Mrs. Katie Carden, Principal – Joined FHC in 2012
Mrs. Carden received her B.A. in Education from National-Louis University. She holds endorsements in Reading, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Special Education. In addition, she holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Carden joined the staff of Faith Hope in July of 2012. She is a mother to six children and brings both her parenting and teaching perspectives to her job.
Mrs. Chris VanderPal, Pre-Kindergarten 3 – Joined FHC in 2013
Mrs. VanderPal received her Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Illinois University and her Master’s Degree from Northeastern Illinois University. She has been a teacher for many years, including 11 years as a summer camp art teacher and 12 years teaching preschool at All Things Bright & Beautiful, before coming to FHC. Mrs. VanderPal chose a career in teaching because she wanted to play a role in creating a learning environment that facilitates and nurtures a child’s love of learning.
Mrs. Marijo Talaga, Pre-Kindergarten 3 Aide – Joined FHC in 2013
Mrs. Talaga graduated from MacMurray College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, specializing in Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She taught the deaf at Alexander Graham Bell School for 5 years before leaving to raise her 4 children. After subbing for 5 years, Mrs. Talaga joined the preschool team loves working with the adorable and energetic 3 year olds! Mrs. Talaga and her family live in Chicago and can most likely be found at some type of volleyball game or tournament.
Mrs. Georgia Salemme, PreKindergarten 3 Aide – Joined FHC in 2015
This is my fourth year as a Teacher’s Aide at FHC 3 year old pre-school class. I am married and have one daughter, one son, and two dogs. Before FHC, I worked in many different positions in accounting. I really enjoy pets and would love to have my own ranch filled with pets. I enjoy family moments, and really treasure them. Working at FHC gives me much happiness every year when I meet the new students and experience their wonderful changes throughout the year as a result of our curriculum. My classes are full of sweet hearted young children that make me smile every day and I am so happy that I get to seen them.
Emily Anderson, Prekindergarten 4–joined FHC in 2015
Ms. Anderson has a degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition, she holds an ESL endorsement and a Master’s degree in Reading Education. Emily joined the staff of Faith Hope in 2015. This is her 8th year teaching preschool.
Meghan Cassidy, Prekindergarten 3/4–joined FHC in 2015
Ms. Cassidy received a B.A. in Fine Arts with a focus in Photography from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in Education with Endorsements in ESL and Sp. Ed. from National Louis University. She has previously taught Kindergarten and has been in the educational field for 9 years. She loves working with children, exploring nature, photography and taking her dog to the park. This is Ms. Cassidy’s third year at FHC and she loves being a part of the FHC community.
Shannon Dowdle, Prekindergarten 4–joined FHC in 2016
Mrs. Dowdle grew up in Evanston and attended St. Athanasius, Evanston High School, and Illinois State University. She graduated with a B.S. in Special Education (preschool-12th grade), with a Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders emphasis, and in General Education (K-9th grade). She taught in special education for several years before staying home with her six children and then returned to teach preschool in Glenview for 8 years before moving to FHC. She is happy to be back in a Catholic School.
Ms. Marisa Mateling, Prekindergarten 4 Aide – Joined FHC in 2013
Ms. Mateling is so excited to be working with the students at Faith Hope and Charity. She is very family orientated, being one of three sisters. Ms. Mateling has been a swim instructor since 2009 and is thrilled to bring her passion for working with children to this wonderful community. One of her many hobbies is playing soccer.
Eillen Kelly, Prekindergarten–Joined FHC in 2013
Eileen Kelly has worked at Faith Hope since 2013. Prior to working at FHC, she worked at Bright Beginnings Pre-School for several years. She is a mother to four children and loves working with our pre-schoolers.
Marybeth Kelley, Prekindergarten 3/4 Aide–Joined FHC in 2016
Mrs. Kelley. Received her Bachelors degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University. Prior to coming to Faith Hope, Mrs Kelley taught Psychology at Oakton Community College and worked with adolescents at Evanston High School and Peer Services Inc. Mrs. Kelley is the mother to six all of which are FHC Bulldogs.
