Sean Jones, Fourth Grade
Sean Jones first started teaching at Saint Ambrose in 2006, and is thrilled to be teaching fourth grade. Mr. Jones earned his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts and Elementary Education from Hamline University, and has completed coursework toward his Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.
Mr. Jones’ interest in teaching grew out of his experience working at the Minnesota Children's Museum for several years, as well as his experience teaching youth theatre classes for various organizations, including the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, where he taught for 12 years. He loves incorporating his theatre experience into the classroom setting as a means for 'bringing the curriculum to life', as well as a tool for building a strong sense of community in the classroom where children feel safe to take risks and explore.
Mr. Jones loves teaching the middle grades because he believes it is a transitional point academically for students. He believes that fourth grade, especially, is such an amazing year because students truly begin applying the skills they've learned in the primary grades to dive deeply into content that explores the world around them. He loves the natural curiosity and brilliant questions that fourth graders always seem to have! Mr. Jones works hard to facilitate an environment where students can explore these questions and develop learning skills through differentiated instruction, individual and group work, and engaging, hands-on classroom activities.
Mr. Jones loves teaching at Saint Ambrose because of the strong collaboration of the entire Saint Ambrose community (church, parents and teachers) that plays a part in educating the students. He also believes that the Catholic Schools do a wonderful job of focusing on the whole child by working not only on academics, but also on faith, social and character development.
In his free time, Mr. Jones enjoys spending as much time as he can with his wife and three young boys. Reading, downhill skiing, fishing, and watching hockey are some of his favorite activities.
"I love teaching because every day is a chance to inspire children to learn something about the world or about themselves that they did not know before. In turn, the energy and never-ending curiosity of my students inspires me to do the same. It is a fun relationship that makes it fun to come to school each day!" – Sean Jones
Kristen Jorgensen Fourth Grade
Ms. Jorgensen joined the staff at Saint Ambrose in 2016. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, and has experience with Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and 5th grade students. Before joining the 4th grade team, Ms. Jorgensen worked at the Primrose School of Woodbury and also as a reading and math tutor. Additionally, she was a volleyball coach for elementary and junior high school girls.
She decided to become a teacher because of the teachers she had…at Saint Ambrose! Ms. Jorgensen admired their teaching styles and it made her want to emulate them. One of the subjects she loves teaching her students is math. She enjoys watching them think through mathematical processes as they work to understand a new math concept. Her favorite thing about being part of a Catholic school is the sense of community and the respect, compassion, honesty and global awareness that students are taught.
Ms. Jorgensen believes that students can learn and grow academically in a safe environment, where they are respected and encouraged to do their best. So that she can meet the needs of all learners, she uses a variety of teaching strategies. Ms. Jorgensen wants learning to be fun and exciting in her classroom, with students wanting to learn more. She works hard to create a positive and welcoming environment in her classroom and wants students to understand that making mistakes are part of learning. Her interests outside of teaching include reading and volleyball.
“Each student is an individual with different learning styles. As a teacher, I must adapt to what will help them learn the best.”
– Kristen Jorgensen
Benjamin Brekke, Fourth Grade
Benjamin Brekke holds a B.S. in Graphic Design and in Bible from the University of Northwestern (Saint Paul). He received his teaching license from the College of Saint Scholastica. Mr. Brekke has worked with children of a variety of ages and backgrounds through his mission work, VBS and other apostolates of his church. Before coming to Saint Ambrose, Mr. Brekke taught 2nd grade at a local Catholic school. Mr. Brekke is excited to be part of the Saint Ambrose community and looks forward to making faith connections with his students and helping them to be unashamed about being followers of Christ.
Mr. Brekke works hard to make a connection with each of his students and wants to help them be the best version of themselves that they can be. He considers his classroom a “refuge” - a safe haven that promotes trust and where students can be themselves and learn together, even when they’re making mistakes. He wants his classroom to be a place of peace, a foundation of faith and a source of confidence and joy for his students.
When deciding on a career, Mr. Brekke remembered what a difference his teachers made to him and how they helped shape his life. This made him want to pay it forward. He also is passionate about helping students who may feel lost in the shuffle. He wants to optimize each and every student’s own God-given potential and help students believe in themselves and that they are made for greatness. His favorite lessons to teach are the ones that can be used later in life that help teach character, diligence and resilience.
In his free time, Mr. Brekke enjoys music, especially writing his own music, and also sings in a barbershop quartet and chorus. He likes to read, do puzzles and go geocaching. He also enjoys spending time with his family - even if it’s something as simple as having a laugh together while doing mundane activities - and being out in nature.
“What I have learned from working with students is laugh more; plans change; learn together; even small seeds grow; and inspiring innocent faith.” – Benjamin Brekke