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Christina stefanec-Principal

Name: Christina Stefanec

Position: Principal

Years at Thecla: 1
 
Personal Information:

Todd Cerjak-Assistant Principal

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

Andrea Czapla-Preschool

Name: Andrea Czapla

Grade/Room: Preschool 3 year olds– Room 103

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher: 17

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges: 

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards: 

Personal statement: My name is Andrea Czapla.  I am excited to be here at St. Thecla and to be working with your children. I have lived on the northwest side of Chicago in the Jefferson Park area for most of my life. I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. I have over 17 years of experience with a variety of age groups. Most of my experience has been in Archdiocesan schools where I enjoy sharing my faith with my students. I look forward to creating a classroom climate in which your child feels secure and valued and experiences a sense of belonging as they grow in maturity. I couldn’t be more thrilled to start this new position and work with you for the benefit of your children.

Nora McDevitt-PreKindergarten

Name:  Ms. Nora McDevitt

Grade/Room: Pre-K 4, Room 101

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher: 3

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: 4

Years being a teacher:  23

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: This school year will be my 20th at St. Thecla.

Years being a teacher: 27

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

Ida Capone-2nd Grade

Name: Ida Capone

Grade/Room: 2nd Grade Room 106

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher: 20

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges:

Personal statement: My name is Mrs. Ida H. Capone, and I am very excited to be teaching second grade at St. Thecla Catholic School. I live in Schaumburg, IL with my husband, Joseph. We have 3 children, Emily, Andrew, and Matthew, that all attended St. Hubert Catholic School in Hoffman Estates, where I taught second grade for 16 years. My last year there, I was their Special Services Coordinator. This past school year, I was a substitute teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in Streamwood, IL. I am so happy to be back in the classroom teaching second grade full time again. 

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Special Education/Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, both from Northeastern Illinois University. I taught special education in the Waukegan Public School system from 1985-1989 and then stayed home for about 12 years to raise my three children. This year will be my 23rd year teaching, and I absolutely love it!

     Second grade is a fun, faith filled year with students preparing and receiving 2 sacraments: First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. As a convert to the catholic faith for over 30 years, I am still very passionate about our faith. I hope to model that faith and grow in my faith with all of you.

     I try to create a positive, loving classroom where students feel safe and happy to learn.  I love smiley faces, which reminds us that God wants us to be happy. When you visit my classroom, you will see many smiley faces and my favorite scripture: With God All Things Are Possible. It is my belief that all students, and adults, can learn, and we learn best by working together. 

Katrina O’Malley-3rd Grade

Name: Katrina O’Malley

Grade/Room: Grade 3 Room 205

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher: 14

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges:

Personal statement: My name is Katrina O’Malley and I will be the third grade teacher this year.  My daughter, Mackenzie, will be a seventh grader at St. Thecla.  I have been an educator for 14 years.  I have a Masters in Arts in Teaching from National Louis and I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of Southern California.  I have previously taught kindergarten, first grade and second grades and have spent the majority of my career teaching in Catholic Schools. I am very excited to start the new year and look forward to meeting my new class!

Todd Cerjak-4th Grade

Name: Todd Cerjak

Grade/Room: 4th Grade

Years at Thecla: 16 years

Years being a teacher: 16 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

Carla Huber-5th Grade

Name: Mrs. Carla Huber

Grade/Room: 5th Grade

Years at Thecla: 13

Years being a teacher: 15

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.

Jessica Contreras-Reading/Science

Name: Jessica Contreras

Grade/Room:

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher:

What degrees do you hol and from what colleges: 

Have you won or been nominated for any teaching awards:

Additional Information: My name is Jessica Contreras, and I will be the new Junior High Science and Reading/Literature teacher. I have previously taught Mathematics, Religion, Social Sciences, and Science throughout my career, all within a Junior High setting. I enjoy sharing my faith and knowledge with my students.  I look forward to a new school year and am excited to be part of the St. Thecla family. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions. 

Colleen Labuz-Math/Writing

Name: Colleen Labuz

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

Years at Thecla: 3

Years being a teacher: 5

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.    

Christina Moyer-History/Religion

Name: Christina Moyer

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

Years at Thecla: 1

Years being a teacher:

What degrees do you hold and from what colleges:

Personal statement: My name is Christina Moyer and I grew up in Fort Myers, Florida. I graduated from Saint Leo University and earned my B.A. in Religion with a minor in Education. This will be my first year  teaching at Saint Thecla. I previously taught 6, 9, and 11thgrades at Saint Joseph Catholic Academy in Kenosha, WI. I love teaching because I know I’ll have the privilege of teaching a great group of kids. I am so excited to get this year started and learn more about you!

Tina Bull-resource Teacher

Name: Tina Bull

Grade/Room: Resource Teacher

Years at Thecla: 14

Years being a teacher: 15

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: 3

Years being a teacher: 11

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: 3

Years being a teacher: 11

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: 7

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: 2

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.

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