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Saints Star

Art: Saints Star

October 2021

Shelly Gilmore, Principal
Site: Cedar Creek Elementary School
Nominator: Chantelle Odell

Shelly is one of the most caring people I have ever met. She puts her whole heart into everything she does, and she cares deeply for everyone in our district, but most especially for her staff and students at Cedar Creek. 

Mary Lundquist, Language Arts Teacher
Site: St. Francis High School
Nominator: Joel Olson

Mary is an inspirational colleague who has been tremendously helpful to me in my teaching practice. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with her for my 16 years in the district. She has been a good friend, a thoughtful, supportive leader, and an important mentor in that time. She works tirelessly to serve the students in our community, and she is a positive adult role model for young people and me as well.

Sara Keding, Teacher
Site: East Bethel Elementary School
Nominator: Jamie Reil 

Sara is a phenomenal teacher, colleague, and friend. She goes above and beyond for her students. The love she has for teaching is incredible to see. My son had her last year. He told me last night that when he is all done with school, the person he will miss the most is Mrs. Keding. He said, “because it’s so hard to say goodbye to someone you love.” He’s moving onto second grade this year. We both cried when first grade was over when our time with Sara was over. She will hold a special place in his heart. She will hold a special place in every heart of every student she teaches. East Bethel Elementary School is so incredibly blessed to have Mrs. Keding. She always says that she is the lucky one, but in reality, we are the lucky ones!

Dylan Schroeder, Jake Loukinen, & Matt Norton, Coaches
Site: St. Francis High School
Nominator: Kyle Waterworth

Dylan Schroeder, Jake Loukinen, and Matt Norton are the best. They support the high school football program by going above and beyond what is expected of an assistant coach both in and out of season. I couldn’t run this program without them!


September 2021

Photo: September 2021 Saints Stars: Lori Davis, Nancy Larson, Monte Spears, Supt. Giese

Pictured (L-R): Lori Davis, Nancy Larson, Monte Spears and Superintendent Beth Giese.

Marika Hendricks
Site: St. Francis Learning Center
“Marika is not only an innovative problem solver, amazingly efficient, super organized, and helpful to all of our staff, students, and families, but she is a joy to work with! I don’t think we could even pretend to know how long her to-do list is each day, yet she is always willing to step away and help someone else with questions or concerns when asked. I would not be able to do my job without her!!”

Lori Davis
Site: District Office
“During the transition of a new Business Director, Lori stepped up and filled that role until someone was hired.  She makes it possible for other staff members to complete their duties, such as setting them up in Skyward, answering account code questions, and the list goes on. We are so fortunate to have such a gem on our team at the District Office.”

Nancy Larson
Site: St. Francis Middle School

“Nancy has been an amazing mentor as I go on my third year with the district. She is a fantastic human to both her colleagues and students and has made my transition into the district amazing.”

Monte Spears
Site: Cedar Creek Elementary School

“Monte goes above and beyond in everything that he does. He doesn’t overlook anything and takes such pride in making sure that Cedar Creek is ready for students every day. I don’t think there has even been a time that he has said no. Anytime he is asked to do something, it is done right away and with a gleaming smile on his face.”


A Saints Star is someone who has gone above and beyond to make St. Francis Area Schools a great place to learn and work.