Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Staff

Kindergarten

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Kindergarten Teacher

Amy Bartley

Biography

Amy graduated from Wheelock College in Boston, MA  with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career on the East coast teaching second grade then moving to the Midwest to teach first grade and begin a family - Amy is in her 23rd year of teaching and has taught  pre - K through 4th grade.  Amy feels blessed to be in her 9th year of teaching Kindergarten at SSPP - she loves watching her Kindergarten friends grow and bloom as the year progresses!
Amy lives in Naperville with her husband and 3 children - all graduates of Catholic education.  She loves to hatch chicks in her classroom, stay active with her family and spend time in Michigan in the summers!

Favorite Bible Quote

"Faith, it does not make things easy it makes them possible”  Luke 1:37

Teaching Philosophy

“ I want the children in my classroom to have a passion for learning and foster a spirit of curiosity…. I encourage my students to say “ I’ll  try” and not “ I can’t”!
I believe that all students are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.”

Kindergarten

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Kindergarten Teacher

Megan Tempestini

Biography

For the past four years, Megan has taught a full-day Pre-K class at St. Peter School in Geneva, Il. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Loras College, and has 22 collective years of experience teaching PreK, Kindergarten and First Grade.  She cherishes each one of these experiences and believes children bring a beautiful perspective to one’s life in so many ways!
Megan attended Sts. Peter and Paul and Benet Academy, where she met her husband, Bob. They have been married for 26 years and have two children, Michael and Anna.  They are grateful for their Catholic education and feel blessed to have been able to provide it for their children as well.  She sees the tremendous ways in which a Catholic education develops children to be well rounded, responsible, and hard-working students who are consistently reminded of how God works in our lives.

Favorite Bible Quote

Megan is honored to be back at SSPP, with the opportunity to give back to the school that provided a wonderful foundation. She is excited to be part of a community of parents and staff that work to incorporate Catholic values into the lives of students.  Mrs. Tempestini finds comfort through the protection of our Blessed Mother as she reads from our Holy Father Pope Francis.  Our Lady is always close especially when we feel the weight of life with all its problems.

Teaching Philosophy

Megan loves the energy, curiosity, and genuine love of learning young children radiate, making each day in the classroom full of joy! Her goal is to provide a safe environment with multi-sensory experiences for children to learn and grow at their individual level. If a child is having fun, he or she will learn and want to come to school each day!

Kindergarten

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Kindergarten Aide/Extended Day Director

Sharon Larson

Biography

Sharon was born and raised in Naperville and has been a lifelong member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish. She was fortunate enough to be brought up with an outstanding Catholic based education. She attended Ss. Peter and Paul School (Go Trojans!), Benet Academy, and earned her college degree in Business/Finance from Benedictine University. Sharon worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for 10 years as a Floor Manager for a commodity firm.
She met her wonderful husband, John whom she has been married to for 34 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Ellen and Colleen, who both are alumni of Ss. Peter and Paul School. John and Sharon feel so blessed that they were able to provide for their daughters a Catholic education at Ss. Peter and Paul. When the girls reached school age, Sharon began her career in education. Her first position was a kindergarten and fifth thru eighth grade aide at St. Petronille school in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After six years she came full circle to return to Ss. Peter and Paul School! This is her 15th year as a kindergarten aide.

Favorite Bible Quote

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

Teaching Philosophy

Sharon is happy to share her Catholic faith with her students and she believes each child is a special gift from God! All children are unique and should have an educational environment where they can grow socially and academically to their fullest potential.

Kindergarten

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Kindergarten Aide

Gwen Wujciga

Biography

Gwen Wujciga is celebrating her 15th year at Saints Peter and Paul School. Her vocation at SSPP has included second grade aide, school secretary, and kindergarten aide. Gwen has a demonstrated history working in the religious community and brings years of experience in administrative management.
Gwen attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help School and Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore. After moving to Illinois, she attended Forest View High School in Arlington Heights and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development and Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University.
Gwen believes it’s a gift and privilege to serve the families and community of Saints Peter and Paul School. Gwen is a current parishioner and her two children are SSPP graduates.

Favorite Bible Quotes

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  PSALM 46:10
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Teaching Philosophy

Gwen believes children “learn by doing.” She encourages the love of learning in students by finding the joy in everyday and the best in every student. Gwen feels blessed to share her faith with the children and see their knowledge and love for Jesus grow daily.

