Classrooms, Faculty, and Staff
Mr. Chris Uptmor
4th year Prinicpal of Our Lady of Lourdes School, Decatur
Mr. Uptmor is very excited to be the principal of a Catholic faith based school, and even sees it as his calling. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s in educational leadership from Aurora University.
For 14 years, Mr. Uptmor was a Social Studies, P.E. teacher, and boys’ baseball coach at Oak Grove West School in Bartonville. A native of Robinson, Mr. Uptmor happy to have reconnected with Father Rick Weltin, who was his pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish in Robinson and is now his pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes.
“I have always had an interest in using my abilities to serve God through Catholic education,” he said. “While taking classes through Aurora University, one of my professors was the principal of the Catholic high school in Peoria. Hearing his experiences, the interest to work in Catholic education grew stronger to a point where I honestly felt it was a calling by God to use my new degree in Catholic schools.”
Mr. Uptmor and his wife, Lisa Uptmor, who is a teacher at Dennis Lab School, have two children — Will, who is in 3rd Grade and Norah, who is in Kindergarten at Lourdes.
The teachers and support staff at Our Lady of Lourdes School are always willing to help in any way they can to insure a quality educational experience for our students. Whether through their classroom webpages, emails, or other forms of communication, Our Lady of Lourdes teachers and support staff are always eager to present what our students are currently doing. Please take a moment to view our classroom webpages to see what activities, events and academic areas our students are learning about at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School.
Mrs. Kami Moody
Preschool - 3 Year Olds
Hi, I am the 3 Year Old Preschool Teacher for OLOL. I earned a Bachelor's in Elementary Education at Illinois State University and a Master's at Eastern Illinois University. I am married to Joe who is an alumnus of OLOL. We have four children, Kristina (28yrs.), Tim (Krisitna's husband), Savanna (12 yrs.) and Cole (10 yrs.). My family enjoys spending time together at Shelbyville Lake! I love teaching and hope that my students come to love school and enjoy being there. Along with learning social and educational skills, I also hope that they learn lifelong skills that will be instilled in them forever!
Mrs. Lisa Feriozzi
Preschool - 4 Year Olds
Bio coming soon
Mrs. Mickie LaFata
Welcome. I am Mrs. Mickie LaFata, your child's Kindergarten teacher. I am excited to be the one who, with your support, will be guiding your child through this interesting time of development. They will be gaining a sense of independence, yet may also be somewhat anxious, as they branch out to new horizons. I am looking forward to helping your child reach these new horizons.
Mrs. Cheryl Valdahl
Welcome to 1st Grade! My name is Mrs. Cheryl Valdahl. I have been teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes School for over 30 years. I feel very blessed to get to work with young children and have an impact in their lives. First Grade is an exciting year filled with new beginnings, new surroundings, new friends, and new challenges. In my classroom, I strive to foster a positive learning environment that is fun and where my students feel safe! I look forward to partnering with my students' families and our school community to make a contribution that will last a lifetime!
Email | Visit Web Page (Coming Soon)
Ms. Sarah Snyder
My name is Ms. Sarah Snyder. This is my first year at Our Lady of Lourdes and I am so excited to be here! I graduated from Millikin University in 2007. I taught at Holy Family for nine years as a Kindergarten teacher and Technology Coordinator. I also taught K-8 reading and math my first and last years there. Last year, I taught Kindergarten in Bement. I am very excited to be back in a Catholic school and know this will be a great year!
Email | Visit Web Page (Coming Soon)
Mrs. Lori Samples
Hi my name is Lori Samples! I am a 1985 graduate of Eastern Illinois University. I am very happy to have been teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes since 1989. Prior to teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes, I taught at St. Mary's Catholic School in Assumption, Illinois and St. Maurice School in Morrisonville, Ilinois. During my career I have taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. I am currently teaching 3rd grade. I am very honored and fortunate to be a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes and in Catholic education!ed and fortunate to be a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes and in Catholic education!
Mrs. Kim Taylor
My name is Mrs. Kimberly Taylor. I have been teaching at Our Lady of Lourdes School since the Fall of 1998. I am a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes School, St. Teresa High School, Laramie County Community College, and the University of Illinois at Springfield. My three children are also graduates of Our Lady of Lourdes School. I feel very blessed and privileged to teach at this school.
