Faculty & Staff

Becky Ford Haffner

Alison Smith Long

Director of Marketing, Communications, and Development

MTS Wesley Theological Seminary - Theological Studies
BS University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign – Human Development and Family Studies


Alison comes to Crossroads with over a decade of experience in non-profit marketing and communications. She holds a Masters degree in Theological Studies from Wesley Seminary in Washington D.C. and a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Alison loves that her work roots her in story and is thrilled to bring her skills to the Crossroads community. Outside of work, Alison keeps busy with a toddler, a husband, and a rescue pup. She loves reading, deviating from recipes while cooking, Ted Lasso, Chicago sports (Go Cubs!), and bluegrass music. She is not great at running, but does it anyway.

Becky Ford Haffner
Becky Ford Haffner

College Counselor / English 

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


Becky is a dedicated reader, writer, and learner. A Missouri 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 began her career as a high school teacher in 2011, coming to Crossroads in 2013 and becoming College Counselor in 2019. When she isn’t reading, she might be writing, knitting, walking, camping, or spending time with family.
Bob Beatrice
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
Brian Parsons
English

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


Brian came to Crossroads in 2018 after bouncing around the Midwest. 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

Brooke Beatrice

Registrar

BA University of Missouri – Kansas City – Marketing and Entrepreneurship


A Crossroads alumna from the class of 2015, Brooke loves being back in the Crossroads community and getting the chance to make an impact with students and in the education system in her role as registrar. Previously, she worked for Congressman Cleaver in Kansas City where she created a platform, Young Voices Vote, to help younger generations get involved in their communities and in local government. When she’s not working, Brooke loves spoiling her niece, learning new skills, and enjoying her 20s! She’s passionate about supporting local businesses and hopes to start her home design business in the near future.
Celeste Chappuis
Celeste Chappuis
Guidance Counselor

MSW Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis           
BA David & Elkins College


Celeste has been joyfully and gratefully working with students and their families for more than 25 years as a teacher, coach, and counselor.  While attending a small liberal arts college in West Virginia called Davis & Elkins, it became clear that working with children and adolescents would be her life’s work. It was later at Washington University's Brown School of Social Work that she learned the skills to be helpful. Most recently, Celeste served as the counselor at Villa Duchense Oak Hill school--her alma mater. She is a cook, baker, and novice beekeeper; loves to play and watch all sports; and lives with her partner and two rescue golden retrievers.  

Christa Denney
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
Cliff Sodergren
Science
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
Debra Mein
Theater

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


Debra brings over 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
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.
Diana Corey

Erin Duvall

Math

MAT National Louis University – Secondary Math
BA University of Missouri - Columbia – Interdisciplinary Studies


Erin began teaching in 2007 and prior to joining Crossroads, she taught in Chicago, Kathmandu, Nepal and Champaign, IL. Mistakes are her favorite part of the problem-solving process in math class; she encourages her students to appreciate the beauty and the struggle of learning something new. Erin is passionate about finding excuses for herself and her students to leave their comfort zones. Whether that is volunteering to share in class, camping in bear country or navigating a crowded overnight bus in rural Asia. International travel, yoga and spending time in the outdoors feed her soul.  She lives with partner, Mimi,  and a handful of semi-thriving houseplants.

Coming Soon

Ethan Lightfoot

Math

MA Southern Illinois University – Mathematics
BS Southeast Missouri State University – Secondary Education and Applied Mathematics


Ethan is a new math teacher at Crossroads, but comes with experiences ranging from teaching in the public sector to writing standardized test items for high stakes tests. He holds a Masters degree in Mathematics from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale along with two Bachelors degrees from Southeast Missouri State University in Secondary Education and Applied Mathematics. Ethan is a hobbyist that spends his free time developing games, losing at chess, and tinkering with new dinner recipes. The majority of his time is spent with his beautiful newborn, Valerie, his wife, Mariah, and two dogs Ramsey and Teddy.

Coming Soon

Gretchen Roberts

Middle School Humanities

MA Rockford College - Instructional Strategies
BS University of New Hampshire - Political Science
BS Southern Illinois University - Carbondale - Elementary Education with emphasis in Middle School
Administrative Certification - Eastern Illinois University


Gretchen rejoined Crossroads after a year away in Colorado. This year is her 25th year working with middle school students. As the Middle School Coordinator, she feels grateful and proud to be a part of educating our youngest students. Gretchen holds a Masters degree in Instructional Strategies, as well as an administrative certificate. Her undergraduate work includes a Bachelors degree in Political Science and another in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Middle School. Outside of school, Gretchen loves to cook, read, and be in close proximity to water.

