Teachers & Staff

Staff Directory

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish School is fortunate to have an experienced, caring staff dedicated to maintaining a safe and loving environment that promotes learning and spiritual development. They make a concerted effort to recognize the gifts that each child brings to the classroom, and helps the child develop those gifts for life.

Patrick Weber
Principal
Email: weberp@ihmlansing.org

I was born in Lansing and attended Immaculate Heart from 1985-1988. My family moved to Williamston where I attended St. Mary School through 5th grade. Graduating from Williamston High School, I attended Defiance College in Ohio, playing football and earning a Presidential Service Leader scholarship devoted to community service. In 2003, I was selected into the Teach for America Corps and taught Employment English in the Mississippi Delta Region. I returned to Williamston High School in the fall of 2005 teaching a wide range of subjects grades 6-12 (including Spanish, Home Economics, World Cultures Cooking, Civics and AP Government). I was also a high school football coach and varsity wrestling coach for 10 seasons. This last April, I earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State. My wife Kelly and I live in Haslett with our two boys Teddy and Luke, and our wonder dog, Wendy. We attend St. John’s Student Parish. This last fall is when I was drawn back to Immaculate Heart through the Adoration Chapel, praying for the right path to present itself in my journey.

My mission as an educator is to provide “excellence for every child, in all that we do, every day.” As a Catholic school, our mission includes a higher standard of maximizing the potential in each learner to prepare them for their mission in this world as a disciple of Christ Jesus.

 Mary Margaret Utess
Administrative Assistant
Email: utessm@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Utess is not your typical grade school administrator. She has a BS in Systems Science Engineering with minors in Math and Chemistry. She decided to become a teacher while babysitting children in high school. Mrs. Utess has lived in many places; she was born in Lansing, and has lived in Grand Rapids and Missouri. Her hobbies include reading, shopping and baking.

Mrs. Chris Wilcox
School Secretary & Tuition Consultant
Email: wilcoxc@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Wilcox LOVES being the “teacher of the office”.  She has four daughters who attended this school, so she thinks she understands what communications and support the parents need to be part of the school team.  Mrs. Wilcox started working here part time at the St. Casimir site in 2005 when her youngest child was in eighth grade.  She attended Lansing Community College studying Secretarial Science and worked at MSU until her first child was born.  She then spent the next 23 years being mom at home and taking care of other children, too.  She thinks being a Grandma is the BEST!  Her fun fact: Mrs. Wilcox grew up at IHM and attended this school, too!

 

Marisa Strom
School Office Records Clerk

Hi, I am Mrs. Strom. I grew up in Lansing. I am married and have a daughter. I graduated from Lansing Catholic Central High School and Michigan State University. I am also a proud parent of a student here at Immaculate Heart of Mary. I love to bake, spend time with family and watch movies.

Andrea Trutzl
Kindergarten
Email: trutzla@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Trutzl took the road less traveled to become a teacher. She started college at Michigan State University as a Merchandising Management major before discovering happiness in the Childhood Development/Education program. Mrs. Trutzl taught elementary school in Lake Odessa before coming here to IHM to teach Kindergarten. She likes to read, go to the movies and hang out with her friends and family, which includes one dog and one cat.

Sharon Kuchar 
1st Grade
Email: kuchars@ihmlansing.org

Ms. Kuchar teaches First Grade at IHM School. A native of Owosso, Michigan, she has a BS in Elementary education from Central Michigan University. Ms. Kuchar taught at St. Gerard and Resurrection schools before coming to Immaculate Heart. She really enjoys discussing the books her students read with them in class. Her hobbies include reading, walking and going to the beach.

 

Marisol Hennig
2nd Grade
Email: hennigm@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Marisol Hennig is from Lansing, MI. Her primary vocations of wife and mother keep her busy! She and her husband have been married 14 years. They have three children ages 11, 9, and 7. She enjoys singing and playing music at Cristo Rey and Resurrection parishes in Lansing, where she also spends a lot of time volunteering for different parish events. Mrs. Hennig is also a part of the PTO and has worked as a substitute teacher at her kid’s school. At home, Mrs. Hennig enjoys drinking tea, watching movies, and studying! Mrs. Hennig received her BS in Elementary Education from Ferris State University.