Mrs. Mary Nimrod, Senior Kindergarten – Joined FHC in 2002
Mrs. Nimrod graduated from John Carroll University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and began her teaching career at St. Joseph’s in Wilmette. She has taught a variety of grades but she has been a kindergarten teacher since coming to Faith Hope and Charity. Mrs. Nimrod is a mother of five and proud that her children were educated at catholic schools. She is an active member at OLPH Parish, and her hobbies include swimming, biking and cooking.
Mrs. Betty Ann Shanley, Senior Kindergarten – Joined FHC in 2001
Mrs. Shanley has a degree in special education K-12 with an emphasis in behavior disorders. She taught at Glenkirk School for 9 years with developmentally delayed children. She worked in the Learning Lab for many years before moving to Kindergarten in 2005.
Mrs. Kathy Elbert, Senior Kindergarten Aide–Joined FHC in 1987
Mrs. Kathy Elbert is part of the Senior Kindergarten team. She believes in Catholic education by teaching religion, values, and academics to young children. She is especially proud to see FHC students become successful young adults.
Mrs. Cindy Phelan, Senior Kindergarten Aide–Joined FHC in 2016
My teaching career began in 1997 when I was the lead senior kindergarten teacher at FHC! I taught three wonderful years until the arrival of my first child. The last 16 years, I have been home raising my three children and substitute teaching at their school. As of 2016, I have happily made full circle back to FHC senior kindergarten as an aide. Besides running a muck with three teenagers, I have a small watercolor painting business where I paint florals for the bridal industry.
Ms. Molly Sheridan, Senior Kindergarten Aide–Joined FHC in 2015
I am currently studying at DePaul University in an effort to get my Masters in Early Elementary Education. I decided to work at Faith Hope because I enjoy working with children. FHC is a great school and my work with the students is always fun and rewarding.
Ms. Colleen Moran, First Grade – Joined FHC in 2017
I graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015. I previously worked as a 5th Grade teacher at St. Margaret Mary School and a 4th Grade teacher at Holy Cross School. Outside of school I enjoy running and scrapbooking. I am looking forward to starting the school year at FHC. I am truly blessed to have found such a great place where children can learn and grow in faith. I believe all students can be successful with a strong foundation in a learning environment that brings both religion and education together.
Sheila Infante, First Grade–Joined FHC in 2016
My name is Sheila Infante and I am happily returning for my 2nd year in First Grade at Faith, Hope and Charity School. I graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Elementary Education and an extensive background in Early Childhood. I began my teaching career while in high school working in a preschool in Park Ridge and continuing to co-teach the summer camp there during my summer breaks. After teaching Kindergarten for many years at St. Margaret Mary School in Chicago, followed by 4 years in 3rd grade, I believe God had a hand in guiding me to my new school family here at Faith Hope and Charity after my former school closed. The strong family community, the Catholic values and the wonderful staff is why I can’t imagine being anywhere else but Faith Hope. First Grade has been nothing short of amazing! I am given the privilege and responsibility each day to contribute to the academic, emotional and spiritual growth of my first grade students and in turn, watch them grow before my eyes! I continually strive to build a strong academic and a foundation and a love of learning for my students.
Ms. Courtney Cirone, Second Grade–Joined FHC in 2015
Ms. Cirone graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Language Arts. She started off teaching Preschool for two years, one of those years at Faith Hope. Ms. Cirone moved to Second Grade and has loved being able to lead the children through their Sacraments. Ms. Cirone attended Catholic School every year of her schooling and truly believes the community a Catholic School brings is incomparable.
Ms. Caitlin Mundt, Second Grade–Joined FHC in 2017
Ms. Mundt grew up in Frankfort and attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago before moving on to Indiana University in Bloomington. After receiving her degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Reading, she spent three years teaching fifth grade at both Catholic and public schools in the southwest suburbs. She is thrilled to be a member of the FHC staff and feels privileged to work in such a faithful, inclusive, and welcoming community.
Sheila Gorney, Third Grade–Joined FHC in 2017
Sheila Gorney was born and raised on the north side of Chicago and spent her high school years here on the North Shore. She went to St. Margaret Mary School in Chicago and Regina Dominican for high school. She has her BA from St. Norbert College in DePere, WI and her MAT from DePaul University. Her first years of teaching were spent in Glenview School District 34 teaching 4th grade and then Park Ridge District 64 where she taught 2nd grade. She is a mother of five, ages 8-18, and lives with her family in Wilmette. Sheila’s youngest daughter, Shannon, will also be entering 3rd grade. They are both looking forward to a wonderful school year and to meeting each of her third grade buddies.
