Bridgeport Catholic Academy


Faculty

Mrs. Caroline Koster Principal

B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Secondary Education with a minor in history from Loyola University Chicago. M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from the Loyola University Chicago. Type 75 certification in Administration & Supervision and Type 09 certification in Secondary Education with Social Sciences Endorsement. Member of National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Illinois Principals Association. Continued participation in classes/workshops focusing on curriculum and development.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Taught at Saint Ailbe Catholic School for 5 years (grades 6-8). Principal of Bridgeport Catholic Academy since 2012. Instructional leader and makes administrative, curricular & budgeting decisions.

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Ms. Ann Bulanda 8th Grade
Blog: Homework Blog Website: Wikispace

B.A. in Mathematics from the University of St. Francis. Masters in Arts of Teaching with a Middle School Endorsement from National-Louis University.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Began teaching at BCA in 2006 (grades 5-8). Math Coordinator, Supervisor of after school tutoring, Technology Co-coordinator, and Home & School Liaison. Member of the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE).

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Mrs. Gina Geisert 7th Grade
Website: Wikispace Website: Homework Blog

B.A. in Elementary Education with a concentration in History and a M.A. in Language & Literacy from Roosevelt University. Dual Illinois certification, Type 10 and Type 3 with a Middle School Endorsement.
EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES:
Began teaching at BCA in 1998 (grades 4-8). Coordinated Student Council activities and Environmental Club projects. Member of the School Intervention Team (ICEP) Member of International Reading Association and Illinois Reading Council.

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Mrs. Mary Pat Palumbo 6th Grade
Blog: Homework Blog Website: Wiki Space

B.A. in History, minor in Sociology from the University of St. Francis. Illinois Certification in secondary education. 18 hours earned from DePaul University for a MA degree. Wrote a portion of the paper “The Building of Chicago-Choices and Changes” which was published in the Chicago Tribune Education Services. Participant in the NEH sponsored project “Personal Profiles of Chicago’s Economic History”, earned credit hours in Developmental Education and Neurodevelopmental Learning.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Taught Intermediate & Junior High grades at Nativity of Our Lord. Organized and coached a student team to participate in the T.V program “Know Your Heritage”, served as a Mission Coordinator & CCD instructor. Began teaching Intermediate grades and Junior High at BCA in 1985. Moderator of National Current Events Team, co-directs the Literacy Magazine and serves at the Social Studies Coordinator. Served as an Assistant Principal, Junior High Coordinator, Eucharistic minister and curriculum evaluation team. Prepared students for the sacrament of Confirmation, the 8th grade U.S. Constitution Test and coordinated Graduation ceremony & activities.

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Mrs. Debra McNulty 5th Grade Homeroom/Middle School Science
Website: Homework Blog

B.A. in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University. M. A. in Reading Education from Concordia University. Dual Illinois certification in Elementary Education with endorsements in science, social science, art, and middle school; and Special Teaching with a Reading Specialist endorsement.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Taught fifth through eighth grade at St. Priscilla School for 6 year and at St. Edmund Parish School in Oak Park for four years, and sixth grade at Hauser Middle School in Riverside with a concentration in science at each school. Sponsored science fairs at St. Priscilla and St. Edmund, and served as Science Curriculum coordinator at St. Priscilla. Member of International Reading Association and National Science Teachers Association.

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Ms. Katie Steinkraus 4th Grade
Blog: Homework Blog Website: Class Dojo

Graduated with High Honors from Northeastern Illinois University in 2012. B.A. in Elementary Education with concentration in Geography and Social Studies.  Illinois Certification in Elementary Education (K-9). Member of the Alpha Chi National Honors Society.

Student taught first grade for a year in a CPS school. Began teaching at BCA in 2012 as the Title 1 teacher. Taught Grades 1-4 summer school at BCA. Currently teaching fourth grade. On the Yearbook Committee and Student Council.

