We are excited to welcome the following members of our faculty and staff. When you have the opportunity, please introduce yourself to them.
Parul Bhatia - Upper School Computer Science And Robotics
Parul has over 26 years of experience in teaching computer science, including the last five at Visitation Catholic School. She also taught computer science at Notre Dame de Sion as well as in California, India and the United Kingdom.
Parul holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master’s degree in economics from Meerut University in India, and bachelor's and master’s degrees in computer science from Edinburgh Napier University. She also earned a post-graduate degree in education, with an emphasis in computer science, from Brighton University in the United Kingdom.
Helena Boldt - Third Grade Faculty Assistant
Helena joins the Pembroke Hill third grade team this year. She has been a research technician at Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and a research assistant and laboratory manager in the Harvard Medical School's department of genetics and at Boston Children's Hospital.
She has a master's of science in agricultural biology from Hohenheim-University in Stuttgart, Germany.
Elise Bourgeois - School Nurse
Elise began June 13 as the school nurse. Last year she was the nurse at Banneker Elementary School in the Kansas City, Kan. School District.
A registered nurse, Elise has also been a member of the nursing staff at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and Children's Hospital in New Orleans, La.
A graduate of the University of Alabama, Elise holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
Anya Brandmeyer ’19 - Early Years Faculty Assistant
Anya will be a faculty assistant in early years. She served as a long-term substitute assistant in the spring. Additionally, Anya was the lead teacher for the Extended Day early years program.
Anya is pursuing a degree in early childhood education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Hannah Draut - Middle/Upper School Speech And Debate And Ward Parkway Campus Roving Substitute Teacher
Hannah joins the Ward Parkway Campus this year as a middle and upper school speech and debate and roving substitute teacher. She served as an assistant speech and debate coach last year.
She is a graduate of Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga., where she received her bachelor of arts degree in communications.
Robert Fabela - IT Network Administrator
Robert joined PHS in May as the network administrator in the IT department. He came to Pembroke Hill from Nebraska Furniture Mart, where he worked as an infrastructure engineer and store support technician.
Robert will graduate in December with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity and network assurance from Western Governor University in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also possesses an associate's degree in information technology and networking from Johnson County Community College.
Nathan Gehoski - Upper School English Teacher
Nathan recently served as a creative writing and graduate instructor at the University of Georgia (UGA). He has also participated in the Georgia Review Readers Program and was a workshop facilitator and coordinator for UGA's Spotlight on the Arts: Young Writers program.
Nathan holds a bachelor of science degree in microbiology from the University of Michigan and a master of arts degree in creative writing from Eastern Michigan University. He is expected to receive a doctoral degree in English in August.
Julie Hess - Upper School Learning Coach
Julie comes to Pembroke Hill from the Blue Valley School District, where she was a teacher in the gifted education department for the last five years. She previously worked in the Manatee County, Fla. School District as an instructional data specialist, reading coach and gifted program coordinator.
Julie earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and education from Albright College and a master of arts degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Tampa, Fla.
Dr. Christa Hughes, Upper School Science Teacher
Christa will join the upper school science department in the fall. She recently was an assistant professor in the biology and chemistry department at Baker University. She has also been a reviewer for the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition and an AP Biology exam reader.
Christa received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Truman State University and a doctorate in cancer biology and experimental therapeutics from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Dr. Lisa Lauck - Middle School Assistant Division Head
Lisa has over 13 years of experience in elementary, middle and secondary education. For the last two years, she served as principal of Nativity of Mary School in Independence. She has been an educator at Excelsior Springs Middle School, Notre Dame de Sion and Central High School in St. Joseph.
Lisa holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from William Jewell College; a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction from Rockhurst University; and a doctorate in educational leadership from Baker University.
Amanda Lehotak - Athletic Director
Amanda started in June as the new Pembroke Hill athletic director. She has nearly 20 years of college coaching experience - most recently with Penn State University where she was the head softball coach for eight years. Prior to Penn State, Amanda led the softball programs at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Jacksonville University.
Under Amanda’s leadership, her programs improved and attained new levels of achievement, including a fourth place finish in the Big Ten and the establishment of team and individual records. Amanda helped 65 Penn State student-athletes earn Academic All-Big Ten honors and 16 receive Big Ten Distinguished Scholar accolades. Additionally, she developed four first-team All-Big Ten recipients and five second-team honorees.
In 2020, Amanda left coaching and joined The Advocates, a search firm serving the legal community. She managed search consultants and oversaw the operation of the Denver office as well as being tasked with opening their Los Angeles office.
A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, she holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences/human sciences. During her college career, Amanda was a two-year starter on the UNO Mavericks softball team and earned third team All-American and first team All-Region honors.
Mike Marcase - Accounts Receivable & Billing Specialist
Mike started at Pembroke Hill in March as the accounts receivable and billing specialist. He came to PHS from Village Shalom where he served as a billing coordinator. He has also worked for Adventist HealthCare, Cerner and AT&T.
A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Mike earned a bachelor's degree in political science.
Sarah Maas - First Grade Faculty Assistant
Sarah joins PHS from The American School in Switzerland, where she was a fourth grade teacher for the last nine years. Before teaching in Switzerland, she taught at Della Lamb Charter School in Kansas City, Mo.
Sarah holds a bachelor of arts degree in physiology from the University of Missouri - Kansas City and a master's degree in education from Rockhurst University.
