Caledonia, Minn., offers two parochial schools which include St. John’s Lutheran School and St. Mary’s School. For the 2023-2024 school year, St. John’s hired no new teachers while St. Mary’s hired two new teachers. St. Mary’s warmly welcomed both Ryan Pitts and Theresa Ellenz to the Catholic school family.
This will be Pitts’ first year teaching, where he will be educating young minds in both physical education and technology. Students from preschool through the eighth grade will have Pitts for physical education, while students in kindergarten through the eighth grade will have Pitts for technology class. Pitts’ favorite part of teaching so far has been the students. His goal for the year is to help students stay physically fit and advance their knowledge in technology. When Pitts is not busy teaching, he can be found coaching football and basketball in addition to hunting and fishing.
Pitts is originally from Caledonia and currently lives in town. He was drawn to start his teaching career at St. Mary’s due to the location, amazing staff, and the opportunity to work with kids.
This first-year teacher originally wanted to become an educator. In addition to pursuing education, Pitts also pursued another career path where he now runs his own business concurrent to teaching.
Unlike Pitts, this will be Ellenz’s ninth year teaching. Ellenz previously taught in Waukon, Iowa, for eight years. In the last eight years Ellenz spent two years as a teaching assistant, one year teaching second grade, and five years teaching sixth grade. This year, Ellenz once again finds herself teaching sixth grade in addition to fifth grade religion, English and writing. Ellenz hopes to grow and learn new things as an educator over the course of the school year. Her goal is to implement a classroom environment where students are able to learn not only from her but from each other as well.
Ellenz grew up just outside Caledonia on her family’s farm. She also attended grade school at St. Mary’s School. Ellenz’s ties to the area and her history with St. Mary’s led her to continue her teaching career there. Ellenz finds teaching at St. Mary’s this year to be a neat opportunity. She enjoys seeing the familiar faces of friends whom she attended grade school with and how these past friends now send their own children to attend St. Mary’s.
Ellenz wants to thank the St. Mary’s staff and community; she feels they have been very welcoming and helpful in making her transition to St. Mary’s easier.
Welcome, Pitts and Ellenz!