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Ms. Francine Rizzo 3rd Grade
Website: Blog
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Mrs. Lisa Grabowski 2nd Grade
Blog: Homework Blog Website: Wikispace

B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from St. Xavier University. Illinois State Certification in Elementary Education.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Taught 2nd grade at St. Ethelreda (1 year), began teaching at BCA in 1985 presently teaching 2nd grade (grades 4-8 previously). Served as Assistant Principal and on Social Committee. Past nominee for the Heart of the School award and belonged to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

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Ms. Fran Halisz 1st Grade
Blog: Homework Blog Website: Wikispace

Graduated with honors from Northeastern Illinois University with a B.A. in Elementary Education. Dual Illinois certification in Elementary Education(K-9) and EMH (K-12). Past nominee for the Heart of the School award. Volunteered at CCIL in their residential program. Member of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Taught at St. Mary of Perpetual Help (grades 1, 4, 5). Grade One teacher at Bridgeport Catholic Academy since its inception in 1985. Previously worked as a day camp counselor and a private tutor. Taught summer school at BCA, Our Lady of Pompeii & Children of Peace. Served on Mission teams, Yearbook committee, Primary Unit and Television Coordinators and has been involved with curriculum planning. Currently involved with liturgy planning, social committee and is a former representative for Home & School. Past coordinator for “Rainbow for all God’s Children” which helps children deal with divorce, death and other losses.

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Mrs. Jackie Lagoni Kindergarten
Website: SuperKids Parent Page Website: Shutterfly Site

B.A. in Unified Early Childhood Education with a Reading Endorsement from Loras College. Illinois certification in Early Childhood Teaching and certified by Archdiocese of Chicago as a Teacher Catechist. Member of the International Reading Association.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Taught Kindergarten and worked as Director of Children’s Campus, Inc. Child Care Center from 2004 through 2007. Instituted the first Father/Daughter and Mother/Son nights, Book Fair. In a statewide preschool of the year competition received a second place award. Yearbook co-coordinator at Bridgeport Catholic Academy. Tutors reading for second grade at Bridgeport Catholic Academy.

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Ms. Alice Bennett Pre-K 4
Website: Shutterfly Site Website: Parent Portal

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

B.A. In Liberal Arts with minor in Early Childhood Education from California State University, East Bay

Certified in both California (K-9) and Illinois (PreK-8)

Began teaching in 2007 in Richmond, CA grades 3-5 before moving to Chicago in 2011. Taught extended day and was a regular substitute for all grade levels at Frances Xavier Warde Schools in Chicago before arriving at BCA in 2013.

Was 5th grade homeroom and religion teacher in addition to 5th-8th grade science teacher at BCA for the 2013-2014 school year.

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Mrs. Mary Ellen Karpinski Pre-K 3

B.S. in Education from Northern Illinois University. Dual Illinois certification in Elementary education and Special Education. Additional classes towards a Master’s Degree in Reading have also been taken.

EXPERIENCE & RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Taught 1st grade at the former St. Peter & Paul School for 6 years. Substituted and tutored at BCA prior to returning in 1999 to teach Kindergarten. Student Council & fundability Coordinators.

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Fr. Joseph Altman PastorNativity of Our Lord
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Fr. Peter McQuinn PastorAll Saints-St. Anthony Religion
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Mrs. Lillian Buckley Development
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Mrs. Donna Codina Aide
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Mrs. Mary Ann Farnan Aide / Art
Website: Homework Blog
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Mrs. Gaggiano Aide
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Mr. Arturo Garcia Maintenance
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Mrs. Grek Aide
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Mrs. LiFonti Administration

Mrs. LiFonti serves as the Administrative Assistant for BCA. She handles all registration and tuition matters and is a great resource for BCA parents, students, and staff. Mrs. LiFonti has a strong history with BCA: three of her five children are BCA graduates, and the oldest of her four grandchildren, Danny, graduated in 2013.

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Mrs. Tokarz Resource Aide
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Mrs. Trentz Aide
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Ms. Valenta
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Mrs. Zapata Aide
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Mr. Kal Moy Physical Education Teacher
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Ms. Mary Catherine LiFonti

Ms. LiFonti is a 1998 BCA graduate. She attended Queen of Peace High School and is currently enrolled at Kendall College finishing her elementary childhood degree. Ms. LiFonti is right at home at BCA: her mother is Mrs. Joyce LiFonti in the front office and her brother Danny is part of the maintenance staff. Ms. LiFonti and her boyfriend, Zach have two ‘sons’, two yellow labs: Doc and Marty. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting and all kinds of art.

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Mrs. Patty Zeimys
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