Faculty & Staff

Alexis Newsome
Director of Admission

MA Webster University – International Relations
BA The University of Central Missouri – Public Relations

Alexis Newsome received her bachelors degree from The University of Central Missouri. She then went on to work in the non-profit sector in Columbia, MO and St. Louis, MO. Alexis then made the switch to corporate America for ten years in Supply Chain Management. She also attended Webster University for a MA in International Relations, which she used while traveling abroad on mission trips to Mozambique and Ghana, Africa. However, being raised by a phenomenal woman who is an educator, growing up as a minority scholar was normal a way of life, and the world of education always spoke to her. Alexis is a proud native St. Louisian who has a passion for St. Louis and Mizzou Sports, horticulture, community service, good food experiences and her family. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Alexis and her husband, Corey live in Maryland Heights and have a beautiful spunky little girl. A personal goal for them is to raise their daughter as a die hard Cardinals fan, scholar, activist and philanthropist.
Amy Enkelmann-Reed
Fine Art

MFA University of Iowa – Painting/Printmaking
BFA University of Oregon – Painting/Ceramics

Amy has been an art educator for more than 20 years, and an artist since her first drawing class in high school. Before coming to Crossroads, Amy taught at the university level for 19 years, teaching drawing, design, and painting for Colombia College, DePaul University, Barat College, and Olive Harvey Community College in Chicago. Amy returned to St. Louis when her oldest daughter was born, and held a lecturer position in studio art at Webster University for 14 years. She was invited to teach art for middle school at St. Cecilia, and fell in love with the energy and enthusiasm that middle school students brought to her art class. Amy has exhibited her work locally at the Sheldon Art Gallery, Philip Slein, Bruno David Gallery, as well as other local and regional galleries. She enjoys camping with her husband and two daughters, yoga, biking, and keeping up with their small urban farm in Maplewood.
Becky Ford Haffner
College Counselor

MA Washington University – English
BA University of Notre Dame – Psychology and English

Becky is a dedicated reader, writer, and learner. A St. Louis native, she went to college at Notre Dame, studying English and psychology. She returned to St. Louis for graduate school at Washington University, where she taught in the Writing 1 program and studied American Literature, focusing on literature for children. She begin her career as a high school teacher in 2011, coming to Crossroads in 2013. When she isn’t reading, she might be writing, knitting, camping, taking pictures for yearbook, or spending time with family.
Bob Beatrice

Athletic Director
Head Coach Girls’ Volleyball, Girls’ Basketball & Boys’ Baseball

BA Catholic University – Philosophy

Coach Beatrice is in his 20th year at Crossroads College Prep and has had a great deal of success in the South Central Athletic Association (SCAA). His teams have won five conference championships and have been the runner-up in a number of District Championship games. The teams that he puts on the court and field have a reputation for being aggressive and fast-paced, and play with a great deal of passion and energy. Bob played college baseball at The Catholic University of America. He served as the Assistant General Manager of the New York Yankees Class A affiliate in Virginia and coached college baseball at East Stroudsburg University. Coach Beatrice spent nine years at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC, where he served as a football, basketball, and baseball coach. He currently is the Commissioner of the South Central Athletic Association.
Brian Parsons

MEd University of Cincinnati – Secondary Education
BA DePauw University – English Composition

Brian came to Crossroads in 2018 after bouncing around the Midwest for most of the past 17 years. After spending a year in the public affairs department at Monsanto, his family relocated to Cincinnati where he earned his Master’s degree in Secondary Education. He taught high school English and coached golf and tennis for almost six years. Following another move to Grand Rapids, MI, he spent the next seven years working as an advisor for the TRiO program and teaching first-year writing seminars at Aquinas College. Now back in St. Louis, Brian and his family have settled in Webster Groves. He is married to his college sweetheart, Jillian, and they have two wonderful kids, Megan and Colin. When not teaching, he is an avid reader of non-fiction and tries to play as much golf and tennis as his family’s schedule allows. He dreams of one day playing in Scotland and Ireland.
Brittyne Fitzgerald
Social Studies

