Our teachers and office staff are deeply committed to students. They often refer to students as “their children.” Faculty maintain an excellent working relationship with the parents, and view education as a team effort of constant communication between home and school.
Principal: Mrs. Erin Boyle Folino
Mrs. Erin Boyle Folino is our Principal at St. Ferdinand School. This is her 2nd year with us, and she is a product of Catholic Schools. She has over 15 years of teaching experience in Catholic elementary schools, and two Master’s degrees in the fields of Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership. She is actively involved in the Church, and strives to bring both academic excellence and the Catholic faith into the classroom.
“It is my honor to serve St. Ferdinand School. Each student has such great potential, and I feel it is my duty to nurture that and help each student achieve their best, both academically and personally. I look forward to continuing to work with our parents and staff to make that potential a reality.”
Read more: Principal’s Biography
PK3: Ms. Patti Szadziewicz
Patrice Szadziewicz has been at St. Ferdinand School in the Early Childhood Program for 25 years. She is a co-teacher with Ms. Marta and works with the 3-year old students.
“I love working as a co-teacher with Ms. Marta and enjoy each day I am with the children! I enjoy coming to work each day and watching the children grow. It is my goal to provide a nurturing, safe environment where children can develop their learning and social skills. Students develop both academic and interpersonal skills. Playtime helps children with their creativity, but most importantly, helps them learn to work together and interact positively with each other. In today’s world, I think it is especially important to learn kindness and how to get along well as a community. We put this into practice each day as we develop our minds and hearts.”
PK4: Ms. Marta Ostrowska
Marta Ostrowska graduated from Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland) and holds a Master’s degree in Pedagogy/Education with ELL endorsement. She also has completed a post graduate degree in teaching a second language. Her journey in a preschool setting started 19 years ago. Her passion for teaching extends from preschool classes to summer school classes, instructional clubs, and summer school camps. She was a finalist of the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award.
“Early Childhood programs are my passion. I am very proud of every student that I have had the privilege of teaching; they are the biggest part of my accomplishments. Every day brings joy and satisfaction.”
Kindergarten: Mrs. Corrie Rettelle
Corrie Rettelle has been teaching Kindergarten at St. Ferdinand School for 17 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University. When she is not with her St. Ferdinand family, she is a proud wife and mother of two children. Her son also attends St. Ferdinand School.
“I am honored to be part of the St. Ferdinand community and feel blessed to be able to do what I love every day! Seeing the magic and wonder in a child’s eyes as they learn something new makes my job the best job there is! I truly believe that Catholic school helped to shape who I am as a person, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue that tradition.”
1st Grade: Mrs. Lindsay Hansen
Lindsay Hansen is our 1st grade teacher at St. Ferdinand School. She began her career at St. Ferdinand during the 2009-2010 school year. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in American Studies, along with her Elementary Education certification from Dominican University in 2009. Being a lifelong learner, she returned to Dominican University to obtain a Master of the Arts in Education with Reading Specialist certification.
“Education is my passion and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion with my students each day! I am blessed to call St. Ferdinand home and love the family environment we have at our school.”
2nd Grade: Ms. Emily Babikan
Emily Babikan teaches 2nd grade at St. Ferdinand School. This is her sixth year being part of our talented staff. St. Ferdinand School holds a special place in her heart, as this is where her teaching career began. She taught kindergarten for three years, and now is in her third year teaching second grade. She graduated in 2015 from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education.
“I love teaching and am passionate about helping children foster a love of learning for years to come! Every day I learn something new from each of my students, and that is what makes me love coming to work each day! It is such a blessing to work at St. Ferdinand.”
3rd Grade: Ms. Michelle Bollin
Michelle Bollin is our third-grade teacher here at St. Ferdinand School. She graduated from DePaul University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career at St. Ferdinand School, and is currently in her third year of teaching the third grade. She is a creative individual, and often incorporates this into her classroom through student projects, as well class decorations. Additionally, she has worked to moderate a craft club for the students in the previous school year.
“I have always had a passion for working with and teaching children. This is my third year at St. Ferdinand, and I am excited to continue my teaching career here. I am thankful for the opportunity to do so, and look forward to what this school year will bring!”
