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School Staff




Mrs. Billmeyer Mrs. Billmeyer
Mary Ellyn Billmeyer received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Social Work from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. After teaching for a few years, she enrolled at Concordia University in River Forest, Ill., to pursue her Master's Degree. After several years of hard work and long hours of study, she was awarded a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Administration and Supervision.

She started her career as a primary teacher and taught Kindergarten and grades 1, 3, 4, and 6. She became the principal at St. Hubert School in Hoffman Estates and remained there for twelve years. She was also the principal at St. Theresa Parish and at St. Peter the Apostle School in Itasca.

Mary Ellyn and her husband Brian have been married for over 30 years and have two grown children, Jonathan and Jennifer.

Catholic education is a priority for Mary Ellyn and she is firmly committed to ensuring that Catholic education is available to all children for many years to come. She is excited and confident about making St. John's School one of the most vibrant schools in the Northwest Suburbs.
Mrs. Retz Mrs. Retz
Hi! I'm Carol Retz, our school secretary. I enjoy interacting with so many of you. If you have ever called or visited the school office, most likely I was the voice or face you met. I find my days are spent being a liaison between our principal, parents, teachers, and students. Our conversations cover anything from inquiries about our new Preschool program, to a student will be absent or has just gotten sick at school, to "Joey forgot his glasses at home, and he thinks they are under his bed! Can you drop them off for him?"

My days are filled with children, phone calls, record keeping, door bell ringing, children, teachers, copy machines, inhalers, children maintenance needed, door bell ringing, children, parents, phone calls, PTC, phone calls, parents, teachers,..............oh and Mrs. Billmeyer! As you can see I like to be and keep myself engaged all day!

The Catholic faith has been with me for as long as I can remember. I grew up the oldest of 11 in Northeastern Iowa. We all attended St. Mary's school and we have fond memories of the caring teachers and support staff. I have been involved with some aspect of parish ministry for over 25 years. This would include Religious Education programs, Youth Activities Mission Trip Coordinator to working at St. Jude's Catholic Worker House. I pray our children today will also receive the care and nourishment needed to continue to pass on our rich Catholic faith. Blessings to you and your family!
Mrs. Wennerstrom Mrs. Wennerstrom
Hi! I’m Beth Wennerstrom and I am the 3-year-old preschool teacher! I have many years of teaching experience in both public and private schools and in ages ranging from preschool through 8th grade. However, teaching the youngest learners is my passion! I grew up in Schaumburg where I attended St. Hubert’s School so I know the importance and pride of a Catholic School education. I am excited to share God’s love with the children of St. John’s Preschool.
I received my elementary education degree from Valparaiso University (Go Crusaders!) where I also played soccer for the University. I received my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University.
I live in Carol Stream with my husband, Rob, and 3 beautiful daughters, Abigail , Caitlin, and Libby. We are very proud that our daughters also attend St. John School. In addition, we are St. John’s parishioners, so you will probably see us here on Sunday morning!
When I’m not doing my favorite things with my family, which includes vacationing, taking family trips to fun places like the zoo, or cheering on our little athletes on the soccer field, you might find me on the running path. I love running and have run 8 marathons including the Boston Marathon twice. The best part is my running partner is my dad!
I am so excited to be part of the St. John’s family and am honored that I will be a part of your child’s and your family’s education!
Mrs. Johnson Mrs. Johnson
Hello and Welcome to Pre-K 4! My name is Karyn Johnson and I am so very excited to be coming to Pre-school this year! My Husband and I have been members of SJE since the early 80’s. We were married here in 1985 and have raised both of our children in this church and school. Both are graduates of St. John’s and my oldest son was recently married here. Needless to say, I have been involved at St. John’s for quite a few years! I have been a member of PTC, School Board, Parish Council and Coached Boys Volleyball. My last 12 years have been spent in our Kindergarten classroom. Having taught Pre-school before coming to St. John’s, I am looking forward to teaching your little ones and getting them ready for Kindergarten!
Mrs. Kunstman Mrs. Kunstman
Hello! My name is Kimberly Kunstman and I am the Kindergarten teacher here at St. John the Evangelist. In my teaching career I have been a third grade teacher at St. Walter School in Roselle, and for 6 years I was a preschool teacher at Master's Christian Preschool in Carol Stream.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from National-Louis University. I have been driven to teach since I was 4 and my mother hung a chalkboard in my bedroom! There was never any doubt in my mind that sharing God's love with children in my care was what I wanted to do.