Hilary Pratt
3rd Grade
Email:  pratth@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Hilary Pratt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and is a trained Catechist of the Good Shepherd. She is thrilled to teach surrounded by a fun and inspiring staff. While we await world peace, the love and diversity within this community will be sufficient for her. She is proud to be involved in a school family that values service, generosity, acceptance, and moral development. Mrs. Pratt believes spending time in the joy and purity of childhood makes her a better person. It is fitting that she teaches third grade since her third grade teacher was a major part of her pursuit of a career in education. When she isn’t in the classroom, Mrs. Pratt enjoys travel, music, and (most of) nature with her husband, their three sons, and their peaceful pet Boxer.

 

 Nicole Evans
Grade 4 & 5 Eagle Academy
Email: evansn@ihmlansing.org

 I am a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. During my course of study, I particularly focused on literacy and history, and I specialized in Early Childhood Education. In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing and spending time with my husband, Carter, our family and friends, and our 2 cats, Charlie and Daisy!

 

 Jeff Fogel
Grade 4 Homeroom
Email: fogelj@ihmlansing.org

I grew up in Spring Lake on the beautiful "west coast" of Michigan. My wife Tricia and I have lived in DeWitt since 1998 and are parishioners at the Catholic Community of St. Jude. We have four amazing children, plus a dog and a cat. We enjoy traveling to explore God's creations in other parts of our state and country, and hanging out with family and friends. I have worked for 10 years in education. One of the many blessings I am thankful for is the calling to teach here at IHM!

 

Maryclare Cripps
5th Grade
Email: crippsm@ihmlansing.org

I have lived in Lansing most of my life and attended Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Casimir schools myself. I'm very proud of the Catholic education I received during my time there. It has come full circle with my own child going to IHM. I attend Davenport University and earned a degree in science, with an emphasis in physical therapy. God had other plans for me and I was called to return to IHM and teach. One thing I enjoy is the ability to include Jesus Christ in all subjects when I am teaching. I am married to Mike and have one daughter, Erin. I enjoy camping, dogs, coffee and being outdoors.

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Rose McBrearty
7th/8th Grade
Email: mcbreartyr@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. McBrearty was born in Lansing but was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During her middle school years, she took piano and voice lessons and sang with multiple choirs such as North American Coral Company and The West Michigan Academy of Music for Girls. She spent her middle school summers in Campti, Louisiana on mission trips. While attending Comstock Park High School, she attempted to run cross country, play tennis, and even tried out for volleyball. She found no favor in her sports adventures. Instead, she sang in many school choirs and acted in plays. After studying music for two years at Grand Rapids Community College, she moved to Ohio to attend the Franciscan University of Steubenville. There she majored in Middle Childhood Education, Language Arts and Social Studies with a Reading Endorsement. After moving back to her beloved Home state, she became a proud Viking when she taught summer school and writing in Alanson, Michigan. From there, she taught middle school for six years at a local charter school. She now lives in Lansing with her husband and daughter. She enjoys reading Newberry Award winning books and watching old sitcoms. She is thrilled to be at Immaculate Heart of Mary because of its family closeness and center on Christ's love. She enjoys finding the strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies of each of her students.

Mrs Kristi Mickelson

Math Interventionist, 4th/6th/7th Grade Math

 

Mrs Mickelson has been teaching math for 20 years at Resurrection and Lansing Public.  She has a Master's in Special Education.  She began teaching here at IHM this fall as a math intervention specialist.  As of January 6 she began teaching math  for grades 4, 6 and 7th.  She says " I love IHM and feel as if I have found my forever home!   This is a beautiful place to send your children everyday. "  Mrs Mickelson is married with three children.

