Betsy Davenport – Principal
Mrs. Davenport earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Oakland University and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Oakland University. Prior to becoming the principal, she worked here at Holy Cross for three years in early childhood and intervention. She previously taught in Memphis Community Schools and was a Consumer Programs Presenter for the Michigan Attorney General for three years as well. Mrs. Davenport’s favorite part of Holy Cross is the faith-filled climate of the school and the amazing community. When she isn’t at school, she enjoys lots of family time, time with her dogs, traveling, and anything with to do with organization!
Fr. John Dumas – Pastor
Father John Dumas began pastoral ministry at Our Lady on the River parish in July of 2022. He was born in Pontiac, where he and his siblings and parents attended St. Vincent de Paul parish. When he was about nine years old, his parents moved the family to Oxford, where they then attended St. Joseph the Worker parish in Lake Orion. After completing high school, he attended the University of Detroit, majoring in economics. Shortly before completing that degree, he began a career in banking with the intent of ultimately working for the Federal Reserve. During his time in the financial services industry, he lived in Warren and worked in Detroit and pursued several advanced degrees until such time as he acted upon the Lord’s calling to change career paths an become a priest in His Church.
After five years of studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, he was ordained by Archbishop Vigneron on May 22, 2010 – the memorial of St. Rita of Cascia – the patron saint of hopeless causes! He was assigned to St. Anastasia parish in Troy as a Transitional Deacon. After ordination to the Holy Priesthood, he was initially assigned to St. Isidore parish in Macomb Township. He spent two years there before being assigned as Administrator of two parishes in Monroe County; St. Patrick in Carleton and St. Joseph in Maybee. He was asked to merge these two parishes into one, which then became known as Divine Grace Parish.
He was then moved to St. Aloysius Gonzaga parish in Romulus, where he had been for the six years immediately prior to being asked to become pastor at Our Lady on the River parish in Marine City. Since ordination, he has longed to be the pastor of a parish dedicated to our Blessed Mother, so he is thrilled to be here at Our Lady on the River parish and is very anxious to help all of you to grow closer to our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ! Vivat Christus Rex!
Andrea Schultz – Preschool
Cynthia Jondron – Kindergarten
Ms. Cindy earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University and her Early Childhood Endorsement from Oakland University. She utilizes her early childhood experience and extensive training to teach some of our youngest learners – our kindergarten students. Ms. Cindy’s favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is the family atmosphere. She says, “In my career, I have had the opportunity to teach in many places and in various environments, but my favorite school has been Holy Cross. Its small class size and number of staff members gives the school a “family atmosphere.” Our families are very active in the school and truly care about their child/children’s education. Our staff works together to help each student reach and grow beyond the expected goals set for each grade level. That collaborative effort also extends to each staff member, sharing special skills and ideas we each possess.” When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Cindy enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the theater and concerts, traveling, or just “hanging out” at home.
Ashley Gryszkiewicz – First Grade
Mrs. Gryszkiewicz has her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University. She will be teaching first grade this year. Mrs. Gryszkiewicz’s favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is that our school community is like a family. She shares, “I love teaching at Holy Cross because our school community is more like a family. We love, support, and respect each other. I love that with our small class sizes I get to know my students and their families, and the students learn to accept each other. Also, I love sharing my love for Jesus with my kids.” When Mrs. G (as she is affectionately known to our school family) isn’t at school, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. They enjoy camping, bonfires, and watching movies together. She also enjoys reading.
Lisa Kiger – Second Grade
Mrs. Kiger has her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University. Her favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is that our school community is like a family. She shares, “I love teaching at Holy Cross School, our school is like one big family. I can go to any one of the staff members for help.” Mrs. Kiger comes to us with a variety of experience. She has previously taught preschool, kindergarten, second, fourth, and sixth grades. When Mrs. Kiger is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She enjoys camping, golf, playing cards, and finding rocks on the beach.
Andrea Korotko – Third Grade
In 2002, Mrs. Korotko got her first taste of a life in education by teaching and coaching at Regina High School and enjoyed engaging with her students and athletes daily. She made a tough decision to further her education beyond her Bachelor of Business Administration and pursue a Master of Business Administration, which took her down a different career path. She had a successful career in banking, but always felt something was missing. During this time, to fill that spiritual void that people encounter in the corporate setting, she chose to share her talents in religious education. She had the opportunity to teach religious education to 5th graders and then 8th graders. Both gave her a great sense of fulfillment. In the fall of 2015, she began to substitute teach at another local Catholic school. She shares, “being back in the classroom and positively impacting young minds made me realize that this was a great time to finish what I had started.” She has experience in early elementary, upper elementary, and middle school. She most recently received her teaching certificate and is thrilled! Mrs. Korotko says, “I hope to help my students grow spiritually, so that they can be ready to navigate this world while following their Catholic faith! I am looking forward to an awesome school year!” In the spring of 2021, Mrs. Korotko was awarded the Bishop Quinn Archdiocese of Detroit Teacher of the Year Award.
