Saint Andrew School
My name is Kate Ripperda, and I am the Spanish teacher at Saint Andrew School.
I teach Spanish to every class from PreK through eighth grade. Currently the sixth, seventh,
and eighth grades take Spanish as a regular course every day, while third, fourth, and fifth
grades have class twice a week. Students in PreK through second grade have Spanish once a
I currently live in Murphysboro with my husband, Jeff, and children, Greta, Elena, Lucy, and
Xavier. My children have all attended or currently attend Saint Andrew School. I am originally
from New Baden, Illinois, but I have lived in Murphysboro and have been a parishioner at Saint
Andrew's Church since 2007. I have been involved with Saint Andrew school as a parent and
volunteer since moving to town, and I have been employed in my current capacity since 2015. I
currently hold an Illinois elementary teaching certificate with an endorsement in Spanish.
In 2000 I graduated from Knox College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I
taught middle school science, Spanish, and religion at St. James School in Belvidere, IL, from
August of 2001 until June of 2004. After moving to Peoria, IL, I took a job teaching elementary
school Spanish (PreK-8th grade) at Holy Family Parish School from August of 2004 through
June of 2007. In 2007 we moved to Murphysboro and joined the Saint Andrew School family
when we enrolled my oldest daughter in the very first PreK class. We have been parishioners
and part of the school community ever since.
I believe wholeheartedly in Catholic education and the faith formation and character building
which accompany it. I also believe that every student is capable of learning a second language
and reaping the intellectual and social benefits of being bilingual or multilingual, which include
higher cumulative scores on standardized tests as well as increased mental capacity extending
well beyond school years. I teach using a problem-solving approach to language which requires
students to begin by identifying what they already know and what they need to learn in order to
communicate a thought, idea, or dialogue. This helps students to focus and direct their own
learning while reinforcing knowledge and constantly adding new information.
I can be contacted at school or by email at
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