Education External Advisory Committee 

Briar Cliff Education Department’s External Advisory Committee consists of 12 leaders, educators, and administrators from the Siouxland area.  In addition to advocating for the college, the committee advises and guides the Education Department. 

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Chris Bork

Principal
Bishop Heelan Catholic High School

Chris Bork is in his 24th year of service to Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and the Diocese of Sioux City. In his 24 years he has been a Classroom Teacher, Activities Administrator, a State Champion Coach, the Dean of Students, and for the past 14 years the Principal. Chris has been married to his lovely wife Amy for 23 years and is the father of University of Nebraska Junior Kennedy and Bishop Heelan Catholic Sophomore Kannon.

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Wendy Bryce

Education Teacher
Sioux City Career Academy

Wendy Bryce has been teaching in the Sioux City Community School district for 15 years. She currently teaches education classes at the Sioux City Career Academy where she enjoys helping students explore the teaching profession. Collaborating with students, facilitating meaningful discussions, fostering creativity, building positive relationships, and inspiring the next generation of teachers is what she enjoys most about the education pathway.

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Meredith Davies-Vogt

Special Education Teacher
East High School

Meredith Davies-Vogt is currently a co-taught 6th grade math teacher at East Middle School in Sioux City, Iowa. Meredith earned her associates degree at Northeast Community College and continued to earn her bachelor’s degree at Wayne State College for Elementary Education. After teaching 5th grade for a year, her son was diagnosed with Autism. While looking for ways to help her son, she enrolled in her master’s degree at Concordia of Nebraska with an emphasis on Special Education. Along the way, she found that Special Education is her passion. Meredith enjoys being able to meet the varying needs of her students and advocating for what can make each student successful. Meredith has taught self-contained special education, co-taught English Language Arts and now currently co-taught Math. Meredith and her husband Ron have 6 children; Ronny 19, Aaliyah 14, Madison 12, Carson 12, Bentley 10 and Kyler 9.

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Tony Fravel

Resource Teacher
Bishop Heelan Catholic High School

Tony Fravel is a graduate of the Briar Cliff University 2008 class and is currently teaching High School Mathematics at Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City Iowa. He has taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies at Holy Cross- Blessed Sacrament for two year, 5th through 8th grade Academic Resource for Holy Cross- Blessed Sacrament for four years. He moved to Bishop Heelan High School as the Academic Resource, English as a Second Language teacher, and Co-teacher in English principles classes and Math classes. As a member of the Iowa Army National Guard he has been deployed twice during his teaching career going to Afghanistan in 2010-2011 and Kosovo in 2020-2021. He is married to Christy Fravel (Huls) 2006 Briar Cliff graduate. They both live in Sioux City with their three children.

 

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Ben Hunnel

English Teacher
West High School

Ben Waitt Hunnel began his education career in the English Language Arts at West High School in 2019. In addition to core English classes, he also teaches Humanities and Debate, and he is a member of the Building Leadership Team and Social Committee. He earned a BA in English and Secondary Education at Briar Cliff University, and he continues to model himself and his teaching within the Franciscan values of service, community, harmony, and preservation.

 

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Laura Kallsen

4th Grade Teacher
Holy Cross

Laura Kallsen was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She started attending Briar Cliff in the Fall of 2016, where she majored in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement. After graduation in 2019, Ms. Kallsen started working at Holy Cross School, which is also where she completed her student teaching. Ms. Kallsen is in her third year of teaching Second Grade at Holy Cross School. In her free time, she is either spending time with family or playing with the five cats at the family farm.

 

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Ron Koch

Principal
Leeds Elementary School

Ron Koch is in his 25th year of service to the Sioux City Community School District. Throughout his career with the district, he has served as a classroom teacher in both the general and special educa- tion settings at all levels. Throughout the past 13 years, Mr. Koch has served as an Assistant Principal at both Irving Elementary and West High School and as the Principal of Unity Elementary School and in his current position as the Principal of Leeds Elementary School. Along with his work with the schools, Ron and his wife Jenni were the original founders of the Sioux City location of the GiGi’s Play- house Down Syndrome Awareness Center. His wife Jenni has been a teacher in the district for 21 years and is currently a first grade teacher at Perry Creek Elementary School. Ron and Jenni have three beautiful children; Karissa 21, Kaeden 18, and Kohen 15.

 

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Sherrie McDonald

Special Education Teacher
West High School

Sherrie McDonald has been teaching in several areas of education for the past 30 years within the Sioux City Community School District. She currently is a special education teacher at West High School, co- teaching physical science and earth/space science. She taught in the elementary special education setting within a K-2 classroom, before transitioning into high school. She has an elementary education degree with a special education endorsement K-12 and a Master’s in Education with a focus on Leadership. She served on the building leadership team (BLT) for many years helping to set building and district goals. She also serves on the beginning educator mentoring & induction program which supports beginning teachers and helps facilitate learning projects to meet the Iowa teaching standards. She is married to Ray McDonal and raised their children in Sioux City. She is a lifelong Sioux City resident. Education is very important to her and our community to build character, gain knowledge, and become self-reliant.

 

Yesenia Macias

Kindergarten Teacher
Irving Dual Language School

Info

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Kathy Rhodes

Principal
Hinton Elementary School

Kathy Rhodes is in her 30th year as an elementary principal.  She has been principal at Hinton Elementary for 7 years.  Prior to becoming a principal, Mrs. Rhodes taught grades ranging from 1st to 8th at Gehlen Catholic in Le Mars and Jane Long Elementary in Harlingen, Texas.  She has been married to her husband, Dean, for 32 years and they have four children, Taylor who is a teacher in Moore, Oklahoma; Logan who works at Wells Blue Bunny, Madison who is a second year med student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Mitchell who is in his first year at the University of South Dakota majoring in Kinesiology.

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Jennifer Weber

Administrative Program Coordinator
Western Iowa Tech

Jennifer Weber has worked at Western Iowa Tech Community College since 2010 and currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Education. In this position, she teaches, advises and mentors students and faculty, and collaborates with internal and external partners to provide a variety of opportunities for students at WITCC. Prior to working at WITCC, Jennifer was a teacher and then training coordinator at Early Head Start and Head Start programs. She has also supported the diverse needs of children from 0-18 at other community programs, such as the Boys and Girls Home and Hope Haven. Jennifer is married to her husband, Jim, and they have two daughters. She enjoys cooking, reading and watching her daughters in taekwondo and arts activities.

Drake Coupland*

Secondary Education Student
Briar Cliff University

Bella Constanza*

Elementary Education Student
Briar Cliff University