I am so excited to be a Kindergarten teacher. The eager, inquisitive, and kind nature of children this age melt my heart. I look back to the great role models that I have had and strive to create a warm, trusting, and questioning community of learners.

I live with my wonderful husband and 2 fantastic children, Briana (14) and Brennan (10). In my free time I enjoy scrapbooking, reading, camping, playing family board games, and walking our new puppy, Coco. I cannot wait to start this new school year and I'm honored to be a part of your child's academic journey!
Miss Lopez
Hello! My name is Janelle Lopez and I am the new 1st grade teacher here at St. John’s! I am so excited to be joining the St. Johns family this year! This is my first year teaching at St. John’s and this is my second year as a teacher. Last year, I taught 2nd grade in Waukegan at a private school within the Archdiocese.

I attended the University of Iowa and received my Degree in Elementary Education in May 2016. I grew up in Des Plaines, IL and I have a younger sister who is getting ready to graduate college in December 2018. When I am not teaching, I work at a summer camp in Des Plaines with kids ages 5-14 and I enjoy visiting Chicago, spending time with my friends and family, and exercising.

I love to work with kids and I am so excited to get to know all of my students! My favorite part of being a teacher is watching my students grow and helping them to succeed. This year, I plan to do all I can to teach my students to be kind, hard working, and eager to learn. I am looking forward to a fun year of getting to know the students, the school, and all the families!

Miss Cyphert Miss Cyphert
Hi!
My name is Michelle Cyphert and I am one of the 1st grade teachers here at St. John the Evangelist. This will be my fifth year teaching 1st grade at St. John’s!
I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Special Education from Elmhurst College in 2013.
I grew up in Bartlett and attended St. John’s as a student with my younger sister. I have loved coming back as a teacher! It’s always fun telling my students that I was a student in my classroom that I now teach in!
When I’m not teaching I enjoy running 5k races, spending time with my family and soon-to-be husband, wedding planning, and shopping!
I am looking forward to a fabulous year and can’t wait to watch my new students grow!

"Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning." - Unkown
Mrs. Portiera Mrs. Portiera
This is my fourteenth year teaching in the Archdiocese of Chicago, but my second year teaching at St. John’s. Before this I taught Kindergarten in Elk Grove for 5 years and first grade in Elmwood Park for 7 years. I just keep getting promoted and I love it! I am very excited to be starting here at St. John’s!! My family and I have been parishioners for over 10 years.

I graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in History. In 2007 I was named to Who’s Who in America’s Teachers and Educators.

I have been married for twelve years to my wonderful husband Erik who works in the hospitality industry. We have a beautiful six year old daughter, Gianna Rose and rambunctious four year old son, Nicholas Joseph. They both attend St. John’s and they both keep us VERY busy! We also have a thirteen year old sharpei/pug mix named Capone!

My hobbies include singing, playing volleyball, and cheering on ALL Chicago sports teams, especially the Bears!

I look forward to a great year and cannot wait to share my love of learning with my students!
Ms. Centena Ms. Centena
Hello! My name is Kathryn Centena. I am very excited to be the second grade teacher!
I am the older of two children. I have a sister who is two years younger than me. My mom is a school nurse in Aurora, and my dad is retired. I was born in Melrose Park and raised in Aurora where I lived for 28 years.
I graduated from Benedictine University in Lisle in May 2004 with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in history. After graduating, I worked in Naperville as a Special Education Aide during the summer. For two years, I taught first grade at a Catholic school in Waukegan. Since 2006, I have been blessed to work at St. John the Evangelist School as the second grade teacher.
During my free time, I love spending time with my family, friends, and a turtle, Bert. I enjoy reading, drawing, traveling, swimming, and learning new things!
I cannot wait to see your bright smile on the first day of school! As we grow in our faith, I look forward to the many adventures we will have this year!
Mrs. Guindon Mrs. Guindon
Hi! My name is Megan Guindon (Duda) and I am one of the Third Grade teachers here at St. John the Evangelist.

This is my 7th year at St. John's, but my 5th year teaching. I have taught first grade and second grade. I was also a teacher's aide in preschool, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade. If I wasn't aiding, you probably saw me teaching Religious Education, subbing in every grade at St. John's, and working in After School Care. St. John's has been my parish since I was 5 years old. I attended Religious Education and have been volunteering here ever since. My husband, Don, and I just got married at St. John's in March of 2017. We purchased a house in South Elgin.

