Teacher Bios


Pre-K 3

Teacher: Ms. Bartkowiak

E-Mail: bartkowiaka@smeschool.com

I am so excited to be your teacher. It's going to be a great year full of new friends, new adventures, and new discoveries. I grew up in Cheektowaga, NY and went to West Seneca East Senior. I have a younger sister named Rachel, who is a social worker. I have my bachelor's degree in Childhood Education and a master's degree in Literacy and Early Childhood Education. This will be my first year teaching PreK-3 but before that I taught UPK for three years in the Ken-Ton and Lake Shore school districts and toddlers for four years at a local daycare. I am a lifelong learner and will continue to seek new knowledge and skills! Get ready for a fantastic year!


Pre-K 3 & 4

Teacher: Mrs. O'Grady

 E-Mail: ogradyj@smeschool.com

This is my 12th year teaching preschool and my 2nd at St. Mary's Elementary. I have three daughters that go to St. Mary's. They are in 3rd, 6th and 8th. I've been married for 15 years. My degrees are in Early Childhood Education. I'm looking forward to spending the year with your children learning and having fun. 


Pre-K 4

Teacher: Mrs. Laidman

E-Mail: laidmanj@smeschool.com

After teaching third grade at St. Josaphat Elementary School for three years, I joined St. Mary's Elementary 14 years ago. It has been rewarding to teach second and third grade, as well as Prek-3 and 4, at St. Mary's alongside dedicated and caring teachers. I grew up in northern Vermont and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont. I hope to foster a desire to learn and explore in each child who I teach. My goal is the give the children in my class the best possible learning experience, and to make each school day a great day for every child.






Teacher: Mrs. Michalek

E-Mail: michalekj@smeschool.com

Welcome to Saint Mary's Elementary.  My name is Jennifer Michalek, and this will be my 3rd year teaching kindergarten at SME, and my 15th year as a teacher here. This will be my 25th year of being a Catholic School teacher; with experience in kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth grade. I am looking forward to a wonderful school year!


1st Grade

Teacher: Mrs. Marrano

E-Mail: marranot@smeschool.com

My entire schooling, I attended Catholic schools. I started at St. Mary's Elementary, and then continued at St. Mary's High School. I attended Medaille College and then went to Canisius College for my Masters. I am certified is birth-6th grade. I am also a reading specialist. I completed my Master in Literacy. I have been teaching for 5 years. This will be my second year at St. Mary's and it's great to be at the school I went too!


2nd Grade

Teacher: Mr. Malachowski

E-Mail: malachowskim@smeschool.com

I am a certified teacher in both Childhood education and Early Childhood education.  I have been teaching for 12 years, entering my sixth year at St. Mary's Elementary. I am also a licensed Optician for over 30 years and I will continue to work as an Optician on a part-time basis.  I am married to Nancy, a retired teacher and we have 5 children between them with 10 grandchildren.


3rd Grade

Teacher: Mrs. Cooper

E-Mail: cooperj@smeschool.com

My name is Jessica Cooper and I am very excited to begin my journey at St. Mary's Elementary School with all of you! I grew up in East Amherst, NY with two of my three brothers, mom, and dad. I enjoyed playing soccer, and later running on the track team.  I attended Clarence Schools most of my school career.  After high school, I went off to Niagara University where I received both my bachelor's (2015) and master's (2017) degrees. This will be my first year at St. Mary's and I cannot wait to grow with you all as the year progresses!


4th Grade

Teacher: Mrs. Brinkworth

E-Mail: brinkworthd@smeschool.com

My name is Dianne Brinkworth, this will be my 3rd year teaching 4th grade at SME and the 21st year of my professional teaching career. I've taught almost everything over time, but have spent the most time teaching 3rd grade at Marvin B. Smith School in North Carolina, and remedial and enrichment at St. John Vianney as the Learning Resource/AIS Teacher. I am permanently certified in New York State and hold a certificate in gifted education in North Carolina. I received my under grad from Buffalo State in Elementary Education and my masters from the University of Phoenix in Curriculum and Instruction. I look forward to getting to know all of you and working with your children.


5th Grade

Teacher: Mrs. Pierce

E-Mail: piercec@smeschool.com

My name is Chelcie Pierce, formerly Gramza. Over the summer my husband and I got married!   This is my second year at St. Mary's Elementary and I am so excited to be teaching 5th grade again. I have been teaching for five years. I received my Bachelor's degree from Brockport in childhood education and students with disabilities.  I continued my education at Buffalo State where I received my Master's in public administration.  I am looking forward to another fun filled year of learning. When I am not teaching you can find me running, painting, hanging out with my husband, or playing with our puppy, Lola.



K-5 Religion

Teacher: Mrs. Abbatoy

E-Mail: abbatoyc@smeschool.com

For the 2018-2019 school year I will be teaching K-5 Religion. I have taught 16 years at SME. I also have a Masters in Special Education and a BS degree in Education.


6th Grade

Teacher: Mrs. Farina

E-Mail: farinaa@smeschool.com

My name is Mrs. Farina and this is my second-year teaching 6th grade at SME. I am certified in Childhood Education and Special Education. I received my Master's degree from Medaille College, and my Bachelor's degree from Empire State College.  I am looking forward to making the year engaging and fun for all my students.


Middle School AIS

Teacher: Mrs. Wojnar

E-Mail: wojnarn@smeschool.com

I am a NYS certified teacher in English Language Arts, grades 7-12. I hold a master's degree in Adolescent Education, English and a bachelor's degree in English. I have taught 7th and 8th grade Language Development at St. Mary's Elementary for 3 years. I also facilitate the Creative Writing Academy and Newspaper Academy for STREAM. When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading, writing, or powerlifting.