Aimee Meccia, Third Grade–Joined FHC in 2017
Aimee Meccia received her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Women’s Studies from Saint Mary’s College. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at DePaul University and has enjoyed teaching in Catholic, public and independent schools in Chicagoland and NYC. She hails from Wilmette where she is happily raising four children. Outside of school, Aimee can be found with her nose in a good book, searching for adventures, and driving hockey carpools.
Amanda Parker, Fourth Grade–Joined FHC in 2017
Mrs. Amanda Parker was born in Atlanta, Georgia and received her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in May of 2011 and will be starting her Master’s Degree this fall in Curriculum and Instruction. Since moving to Chicago in June of 2013, she has taught on the Southside of Chicago, learning that every student has a voice and that voice carries them on a journey throughout their entire life. She is married and has a dog named Russell.
Ms. Catherine LaCross, Fifth Grade–Joined FHC in 2017
Mrs. LaCross grew up in Winnetka and attended FHC and then Loyola Academy in Wilmette. She graduated from Iona College in New York in 2012. She worked at St. John Berchmans teaching 4th and 5th grade for the past 5 years in the Logan Square area of Chicago. This year she decided to go back to her alma mater and accepted the 5th grade position at FHC. Mrs. LaCross is very excited to be back with the Faith Hope community.
Mrs. Meg LaLonde, Fifth Grade – Joined FHC in 2003
Mrs. LaLonde grew up in Evanston and attended St. Joan of Arc and Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, then. She graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH in 2002 and worked in a multiage classroom in Cincinnati for a year. She came home in 2003 and accepted the second grade teaching position at Faith Hope and has been here ever since. After attending Catholic schools, Mrs. LaLonde is a firm believer in Catholic education and feels blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the Faith Hope community.
Mrs. Angela Jenks, Sixth Grade and Junior High Literature/Language Arts – Joined FHC in 2014
Mrs. Jenks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations from Michigan State University in 2008. After working in online advertising for a few years, she found herself missing her true passion, working with children. She chose to pursue a big career change, receiving her Master’s in Elementary and Middle School Education from DePaul University. Prior to joining FHC, Mrs. Jenks worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Chicago. She recently moved to the area with her new husband and is excited to join a strong Catholic community and share her love of reading and language arts with her sixth graders!
Colleen Killgallon, Sixth Grade and Junior High Social Studies–Joined FHC in 2017
Colleen Killgallon received a degree in History and Secondary Education from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. in 2017. Outside of school, I coach high school volleyball and club volleyball. I have a passion for social studies and am excited to share this love to students in the classroom. I am so blessed and excited to be teaching at FHC!
Liz Gibbs, Seventh Grade and Junior High Literature/Language Arts–Joined FHC in 2017
As a new resident of the Chicagoland area, Liz Gibbs will start her 23rd year of teaching at FHC. Her twin boys, Shanon and Shelby, are 19 and live in Missouri. Along with teaching, Ms. Gibbs enjoys reading, baking and riding motorcycles.
Ms. Lauren DeFrank, Eighth Grade and Junior High Math – Teaching at FHC since 2008
Ms. DeFrank is a graduate of Loyola Academy and has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in mathematics from Loyola University Chicago. Ms. DeFrank loves teaching middle school math, and enjoys teaching students how math is always a part of their daily world; including sports, architecture, marketing, accounting, economics, stocks, and even the grocery store! In her spare time Ms. DeFrank volunteers at Loyola Academy through their Young Alumni group as a mentor. Ms. DeFrank is also an avid ballet dancer, and enjoys yoga and reading. Ms. DeFrank is happy to be a part of the FHC community.
Mrs. Jan DeStefano, Junior High Honors Math – Joined FHC in 2013
Mrs. DeStefano received her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Dominic College and her Master of Education degree from National Louis University. She previously taught at Regina Dominican High School, St. Benedict High School and Loyola Academy before coming to FHC. Mrs. DeStefano loves dogs and has two rescue dogs.
