Jr. High Staff

6th Grade

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Jr. High Math

Mary-Catherine Phillipp

Biography

Mary-Catherine Phillipp has been teaching junior high math here at SSPP for the past 14 years. She also taught for two years in the Archdiocese of Chicago and six years at River Trails School District in Mt. Prospect, IL. After taking a hiatus from teaching to be at home with her children, she returned to teaching in 2007 and has made SSPP her home ever since. Not only does Mary-Catherine teach here, she is a parishioner and her children are alumni.
Mary-Catherine graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision. Mary-Catherine and her husband are the proud parents of three sons.

Favorite Bible Quote

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

Teaching Philosophy

Mary-Catherine’s teaching philosophy centers around the importance of creating respect within the classroom and with all aspects of the learning process. Her belief that every student has gifts and abilities motivates her to ensure that every one of her students achieves success. Appreciating her students’ perspectives academically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually helps the student to feel understood, and that is important to Mary-Catherine.

6th Grade

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Jr. High ELA/Reading

Krissy Wind

Biography

Krissy Wind graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and an emphasis in language arts and social studies. She received her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Lewis University. Krissy’s teaching career began in Chicago and then moved to the Naperville School District where she taught at Mill Street School for 6 years. Krissy decided to stay at home after her first child arrived which turned into a 14 year hiatus from teaching while she raised her 4 children. She and her husband, Matt, decided to send their children to St. Petronille in Glen Ellyn. From that day forward, they realized the amazing impact Catholic education has on a child and a family. When Krissy decided to reenter the work place, she knew her public school teaching days were over. She accepted a 6th grade teaching position at St. Pets where she spent the next6 years motivating her students to read for meaning and enjoyment.

Favorite Bible Quotes

John 8:12 -Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Philippians 4:6-7 -Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.

Teaching Philosophy

Connections... We all need connections to thrive. Adults and children alike need to form meaningful relationships with others. It has been proven that social connections decrease anxiety and depression while boosting self-esteem and immune systems. Connections to prior experiences, to the real world and to previously acquired information are imperative to learning because they facilitate long term memory and motivation. Connecting with God through developing a relationship with Him and learning to listen for His will is paramount to success in life. Krissy’s teaching philosophy is based on these principals because she strives to develop the whole child: emotionally, academically and spiritually.

7th Grade

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Jr. High Math

Christy Gerut

Biography

Christy Gerut graduated from North Central College in 2017 with bachelor degrees in both math and secondary education. She is also currently working on her masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University Chicago.  This is Christy’s fourth school year teaching here at SSPP.  She has been one of the junior high math teachers for all four years and a 7th grade homeroom teacher for the past 2 years. Christy has also been a moderator for the student council at SSPP since her first year here.
Christy is from Wheaton. She enjoys visiting her Dad and family in Arizona whenever she gets the chance. Christy got a new puppy shortly before the 2020 school year started. The students love to hear updates and see pictures of puppy Lola as she has grown up.

Favorite Bible Quote

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27

Teaching Philosophy

Christy strongly believes that a classroom should be a place where students come to grow. She is a firm believer in the growth mindset, that every student can be successful and learn if they put in the effort. Christy believes math is a subject best learned by doing and students must take an active role in learning. Christy likes to have a balance of both herself and the students working at the board throughout her class.

7th Grade

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Jr. High Science

Mark Fratella

Biography

Mr. Fratella is in his 3rd year teaching at SSPP and his 21st year of teaching overall. Science has been a passion of his since he was a child. Mr. Fratella received his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a focus in molecular and cell biology from Wayne State University in Detroit. He then attended the University of Michigan for graduate studies in Atmospheric Science. When Mr. Fratella is not teaching he can be found enjoying time with his family and coaching and playing tennis.

Favorite Bible Quote

 "Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it." Proverbs 22:6

Teaching Philosophy

Mr. Fratella believes that everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy science in all its forms.

8th Grade

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Jr. High Social Studies

Bill Nunez

Biography

Mr. Nunez is a product of the Archdiocese of Chicago, going to Catholic school from K-12, and is proud to be a part of the last graduating class at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South.  He is a career changer, after a 16 year career in insurance investigations, he had found his calling to become a teacher.  Being a graduate of IL State University with a Criminal Justice degree, he went back to school and joined National Lewis University’s teaching program with the goal of being a High School Social Studies teacher.  His student teaching assignment was to teach 8th Grade Social Studies and he fell in love with teaching middle school.  He immediately went back to become certified to teach middle school.  After 5 years of subbing, he taught for two years at a public school near his house.  He then joined the staff at SSPP five years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
He has a passion for history, especially the Middle Ages, and the World Wars, as well as teaching the Constitution where his Criminal Justice background comes into use.  He has been happily married for 25 years to his wife Mary, and has two children, Nicole, 21, and William III, 13, to which he talks about often in class.  He enjoys spending free time with his family, as well as tabletop games, painting, and other nerdy stuff as well.

Favorite Bible Quote

His favorite bible quote exists in two places that tell the same story.  Matthew 8:5–13 & Luke 7:1–10.  It’s the story of Jesus and the Centurion who has the sick servant.  It really shows the faith to know that Jesus’ words have the power to help those in need.  Ernest Borgnine’s depiction of the Centurion in ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ has stuck with me since I first saw it on TV.