BA Abilene Christian University – Political Science
BS Abilene Christian University – Secondary Education

Brittyne has been teaching American history and government courses since 1999 and serves as the ISACS representative for Crossroads. She enjoys teaching AP courses and encouraging juniors and seniors to think and write more critically while becoming more engaged in our political system. She is passionate about fitness and is a committed runner, weight lifter, and SPIN instructor. She enjoys the three girls that call her mom!
Carrie Shaughnessy
Learning Strategist

MA Lindenwood University – Education
BS University of Evansville – Special Education K-12, Elementary, Middle School Language Arts

Carrie loves working with people, learning, and growing. She has been in education for more than 30 years. Her career has encompassed 15 years of teaching with the Special School District of St. Louis County and 15 years of classroom teaching in the Parkway School District. Carrie recently retired from full-time teaching to explore the next part of her journey to serve. She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, reading, and music. Carrie has been married to John for 28 years, and together they have three sons, one beautiful daughter-in-law and two adorable dogs. It is with enthusiasm and joy that she is part of the Crossroads community and is passionate about working with young people to become successful.
Chiriga Bogan-Garrett

MA Webster University – Non Profit Management and Leadership
BA Harris-Stowe State University – Business Administration

Chiriga came to Crossroads with more than 16 years in the field of communications and 12 years of business. An entrepreneur at heart, she's had several businesses that focused on the immense expression of self through art, meditation and positive energy. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband and their four children; one of which is a current student of Crossroads.
Christa Denney
Fine Art

MFA Rochester Institute of Technology – Photography and Ceramics
BFA The University of the Arts, Philadelphia – Photography and Printmaking

Christa is a member of our Fine Arts Department with more than 25 years of experience as an art educator. Christa earned her BFA in photography and Printmaking from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and her MFA in Photography and Ceramics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Christa has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and Maryville University. She has also taught at The Craft Alliance and at COCA, working with a wide range of students from kindergarteners to adults. Christa has received a number of awards and grants for her artistic endeavors and her work has been included in various exhibitions regionally and nationally.
Cliff Sodergren
BS Southeast Missouri State University – Engineering Physics, and Mathematics (minor)

Cliff first discovered a love for physics as a high school student at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. He enjoys hands-on activities, whether assisting others with car maintenance or attempting repairs on their well-aged house in south St. Louis, where he lives with his beautiful wife, Jen, his adorable daughter, Lizie, and their two dogs. He also enjoys working with teenagers and has spent most of his career working with students in various capacities, including at Crossroads since 2009. When he has spare time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors, watching good movies, and helping with his church’s youth group. He attributes growing up as a Cubs fan for giving him the ability to hope against all odds, and he says he is still in blissful shock that the Cubs actually won the 2016 World Series.
Debra Mein

MA Kansas State University – Theater
BA University of Saint Mary – Theater

Debra brings nearly 20 years of professional and educational theater experience to Crossroads. Passionate about quality theater programming for students of all ages, she has worked as an actor, director, and teaching artist throughout the country with Literally Alive NYC, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Historical Perspectives for Children, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte as highlights. After moving to St. Louis, Debra created multi-disciplined theater, music, and movement classes designed for infant to middle-school students. Debra lives in the Southampton neighborhood with her spouse, two children, and two hairless cats.
Diana Corey
World Languages

MA University of Kansas – Teaching and Curriculum
BA University of Kansas – Chinese Language and East Asian Language and Culture, Cello Performance (minor)

Diana has a passion for people, language, and music. She's a former member of the KU Symphony Orchestra and chamber ensemble, has studied, worked, and traveled throughout China, and has taught full immersion Chinese at the Middlebury-Monterrey Language Academy summer program. Diana lives in North St. Louis with her husband, Michael, and three children. Diana gets excited about world travel, theme parties, hors d'oeuvres, karaoke, board games, and cello covers of popular music.
Emily Owen

MS Antioch University – Environmental Studies
BS Cornell University – Natural Resources