Mrs. Lynn Finneke, Junior High Science – Joined FHC in 2014
Mrs. Finneke has been teaching in Catholic schools for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Education for Curriculum and Instruction, concentrating on Middle School and Science with a Middle School Science Endorsement. She is also a Board member of the Illinois Junior Academy of Science and received a service award in 2013. Mrs. Finneke is a certified catechesis for the Archdiocese of Chicago and an active member in her parish, Sacred Heart. Mrs. Finneke and her husband have 3 children and lives in Winnetka, in her spare time she loves to go to school, travel, see plays, dine out, attend sporting events, and ski.
Trina Burek, French Teacher–Joined FHC in 2015
Madame Burek has a degree in French from the University of Chicago and has studied extensively in France. She has had the pleasure of sharing her love of French with students at all levels, from Kindergarten through Advanced Placement, for over 25 years. Madame Burek joined the staff of Faith Hope in 2015 and feels fortunate to be part of a Catholic community once again. She is currently serving on the AATF Executive Council and finishing her MAT at National Louis University.
Mrs. Julia Clarke, Spanish Teacher – Joined FHC in 2015
Sra. Clarke is originally from Des Moines, Iowa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Truman State University in Missouri and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Illinois. She studied abroad in Costa Rica while in college and lived in Mexico as a volunteer after graduating. She enjoys sharing her love of the Spanish language and the countries she has visited with her students. She has taught high school and middle school Spanish at several schools, including Roycemore and St. Joan of Arc in Evanston. Sra. Clarke and her husband and three children live in Skokie.
Mrs. Stephanie Faratci, Learning Lab – Joined FHC in 2007
Mrs. Faratci graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana with a Bachelor degree in Psychology and English Literature. She then received her Master’s degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Mrs. Faratci worked in the Glencoe school district in the Special Education department and then as a second grade teacher in Northbrook before joining the FHC Learning Lab. Mrs. Faratci recently completed a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. Mrs. Faratci has always loved teaching and finding ways to make every child feel successful and accomplished.
Mrs. Emily Twomey, Reading Specialist – Joined FHC in 2014
Mrs. Twomey is a New Hampshire native who just relocated to the Chicago area. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Deaf and Hard of Hearing studies from the University of New Hampshire, as well as a Masters of Art in Teaching degree from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Reading Specialty through DePaul University. Mrs. Twomey aims to create a collaborative classroom environment that fosters a true passion for lifelong learning. Outside of school, Mrs. Twomey loves yoga, running, and finding new books to read. Mrs. Twomey is thrilled to be teaching 2nd grade in the wonderful FHC community.
Mrs. Mickey Weldon, Learning Lab – Joined FHC in 2008
Mrs. Weldon has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching from Roosevelt University. When she started substitute teaching in 2002, Mrs. Weldon discovered a deep connection to teaching and learning. Consequently, she returned to school to complete the necessary undergraduate courses in education, and received her teaching certificate in 2006. Mrs. Weldon has a teaching level certificate from SLANT System’s: Structured Language Training. SLANT provides course work and training that prepare specialists in multisensory structured language arts programs. The program is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council.
Mrs. Paula Alexander, LCSW – Joined FHC in 2012
Mrs. Alexander earned her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1999, as well as her Type 73 credential to work as a social worker in schools. Mrs. Alexander advanced her credentials and became a licensed clinical social worker in 2005. She has been working with children & families for the past 12 years & has recently joined the staff at Faith Hope in December.
Dr. Molly Cinnamon, Dean of Students & Music – Joined FHC in 2014
Dr. Cinnamon serves as our Dean of Students and music teacher at FHC! She received her undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her masters and doctoral degrees in education from National-Louis University, where she is currently an adjunct professor. Dr. Cinnamon taught music in Winnetka and served in administrative roles in Glencoe prior to joining the FHC team. Dr. Cinnamon lives in Evanston with her husband, and their two children.
