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.
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.
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.

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.
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

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!
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.
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.
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’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.
Dr. Christian Stirling, Fourth-Eighth Grade 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. 


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.


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.