Faculty + Staff

The faculty & administration at Lakewood Catholic Academy are highly experienced and incredibly dedicated to making your child the best he or she can be, in and out of the classroom. Your children will be prepared to thrive academically beyond their years at LCA and become strong leaders in society. Meet the Lakewood Catholic Academy staff responsible for giving students an incredible education and worldly experiences!

  • Sherry Guhde

    Sherry Guhde, Preschool

    Favorite Saint: Sts. Jude and Christopher Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Working outside in the yard or walking. Favorite Children's Book: Don't Push the Button by Bill Cotter Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Pymatuning State Park Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher was kind, helpful and loved to sing. Education: Associate degree
  • Siobhain Gannon

    Siobhain Gannon, Preschool

    Favorite Saint: St. Teresa of Calcutta Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Traveling Favorite Children's Book: Anything by Dr. Seuss Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): On Lake Erie watching the sunset. Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Caring, compassionate and patient with a good sense of humor. Inspired by curiosity and learning. Education: M.A., International Education; B.A., Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education
  • Kirsten Spilka

    Kirsten Spilka, Pre-Kindergarten

    Favorite Saint: St. Francis of Assisi. His kindness and compassion for animals and for other people is inspiring! Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: I love walking around the neighborhood and taking in the sights, sounds, fresh air and sunshine. It is my meditation time. Favorite Children's Book: Dr. Seuss's ABC. I love the silly pictures, tongue twisters and fun the children have while reading it, all while learning about their letters! Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Lakewood Park! I love walking there and taking in the beauty that nature has to offer right in my own backyard. Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher was strict, but kind. She set high standards and encouraged student success! Education: A.A.S., Early Childhood Education, Cuyahoga Community College; B.A., Studio Art, University of Akron
  • Karen D'Amico

    Karen D’Amico, Preschool

    Favorite Saint: St. Rose Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Relaxing by the pool with a good book or magazine. Favorite Children's Book: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Cleveland's Edgewater Neighborhood Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: The ability to build a caring relationship with each child in the class. Education: A.A.S. Early Childhood Education, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Mary Davidson

    Mary Davidson, Toddler Care

    Favorite Saint: St. Francis of Assisi Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Reading, spending time with my dog, and going to baseball games. Favorite Children's Book: The Napping House by Audrey Wood Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Progressive Field Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher was patient. Education: A.A.S. Early Childhood Education, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Raven Brown

    Raven Brown, Toddler Care

    Favorite Saint: St. Katharine Drexel. She was an educator and used her wealth to help others. Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Spending time with family and friends. Favorite Children's Book: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I love the pictures, and it is a classic. Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Any beach along the lake. Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My high school art teachers were creative, patient and had a good sense of humor.
  • Jen Sposit

    Jen Sposit, Toddler Care

    Favorite Saint: St. Philomena Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Exploring the Metroparks with my family. Favorite Children's Book: Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Squire's Castle Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Mollison, knew how to make learning fun. He understood that not all children learned the same way and was always willing to go the extra mile to help a student.
  • Vicki Waddell

    Vicki Waddell, Infant Care

    Favorite Saint: St. Philomena Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Cooking and watching the Cleveland Indians. Favorite Children's Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Progressive Field Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher in high school, Mrs. Balint, was very patient and kind. She was a good listener who always went the extra mile to help her students understand their coursework. Education: Associate degree in early childhood education, Lakeland Community College.
  • Beth O'Malley

    Beth O’Malley, Pre-Kindergarten

    Favorite Saint: St. Elizabeth Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Hiking with my dog, Dottie. Favorite Children's Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Marblehead and the Lake Erie Islands Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Understanding, a sense of humor and an obvious love for students. Education: A.A.S., Early Childhood Education, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Tricia Bringman

    Tricia Bringman, Infant Care

    Favorite Saint: St. Michael Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Spending time with family and friends. Favorite Children's Book: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Progressive Field Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Kindness, patience and creativity Education: Cuyahoga Community College
  • Patrick Straffen

    Patrick Straffen, Director of Advancement

    Favorite Saint: St. Francis of Assisi for his love of animals. I think he would've taken great care of my two Italian Greyhounds! Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Traveling to new places, hiking in the red rocks in Arizona and Utah, and spending time near the lake. Favorite Children's Book: Anything by Eric Carle. Even as a child, I appreciated the creativity and thoughtfulness he put into the artwork in his books. Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): The airport because it usually means I'm getting ready to travel somewhere or see someone special to me! Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher always made time for me, whether it was to talk about school, life, or my career. Education: John Carroll University
  • Brenden McLaughlin

    Brendan McLaughlin, Facilities

    Favorite Saint: St. Benedict Joseph Labre. He sacrificed all he had to help those in need. Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Watching or playing sports (soccer, football, basketball or Wiffle ball especially!) Favorite Children's Book: Olive the Other Reindeer. No matter how many times someone tells Olive that she can't do something, she keeps going until she saves Christmas. Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Progressive Field – even after 25 years it still feels new and exciting to go to an Indians game there. Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Jim Skerl at Saint Ignatius High School. Mr. Skerl was the first teacher I could remember who exemplified the "Men for Others" motto that is synonymous with Saint Ignatius. He taught me a great deal about showing compassion and kindness to all those in need, especially if it may not be easy or convenient for me. Education: B.A., John Carroll University; Master of Non-Profit Administration, John Carroll University
  • Beth Litten

