Faculty & Staff
Rev. Walter M. Ciesla — Pastor
Father Ciesla was a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement for eight years before joining the Diocese of Gary in 1977. Ordained to the priesthood at Holy Angels Cathedral in 1981, Father served parishes throughout the diocese, becoming pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka in 1999. He also served as Senior Chaplain and Director of Volunteer Services at the Westville Correctional Center.
Father Ciesla is currently the Diocesan Spiritual Director of the Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima, a board member of Catholic Family Services, and a member of the Diocesan Cemetery Board. In his spare time, Father plays guitar and collects records and digital music.
- B.A. Philosophy, American University
- Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology, Saint Mary of the Lake University
- M.Div, Saint Mary of the Lake University
- Additional studies: Clinical Pastoral Education at Loyola University Medical Center
Brother Shaun Gray — Pastoral Assistant
Prior to joining St. Stan’s, Brother Shaun spent 34 years as the Residential Director for LeMans Academy in Rolling Prairie. He made his First Profession in 1967 and took final vows in 1973.
Brother Shaun’s hobbies include model railroading, woodworking, skiing, and sausage making. He is also a skilled rosary craftsman. One of his favorite quotes is, “You can never learn less, you can only learn more.”
Brother Shaun leads the students in devotional activities and also drives them to many of their field trips.
Mrs. Denise Delaney - Principal
Mrs. Amy Donkersloot — Preschool
Mrs. Donkersloot grew up in Michigan City and graduated from Rogers High School. Both of her parents are teachers and she knew from a young age that she would follow in their footsteps. She began teaching in 1994 and continues to look forward to each day with her students.
Mrs. Donkersloot has been married to her husband Ron for over two decades. They have two children: a son, Ryker and a daughter, Anneke. In her free time, Mrs. Donkersloot is an avid reader, has a passion for technology, enjoys scrapbooking, and loves doing activities with her family.
- B.A. Elementary Education with Computer Endorsement, Purdue University
Ms. Briana Billups - First Grade
Briana earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral sciences from Purdue University and is scheduled to graduate with her Master of Arts degree in professional counseling this spring. Briana believes that engaging students in social emotional learning practices in addition to the academic curriculum is key to solidifying their success as students. Briana is the owner of Life Link Youth Services, a company that is strategically structured to enhance the lives of our youth while focusing on strong character, academic success, emotional resilience, and life readiness. Briana has one son, Jastan, who is her entire world. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, leading worship, and being a sports mom.
Mrs.Tareyn Sebert - Kindergarten
Mrs. Sebert recently graduated from Indiana University South Bend where she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She not only attended college in South Bend, but it is also the place where she grew up. After getting married right here at St. Stanislaus to her husband Nick, she made the move to Michigan City. In the classroom she wants to teach her students with the knowledge they gain, there are endless possibilities as to what they do with it.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Nick, friends, and family. She also loves doing crafts, playing volleyball, and thrifting. Being from South Bend, she is also a huge Notre Dame fan. GO IRISH!
B.A. in elementary education with a concentration in special education from Indiana University South Bend.
Mrs. Denise Delaney — Second Grade
Mrs. Delaney has been teaching for over 25 years and has taught Kindergarten, First grade, and Second grade during her time at St. Stans. Born and raised in Michigan City, she attended Notre Dame Grade School and graduated from Marquette High School.
Her greatest goal in teaching is to help children become the best that they can be. She especially understands the importance of Kindergarten as a year of growth, discovery, and significance for every child.
In her spare time, Mrs. Delaney enjoys spending time with her husband, Damien and her daughter, Kailyn. She loves being outdoors, family vacations, going to the beach (or anywhere sunny), reading, and taking care of her three pets.
- B.S. Elementary Education, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
- Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year
- Kindergarten Endorsement, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Mrs. Terri Bartels — Third Grade
Mrs. Bartels has been teaching at Saint Stanislaus Kostka School for over 10 years, teaching a variety of grade levels during that time. She has been in the third grade classroom for the past five years and views teaching as an honor and a pleasure.
“Having a job that I love is something I am truly thankful for. With each new school year comes a feeling of excitement and anticipation that sparks our enthusiasm as we encounter our fresh learning journey.” Her biggest desire is to pass on her love of reading and writing to her students.
In her spare time, Mrs. Bartels likes to read, write, exercise, hike, cook, and go to the beach. Her favorite activity is spending time with her family. To give back to the community, she volunteers at the soup kitchen.
- Graduate, Summa Cum Laude, Purdue University
Mrs. Theresa Riehm - Fourth Grade
Mrs. Riehm comes from a devout, Catholic family, and she has dreamed of becoming a Catholic school teacher since she was in the 3rd grade. She grew up in Highland with her loving parents, 3 sisters, and 3 brothers, including Fr. Ben Ross and seminarian Robert Ross.
