New Educators Join Rockhurst for 2017-18

New Rockhurst High School faculty/staff members from left to right: (1st row) Mrs. Lisa Weis, Mr. Anthony Re, Mr. Ryan McAnany, Mr. Nick Sykora, Mr. Dirk Lawson; (2nd row) Mr. Joshua Lawlor, Mr. Brian Dugan, Mr. Jamie Placht, Mr. Jake Bradshaw, Mr. Jim Monteil; (3rd row) Mr. Brandon Hord, Mr. Michael Comiskey, Mr. Brandon Severino, Dr. Megan Caughron.  

To begin the 2017-18 school year, Rockhurst High School will look a bit different.  The new lower campus facility, the Hawklets Center, opened the first week of August, and the new Academic Learning Commons will be completed for the start of classes.  Several new faculty and staff members also make for new Rockhurst offerings.

Ten of these new hires are full-time, while four are members of the Alumni Service Corps (ASC).  ASC members are recent college graduates who attended a Jesuit high school and/or college, and volunteer a year of their time and talents to teaching, coaching, and moderating at one of the Jesuit high schools. 

First, the new full-time employees: 

Mr. Jake Bradshaw is a Kansas City native with an extensive background in high school education.  Jake attended, and was a standout athlete at, Oak Park High School and Northwest Missouri State before his career in secondary education.  He has taught and coached at Liberty High School, Liberty North High School, and Excelsior Springs High School.  He is familiar with Rockhurst, as he has served as a varsity baseball assistant coach for the last two seasons.  Jake will teach Physical Education and continue to coach baseball, as well as freshman football.

Dr. Megan Caughron also reigns from Kansas City and returns home to teach.  She attended Thomas Aquinas College in California for undergrad before earning a Master's in English from UMKC and then a Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  Megan, too, has spent time teaching here in Kansas City; she was recently at Archbishop O'Hara High School.  Here at Rockhurst she will head sophomore English and senior English courses, and also plans to be involved with the "Rock Collection" literary magazine.

Mr. Michael Comiskey returns home to The Rock.  Michael is a graduate of the great Class of 2003, and has served on the Alumni Board for several years, as well as coached in the Rockhurst soccer program.  After graduating from RHS, Michael attended Eastern Illinois University and worked in the commercial real estate industry here in Kansas City.  Now back at The Rock, he will work in the Advancement Office as the Director of Alumni Events.

Mr. Brandon Hord joins Rockhurst after spending time working in the Hickman Mills and Raytown school districts.  Brandon will take over the instrumental music program here at Rockhurst.  He is a graduate of Raymore-Peculiar High School and went on to earn a Bachelor's of Music Education from the University of Central Missouri and a Master's of Music from the University of Illinois.  He will be teaching Jazz Band, Orchestra, Percussion, Guitar and Piano, and also lead the Pep Band and Drum Line. 

Mr. Joshua Lawlor has called Rockhurst home since 2010, assisting with the continually-growing choral program.  Rockhurst decided to make the choral accompanist a full-time position, and Joshua was happy to undertake the role.  He attended Olathe North High School before studying Music Performance at William Jewell College and earning a Master's in Music in Voice Performance at the University of Kansas.  He also spent a term studying music history and signing choral music at Oxford University. Joshua is one of Kansas City's most sought-after classical baritones, performing as concert soloist for many of the city's most respected musical organizations. 

Mr. Dirk Lawson is another new hire who has been involved with Rockhurst before joining the faculty this year.  Dirk has been involved with the Rockhurst soccer program over the years, assisting his brother and the head coach Mr. Chris Lawson.  He will join the History and Computer Science departments this year, in addition to serving as head coach of the JV soccer team.  Dirk was a two-time All-State selection in high school, and then collegiate soccer at Park University prior to earning his law degree at Boston University.

Mr. Ryan McAnany joins the large list of alumni who are now faculty and staff members at Rockhurst.  A member of the great Class of 2012, Ryan continued his education at the University of Dallas before spending the 2016-17 school year as an ASC volunteer working at St. Louis University High School.  Here at The Rock, he will be teaching freshman English and Yearbook.  A former runner for Rockhurst, Ryan will also be a coach for the cross country and track teams.

Mr. Jim Monteil comes to Rockhurst as another Kansas City native.  Jim attended Archbishop O'Hara High School and then the University of Missouri before entering the world of education.  He taught at St. Regis Grade School for six years before joining the faculty at O'Hara in 1994.  He served there as a teacher and coach through this past spring.  At Rockhurst he will teach Geometry/Algebra 2 and Algebra 2/Trigonometry.  He is also a freshman football coach and will work with the track team in the spring.

Mr. Brandon Severino has a familiar name in the Rockhurst Community.  Brandon was a football standout for The Rock in the late-90s and is the son of legendary football coach, Mr. Tony Severino.  Brandon earned his degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia,and  will be joining the Physical Education department and coach year-round after spending years in the business world.  He will assist with football, basketball, and track and field.

Mrs. Lisa Weis has spent the last four years working with Rockhurst, and now will serve full-time as a staff member.  She has been in charge of sample acquisition for the school's Health and Wellness Program, and will now serve as the school nurse.  She went to St. Lius X High School, Central Missouri State University, and finished with her diploma in Nursing from the St. Luke's School of Nursing.  She then spent more than 18 years working at St. Luke's, and has 27 years overall in the industry.

The following are the ASC members for the 2017-18 school year:

Mr. Brian Dugan comes to Rockhurst from St. Louis, where he attended St. Louis University High School, and then St. Louis University, from which he graduated this past spring.  He will be teaching two sections of sophomore Scripture.  He is also working as an assistant coach for the soccer team and is involved with the Hurtado Scholars Program.

Mr. Jamie Placht also hails from St. Louis.  Jamie attended De Smet Jesuit High School before going on to be a student-athlete at the University of Indianapolis where he played football and earned a Bachelor's in Exercise Science.  Here at The Rock, he will be teaching Biology to freshmen.  He is sharing his football knowledge as a freshman coach, and will also assist with baseball in the spring.  Jamie also plans to work with the Hurtado Scholars.

Mr. Anthony Re joins Rockhurst by way of St. Louis, where he attended St. Louis University High School and then Loyola University Chicago.  Anthony previously student-taught History and Psychology at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, and also served in the academic recovery after-school program at Passages Charter School for four years.  Most recently, he spent the last three years working in the start-up world.  Now at Rockhurst, he will teach Modern World History to sophomores, and assist with Yearbook.  Outside of the classroom he will spend his time with Hurtado Scholars, Pastoral Office and service trips, and possibly a theater production. 

Mr. Nick Sykora is another St. Louis University High School graduate involved with the ASC.  He is also a graduate of the University of Dayton, where he earned a degree in Biology.  He previously worked as an account executive for a logistics corporation before exploring his interest in education through the ASC program.  This year, he will be teaching three classes of freshman Biology and will be assisting in a lab.  He will work with the theater program and is interested in helping moderate the Science Club.

We wish these men and women a great first year at The Rock, and thank them for their service in forming Rockhurst’s “men for others.”

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Rockhurst High School

Established in 1910 - Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

9301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO 64114-3299     816.363.2036