Elder welcomes rookie faculty class

The newest additions to Elder’s teaching and staff roster


Joe Weiner '16

Nurse Boles

One of the greatest attributes of Elder’s tradition is its teachers. The halls here are home to some legendary staff members.

Every new year brings change. Whether it be physical changes to the school, or in this case, changes to the nucleus of our teaching staff. No one can teach forever and with every retirement or decision to go comes the opportunity for someone new to come in and fill their shoes. Believe me there are some big shoes to fill with the retirement of such legends as Mr. Ploehs.

We’ll start with the new director of admissions and marketing, Maura Gettler. The class of 2015 ended with the departure of our appreciated as well as beloved J.P Owens.

Ms. Gettler, like many of the faculty members, is a product of the west side. She grew up in Lancer territory and attended St. James grade school. She spent her high school years as a Mohawk at McAuley. She then attended Thomas More and worked in their admissions department before coming to work at Elder.

An average day of work for her includes “making flipagrams, doing shadow visits, open houses, and running social media.” Ms. Gettler said her first months have been great. “Everyone has been very welcoming,” said Gettler.  Her plans mostly entail “increased student engagement in admissions.”

Now we got down to the hard questions. The questions asked (in order) were what did she want to be when she was little, her favorite purple quill staff member, and last but not least cargo shorts or khakis. Her answers respectively were “dentist, Joe Weiner (of course), and khakis.”

The next new staff member is school nurse Jenny Boles. Unfortunately for Ms. Boles she grew up in the Oak Hills school system and attended C.O Harrison and the infamous Oakie High herself. She attended a slew of colleges including: Cincinnati State, Indiana Wesleyan, Mount St. Joe and NKU.

Previously she was the school nurse at our sister school across the parking lot – Seton. When asked which school she liked more she replied with “no comment.” When asked what she does now her only answer was “help kids.” Short and to the point. She said her first week was filled with paperwork and she “hasn’t seen anything weird yet.”

Her plans for this year include making a resource guide for food items in the cafeteria as well as providing some healthier choices to purchase. Ms. Boles wanted to be a lawyer or doctor when she was little. Her favorite staff members are Joe Weiner and Rocco Salamone, and lastly she gave the right answer by picking khakis over cargos. Sadly getting an elevator pass won’t be so easy this year and we might not remember to always wear our seatbelts. Either way best of luck Ms. Boles as she plays out her first year as Elder nurse.

Next is a familiar face to Elder. Coach Brandon Finke is the newest addition to the Elder finance and book keeping department. We call him coach because he has been head of the Elder secondary for years now. Mr. Finke grew up on the west side and is a former Black Hawk as well as Panther. Mr. Finke is currently at Thomas More finishing up his degree.

You used to be able to find Mr. Finke at UPS preloading trucks on their way to your doorstep. The simple answer to what Coach Finke does now is “dealing with tuition.”  Finke has been around here awhile and when asked about his first week he replied that “loved it.” Short answer but it easily portrays the enthusiasm that comes with working at Elder.

Coach Finke’s plans for this year include “having a successful football season and finishing up school at Thomas More.” A young Brandon Finke wanted to be an air force pilot. His favorite staff members are “obviously you guys!” (Rocco and me) And last but not least Coach Finke prefers to rock the cargos.

Now we’re heading to the weight room to chat with lifting coach and first year gym teacher Adam Rankin. Mr. Rankin has been coaching lifting here since November of 2004 but is now teaching his very own gym class. Coach Rankin went to the most prestigious grade school around here as a St. Teresa Bruin. He is a former Panther (of course) and proud Bearcat.

Before he got big for a living coach Rankin worked at the old Media Play on Glenway. Rankin runs a pretty challenging class making the kids who took gym to get out of lifting, lift three times a week. “Right now it’s all orientation to lifting and getting them acquainted with the weight room.” The other two days they play a game of some sort such as basketball or dodgeball.  When asked about how he likes teaching this year he responded. “I love teaching, in my eyes coaching and teaching are one in the same.”

Coach Rankin has big plans this year. “I want them to get a really good orientation to what exercise and strength training is as well as nutrition, mobility, and flexibility. Some things these kids wouldn’t have access to otherwise. I want them to be able to walk into any rec center in college and know what is going on.” As a young bruin, Rankin wanted to be a professional baseball player, his favorite staff members are Joe Weiner and Rocco Salamone, and he enjoys rocking the khakis during the summer months.

Another addition to the faculty is the acquisition of weathered teacher Mr. Larry Weinheimer. Unfortunately we couldn’t find time in our busy schedule to catch up with each other, so we had our interview via email.

Mr. Weinheimer is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from St. Lawrence and is part of the graduating class of ’93 from Elder. When he was young, he said that he idolized firefighters and even considered it as a possible career. After Elder, he attended the College of Mount St. Joseph for his B.A. and NKU for his M.A. Mr. Weinheimer started off as a young man teaching in Catholic elementary schools (one year in Cincinnati and two years in Louisville, Kentucky). After his second year in Louisville, he decided to come back to his hometown and teach at Colerain H.S. where he taught mostly juniors and seniors for 14 years.

While explaining his typical day, he said, “I’m a travelin’ man. I begin my day in the café with study hall and then shift to the north wing. I end my day on the second floor. I have four classes of juniors and one sophomore class.”

Mr. Weinheimer’s favorite Purple Quill staff member is Mr. Rogers. This is astonishing given that everyone else said it was us. However, you can’t win them all.

He also prefers cargo shorts over khakis, another riveting answer. And while his students are expected to have goals for this year, Mr. Weinheimer does as well. He said, “Well, hopefully I will teach my students to read and write better. Maybe, just maybe, I will inspire some kids to read books. I plan on attending some sporting events.” While he has been away from Elder for a while, upon his return, he exclaimed, “I’m living the dream!”

It’s good to have you back at Elder, Mr. Weinheimer.

With the retirement of Mrs. Mary Ploehs, Elder welcomes in a new librarian. Ms. Monica Williams-Mitchell is new to Elder, however, she is not new to being a librarian. Overall, she has been a librarian for 15 years at Seton and Purcell Marian. As well as being a librarian, she also taught English, journalism and reading for 15 years in total at McAuley and Roger Bacon. She has been in the game for a while and she hopes to expand her talents at Elder.

However, she didn’t always want to be a librarian. When she was young, she always wanted to be a nun who taught nursing. She said, “I was going to start my own order. We would wear pink and blue, instead of white and black.” I believe this would’ve been a great addition to the nun community.

Even with her fashionable nun outfits she preferred cargos over khakis, which is always a bold call. When going through a play-by-play of her day, she said right now there is a lot of planning going on in the library for many things. She is making a calendar of events that she wants to do during the school year and about revamping the library and moving items around. She is planning all of this stuff so she can fulfill some of her goals for her first year here. About these goals she said, “I’m hoping to get a 3-D printer in here and have some events. I’ve got plans for teen tech week. You know, I’ve worked at Seton for ten years now, so I am all about a theme.”

Ms. Williams-Mitchell has worked at many different schools through the years. Likewise, she has also attended to many schools. First, she went to St. Aloysius Gonzaga for grade school. For high school, she went to Mercy. For her B.A., she attended Miami, and for her M.A., she went to UK. When asked who her favorite purple quill staff members were, she ecstatically said, “Rocco and Weiner.” We look forward to seeing you in the library throughout the year.

The student body and especially the staff members are all excited to see how these new Panthers (or in some case old) do in their first year. Here’s to a successful year for the new roster additions. We wish you luck.