Meet the Riverview Community School District new hires in their own words
ERIKA BAILEY – SCIENCE – RCHS – I grew up in Dearborn Heights and graduated from Annapolis High School. My only brother is Robert. He and his wife, Renee, live in New York and are expecting their first baby in December. I did my undergrad at EMU. My masters is from U of M. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Rob (yes, my brother and husband have the same name… not confusing at all) for almost 16 years. We have two girls, Madalyn who will be a freshman in high school this year, and Joanna, who is starting middle school. I enjoy helping at the theatre that my girls work with, crafting and spending time with my family. A quote that I try to live by is, “Let all that you do be done in love,” 1 Corinthians 16:18.
MARISA KOLOMITZ – SOCIAL WORKER – SEITZ, MEMORIAL, HUNTINGTON – I grew up in Southgate and I now reside in Trenton. I have one older brother. I graduated from Southgate Anderson High School. I attended Eastern Michigan University for my bachelors and Wayne State University for my masters. My favorite activities include yoga, reading, drinking coffee, escape rooms and kayaking. A quote I live by is “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandi
BOB LOTHIAN – PHYS ED – HUNTINGTON – Grew up in Trenton, graduated 2001. I played baseball at Eastern Michigan, graduated with bachelors degrees history and sociology-criminology. I have been married for seven years to my beautiful wife Amanda. Our son RJ is 4 and my baby daughter is due Nov. 1. I Umpire for Big Ten and Mid American Conference baseball and have umpired professional baseball for the last 15 years. But, my favorite activity is relaxing with my family at home and no phones! Quote to live by: YOLO
MARIA TSIPRAS – KINDERGARTEN – HUNTINGTON – I grew up in California and Arizona with my parents and one older brother. I graduated high school from Independence High School in Arizona. I attended Arizona State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. I’ve been married for 13 years to my wonderful husband Bill and have three amazing girls (Vasilia, Katerina, & Giorgia) that attend Riverview schools. I love spending quality time with my family! I also enjoy a good book!
IAN NICHOLAS – MUSIC/BAND – RCHS – I grew up in Fraser, have one sister, and two dogs I graduated from Fraser High School in 2012 and from Wayne State with a bachelors in music education and a masters in Instrumental conducting. I enjoy martial arts, woodworking, weight lifting, and cooking (also music, but that’s a given haha). Quote to live by: “Never settle for mediocrity, always be exceptional.” -Sensei Ryan Burtney
TIFFANY CRYSLER – COMPUTERS/CODING – SEITZ – I grew up Downriver with three sisters, graduated from John F. Kennedy High School. I went to University of Michigan-Dearborn for my bachelors degree and Marygrove for my Masters. I have been married for almost 16 years and have two wonderful and amazing daughters- Peytin and Gracie. I love watching them play their sports – swimming and volleyball. We enjoy hanging out at home in the pool and going up north. Life doesn’t require that we be the best, but that we try our best!
NATALIE LABEAU – 3RD GRADE – MEMORIAL – I am from Monroe and have lived there my whole life. My fiancé and I bought a house three years ago in Monroe. In my family I have my one older and one younger sister. Unfortunately no brothers, so my dad was surrounded by girls. I graduated from Monroe High School. I went to MSU and graduated in 2015. This will be my fifth year teaching. My mom was also a teacher so it was in my blood. I enjoy watching movies, gardening, relaxing, being at the lake and being with family and friends.
Quote: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. -Winnie the Pooh
VIOLET HOYING – DEV. KINDERGARTEN – ST. CYPRIAN CAMPUS – I grew up in Carleton and graduated from Airport in 1996. I went to Monroe Community College for my associates, Eastern Michigan for bachelors with a degree in elementary education majoring in Science and minoring in Early childhood education. From there went to Concordia for my Masters in educational leadership. I have been married to my husband for 12 years. I have a daughter, Ardelia, and son, Paul. I love spending time with my family and working on crafts during my free time. A quote to live by is something my dad always told me and his students growing up. “Just do your best, that’s all I could ever ask.”
RYAN PONIEDZIELSKI – SPECIAL EDUCATION – FOREST – I am 24 years old, grew up in Portage, MI near Kalamazoo before moving to Trenton in May of 2019. I went to Michigan State University for my bachelors in special education and I’m going back right now for a Masters in Special Education. I enjoy watching movies, swimming, working on the new house, going to Disney World, camping, and hiking. This summer I went on a 100 mile hike in New Mexico with my scout troop.
CALLIE ROBILLARD – MATH – RCHS – I graduated from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School and Eastern Michigan University. I have two daughters, Chloe (9) and Hannah (6), and they go to Huntington. I love volunteering at the theater that my daughters perform at and going to nerd conventions.
KELSEY IRWIN – SPEECH – HUNTINGTON/MEMORIAL/RCHS – I was born Sandusky, OH and graduated from Grosse Ile High School in 2012. From there I went on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toledo (Go Rockets!!!). I have an identical twin sister and an older brother and have been happily married since October 2017! I enjoy spending her free time with my husband, Sean, and rescue pup, Benji; visiting my twin in Cleveland, practicing yoga, running, and hiking!
