Meet Our Elementary School Teachers
Amy Carlino is in her third year at St. Benedict and her second year teaching first grade. She previously taught a technology class. Ms. Carlino graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Elementary Education. Prior to coming to St. Benedict, she worked as a learning assistant in first grade and kindergarten at the British International School. When she is not teaching she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Debbie Geppert is in her second year teaching first grade at St. Ben’s. She has a degree In Elementary Education from North Central College in Naperville and many years teaching; this is her dream job! Debbie loves spending time with family and friends and making memories and lifelong friends at St. Benedict.
Molly Giltrow is in her eighth year at St. Benedict Preparatory School; her seventh in the second grade. Earlier she served as a preschool aide and as director of the preschool aftercare program. Prior to joining the St. Benedict team, Mrs. Giltrow attended Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame Indiana, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education and a minor in Early Childhood Development. Mrs. Giltrow got married last year and she and her husband added a puppy, Sophie, to the family.
Lauren Edelen is a graduate from Indiana University. She received her Master’s in Education from DePaul University in 2014. Ms. Edelen is in her fourth year teaching third graders at St. Ben's. She enjoys fostering student growth and new discoveries.
Emily McGuinn has taught third grade at St. Benedict Preparatory School for seven years. She is originally from Niles, and currently resides in North Center. Ms. McGuinn has been involved in Catholic education for a great part of her life, and attended Loyola Academy for high school. She received a degree in Middle Childhood from the University of Dayton and studied English as a Second Language at the American College of Education. Ms. McGuinn enjoys moderating various after school clubs, and leading both the Elementary School Talent Show and Yearbook.
Rachel Nemes completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Loyola University Chicago in 2011. Since then she has served as a Substitute Teacher, Kindergarten Assistant, and is currently a third grade teacher at St. Benedict Prep. She is always excited to help students grow as life-long learners.
Roksolana Ponzio graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an Elementary Education Degree. After several years in the field, she completed her Masters in Reading and Literacy from Benedictine University. Ms. Ponzio is in her eighth year at St. Benedict Prep and is enjoyed having a productive and successful year with her third grade students.
Molly Kennedy completed her Elementary Education degree from Loyola University Chicago in 2004 and a Reading Teacher endorsement from Dominican University in 2006. This is Mrs. Kennedy's 13th year teaching for the Archdiocese of Chicago and fifth year at St. Benedict Preparatory School. In her free time she likes spending time with her family and traveling.
Kelly O'Hara is in her eleventh year teaching; the fifth at St. Benedict. She graduated from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Development. Mrs. O'Hara grew up in Elmhurst, where she attended Immaculate Conception Grade School and Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep. When Mrs. O'Hara isn't teaching, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and puppy Rudy.
Peter White completed his Master’s in Education through the Alliance for Catholic Education Program at the University of Notre Dame in 2017. Originally from Philadelphia, Mr. White also attended Notre Dame for undergrad, where he received dual degrees in Marketing and FTT. Mr. White assists with the athletics program at St. Ben's and can be seen coaching volleyball and basketball. When not at St. Ben's, Mr. White loves sleeping, playing basketball, and visiting ND.
Megan Harris attended St. Catherine Laboure School and Loyola Academy before completing degrees in classics and art history at the University of Notre Dame. Following graduation, she worked as the operations manager and educational coordinator for the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition, traveling first to Philadelphia and then to London. She remained in the United Kingdom and completed her teacher training course at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham. Mrs Harris taught in British schools for four years before returning to the United States to begin teaching at St. Benedict Prep.
Ms. Angela Peterson was born and raised on the northwest side and attended a Catholic grade school and high school. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University, and her passion is mathematics. She is hoping to go back to school in the near future to earn her Master’s degree. This is Ms. Peterson’s sixth year teaching and her fifth year at St. Ben’s. In her free time, she loves reading and doing yoga.
