Meet our Friendly faculty and Staff......

Search by Last Name: A  B  Bu  C  De  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  Lab  L  Ley  Lo  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 

Search by Grade: PS3  PK4  K  1  2  3  4  5  Junior High  Specials

Tim O'Malley-Principal

Name: Timothy O’Malley

Position: Principal

Years at Thecla: 7 year total (2nd as Principal)
 
Personal Information: I taught all grades from 2012-2016 in physical education at St. Thecla. It was such great experience to teach a students who are excited about PE and are interested in trying new activities, sports and games.  During this time, I received a Masters in Educational Leadership at Concordia University Chicago in 2016.  My administrative career began at a neighborhood Catholic school, Immaculate Conception on Talcott, where I served as Assistant Principal.  When the opportunity of interviewing to come back to St. Thecla as Principal came about, well I could not pass that up.  I am extremely happy to be back St. Thecla.  This school is amazing in several ways and I am excited to continue to make it more successful.

Todd Cerjak-Assistant Principal

Name: Todd Cerjak

Grade/Room: 4th Grade

Years at Thecla: 14 years

Years being a teacher: 14 years

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: B.A. Northeastern IL University – MAJOR: Criminal Justice MINOR: Psychology, Roosevelt University- Certificate in Paralegal Studies (Specialty- Civil Litigation), Roosevelt University- Completed Elementary Certification Type 03

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: Nominated (2x) -Apple Award, Distinguished Service Award Winner 2014

Personal statement: Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.  Anthony J. D’Angelo

Rachel Kalkirtz-Preschool

Name: Ms. Rachael Kalkirtz

Grade/Room: Preschool 3 year olds– Room 103

Years at Thecla: I have just completed my second year at St. Thecla.

Years being a teacher: Two

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: In 2016, I was awarded as the Distinguished Senior in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University.

Personal statement: Ms. Kalkirtz (“Ms. K”) is an alumna of Dominican University with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She also has her ISBE Approval in Early Childhood Special Education, an Endorsement in English as a Second Language, and a Minor in Psychology. Prior to teaching, Ms. Kalkirtz worked at a Special Recreation Association leading multiple programs for children and adults who have special needs. Specifically, she has supported individuals on the Autism spectrum, those with ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Speech-Language disorders, Down Syndrome, Emotional/Behavorial disorders, Diabetes, Cognitive disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, and those with Physical and Visual impairments.

Music is key to Ms. Kalkirtz’s teaching philosophy, as she was involved in many choirs throughout her life. She absolutely adores singing and does this as often as a “Disney Princess,” as her students would confirm. The behavior management approach that Ms. Kalkirtz uses is called, “Positive Discipline in the Classroom,” and this approach focuses on children becoming problem-solvers and emphasizes positivity in and out of the classroom setting.

Nora McDevitt-PreKindergarten

Name:  Ms. Nora McDevitt

Grade/Room: Pre-K 4, Room 101

Years at Thecla: 2

Years being a teacher: 2

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: I have a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. My Illinois state license includes an Early Childhood Education (Birth-3rd Grade) endorsement, as well as an Early Childhood Special Education Approval.

Personal statement: Growing up, I lived in the Portage Park neighborhood with my parents and two older brothers. I graduated from St. Pascal School in 2005 and from Resurrection High School in 2009. My Catholic education has always been important to me. Now as a Catholic school teacher, I am able to instill not only a love of learning in my students, but also a love for God.

Kathleen Becker-Kindergarten

Name: Kathleen M. Becker

Grade/Room: Kindergarten

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher:  22

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University, as well as an ESL endorsement and Early Childhood Special Education endorsement from National Lewis University. I have a Master of Education in Specialized Endorsements from National Lewis University as well.

I hold an Illinois Standard Early Childhood Type 04 certificate.

I am also a certified Catechist within the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Kathy Lange-1st Grade

Name: Mrs. Kathy Lange

Grade/Room: 1st grade Room 104

Years at Thecla: The coming school year will be my 19th at St. Thecla.

