Our middle school team of teachers work collaboratively to deliver rigorous instruction to all the students. Students are educated in the doctrines and beliefs of our Catholic Faith. Teachers begin and end class with a prayer on a daily basis.
Meet our Middle School teachers:
Dr. Joan Withum
Email: [email protected]
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA/Lancaster for 21 years
Favorite Movie: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Education: Queens College, CUNY – BS in Secondary English Education; MS in Reading Education K – 12 Immaculata University – Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
The 2022-2023 school year is Dr. Withum’s 4th year teaching at St. Leo the Great School. This year, in addition to teaching, she has taken on the role of Director of Middle School Affairs where her duties include: partnering with teachers and families to promote a positive growth mindset in students through the tenets of our Catholic faith as outlined in the SLTG School Handbook; supporting teachers in ensuring they implement consistent classroom management protocols, especially as it relates to issues of discipline and school culture in accordance with SLTG expectations; and developing, maintaining and exemplifying consistency in the enforcement of the SLTG School Handbook rules and procedures. Through inquiry, research, presentation and reflection, Dr. Withum works to encourage her students to learn to love literature. She always wanted to become a teacher because she wants to share her love of reading with her students. The greatest joy she receives from teaching is when her students are able to relate literature to their lives. Click here to explore the Diocesan ILA curriculum for grades 6-8.
Words to Live By: “What would Jesus do?” This is the question that helps guide my teaching each and every day. Although all educators follow a professional code of ethics, the actions that a Catholic School Teacher needs to demonstrate and model, are those of Jesus. He taught us, among other things, to be compassionate, loving, forgiving, prayerful and committed. Compassion is recognizing that each student has special needs that are addressed in different ways. A teacher shows love every day to students through caring and listening. Although teachers demonstrate forgiveness to others every day, a teacher in a Catholic School goes one step further by reminding students that it is okay to make mistakes because Christ knows that we are human and that we will make mistakes, yet he loves us still. In this busy life, being prayerful can be a challenge. In order to help students be more prayerful, teachers must be continually mindful of their own prayerfulness. Teachers can model commitment through working with students to build a Christian Community within the classroom, the school, the church, and society. Helping students set goals and commit to reaching those goals can be a daunting task, but as Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Dr. Withum and her husband (also Dr. Withum), live in Mount Joy and are members of Mary Mother of the Church. They enjoy spending time with their 11 grandchildren, traveling, and volunteering at the Lancaster Liederkranz, where they help promote German culture and traditions.
Mrs. Kelly Hensley
Mrs. Elise Grignon
My name is Elise Grignon and St. Leo the Great school has been a home to me since my first day of Kindergarten.
I attended St.Leo’s through 8th grade and continued on to LCHS. From there I attended Franciscan University where I earned a degree in Middle School Education with concentrations in Math and Language Arts. I taught at St. Leo’s for one year before I became a full-time SAH mom.
My husband and I have 5 children who attend LCHS, SJN, and St. Leo. I have always believed in the strong importance of a Catholic education, but furthermore, my husband and I knew that it was important to surround our family with a strong, supportive community. St.Leo the Great School is a huge part of our village.
Miss Rosanne Settino
B.A. – Mathematics, George Mason University
M.Ed. – Educational Learning, Alvernia
Secondary Certification – Mathematics
2nd year at St. Leo the Great. Previous teaching experience at Holy Trinity, Columbia; St. Joseph, Dallastown; Lancaster Catholic High School
I have more than 32 years of teaching experience in grades 7 through 12. I retired from Lancaster Catholic after 25 years, 10 of which were spent as Mathematics Department Chairperson. At the request of Chris McClean, I returned to the classroom as a middle school math teacher in 2021. This has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. There is nothing like the excitement in the classroom when the lightbulb goes on and students grasp the meaning of a concept. There is nothing like the excitement generated by a student’s eagerness for learning more. And as a bonus, I have had the opportunity to work as a colleague with former students as well as the opportunity to teach the children of former students.
Outside of the classroom, I enjoy art, reading, and movies. And I LOVE the beach!
In 2022 I returned to the classroom as a part-time substitute and the following school year I was a full-time long-term substitute.
I am so excited to be in the middle school teaching math! I absolutely LOVE teaching middle school students. The best part of any teacher’s experience is seeing that “light bulb moment”. In math though, it is amazing.
