Teacher Feature: The “Secret” Life of DHS Personnel

Ms. Anjel Guitroz- Eyes and Dolls


The woman behind the SynDaver isn’t Ms. Guitroz. It’s Barbie! Ms. Guitroz is an avid collector of special edition Barbie dolls. Her collection began fifteen years ago with a set of Barbie dolls inspired by her favorite movie, Gone with the Wind. Her collection includes dolls from famous movies and TV shows such as That’s So Raven and I Love Lucy.

Her two favorite dolls are her special 40th Anniversary Barbie that was made in 1999, the year her daughter Anya was born, and her sorority’s specially-made Alpha Kappa Alpha doll that was created to commemorate the first all-black sorority in the United States.

“I’ve always loved dolls ever since I was little,” says Guitroz. “I love the stories behind them and the people they represent.”

  • Natalie Rodriguez-Ema

Mrs. Katie Kirkwood –  44 Presidents in One (or two) Breaths

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Not only is Mrs. Kirkwood a math teacher, she also has a hidden talent.  She can name all the presidents of the United States in under 25 seconds.  She learned how to do this impressive talent in the 5th grade through a song.  She can name them all with their first and last names.  She used to recite this fascinating skill to her past classes.

  • Jennifer Yrle

Mr. Cameron Hahne- Performing Fanatic 


Dominican welcomes a new cast member to the stage, Mr. Hahne, as he performs in his new roles as French and religion teacher. Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Hahne is passionate about all things theater. He is a member of the ensemble of The Music Man at Rivertown Theaters for Performing Arts and has performed in musicals throughout high school and college.

In addition, he takes gymnastics classes, dance classes and voice lessons to help strengthen his skills for theater. “I enjoy having an outlet for my creative energy,” Mr. Hahne.

  • Natalie Rodriguez-Ema

Sister Pam – Former Teacher and Rock Enthusiast

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Believe it or not, Sister Pam had a career before settling in to Room 109 at Dominican. A former teacher and a rock enthusiast, Sister Pam Weathersby, M.S.C., loves all things science.  For 40 years, Sister Pam was a science teacher in the Archdiocese of New Orleans school system.  She taught biology, microbiology, earth science and physical science.  In fact, rocks of the earth are some her favorite things.  “Rocks remind me that we are still on the brink of creation,” said Sister Pam.

  • Jennifer Yrle

Mr. Kwantrell Rideau- A Saxophone Star


The maintainance staff’s Mr. Kwantrell  has a hidden talent of his own: he plays the saxophone like no one else. Mr. Kwantrell Rideau been playing saxophone since he was eight years old. He fell in love with instrument because of its smooth, flowing sound. He keeps up with playing as a hobby and in a jazz group.  His favorite genres to play are traditional jazz, blues and contemporary jazz. He said he especially loves to play in Mardi Gras Second Lines. “I’ve always enjoyed the sound of the saxophone, ever since I first started playing,” said Mr. Kwantrell.

  • Natalie Rodriguez-Ema

Ms. Charlene Ford – English Teacher by Day, Baker by Night 

Ford Headshot

Ms. Ford loves baking honey buns as much as she loves teaching Hamlet. She began baking when she was a student at LSU, but she does remember baking with her mom when she was little. Her bookshelves are full of cookbooks even though she’s not the best at following the recipes. Because Ms. Ford lives a vegan lifestyle, she said her biggest challenge is to modify recipes to make them vegan.

“My Instagram is all food,” said Ms. Ford. “My favorite recipe I’ve made has to be the Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

  • Grace DiFranco

Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino – Woodworking Enthusiast

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While Coach Ciolino spends most of her time teaching P.E. in the SARG or coaching the Stunnah Runnahs of the Dominican Cross Country Team, woodwork is something that she also enjoys. Ms. Ciolino first discovered her love for building things when, at age 12, she built a wooden halfpipe with her cousins for skateboarding.

She calls this event her “intro to woodwork,” and since then, she has built many different things, Ciolino spike picincluding a door for her house, shelving, and even a trophy for the Cross Country team after a race win. “I’ve come a long way. I don’t make as many mistakes anymore,” said Ms. Ciolino.

  • Vivian Palmer

Sr. Angeline Magro, O.P. – The African Violet Whisperer


Sr. Angeline has a knack for bringing an African violet plant back. She has such as green thumb that she has a nursery for sick violets in the in the back of the library. Those African violet plants displayed in the library have all been brought back to health by Sr. Angeline.

She said she waters them once a week, removes the dead flowers and leaves, “and I talk to them nicely.” She loves seeing them grow and has some at her house. “I liked watching the flowers grow and sometimes the plants would grow shoots. So I learned how to transplant the shoots,” said Sr. Angeline.

  • Jade Nguyen

Mr. Matthew Foss- Master of Frog Tie Friday


Mr. Foss’s hidden talent, besides being a physics aficionado, is that he devloped a method to his “frog tie Friday” madness. Mr. Foss has a specific algorithm for organizing his outfits for the week.

The system begins with the shoes (either black or brown), then follows with the pants, shirt and, of course, the tie. Each week, he alternates a few color choices of articles of clothing, which then establishes his ensemble for the day. “If it’s the right time and the right day, then it’ll be a Frog Tie Friday!” said Mr. Foss.

  • Kathryn Valldejuli

Ms. Lauren Bordelon- Krav Maga Master


She’s a master of Scripture, student council and of marital arts. Ms. Bordelon  practices the art of Krav Maga at Triumph Self Defense School. She’s been attending classes 2-3 times each week since October. “I wanted to learn self-defense,” said Ms. Bordelon. “It is good practice being assertive, and I love the community there!”

  • Kathryn Valldejuli



Mrs. Dawn Frick – Puppy Love


Mrs. Frick has always been an animal lover. Even though her mother wasn’t fond of animals, Mrs. Frick had two dogs during her childhood years. When she became an adult, she had several pets which were a part of her family.

After those beloved pets died, she knew she didn’t want to deal with that pain again, so she and her family started fostering dogs. Her latest and greatest endeavor was fostering three puppies this past summer.

  • Macie LaFonta