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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, Dr. Meagher is pleased to be at FHC to lead our faculty and students as principal. As an educator for 22 years, he spent the last twenty years at Lake Forest High School, where he served as a teacher, coach, department chair, and Assistant Principal, Dr. Meagher is committed 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 3/4 Aide – Joined FHC in 2018
 

Born in Winnetka, Mrs. McCaskey attended FHC and Loyola Academy. Her love of working with children became instilled in her from her large family. She is the second oldest of seven children and has many young cousins who live nearby. She attended Boston College and received a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Development. She continued her studies at Boston College at the graduate level and earned her Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is thrilled to bring her passion for working with children to the beautiful 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. She is married and has a daughter, a son, and two dogs. Before coming to FHC, she worked in accounting. She really enjoys pets and would love to live on a ranch filled with pets. Mrs. Salemme treasures family moments and the time she spends with them. Working at FHC gives her much happiness. She enjoys the beautiful changes in her students throughout the year as a result of the wonderful PK curriculum. Her classes are full of sweet-hearted children that make her smile, and she is so happy that she gets to see them every day.



 
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 taught at a local preschool for ten years before coming to FHC. Liz grew up in Wilmette and attended Catholic schools throughout her life. She is excited to teach at her alma mater, Faith Hope & Charity, and feels blessed to be a part of such a vibrant, supportive Catholic community. Liz has twin daughters, loves the beach and spends her free time with her family and friends, her two golden retrievers, and her garden.
 
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 nine 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 4 Aide – Joined FHC in 2013
 

Ms. Mateling is 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 the city and loves spending time exploring. She spends her free time running and playing soccer. Before she worked at FHC, she was a swim instructor for six years. Ms. Mateling 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 an emphasis on Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, and in General Education (K-9th grade). She taught in special education for several years before staying home with her six children. She returned to teach preschool in Glenview for eight years before moving to FHC. She is happy to be back in a Catholic School.
 
Eillen Kelly, Prekindergarten 4 Aide – Joined FHC in 2013
 
Mrs. Kelly has worked at FHC since 2013. Before working at FHC as an aide in PK4, she worked at Bright Beginnings Preschool for several years. She is a mother to four children and loves working with our preschool students.
 
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 nine years with developmentally delayed children. Before moving to teach Kindergarten in 2005, Mrs. Shanley worked in the Learning Lab for many years.
 
Kathy Elbert, Kindergarten Aide – Joined FHC in 1987
 

Mrs. Kathy Elbert has been part of the Kindergarten team since 1987. She believes in Catholic education and enjoys 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
 
Mrs. Phelan’s teaching career began in 1997 when she was a Kindergarten teacher at FHC! She taught for three beautiful years until the arrival of her first child. The next 16 years were spent at home, raising her three children and working as a substitute teacher. In 2016, she came full circle, back to FHC as a kindergarten aide. Besides running amok with three teenagers, she has a small watercolor painting business where she paints florals for the bridal industry.
 
Molly Sheridan, Kindergarten Aide – Joined FHC in 2015
 
Miss Sheridan is currently studying at DePaul University working towards her Master’s degree in Early Elementary Education. She works at FHC because she enjoys working with children. She is happy to return to her alma mater because she thinks that FHC is a one of a kind school, and she finds her work with the students 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. 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.
 

Sarah Hepner, First Grade Teacher – Joined FHC in 2019

 
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Mrs. Hepner holds an M. Ed in Elementary Education from DePaul University and a BA from DePauw University.  She has experience teaching in public, private, and Catholic schools. She lives in Wilmette with her husband and three boys.  She loves reading, being outdoors, and spending time with her family. Mrs. Hepner enjoys sharing her passion for learning with her students!









Molly Michalek, Second Grade Teacher – Joined FHC in 2019
 
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Mrs. Michalek is thrilled to be back at FHC! She grew up in Winnetka and went to Faith Hope and Loyola Academy with her four siblings. She double-majored in elementary education and communication studies at Marquette University. She also ran track and played lacrosse at Marquette. Before coming to FHC, she taught first grade at an independent school in Houston for two years. She is excited to return to her alma mater to teach second grade. She looks forward to coaching lacrosse here and at Loyola Academy!



Katie Melnick, Second Grade – Joined FHC in 2018
 
Miss Melnick grew up in Wilmette and attended Loyola Academy before graduating from Michigan State University. Before coming to FHC spent time working with students of all ages and backgrounds as a long-term substitute teacher. She received a degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Language Arts and is excited to be a part of the FHC community teaching second grade.
 
