Welcome to 6th grade and the OLG middle school. This year we strive to lead our students to gain more independence, build strong relationships with their teachers and peers, and become closer to Christ. Students will be thrilled with all the different learning opportunities they will encounter in all their classes.
6th Grade Math & Science
Mike began his teaching career in 1977 in South Dakota, moved to Minnesota, and began his OLG tenure in 2001. Mike teaches Math, Physical Science, STEM (Automation and Robotics), and LEGO robotics. Mike has undergraduate degrees in Special Education and Middle School Education, with graduate work in adolescent brain development. Mike is the 6th Grade Math Masters coach, and coach of the 5th, 6th ,7th and 8th grade robotics teams. Mike is also an Apple technician for the 1 to 1 program.
6th Grade Religion & Literature
Mr. Dan Cleary teaches 6th grade Religion and Literature. He has worked at Our Lady of Grace since 2008. He received his degrees from the University of St. Thomas in both English and Education. He completed studies in the Catehchism of the Catholic Churth at the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute at the University of St. Thomas/St. Paul Seminary in 2011. He helps lead the OLG Run Club after school in the springtime. Mr. Cleary also serves as an advisor for the OLG Student Council and on the Social Justice Committee. Mr. Cleary went on a mission trip to Ghana, Africa in the summer of 2015 to visit our sister parish and school. In his spare time he enjoys: Star Wars, hockey, British rock music, and his new Golden Retriever puppy: Wembley.
6th Grade Social Studies, Writing & Grammar
Mr. Joe Mortl is a 6th grade writing, grammar and social studies teacher in the middle school. He received a 1-6 Education degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN in 1998. He also received his Master's degree in Education from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 2003. Mr. Mortl has enjoyed teaching at Our Lady of Grace since 2004. He has coached basketball teams and is involved in the school's run club. He also serves on the Staff Development Team, SBG Implementation Team, and Education Committee to work on curriculum, assessment, and staff initiatives. In his free time, Mr. Mortl enjoys sports, exercising, writing, music, and spending quality time with his family.
Welcome to 7th grade! Here students take the next steps in their preparation for high school. Students will be challenged to become more independent in their learning, more aware of the world around them, and more confident in their relationship with God.
7th & 8th Grade Science
Mrs. Caroline Rossow is a 7th grade homeroom teacher at Our Lady of Grace who teaches 7th and 8th Science. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Spanish from the College of St. Benedict in 2012. After college, Mrs. Rossow joined the Lasallian Volunteers where she served in St. Louis, MO teaching at De La Salle Middle School. She went on to receive her teaching license and Master of Arts in Instruction from St. Mary's University in 2014. Mrs. Rossow has been teaching at Our Lady of Grace since 2014. At OLG, she coaches volleyball, helps with Run Club, and is a Student Council Advisor. Mrs. Rossow also coaches high school basketball at Totino-Grace. A fun fact about Mrs. Rossow is that in high school, she won 2 state championships in the same year (Basketball and Track).
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies
Mr. Andy Sherburne is a 7th grade homeroom teacher who teaches 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in the Our Lady of Grace Middle School. Mr. Sherburne received a grades 7-12 Social Science and Education degree from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN, in 2003. He went on to get his Master’s degree in Education from the University of St. Mary’s in 2008. Mr. Sherburne has been teaching at Our Lady of Grace since 2004. He is the lead coordinator of the annual 8th grade Washington DC trip and middle school liaison to the principal. A fun fact about Mr. Sherburne is that in 2008 his wife won the Showcase Showdown on the Price is Right while he shouted “essential” advice from the crowd. 😉
7th Grade Language Arts
Ms. Megan Hahn started at OLG in 2017. She is the current 7th grade Literature and Writing teacher. Megan received a Secondary Education degree and an English degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. As a fun fact, in college Megan spent 5 months studying abroad in South Africa where she worked in a township school and learned about social justice leadership programs. While there, she also had the privilege of meeting Desmond Tutu.
Welcome to 8th grade! We are hoping to provide you with a wonderful final year at Our Lady of Grace. We look forward to introducing you to your kindergarten buddies, presenting you with opportunities to be leaders of the school, watching you grow in your faith with Confirmation, showcasing your talents in the play, and ending your year with graduation and a class trip to Washington D.C.
7th & 8th Grade Religion
Mr. Greg Aitchison is an 8th grade homeroom teacher at Our Lady of Grace who teaches 7th and 8th grade Religion. He also heads the school Confirmation program, leads the 8th grade Peer Ministry team, serves on the Faith Committee, and is the school altar server coordinator. Mr. Aitchison received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from the University of St. Thomas in 2004 and studied Philosophy at Mundelein Seminary from 2004-2005. He went on to receive his Masters in Education from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. After teaching 5th-8th grade Theology for two years in Dallas, Texas, Mr. Aitchison moved to Minnesota where he has been teaching at Our Lady of Grace since 2007. Fun facts, I love Iowa, Halloween, Spartan workouts, Calvin and Hobbes, football, and Cookie Jar Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I also have 5 backyard chickens.
8th Grade Language Arts
Mrs. Claire Solnitzky is an 8th grade homeroom teacher and teaches 8th grade Language Arts in the Our Lady of Grace Middle School. She began teaching at OLG in 2005. Mrs. Solnitzky received a B.A. in English as well as 7-12 Communication Arts certification from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, in 2005. She earned her Master's degree in Education from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in 2008. She is a member of the assessment committee, the school's relicensure representative, and is also one of the co-directors of the 8th grade play. Fun fact: In June 2017, Mrs. Solnitzky and her family were surprised with an hour-long ride on the Goodyear Blimp, the Wingfoot 2, over Akron, Ohio.
6th-8th Grade Math
Maria Gathje teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math, has an 8th-grade homeroom, and has been teaching at OLG since 2014. She attended Our Lady of Grace for grade school and middle school and then went to Jefferson High School in Bloomington. Ms. Gathje attended the College of Saint Benedict and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. She will be completing her Masters of Education through the College of Saint Scholastica in the spring of 2019. Ms. Gathje coaches the 7th and 8th-grade math team and helps coach the run club at OLG. Fun fact, Ms. Gathje swam in college and my favorite candy is Reese's.
Math 7th & 8th Grades
Miss Elizabeth Johnson is a 7th and 8th grade math teacher and technology coordinator at Our Lady of Grace. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle/Secondary Education - Mathematics and a degree in Computer Science from The College of St. Scholastica in 2014. She is currently attending The College of St. Scholastica for her Masters in Education with an emphasis in educational technology. Miss Johnson is expected to graduate in 2019. She began teaching at OLG in the Fall of 2015.