New Staff 2021-2022

Lydia Schaeffer
Pre-K and K English Teacher

What is your academic and professional background?

Most recently I was an English Language Learner Specialist at an elementary school in St. Louis. I have also worked as a classroom teacher with preschool, kindergarten, first, and second graders. In addition to my work with elementary students, I am a part-time faculty member at Western Governors University and work with aspiring teachers.

I have an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership, two master's degrees, one in Elementary Education and the other in TESOL, and a bachelor's degree in Child Psychology. 

Why did you choose the profession you have today?

I love building relationships with students and watching them grow and learn! 

What was your favorite subject when you were a student?

Social Studies and reading - I still love reading historical fiction novels.
Where did you grow up? Where did you live?

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and lived there most of my life.
What are your favorite pastimes?

Traveling is my favorite pastime. When I'm not traveling, I enjoy reading, hiking, and skiing. 

What is your favorite food?

Ice Cream! 

What is your favorite place?

Anywhere I haven't been before. 

Lydia photo.jpg
Catherine Claeskens
Assistant to the Curriculum Director

What is your academic and professional background?

I worked in Special Education in California for 20 years.

Why did you choose the profession you have today?

I enjoy working with bilingual students as I raised my children in both English and in French. 

What was your favorite subject when you were a student?

I loved math and English as a student and I still do.
Where did you grow up? Where did you live?

I was raised in Francophone Belgium, in Brussels.
What are your favorite pastimes?

I especially enjoy playing Pickleball that I discovered recently. I love to bake and cook. I also love reading in French as well as in English. I started to crochet a couple of years ago, it feels like meditation to me.

What is your favorite food?

Belgian chocolate is my passion. 

What is your favorite place?

My bed is my friend. 

What is your favorite moment?

My favorite moment was about 30 years ago when I realized for the first time that I was dreaming in English.