SJF Parish and School,
We would like to introduce our School Advisory Board (SAB). We came together as a board in September of this year and have a great mix of backgrounds to serve the school and our students. It is an exciting and important time at the school given the transition of leadership and the board is committed to serving the school during this time of change to set us up for long term success. The Archdiocese of Chicago established new guidelines to help boards to be effective therefore the boards focus can include: mission effectiveness, fiscal management, institutional advancement (including communication, marketing/enrollment, development and strategic planning). In our next communication, we will share our specific goals related to these guidelines and ask for your engagement. To start, we wanted to introduce each board member. Feel free to reach out with any input and feedback as we get started on this journey.
Nichole Carey, a new member to the board, is enthusiastic about the opportunity to become active in the parish and school community she, her husband and four children call home. Nichole is a Licensed Professional Counselor and serves as the Director of College Counseling at Mother McAuley High School, bringing a knowledge base of child development, mental health awareness and treatment as well as school-based communication, procedures and policy.
Molly Condon has been a member of the school board for the past 6 years. She has an SJF grad currently attending Mother McAuley and two current Falcons. Her career in education has had a focus on meeting the needs of diverse learners for 18 years. Most recently, she has on an administrative role serving as a case manager and advocate for students with diverse needs in the Chicago Public School system.
Joe Goldrick is a new member to the school board in 2018. He and his wife, Erin, a SJF alum, have two children. Both are students at SJF, one in 1st grade and one in pre-school. Joe brings experience in investment / financial management, fundraising, and strategic planning to the board from his role at Adams Street Partners, a Chicago-based asset management firm.
Kathleen Girzadas is a returning board member. She has lived in SJF with her husband, Dave, and 3 children for 18 years. Kathleen has been a teacher in elementary education at CPS for over 20 years. She believes that being a member of the SAB means she is an ambassador for SJF to continue the traditions of a strong school community while building on our successes for future generations.
Pete Gribble is a returning SAB member. He and his wife Gaby have four SJF graduates. He has served as a eucharistic minister, baptismal prep facilitator, FisherFest committee and many years as a soccer coach. His professional background includes the City of Chicago, Office of Budget and Management and Department of Finance. He spent 3 years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Pete also serve in the U.S Navy for seven years and is a Desert Storm veteran. He looks forward to his continued service to SJF.
Sara McGann, one of the newest members, is a lifelong southsider, passionate SJF parishioner, mom to three lower-grade children and active Beverly/Morgan Park community member. Sara recently returned back to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she is zealous, dedicated appellate prosecutor. Sara is truly excited to collaborate with the board and the Fisher community at large, so that together, we can accomplish such tasks as: maintaining enrollment, strengthening SJF’s “brand,” making curriculum more robust, developing innovative fundraising tactics and increasing mass attendance. Sara will bring an open mind, big heart and active-listening ears, among other skills, to help keep the SJF momentum going!
Mary Neumann is a returning SAB member and has served as SJF school board president since 2007. In that capacity, she helped coordinate and promote tuition assistance & fundraising events in the school community. In addition, she has served on numerous committees and collaborated on writing many materials for the school and parish. She holds a BA from Marquette University in Journalism and is a former media specialist & speechwriter. Mary is currently employed by the archdiocese in a paraprofessional role as a substitute teacher for extended absences. She has been a member of St. John Fisher Parish since 1971. Mary and her husband Jeff have 3 children who are SJF graduates.
Carrie Nowicki is a new member of the school board in 2018. She and her husband, Bob, chose SJF for their four boys a few years ago because of its strong and supportive culture and sense of community. She looks forward to partnering with the board, faculty, and parishioners to help SJF students excel for years to come. Carrie brings to the board corporate leadership and communication skills gained from her roles in Human Resource management at PepsiCo.
Joan Rogers is a proud SJF alum, who along with her husband Bill, have five children who are all SJF graduates. She has served on the School Advisory Board for over 10 years. Joan is the assistant principal at Mt. Greenwood School where she works in tandem with the principal to establish a school wide vision of commitment to high standards for all students, builds the quality of instruction by developing a professional community of teachers who guide one another in improving instruction and cultivates community support and engagement.
Katy Spreitzer, a new member to the board, is excited about the opportunity to serve the SJF Community in this capacity. She and her husband, Steve, have lived in the SJF Community for the past 16 years and have three daughters who attend / attended SJF. Katy has been an educator for 22 years, and is currently in her 10th year as a principal in Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123. She hopes her experiences relative to school leadership, school-wide strategic planning, curriculum development, instructional best practices, professional development, and family engagement help to serve the advisory board’s vision and mission.
Bob Urchell and his wife Kate (SJF class of ‘82) have two graduates (Julia 14’ and Ellie 16’) of St. John Fisher and also a current 8th grader (Jack) and 5th grader (Gavin). He has coached both girls and boys basketball at SJF for several years and is also on the FisherFest committee. Bob brings his experience as the owner of his own firm, Urchell and Associates, Inc., a company specializing in commercial and residential Land Surveying. Bob hopes he can be a conduit for all the members of the SJF community as it relates to the SAB and its’ mission.