Middle School/Junior High Teachers
Mrs. Christy Kernaghan
Most of you know me as the mom of five Kernaghan boys, but I am also a passionate teacher. My education began in Southern Illinois, Mt. Vernon to be exact. It is the place I call home and still visit as often as I can. After graduating high school in 1988, I continued my education at Illinois State University. I obtained an elementary education degree, as well as a minor in English. I met my husband, Michael, at ISU and we continued to live in Normal, Illinois after college graduation. I was a substitute teacher until I taught 4th grade at Colene Hoose Elementary. Mike’s job brought us to Decatur in the summer of 2000. Once settled here, I began teaching at 5th grade at Enterprise Elementary School until our first child, Connor was born. At this point, my teaching career became raising a family. We had five boys in five years. It was quite a journey. While they were young, I spent many hours as a volunteer at Holy Family school, while being a full-time mom. In 2012, I reentered the teaching world part-time as a Jr. High English and Religion teacher at Holy Family. Three years later, I made the leap to full-time at Holy Family, teaching 5th grade. It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that my boys and I have come to Our Lady of Lourdes this year! Becoming part of this amazing school, teaching with such passionate teachers, and watching my children grow and thrive at school has been such a blessing. I have 7th grade triplet boys (Cameron, Caleb, Carson), a 5th grade son (Caiden), and a sophomore at St. Teresa High School(Connor). Our family is devoted to Catholic education and service to our community of faith. God had lead us on this journey of life and I am blessed to be a part of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Mrs. Becky Dunscomb
7th Grade Homeroom/ Jr. High Grammar
My name is Becky Dunscomb and I am the Jr. High grammar teacher. I am very excited to teach the students at Our Lady of Lourdes the importance of grammar. I feel that speaking and writing correctly is essential in today's world. Yes, grammar still matters. I believe in teaching the basics: parts of speech, usage, mechanics and DIAGRAMMING! My goal is for the students to graduate from Our Lady of Lourdes prepared for high school. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in sixth grade. I am a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Teresa High School and Millikin University. I received my Masters of Education from Eastern Illinois University. I taught at Holy Family School for four years until I had my oldest child. I was blessed to stay home for an extended period of time with our three children. After several years at home, I returned to Our Lady of Lourdes teaching part time preschool and then 5th grade. I now find myself back at Our Lady of Lourdes teaching a subject that I am very passionate about. I hope that I can help the students work hard and strive to do their very best!
Mr. Bryan Kenney
7th Grade Homeroom/ Jr. High Math
My name is Bryan Kenney and this is my fourth year at Our Lady of Lourdes. I am the Junior High Math Teacher and love math and love to teach it to my students. I have also begun to teach 0ne class of social studies this year. The challenge of teaching social studies is a welcome change. I went to grade school at Holy Family and graduated from Saint Teresa in 2003. I went on to earn a degree from Richland and an Applied Mathematics Degree from Millikin University. I worked in banking, as a substitute teacher, and at my parent's hardware store for a couple year before deciding to go back to get my teaching certificate. I went to Greenville to earn my Masters in Education. I am also a football coach and track coach at Saint Teresa High School. Football is a passion of mine and I love to coach and watch football. This upcoming year will be my 3rd year being the Saint Teresa Head coach for track. #trackfam #projecteiu
Mrs. Jennifer Brummer
8th Grade Homeroom/Jr. High Science/S.S.
Welcome to the wonderful world of science! I am Mrs. Jenny Brummer, a young at heart science geek; therefore, teaching junior high science is a perfect fit for me. I have been teaching what I LOVE to students since 2000, and I have been blessed to call Our Lady of Lourdes "home" since 2010. My husband, Mark, and I were born and raised Catholic, and my husband is an alum of Saint Teresa High School. Our Catholic faith has always been very important to us. Consequently, faith-based education for our children was always a priority, and thankfully, the Lord lead us to OLOL. All four of our children are currently OLOL students, so to say that my heart and soul are in this school would be an understatement. I graduated from Illinois College in 2000, with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. While there, I also earned my middle school and science endorsements and lettered in varsity basketball all four years. The experience and training that I received and continue to receive are of chief importance; however, it was the influence of several people in my life that has really motivated me. Education has always been a priority in my life, and I have my parents, George and Jill Murphy, to thank for that. They instilled a strong work ethic in me that I never take for granted. As a toxicologist and registered nurse, they were also the first to introduce me to the world of SCIENCE. I grew up loving it! Then, there are three teachers from my past who I try to emulate on a daily basis. First, Mrs. Cowdrey, my 6th grade teacher, taught me how to be loving, caring, and nurturing. I knew that when I walked into her classroom I mattered. I hope my students realize how much they matter to me and how hard it is to let them go when they graduate. Second, Mr. Owens, my high school biology teacher, LOVED science and it was so evident. His enthusiasm for science radiated from him and he is the reason that I chose to teach science. I strive to be someone else's "Mr. Owens." Lastly, Mr. Furman, my high school English and history teacher, taught me how to set and reach high expectations. He was tough, and there was no greater satisfaction than succeeding in his classes and knowing that he was proud of my performance. Seeing pride on my students' faces when they have conquered something that they think is out of their reach is beyond compare. I try to be a sensitive, caring, and patient teacher who works well with students of various backgrounds and learning capabilities. I am dedicated to helping your child learn!
