Say Hello to Our New Teachers!

PreK-4 Ms. Lorna Kirkpatrick is originally from LittleRock, Arkansas, where she graduated with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She has experience working with children age six weeks to fourth grade through various roles asa classroom teacher, assistant, and literacy tutor. She has been living in Chicago for about four years and feels blessed to be located in such a vibrant city. Her hobbies include traveling, discovering new restaurants, relaxing at the beach, biking, and catching up with friends. Her goals for this school year are to create an inviting classroom with engaging lessons that involve the children's interests and to help foster their love of learning! She is looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you throughout this school year.
 
 
3rd Grade Mrs. Caroline Synakowski earned her BA in music performance from theUniversity of Northern Iowa and her master's degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University. She has experience in both outdoor and environmental education, as well as traditional classroom education. She is excited to combine these two interests this year teaching 3rd grade science! In her free time, she enjoys playing music around the city, being outdoors in nature, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two cats. She is looking forward to getting to know the St. Josaphat community, and is so excited for all the amazing things she and her students are
going to learn together in 3rd grade! 
 
5th Grade Mrs. Kirsten Dolan grew up in New Jersey and moved to Chicago last year. She studied Human Ecology at RutgersUniversity and recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a master's degree in Education. This is Mrs. Dolan's sixth year as a middle school science teacher. After an AmeriCorps year of service with the American Red Cross, she transitioned to the classroom with Teach For America. In her spare time, Mrs. Dolan loves to cook and talk on the phone with her family. She lives in Lakeview with her husband and dog.
 
 
 
French Elisabeth Pham is very enthusiastic to join theSt. Josaphat School teaching team and community as a French teacher. Ms. Pham has taught in France, Spain, Italy, and in Chicago at the French International School. Ms. Pham holds two master's degrees from the University of Illinois, one in French Language and Literature and another in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics. She likes to play music and paint in her spare time, and she has a son who lives in Seattle.
 
 
 
Art Kenneth Beckwith is a Visual Arts educator who earned degrees from Columbia College in Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before coming to St. Josaphat School, Mr. Beckwith was an art teacher for CPS. He views the visual arts as a means of communicating. His favorite things to do are travel, be outside, kayak, scuba-dive, and hike. "I am excited about getting to know my new community, the names, the dynamic personalities of all of my students, and getting to know what and who it is they bring to the world."
 
IT Director Jake Nedza is originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He earned his B.A in Secondary Education from DePaul. Before joining theSt. Josaphat School faculty, he taught English at DePaul College Prep. He also lived and taught English in Madrid, Spain for a year! He is currently attending Northern Illinois to complete a master's Degree in Instructional Technology. Mr. Nedza is very excited to join the St. Josaphat team and help build and maintain our technology resources.
 
Kindergarten Aide Erica Mattera is originally from the suburbs of Chicago and earned a bachelor's degree in human and educational services at Illinois State University. Since moving to Chicago in 2012, she spends her time coaching gymnastics, teaching outdoor education, and nannying for wonderful families. When not working, she loves to travel, watch hockey (GoPenguins!), and take care of her pets! Last year she was a substitute at St. Josaphat, and this year she is very excited to be full-time as a kindergarten aide!
 
PreK-3 Aide Joseph Leathead graduated from theUniversity of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in English. He has had experience working with students as a tutor and is very excited to work in a school setting. Mr. Leathead loves to read and write, work out, and play the ukulele. "I'm very excited for the year to start and meet the students and teachers."