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
 
Trina Burek 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.
 
Fiona Byrne, Aide - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Fiona Byrne  
Nichole Coutts, School Nurse – Joined FHC in 2018
 
Nicole Coutts 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
 
Shannon Dowdle 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.
 
Kathy Elbert, Early Childhood – Joined FHC in 1987
 
Kathy Elbert

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
 
Stephanie Faratci

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.



 
Anthony Fassett, Physical Education - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Anthony Fassett
Mr. Anthony Fassett is our Physical Education teacher. Mr. Fassett has extensive experience as a strength and conditioning coach and he recently completed his Masters of Arts in Teaching at North Park University. He completed his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Currently, Mr. Fassett is the assistant strength coach at Loyola Academy. He creatively designs activities that develop students’ skill sets in preparation for athletic competitions. He clearly demonstrates his passion for fitness as he guides individuals of all ages to lead healthy lives. 
Lynn Finneke, Middle School / Science – Joined FHC in 2014
 
Lynn Finneke

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
 
Linda Garrett 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
 
Kitty Horne 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.
 
Annie Hughes, 5th Grade - Joined FHC in 2018
 
Annie Hughes Annie Hughes grew up in Winnetka and attended FHC and New Trier Township High School. She went on to attend John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio where she earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Masters in Education. She taught fifth grade for nine years in Northbrook District 28 and then taught preschool for seven years in Evanston.  This is Annie’s third year teaching at Faith Hope. Annie lives in Evanston with her husband Mike and three children; Danny is a sophomore at Marquette University, Tommy is a junior and Megan is a freshman at Evanston Township High School.  Their favorite thing to do as a family is to go to Glen Lake, Michigan.
 
 
Courtney Hummel, Assistant Principal - Joined FHC in 2021

Courtney Hummel
Ms. Hummel completed her Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration at North Central College. She comes to us from Naperville District 203 where she taught 2nd grade and served as a teacher leader. While completing her administrative endorsement, she contributed to the School Improvement Committee, Assessment Committee, and as a Professional Learning Community Facilitator.  Beyond the classroom at District 203, she led a running club with her fellow teachers. Ms. Hummel enjoyed her own Catholic school education as she attended St. Germaine and Mother McAuley High School. 

Carol Jones, 1st Grade - Joined FHC in 2020

Carol Jones
Ms. Jones grew up in Oak Park and attended St. Giles School and Trinity High School in River Forest. She graduated
from Loyola University with a degree in Elementary Education and taught First Grade at St. Giles for 7 years. After raising her six children, Ms. Jones worked at Hickory Point School in Northbrook as an Instructional Assistant for 5 years. She is so happy to be teaching First Grade again as a new member of the FHC family in 2020-2021.

 

Eileen Kelly, Aide, Rejoined FHC in 2021
 
Eileen Kelly We welcome back Mrs. Eileen Kelly who will rejoin Mrs. Dowdle in our 4-year-old program. Mrs. Dowdle and Mrs. Kelly previously teamed together for multiple years. We are very excited to have her back on the Early Childhood Education Team as her familiarity with our program provides wonderful consistency for our young students. 
Kate Kinyon, Music - Rejoined FHC in 2021
Kate Kinyon Kate Kinyon has been a teaching artist for more than twenty five years. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, Ms. Kinyon owned and operated Performing Arts Limited in the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park. There she also created customized curriculum for local schools Decatur Classical, Phillip Rogers, and Saint Margaret Mary. Currently Ms. Kinyon serves as the Movement Specialist for KinderCare's Corporate Office. Ms. Kinyon is pleased to return to Faith, Hope, and Charity teaching Music and Theatrical Arts.
Catherine LaCross, Fifth Grade – Joined FHC in 2017
 
Cathy LaCross 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
 
Francesca Maddock 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. 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.
 
 
Jennifer McCaleb, 2nd Grade - Rejoined FHC in 2021
 
Jennifer McCaleb
We are delighted to welcome back Mrs. Jennifer McCaleb to the team. Her recent role with Faith Hope was as a technology teacher. Prior to this role as a tech teacher, she has years of experience as a classroom teacher at St. Joseph in Wilmette. 
Dr. Thomas Meagher, Principal – Joined FHC in 2018
 
Tom Meagher 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.
 