Quote to live by: Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day!
SARAH HENIGE – SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPERVISOR – I grew up In Wyandotte. I have two older sisters and come from a very large Irish family. I have been married for eight years to my wonderful husband, Jeremy, and we have two wonderful little girls, Madeline, who is 6 years old, and Hannah, who is 3 years old. I graduated from Gabriel Richard High School and attended Eastern Michigan University where I earned my degree in elementary education with an endorsement in cognitive impairment. I then went on to get my masters from Oakland University in Special Education with an endorsement in autism spectrum disorder. When I am not working or going to school, my family and I are busy traveling for Irish dance, being outdoors and visiting with family and friends. Quote: “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” – Oliver Goldsmith
GRACE SCHENKEL – SOCIAL WORKER – DISTRICT – I grew up in Ypsilanti and am the second oldest of eight, with six brothers and one sister. I went to Bowling Green State University for undergrad and Eastern Michigan for my MSW. I now live in Westland with my husband, 4 year old daughter, and we recently added a black lab to the family. We have also been foster parents for about 4 1/2 years which has been quite a journey and keeps us busy. In our “free” time we enjoy camping, biking or walking the Riverwalk and Belle Isle, exploring Greenfield Village, going to the zoo and spending time with extended family. I think my favorite quote is: “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
ABIGAIL GENIG – LANGUAGE ARTS – SEITZ – I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and North Sutton, New Hampshire, with my parents and two younger brothers. I graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne and Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana with a B.A. in English and secondary education. I am married to Joshua and have five daughters (four of whom are Riverview students!). I like to read, cook, garden, sew, sing, and spend time with my family. Quote: “We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world…One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” (Malala Yousafzai)
ARJETA LIPO – ELL PARAPROFESSIONAL – I was born and grew up in Tirana, Albania until the age of 23 when I moved to the United States. I went to a bilingual high school in my home country where I studied Italian and English. After high school I attended the University of Tirana. I obtained a degree in journalism and communication science. I am not married and I don’t have kids, but I do have two nieces and a nephew that I love dearly. I have a sister who is older than me. Some of my favorite activities are: spending time with family and friends, going to the theatre and concerts, and working out. My quote to live by is: Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does – by William James.
MELISSA BAXTER – SPECIAL EDUCATION – SEITZ – I grew up in Taylor and graduated from J.F. Kennedy High School. I went to Eastern Michigan University for my undergraduate degree and then the University of Michigan-Dearborn for my graduate degree. I have one brother, who is a police sergeant in Farmington. I am married and we have a 3-year-old son, plus I have a stepson and stepdaughter, who are both adults. I enjoy exercising, traveling, and cooking. A quote I live by is: “Gratitude turns what you have into enough”.
CAROL VOLLMERHAUSEN – KINDERGARTEN – HUNTINGTON – I grew up in Riverview. I have two younger sisters who both live in Florida. I graduated high school from Gabriel Richard. I attended Central Michigan University. I have three children, a girl, and two boys. My daughter Catherine lives in New Hampshire with her husband. My two sons attend college and are pursuing business degrees. They both work part time. Joe is at Wayne State and Andrew is at Western Michigan. I have a black lab-Shepard mix named Enzo. Some of my hobbies include walking, playing tennis, riding my bike, kayaking, and listening to Audible. One of my favorite quotes is from Les Brown: “In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”
JESSICA KIDD – SOCIAL WORKER – FOREST/GSRP/RCHS – Once upon a time, I grew up in Taylor and graduated from Carlson H.S. in 1999. In 2003 I graduated from Adrian College with my bachelors in Human Services. I moved to Chicago in 2006, attended Loyola University and graduated with my MSW in 2008. Chris and I got engaged in November 2016 and found out I was pregnant in December 2016. We still intend and plan to get married however another surprise gift blessed us 15 months later. I have two biological babies and inherited three step children and their ages are 9 mos, 2 years, 10, 12 and 14. I have been doing social work services for about 17 years in various disciplines (at-risk youth, inpatient psych, foster care, long term care, case management and child/family therapy). Quote I live by: “Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.”
ANDRA WSZOLA – 5TH GRADE – MEMORIAL – I grew up in Dearborn and attended Edsel Ford High School. After high school I became an Eagle at Eastern Michigan University. I have two older sisters and a nephew (no children or husband). I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family as well as making “do-it-yourself” crafts. My quote to live by would be: “ Think smarter, not harder”.
CHRISTIE ELEMONT – STEM – SEITZ – I grew up in Dearborn Heights and graduated from Cabrini High School. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan and my Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from San Diego State University. I lived in San Diego for 10 years and loved it, but moved back home to be close to all my family (they are amazing). I am currently in Wyandotte and this is my 16th year teaching. I hold personal training and nutrition certificates, as I love to be active in my spare time. I also spend a lot of time with my family and friends, going to concerts and listening to live music, as well as sporting events (go Red Wings!). Quote to live by: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”