Leslie DeMeulenaere – Fourth Grade
Mrs. DeMeulenaere has her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State University and her Masters Degree in Reading and Literacy from Marygrove College. She will be teaching fourth grade this year. Mrs. DeMeulenaere’s favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is the small community. She shares, “The people at Holy Cross have become like family. I feel that it is a great place for my kids and my students to grow. I love the flexibility we have with our teaching, so we can use our unique styles to teach to the individual needs of our students.” When Mrs. D (as she is affectionately known to our school family) isn’t at school, she loves to paint furniture and do arts & crafts with her Cricut. She also enjoys lots of family time, exercising, and bike riding.
Anna Wade – Middle School Math and Science
Mrs. Wade received her Bachelors in Education from Western Michigan University and her Masters of Art in Teaching from Marygrove College. She is our middle school math and science teacher. She is well known in our school for the exciting science experiments and hands-on learning she provides to her students. Mrs. Wade shares that her favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is the shared vision of our school community. She says, “We are a family that focuses on every child to make sure they succeed.” When Mrs. Wade is not teaching, she enjoys nature walks, photography, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.
Michael VanderGraaff – Middle School Social Studies and Religion
Mr. VanderGraaff has his Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan-Flint, majoring in Language Arts and Social Studies. As a Catholic convert, he especially enjoys sharing our faith and teaching religion. His favorite thing about teaching at Holy Cross is the family atmosphere. He shares, “Working at Holy Cross is such an honor. The students, families, and staff are really extended family! The close knit atmosphere makes it a true joy to come to work each day, and the teachers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with.” When Mr. VanderGraaff is not teaching, he enjoys reading and outdoor activities. He also likes spending time with his eight children.
Carrie Johnson – Middle School English & Language Arts
Ms. Johnson earned her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, from Oakland University, majoring in Language Arts. She is our middle school English/language arts teacher, as well as our school’s data and assessments coordinator. As the data and assessment coordinator, she is responsible for analyzing data from our Star Renaissance standardized testing, DRA reading assessments, and Gates-Macginitie assessments on all of our students and coordinating informed instruction and personalized learning for each student here at Holy Cross. Ms. Johnson’s favorite things about teaching at Holy Cross are the community and our technology. She says, “I love the sense of community and family at Holy Cross. I know all of the students who attend our school. I have a personal relationship with each of my students. The families are very supportive, caring, helpful, and loving. I love that Holy Cross is a faith based school, focusing on the dynamics of the common good for everyone. I love the staff members at Holy Cross and the support we provide for one another. I love that I am free to explore different ways of teaching and that I can provide opportunities for the students to explore their own learning according to their needs and wants. I love that the students have Chromebooks, which allow them to research, create and utilize all the tools of technology at their fingertips. I feel very comfortable and valued at Holy Cross, and I am very humbled.” When Ms. Johnson isn’t at school, she enjoys spending time at her cottage on Russell Island with her family and friends. She enjoys sunning, swimming, fishing, floating down the river, reading, and boating. She also enjoys painting and decorating. During the cold winter months, she likes to snuggle in the house with the fireplace on and watch movies, read, and cook. She has two children, Sloan and Alex, and they are the light of her life. Her mom is her very best friend and she loves spending time with her.
Annie Doan – Academic Success Interventionist
Mrs. Annie Doan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Saginaw Valley State University, focusing on Language Arts and Science. She is our Academic Success teacher. She says, “My faith is the most important aspect of my life. I love being able to share my love of Christ with my students every day.” Mrs. Doan loves being an interventionist. She shares, “What I love about intervention is that the small group aspect allows for more individualized instruction. It provides students the opportunity to improve their academic skills at their own instructional level and pace.” When Mrs. Doan isn’t at school, she enjoys spending time with family, drawing, and going to concerts.
Stacey Thimmes – Administrative Assistant
Stacey not only answers our phones but if your child needs a band-aid or an ice-pack she is who they call. If parents have questions regarding FACTS, pick up arrangements, lunch or anything else she is here to help.
Rebecca Haynes – Administrative Support
Ms. Haynes attended Algonac High School, Central MI University with a Public Administration (10 credits shy of BA), and holds a municipal clerk certification. She has previously worked two years at Algonac Elementary School as Assistant to the Principal and most recently retired as City Clerk with the City of St. Pete Beach, Florida. When asked what she likes most about Holy Cross, Rebecca said, “the upbeat and caring atmosphere, positive communication with the students, student to teacher ratio, and the location on the beautiful St. Clair River.” When she is not at school, Ms. Haynes enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog Billy (who always shows her how to be happy and enjoy every day), boating and fishing, gardening, and reading.
Cassidy Johnson – Director of Religious Education
Cassidy is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree at Franciscan University of Steubenville in their online Theology program. She is a certified youth minister and catechist in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Her favorite thing about the Holy Cross Catholic School community is the joy you can see present in the school. Outside of work, most of her time is spent getting assignments done; however she also loves reading, houseplants, and hanging out with her cat, Edmund.