Howard Granok
Howard Granok
Science

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
Jad McDaniel
World Languages
BA Washington University – Spanish

Jad followed in his wonderful mother’s footsteps of becoming a teacher and has more than 21 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. Jad is very interested in learning traditional dishes from around the world to cook with his students and for friends. He often 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, helping to organize fun events at our school, eating at new restaurants, listening to music, walking, film, art, animals, collecting unusual objects, campfires, and admiring Stephen Colbert.
Kristen McCullough
Ken King

Sociology
Tennis Coach

Info coming soon!

Bio coming soon!
Kristen McCullough
Kristen McCullough
World Languages
BA University of Missouri – St. Louis – Spanish

Kristen graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a bachelor's degree in Spanish. She taught Spanish at Crossroads from 2008 to 2017 and then returned toward the end of the 2018-2019 school year. She enjoys traveling internationally. In addition to teaching, she also serves as a volunteer minister as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Mark Norwood
Mark Norwood

Co-Head of School
Math

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


Mark has been working in independent schools for more than 30 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 at Ford Motor Company in Detroit. Mark loves tea and will happily make a cup for you if you stop by his room or the office.
Marti Woolf
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.
Mike Pomatto
Mike Pomatto
Social Studies

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


Mike is in his ninth year at Crossroads and his 30th 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 the Polish language and history. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Historical Studies researching Race, Ethnicity, and Ideology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His wife DeAnn is also an educator and, with her, he has two children, Nicole and Ella (Crossroads '18). 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 Pomatto
Mimi Ruthaivilavan
Learning Specialist

Info coming soon!


Mimi holds two masters degrees and has 18 years of experience, as well as licensure as a secondary school learning behavior specialist. Her career objective is "To work with a diverse student population and collaborate with high-achieving staff to create an environment which facilitates academic, social, and personal success" and we're delighted to have her on our Crossroads team!
Photo coming soon

Nick Koenig

Facilities Manager


A St. Louis native, Nick found his way to Crossroads while working with one of the school's vendors. After working onsite and getting to know the community over several years, he was happy to officially bring his many talents to the school as Facilities Manager. When he's not improving our space and keeping Crossroads beautiful and functional, Nick enjoys fixing just about anything and loves exploring the great outdoors with his 13 year old daughter, Angela. They enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and taking care of their newly adopted kitten.

Sara Chrisler
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.
Sara Chrisler

Sarah Aljohani

Math

MA University of Missouri - St. Louis - Mathematics
BS King Saud University - Riyadh - Mathematics


Sarah A comes to Crossroads with 7 years of teaching experience in university level courses . She is a PhD candidate in fifth year working in her dissertation on Leavitt Path Algebra at Saint Louis University. She got her Masters degree in Mathematics from University of Missouri St Louis and a Bachelor's degree of Mathematics from King Saud University in Riyadh. She loves hiking and bike riding.
Sarah Pierson Wolff
Sarah Pierson Wolff

Co-Head of School
English

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
Sarah Tolch
Science

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!
Sarah Tolch
Sarah Wheeler
Receptionist

Associates St. Louis Community College - Meramac - Early Childhood Education


Sarah's smiling face is the first thing most folks see at Crossroads. She came to Crossroads in July of 2021, after a career in early childhood education and working as a nanny. She lives with her fiance TJ and their rescue dog, Michael Scott (the real star of her life). Sarah is happy to talk about anything, especially The Office and Ted Lasso!
Shadi Peterman
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.
Shernina Nichols
Shernina Nichols
Director of Enrollment

BS Washington University – Spanish & Marketing


Shernina oversees all aspects of admission and recruitment at Crossroads. Before returning to Crossroads in 2021 (she taught Spanish and was Director of Admission earlier in her career), Shernina taught Spanish at The New City School for 16 years. She is also a National Geographic Certified Educator. Shernina brings a multicultural perspective to Crossroads. She grew up in Malaysia, attended high school in Santiago, Chile, and was drawn to St. Louis to attend Washington University. Shernina enjoys fitness, the outdoors, and creative arts.
Tom Walsh
Tom Walsh
Technology Coordinator / Computer Science

MS Fontbonne University – Instructional Design and Technology
BS Southeast Missouri State University – Secondary Education


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.