Our Lady of Lourdes Faculty and Staff Profiles

Sr. Susan Biegert, SSND is in her fourteenth year at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary as Religious Education Coordinator. After graduating from Geneva High School in Nebraska, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It was there that she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. During her forty-four years of teaching, she has taught grades one through four. Fourth grade has been her favorite for twenty-three years. Her largest class was a first grade class of forty-six!

Sr. Susan says that every year had its rewards whether it was a single classroom or a double-grade classroom – she enjoyed everyone. During the summers, she taught religion in small towns in Nebraska. With this experience, she was able to meet a lot of wonderful families and their children. She did take time off for six summers to get her Masters in the Arts at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Sister loves children and wants to see them succeed, have confidence in themselves, and just love themselves for who they are. Besides teaching, she plays the guitar at Christ the King every Sunday. She learned to play guitar in college from a friend, and her dad bought her first guitar for her. Sr. Susan feels blessed with family, friends, and working at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary.

Andrew Bonney – “Mr. Andrew” – is the K-8 Computer Teacher and After-School Program Coordinator at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary. Prior to this year, he served as the first grade aide during the 2011-2012 school year. Mr. Andrew brings 18 years of classroom experience to the table, 17 of which are his personal years of growth as a student from the age of four. His past years have been spent touring the world and indulging his interests of language, culture, personal discovery and following his heart. Mr. Andrew hopes that his students will be open to discovering their own talents, loves and interests through creative projects that reflect the many different gifts they are each bestowed with. He also hopes the children learn to appreciate and respect one another in their diversity of these talents and personal uniqueness.

Lea Ann Buskirk teaches first grade at Our Lady of Lourdes. She first came to OLL in 2010, and prior to that was a classroom teacher and substitute in Nebraska for more than 25 years. Lea Ann believes that first grade skills are building blocks for students’ future educational success. She uses encouragement, praise, and enthusiasm to make learning enjoyable. Her class motto is, “My very best”.

Lea Ann has three grown children and two grandchildren, who keep her life exciting. She enjoys sewing, baking, crafts, and gardening. Each new day is exhilarating!

Denise Clifford is part of the AmeriCorps team at Our Lady of Lourdes. She is the teacher’s aide for the Kindergarten class. Denise recently worked at Wolf Creek School for two years as the fourth grade and second grade aide. She has also been a substitute teacher for Batesland School off and on for five years. She is looking forward to becoming a part of the RCIS family, and is especially looking forward to the challenge of working in the Kindergarten classroom! Denise is a resident of the Batesland community, and has lived there almost all her life.

Jennifer Dieriex is the sixth grade homeroom advisor, and the middle school social studies and science teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes. This is her first year at the school. She did teach at Red Cloud High School as a full-time substitute, and did some of her student teaching at Red Cloud Middle School. Jenny hails from Rushville, Nebraska and is a graduate from Chadron State College.  She is married and has two wonderful children. Jenny believes every student has great potential, and teachers can work with parents to be a guiding light on the path to filling that potential.

Laurie Eisenbraun is beginning her third year at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary. The previous two years she taught fifth grade, and this year she will have the third grade classroom at OLL. Mrs. E, as her students call her, has been teaching for more than 20 years, and has taught every grade from Kindergarten to 8th grade.

Mrs. E. grew up in North Dakota, where her father practiced veterinary medicine for 50+ years. She earned her Elementary Education degree in Minnesota, and her Masters degree at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All but three of her teaching years have been in South Dakota. Her husband, Randy spent 33 years in education and school administration, mostly in and around Shannon County, before his retirement.

Laurie and Randy have two sons, Paul and Derek, who are both married. Paul and Sarah have two children and he is a law school graduate. Derek is in the Air Force Fire Protection Corps, and he and his wife Laura, have one dog, Lucy.

