The Diocese of Phoenix is welcoming about 110 teachers who are entering their first year at our local Catholic 29 preschools, 29 elementary schools and six high schools. Every new school year also brings in a slew of teachers and campus leaders in new positions.

We weren’t able to meet all of them by name, but did find or otherwise run across some interesting tidbits about some of them.

Bourgade Catholic High School College Preparatory

Jessica Reyes, administrative assistant to the principal

Fun fact: recently supported the Catholic Community Foundation

Brief bio: Reyes spent her first 10 years of life in Mexico. That’s where her Catholic faith roots took place and still relishes ministry work. That often involves healing in the many ministries of the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit in Laveen.

Reyes is a parishioner at St. Anne in Gilbert and has a BA from College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Life graph from an unknown teacher at the new teacher retreat
Life graph from an unknown teacher at the new teacher retreat

Notre Dame Preparatory

Shelley Dinges, assistant director of alumni engagement

Fun fact: Part of Notre Dame family since 2002

Brief bio: Dinges has served the school as a physical education teacher, girls golf coach and girls tennis coach earning the school many state championships and state runner-up honors. She was named Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Coach of the Year for either tennis or golf 11 times. In addition, the United States Tennis Association Central Arizona named Dinges “Coach of the Year” in 2016. She will continue to coach the school’s girls golf and tennis teams while serving as assistant director for alumni engagement.

Life graph from an unknown teacher at the new teacher retreat

Emmy Robison, assistant principal of academics

Fun fact: Married July 27 (at the University of Notre Dame)

Brief bio: Robison is a “Double Domer,” meaning she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Her teaching career has taken her to New Orleans through Teach for America then to Oregon.

“While in Eugene, I fell in love with the mission of Catholic schools and committed myself to make God known, loved, and served there,” she said. Robison is an advocate for the mission of Catholic education and she recently earned her Master of Arts in Education Leadership.

Life graph from an unknown teacher at the new teacher retreat


Seton Catholic Preparatory

Michael Chiurco, interim head football coach

Fun fact: His wife works at one of Seton’s Catholic feeder schools and Chiurco has served with the Arizona Cardinals

Brief bio: Coach Chiurco has over 29 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. He most recently served as an assistant for the Arizona Cardinals as an assistant to the head coach plus defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs. Chiurco is a parishioner at St. Mary in Chandler.

Jim Pogge, director of development

Fun fact: His most recent position was at an out-of-state all-girls college preparatory

Brief bio: Pogge has spent the last 15 years working on the “business side” of education including the last seven as Vice President for Advancement at Mercy High School, an all-girls college prep school in Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to that, he was a Major Gift Officer for the Heider College of Business at Creighton University. He has worked in large corporations, startup companies, and a family business.  Jim has a BA and an MA in English Literature and Composition, and he taught English at a university in Omaha.


Xavier College Preparatory

Brad Downes, head varsity softball coach

Fun fact: most recently coached the Arizona Hotshots softball team

Brief bio: Downes served as assistant during the Gators’ most recent season. He has extensive experience coaching at the club level and spent the last nine years supporting softball and baseball at Horizon Honors High School.


Life graphs of some new teachers and their leaders on retreat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.