Mrs. Riehm has always loved school and learning. As soon as she could, when she was 17, she got into classrooms and started gaining teaching experience. Although she knew she was ready to be a teacher right out of high school, she knew she had to go to college first to obtain a license. God blessed her with a full-ride scholarship and in 2021, She graduated as valedictorian from Calumet College of Saint Joseph with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Theology. She cannot be more excited to start her career at St. Stanislaus School.
• 2015-2017 (two academic years): Volunteer Catechist Aide for 3rd grade class of 10 students at St. James in Highland, IN.
• June 13th, 2017: Received the Next Generation Hoosier’s Educators Scholarship ($40,000 for 4 years) in exchange for teaching in Indiana for 5 years after College graduation.
• 2017-2018 academic year: Volunteer Catechist for 4th grade class of 9 students at St James.
• 2018-2019 academic year: Volunteer Catechist for 5th grade class of 8 students at St. James.
• 2018: Collected $1,500 in free-will donations (50% over goal) to begin Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori Catechesis program, at St. Stephen’s Church. Used networking and leadership skills, along with passion and dedication, to build/collect all necessary materials in a single year’s time.
• Aug. - Dec. of 2019: Launched first year of Good Shepherd program at St. Stephen’s with 6 students while teaching the same program at St. James with 11 students until pandemic forced shutdown.
• 2020-2021: Student taught 2nd grade at St. John Bosco Catholic School in Hammond, IN.
B.A., Calumet College of Saint Joseph, Valedictorian 2021 Major: Elementary Education, Minor: Theology
Mrs. Jessica Vesecky - Fifth Grade
Mrs. Vesecky has been teaching for 12 years, first in Hammond public schools, then in the Diocese of Gary. She began her career helping students in Kindergarten through eighth grade improve their reading and writing skills, then moved to teaching Kindergarten, First Grade, Third Grade, Fifth Grade, and Sixth Grade reading.
Her favorite part of teaching is making learning fun through games, hands-on activities, and friendly competition. Her love of Harry Potter carries into the classroom beginning with a sorting ceremony at the start of the school year, awarding the House Cup at the end of the year, and incorporating a variety of thematic activities throughout the year.
In her free time, Mrs. Vesecky enjoys spending time with her husband, step-daughters, and the rest of her family. She also loves building Harry Potter LEGO sets, reading, bicycling, and hiking.
Elementary Education degree including a reading endorsement and Communication Disorders minor from Saint Mary's College
Mrs. Diane Borawski — Sixth Grade
Mrs. Borawski’s teaching experience includes everything from kindergarten to directing a prison-based college program — and a good deal in between.
“Lifelong learning” is a saying she likes to share with all her students and she applies it to herself as well, taking courses through Hillside College’s online offerings, and by reading biographies, and nonfiction historical accounts.
Mrs. Borawski enjoys family game nights with her children and sisters and their families, big family dinners, and sitting on her back porch in the sunshine reading a good book while being serenaded by birds.
- B.S., Ball State University
- M.S., University of Nebraska
Mrs. Elizabeth Rohl — Seventh Grade
Mrs. Rohl grew up in Jacksonville, NC, where she met her husband, Nate, while he was stationed at Camp Lejeune with the United States Marine Corps. She graduated from the University of NC- Wilmington then taught 6th grade social studies and math at Northwoods Park Middle School until her husband received orders to San Diego, CA. While in CA Mrs. Rohl stayed at home with her son, Ian. After 3 years in CA her husband retired from the military and the family relocated to his home state of IN. Mrs. Rohl is an avid Pokemon Go player, loves all forms of puzzles, and enjoys board games. -B.A. Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Mathematics and Social Studies- University of North Carolina Wilmington
Mrs. Coren Balsley -Eighth Grade
Mrs. Balsley grew up in North Judson and graduated from North Judson High School. She knew she wanted to be a teacher at a young age when she would play school with her cousins. Mrs. Balsley graduated from Purdue Northwest this year, with a teaching degree. Mrs. Balsley will be celebrating her one year anniversary on September 5th. She has a one year old son, named Eli. In her free time Mrs. Balsley loves to read and draw. She is a huge Harry Potter fan.
Ms. Laura Smith — Art & Teacher Aide
Mrs. Smith’s family has been part of St. Stanislaus parish for five generations and her grandparents helped build the current church and school.
She is a devoted teacher’s aide and loves showing our preschool through fifth grade students how to enhance their own creativity and imagination through the world of art. Her favorite part of teaching is watching the children discover and learn new abilities within themselves.
Ms. Smith has two sons and three cherished grandchildren, two girls and one boy. In her free time, she enjoys golfing, tennis, and any kind of physical exercise. However, her real love is cooking and trying new recipes.
- Graduate, Purdue University