Teaching Philosophy

I live by the quote from PIXAR’s John Lasseter, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”  Being a Catholic school Social Studies teacher allows me to do that.  I truly believe that a teacher needs to relate to students in order to have them feel safe and engaged.   Next is that we (as JH teachers) have to prepare our students for high school.  The skills to take notes, read through non-fiction, and test-taking skills are vital, but come second to:  integrity, self-advocacy, and learning from our mistakes.  Embracing our Catholic faith and virtues should come naturally then.

8th Grade

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Jr. High Religion

Ruthy O'Malley

Biography

Ruthy O’Malley is the Jr. High Religion Teacher. She has walked the halls of Saints Peter and Paul School for over 30 years as a student, teacher and a parent. Mrs. O’Malley received all of her Sacraments at this parish, she married her best friend Joe, who is also a graduate from the Class 1987. She has two sons that are currently enrolled here and two older sons in high school who are alumni of this school.
She was hired in 1998 as the K-8 Computer Technology Teacher, she volunteered to teach Religious Education at the parish since 2011. Passing down the Catholic Faith to the next generation has always been her vocation. Taking her technology background, she uses her creativity, collaboration, and communication skills in the Religion classroom and makes the Faith come alive to the students.

Favorite Bible Quote

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Teaching Philosophy

Mrs. O’Malley’s  Religion Classroom is a learning environment where the students will encounter the love of Christ. Students will practice contemplative, meditative and vocal prayers daily. They will know Scripture and how everything in the Old Testament points to the fulfillment of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
In Religion, they will learn their Faith by heart, never to be forgotten so that they will have the tools to not only love their Faith, but to defend it as they age. They will learn this by practicing the devotionals of the Rosary, the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the Stations of the Cross. They will attend Mass regularly and practice the virtue of piety and reverence for the Holy Eucharist and serve the Church by being lectors during the children’s Masses at school.
Lastly, they will KNOW who God is by the daily lessons in their books that can be applied to their lives. They will LOVE Him by following the Catechism and laws of the Church, and in loving their neighbor they will see Christ in everyone. When they give their heart over to the Lord, they will SERVE him willingly by giving their time and talent to the needs of the Church.

Jr. High

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Jr. High ELA/Reading

Katie Paski

Biography

Katie Paski considers herself truly blessed to not only be able to teach and mold the young minds of children at a Catholic school, but she too has been a product of Catholic education during her formative years.  She is forever grateful to her parents for providing the opportunity for her and her three younger siblings to have received a strong, Catholic education from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School.  Her passion and desire to educate children, especially in a Catholic school, has led her back to her alma mater.  She is a proud member of the graduating class of 1999 from Saints Peter and Paul and the Benet Academy class of 2003.  Mrs. Paski joined the faculty and staff of Saints Peter and Paul in 2010, and formerly taught at Our Lady of Peace (a former school of the Diocese of Joliet) for three years before returning to her alma mater.  Mrs. Paski is the school’s Assistant Principal, and she teaches 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and Reading.
Mrs. Paski graduated from Illinois State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with endorsements in Language Arts and Social Science.  She also holds two master’s degrees having graduated in 2010 with a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in School Leadership and Administration from Concordia University in 2012.
Mrs. Paski resides in Downers Grove with her husband and son.  Not only is she fortunate to teach at her alma mater, but she also coaches at another one of her alma maters as she is the Head Girls Cross Country Coach at Benet Academy.  Prior to coaching at Benet, she coached both cross country and track at York High School in Elmhurst.  She is also a long time group fitness instructor at Lifetime Fitness in Warrenville.  While not enjoying time teaching her students and coaching her athletes, Mrs. Paski enjoys spending time with her family, working out (especially running), reading a good book, and her extended family’s infamous game nights!

Favorite Bible Quotes

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.”  1Cornithians 16:13
 “You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5: 14-16

Teaching Philosophy

Mrs. Paski believes in providing a respectful and inviting classroom environment that allows each of her students to let his or her individual gifts and talents shine with the ability to reach individual goals and achieve success in his or her own right.  For her teaching is a calling, and it allows her the opportunity to help shape her students and watch them grow not only academically but emotionally, socially, and spiritually as well.  A quote in her classroom by the late Steve Prefontaine reads, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”  She strives to do all she can to help each one of her students realize how special they are and realize their gifts in life.

Jr. High

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Jr. High ELA/Reading

Pat Mahoney

Biography

Ms. Mahoney teaches 6th grade language arts as well as 7th and 8th grade Literatrue Plus and Writer’s Workshop.  She joined SSPP in 2004 as a 4th grade teacher and moved to the Jr. High four years later.  She is also a graduate of SSPP, class of 1973, as well as Benet Academy.  Ms. Mahoney received her Bachelor degree from Northern Illinois University and then her Masters in Education from St. Francis University.  Prior to becoming a teacher, Ms. Mahoney worked in the telecommunications industry as a trainer, systems designer, and consultant.  She has been a resident of Naperville for over fifty years.

Favorite Bible Quote

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."  Psalm 107

Teaching Philosophy

Children learn best when they find meaning and purpose in what they experience and are given the opportunity to find how to connect what they are doing in the classroom to their lives outside of school.