4th Grade: Mrs. Andrea Alanis
Andrea Alanis is our 4th grade teacher at St. Ferdinand School. She has been an educator for 9 years, and this is her third year at St. Ferdinand. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a middle school math endorsement from Aurora University. She co-moderates the Student Council. When she’s not teaching, you could find her composing creative songs, spending time with family, volunteering at her parish, or playing old video games. She is working on an ESL endorsement, and hopes to one day receive a Master’s degree in Spanish.
“I am glad to be teaching our fourth grade students. Seeing how much the students learn and grow throughout the year is one of the biggest blessings of being a teacher. My goal in the classroom is to make sure I am helping students to achieve their goals.”
5th Grade Homeroom / Grades 5-7 ELA: Mrs. Kia Loster
Kia Loster has 15+ years of teaching English Language Arts (ELA) in both the Chicago Catholic and public-school systems to both junior high and high school students. She holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in the Teaching of English. Her specialty is differentiated instruction in the classroom. In addition to teaching ELA to students in grades 5-7, she also helps co-moderate our Student Council. She is an active parishioner of St. Ferdinand, and her children attend school here as well.
“I enjoy working with the St. Ferdinand community as both of my sons attend school here. I’m a native Chicagoan and I look forward to teaching your children and teaming up with you to make the school year a great success! I have been blessed, and I enjoy giving back.”
6th Grade Homeroom / Grades 5-8 Science: Mrs. Alexandra Lapsa
Alexandra Lapsa received her Bachelor’s degree in Science from Dominican University this past spring and has begun working on her Master’s in Teaching through the alternative licensing program, also at Dominican University. She will receive an Alternative Educator’s License in August from the Illinois State Board of Education. She is an alumna of St. Ferdinand School and actively involved in the Polish School Children’s Choir here. She brings new-teacher energy and an eagerness to make science engaging and fun for our middle school science students. We know our middle school students will truly enjoy science with a new teacher and a new on-line science “textbook” for the 6th-8th graders!
“I enjoy teaching science, and working with the students at St. Ferdinand School. As an alumna, it is interesting to remember my time in the classrooms as I am teaching the students. I hope to continue the tradition of academic excellence, as well as make learning fun!”
7th Grade Homeroom / Grades 5-8 Math: Ms. Aphrodite Kokosioulis
Aphrodite Kokosioulis (better known as “Ms. K” to students) has been at St. Ferdinand since 2008. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has earned endorsements in Language Arts, Math, History and ESL. She teaches math to students in Grades 5-8, as well as eighth grade Language Arts.
“I enjoy teaching my junior high students, and I want my students to leave my classroom smarter and stronger than when they entered. I hope that when they leave here, they remember that they are critical thinkers, brave scholars and faith-filled young adults, ready to tackle the world. I know the world will be a better place because of my students. I am proud to be part of the St. Ferdinand community and it has been my greatest honor to be called teacher. “
8th Grade Homeroom / Grades 5-8 Social Studies / 8th Grade Vocabulary: Mr. Mike McGinniss
Michael McGinniss teaches Social Studies to our junior high students. He works hard to prepare his lessons, and believes it is important for students to have a good understanding both of historical events and of the events that are unfolding in the world around them. Additionally, he is a long-time member of St. Ferdinand Parish in may various roles. He is the Scoutmaster of Troop 51 (Boy Scouts). His wife, Joyce, is the Girl Scout Coordinator at St. Ferdinand, as well as the Director of Christian Outreach.
“I greatly enjoy the challenge of our 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders! I believe it is important that our students learn as much as they can about the world around them. Having served St. Ferdinand for most of my life, I view my time here as an honor and a privilege.”
Music: Brother James Drangsholt
Brother James is presently the Director of Music & Liturgy for the Saint Ferdinand parish. A Religious Brother of the Franciscan order, he had taught for almost 40 years at the High School and College levels, and was a former principal. He completed his professional education training at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, DePaul University, St. Mary’s Seminary, and Franklin University. Brother James directs the School Handbell Choir and School Choir.
