Meet Our Team

Mark Schwerdt

Principal

~ Office Administration ~

Sharyn Tighe

Assistant to the Principal

Amanda Bemis

Front Office

Christina Garand

Admissions & Business

Your Incredible Teachers

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Mrs. Jean Jordan, Preschool Teacher

jordanj@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Jordan is a graduate of North Shore Community College and has been working at St. Francis School since 1990. She began her teaching career as an aide in kindergarten. When the preschool was established four years ago she moved to help develop the program. Mrs. Jordan has two children who are both graduates of Saint Francis School. Her daughter Valarie also became a teacher. Her son Brian followed in his father’s footsteps and became a police officer. Mrs. Jordan has been married to her husband Richard for 36 years and has four beautiful grandchildren.

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Mrs. Lisa McLaughlin, Early Childhood Aide, Lunch Director

mclaughlinl@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. McLaughlin is a graduate of Manchester Community College with a medical assisting degree. She has been working at St Francis School 2014.  She and her husband Richard have been married for 36 years and have four children, three of them are graduates of St. Francis School.  She also has four grandchildren and two of them attend St Francis School.  In her free time, Mrs. McLaughlin loves spending time on Newfound Lake.

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Sister Holly Gauthier, Prekindergarten Teacher

gauthierh@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Sister Holly Gauthier has been a Sister of the Presentation of Mary for 16 years.  The mission of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, to make Jesus Christ known and loved, especially to the young, is deeply rooted in her heart. Sr. Holly graduated from Rivier University in Nashua, NH with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Studies. She has had over 15 years of experience working with young children in a preschool environment, both as a lead classroom teacher and administrator. Sr. Holly is an active member of St. Luke the Evangelist parish. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, volunteering at the parish food pantry, and spending time outside. Read her vocation story

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Mrs. Melissa Nelson, Early Childhood Aide

nelsonm@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Nelson lives in Derry, NH with her husband and their two sons. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Durham where she received her B.A. in Business and a minor in Communications. She started working at childcare facilities in high school and has held various roles over the years. She has worked for Child and Family Services as well as currently with DCYF as a licensed foster parent. Before coming to St. Francis she worked as a paraprofessional in her local school district.

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Mrs. Nancy Chalifour, Kindergarten

chalifourn@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Chalifour is a lifelong resident of Manchester, NH. She received her B.A. Degree from Notre Dame College in Manchester, NH, with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She began teaching 4th grade at St. Francis of Assisi School in 1985. When the school decided to add a kindergarten program in 1987, she developed the program and has been a kindergarten teacher ever since. She and her husband Don have been married 35 years and they have 3 grown children. She is an active parishioner of St. Pius X. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending time at the beach.

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Mrs. Kim Poltak, Kindergarten Aide

poltakk@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Poltak attended the University of New Hampshire where she graduated with a B.A in Psychology. While in school she focused her time studying developmental psychology. She has more than 15 years experience working with children in many different settings. She has worked as a paraprofessional, soccer coach and EFL tutor, to name a few. Mrs. Poltak has two daughters who currently attend St. Francis. She and her family are parishioners at St. Joseph cathedral but often attend mass at St. Francis. When not at school, Mrs. Poltak likes baking sweets and to go skiing in the winter with her family. 

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Mrs. Carey Follansbee, First Grade

follansbeec@stfrancisschoolnh.org

Carey Follansbee lives in Londonderry NH with her husband Steve and her three children Haley, Abby, and Brady. She is a parishioner of St Mark’s Church in Londonderry. Carey is a core member to the Edge youth group program and has taught summer CCD for many years.

Carey received her Bachelor’s Degree in American History from Franklin Pierce College and is currently pursuing her NH teacher certification at NHTI through their TECP elementary education and general special education program.

She has enjoyed working as an aide at St Francis of Assisi School.  She has also worked as a substitute teacher, a special education assistant, and a tutor for the Londonderry School district for over 10 years.

