my husband and our dog Morty. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, cooking, and boxing. I love teaching in the preschool classroom because it is great to see the kids get excited as they master new skills on their own!
Sara Boyea, Substitute (All Rooms)
I have been working at Saint Ambrose since it opened in September 2000. I spent many years as a teacher in the 3-year old room and then moved to the toddler age group for awhile. For the last few years, I have been the on-call substitute teacher for the classrooms. I now get to work with all of the age groups! Subbing allowed me to spend more time with my boys. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education. I am married and have 3 wonderful boys-Bryce, Josh and Logan. In my free time I love being with my boys, reading, scrapbooking, and of course shopping.