Mr. Daniel Flaherty

Biographical Info

Mr. Daniel Flaherty, Principal

Mr. Flaherty comes to our school with a wealth of experience behind him. After serving many years at The Academy of Sacred Heart and St. Pius, in Lombard, we are excited to have him join our school family.
Mr. Flaherty is married with 4 children. He enjoys golf in his free time. He is very excited about this unique opportunity and is impressed with our community, as being accepting and understanding. He wishes to join us in defining how his role will develop, will look, and will work for both school communities.
While COVID-19 has left us with a new normal, Mr. Flaherty will strive to not lose what makes BCA and St. Gabriel’s schools unique, and uniquely Catholic. A phrase he wishes to live by in serving is: Always err on the side of mercy.

Mrs. Katie Thompson
Assistant Principal

Biographical Info


For 20 years, Mrs. Thompson has worked in 40+ Chicago schools in the capacity of classroom teacher, Instructional Technology Director, Educational Consultant, Mentor/Development Coach, and Instructional Coach. Mrs. Thompson holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has experience working with Kindergarten through 12th grade students and teachers. She has served on BCA’s School Board and Home and School Association and is the proud mother of 3 BCA graduates!

Mrs. Amanda Canino
Office ManagerAdministration

Biographical Info

Mrs. Canino serves as the Office Manager for BCA. She handles all registration and tuition matters and is a great resource for BCA parents, students, and staff. Mrs. Canino has a strong history with BCA as she is a proud alumna and her her two children currently attend the school.

Mrs. Lillian Buckley
Development Director
Mrs. Mary Ellen Karpinski
Pre-K 3 Lead Teacher

Biographical Info

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.


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.

Ms. Mary Catherine LiFonti
Pre-K 4 Teacher

Biographical Info

B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Infants and Toddlers from Kendall College.

Teaching since 2018. Currently running aftercare program with Mrs. LiFonti for 15 years. Substitute teacher in grades Pre-K through 4th Grade, 2014-2018. Teacher’s aide in grades Pre-K through 2nd Grade, 2004-2006, 2013-2018. Student taught Pre-K 3 and 2nd Grade at BCA.
Experience loving my Nieces and Nephews, 1999-Forever.
Children: Doc and Marty (Yellow Labs).
Mrs. Carol Grek
Kdg Aide
Ms. Sue Sheppard
Pre-K 4 Aide
Mrs. Jackie Lagoni

Biographical Info

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.


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.

Ms. Samantha Tracy
1st Grade Teacher

Biographical Info

Ms. Samatha Tracy

1st Grade Teacher

Graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2019 with a B.A in Early Child Education.

Student taught and a substitute teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools.

Mrs. Lisa Grabowski
2nd Grade

Biographical Info

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


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).

Mrs. Patty Zeimys
PreK3 Aide
Ms. Vicki Castro
3rd grade teacher

Biographical Info

Ms. Castro graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has teaching experience of over 20 years, in the Chicago Public Schools. She loves to walk,  read, shop, and travel in her spare time.

We are BCA!!

Ms. Sierra Kelly
4th Grade

Biographical Info

Graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in Urban Elementary Education and a concentration middle school social sciences. Student taught at McClellan Elementary and worked for two years as a teacher’s assistant.

Ms. May Quidang
Middle School English/Language Arts

Biographical Info

B.A in Secondary English Education with endorsements in Middle School, Language Arts, and Social Science. Illinois Type 09 certified from Northeastern Illinois University, graduated in the Spring of 2015.


Student Services teaching assistant in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, working with 7th and 8th grade Special Education students in English/Language Arts. Began teaching at BCA in the Fall of 2017. Coordinates English/Math Enrichment after school programming and participates in professional development projects.

Mr. Richard Tarka
6th GradeMath

Biographical Info

Mr. Rich Tarka
6th Grade
Graduated from Valparaiso University with a B.A. in History and Secondary Education with teaching certification in Math and Social Studies. Additional education includes courses in courses in Advanced Studies in Mathematics from the American College of Education in addition to an M.A. in Educational Leadership from American Public University.
Experience and Responsibilities
Over thirty years experience teaching math and coaching football at the high school level in both public and Catholic schools including DeLasalle Institute, Crete-Monee, Rich South, Hinsdale Central, and most recently Guerin College Prep.  Courses taught include various levels of basic math, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and AP Statistics. Coaching experience includes 14 years as a High School Head Football Coach.

*News and announcements can be found on Google Classroom!

Mrs. Patti Murphy
7th GradeHomeroom, Middle School History
Mrs. Gina Geisert
8th GradeHomeroom, Religion and Middle School Literature

Biographical Info

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.


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.

News and announcements can be found on Google Classroom!

Mrs. Debbie Glowacki
Middle SchoolMiddle School Science

Biographical Info

News and announcements can be found on student’s Google Classroom!

Mrs. Glowacki is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Teacher since 2008. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Xavier University; a BA in SPeech Pathology and ELementary Education from the University of St. Francis, in Joliet; Gifted teacher endorsement; Married and proud mom of three adult sons.

Experience and Responsibilities: Worked in the Chicago Public Schools for over 20 years, 5 of those years managing the district program for over 200 teachers each year seeking National Board Certification; Presented at several conferences on topics such as classroom management, mentoring teachers and adult education; Trained in Cognitive Coaching;

Her most recent experience involves teaching 4th grade, both regular education and gifted students.  She has served as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and the School Improvement Planning team.  Prior to working in the public schools, she worked for 11 years in the Catholic schools, teaching in Elementary and Middle School environments.

Ms. Francine Rizzo
Title 1

Biographical Info

Graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN in 2015. B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Mild Intervention. Illinois State Certification in Elementary Education. Learning Behavior Specialist 1 (Kindergarten through Age 21) from Saint Xavier University – 2021.


Third Grade teacher at BCA from 2015-2021. Student taught 4th grade at a Catholic elementary school in Granger, IN and K-2nd Special Education in an urban elementary school in South Bend, IN.
Mrs. Sharon Zapata
5th – 8th Grade Aide
Mrs. Mary Bell
Music Teacher
Mr. Kal Moy
Physical Education Teacher

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