Emily loves learning, teaching, and participating in a school community. In class, she challenges students to discover the relevance of science in everyday life and to learn about the world by asking questions and solving problems using a scientific lens. Emily's first love is the outdoors, and a few of her adventures include canoeing the Wilderness Waterway in the Everglades, a 30-day mountaineering course in Alaska, and hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. Her biggest adventure, so far, has been foster parenting for six years and adopting her three amazing kids. She moved to St. Louis in 2013 to be closer to her extended family. In addition to her children, Emily shares her home in Maplewood with a wonderful dog and two very affectionate cats.
Gretchen Roberts
Coordinator of Student Life / Social Studies

MA Rockford University – Instructional Strategies
BS Southern Illinois University – Carbondale – Elementary Education

Howard Granok

PhD Washington University – Molecular Genetics
BS Emory University – Biology, Religion (minor)

Howard has been teaching biology at Crossroads College Prep since the 2000-2001 school year. Before that, he taught at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, Missouri. Howard earned a BS in biology from Emory University in 1988, and a PhD in molecular genetics from Washington University in 1996. In addition to chairing the science department, Howard also coaches the state- and nationally-ranked chess team. Howard loves to share his passion for the sciences with his students, many of whom have gone on to careers in STEM fields (the greatest reward for a career science teacher). Howard also loves to fly fish, and ties his own flies. He is married to Jodi Granok, a professional organizer and Saint Louis native.
Jad McDaniel
World Languages
BA Washington University – Spanish

Jad followed in his wonderful mother’s footsteps of becoming a teacher and has more than 16 years of experience teaching Spanish. He has a passion for traveling the world, learning about different cultures, and speaking Spanish and French. Jad majored in Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis, studied for a year at the University of Salamanca in Spain, and later took Masters courses in Madrid. He enjoys volunteering and visiting family and friends in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Costa Rica, India, Turkey, Norway, as well as many other parts of the world. Jad is very interested in learning traditional dishes from around the world to cook with his students and for friends. He teaches a life skills class to assist high school students learn the art of independent living by infusing together real-life activities, such as cooking, organic gardening, budgeting, and meditation. He enjoys supporting the city of St. Louis, living more green, eating at new restaurants, listening to music, walking, film, art, animals, collecting unusual objects, campfires, and admiring Stephen Colbert.
Jane Ehrhart

Jason Heisserer
Head of School

EdD Maryville University – Educational Leadership
MA Maryville University – Educational Leadership
BS Southeast Missouri State University – Secondary Education and English
Certifications in secondary English, the principalship, and the superintendency Kellogg Executive Scholar

Jason began as the Head of Crossroads College Prep in July 2014. He earned a BS in Secondary Education and English, magna cum laude, from Southeast Missouri State University and an MA and EdD in Education Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis. Previous to this appointment, Jason served as a public school educator for 18 years in St. Louis County, seven as a high school English teacher, six as a middle school assistant principal, and five as middle school principal, in the Bayless, Northwest R-1, Parkway, and Webster Groves school districts. Jason has presented at various local, state, and national conferences on topics related to teacher leadership and socially just and equitable schools and teaches the graduate School of Education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis where he occasionally serves on dissertation committees for school leaders interested in social justice. Jason lives in the city, enjoys a regular yoga practice, and reads and writes daily.
Jemile Dragovic Shinn
Communications Coordinator
BSLA Georgetown University - French, International Business

Jemile joined Crossroads in September 2018, supporting the Advancement team on marketing and communications efforts. Her duties include developing content for Crossroads's newsletters, magazine, social media, and other forms of print and digital communications. She brings 16 years of experience with her from the private sector and higher education. Most recently, she was Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at Washington University in St. Louis. A native of Connecticut, she lives in University City with her husband and two children.
Joe Stickley

MAT Webster University – Mathematics
BS University of Missouri – Columbia – Mathematics

Joe has been teaching upper level math at Crossroads for 13 years and serving in his current role of Math Department Chair for the last eight. In addition to his academic pursuits, Joe has a thriving musical career as an award-winning, locally and nationally recognized, singer/songwriter. With the release of his debut album, "Friendship's Quiet" in 2003, Joe was named Best Singer/Songwriter by the Riverfront Times. Joe has since released five studio albums, the most recent the debut of his current Americana/Folk act, Falling Fences. Joe and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, who teaches first grade at North Glendale Elementary, are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Juliet and Vivian.

