Deacon Simons holds a Bachelor and Master degree with honors from the University of Southern California as well as a Diploma in Pastoral Studies from the School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas. Over the course of thirty-five years, Deacon has taught sundry classes to adolescents and adults in the areas of theology, marriage and family, history, literature, government and civics, and business. He is also a regular guest lecturer in the graduate school at the University of Southern California and a public speaker on the topics of fatherhood, marriage and family, homeschooling, and business.
Deacon Simons lives in the Omaha metro with his wife and their five children who remain at home. Of their four grown children, two of their other daughters are contemplative nuns at a Benedictine Abbey, while another daughter is a student at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and their oldest son is a student at the University of Notre Dame.
Book Recommendation: A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.
Favorite Hobby: Hiking with family. Fontenelle Forest is a favorite.
Mary Gronewold teaches Literature and Rhetoric at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Mary taught 7th and 8th grade reading and language arts at Christ the King Catholic School from 2007 – 2015. At CTK, she enjoyed challenging her pupils in the sometimes-not-so-glamorous study of grammar, diagramming complex sentences, Latin roots, great books, public speaking, and essays. From 2015 – 2018, she enjoyed a few years as a stay-at-home mom. In 2017, a Well-Read Mom book club called her back to teaching and sparked her interest in the St. Barnabas Classical Academy.
Mary grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, but she has called Omaha home since 2006. She and her husband, Joe, have 5 terrific children – Gertie (10), Susie (9), Gus (7), Leo (5), and Beatrix (3). Her family enjoys raising backyard chickens, traveling to see grandparents, and Sunday rosary walks with friends.
B.A. English, Creighton University
M.Ed. Secondary Education, Creighton University
Favorite hobby: swing dancing at Jitterbugs’ Night Out
Mr. Jesse Nigro teaches Philosophy at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Jesse began his philosophical journey as an autodidact, reading and learning at the feet of long dead masters and guides such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Etienne Gilson, and C. S. Lewis. Eventually, he decided to finally pursue academics in full and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Creighton University, where his prior grounding in traditional Catholic thought served him well. Jesse is currently pursuing a masters degree in theology by distance at Concordia University in Irvine.
Jesse is an Omaha native who lives with his wife Ashley and their two children in the Little Italy neighborhood. He has been interested in classical education for as long as he has had children of his own, and counts it an honor and privilege to instruct young minds in the pursuit and exercise of wisdom at St. Barnabas Classical Academy.
B.A. Philosophy, Creighton University, Phi Sigma Tau
M.A. (in progress), Theology, Concordia University Irvine
Book Recommendation: The Unity of Philosophical Experience, Etienne Gilson
Favorite Place Traveled: St. Paul’s Cathedral at Evensong, London
Rev. Mr. Ron Reno teaches Fine Arts and Art History at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Ron intended to be a graphic designer for a corporation, a publishing house or a print shop. Instead, Ron worked for several years for Safeway Stores, Inc. and became a store director for Safeway. He has worked for other companies over the years but he always felt beckoned to do art again. For the last 15 years Ron has donated his paintings and prints to any sound and Godly organization that requested. Most of his art was sold at auction for the glory of God. Through those donations and Fr. Scheibelhofer, he became introduced to St. Barnabas, where he has taught since 2016. Ron loves teaching and opening God’s possibilities through art to his students.
Ron serves as a Deacon at Saint Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church in Sioux City, Iowa. He has been married to his bride Louise for 47 years now and together raised two children, Philip and Anne.
B.A. in Fine Arts/Studio and General Studies, Kansas State Teachers College
B.F.A. in Graphic Design, University of Kansas
Book Recommendation: Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly.
Favorite Place Traveled: England and Scotland
Jeff Hoffman is a native of West Point, Nebraska, where he served as organist at Grace Lutheran and St. Paul Lutheran churches. He attended Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska and served First Baptist Church as organist. He continued his education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln studying organ performance and has since served as Director of Music at Salem Lutheran Church and on the staff of First Lutheran Church, both in Fremont, directing the Handbell Choir and contemporary worship ensembles, and as an accompanist for the Fremont Public Schools. Mr. Hoffman also served as Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fremont, the Archdiocese of Omaha as an organist at St. Cecilia Cathedral and Accompanist and Administrator for the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir. He served as Executive Director for John C. Fremont Days for ten years and is currently Interim Organist at St. Barnabas Church in Omaha, Nebraska.
Mr. Hoffman has served in leadership positions on the board of directors of the Omaha Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Friends of Keene Memorial Library, Fremont Area Art Association Board, John C. Fremont Days, The Jefferson House Advisory Board, and was active in the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Membership and Professional Development Councils and founder and co-chair of their Youth Leadership Academy.
Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, is pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha. After receiving his B.A. in Mathematics and Classics from the Univ. of Dallas and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Vanderbilt Univ., he taught at the college level for a few years and then worked in the business world for six. He was ordained for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 2010.
Miriah Goeres teaches Chemistry and Biology at St. Barnabas Classical Academy. Miriah earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December of 2019. The daughter of two long-time teachers, teaching comes naturally to Miriah. Miriah works part-time in the Diet Office of the Nebraska Med Center and as a Certified Personal Trainer.
Miriah lives in Beaver Lake with her beloved Portuguese Water Dog. This upcoming February 2021 she and her fiance, Andrew, will be getting married at their parish in Plattsmouth, Church of The Holy Spirit. Miriah grew up in North Bonneville, WA, but she has called Nebraska home since 2015.
B.S. Nutrition Science, University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Favorite hobbies: Baking, Hiking, and being on the lake in any capacity
Leo rings for St. Barnabas Parish and Classical Academy. Cast in 1923 by the Meneely Bell Company in Troy, New York, he was given as a memorial of James and Virginia Van Nostrand to St. Barnabas under the rectorship of Fr. Holsapple. On May 27, 2018, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Leo was consecrated by Archbishop Emeritus Most Reverend Elden Francis Curtiss and given his Christian name after St. Leo the Great.
Known as something of a stickler, Leo chimes so that parishioners and students may come to church on time. Once in a while, he also tolls to speed the parting soul. In his spare time, Leo enjoys the Angelus, weddings, and waking up neighbors.
Book Recommendation: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Favorite Place Traveled: Troy, New York
Deacon Patrick Simons
Dean of Students
Mr. Jesse Nigro
Mrs. Mary Gronewold
Mr. Steve Eulie
The Rev’d Mr. Patrick Simons
Mrs. Maris Bentley
Mr. Charles Adams
Mr. Steve Carlson
Mr. Jeff Hoffman