 

1st Grade

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1st Grade Teacher

Kerry LaScala

Biography

Mrs. LaScala has been serving the primary students at Saints Peter and Paul School since the 2005-2006 school year. Mrs. LaScala has had the opportunity to teach several years in each kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. This experience has provided her a unique perspective on primary education. She uses this perspective to collaborate with other teachers to enhance the primary school experience at Saints Peter and Paul School.

Favorite Bible Quote

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind...love your neighbor as yourself”

Teaching Philosophy

Mrs. LaScala works to build a community of learners where each child feels comfortable. She believes this is most often accomplished by building on the strengths of each student. Her teaching philosophy can be explained by sharing the following:
As a young child, Mrs. LaScala remembers helping her mother place groceries into the pantry.  She remembers pointing out to her mother that there was a “t” on the box of tea bags. Her mother explained to her that “t” could be a letter and a word. Her mother took out a piece of paper and wrote “t” and then added “ea.” Mrs. LaScala remembers reading the word tea for her mother. Then her mother added “ch'' and Mrs. LaScala read “teach”, her mother then added “er” and Mrs. LaScala read “teacher.” Mrs. LaScala clearly remembers the excitement she felt as a young child when she made that connection, and she could read those words.
Mrs. LaScala believes when students are comfortable at school, they will point out their discoveries to their teachers. Each discovery can be a teachable moment and learning can be very exciting.

1st Grade

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1st Grade Teacher

Amy Hill

Biography

Amy Hill student taught at Mill Street Elementary School and worked as an instructional assistant at the first-grade level. She has taught Kindergarten and 4th grade for two years and taught 3 rd grade in District 203. She did her pre-clinical hours at her parish home, Saints Peter and Paul, with Mrs. Scarpino and Mrs. Ondracek.
Mrs. Hill completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications from Eastern Illinois University. She attended National-Louis University, receiving her Master of Arts in Education after completing her State of Illinois Certification. Amy recently completed her Illinois Real Estate License, enjoying this work while also employed at Saints Peter and Paul last year as a primary level instructional aide.
Mrs. Hill moved to Naperville at four years old. She has been a member of SSPP where she received her First Communion and made her Confirmation.  Amy and her husband, John, have four children. Their last three attended Saints Peter and Paul, prior to attending Naperville North High School.  She cannot say enough about the faith, family, and strong education that her children received. Amy and John have always been extremely involved with coaching and volunteering, enjoying strong friendships and bonds with Saints Peter and Paul families.
Mrs. Hill has worked on various committees including May Crowning, First Communion, Founder's Day, Fish Fry, Athletic Board, and the yearly auction. She has facilitated the 7th grade Confirmation retreat, participation in outings to Loaves and Fishes and Feed My Starving Children. She has dedicated 8 years to teaching as a Saints Peter and Paul faith formation catechist, more recently serving on the “Light the Way”  board to raise money for the new security project. Her commitment and faith life at SSPP permeate in every direction!

Favorite Bible Quote

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

Teaching Philosophy

She wholeheartedly believes that a child’s laughter should remind us of how we used to be as children! When teaching she is zealous about learning new strategies and trying new ideas.  Amy believes there is much to be learned by watching children and their spirit. Children have taught her to open her mind and her heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world. Because of this, she will never forget to smile with the new, cherish the old, and laugh with her students!  Mrs. Hill’s favorite saint is Saint Therese of Lisieux, known for her childlike simplicity. The Little Flower learned to do all things ~no matter how big or small, with great extraordinary love.
Amy is enthusiastic about the opportunity to teach at Saints Peter and Paul. This strong family-based community has always been a sense of home for her.  Her family’s milestones have been celebrated at Saints Peter and Paul, bringing each of them great pride and joy. Sharing the sense of faith and commitment, makes her extremely proud to be a teacher at Saints Peter & Paul.

1st Grade

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1st Grade Aide

Cindy Rafferty

Biography

Cindy and her family have been lifelong members of Saints Peter and Paul Church. Her family is proud to say that there have been four consecutive generations who have graduated from our school. She attended Ss. Peter and Paul School, Naperville North High School and Robert Morris Business College. Cindy worked as a secretary/paralegal for the senior partner at a law firm in Oak Brook for 15 years until her first daughter was born and then she became a stay-at-home mom.
Cindy met her husband Mike at SSPP while performing The Living Stations and they have been married for 30 years. They have two daughters, Kristin and Colleen, both of whom are SSPP graduates. When Kristin started college, Cindy was hired to be a 1 st grade aide and this is her ninth year.