Years being a teacher: 26

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois
University with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education.

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: I have won the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “Heart of the School Award” in the area of leadership. I have been nominated twice for the Golden Apple.

Personal statement: I want my students to develop a sense of worth, a love for learning, and to
develop to his or her own potential. I believe in providing a healthy classroom
atmosphere that provides for individual differences and a quality education

Sara Due-2nd Grade

Name: Sara Due

Grade/Room: 2nd Grade Room 106

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher: 3

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: I have received my Elementary Education degree and working on receiving a Special Education Endorsement from North Park University.

Personal statement: I am so excited to begin my third year of teaching at Saint Thecla. I am a very passionate, positive and enthusiastic teacher aiming to strive and boost children’s academic confidence and achievement! I love working with children and love seeing how they develop throughout the year.

Christina DeAngelis-3rd Grade

Name: Christina DeAngelis

Grade/Room: Grade 3 Room 205

Years at Thecla: 3 years

Years being a teacher: 4 years

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Western Michigan University Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education in Social Studies and Language Arts

Personal statement: I truly believe that in my classroom, my students learn

Todd Cerjak-4th Grade

Name: Todd Cerjak

Grade/Room: 4th Grade

Years at Thecla: 15 years

Years being a teacher: 15 years

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: B.A. Northeastern IL University – MAJOR: Criminal Justice MINOR: Psychology, Roosevelt University- Certificate in Paralegal Studies (Specialty- Civil Litigation), Roosevelt University- Completed Elementary Certification Type 03

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: Nominated (2x) -Apple Award, Distinguished Service Award Winner 2014

Personal statement: Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.  Anthony J. D’Angelo

Katherine Lohens-5th Grade

Name: Katherine Lohens

Grade/Room: 5th grade/ Room 207

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher: 2

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, with an endorsement in science, social science, and language arts.
Have you ever been nominated for any teaching awards: No
Optional personal info or statement: I grew up in Park Ridge, with both my parents and two older brothers. I graduated from Maine South High School in 2012 and Illinois State University in 2016. I want to instill a love for learning into each and every student!

Carla Huber-Science/Art

Name: Mrs. Carla Huber

Grade/Room: 3rd-8th Art, 6th-8th Science, Room 205 (St. Patrick Hall)

Years at Thecla: 11

Years being a teacher: 13

What degrees do you hol and from what colleges: I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education and Teaching. My passion for upper-elementary education led me to obtain additional endorsements to teach middle school Social Science, Language Arts, and Science.

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: I have twice been nominated for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Additional Information: I am the moderator of the St. Thecla chapter of the National Junior Honor Society, and I facilitate the school’s annual Science Fair and Art Show during Catholic School’s Week.

Colleen Labuz-Math/Vocabulary

Name: Colleen Labuz

Grade/Room: 6th-8th Grade Math & Vocabulary Room 204

Years at Thecla: 2

Years being a teacher: 4

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Bachelors Degree: Loyola University Chicago

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: Golden Apple Award Nominee 2017

Personal statement: I graduated from St. Thecla in 2007, and I am very excited to be back as a teacher! Outside of the classroom I help run Student Council and coach volleyball in the winter.    

Jim Leyhane-History/Religion

Name: Jim Leyhane

Grade/Room: Middle School (6th, 7th, & 8th); Room 203

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher: 4

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Majors in History and Education and Youth Studies from Beloit College

Personal statement: College Baseball Coach at Illinois Institute of Technology for the past four years. I have lived on the Northwest Side of Chicago for most of my life and I’m excited to be working and helping out the great school of St Thecla.

Mike Stickann-Writing/ Literature

Name:  Mike Stickann

Grade/Room:  6th-8th grade Writing and Literature

Years at Thecla:  This is my inaugural year.

Years being a teacher:  This will be my 6th year teaching in a traditional classroom.