    Beth Litten, Good Shepherd Catechist

    Favorite Saint: St Therese of Lisieux Favorite Moment at LCA: The Litany of Saints with the procession in on the first day of school and Mother’s Day in Kindergarten Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Volleyball and hanging out with my family Favorite Children's Book: The Little Prince Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): The Metroparks Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: She was able to connect with her classes and truly cared about her students. Education: B.A., John Carroll University
  • Katie Mullins

    Katie Mullins, 3rd Grade

    Favorite Saint: St. Katherine Drexel, because she was passionate about issues of social injustice and worked to create a more equitable society. Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Singing and playing guitar or ukulele, spending time outside, or reading a great book! Favorite Children's Book: The Harry Potter series because of the way it made so many people EXCITED about reading! I cherish memories of lining up at midnight for the release of the final few books. J.K. Rowling is a true master of her craft who wove together a beautiful story. Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Playhouse Square! We started attending the Broadway Series as a family when I was in middle school. Getting to see such incredible productions is always a treat! Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: One of my favorite teachers was Prof. Maria McKenna from the University of Notre Dame. I love that she challenged us to think about important issues, encouraging us to adopt a curious spirit. She modeled this spirit of curiosity in the way that she was always learning and growing herself, striving to find new and creative ways to experience learning together. Most of all, she was intentional about forming relationships and cared deeply about every student in her class. She is the best listener I know. Education: B.A., University of Notre Dame; Master of Education, University of Notre Dame
  • Melissa Dautas

    Melissa Dautas, Spanish

    Favorite Saint: My favorite saint is St. Anthony of Padua because I pray to him to help me find things that I misplace. Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: When I am not at work you can usually find me spending time with my dog (a chihuahua named Cheyenne!), reading a book, or shopping at Target. Favorite Children's Book: My favorite children’s book is “Goodnight Moon.” I loved how detailed the illustrations were. I still have my childhood copy! Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): My favorite place in NEO is the atrium at The Cleveland Museum of Art. Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher was passionate, caring, and genuine. Education: B.A. in Spanish from John Carroll University; Post-Baccalaureate Foreign Language Education from Cleveland State University
  • Ben Clemons

    Ben Clemons, Middle School Social Studies

    Favorite Saint: St. Jude Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Coaching lacrosse or watching a Cleveland sporting event with my wife. Favorite Children's Book: Finding Winnie by Linsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall. Also, Harry Potter. Favorite Place in NEO (North East Ohio): Progressive Field – GO TRIBE! Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Dr. D was passionate about what we were learning and always made it relevant to his students. He built a personal relationship with all of us and would not accept anything below our very best. Education: B.A., Xavier University; Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Licensure from The University of Findlay
  • Lauren Lacey, 2nd Grade

    favorite saint: St. Teresa of Calcutta. She was selfless, fearless and never questioned God's call for her to help those most in need. She loved children and dedicated her life to others. I love to teach her message and share her story with my students. favorite outside-of-work activity: Dance class at the YMCA favorite children's book: How Full is Your Bucket (For Kids) By Tom Rath. I start every school year reading this story about how to make yourself and those around you as happy as can be! favorite place in NEO: Anywhere in Lakewood! qualities your favorite teacher possessed: I cannot think of just one favorite teacher I have had throughout all of my education. However, the best qualities I have admired in my educators are humor, passion and the ability to connect on a personal level with students. education: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Xavier University
  • Jennifer Berardinelli

    Jennifer Berardinelli, Executive Director of Early Childhood Learning

    favorite saint: My favorite saint is St. Anthony, because he is the patron saint of lost items, lost people and lost souls. There are many unfortunate people these days that need our prayers and St. Anthony had an undying love and devotion to the less fortunate. favorite moment at LCA: My favorite moment at LCA was witnessing the first sorting of the house system. The students and staff were so enthusiastic and excited to come together and cheer each other as they were sorted into their house families. LCA is a special place where everyone feels part of the family. favorite outside-of-work activity: I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I try to visit one new place each year. I feel it is important to expose my children to many places and cultures. favorite children's book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I like the message that you will succeed no matter what obstacles you may encounter throughout life. favorite place in NEO: My favorite place is Holy Redeemer Church in Cleveland. I can remember as a young girl going to mass every Sunday with my Nana. My Nana is the one who inspired me to pray and have a strong faith in God. My husband and I were married at Holy Redeemer Church and our children made their sacraments there. It is our home away from home. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: I believe that every good teacher finds the strengths of their students and looks for ways to challenge students to reach their fullest potential. A teacher must have enthusiasm, patience and a genuine love of her students for this to occur. education:  Bachelor of Business Administration, Cleveland State University; Master of Education, Cleveland State University; Education Administration, Ursuline College
  • Maria Rooney, Pre-Kindergarten

