Faculty & Staff

Joanne Bennett, Art – Joined FHC in 2005
 
Bennet 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 loves to travel and explore some of the diverse cultural experiences in our country. She enjoys the challenge of bringing these experiences into the Art curriculum and inspiring her students to expand their minds with unique opportunities to learn and create.
 
Trina Burek, French – 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.
 
Nichole Coutts, School Nurse – Joined FHC in 2018
 
A registered nurse for 16 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.
 
Shannon Dowdle, Early Childhood – 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.
 

Mrs. Teresa Dubé, Violin Instructor – Joined FHC in 2017

 

 

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Teresa Dubé has been teaching violin for over 20 years. She moved to the United States from Portugal in 1995 to complete graduate education in the Master’s program at Northwestern University, where she studied Violin Performance and Pedagogy. In 1996, she completed the Suzuki teaching certification. Since graduation, Mrs. Dubé has developed her own approach to pedagogy that blends the social benefits of the Suzuki method with the technical benefits of classical education. She implemented her approach as the director of the children’s string program at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 1998. The Old Town School of Folk music granted Mrs. Dubé the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2006. Mrs. Dubé is happy to share her love of music with the students of FHC.

 

Kathy Elbert, Early Childhood – 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.



 
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 completed a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and is the Team Lead in our Learning Lab. She has always loved teaching and finding ways to make every child feel successful and accomplished.



 
Lynn Finneke, Middle School / 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.



 
Linda Garrett, Administrative Assistant to the Prinicpal – Joined FHC in 2021
 
fhc logo Ms. Garrett has been with the Archdiocese since 2006. She worked as a teacher's aide and then in the Library Media Center. The last five years she worked as an Administrative Assistant. Prior to working in the Arch, Linda worked in IT. Linda lives in Edison Park in Chicago with her husband, son, two cats and her pet Ball Python. She is happy to join the FHC family.
 
Kitty Horne, Receptionist – 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.
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.
 
Francesca Maddock, Staff 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.
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
Margaret Perrotta, Middle School

FHC logo Mrs. Perrotta graduated from Indiana University with bachelor’s degrees in both mathematics and sociology and minors in Italian, Spanish, and European Studies. She believes in Catholic education and is thrilled that she answered God's call to change careers, after a successful run in corporate America and the financial industry, to become a Catholic school math teacher. Mrs. Perrotta has a mathematics endorsement for grades 5-12, is a certified catechesis for the Archdiocese of Chicago, and is an active member in her parish, St. James in Arlington Heights. Mrs. Perrotta and her husband have three boys. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, attending sporting events, and dining with family and friends.
Georgia Salemme, Early Childhood – 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, Early Childhood – 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 twins, loves the beach and spends her free time with her family and friends, her two golden retrievers, and her garden.
 
Dr. Christian Stirling, Music - Joined FHC in 2019
 
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Dr. Stirling received his BMus from the University of London, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of East Anglia, a Masters in Music Education from NEIU and a Doctorate (DMA) in Choral Conducting and Organ Performance from UIUC. He has been an active teacher, composer, conductor and clinician for over 20 years across all levels of education. For the past 11 years Dr. Stirling has been privileged to be the Director of Music at Ss. Faith Hope and Charity Parish. He is looking forward to sharing his love of music and the arts with the students at FHC. 

 

Chris VanderPal, Early Childhood – 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.