Carey and her family enjoy time spent with their three dogs in York Harbor, Maine. She is blessed to be a part of the St Francis Community.
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Mrs. Karen Guepy, St. Clare Atrium Director and First Grade Aide

guepyk@stfrancisschoolnh.org

Karen Guepy lives in Manchester NH with her husband Greg of 23 years and their 4 children. She is a long time parishioner of St Matthews Church in Windham NH where she has also been the Faith Formation Coordinator for grades K-5 for the past 4 years. At St Matthews, she also enjoys running the Faith and Play program where she teaches young children about the Gospels with puppets and other hands on learning activities. In between fun summer days at Long Sands Beach in York ME, Karen and her family enjoy participating in the Vacation Bible School Program.

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Mrs. Cynthia Lynch, Second Grade

lynchc@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Lynch has been teaching at St. Francis of Assisi School since 1986. She attended St. Francis School for first through eighth grade, and received a BA in Elementary Education from Notre Dame College. Her three children have attended St. Francis. Mrs. Lynch is a Eucharistic Minister for St. Francis of Assisi Parish and she and her husband were also advisors for the parish youth group for 6 years.

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Mrs. Christina Negron, Third Grade, Director of Special Education

negronc@StfrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Negron received her Masters Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Rivier College in Nashua, NH where she also obtained her post-graduate degree in Specific Learning Disabilities.  She has taught both in the public school system and in a parochial school setting.  A mother of three, she resides in Derry with her husband Alfredo, her children, and her two dogs. She enjoys shopping, the beach and participating as a foster parent to a special group of children.  She is a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas in Derry.

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Mrs. Karen Walsh, Third Grade

walshk@stfrancisschoolnh.org

Mrs. Walsh received her Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University in 2001.  Her undergraduate studies were completed at North Adams State College where she earned a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in Sociology.  She has over 18 years of teaching experience working with children grades Pre-K through 5th grade in both general education and special education classrooms. Mrs. Walsh lives in Candia, NH with her husband, three children, and a yellow lab named Martha. The Walshes are parishioners at St Joseph’s Parish in Epping. 

 
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Miss Sarah Levesque, Fourth Grade

levesques@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Miss Sarah Levesque graduated from Holy Family Academy and Rivier University. She worked in Kindergarten and Grade 3 classrooms through America Reads during college. After graduation, Miss Levesque worked as a special needs para-educator, then accepted a position teaching theology at Trinity High School. She is a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Parish in Nashua and a volunteer at St. Gianna’s Place. She enjoys reading, working with the teen band at church, writing for the magazine she runs, playing with her dogs, and exploring the great outdoors. She also loves to hang out with her family, especially her young nephews.

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Mrs. Courtney Ryan, Fifth Grade 

ryanc@stfrancisschoolnh.org

Mrs. Ryan received her Masters Degree in Education from Rivier College and her Bachelors Degree from
UMASS, Amherst. She has taught both in the public school system and in private schools as well. She is
considered a Highly Qualified Teacher per the Department of Education in NH. She is a mother of four
children two of which are adult children and the other two living at home. She resides in Groton, MA
with her husband Kevin, her children, and her two dogs. She enjoys reading historical fiction novels,
crocheting and knitting, and spending time at her cottage in Maine. But most of all, she enjoys spending
time with her family and her two grandchildren. She is a former parishioner of St. Mark’s in
Londonderry and a new member of St. James Church in Groton, MA.

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Mrs. Monique Niemaszyk, Sixth Grade

niemaszykm@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

 

Mrs. Monique Niemaszyk lives in Litchfield, NH with her husband, Mark of 37 years. They have 5 adult children and 4 grandchildren. She is a parishioner of St Marie’s in Manchester. Monique received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Lowell. She has worked as a nurse for 35 years in Lowell and Manchester, homeschooled all five of her children for 18 years, and has taught science from ages kindergarten to college for the past 30 years. She has taken over 150 high school students to the NH science fair during the past 10 years. In addition to science, Monique loves writing and has published 3 award-winning Catholic fiction novels, and recently completed her first Christmas romance screenplay.

