June 2, 2020

Dear SPC Families,

My goodness, what a year! I know many of you feel as I do, that this year was perhaps the longest school year ever! Thank you for your continued feedback and patience as we walked together through these times. As a principal, I am relieved that e-learning is coming to an end. As a parent, I am over the moon that it is over! These past few days, it has been wonderful to see so many faces as you drop off and pick up school supplies, and it is nice to have the campus a little busy and full of life again. Although we have been apart for so many weeks, I have always felt the closeness of the SPC community. Last week, we gathered to send our graduates off in an extraordinary and meaningful way that commemorated these unique times while celebrating their graduation. I am so proud of their resilient spirit throughout all of this. 

I want to take the opportunity to thank our amazing faculty and staff! Throughout this entire experience, the care and concern they showed for their students was first and foremost in all they did! Overnight, I asked them to do the impossible, and they responded to remote learning with their whole hearts and creativity, all the while trying to maintain personal connections with their students. We are so blessed to have them at St Paul of the Cross!

This email is being sent to all our current and new families for next year, as it contains both essential and exciting information for our upcoming year! It is a long email (thank you for your attention to the communication) which hopes to inform you about the following:

  • Fall 2020!
  • The Catholic Church’s Response to recent events in our Country
  • FACTS Summer Paperwork--A parent's summer to-do list!
  • Summer Office Hours
  • Facility, Technology Improvements and room moves
  • Announce the faculty and staff who are transitioning to other adventures.
  • Announce the new hires for 2020-2021. I am happy to announce that we have all our faculty and staff hired for next year.
  • Summer Reading
  • Announce new Electives for our 7th and 8th Grades

End of Year Mass
We will gather (hopefully via Facebook Live) on Friday, June 5th, at  9:00 am for our final Mass!  

Fall 2020
I know this is the question on all of our minds, I continue to pray that we are all back in the buildings in August 2020! I am still waiting on directives from the Governor's Office and the Archdiocese of Chicago for the protocol guidelines in the fall. It will not be up to principals to decide on the plan; the plan will be given to us. We are continuing to plan as if we will be in school. The guidance on how it will look depends on directives from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Office, and the Office of Catholic Schools. I know all share in my desire to know the plans for the fall; as soon as I know the details, I will communicate it to all families. We know schools open in Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s plan, and I am hopeful that Illinois moves to that phase this summer!

I fully anticipate that daily operations of school will look different. I have included a list of points that we expect as possibilities for the fall; this is speculation based on what I have been reading. To that end, we have already worked to secure and/or planned for the following: 

  • Touchless thermometers ( I anticipate that we will be checking temperatures of students and guests to SPC).
  • Foamless Instant Hand Sanitizer for all classrooms 
  • Necessary PPP (gloves and masks).
  • Lands End has added masks to the uniforms website (not necessary to order from Lands End should masks be required)
  • Conversations with the cleaning company on new protocols related to sanitizing and cleaning have begun.
  • Initial discussions about the protocols for arrival and dismissal. It is highly likely that there will be scattered times for grade levels for arrival and dismissal, which will allow for smaller groups to gather.
  • I anticipate that we will have virtual orientations (or conduct smaller groups) and a virtual Back to School Night. Events such as Info Fair, Grandparents Day, Christmas Concerts will look very different and may be conducted in school during the day and videotaped for parents.
  • Fun Run will be in the spring of 2021 rather than in the fall.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences will probably take place via Zoom.
  • Students may eat lunch in their rooms, and there will be smaller groups for recess.
  • Limited passing times throughout the day.
  • We may have to limit student movement by having the teachers move rather than the students throughout the day.
  • Athletics: We are waiting for more directives, and then the principals will confer with the conference to make plans. 
  • Field Trips: I am temporarily suspending all field trip planning for the 2020-2021 school year. The $75/child field trip fee will not be added to your FACTS account. When it is safe to do so, we will resume field trips. They will be billed to families as they are planned. There will be no field trip fee next year. 