Favorite Bible Quote

“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you” Matthew 7:12

Teaching Philosophy

Cindy believes in helping God’s littlest creations grow in their faith and education. She feels blessed to be able to return and give back to the school that helped her grow in her faith.

2nd Grade

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2nd Grade Teacher

Stephanie Walker

Biography

Naperville native Stephanie (Nocera) Walker is eager to get back into the classroom! Stephanie attended Naperville North High School and received her degree in Elementary Education from North Central College. After graduation, she accepted a job as a second-grade teacher at her alma mater, Saints Peter and Paul School. She taught second grade from 2010 to 2014 before moving to third grade. Upon completing the 2014-15 school year as a third-grade teacher, Stephanie made the decision to leave the classroom to stay at home with her growing family.
For the past five years, Stephanie has enjoyed being a stay at home mom while also tutoring, directing a STEM camp during the summer, being a first-grade religious education catechist, and volunteering at her children’s schools. Stephanie resides in Naperville with her husband, Jack, and three children: Charlie (7), Ben (5), and Molly (3). Her favorite pastimes include reading books to her children, exploring trails at the Morton Arboretum, and watching her children play sports.
Her favorite part of teaching second grade is preparing her students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Stephanie says that through these preparations the students have helped her grow in her own faith. Stephanie’s favorite saint is Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Her favorite quote from Saint Teresa is, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

Favorite Bible Quote

O taste and see that the Lord is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in Him! -Psalm 34:8

Teaching Philosophy

It is my teaching philosophy that the classroom should be a place for kids to be themselves. Classrooms are full of life. They can be quiet and organized, but they are also loud and messy at times. Sometimes the best learning happens in a loud, messy space! The teacher should facilitate an atmosphere where students feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. A growth mindset is the difference between a “smart” kid and a successful, life-long learner.

2nd Grade

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2nd Grade Teacher

Kelly Zaksheske

Biography

Kelly Zaksheske is a new second grade teacher at Saints Peter and Paul.  She comes to us with five years experience teaching.  For the past three years she taught second grade at Notre Dame in Clarendon Hills. She has been a member of Saints Peter and Paul Parish for 29 years and graduated from Saints Peter and Paul in 2005. She is very excited to be back teaching at her alma mater.
Kelly graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology and a Minor in Spanish for the Health Professions in 2013. That is where she met her husband Joe.  They live in Lisle and have two young boys. Kelly also went on to receive her teaching certificate from North Central College with an English Language Learning Endorsement.

Favorite Bible Quote

“I keep the Lord always before me; with Him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken” (Psalms 16:8).

Teaching Philosophy

Kelly’s teaching philosophy focuses on developing the whole student. She believes that in order for a student to grow and be successful academically they must feel comfortable at school and have their emotional needs met. Kelly enjoys preparing her students for their First Reconciliation and First Communion. She loves being able to share her faith with her students and watch them grow in the faith.

2nd Grade

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2nd Grade Aide/Extended Day Director

Susan Ebeling

Biography

Susan was born and raised in St. Louis and moved to Naperville in 1987. She attended Our Lady of Fatima for grade school, Incarnate Word Academy for high school, and Rockhurst University in Kansas City for college. Susan met her husband, Tom, at Rockhurst, and they both felt that the best present from their parents was their Catholic education from grade school through college. Susan majored in Medical Technology, which is now called Clinical Laboratory Science. She worked in Microbiology and Immunology for seven years at Christian Northeast Hospital in St. Louis before moving to Naperville. Susan, Tom, and their three children, David, Caroline, and Katherine are parishioners at Saints Peter and Paul. David, Caroline, and Katherine went to Saints Peter and Paul, Marmion, Rosary, and Benedictine University. She and Tom wanted to give their children that same gift of Catholic education that their parents had given them. Susan started working as a second grade aide in 1999. This is her 22nd year, and she loves it just as much as she did her first year!

Favorite Bible Quote

"Let all that you do be done in love."  1 Corinthians 16:14  It reminds her to love yesterday, today, and forever.

Teaching Philosophy

Susan knows that children are unique and they grow, develop, and bloom at different times. She enjoys taking the time to get to know the children and help them learn in the best way that works for them.