I attended Northern Illinois University where I was a part of the Huskie Marching Band Color Guard and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Education. From there, I attended Judson University for my teaching certificate.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, coaching the Elgin High School Color Guard and Streamwood High School Color Guard, and watching sports (especially hockey and football).

I have always wanted to be a teacher and I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to be teaching at St. John's. I truly believe that my faith and God's love have brought me to this school and I am extremely blessed.




Mrs. Kutkowski
Hi! My name is Ilona Kutkowski. I am one of the third grade teachers at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic School.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in ESL from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to St. John’s, I was a reading interventionist and 4th grade math teacher in the most at risk school in District U-46. My role as an interventionist, was to provide students (grades k-6) literacy support and determine the appropriate intervention for each child.

I was born and raised in Chicago. My husband and I got married in October 2015 and bought a house in Streamwood. We have a Samoyed named Shay! You will definitely see us around!

I am excited to meet all the students and families! I am so grateful to be a part of St. John’s family and I look forward to a wonderful year!


Mr. Binder Mr. Binder
Hi. My name is Ryan Binder, and I have taught Fourth Grade at St. John’s since 2013, and have been Athletic Director since 2014.
I previously have taught at St. Pius X in Lombard, Illinois and at Heritage High School in Maryville, Tennessee.
My wife Kristin and I were married in 2011 and we have two sons, Noah and Liam. In my free time, I enjoy golfing, being active, spending time with my family, and cheering on the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks, and the Tennessee Volunteers.
I am excited to be working at St. John’s and having the opportunity to work with a great group of students, developing the skills and values they can use every day in their lives.

Mrs. Meranda Mrs. Meranda
My name is Carol Meranda. I am the fifth grade teacher at St. John the Evangelist School.
I have a BA in education from Northeastern Illinois University and a Masters of Arts degree in reading from Concordia University.
My interests include reading, running and science and spending time with my family.
When I am not teaching in the classroom I oversee the MAP testing and Learning Support Group.
I enjoy teaching at St. John the Evangelist school. It is a close knit community and I feel blessed to be a part of it.

Mrs. Clary
Hi! My name is Sabrina Clary and I am the 6th grade homeroom teacher. I also teach 6th – 8th math. I am so excited! I love math.

I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor in Education. I also have a master’s degree from Concordia University.

I have been a parishioner of St. John’s for many years.

I grew up in a northern suburb all my life before getting married and moving to the Bartlett/Streamwood area. I attend Catholic school from K-8. I felt it was a wonderful way to start to my education and couldn’t wait for my children to attend catholic school like I did. I have a strong math background which allowed me to graduate high school in Calculus and receive credit toward college. I even tutored friends in college in their math classes.

My husband Brian and I were married in 2002. I have 3 wonderful
and active children here at St. John’s. They have started their education from kindergarten thru present here and we couldn’t be happier. During my free time I am usually spending it at one of the many sports my children participate in from football to basketball to baseball to gymnastics. I also spend much time rooting on our local sports teams: Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks.

I taught in the public education setting for 11 years before taking a leave to stay at home with my children, but couldn’t wait to come back.

I have spent the past few school years as a permanent sub here at St. John’s. I have subbed from pre-K to 8th grade in all subject areas. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know all the students throughout the school.

I am happy to have a class to call my own…actually 3 classes.
Mrs. Kruse Mrs. Kruse
I enjoy teaching at the middle school level - there is never a dull moment! I also enjoy teaching the many facets of Social Studies. And, as our Before and After School Care program continues to grow, I enjoy working with our school families starting in Pre-Kindergarten.
Hi! My name is Mrs. Kruse and I have been the 7th grade homeroom teacher and 6th-8th grade Social Studies teacher at St. John the Evangelist School since 2000. Previously, I taught 5th grade at Catholic schools in the Rockford and Joliet diocese, and was a special education aide in a middle school prior to that. I have my Master’s degree in Education from Benedictine University, and I have a strong background in reading and language arts, as well as certification in Social Studies and Music. I also coordinate the Before and After School Care Program at SJE.