Mr. Matt Barker
6th Grade Homeroom/Jr. High Social Studies
My name is Matthew Barker, and I am the Social Studies teacher here at Our Lady of Lourdes. This is my second year teaching, and I’m ready for an exciting year. I graduated from Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, KY in May of 2016 (Go Knights), and I moved back to the Land of Lincoln over the summer. I was born in Kansas but moved to Lincoln, IL in 2002. I attended Chester-East Lincoln School during my elementary years and graduated high school as a Lincoln Community High School Railsplitter. While in high school, I had many opportunities to serve and tutor students in the area, and that is when I realized that I wanted to become a teacher. Social Studies is a subject that I always found interesting. I love learning about different cultures and seeing how it impacts our lives today. Being a Social Studies teacher also means being a Social Studies student because new things are always being discovered. I am looking forward to both teaching and at times learning alongside your student.
Mrs. Melinda O'Brien
6th Grade Homeroom/Jr. High Religion
My name is Melinda O'Brien. I hired in as a fourth grade teacher, but have taught in grades 3 through 8. I like fourth grade because the students are full of curiosity and energy. The curriculum is interesting in the fourth grade because it includes studying the regions of our country, learning multiplication facts (as well as learning loads of other math skills), getting to know our earth, and practicing writing for a variety of audiences. Most of all, I like helping the students know God and His love and presence in their lives.
Mrs. Tricia Shumaker
I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Education from Millikin University. My teaching certificate is K-12. I have held elementary teaching positions in Champaign Schools and taught Junior High at Stephen Decatur Middle School. I then stayed home with my 3 boys ( they all have attended or are still attending OLOL) I first began volunteering at Our Lady of Lourdes as a resource for Art Pals beginning in 2007 bringing lessons and supplies for parents to teach the art classes. I was then given the chance to teach all the classes when Our Lady of Lourdes dedicated a classroom to be an Art Room. I believe creativity is something that kids need in order to solve problems and think outside the box. In my classes we touch on artists to make them culturally minded but we also explore our own ideas.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we grow up." -Pablo Picasso
Students K-7 meet on a rotating basis each Thursday and 8th graders can elect to take Advanced Art as one of their electives which meets every week.
Email | Visit Web Page (Coming Soon)
Miss Jennifer Kater
Greetings! I am the music teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes. I am in my second year singing and creating music with students pre-K 4 year olds through 8th grade at this wonderful school. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Millikin University. Before coming to OLOL, I taught music at St. Teresa High School and Decatur Christian School.
Email | Visit Web Page (Coming soon)
Mr. Jesse Daily
Email | Visit Web Page (Coming Soon)
Mrs. Faith Carr
How exciting it is to be here at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School! It is my pleasure to bring experience from 33 years in the field of education to the Pre-K through Grade 8 learning community here. My own education was founded in the Catholic School system, attending three years at St. Angela Merici in Fullerton, Ca., five years at Holy Family School here in Decatur, IL and four years at St. Teresa H.S. as well. I am a 1983 Graduate of Millikin University and earned a Master's Degree in Gifted Education/Instructional Media from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 1997. In 2013 I was recognized by PBS LearningMedia® as a digital innovator.
Please visit my class page to learn more about me and the curriculum your child will experience here at Lourdes.
Ms. Denise LaFine
This is my third year at OLOLCS as Resource Teacher/Interventionist. I have 46 years of teaching experience in both public/parochial schools. I have both elementary and special ed certification as well as an Early Childhood certificate from the American Montessori Society. I graduated from Eastern Illinois (B.S. in Ed.) and University of Illinois (M.S. in Ed. + 32). I have been a member of Holy Family and OLOL parishes. I have 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren and a cat! I am grateful to the children who continue to teach me as well!