St. Paul Catholic School — New School, Great Teachers

By: Janet Kenney

The beginning of the school year is always exciting. What is even more exciting is the beginning of the school year at a new school. St. Paul Catholic School, located at 1900 Highway 72 West in Athens, will have full day Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and kindergarten classes starting in August. St. Paul has had an education building for over 10 years but has not been able to use it fully. Now they can. The school will provide a nurturing environment where students can grow emotionally, academically, and spiritually under the direction of experienced and knowledgeable teachers. Classes will be kept small to allow for individualized instruction.

A school’s success is highly dependent on having quality educators; St. Paul’s is blessed with amazing instructors. Mrs. Patsy Kobs, the kindergarten teacher, has been teaching for 40 years in both public and Catholic schools. Her last assignment was at St. Ann’s in Decatur. Her years of experience include teaching special education, early childhood, elementary, and working as a school psychometrist. She is a certified Wilson instructor (dyslexia language program under Orton-Gillingham) and worked for many years teaching adult English Language Learners.

Mrs. Kobs is excited to teach at St. Paul. “I absolutely love kindergarten students. They are eager and ready to learn but are maturing and able to follow directions and concentrate for longer periods of time. Teaching in a Catholic/Christian environment allows me to bring God into all the lessons and helps the young ones understand the connections between all peoples and all of God’s creation.”

This year, St. Paul had a pilot program with a half-day preschool taught by Dr. Sue Whitcomb. Dr. Whitcomb began teaching at Holy Family School teaching kindergarten, first, and third grade. She never ceased learning new techniques and adding to her teaching repertoire. Her doctorate is in reading from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she has a master’s in dyslexia therapy. Dr. Whitcomb will continue to work with curriculum and provide support to all classes as well as substituting when needed. Dr. Whitcomb has chosen to teach in Christian settings, even when teaching future teachers at William Carey University. “I find so much satisfaction in being able to share my faith and love for Christ with my students.”

Ms. Dana Wolfe is the Director of St. Paul Catholic School. She has master’s degrees in secondary social studies education, liberal arts, and pastoral studies with a certification in Spiritual Direction. Her “day job” is Director of Adult Education for North Alabama. Her love is for “the littles” and she feels more is needed to guide them on a pathway that includes not only academic success but also helps them experience the love of God. She has been shepherding the process of starting the school through all the requirements, both state and Diocese of Birmingham, because she feels so strongly that a Catholic/Christian school is needed in Limestone County. The long-range plan is that each year a new grade will be added so that students can continue their Christian education.

Come meet these amazing ladies, see St. Paul’s classrooms, and meet others contributing special lessons to the school on April 9 from 5-7 PM. There will be demonstrations and fun activities to help prospective parents see the value of sending their children to St. Paul Catholic School, 1900 US Highway 72 West in

Athens. You can find more information on St. Paul Catholic School’s Facebook page, website, or by contacting Dana Wolfe at

By: Janet Kenney