Sheila Gorney, Third Grade – Joined FHC in 2017
 
Mrs. Gorney was born and raised on the north side of Chicago and attended St. Margaret Mary School and Regina Dominican High School. She has her BA from St. Norbert College 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 enjoys spending time with 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.
 
Bianca Hara, Fourth Grade Teacher - Joined FHC in 2019
 
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Mrs. Hara holds an MAT from National-Louis University, a BS from Michigan State University, and certification as a technology mentor from the Erickson Institute. Also, she has taken extensive coursework in the areas of reading and differentiated instruction. She has been teaching for over eighteen years. She loves basketball and cheering on her Michigan State Spartans. Mrs. Hara looks forward to sharing her passion for reading and basketball with her students!



Catherine LaCross, Fifth Grade – Joined FHC in 2017
 
Mrs. LaCross grew up in Winnetka and attended FHC and Loyola Academy. She graduated from Iona College in New York in 2012. She worked at St. John Berchmans teaching 4th and 5th grade for five years in the Logan Square area of Chicago. She then decided to come back to her alma mater and accepted the 5th-grade position at FHC in 2017. Mrs. LaCross loves teaching fifth grade and is happy to be back in 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 significant career change, receiving her Master’s in Elementary and Middle School Education from DePaul University. Before joining FHC, Mrs. Jenks worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Chicago. When she moved to the area with her new husband, she was excited to join this active Catholic community and share her love of reading and language arts with her students!
 
Colleen Killgallon, Sixth Grade – Joined FHC in 2017
 
Ms. Kilgallon received a degree in History and Secondary Education from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2017. She has a passion for social studies and is excited to share this love with students in her classroom. Outside of school, she coaches high school and club volleyball. She is so blessed and excited to be teaching at FHC!
 
Michael Schufreider, Seventh Grade and Junior High Math Teacher – Joined FHC in 2019
 
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Mr. Schufreider is pursuing his M.Ed. from DePaul University in Elementary Education. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University after graduating from Loyola Academy. He previously taught mathematics at Northtown Academy. He loves to play golf or spend time with friends in the city on the weekends.



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 of her own.
 
Lynn Finneke, Seventh Grade and Junior High Science – Joined FHC in 2014
 

Mrs. Finneke has been teaching in Catholic schools for over twenty years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s 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 three children. In her spare time, she loves to go to school, travel, see plays, dine out, attend sporting events, and ski.



 
Marybeth Kelley, School Counselor/Learning Lab – Joined FHC in 2016
 
Mrs. Kelley received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University. Before 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 of six children, all of whom are FHC Bulldogs.
 
Jenna Organ, Spanish Teacher and Library – Joined FHC in 2019
 
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Mrs. Organ has an M. Ed in Elementary Education from UIC and a BA in Theatre from Columbia College. She taught Computers and Spanish at St. Joan of Arc School in Evanston for many years before staying home with her two sons. She is delighted to be at FHC and is particularly excited about working in the library. Mrs. Organ is a massive fan of reading and belongs to two book clubs. Her favorite place in Wilmette is the public library.






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 FHC in 2015 and feels fortunate to be part of a Catholic community once again. She is currently serving on the AATF Executive Council and is 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’s 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. She 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 required undergraduate courses in education and received her teaching certificate in 2006. She 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. She has taught PE and coached at both the high school and elementary school levels in different socio-economic and multicultural areas, as well as coaching cheerleading. Coach Hays feels blessed to be a part of the Faith Hope community.
 
Paul Keenan, Physical Education – Joined FHC in 2017
 
Coach Keenan, a veteran in working with youth, is pleased to be the Physical Education teacher at FHC. He has a long career coaching soccer and taught Physical 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 and loves getting to know the students and families and working with the outstanding FHC staff.
 
Joanne Bennett, Art – Joined FHC in 2005
 
Ms. Bennett earned her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Theater at the University of New Mexico and her Master’s degree in Arts Education at Columbia College Chicago. Before 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, and she prays that she may be equally as inspirational to all of her art students.
 
 
Kate Kinyon,  Musical Theatre and Dance - Joined FHC in 2019
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 FHC in 2019, Ms. Kinyon is excited to direct fall and spring musicals, and the 8th-grade musical!



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 worked for many years in obstetrics and women and children units for Illinois and North Carolina hospitals. After coming to FHC in 2018 as a school nurse, she considers this a dream job. She and her husband have two beautiful children. She enjoys being a part of the FHC community and considers it an honor to be entrusted with keeping 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, before that, she worked in Donor Services in the Blood Bank at Evanston Hospital for ten years. When not at school, Mrs. Schietinger enjoys baking, reading, and craft projects. She has four children and feels very blessed to work in such a beautiful 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.