My husband and I just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we have two grown children. David is married and works as an auto technician at a local franchise repair shop; his love of cars and engines as a small child has come to fruition. He and his wife Jenny live in Carol Stream. Our daughter Denise is an attorney for a law firm in Naperville and practices in the area of civil defense. She loves the challenges of law, and loves being in the courtroom. Her brother always knew she would be good at arguing! My husband was "early-retired" in 2013, and has kept busy maintaining our home and planning woodworking projects, one of his passions.

I enjoy teaching at the middle school level - there is never a dull moment! I also enjoy teaching the many facets of Social Studies. And, as our Before and After School Care program continues to grow, I enjoy working with our school families starting in Pre-Kindergarten.
Mrs. Sekoguchi Mrs. Sekoguchi
Hi! My name is Christina Sekoguchi and I am the 8th grade homeroom teacher. I also teach 6th – 8th science. Previously, I taught 7th and 8th grade at Our Lady of Grace in Chicago for 11 years. I have always taught junior high and I love it!

I graduated from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a minor in Coaching. I grew up in Streamwood and have been a parishioner of St. Johns for many years.

My husband Gary and I were married in 2012 here at St. Johns and then I was fortunate to travel to Japan to meet my husband’s family in 2013. During my free time I enjoy reading, outdoor activities, and watching the Sox, Bears, and / or Blackhawks with family and friends.

I have wanted to be a teacher since 3rd grade and have always enjoyed working with children. Shortly after college, I was looking for a ways to be closer to God. My prayers were answered when my great-aunt, Sr. Patricia McDonald connected me to Sr. Rita and O.L.G. From there, I was offered a wonderful opportunity to come to St. Johns and I was thrilled. I am looking forward to meeting the wonderful students and families of St. Johns and being part of this awesome community!!!
Mrs. Gallione Mrs. Gallione
Hi! My name is Mrs. Gallione and I am the Music/P.E. teacher. I feel very honored to teach at St. John The Evangelist School since this is my home parish. My husband John and I were among the original "tent" people and we made all of our sacraments here, including our marriage in 1982. I also have three children, John David, Arielle and Aubrey Rose.

My goal for your children is to enrich their lives with physical activity and song! I try to expose my students to as many sports as possible while educating them about the importance of lifelong physical fitness. On the flipside, my goal in music is to teach children how to "pray" with their voices and to expose them to the enjoyment of music and musical theater.
Mrs. Lopez Mrs. Lopez
Hola. My name is Laura López. I am the Spanish teacher for PK through 8th grade here at St. John the Evangelist. I share my time between two schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago. I am at St. John's on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. I currently live in Gurnee, IL with my husband and our son and daughter. My commute is a long one, but it is worth it!

Prior to moving to IL, I taught Spanish at Holy Family Parish School in Whitefish Bay, WI. Although I grew up in WI and returned to it in 2010, I have lived all over the United States and abroad. I went out east for college, and I received my B.A. from Dartmouth College in Linguistics with a minor in Spanish in 2001. During college I studied for a term in Puebla, Mexico. I also received a fellowship to work in the Dominican Republic for 6 months. While there, I taught in a local school and supported myself by tutoring foreigners in Spanish and also working as a Spanish/English translator for a local translation company. I met my husband at Dartmouth just before graduation. After college, we moved to Austin, TX where I worked on a bilingual education research project. From there life took us to Durango, CO where both of our children were born. When God brought my family to WI, I began teaching Zumba along with privately tutoring Spanish. Once both of my children were in school, I began teaching Spanish at Holy Family.

I love languages in general, and I feel so fortunate to get to teach Spanish every day. I believe learning another language and exploring other cultures make us more compassionate members of this world. The more languages we can learn, the better!

I feel so blessed to be a part of St. John's and to get to teach all of the students at this loving, vibrant school. I look forward to watching them grow in Spanish class.

Mrs. May Mrs. May
My name is Lisa May and I teach K-5 Computers. I started working at St. Johns in 2011, where I taught Preschool, then in 2016 I made the switch to Computers. I grew up in Itasca where I attended St. Peter the Apostle grade school. From there, I attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights. In 2008, I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Communication Studies and minor in Human Relations. I then attended National Louis University for Graduate School where I received my Masters in Education.

My husband Nate and I were married in July 2010 and we live in Itasca with our two-year-old son, Kyle. When I'm not teaching I enjoy time with my husband and son, watching/attending University of Iowa football and basketball games (Go Hawkeyes!!), going to the zoo, exercising, spending time with family & friends.