Middle School Science

Teacher: Ms. Chudyk

E-Mail: chudyks@smeschool.com

I am a graduate of Buffalo State College with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology Education. I am currently a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning with a concentration in Science Education. I hold teacher certifications in Biology, Chemistry, and General Science for grades 7-12. This is my third year teaching at St. Mary's Elementary.


Middle School Math

Teacher: Miss Curry

E-Mail: curryr@smeschool.com

My name is Miss Curry and I am the Middle School math teacher. I will be teaching 7th and 8th Algebra this year. I have been teaching for 4 years in both the middle school and high school settings and this is my first year at St. Mary's Elementary. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even when I was younger. I have always enjoyed helping others learn and grow. I have a Master's degree in Secondary Mathematics and a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  I am looking forward to an exciting year ahead!


Middle School Social Studies

Teacher: Mrs. Morrella

E-Mail: morrellaj@smeschool.com

My love of history goes back as far as I can remember. I hold a Bachelor's degree in history with a focus on World Religions and African-American History from Canisius College and a master's degree in Adolescent Education/Social Studies also from Canisius College. I am New York State certified to teach Social Studies in grades 5-12 and absolutely love teaching middle school. Outside of the classroom, I spend time with my family, try to be outdoors whenever possible and volunteer as a dog walker at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter.



Teacher: Mrs. Connors

E-Mail: connorsm@smeschool.com

Hello! I am excited to start creating art with your children! I will be going into my third year of teaching at St. Mary's. I received both my Bachelor's Degree & Master's Degree in Art Education from Buffalo State College. When I am not at school I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, walking my dog and creating my own artwork of course! I am looking forward to beginning of the school year!




Teacher: Mr. Hunter

E-Mail: hunters@smeschool.com

I grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and came to Buffalo in 1987 to attend college at UB. I received my Bachelor (1992) and Masters (2002) degrees from UB in the field of Music Education. I have been teaching Music and, occasionally, Technology in the diocese of Buffalo for 25 years, as well as a few years in the Lakeshore School District as an elementary band director. I teach private music lessons on flute, clarinet, saxophones, trumpet, trombone, and baritone horn as well as working as an instrument repair technician.



Teacher: Mrs. Trulin

E-Mail: trulinc@smeschool.com

Hola! I am thrilled to be back for my fifth year of teaching Spanish at SME! I graduated Buffalo State College with degrees in Special Education, Elementary Education, and a Concentration in Spanish. My Master's degree is in Literacy from Medaille College.  The Spanish/Latin American culture is a passion of mine and teaching it to students is an incredible experience.  We are going to have a fantastic year!


Campus Minister

Teacher: Mrs. Hoag

E-Mail: hoagb@smeschool.com

My name is Mrs. Hoag and I am so blessed to share our faith with all of you.  I am beginning my 5th year here at SME and couldn't be happier.  In addition to teaching 6th-8th grade Religion, I teach PreK 4 Religion, I am the Campus Minister here at SME, and I am also the STREAM Coordinator for our fine school.  I am currently in graduate school studying to earn a Master's Degree in Religious Education.  I have been married for 23 years and have two grown children in college. I am looking forward to a fabulous year growing in faith, knowledge, and love of our Lord!


Gym & Health

Teacher: Mr. Norton

E-Mail: nortond@smeschool.com

I am a N.Y.S. certified Physical Education/Health Education Teacher and Red Cross certified Lifeguard, who was born and raised in Kenmore, NY.  I earned my undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Adapted Physical Education from SUNY Cortland. I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Sport Management. In addition to my lifelong interest in sports and fitness, I also enjoy music, woodworking, and staying active with friends, family, and my 14-year old pug, Lily.


AIS Literacy

Teacher: Mrs. Gasiecki

E-Mail: gasieckih@smeschool.com

I am very blessed to be a part of the St. Mary's family helping students to achieve success in ELA for the last 3 years! I am a 1997 graduate of Buffalo State College with a Bachelor's of Science in Education and a certification in Childhood Education with a double concentration in ELA and Psychology.  I celebrate my 20th year in teaching this year! Over the years I have taught many grades including: Pre-K, K, 2nd, 3rd and 5th. I am looking forward to another wonderful year here at SME! I love working with all my students and am excited about this year's potential!


AIS Math

Teacher: Mrs. Wojcik

E-Mail: wojcikk@smeschool.com

My name is Mrs. Wojcik and this is my fourth year at SME as the Elementary Math AIS Teacher. I work with grades Kindergarten-5th. It is my job to help students who are struggling with math. I am certified in Childhood Education with a math concentration and am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Childhood Curriculum and Instruction through my graduate program. This program will lead me to a certification in Gifted & Talented education. I work very hard to try to make math fun for my students, especially when they are struggling. 



Teacher: Mrs. Kasinski

E-Mail: kasinskib@smeschool.com

Hello, my name is Becky Kasinski and I am excited to be the new librarian this year!  I graduated from Daemen College with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  I received my Master's degree from UB with a concentration in reading and am also certified to teach secondary math.  Prior to having my children I taught first grade for four years.  I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 14 years, but look forward to getting back in the classroom!



Teacher: Mrs. Misso

E-Mail: missop@smeschool.com

I am so excited to be here! My name is Patricia Misso, and I have been teaching in Catholic schools for over 30 years, with over 25 in Computer education. I have been everything from a contained-classroom teacher in grades 1, 3, and 5 to a Middle School Social Studies, Religion and Homeroom teacher - most times done in conjunction with teaching in the computer lab. I love finding ways to integrate technology into all areas of the curriculum and enjoy collaborating with other teachers to find new ways to use it. I look forward to continued success and new discoveries with the amazing team of faculty and staff at St. Mary's Elementary School.