Amber McWilliams - Director of Annual Giving
Amber began her role as director of annual giving in March. She came to PHS from the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis where she served as the director of special events. She has also worked at the Special Olympics Missouri and United Way of Greater Kansas City.
Amber studied special education, sociology and behavioral sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Zacharie Méjean - Upper School French Teacher
Zacharie comes to PHS from Académie Lafayette where he taught for the last 11 years. The last five years he served as a fourth grade team leader. He has also been a French adjunct professor at the University of Missouri - Kansas City.
Zacharie holds a bachelor's degree in modern literature and a master's degree in teaching French as a second language from Stendhal University in Grenoble, France. He also earned an education specialist degree in elementary school principalship from the University of Central Missouri and is working toward a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.)
Kim Renetzky - Third Grade Faculty Assistant
Kim returns to Pembroke Hill after teaching fourth grade last year at Proctor Elementary School in the Independence School District. From 2018 to 2021, Kim was a third grade faculty assistant at PHS with Karen Wilson. Kim also taught at Summit Christian Academy.
She received a bachelor of science degree in special education from William Woods University and a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Missouri.
Dr. David Reynolds - Middle School English Teacher And Dean Of Students
David moves from the lower school the middle school this year to teach English.
David retired from a long career as a teacher and principal in California prior to returning to Kansas City and joining Pembroke Hill.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and French from the University of Central Missouri, a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Miguel Rivera-Taupier - Upper School Spanish Teacher
Miguel comes to Pembroke Hill from Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, N.J., where he developed AP Spanish tests and served as an assessment specialist. Previously, he was an associate professor at Missouri Western State University where he taught all levels of Spanish. Miguel also was a visiting assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish literature from the Universidad Católica del Perú; a master of arts degree in Spanish from Tulane University; and a doctorate degree in Spanish literature from the University of Virginia.
Mary Kate Roach - Marketing/Communications Specialist
Mary Kate Roach joined the communications office as a marketing/communications specialist in February. She came to Pembroke Hill from WDAF Fox 4 where she served as a news producer since 2016. Prior to Fox 4, Mary Kate was a news producer with KCRG TV-9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Among her honors, she is a 2014 Upper Midwest Regional EMMY Award winner for best daytime newscast.
A graduate of Drake University, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications with a major in broadcast news.
Paul Schlimm - Director Of Operations
Paul started July 1 as the director of operations at PHS. Paul served 33 years in the U.S. Army, managing logistics and operations in many different environments. Retiring as a colonel in 2016, Paul’s assignments involved multiple roles, including supporting the Afghan Armed Forces in overseeing more than 120 construction projects on numerous sites.
Since retiring from the Army, Paul was a director, deputy program manager and assistant professor with the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In this position, he managed one of five academic departments focusing on logistics and change management. Paul also developed curriculum and materials for numerous courses while teaching change management.
Paul holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Washington & Lee University; an MBA from the University of Phoenix; and a master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies.
Sandy Smith - Director Of Finance
Sandy comes to Pembroke Hill with 30 years experience in the finance and accounting industry. She recently served as vice president, finance and accounting, for Lindt & Sprungli North America, Inc.
Prior to this position, Sandy was with Hallmark Cards, Inc., for 25 years in numerous roles including finance director for the North America Social Expressions business. Additionally, she helped launch the Gifts Business Unit as the finance director. Her final position with Hallmark was senior finance director of accounting operations. Sandy began her career with Ernst & Young as an auditor.
In addition to her professional experience, Sandy is a member of the Accounting Advisory Board at the University of Missouri-Columbia and previously led campus recruiting.
A graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia, Sandy holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting. She is also a certified public accountant.
Gregory Spiegel - Upper School Science Teacher
Gregory has been in education for 26 years. For the last 14 years, he taught chemistry and physics at Staley High School. He was also in the science departments at Oak Park and Plattsburg High Schools. In his career, Gregory has been a science department chair, and Science Olympiad and Science Bowl coach. He's also worked at Maple Woods Community College as an adjunct chemistry instructor as well as an instructor for AP physics and chemistry lab activities with Accellus Academy.
Gregory earned a bachelor’s degree in cellular biology from the University of Kansas; a master of arts degree in secondary education from the University of South Dakota; and an educational specialist degree in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Jennifer Thompson - Middle School Counselor
Jennifer is a licensed professional counselor who comes to PHS from Denver, Colo. For the past four years, she was a mental health counselor at the Waldorf School. She also served as a school counselor in the Brighton, Colo. School District.
Jennifer received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Indiana University and a master of arts degree in counseling and psychology from Arcadia University in Glenside, Penn.
Gyer Vierthaler - Lower School Faculty Assistant
Gyer has been in education for the last nine years, recently teaching kindergarten students at Crossroads Charter School. He has also served as an educator in the Blue Valley and DeSoto School Districts.
A graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University, Gyer holds a bachelor of arts degree in physical education and exercise science.
Bethany Walker - Lower School Counselor
Bethany is a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist with over 25 years of experience in the mental health and educational fields. During the last three years, she served as a school counselor at Crossroads Charter School. She has also been a school social worker and counselor at Académie Lafayette Charter School, Gordon Parks Elementary School and in the Clinton Public School District.
Bethany earned a bachelor of science degree in social work from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s degree, also in social work, from the University of Kansas.