“I enjoy being able to share my knowledge and love of music with the students of St. Ferdinand School. Everybody is able to learn different musical skills and develop an appreciation of the complexity and many different styles of music. My favorite part of teaching is hearing the students be able to put their knowledge into song – especially in the form of instrumental music / choir.”
Spanish: Mr. Ernesto Tapia
Mr. Ernestro Tapia is originally from Mexico and began his career teaching Spanish as a Second Language in the private school system in Mexico. Mr. Tapia holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Spanish from Northeastern Illinois University. He has taught in private, public, and parochial schools in Illinois for more than 15 years.
Presently, Mr. Tapia teaches Spanish at St. Ferdinand, as well as three other schools. This is his 2nd year at St. Ferdinand School, and he maintains and excellent rapport with his classes.
“My rapport with students enables me to develop an atmosphere conducive to exploring and learning.”
Religion: Sr. Agnes Michna
Sr. Agnes Michna was born in Poland, and joined the Missionary Sisters of Christ the King in 1988. In Poland, she graduated with a degree in Theology from the Academy of Theology in Warsaw, and completed her postgraduate studies in Catechetics in Poznan. She taught religion in Poland, Canada, and the United States for several years, in addition to being director of St. James Polish School. In August 2019, Sister started working as a religion teacher here at St. Ferdinand Catholic School. Sister Agnes brings a true love of religion to her classes, as well as her creativity and joy.
“I am very happy that I can follow the paths of faith with the students of our school and discover the wonderful works of God with them. For me, each religion lesson is a great adventure, during which we listen to the Word of God, get to know His love, and try to bring this love to others.”
Library: Mrs. Kathy DeMaira
(update in process, stay tuned!)
Kathy DeMaira has worked at St. Ferdinand School since fall of 2000. She has been a substitute teacher and a remedial reading teacher as well as the head librarian. She is the chairperson of the book fair and has worked on the yearbook and various reading incentive programs. She is also a dance teacher and has taught St. Ferdinand students dances for Red Ribbon week, assisted staging the Christmas pageant and taught St. Ferdinand students choreography for the school plays. She transformed the library of over 14,000 books from manual checkout to electronic check out. Currently, she brings the Library to each classroom and uses Library to supplement current lessons the students are learning.
“I am delighted and proud to be an educator in such a beautiful facility as St. Ferdinand School.”
Marketing Director: Mr. Chris James
With a broad range of marketing, communications, and public relations experience serving top nonprofit, academic and healthcare organizations, Chris James is a seasoned, well-rounded professional. Serving as our Director of Marketing, Chris brings years of expertise in both traditional and digital marketing including brand marketing and video production.
“I’m eager to help take the St. Ferdinand mission to the next level by promoting the school through marketing, communications and public relations initiatives,” he says. “I appreciate the friendly, helpful, dedicated staff under Mrs. Folino’s direction. I hope to use my storytelling and media relations skills to help new families discover St. Ferdinand.”
Main Office / Tuition Specialist: Mrs. Ginny Quinones
Mrs. Ginny Quinones has many years of experience in Catholic Schools. She works in the main office, and is our Tuition Specialist. Mrs. Quinones helps families set up tuition accounts, as well as facilitates in the financial aide / scholarship process. She also answers phones, student questions, and organizes fundraisers.
“I enjoy working in the schools. Seeing the children smile when they come to school and helping families afford to send their children to St. Ferdinand School brings me joy. My favorite part of the week is Friday, when we have announcements and I select the best Friday Funnies (jokes the students submitted) to be read during announcements.”
Main Office / Administrative Assistant: Ms. Margaret Brumann
Ms. Margaret Brumann is our Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper. With a background in Music Education, Ms. Margaret has taught in the classrooms and done a variety of office work throughout the years in the Catholic School setting. Currently, she is co-teaching junior high technology classes as well as office duties. If you can’t find her in the office, chances are she is somewhere in a classroom helping out as needed. Ms. Margaret is also our webmaster and Facebook administrator.
“I enjoy the variety of tasks I do around St. Ferdinand School. I have been a part of the St. Ferdinand community my entire life, from receiving all my sacraments here to graduating 8th grade … I truly do feel that the people who make up the St. Ferdinand School Community are some of the most dedicated, hard-working, caring and fun people I know. It is my honor to come to work everyday.”