Dianna Helmberger, Fifth Grade
Dianna Helmberger has been teaching at St. Ambrose since 2006. She is a true local, graduating from Tartan High School and attending Concordia University where she earned a degree in Education and Life Sciences. Mrs. Helmberger also has earned a Master of Education in Differentiated Instruction.
In 5th grade, Mrs. Helmberger hopes she can help her students to become responsible, independent and caring individuals who use God’s word to love and positively influence the world around them. They start this process by being kind and supportive to everyone in class. Mrs. Helmberger encourages her students to be free to show their talents and strengths and to ask for help from the other students in class. She believes when one succeeds, the whole class succeeds. Above, all Mrs. Helmberger demands that the students respect everyone in the class.
Mrs. Helmberger had some great teachers in grade school who were a big influence on her desire to be a teacher. Her experiences working as a nanny and at an extended day program gave her the final realization that teaching was her calling. She loves kids and finds that her perspective as a parent helps her to better understand her students’ lives outside the classroom. Mrs. Helmberger also loves to playing with her children and watching their sporting events, gardening, creating new projects and being outdoors.
“Every year I not only teach new things to my 5th graders, but I learn new things from them as well. I love their curiosity and their inquisitive nature. It encourages me to want to learn more myself! Most importantly, I have learned that when they see me make mistakes, step out of my comfort zone and try new things, they are more likely to do the same.” – Dianna Helmberger
Bridget Hrabe, Fifth Grade
Teaching fifth grade at Saint Ambrose of Woodbury is both a privilege and a blessing. Mrs. Hrabe has been a part of the SAW community for many years and is delighted to be back in the fifth grade classroom teaching full time. Mrs. Hrabe has a degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Benedict and a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from Saint Mary’s University.
Teaching the whole child is something Mrs. Hrabe strives for in her classroom. She believes every child is a special individual who needs a secure, welcoming and stimulating atmosphere where he or she can grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially. As a teacher, she feels the need to provide an opportunity for continual learning and growth and teach students a love for learning. A lifelong student of catholic schools, Mrs. Hrabe is passionate about the opportunity to teach more than content. She sees teaching as an opportunity to identify and develop a spiritual self through community, worship and prayer.
Having teachers who made her feel that anything was possible if she worked hard enough is what made Mrs. Hrabe who she is today. She has a strong desire to pass this idea on to her students. Through hands-on activities students learn by doing. She enjoys running as it keeps her brain clear and stress level down. She strives to teach her students that although a project or problem may be difficult if they continue to push and fight for the ultimate goal, the reward is sweet.
“Dream…say yes to all possibilities.” – Bridget Hrabe
Ellie Maresch, Fifth Grade
Ellie Maresch has been teaching in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for over 20 years and has been at St. Ambrose since 2000. At St. Catherine’s University she received her Bachelor of Arts in both Elementary Education and English. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Instruction and Curriculum from the University of St. Thomas. Mrs. Maresch also has a Graduate Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education.
Mrs. Maresch has taught at various grade levels in elementary education, but her true passion is teaching 5th grade. She finds the curriculum allows for more depth and breadth of study. Mrs. Maresch believes creating a positive, safe and enjoyable learning environment is the secret to success and that all children will learn if they feel wanted and welcome and their educational needs are met. She strives to create a classroom that is Christ-centered and positive and helps students to understand they are important because they each bring different gifts and talents to the class.
Travel and reading are two of Mrs. Maresch’s hobbies. She incorporates these interests into her classroom by sharing stories, photos and other items from places she has visited as she finds first hand experience enriches learning. Also, by joining the students as they read during quiet time, she feels it speaks volumes to the students about how reading is an important part of a great education.
The proud Mom of two, Mrs. Maresch recognizes success at school as being a triangle of school, home and the child, all playing an equal role in the learning experience that is centered around God.
“I chose to be a Catholic School teacher because I recognize God as being a part of all of our lives. From the mystery of creation, to the joys and tragedies of history, to understanding a math equation, God is there. I have learned from my 5th grade students that God has given all of us talents which help us to grow in His wisdom and knowledge - what a gift!” – Ellie Maresch