Mitch Schneider, Technology – Joined FHC in 2017
Mitch Schneider enjoys brining innovation to social change. He enjoys a history of success in strategy, fundraising, social ROI, program implementation and leadership development. He has developed 3 social-good organizations- his last being Kauzu, which provided free, simple, mobile solutions for hourly or low-income jobseekers on a hyper-local level. Prior to founding Kauzu, Mitch served in founding and leadership roles in various sectors with a focus on leveraging the talent of all members, streamlining operations, and integrating technology. His desire lifelong pursuit to promote individual empowerment and reduce multi-generational poverty has naturally led him to the education sector. Mitch is excited to be joining a strong, active, and supportive learning community at Faith Hope School. He desires to use classroom technology as a tool and gateway to access the adventures and innovations in the real world while collaborating with colleagues to promote integration and individualization. Mitch has educational backgrounds in psychology, business management, education, and social emotional learning. He stays active by serving on community boards and councils, running, and playing tennis and volleyball. He has a 7 year old boy that he adores. Together they actively explore learning, sports, adventure, cooking, and especially laughter.
Mrs. Donna Hays, Athletic Director and PE – Joined FHC in 2010
Mrs. Hays has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from DePaul University. Mrs. Hays has taught PE and coached at both the high school and elementary school levels in different socio-economic and multi-cultural areas, as well as coaching cheerleading. She feels blessed to be a part of the Faith Hope community.
Paul Keenan, Physical Education–Joined FHC in 2017
Paul Keenan, a veteran in working with youth, is pleased to be the Physical Education teacher at FHC. He has coaching soccer and taught Physcial Education at the high school level for the past 28 years. He is excited to be teaching at FHC. He is thankful for the great experience thus far in getting to know the students, families, Mrs. Carden and the outstanding FHC staff.
Ms. Joanne Bennett, Art – Joined FHC in 2005
Ms. Bennett earned her undergraduate degree at University of New Mexico and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Arts Education at Columbia College Chicago. Ms. Bennett works in many mediums, but her passion is realistic portraiture. Ms. Bennett has worked in the Arts in various fields; as a designer in the display and giftware industry, as a portrait artist, and also in the theatre as a set designer. Ms. Bennett’s art teacher in elementary school was her inspiration. Ms. Bennett prays that she may be equally as inspirational to all of her art students.
Francesca Maddock, Art and Music Aide–Joined FHC in 2016
Francesa Maddock graduated from New Trier in 2014 where she developed a love for art while working with a variety of mediums. She has been involved in musical theater for the past 8 years. Most recently, Francesca has been taking classes at the College of Lake County. Francesca began working at the School of Saints Faith, Hope and Charity as an aide in art and music in 2016. She loves working with children and being part of a loving Catholic community. Francesca resides in Wilmette with her family.
Ms. Holly Rumpel, Librarian – Joined FHC in 2014
Ms. Rumpel moved to Chicago from Petoskey, Michigan in 2000 to continue her education and professional endeavors in the insurance industry. She completed her bachelor’s degree at DePaul University with an individualized focus in education and then went on to earn her master’s in education from DePaul’s College of Education. After 18 years in the insurance industry, she earned licenses in elementary and special education with an endorsement in Social Science. Ms. Rumpel was blessed with one son who taught her all she needed to know about child growth and development! She lives in Chicago and enjoys the theatre, volunteering, cycling and fitness classes.
Allison Kapolnek, Nurse–Joined FHC in 2017
Ms. Kapolnek grew up in Niles and attended St. Juliana in Chicago and then Loyola Academy in Wilmette. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from North Park University in 2016. She worked as a registered nurse on the inpatient psychiatric unit at Northshore Evanston Hospital for a year before joining the FHC staff. Mental and emotional health is one of her passions. In her spare time she enjoys seeing plays and musicals.
Mrs. Marissa Schietinger–Joined FHC in 2011
Mrs. Schietinger came to FHC in 2011, prior to that she worked at Evanston Hospital for 10 years. When not at school Mrs. Schietinger enjoys baking, reading and craft projects. She has 4 children and feels very blessed to work in such a wonderful community!
Mrs. Kitty Horne, School Secretary–Joined FHC in 2016
Mrs. Horne worked as a preschool teacher and kindergarten assistant at St. Mary’s School in Evanston for many years. She then acted as assistant director of Central Evanston Child Care for 12 years. After some time off to be a stay at home mom, she worked at Regina Dominican High School as Student Services Coordinator for 13 years. She is happy to be at Faith Hope and Charity.