Alicia Fernandez: Alicia Fernandez is the librarian at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School. This is her first year as a Red Cloud Volunteer. After graduating from Saint Anselm College with a degree in International Relations, she began to pursue long-term volunteer work. Having worked previously with new immigrant populations, Alicia is drawn to working in diverse and multicultural environments. She believes that through education and a proficiency in reading, students can grow in both knowledge and understanding of different peoples and cultures across the world. Alicia hopes that, in her time at Red Cloud, she can encourage interest in reading and aid the students in discovering themselves and the world.

Megan Fitzgerald is the teacher’s aide for the first grade. This is her first year working with Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary school as a Red Cloud Volunteer. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. Megan has spent several years working with lower elementary students and loves the surprises that they always bring. She loves being at Red Cloud because it brings new experiences and people into her life.

Wilbur Ferguson is the Athletic Director at OLL, as well as the K-8 physical education teacher. He started working at OLL in 2007. Wilbur and his wife graduated from Chadron State College, and they raised their two sons there in Chadron, Nebraska. He now lives back in Kyle, SD, where he is originally from. Overall, this is his 20th year teaching PE.

Wilbur loves working at OLL because it keeps classes small and structured, and also because of all of the well-behaved students and smiling faces he sees on a daily basis. Wilbur also enjoys his work because his two grandchildren go to the school. In addition to his teaching, he is also the sponsor of the Archery Club, which has produced many award-winning archers.

Ella Heath teaches second grade at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary. She began at OLL in 1999 following four years of working as an aide and teacher in Rushville, Nebraska. Ella was called into teaching while still a high school student in central Nebraska. She wants to develop an enthusiasm for learning in young children. Ella is married to Ray, and they continue to live in Rushville. They have three grown daughters; two are married and the third is a junior in college.

Margery High Horse has been the fourth grade teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary in Porcupine for 27 years.  After their youngest child graduated from Red Cloud High School, the family moved to Rapid City.  Marge continues to make her daily 200-mile commute, while teaching her second generation of OLL families.

Anthony Iron Cloud Sr. has been an employee at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary for 19 years. He is one of two custodians. He enjoys working at the school and being a part of the RCIS family!

Ron Kills Warrior has been the guidance counselor at OLL since 2008, and also teaches life skills to Kindergarten through 8th Grade. He loves teaching, and as the guidance counselor enjoys working with the students and helping them keep their GPAs up. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dakota Wesleyan University and is currently attending Black Hills State University. He has worked in counseling and guidance for over ten years both in education and juvenile corrections. Ron is an alumnus of Our Lady of Lourdes and Red Cloud High School. In his spare time, he loves to cook on the grill, research on the best restaurants in the world, read books, and hike.

Father Peter Klink, S.J. first came to Red Cloud Indian School in 1975, to teach in the high school as part of his training in the Society of Jesus, the “Jesuits.” He taught at Red Cloud until 1978, when he left to continue his studies and be ordained in 1981. Since then, Fr. Peter has served the ministries at Red Cloud in a number of capacities, including serving a total of 18 years as president of the organization. While ministering as a priest on the Reservation during those years, he has also served as Superior of the Holy Rosary Jesuit Community, Principal at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary, Pastoral Coordinator, Superintendent of Schools, and as Director of Development.

Father Peter currently serves as School/Parish Chaplain at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary, and as Pastor at Christ the King Church in Porcupine. He also serves as Acting Pastor at St. Agnes Church in Manderson. What delights Fr. Peter in his ministry today is the fact that, in some instances, he now is getting to know the grandchildren of students whom he taught in the mid-1970’s. “To work together with the families in both nurturing hope and living the deep human values of faith is exciting. It invites us to be the strong and capable people our Creator invites us all to be.”

Theresa Lessert is Principal for Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary in Porcupine. This is her third year as principal. She originally started as the fifth grade teacher in 1999, and also coached many different sports. She loves to help her students transition from lower elementary to upper elementary, while gaining self-confidence in their academics and through sports.