What will it look like IF we return for remote learning?
We have learned a considerable amount of what works and what doesn’t work during remote learning. If we return for remote learning, we will be reevaluating what that looks like. I will say confidently that remote learning will be offered for all grades Preschool-8 should that be required. If you would like to share your personal experiences with remote learning, please feel free to email me. 

Resources for Helping our Children with Recent Events 
George Floyd’s murder is truly tragic and heartbreaking. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are reminded of our role as peacemakers in our lives. Our faith compels us to seek justice in the face of systemic racism and inequity. We want to share some resources that may assist you in talking to your children in the wake of the disruption of our city and suburbs. Please click here for excellent resources. May God continue to watch over and protect our city and all of our first responders!

Summer To-Do List for Parents

FACTS Summer Paperwork and Tuition Accounts
We have moved to an entirely online “summer paperwork” portal! Please complete and upload all necessary forms to your family's account. It will help you greatly in years to come as you will only have to verify information rather than filling out multiple forms. Thank you for your cooperation in completing this work by August 1, 2020. If you have not appropriately filled out the forms, you will not be able to receive your child's classroom assignments in August. 

How will I find out my child’s teacher/schedule for next year: 
We will await information on the fall to decide on how to handle the Information Fair. We may be able to schedule times (similar to the end of year book drop off) for families to come and collect their schedules and purchase used uniforms.   

How Do I Request a Teacher for Next Year?
We are blessed at SPC with talented and wonderful teachers. Teacher requests will not be honored. I understand that sometimes our children need a "type of teacher," and we will certainly honor those types of requests. For example, I believe teachers are a mix of "Friendly, Firm, and Fair." Sometimes Teacher A may be "Firm, Fair and Friendly --in that order while Teacher B may be Friendly, Firm and Fair--in that order. We also know as parents that sometimes our children may benefit from Teacher A's style over Teacher B's style of teaching. Every effort is made to take those types of considerations into account when creating class lists. 

I am so excited for my child to return to school! What supplies do they need?
Please click here for the complete supply list. Home and School will also be offering the supply boxes; more information will follow.

Summer Office Hours

Beginning on June 16th through August 13th, the EGC Office will be open as follows:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • The office will be closed on Mondays and Fridays
  • The school offices will be closed from July 13-July 24th
  • The UGC Office will be closed for the summer. All dates and times are also on our school calendar.

Summer Room Moves, Technology Installation & Capital Improvements

  • All the brand new SMART boards are being installed this week! They are gorgeous, and I know the teachers can’t wait to start using them!
  • We are replacing all Chromebooks for Grades 5-8 with the rugged Chromebook models, which allows us to deploy the older Chromebooks to other classrooms!
  • The Upper Grade Center's lower level construction is rolling along! We will have a beautiful new library, STEM lab, and Faculty room. Stay tuned on social media for photos of the progress.
  • The AB room is being transformed into a new 21st Century Classroom that will also be available for parish meeting space in the evenings.
  • The Gym Divider is being installed as well as brand new padding on the stage and walls.
  • 3rd Grade is moving to the UGC building --3rd grade will remain wholly self-contained and will not follow the Master Schedule of Grades 4-8.

Faculty and Staff Moving on:

We wish you the best of success in the future, and thank you for your service to St. Paul of the Cross!

  • Robin Gialanella
  • Kelly Faquin
  • Kathy Manny
  • Marge Lushniak-Happy Retirement!!! 

2020-2021 Grade Level Assignments and Restructuring of Staff

Preschool Team

  • Kelly Spanos
  • Megan Dietz
  • Nora McDevitt (New)  

PreK Team

  • Mary Connolly
  • Stefanie Xamplas
  • Ashley Kusinski
  • Roberta Kraft

Kindergarten Team

  • Mary Ruth Rinaldi
  • Kate Murphy
  • Jennifer Ciupinski

1st Grade Team

  • Susan Hader
  • Stephanie Golden
  • Susan Dohr

2nd Grade Team

  • Monica Chaparro
  • Stephanie Galvin
  • Melissa McCallister

3rd Grade Team

  • Gail Johnson
  • Megan Chambers 

4th-5th Grade Team

  • Todd Cerjack (New)
  • Nichole Lewandowski
  • Becky Zimmerman
  • Carla Huber (New)
  • Gabriella Valdez