Quote: Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire! -St. Catherine of Sienna
Present Courses Taught:
Focuses on function analysis (Linear, Quadratic, Polynomial, Square Root, Rational, Exponential, Logarithmic) as well as Probability/Statistics
Algebra 1 (5 – 7th grade, 14 – 8th grade) – prepares students to transition into high school Honors Algebra 2/Trigonometry
Focuses on linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, factoring, evaluation of square roots and exponential expressions, rational equations and statistics
Pre-Algebra (12 students) – this is the first whole-class 6th grade pre-algebra course offered at St. Leo
Prepares students to transition into Algebra 1 in 7th grade
Focuses on reinforcing middle school math concepts while providing a foundation for Algebra 1
Algebra 2 (8th grade), Algebra 1 (7th & 8th grades), Pre-Algebra (6th grade)
Algebra 2 (8 students) – prepares students to transition into high school Honors Geometry/Trigonometry
Mathematics and Art
Mrs. Kathryn Hemlick
Quote: “Hazard Yet Forward”- This is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s motto, which means, to keep moving forward, even when there are challenges!
Hometown: Saltsburg, PA (near Indiana, PA)
MFA Industrial Design – Rochester Institute of Technology
MFA Art – Ceramics – Pennsylvania State University
BFA Art – Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA
PA Certifications: Art K-12, Mid-Level Math Grades 6-9
Teacher at SLTG: 8 years
Favorite Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Saint: Hildegard of Bingen – She was an abbess, artist, composer, author, mystic, and theologian.
Mrs. Hemlick enjoys sharing her passion for art with the children. Nothing compares to seeing a kindergartner’s facial expression when they ooh and ahh with delight at the new colors they create when they first begin to mix paint.
Likewise, before doing a chalk drawing of Botticelli’s painting of the Annunciation, she has the fifth-grade students pose like the Virgin Mary and the Angel Gabriel. The students are joyful and excited as they twist and turn to mimic the postures, which helps them to make sense of what they are drawing.
All students are artists when they step into the art room!
Recently, Mrs. Hemlick has also been teaching math classes. She has kept this nerdy side of her out of the spotlight until now. She enjoys seeing the students learn new concepts and master skills as they solve math problems. Confidence in math is an important skill that she likes to see grow along with math skills. This is especially important in middle school, when some students might begin to question their abilities. It is important for students to keep trying, persevere, and find joy in their successes. To find out more about what we are studying in math, check out the 8th-grade math curriculum.
Mrs. Lynne Kuchinski
Hi my name is Lynne Kuchinski and I am the new middle school science teacher at St. Leo the Great. To me, science is a way to draw closer to God through the beauty of creation and discovering the truths he wants to teach us. Middle school is a time for students to transition into thinking for themselves, asking questions and discovering answers and science is such a great way for them to stretch and grow. Science always asks What? How? Why? And it is so much fun to find the answers together.
St. Leo’s has been my parish since 1991, when my husband and I moved here from New Jersey. I have been married for 37 years to Deacon Frank Kuchinski. Together we have raised 4 children, all now adults. All of our children attended St. Leo the Great School and then Lancaster Catholic High School. We truly believe in the value of a Catholic education.
My background is Ceramic Science and Engineering; I have a BS and an MS from Rutgers University. My career began as a civilian engineer for the Army at the Electronic Technology and Devices Laboratory,Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. I then got married, moved to Maryland and began work at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where I completed the research for my Master’s degree. Since 2016, I have run a woman-owned Research and Development company, which did a substantial amount of R&D for the US Army and Air Force.I love playing with my 3 grandchildren, gardening, sewing and reading.I am not on social media, by choice, so email and text messages are the best way to reach me.
Fun fact: I love mowing the lawn!
Mrs. Danielle Cox
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Franklin & Marshall College – BA in Psychology; 2003
Eastern University – MEd in Curriculum & Instruction with a Middle-Level Teaching Certification; In Progress
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”St. Catherine of Siena
The 2022-2023 school year will be the 6th year working at St. Leo the Great. Mrs. Cox has been teaching Social Studies to Middle School students for the last 2 years. She encourages her students to experience history in order to better understand it through analysis, contextualization and research. As 6th graders, students become world explorers as they travel from continent to continent learning about the geography and cultures of different countries. In 7th and 8th grades, students become U.S. Historians as they investigate important historical events like the American Revolution, Westward Expansion, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War 2.
As a recipient of 13 years of Catholic education, Mrs. Cox knows the value and impact it can have on a student. She attended St. Leo the Great and is a graduate of Lancaster Catholic. She lives in Lancaster with her husband and 3 children, all of whom benefit from a Catholic education. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and cheering on her children at their sporting events.