Theresa is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, but moved out to Porcupine with her husband of 33 years, Jerry Lessert. She has 2 children and 8 grandchildren. Theresa loves to help the children on the reservation grow and become responsible, dedicated, and strong adults who will eventually take over the different positions at the school. Theresa enjoys helping the teachers and employing some of the young adults she once taught. She states that it is very rewarding to work in a place where the second generation is now coming up, and hopes that the same stability and strong education that they experienced will be there for their children. This is why she works at Red Cloud Indian School; to help improve the future.

Sr. Rita Ostry, ND teaches English and Reading to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Our Lady of Lourdes. She has worked in the Red Cloud School system for over 22 years. Throughout these years, she has taught various grades in the elementary schools and served as an elementary school counselor. Sr. Rita is a Notre Dame Sister from Omaha, NE. Teaching youngsters is the joy and delight of her life. She recognizes that through teaching she is able to help students believe in themselves and realize the dreams they hold in the their hearts. Sharing life and spirituality with the Lakota people has profoundly impacted her personal life with a deeper, richer meaning. Currently she resides on the campus of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Porcupine.

Lane Pourier is the second grade teacher’s aide at Our Lady of Lourdes. This is his first year in the AmeriCorps program. Lane is planning on going into the field of elementary education, and thought this would be an excellent idea to help him figure out if this is the right way to go for his career. Lane hopes to continue in the AmeriCorps program next year.

Bryan Steinher guides students towards enlightenment in Math for grades 6, 7 and 8 at Our Lady of Lourdes.  At times, Bryan is the one being enlightened.  He began his journey as a volunteer, teaching grades 2/4/6/8 (who do we appreciate) in the year 2008.  With a successful year under his belt, Bryan became the math teacher, a subject matter appealing to his greatest state of being.  Bryan loves school so much he also has done or currently is doing the following: cross country assistant coach, girls’ and boys’ assistant basketball coach, boys’ basketball head coach, softball coach, bus driver, student council adviser, After School Program clubs (chess, outdoor games, soccer, study hall), Summer School coordinator and teacher. 

Bryan was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, did most of his growing in Columbus, Ohio, and was educated as a nurse at Loyola University in Chicago.  Each summer, when he returns home to visit his family in Columbus, his dad inquires, "So when are you going to start nursing?"  Bryan responds "Soon..." but what he is thinking is, “Well, if I am truly preparing these students for a full and prosperous life, then I will be teaching the students how to make positive, healthy choices, which is the essence of being a nurse."  It sounds like Bryan is hoping that one day Red Cloud will have a school nurse position available....fingers crossed!

Mary Beth Sutton currently teaches Kindergarten at Our Lady of Lourdes School. This is her first year as a Red Cloud volunteer and AmeriCorps member. She is originally from Rockville Centre, New York, and recently graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. She received her degree in Elementary and Special Education. Mary Beth believes that student learning does not merely come from teachers, but largely derives from students’ peers and families as well. She hopes to create a safe environment for her students in order to instill the importance of creativity and positive attitudes, so that they may have successful and beneficial experiences in education.

Gloria Two Crow works at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School as the Lakota Language Teacher. She teaches Kindergarten through 8th grade. Gloria started working at OLL in the year 2000, and enjoys her job teaching the students as well as the staff. She is happy that the students are willing to learn Lakota along with their academics. Gloria says that the students and staff are like family who care for one another, which makes it a good, safe learning environment. When times get tough, she said the students are her medicine. Gloria has three sons and a daughter, and is very proud of her grandchildren.

Colby Weston is a teacher’s aide for the third and fourth grades at Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school. He is a part of the AmeriCorps program. It is currently Colby’s second and final year in the program. Last year, he was a teacher aid for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Colby graduated eighth grade from Our lady of Lourdes in 2006. He then went on to Red Cloud High School and graduated in 2010. Colby likes working in the school because he enjoys working with the kids.