 

 

Mr. Patrick Brennan, brennanp@ihmlansing.org

4th grade Social Studies, Science

6th grade Homeroom & Religion

Patrick Brennan is our newest teacher at IHM school!  He teaches 4th grade science and social studies, 5th grade language arts, and 6th grade religion.  He also serves as the 6th grade homeroom teacher.  Patrick grew up in East Lansing.  He attended St. Thomas Aquinas School and Lansing Catholic High School.  He originally intended to become a lawyer, but God had other plans!  In 2012, he had a life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit that launched him into Catholic ministry.  He discerned priesthood for three years with the Diocese of Lansing and earned a degree in philosophy from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.  Patrick has served as a teacher and youth minister at many places within the diocese, including St. Mary Queen of Angels in Swartz Creek, St. Thomas More Academy in Burton, and St. John Vianney in Flint.

Mrs. Andrea Franz 
Art - Grade K-8
Email: franza@ihmlansing.org

Ms. Ruthie Munk
Music - Grade K-8
Email: munkr@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Jan Tietsort
Band - Grade 5-8
Email: jan.tietsort@lansingcatholic.org

Mrs Tietsort teaches band to grades 5-8 and also is the the Lansing Catholic HS band director. 

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Rennie Madden
Library & Teacher Aide
Email. maddenr@ihmlansing.org

Mrs. Madden is the librarian and teachers' aide at IHM School and loves helping the students become lifelong readers and learners. She was born in California but has also lived in Nicaragua, Oregon, Colombia, Arizona, Texas, and Maryland. Since her grandmother was born in Gaylord, she feels she has come full circle. Mrs. Madden went to the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received her BA in Spanish and Hispanic Civilization. Some of her favorite activities include spending time with family (especially the grandbabies), traveling, reading, sewing, and anything outdoors.

Kofi Baker
Physical Education - Grade K-8
Email: bakerk@ihmlansing.org

Hi my name is Mr. Baker, I currently live in Lansing MI where I teach general physical education. I have inclusive and diverse PE classes with students varying in skill and ability. I have a master’s degree in adapted physical education that has allowed me to further my knowledge and teaching skill to assist the students I serve to reach their full potential. I have a beautiful young family, and when I am not working or taking graduate courses I enjoy spending time with them traveling, biking, and camping.

Ms. Mercedes Ward
Spanish - Grade K-8
Email: wardm@ihmlansing.org

Ben Hahnenberg
Technology Grade 6-8
Email: hahnenbergb@ihmlansing.org

Mr. Ben Hahnenberg is a graduate of St. Mary Catholic School in Lake Leelanau.  He has previously taught middle school English in Grand Rapids, where he devoted his time to improving the curriculum, creating the yearbook, and leading the school wide Spelling Bee. He has a great deal of experience teaching kindergarten at Manistee Catholic Central School and recently finished teaching first grade at Traverse City Christian where he was also the IT Coordinator for the school. Mr. Hahnenberg enjoys teaching middle school technology at IHM, where he shares his love of Jesus with them, and inspires his students to reach their maximum potential. He believes in living out his favorite quote which comes from St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Mary Maher
Preschool & Student Care
Email: maherm@ihmlansing.org

I am the Program Director for our preschool, child care and before and after school program. I have my Bachelor's Degree from Spring Arbor College and CDA. I have been part of this Christian Community for 24 years and feel very blessed to have met so many wonderful children and their families. I am now seeing the second generation of children coming in our Church and our Student Care Program. It is truly amazing! In my spare time I love to spend time with my three children and three grandchildren.

Shonna Kerrigan
Preschool Aide

I'm from Tiffin, Ohio where I attended Heidelberg University and obtained my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I worked in Cleveland, Ohio for 7 years in the Accounting field before moving to Lansing, where I then became a stay at home mom. I am currently working on receiving my Child Development Accreditation through LCC. In my spare time I enjoy spending my time with my husband and two boys doing outdoorsy things and traveling to Ohio to see family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Useful Contacts

Father John Byers,
Pastor
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
frjbyers@ihmlansing.org

School Marketing Committee
marketing@ihmlansing.org

Jason Watson, Webmaster
watson.jason@gmail.com