Beth Oyarzun, Reading Support Specialist
 
Beth Oyarzun Beth Oyarzun is a Reading Support Specialist working in the Learning Lab. She has a master degree in special education from Depaul University. Beth worked as a special education teacher for Chicago Public Schools before joining the team and Faith Hope at the end of the last school year. Beth lives in Glenview with her husband, three children and her dog Roxy!
Eliza Parkinson, 4th Grade - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Eliza Parkinson Ms. Parkinson earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education at the University of Vermont. Ms. Parkinson grew up in our Faith Hope neighborhood and is a NTHS graduate. She attended Kairos here at Faith Hope and recalls the impact the retreat had on her faith formation. She love that she is returning from Vermont to her hometown neighborhood.
Margaret Perrotta, Middle School - Joined FHC in 2020

Margaret Perrotta 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.
Cindy Phelan, Kindergarten - Rejoined FHC in 2021
 
Cindy Phelan This is my tenth year teaching and I have been fortunate enough to have my seventh year in FHC kindergarten. I received my Bachelors in Art History from Augustana College and  Masters in Teaching from National Louis University. I live in Wilmette and have three “young adult” children and a lovable wheaten terrier, Seamus. I am a watercolor painter and custom paint homes, pets, and wedding bouquets. In my free time, I love to be outside reading, swimming, gardening, and hiking new areas. 
Liz Raudat, 7th Grade - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Liz Raudat Mrs. Raudat is a FHC graduate and her family has a wonderful history with our community. Mrs. Raudat started her teaching career in New York after completing her Masters in Education at Elmira College. With teaching experience in multiple grades of Catholic Schools, she looks forward to the novel study curriculum with our 6th and 7th grade students. Mrs. Raudat's resume is packed with connections to Catholic Schools as both a teacher and parent volunteer.
Therese Romano, 3rd & 4th Grade Math - Joined FHC in 2020
Therese Romano
Mrs. Romano is a lover and believer in Catholic Education. She is happy to be a member of the FHC professional community. After taking a hiatus to raise her children, Mrs. Romano has been back teaching for 8 years.
Melanie Roth, 3rd Grade - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Melanie Roth Ms. Melanie Roth graduated from Drake University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and endorsements in special education and reading. Ms. Roth recently graduated with a masters degree in education with an endorsement in English as a second language from Drake University’s online program. This is Ms. Roth’s sixth year of teaching, previously working as a special education teacher, this is her first year as a classroom teacher. She is thrilled to be a part of the FHC community, as FHC not only provides an excellent education but also celebrates faith.
Carolyn Ryan, Aide - Joined FHC in 2019
 
Carolyn Ryan
Ms. Ryan is a long standing parishioner at Faith, Hope and Charity Parish. She has now been with Faith, Hope and Charity School for three years and loves sharing her talents and faith with our students.
 
Georgia Salemme, Early Childhood – Joined FHC in 2014
 
Georgia Salemme

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.



 
Amy Schwartz, 6th Grade - Joined FHC in 2019
 
Amy Schwartz Originally from Boston, Ms. Schwartz received both her B.A. in History and a M.S. in Secondary Education from Northwestern. She also earned a Masters in History from the University of Chicago. Before joining FHC in 2019, she taught at Lake Forest High School, Francis W. Parker School, and Northwestern in the School of Education. Mrs. Schwartz believes in the importance and beauty of a Catholic education, and feels privileged to be part of the FHC family.  She enjoys challenging students to enthusiastically explore and experience the world around them as global citizens. 
Claire Sexton, PreKindergarten - Joined FHC in 2020
 
Claire Sexton Ms. Claire Sexton has been working at FHC since 2020. First as a Teacher’s Assistant and now as a teacher in the PK3 program. She graduated from Marquette University in 2020 with a degree in Psychology. She went to Loyola Academy and is from Wilmette. She is an alumni of Faith, Hope, and Charity and is excited to be back in this vibrant community. She is honored to have the opportunity to shape young minds and it gives her so much joy knowing she has the opportunity  to work with them every day.
Liz Sexton, Kindergarten – Joined FHC in 2018
 
Liz Sexton 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
 
Christian Stirling

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
 
Chris VanderPal

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.



 
Jane Washburne, Technology - Joined FHC in 2020
Jane Washburne Ms. Washburne joined FHC in 2020.  Her expertise in technology makes her invaluable in guiding our students through the internet and technology that defines this generation. Her love of books and reading compliments her work in our library.
Cathy Wheeler, 7th Grade - Joined FHC in 2021
 
Cathy Wheeler
Mrs. Wheeler is new to FHC for the school year 2021-2022 and is excited to join such a dedicated team of educators.  She did her undergraduate work at Indiana University – Bloomington earning a B.S. in Business and a minor in Sociology.  She worked for many years in Marketing and Development before starting a second career in teaching.   She earned a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati and went on to receive her Gifted Education Specialist endorsement from Xavier University.   
Mrs. Wheeler recently relocated to Chicago for her husband’s job. This will be her 7th year teaching middle school math and algebra in Catholic Schools.   Mrs. Wheeler feels passionate about math education and strives to have every student achieve maximum growth and potential.  In her spare time, Mrs. Wheeler enjoys spending time with her husband Derek and their four kids, traveling, reading and exploring the new sites of Chicago.  
 
Ellie Winebrenner, 2nd Grade - Joined FHC in 2021
Ellie Winebrenner
Ms. Winebrenner is a graduate Miami University in Oxford, OH.  She completed her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and earned Magna Cum Laude honors in her program.  Ms. Winebrenner demonstrated her passion and dedication for teaching young children this summer as she lead an early childhood summer camp in Lake Forest.