Ken King

Practical Arts

MMR University of Georgia – Marketing Research
BA Southern Methodist University – Economics

Kristen McCullough
World Languages

Mark Norwood
Math / Philosophy / Coordinator for Good Work

MA Washington University – Education
BA St. Louis University – Philosophy and Theology

Mark has been teaching middle school for more than 25 years, 15 of them at Crossroads. Mark lives in St. Louis City in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, now often called The Grove. Mark was a double major in philosophy and theology at Saint Louis University and went on to get a Masters in Education at Washington University. Mark is married to Beth Obertino, and their two children are Crossroads graduates. Hannah (class of 2009) is getting her PhD in social work at the University of Chicago and is interested in immigration, youth, and education. Josh (class of 2011) is a weekend woodworker and a weekday mechanical engineer starting his third year working at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. Mark loves tea and will happily make a cup for you if you stop by the MakerSpace.
Marti Wooff
Director of Business and Operations

MA McKendree University – Education
MBA Amber University
BS SIU – Edwardsville – Business Administration/Accounting

Marti moved back to this area to be closer to family after working most recently as the Business Manager of Arbor Montessori School in Atlanta, GA. She has more than 20 years of experience across a wide spectrum of industries and holds advanced degrees in both Education and Business. Her experience includes accounting, administration, facilities, human resources, and various other operational areas. Marti enjoys spending time with her family and friends and reading.
Matt Cooper

PhD University of Pittsburgh – English
MA University of Pittsburgh – English
BA University of Virginia – English, (Minor - French)

After completing his graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, Matt taught as a visiting lecturer at Gothenburg University (Sweden) for three years before moving to St. Louis with his wife Ivy, an art history professor at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He has served as an adjunct instructor at Webster University, and spent the past twenty years at Lindbergh High School, teaching both the English and the Theory of Knowledge courses in the International Baccalaureate program. In 2016, he published his first novel (Ground Lines), and is currently working on a collection of short stories, as well a scattered handful of poems. (Perhaps one day, he tells himself, they will be rendered marginally less scattered.) Children? Two. Cats? Two. Garden beds? Four, and growing.
Mike Pomatto
Social Studies

MA University of Missouri – St. Louis – History
BA Knox College – History and Economics

Mike is in his sixth year at Crossroads and his 27th year as an educator. He has taught many subjects in his time in the classroom, primarily World History, Economics, and subjects related to Political and Economic ideas and philosophy. He also teaches two courses in the Makerspace at Crossroads. He earned a BA in History and Economics from Knox College where he also lettered in football and baseball. He earned an MA from the University of Missouri - St. Louis in history. Part of his graduate work was done at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, where he studied Polish language and history. Mike coaches the Girls' Varsity basketball team at Crossroads and is himself an avid weightlifter. His wife DeAnn is also an educator, and with her he has two children, Nicole and Ella (Crossroads class of 2018). When not at school, Mike is reading, in his home shop building something, or enjoying a middle-aged hipster life in the Cherokee neighborhood of the city.
Mike Rust
Mathematics Department

Rebecca Spears
School Director

MA Saint Louis University – Public Administration
BA University of Missouri – Columbia – Sociology
Teachers Certification – Mathematics Teacher – Grades 5-9

Rebecca is a University of Missouri – Columbia graduate who went on to teach and serve in administration in Memphis, TN before making St. Louis her home to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from St. Louis University. Before coming to Crossroads, Rebecca worked as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for Teach For America St. Louis, where she coached teachers around culturally responsive pedagogy, rigorous planning, classroom culture, and systems that build equity. Rebecca, and her husband Everett, are proud and grateful parents of their son, Gillespie. When Rebecca is not working you can find her exploring the city with her family, probably in a music shop, listening to live music, or finding the newest local food treat!
Rich Moore
Facilities Manager
University of Missouri – Columbia

