Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

We begin the 2018-19 school year with additions to our faculty and staff. Some have moved across the country to join the Rivermont family, while others come from our own backyard. Each brings exceptional qualifications in their education and teaching experiences. We look forward to the special qualities they bring to our Rivermont community and hope you will enjoy getting to know each of them.
Michelle Bibens
Physical Education/Health

We are very excited to introduce our new physical education and health teacher, Michelle Bibens. Michelle holds a Master's in Kinesiology from Western Illinois University and is a graduate of St. Ambrose University. Michelle taught physical education at both the high school and college levels. She received the student-selected "Most Inspirational Teacher Award" at Western Illinois University and the St. Ambrose University Female Intramural Athlete of the Year Award! She is all but dissertation in Health Education. We are very much looking forward to deepening our health education program and bringing her expertise to our physical education program. "I believe the wellness of all of us depends on addressing weaknesses in every aspect of our health. I look forward to helping Rivermont students strengthen every part of their health to find a balance between body, mind, and spirit."
Lynn Cimino-Hurt
US Science

You may already be familiar with Lynn Cimino-Hurt's work with Rivermont last year. She will be taking on additional duties this year assisting with residential life and International programs. Lynn holds a Master's in Experiential Education from Prescott College, Arizona and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Geology from Middle Tennessee State University. Lynn is interested in all things in the natural world, poetry, and connecting with students.
Sarah Coomber
Preschool - 3

Early Childhood welcomes a new face! However, Sarah Coomber is already a familiar face as the mother of rising fifth-grader Alistair Coomber. Sarah holds a Master's of Education from the University of Toronto, Canada, a Bachelor's in Early Childhood from St. Ambrose University and graduated in economics from Carleton College, Minnesota. Sarah and her husband Matthew (St. Ambrose University Theology faculty) are active in the Quad City Community as volunteers. "From the moment I stepped onto the Rivermont campus, I knew that this was the place I wanted to teach. I am thrilled to be joining the Early Childhood team and can't wait to explore our world with my students."
Brenda Corzette

Brenda Corzette joins Rivermont Collegiate as a math instructor although she is actually a returning teacher having taught mathematics at St. Katharine's-St. Mark's! Brenda brings fifteen years of teaching experience in pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry and pre-calculus; she is also experienced in teaching consumer science. Brenda holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa. "I am looking forward to jumping into the curriculum and getting to know my students as well as their families. I am excited about all of the friends I will be making at Rivermont."
Elise Irelan

Please welcome Elise Margas Ireland as our 2018-19 French teacher! Elise holds a Master's in French and Francophone Studies from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in English Linguistics Literature and Civilization from the University of  Poitiers, France. Her teaching experience at the University of Iowa included oral expression and teaching first, second, and third level French. Elise grew up in both France and Thailand; she brings a native speaker level to her teaching. Newly married and recently moved to the Quad Cities area, Elise is excited to join the Rivermont World Language Department. "French is not just a language for me; it is my language, my culture but also many other cultures beyond France. Learning a new language is not just grammar and vocabulary, it is also discovering new cultures and having fun with it!"
Tiffany Johnson
ESL Teacher

Welcome to Tiffany Johnson who as our new ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher is filling a new position designed to support both our International Students and our teachers. Tiffany holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa in linguistics with an ESL concentration. Her teaching experiences include University of Iowa ESL Program oral skills instructor and St. Ambrose Interlink instructor. She was excited to work with the Endangered Languages Project (Nepal) at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She and her husband Matt enjoy traveling and snorkeling. They also have a primo saltwater aquarium which they have partially stocked with their own ocean catches. "I am very excited to become part of the Rivermont community and help develop culture connections between our local and international students."
Kaitlyn Paris
2nd Grade

A big welcome to Kaitlin Paris who will be teaching second grade at Rivermont this year. Katie is well known on the Rivermont campus as both a substitute teacher and a long-term substitute in the second grade last year. She participated in the activities and events of the Rivermont year including parent-teacher conferences. Katie is familiar with the culture of our school and the children we serve and is already familiar as well with all the nuts and bolts of RenWeb and a Rivermont classroom. Katie holds a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Hannibal-LaGrange University, Missouri. She has a "passion for developing innovative standards-based lessons that engage students." Katie is over the moon to join us full time.
Kurt Streicher
Finance & Operations Manager

Kurt Streicher joined the Rivermont family this summer as our Finance and Operations Manager. He comes to us from UnityPoint Health - Robert Young Center for Community Health / Center for Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. Quad Cities where he served as finance manager and chief financial officer for 18 years. Kurt has a Master of Accounting from St. Ambrose University and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin. "I am happy to be joining the Rivermont community and look forward to getting to know everyone." You will find him in the Business Office in the Mansion, so the next time you're on campus stop by and say hello.
Dr. Scott Wellnitz
US Science

Meet Scott Wellnitz, Ph.D. who is set to teach our Upper School students in science this year. His extensive teaching experience and amazing background in research will energize our students. Scott completed his doctorate in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. He was an adjunct professor of Biology at the University of San Francisco and taught honors and Advanced Placement courses at both the middle and high school levels. He and his wife Kari Wellnitz, MD (Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics - Critical Care Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa) are enjoying the move from the San Francisco area to the Quad Cities where they have family.
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