Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dear SPC Families,

I pray that you all had a restful and wonderful summer! It is hard to believe that the start of school is a few short weeks away. The faculty returns for a week of professional development and planning on August 12th and will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new classes! In the meantime, I want to update you on new programs, our new faculty and grade level assignments, and also give you a friendly reminder about forms and dates. Our weekly Thursday mailing will resume on August 15th.

We have had a busy summer here at SPC! I feel tremendously blessed that we have hired outstanding new teachers. We have also seen great growth in our early childhood program and recently added a part time preschool room. New curriculum has arrived for social studies and foreign language and the classrooms and hallways are sparkly clean.

While I am sorry to see summer slowly coming to an end, I am excited to have the hallways and classrooms full of joy and learning. More importantly, I am looking forward to a wonderful school year! I hope you enjoy reading about some exciting new updates and reminders below.

New Electives for Junior High
We are excited to announce that the 7th and 8th graders will have an opportunity to explore some wonderful new electives next year. Click here to see our Electives for 2019-2020.

SPC Tigers are heading to Puerto Rico
We are also excited to announce that in February of 2020 we will be offering a service trip to Puerto Rico visiting and working with the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. In 2017 St. Paul of the Cross raised money during the Lenten Mission to rebuild the damaged church of Our Lady of the Rosary Church. However, there is still work that needs to be done. We will be assisting at Our Lady of the Rosary Church and School. We will also have time to learn about the culture and history of Puerto Rico---and even have some fun! This trip is open to all 7th and 8th grade students. Parents are also eligible to attend the trip. Please click here to download the flyer with the Puerto Rico Service Trip Information.

Social Work/Counseling Services
In May 2019 District 64 informed us that they would no longer be providing social work services. Given that the social and emotional support of our students is important to us, we were faced with looking for an alternative plan. We are pleased to announce that we are partnering with United Stand Counseling Services this year. United Stand counselors will be at school 2 days a week to provide social and emotional support to our students. 

Class assignment packets will be handed out at the Information Fair on Wednesday, August 14th, from 4:00-6:30pm in the PLC Gym. No packets will be distributed if the required medical forms or proof of an upcoming appointment are not on file with the school office.  If you have not already submitted your child’s forms to the school office, please do so at your earliest convenience. Forms may be dropped off (the EGC office is open from 8:00-11:00am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), faxed to 847-825-2466, or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..Please click here for required forms.  

The school supply list has been posted on our Information and Forms page under the Parents tab. Please see below for links to individual class supply lists:

Supply List 2019-2020 Preschool .pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 Prekindergarten.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 Kindergarten.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 1st Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 2nd Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 3rd Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 4th Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 5th Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 6th Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 7th Grade.pdf 

Supply List 2019-2020 8th Grade.pdf 

I know many families have taken advantage of the Lands End Uniform sale and we will continue to keep you informed as we become aware of more sales. In addition to the gym uniforms at Lands End, Summit Specialtees will still sell gym uniforms.Please click here for all information related to the new uniform.  

A reminder that our Spirit Wear site has customizable SPC Tiger Wear!  There have been some new additions. Our first spirit wear day is Monday, September 9th.Click here for the spirit wear site.


Tuesday, August 13th
New Family Orientation for families and students in Grades 1-8.
6:30pm in the AB Room. Invitations have been emailed.
We will gather all new families who are transferring to SPC (Grades 1-8) for a Welcome Reception and a brief orientation on all things SPC!

Wednesday August 14th
Information Fair
All SPC Families join us in the gym to collect your classroom assignments, buy some used uniforms, collect your supplies, and catch up with friends!

Monday, August 19th
Preschool, Pre-k and Kindergarten Orientations

Your teachers will email you on August 15th with your specific time to attend orientation, after which you can then enjoy the back to school social!

This year you will be collecting a family envelope with your child's classroom assignment. Class lists will not be posted on the walls as in years past. The envelope will only be given to families that have completed the required health forms. If you are not available to come to the Info fair, you may pick up your packet from the EGC main office after August 14th. We will not be passing out packets to children. We will only be passing out packets to parents. Parents will not be allowed to pick up packets for families other than their own.