Rich has been Facilities Manager at Crossroads since 2001. He attended the University of Missouri – Columbia. Rich’s outside interests include Cardinals baseball, reading, movies, and volleyball.
Sara Chrisler
Business Manager
BS University of Missouri – St. Louis – Business Administration

Sara has been at Crossroads for more than 30 years and has seen many transformations of the school, including working for every Head of School since the founder, Arthur H. Lieber. Sara received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. She loves to spend her free time with her nieces and nephews (her “babies”), go to movies, and listen to books. Sara spends every summer vacation in Rhode Island, the most beautiful place on earth.
Sarah Pierson Wolff
English / New Colleague Mentor

MA New York University – English Education
BA Colgate University – English

Sarah has been at Crossroads for more than 20 years, moving here from New York City where she also taught English in an independent school committed to academic excellence in a diverse and inclusive community. Sarah earned her BA in English and Education from Colgate University and her MA in English Education from New York University (valedictorian in 1990). She has taught many English courses, from 7th through 12th grade and served in a variety of administrative positions. Her first love is the classroom, and anything to do with kids, books, writing, and ideas (though time spent on the coast of Maine is a close second). She chose to settle with her family in St. Louis right around the corner from Crossroads, making her commute a quick five-minute walk, and making this community more than just her workplace.
Sarah Tolch

MS St. Louis University – Chemistry
AB Smith College – Chemistry
Teaching Certifications – Chemistry 9-12, General Science 5-9

Sarah began teaching while in graduate school. She quickly realized that she loved sharing science with her students and decided to go into the classroom rather than the research lab. Sarah moved to St Louis in 2002 to teach 7th-12th grade at Thomas Jefferson School. After 6 years at Thomas Jefferson, she moved to MICDS. While at MICDS, Sarah taught Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in the Upper School and was the Director of the Summer Academy. She realized that she missed the energy of a middle school classroom, so she was excited when the position opened at Crossroads and she could join such an active and energetic community. Sarah is married and has a daughter and three dogs. As a St Louis transplant, Sarah loves the zoo and the many restaurants the region has to offer. Cooking is one of Sarah's favorite hobbies. In fact, her macaroni and cheese has won awards at competitions!
Shadi Peterman
Social Studies

MAT Washington University – Education/Social Sciences
BA Washington University – Anthropology (History, Political Science, and Persian minors)

Shadi began teaching social studies at Crossroads in 2010. Shadi attended Washington University in St. Louis for both undergraduate and graduate school. She holds a BA in anthropology (with minors in history, political science, and Persian) and an MAT in social studies education. As a native St. Louisan, Shadi enjoys teaching at a school that celebrates the diversity of St. Louis and takes advantage of its proximity to many of St. Louis’s great institutions. She does not, however, enjoy Imo’s pizza. Shadi currently serves as the chair of the Social Studies department.
Susan Kane

MAT Webster University – Education
BA Ohio State University – Speech and Hearing Science

Susan received her Bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing from The Ohio State University and her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Webster University. Her teaching experiences include, (but are not limited to) preschool, elementary school at MICDS, being the Resource Room teacher for elementary and middle-school students at Epstein Hebrew Academy, and being a home-school teacher for 12 years for academically or behaviorally challenged students in both middle and high school. Susan continues to enjoy reading, reflective writing and new knitting patterns, but her two newly adopted grandchildren are her blessing and her joy.
Tom Walsh
Technology Coordinator / Computer Science

MS Fontbonne University – Computer Education
BS Southeast Missouri State University – Secondary Education – Social Studies

Tom has more than 30 years of teaching experience much of it at Crossroads College Prep. He currently serves as Technology Coordinator and Network Administrator for the school as well as teaching AP Computer Science Principles and Computer Programming. He began his career at Crossroads teaching in the History Department, and taught many courses including AP US History, Modern World History, United States History, and US Government and Politics. Tom and his wife Tammy have three grown children – an intensive-care nurse, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, a college student, and two grandchildren.