Medina Sabovic graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Urban Education (K-12) and an English as a second language endorsement. It is Medina's first year teaching and first year at St. Benedict. She is teaching 5th grade Math, Reading, Writing, and Grammar. Medina is thrilled to watch her students succeed!
Anna Piotrowski was born and raised in Traverse City, MI and started playing the violin at age 5. She pursued her passion for music in college by earning a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance degree from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Music in Violin Performance degree from DePaul University. She is also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (the Chicago Symphony’s training orchestra) and maintains an active freelance career and private lesson studio as well. When not teaching or performing, Ms. Piotrowski enjoys being outdoors and attending concerts.
Jacqualyn Stancin completed her Master's degree in Art Education in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked over the past 12 years as an art educator in different settings. During the last 8 years Mrs. Stancin has served as the art teacher at St. Benedict Preparatory School, helping to grow the passion and appreciation of art among her elementary students through thematic and hands-on learning. As an alumni of St. Benedict High School, she enjoys working creatively with St. Benedict Prep families serving grades 2nd through 12th this school year.
Hannah Thompson feels very blessed to continue her path as a music educator at St. Benedict Preparatory School in her eighth year of teaching. Her degrees include a Bachelor's of Music from Chicago College of Performing Arts and a Master’s in Vocal Performance from North Park University. Along with performing private vocal recitals around Chicago, Hannah is also a certified Orff-Schulwerk music teacher exposing her students to a highly creative and student-centered music education. She encourages and establishes a joyous love for music in her students.
Caitlin McDonough is in her sixth year teaching Spanish at St. Benedict Preparatory. In addition to Early Childhood, she also teaches second and third grade. She grew up attending Catholic school in Chicago, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Spanish at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She also studied for a year at the University of Barcelona in Spain. Ms. McDonough loves traveling and reading, both in Spanish and English!
Erico Ramirez is in his fourth year teaching Spanish here and serves at the PK-12 World Language Curriculum Chair. He taught grades 6-12 previously. This is his first year teaching grades 3-8. Erico is of Mexican descent and is originally from San Antonio, Texas, where he studied Spanish and Journalism at the University of the Incarnate Word. He is currently a graduate student of World Language Education at DePaul University. In his free time, Erico serves the Secondary School community as “DJ Rico."
Bonjour! Aida Sinka has tutored French for the past 11 years. She earned a Bachelor's degree in French from Eastern Washington University. Ms. Sinka moved to the U.S.A 13 years ago from Burkina Faso. French is one of the languages she grew up speaking. Ms. Sinka is presently attending DePaul University for a Master’s in French and education and is excited to be in her first year with the St. Benedict community.
Kristi Enriquez graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Elementary Education and completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education at National Louis University. She has worked at St. Benedict for the past seven years. Ms. Enriquez taught kindergarten for three years and is now going into her fifth year as an Inclusion Facilitator. This year, she works with students in grades 4-5 and direct the inclusion team. Ms. Enriquez is excited to show all learners the power of education.
Title One Services
Nicolette Parra Catapult, Grade 5
Lisa Wiederkehr is in her third year as the librarian at St. Benedict. Before that, she was a librarian at St. Matthias School and also at Sulzer Regional Library. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from St. Joseph's College and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University. She loves to spend her free time with her husband, daughter, who is a senior here at St. Benedict, and her two kitties, Dipper and Mabel. She is a huge fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, enjoys traveling and being outdoors, and of course, loves to read!
Chris Deakins, Elementary School Athletic Director, PK-8
Damian Marshall was born in the city of Chicago. Growing up in a military household, he was able to experience living overseas and in numerous states. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 in Sports Management. Since graduating Mr. Marshall has worked as a Physical Education teacher in the Archdiocese of Chicago and coached basketball. Mr. Marshall has a strong passion for fitness and health and works as a certified personal trainer with a certification through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and has been doing personal training for the last few years as well. This is his third year of teaching and first year at SBPS. When he is not teaching he loves to travel the world, workout, or spending quality time with his dog, friends and family.