3rd Grade

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3rd Grade Teacher

Becky Ondracek

Biography

Since 2003, Becky Ondracek has been blessed to teach third grade at Saints Peter & Paul School!  In the beginning of her teaching career, she taught all subjects in a self-contained classroom.  In recent years, third grade has become departmentalized, and Miss Ondracek teaches religion, math, science, and social studies to all third graders.  She loves third grade and guiding her students as they grow in independence and navigate the transition from primary to intermediate grades.
While growing up in Chicago, Becky attended St. Symphorosa School and Immaculate Heart of Mary High School.  She graduated summa cum laude from North Central College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Elementary Education and Mathematics.  In 2006, she earned a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching and Leadership from St. Xavier University.
Miss Ondracek is a parishioner of Our Lady of Peace Parish.  She is passionate about playing tennis, following her years competing on IHM’s and NCC’s tennis teams.  She is also an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family, particularly her niece and nephews.

Favorite Bible Quote

 “...whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Teaching Philosophy

“I believe that educators have the duty to ensure all students grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  I desire to support my students as they work to develop their God-given talents.  Learners must feel physically, emotionally, and socially secure enough to become academic risk-takers, and I work to create a classroom culture that supports that growth mindset.  Teachers are role models, and I want my students to learn how to act with love, respect, and compassion.  I feel that it is important to create a nurturing, engaging, organized, and positive classroom environment where learning and children are celebrated on a daily basis.”

3rd Grade

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3rd Grade Teacher

Jamie Lenert

Biography

Jamie Lenert is a third grade teacher here and Saints Peter and Paul and currently teaches reading, spelling, and language arts. This is her 2nd year teaching both at this school and in her career. She has been a member of this parish for over 20 years and is a graduate of Saints Peter and Paul. She is so happy to be back with the Saints Peter and Paul community.
Jamie graduated from Saints Peter and Paul in 2009 then attended Naperville North High School where she played on the girls volleyball team for 2 years. She graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education With an endorsement in reading. She still enjoys playing volleyball and has had the opportunity to coach both jr. high and high school level club volleyball.

Favorite Bible Quote

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that each child brings something unique to the classroom and it is the teacher’s job to make sure all those personalities are shown. This elementary age is a crucial time in a child’s life where they are truly finding themselves and although the content and curriculum are very important, caring for your students is of equal importance. Caring for your students involves not only the academic level but also on a social/ emotional and spiritual  level. There are many diverse learners in our school system and having teachers that are well trained and educated in our general education classrooms can effectively reach all students by bringing in their culture and background into the classroom. Once the teacher can reach their students on that social/emotional and spiritual level, the academic level becomes less of a challenge.

3rd Grade

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3rd Grade Aide

Maggie Balick

Biography

Maggie was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN, where she attended Catholic grade school and high school. Maggie graduated from St. Xavier University in Chicago with a BA in Early Childhood Education with an intent of pursuing a teaching profession.  She married her husband, Les, soon after graduation. Maggie and Les agreed, that when the children would arrive, she would be a stay-at-home Mom, and Les would pursue his career. They were blessed with five children, all college grads, with families of their own and rewarding Maggie and Les with thirteen grandchildren.  Les’ jobs required several moves to various parts of the country and within the State of Illinois: Evergreen Park, IL; Freehold, NJ; Oak Lawn, IL; Lenexa, KS; and finally, to Naperville, IL, where they have lived now for thirty-four years. With each move their primary concern was to provide consistent Catholic education for their children. Giving their children a firm grounding in their faith was of upmost importance to them.  Maggie has been with the SSPP family for 29 years.  She has been the third-grade aide for both classrooms since 1992. Maggie spent 2 years as an aide in the Jr. Hi science lab, she also worked in the office at lunch time for 15 years.  She feels very blessed to be part of the SSPP family and have the privilege of working with the children.

Favorite Bible Quote

 “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”  Matthew 7:12
If only we all could really behave this way, and model it for our children, the world would be a much happier place.

Teaching Philosophy

Maggie feels that our children are one of our greatest gifts from God, and that as teachers, we have a huge responsibility to give them our very best every day. We should try to instill in them a love of learning and a curiosity of the world we live in. After using her educational degree, decades of raising her own children, and providing her love of teaching, she prays that she has been a positive influence on the lives of the children she has touched.