6th-8th Grade Team

  • Kathleen Hayes (New)    
  • Beth Pecoraro       
  • Melinda Meo 
  • Paul Okimoto      
  • Chris Stypka     
  • Erin Guarnieri     
  • Monica Schultz
  • Meghan Donahue (New) 


  • Mary Ellen Ufheil
  • Natalie Whalen
  • Alex Bravos
  • Theresa Scordo 

Inclusion Team

  • Peggy Godley (K-2)
  • Tina Bull (3-5) (New)
  • Dorothy Ross (6-8)

Restructuring of the Administrative Team
We look forward to continuing to build our programs with the addition of two new administrators. This will allow SPC to move forward with a strong support system for both faculty and staff and the needs of all students!  

Development Office

Director of Admissions: Mrs. Meghan Waldeck  
Director of Institutional Advancement: Mrs. Mary Ploen
As we continue to expand and grow our programs and enrollment, Mrs. Waldeck will transition to being responsible for all activities related to Admissions for Grades Preschool-8. While Mrs. Ploen will continue to work on advancing the development efforts.

Support for Students and Teachers

Director of Curriculum and Instruction: Welcome Mrs. Cathy Hart!
This new position replaces the former math coach position and the curricular piece of the Director of Early Childhood. In partnership with the other administrators, Mrs. Hart will assist in making sure our curriculum is incorporating best practices and innovations to support student learning while maintaining the standards of excellence and rigor in support of the mission and teaching philosophy. She will also assist with teacher evaluations and professional development. Her years of Catholic school experience are a tremendous asset to our school.

Director of Student Wellness and Support Services: Welcome Mrs. Ronda Quinn
This position will assist with infusing social and emotional learning into the curriculum as well as provide counseling to our students who previously saw United Stand or D64. She will also assist the inclusion team and teachers in RtI service planning. Together with the administration and faculty, she will work to create a comprehensive program for social-emotional support for all students. 

Director of Technology & Computer Science Teacher: Welcome Mr. Joseph Agostinelli
Mrs. Moran will be transitioning to retirement in the fall of 2020. To allow for a smooth transition in the area of technology, Mr. Agostinelli joins us to oversee the comprehensive technology program at SPC. He will also teach some electives for Grades 7-8!

Welcome New Faculty and Staff 2020-2021! Please click here to read our new faculty and staff bios.


7th and 8th Grade Elective Program 2020-2021
We are excited to announce that the following electives are being offered to 7th and 8th-grade students for the 2020-2021 school year. All elective courses will take place during 6th period to allow for easier scheduling. Core academic courses will take place for all 7th and 8th graders during periods 1-5. 8th-grade students will be given preference in the scheduling. Given availability, we cannot guarantee that students will receive their top 3 choices. Students will take a new elective each trimester. Elective courses are graded.

All rising 7th and 8th-grade students will be sent a link by the end of June to select their elective course. In the meantime, think about your choices! Please click here for the course descriptions.

Summer Reading and Math
It has been a practice at SPC to include some summer work. However, that work has been assigned after a regular school year. Given the exhaustion associated with remote learning---let’s just have a relaxing summer!

Directions: Pick up a good book, enjoy some time away from the screen, and read for fun! There will be no required projects for this year.  

Suggested Summer Reading Grades 3-8 

The previous year's math and reading packets can be found here if you would like some supplemental work for your student. 

In closing, I pray you are all able to enjoy a wonderful and healthy summer. As I conclude my second full year as Principal of SPC, I am eternally grateful for the privilege of being able to lead this beautiful community! See you all in the fall….or around town!


Dr. Erika Mickelburgh

Welcome New Faculty and Staff Bios

Resources for Families 

2020-2021 Electives 7th & 8th Grade

Summer Reading