What degrees from what colleges:  Bachelor of Arts, Media and Fine Arts, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, IN

Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education (with a 5th-9th grade Language Arts endorsement), Calumet College of St. Joseph, Whiting, IN

Personal statement: Teaching is my second career, and my only regret is I didn’t start sooner.  I like sharing my energy and enthusiasm with young people.  I thoroughly enjoy the discourse, the back and forth, the debates, and the sharing and creating of ideas.  It’s my goal for the kids to realize (without me telling them verbatim) that I am sincerely invested in their self-improvement and their short and long-term success.

Tina Bull-resource Teacher

Name: Tina Bull

Grade/Room: Resource Teacher

Years at Thecla: 13

Years being a teacher: 14

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: I attended Carthage College and Northeaster Illinois University for my undergraduate work.  I have a BA in music/education from Northeastern Illinois University and an MA from Roosevelt University.

Personal statement: My personal philosophy of education stems from the belief that the best education will address the needs of the student as a whole.  Each student brings something unique and special to the classroom each day.  It is my job to not only discover these special qualities, but to use them to scaffold the student in their educational, social, and emotional development.  It is a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of the St. Thecla School family.

Valerie Weber-Spanish/Music

Name: Valerie Weber

Classroom: 105 Spanish & Music

Years at St. Thecla: 2

Years being a teacher: 10

Degrees: Journalism/Spanish Northern Illinois University

Teaching Awards: Recognized as Faculty Member of the Month at a previous district.

Personal Statement: I believe in empowering children through education and positive self-esteem. It is my desire to provide a learning environment that is educational, fun, and always changing. Through every challenge, whether personal or as a group, I believe we come to a greater understanding of each other and the world around us. I believe there is enjoyment to be found in each subject of school if we only have the ambition to find it. I am the happiest when i see “my kids” shine. It is an honor to be a part of the St. Thecla community.

Melissa Draniczarek-Library

Name: Melissa Draniczarek

Grade/Room: Library

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher: 9

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with Teaching Certification

Personal statement:  My name is Melissa Draniczarek, and this is my first year here at St. Thecla as the Library/Book Fair teacher. Prior to coming to St. Thecla, I worked with Special Needs Preschoolers as a classroom aide, and taught in the Archdiocese of Chicago for 8 years – 3 years in Second Grade, and 5 years in Kindergarten.

The students at St. Thecla know that I talk a lot about my Yorkie, Daisy and love sitting outside with her and taking her for walks. Over the past year however, Daisy and I have had a new walking partner, as my husband and I welcomed our first child last August. It has been a wonderful adventure so far and I am looking forward to everything that is still to come our way.

I could not be happier to be joining you here at St. Thecla. The warm welcome I have received from families, students, and staff here has been such a blessing as I make the transition to St. Thecla. I am very excited to be able to help nurture a love of reading for the students in Library throughout this year. I truly believe that all students CAN do anything if they try, and I strive to always help every student reach their full potential. I know we will have a very fun and exciting year together!

Kathy Collins-Parish and School Development

Name: Kathy Collins

Position: Director of Parish and School Development

Years at Thecla: 6

Personal statement:  Working at St. Thecla is very rewarding.  It is like working with your family each day.  Everyone is extremely dedicated to seeing that St. Thecla is a part of the community well into the future.  We have the best students, parents and parishioners around and I am blessed to be a part of it!

Karen Reardon-Admin Assistant

Name: Karen Reardon

Position: Administrative Assistant

Years at Thecla: 1

Personal statement: Being a product of my catholic faith, I am very excited to a part of St. Thecla’s community.  I am a “local”- I grew up in Edgebrook (St. Mary of the Woods) and now live in Park Ridge. I have four beautiful daughters ranging in age from 13 – 22.  All of them attended (and one still is) St. Paul of the Cross. I have subbed extensively over the past decade at St. Paul both as the school secretary and substitute teacher.  In my prior life (aka before children), I owned Sports Swap, a used sporting good store in Skokie. I look forward to getting to know all of you and your children.

Close Menu