St. Mary’s announces new staff, promotions

This article published in the Jan. 27, 2022 print edition

Sonya Nolley-Elie will be joining St. Mary’s Catholic School teaching staff as a fourth and fifth grade math teacher. She is a native of Natchitoches and its public school system. She is a high school graduate of Natchitoches Central and a collegiate graduate of Northwestern State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. For 23 years, she has dedicated herself to teaching elementary grades in the public school settings of Natchitoches and Caddo Parishes. During her endeavors, she has served as grade level chairperson, cooperating teacher for future educators, new teacher mentor, teacher consultant and workshop presenter with an emphasis on classroom management. Additionally, she has received various honors and awards throughout her career, including Teacher of the Year nominee for five years. Elie states that her classroom learning environment promotes fun, growth and a sense of family which are all the attributes that she has experienced at St. Mary’s as a parent of two Tigers: Jared and Jasen Elie. She is committed to building positive relationships with students, colleagues, families, and the community because she firmly believes that this is the foundation of education.

St. Mary’s Catholic School will have Coach Stephen Wren as Assistant Principal for the 2019-20 school year. For the past two years, Coach Wren has coached football and been head coach of girls’ softball. He will continue those duties. Coach Wren has spent 20 years in Catholic education. Before coming to St. Mary’s, he was employed at St. Louis Catholic School and Opelousas Catholic School. Coach Wren is married to Leslie and has three children. Grace, 11, and Ava, 10, attend St. Mary’s. He also has a 16-year-old son, Blake. Coach Wren has proven himself as a leader and mentor. He is committed to serving the school, not only as an educational leader, but as a spiritual exemplar of the school as well.

will join the St. Mary’s family as Director of Religious Education and high school religion teacher. She and her husband, Barney, are originally from Many and have been married for 27 years. Her family moved to Natchitoches two years ago and her youngest, Gavin, will start kindergarten at St. Mary’s in the fall. They also have two older children, Jeb (25), who is in seminary at Notre Dame in New Orleans; and Molly (21), who is a senior at University of Louisiana at Lafayette majoring in Chemical Engineering. Key has a degree in nursing from Northwestern State University and has practiced for over 20 years. She has been a school nurse, research nurse and a labor and delivery nurse. Key shares that her Catholic faith has always been a very important part of her life. She has taught religion in a parish setting for over 15 years, as well as serving as a lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, youth leader, and altar server sponsor. As a high school religion teacher, she feels that it is her job to plant the seeds of love for Christ, a mature understanding of our Catholic Faith, a true love and empathy for our fellow man, and to provide instruction and example for living a genuine Christian life. As Key begins this new adventure, she asks for your prayers and shares this verse from James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teaches will be judged with greater strictness, for we all fall short in many respects.”

has been promoted to full time Director of Development. She is a 2004 graduate of Northwestern State University where she earned her degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism with a minor in Food and Nutrition. Errington is a Natchitoches native who has three children who attend St. Mary’s, Ava, 12, Emme, 9, and Jax, 5. She began teaching Art at St. Mary’s in 2011. During the 2018-19 school year she served as the Spring Fling Coordinator and moved the annual event to the downtown riverbank making it a community wide event. She also served as the Director of Development part- time in 2018-19. Errington is a past President for both the Service League of Natchitoches and Les Amies Service organization. She is active in the community and owns Cane River Candy Company.

Linda Gleason will join St. Mary’s faculty this year as an Algebra III and Dual Advanced Math teacher. She has spent the biggest chunk of her life in Natchitoches. Gleason served 30 years at LSMSA. She retired from full-time teaching in 2014, but has continued to serve as an adjunct at LSMSA. She has taught algebra, trigonometry, calculus, discrete math, modern algebra and topology. She also served as sponsor for the Louisiana School Christian Organization.