Monday, August 19th
Teacher Meet and Greet-New this year! 

All students and families come to school to meet your new teacher and drop off your school supplies! Once you stop by your new classroom, collect a ticket and go to the parking lot to have some ice cream (sponsored by Home and School Association).

Tuesday, August 20th-First Day of School Grades K-8
2:00 pm Dismissal

Wednesday, August 21st- First Day of School Preschool & Pre-K

August 28th-Back to School Night
6:30: Parents Meet in the Gym
6:50- Classroom Visits-details will be announced later.


Mrs. Sue Dohr
Mrs. Kelly Spanos
Ms. Megan Dietz

Mrs. Robin Gialanella
Mrs. Mary Connolly
Ms. Stefanie Xamplas

Mrs. Mary Ruth Rinaldi
Mrs. Ashley Kusinski
Mrs. Kate Murphy

1st Grade
Mrs. Susan Hader
Mrs. Roberta Kraft

2nd Grade
Mrs. Monica Chaparro
Mrs. Melissa McCallister

3rd Grade
Mrs. Gail Johnson
Ms. Megan Chambers

4th and 5th Grade Team
Ms. Nichole Lewandowski
Mrs. Stephanie Galvin
Mrs. Stephanie Golden
Mrs. Becky Zimmerman
Mrs. Gabby Valdez
Mr. Paul Okimoto 

6th, 7th and 8th Grade Team
Mrs. Monica Shultz
Mrs. Chris Stypka
Ms. Kelly Faquin
Mr. Paul Okimoto
Ms. Erin Guarnieri  
Mr. Joshua Warner 
Mrs. Melinda Meo  
Mrs. Elizabeth Pecoraro 

PFA Teachers
Mrs. Mary Ellen Ufheil-PE
Mrs. Maria Mejicanos- Spanish
Ms. Theresa Scordo-STEM
Ms. Natalie Whalen-Art
Mr. Alexander Bravos-Music

We are very excited to welcome some wonderful new faculty members. They are eager to meet their new students and families!

Mrs. Megan Dietz
My name is Megan Dietz and I am super excited to join the St. Paul of the Cross family as the new part time preschool teacher! I grew up and currently live on the Northwest side of Chicago. I attended Catholic elementary school and went to Resurrection High School. After high school, I found a love and passion for teaching, which led me to earn my Bachelors degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. During college, I taught preschool aged children at a daycare center, which only made my love for teaching grow. I then went on to teach kindergarten and third grade. After about 6 years of teaching, I chose to stay home for a few years to raise my young daughters- Molly, Evelyn, and Lucy. I am now so excited to be back at teaching, especially in such a wonderful school. I look forward to being part of this fantastic community.

Ms. Stefanie Xamplas
Stefanie is excited to join the St. Paul of the Cross. She has her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from National Louis University. Stefanie has taught both Kindergarten and 3-year-old Pre-K. She loves to spend her time with her 3 kids, Alex (14), Lauren (12), and Christina (10). Stefanie grew up in Park Ridge and now resides in Glenview. Very happy to be back in Park Ridge!  Stefanie loves to travel and is enjoying the summer off with her kids making memories!

Ms. Erin Guarnieri
Erin Guarnieri is thrilled to be part of the St. Paul of the Cross community! She has her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and her Bachelor’s degree in English, History, and Religious Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will be teaching 8th and 6th grade English Language Arts. In her free time, she enjoys creating pottery pieces, playing tennis, and cooking paleo food.

Mrs. Becky Zimmerman
I am excited to join the St. Paul of the Cross community.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development. Before I took time to stay home with my children, I taught 4th and 5th grade for 7 years. I returned to teaching three years ago and am excited to teach at St. Paul of the Cross. In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband, Steve, and our four children; Olivia, Maura, Sam and Erin. I also like to garden, go to my kids’ events and be involved with Girl Scouts.

