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Faculty & Staff Directory

Dr. Thomas Meagher, Principal – Joined FHC in 2018
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with an MA from DePaul and a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University, FHC is pleased to welcome Dr. Meagher to lead our faculty and students. As an educator for 22 years, the last twenty years at Lake Forest High School where he served as teacher, coach, department chair and assistant Principal, we are certain that Dr. Meagher will complement our commitment to an engaging and challenging academic education and Christian value system.
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 taught  at All Things Bright & Beautiful for 12 years, and spent 11 summers as a camp art teacher, and 4 years as a camp director before coming to FHC. In 2018, she co founded Imagine Day Camp. 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.

Emily McCaskey, Pre-Kindergarten 3 Aide – Joined FHC in 2018

Born in Winnetka, I attended FHC and Loyola Academy. My love of working with children was instilled in me from my very large family. I am the second oldest of seven children and have many young cousins who live nearby. I attended Boston College and received a B.A. in Applied Psychology Human Development. I continued my studies at Boston College at the graduate level to receive my Masters in Elementary Education. I am thrilled to bring my passion for working with children to the wonderful community of Faith Hope and Charity.

Georgia Salemme, PreKindergarten 3 Aide – Joined FHC in 2015

Mrs. Salemme has been working as a Teacher’s Assistant in the PK3 program since  2014. 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 see them.

Liz Sexton, Prekindergarten 4 – joined FHC in 2018
Ms. Sexton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from Saint Mary’s College. She earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University and has been teaching at a local preschool for the past ten years. Liz grew up in Wilmette and attended Catholic schools throughout her life. She is excited to join her alma mater, Faith Hope & Charity, and feels blessed to be a part of such a vibrant, supportive Catholic community. Liz has sixteen-year-old twins who will be juniors in high school this year. Liz loves the beach and spends her free time with her family and friends, her two golden retrievers and her garden.
Marybeth Kelley, School Counselor/Learning Lab – 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.
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. Ms. Cassidy loves being a part of the FHC community.
Marisa Mateling, Prekindergarten 3/4 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 and enjoys being an aunt. She enjoys living in city and loves spending time exploring and spending her free time running and playing soccer.  Before she worked at FHC she was a swim instructor for 6 years. Ms. Mateling has been an assistant since 2013 and is thrilled to bring her passion for working with children to this wonderful 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.
Eillen Kelly, Prekindergarten 4 Aide – 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.
Betty Ann Shanley, 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.
Kathy Elbert, 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.
Cindy Phelan, Kindergarten – 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.
Molly Sheridan, 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.
Meg LaLonde, First 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 . 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.
Katie Melnick, Second Grade – Joined FHC in 2018
Miss Melnick grew up in Wilmette and attended Loyola Academy before graduating from Michigan State University where she received a degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Language Arts. Miss Melnick spent the last year working with students of all ages and backgrounds as a long-term substitute for several schools. She is so excited to join the FHC community and looks forward to a great year in second grade.
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, and lives with her family in Wilmette. She is 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.
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. She then 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.
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 – 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!
Jan DeStefano, Junior High 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.
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.
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.
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.
Donna Hays, Athletic Director – 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.
Joanne Bennett, Art – Joined FHC in 2005
Ms. Bennett earned her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Theater at University of New Mexico and her Master’s degree in Arts Education at Columbia College Chicago. Prior to joining the School of Saints Faith, Hope & Charity in 2005, Ms. Bennett worked in the Arts in various fields; as a designer in the display and giftware industry, a portrait artist, costume, floral and Christmas designer and also in the theater as a set designer. Ms. Bennett works in many mediums, but her passion is realistic portraiture. 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.
Nichole Coutts, Nurse – Joined FHC in 2018
A registered nurse for 12 years, Mrs. Coutts has worked many years in obstetrics and women and children units for Illinois and North Carolina hospitals. In my second year as a school nurse, I consider this a dream job. I have 2 beautiful children and a husband of 10 years. I look forward to getting to know everyone at Saint Faith, Hope, and Charity. Its an honor to be entrusted to keep all the children of the school safe and healthy.
Marissa Schietinger, Administrative Assistant to the Prinicpal – 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!
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.

Kate Kinyon, Dance and Theatre Director - Joined FHC in 2019

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Kate Kinyon, Dance and Theatre Director

Kate Kinyon holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and dance from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.  Having been a dance educator in the Chicago Public Schools for many years, Ms. Kinyon also owned and operated a performing arts school in Chicago for nearly twenty years.  Joining Faith Hope and Charity for her second year, Ms. Kinyon is excited to direct the fall and spring musicals, including the infamous 8th grade musical!