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.
Religion (7th & 8th Grade)
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: Mr. Aitchison loves Iowa, Halloween, Spartan workouts, Calvin and Hobbes, football, and Cookie Jar Blizzards from Dairy Queen. He also has 5 backyard chickens.
Language Arts (8th Grade)
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: Mrs. Solnitzky and her family were surprised with an hour-long ride on the Goodyear blimp the Wingfoot Two in June 2017 in Akron, Ohio.
Math (6th-8th Grade)
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.