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Miss Gabrielle  Berthiaume, St. Clare Atrium Aide, Gym Teacher, Floating Aide

berthiaumeg@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Miss Gabrielle graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 2021 as a High Honor student achieving awards in music, ministry, and environmental science. In high school, she taught Confirmation and family formation classes through her church, where she also volunteered with the youth ministry and music ministry programs. Within her high school, she was an active participant in campus ministry, music ministry, rosary club, environmental club, and her school’s various choirs. After graduating, Miss Gabrielle decided to take a gap year to grow in her faith and do service work in her community, then found her way to St. Francis at the end of February 2022. With five years of teaching experience, Miss Gabrielle has a passion for working with children and introducing them to the person of Jesus Christ. She is an active member of St. Stanislaus Parish in Nashua, NH, where she has been attending since 2020. In her spare time, Miss Gabrielle loves to go on hikes, take kickboxing classes, explore New England towns, and read books (often theological ones) in coffee shops. 

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Mrs. Liz Neville, Speech Pathologist

liznevillenh@gmail.com

Liz Neville is a New Hampshire State certified speech and language pathologist who has been practicing in the field for over 25 years. She has vast experience working both with the preschool and school-age populations.  Her areas of expertise include  speech sound disorders (including apraxia of speech), language-based learning disorders, and expressive and receptive language disorders.

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Mrs. Sheryl Gallagan, Music & Director of After School

gallagans@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Gallagan has been a member of St Francis of Assisi School staff for 22 years. She is a member of the Church choir, a cantor, and a communicant of our parish. Mrs. Gallagan has lived with her husband Brian in Manchester since 1997.  She has two adult children Michael and Megan, both are teachers.

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Mrs. Rose Van Uden, Librarian

vanudenr@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Mrs. Van Uden graduated from Notre Dame College with a BA in Paralegal Studies and from New Hampshire College with a Masters in Business Administration.  She worked for over a decade as a paralegal and as a paralegal educator before joining the St. Francis School staff.  She is currently beginning her 23rd year as School Librarian.  Mrs. Van Uden lives in Manchester with her husband of 33 years, Michael, and has two adult children.  She is a long time parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi.  Mrs. Van Uden enjoys reading, particularly biographies of the saints and American History, cross country skiing, hiking in the mountains, traveling to historic homes of U.S. Presidents, live traditional Irish music and spending time with her family.

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Ms. Sharyn Tighe, Assistant to the Principal, Art Director

tighes@StFrancisSchoolNH.org

Ms. Sharyn graduated from Montserrat College of Art with a BFA in Illustration. She has worked at St. Francis School since 2017, starting as the aide in Kindergarten classroom and teaching art for Preschool through 1st grade. This will be her 3rd year teaching art for all of the grades at St. Francis. She is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and runs both the Baptismal Prep and the Evangelization ministries. She lives in Litchfield with her husband of 17 years, Ken, and their two children, Zachary and Noah. She enjoys painting, reading, and spending time on the Maine coast and at Spofford Lake in NH.

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Mrs. Sue Huettner, Latin Language

dramateacher55@gmail.com

Mrs. Huettner comes to Saint Francis with 25 years of teaching experience at Hampstead Academy. She has taught Theater to grades 1-8 and Language Arts and Latin to grades 6-8. Mrs. Huettner has a Master of Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Salem State University. She is excited to teach at SFS where two of her grandchildren are students. Recently retired, Mrs. Huettner enjoys reading, sketching, and swimming.

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Mrs. Kelly Merryfield, Natural Sciences Outdoor Classroom

k@merryfield.com

Mrs. Merryfield is a graduate of Colby College in Maine.  She is an Advanced Master Gardener with lifetime status and a UMass Green School graduate.  She lives in Mont Vernon with her husband, Leif of 25 years and their two children and an ark of pets.  When not running her garden design business, Mrs. Merryfield can be found somewhere outdoors in the woods, on the water, on a mountain or camping year-round.  She will be teaching Natural Science which is now in its SIXTH YEAR!! Every year we grow our students even more!