Mrs. Stephanie Golden
Stephanie is very excited to be joining St. Paul community. She will be entering her fifteenth year of teaching, with experience mainly in middle grades teaching Math, Digital Literacy, and STEAM.  She can’t wait to teach 4th and 5th grade Science along with STEAM classes. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Elementary Education and English and she will be starting her Masters in Educational Leadership at Concordia University this fall.

She lives in Edison Park with her husband and four children, including her stepson who currently attends St. Paul. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, coaching basketball, and cooking.

Mr. Joshua Warner
It’s with great enthusiasm that Joshua joins the St. Paul community. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Theology, along with a minor in Catholic Social Teaching, from the University of Notre Dame. Following university, he lived in many different varieties of intentional, simple-living communities, serving as a Catholic Worker before living for seven years as a Trappist Monk. His teaching career, entering its seventh year, began at Loyola Academy, continuing most recently as Campus Minister and Religious Studies instructor at the Southeast side’s St. Francis de Sales High School. He looks forward to his work as St. Paul of the Cross School’s new Middle School Religion teacher and Campus Minister.

He lives in Glendale Heights.  He’s engaged to be married, and spends his free time writing poetry, reading the great classics of Chinese Zen, and wishing he could read them in the original language.

Mrs. Melinda Meo
Melinda is excited to join St. Paul of the Cross teaching 6th-8th grade math.  Most recently, Melinda taught Algebra 2 at St. Eugene School. Prior to that, Melinda spent most of her career at Guerin College Prep High School in River Grove where she taught all levels of high school math including Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry.  Melinda enjoys incorporating technology into her lessons and finding new techniques to help her students reach their full potential.

Melinda received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from National Louis University and her Master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from North Park University. Melinda is married and has one son who will be starting Fenwick in the fall. 

Ms. Natalie Whalen
Natalie is thrilled to teach Art at Saint Paul of the Cross! She attended SPC from kindergarten to eighth grade and recalls Art being her favorite subject. Natalie graduated from Dominican University, majoring in Fashion Design, Illustration, and Studio Art. She obtained her K-12 Art Education Degree and Middle School Endorsement from North Park University.

Natalie also works for Lurie Children’s Hospital and Stroger Hospital as a muralist and has worked as a chalkboard/sign artist for Trader Joe’s. She is mom to SPC students Violet (3rd grade) and Billy (1st grade) Gerny. They reside in Edison Park and enjoy doing art projects, reading together, and taking walks around the neighborhood.

Mr. Alexander Bravos
Alex is eager to join the SPC community as the music teacher. He graduated from Millikin University, studying Vocal Music Education with a certificate in Jazz Studies. This will be Alex’s first year teaching in a school setting. He is excited to teach 2nd-8th grade music to students at St. Paul of the Cross School. Alex is a vocalist and he also plays piano and percussion.

Alex is a St. Charles native but is soon to reside in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. If he is not teaching music, he enjoys creating music or going to the beach to read or relax. He collaborates musically with his brother and artist, Tommy Bravos.

Elizabeth Pecoraro
Elizabeth joins us after 13 years of teaching math at Guerin Prep High School. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Illinois State in Mathematics Education and a Masters in Mathematics Education from DePaul University. 

Kate Murphy
My name is Kate Murphy and I am so happy to be joining the SPC community! I recently received my Master’s in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University and completed a teaching assistantship in a Kindergarten class at Sauganash Elementary School. I live in nearby Sauganash, where I also grew up, and have three boys at Queen of All Saints School. I attended Regina Dominican High School and Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame. I love being silly, embarrassing my children and anything Disney!

I hope you enjoyed all the updates and the reminders; I cannot wait to see you all in a few weeks! May God continue to bless you all with a restful summer!


Dr. Erika Mickelburgh, Principal
St Paul of the Cross School
140 S. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge IL 60068
Phone: (847) 825-6366
Fax: (847) 825-2466