Welcome New Faculty Members 2020-2021

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For the 2020-2021 school year, the Mater Dei family welcomes four new faculty members: Mr. Trevor Durham, Mrs. Celia Kannall, Mrs. Candice Knef, and Mr. Alex Normansell.


Mr. Trevor Durham, who has been serving Mater Dei as an assistant football coach, joins our Science Department and will teach Physical Science A, Physical Science, Physical Science Honors, and Physics Honors.  In addition, he will serve as an assistant coach for basketball, football, and track.  Mr. Durham, who holds a Bachelor of Science from Quincy University and a Master of Science from Logan University, stated, “I am happy to be back with the Knights again this year and to serve not only as a coach for athletics, but also as a full-time teacher.  I am looking forward to a great school year!”


Mrs. Celia Kannall, who previously served as a member of our faculty, returns to Mater Dei as a member of the Theology Department and the Social Studies Department.  She will teach Study Skills, Theology IV, Lifespan and Development (dual credit), and Introduction to Psychology (dual credit). Mrs. Kannall, who holds a Bachelor of Science from SIUE and is currently completing a Masters of Science through Divine Mercy University, stated, “I am looking forward to strengthening and developing the critical thinking skills of my students. They have already demonstrated to me, through a couple of exercises, how very capable they are.  This class of seniors have taken to heart my words – ‘I want to teach you how to think, not what to think.’  It is exciting and challenging, as a teacher, to work with this caliber of student.”


Mrs. Candice Knef joins the Mater Dei family as a member of the Science Department.  She will teach Chemistry, Chemistry Honors, Chemistry II, and Physical Science.  Mrs. Knef, who holds a Bachelor of Science from SIUE, stated, “Since walking into the building on my first day, it was easy to see that the culture in the building was kind, welcoming and helpful.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the school community better.  I’m also excited about the opportunity to start one, or two, new science clubs for interested students to have the opportunity to participate in.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work here.”


Mater Dei alumnus Mr. Alex Normansell ’07 returns to Mater Dei as a member of our Fine Arts Department.  In addition to serving as our director of bands (concert band, jazz band, marching band, and wind ensemble) and choir director, he will teach Arts Appreciation and History of American Music (dual credit).  Mr. Normansell, who holds a Bachelor of Music from Murray State University and a Master of Arts from Eastern Illinois University, stated, “It is so great to be teaching at my alma mater!  As a student, I never imagined I would have this distinct privilege.  One of the most exciting opportunities for me is to teach the new dual credit History of American Music course.”

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