    Favorite Saint: Saint Christopher protects me and my family when we travel. Favorite Moment at LCA: My very first day when Ms. Warrell walked me around campus introducing me to teachers. It was the warmest welcome I’ve ever received. Favorite Children’s Book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes because it’s my son’s favorite book; he loves looking at the pictures of kids from all around the world! Education: Bachelor of Science in Sociology and minor in Psychology, Virginia Tech; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Point Loma Nazarene University and University of California San Diego. Favorite Place in NEO: I enjoy being able to walk to the lake with my husband and son and then watching my son play in the sand and water and hopefully catching a nice sunset! I love bringing family there too! Favorite outside-of-work activity: traveling with family, hanging out with friends, and reading. Qualities your Favorite Teacher Possessed: My favorite teacher was my ninth grade English teacher, Mr. DiCarlo. He would remind us that “this book is my favorite!” Every book was his favorite and he was such an expert on them! His knowledge and enjoyment of books was what made him my favorite teacher!
  • Ellen Arbeznik, French Teacher

    favorite saint: St Joan of Arc

    favorite moment at LCA: When I volunteered at Earth Day 2017, I loved seeing the growth of the little ones from K to Grade 3 - the level maturity, courtesy and helpfulness was visible as the kids got older, and I credit their parents and LCA with raising polite and helpful kids.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: yoga, watching foreign films

    favorite children's book: anything by Astrid Lindgren!

    favorite place in NEO: All of Lakewood. I love the diversity and the urban feel in a suburban town. Or maybe I just haven't gotten out much :)

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: A clear lack of favorites. She loved the straight-D student as much as the straight-A one. She treated all kids equally and had high expectations for us all, which helped us all get better. 

    education: BS in Business Management from Babson College in Wellesley, MA; as part of that, I spent a semester in  the Sorbonne, Paris, in advanced French classes and studying French architecture and history of Paris.

  • Sara Koumandarakis, Director of the Care Program

    favorite saint: My favorite saint is John Paul II. I greatly admire his extensive work in transforming both the Catholic church and the secular world in which he lived.

    favorite moment at LCA: My favorite moment at LCA was the look on the Summer Camp students' faces when they realized that I was not, in fact, Ms. Warrell but her twin sister.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: I love to play and be silly with my kids.

    favorite children's book: My favorite children's book is Snuggle Puppy: a little love song by Sandra Boynton. It is a fun book that my kids and I love to read and make up melodies that go with the words.  It is a great way to say I love you to each other, and lots of giggles are never far away when we read this book.

    favorite place in NEO: I love to be anywhere near Lake Erie or in the metroparks. It is so fun to explore, and there is always something new to find and see.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher was always patient, kind, and silly.  I believe patience and kindness are extremely important when dealing with children, as it teaches them to treat others the same way in turn. I also believe that silliness is so important because you're only a kid once; free to express yourself in whichever way you see fit, and that should be encouraged.

    education: Bachelor of Arts in History, Denison University 2007

  • Jessica Stuver, Art Teacher

    favorite saint: I've always been drawn to St. Thomas Aquinas because he was an incredible scholar, and is the patron saint of students.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: I love reading, hiking with my dog, and traveling! I make an effort to travel to one new location every year.

    favorite children's book: My family and I loved books by Kevin Henkes, especially Julius, the Baby of the World and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse. These books were both hilarious and had us laughing each time we read them as a family. For obvious reasons, I was also a fan of his book, Jessica.

    favorite place in NEO: My favorite place is absolutely the Cleveland Museum of Art. Every time I go, I feel as though I am visiting old friends.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My high school art teacher challenged me to be creative, take risks with my artwork, and be my own, original self. I wouldn't be the teacher or artist I am today without his guidance.

    education: B.S. in Art Education, Miami University; M.A. in Art Education, Boston University

  • Ryan Harris, Band Director

    favorite saint: St. Francis for his compassion for others and his devotion to living through the teachings of Christ.

    favorite moment at LCA: Playing for the residents at Ennis Court during the Christmas season. Bringing joy to the elderly is a powerful experience for all involved.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Playing music or sailing.

    favorite children's book: "The Giving Tree" for its message of unconditional love and service.

    favorite place in NEO: Severance Hall in University Circle. It is a beautiful space, acoustically brilliant and is home to the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Passion, enthusiasm and dedication.

    education: Bachelor of Art in Music Education, Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.

  • Lisa Friel, Intervention Specialist

    favorite saint: Mother Teresa.  I am humbled by her commitment to living out the Beatitudes through her service to the poor and the way she lived her life with peace, faith and grace.  She has always been a great role model of mine, and I am excited to finally celebrate her as a saint.  

    favorite moment at LCA:  The First Day of School Bagpipe Procession of Saints--I was brought to tears as I watched my own children proudly march with the school community... what an awesome way to begin a new school year!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: I love spending time with my family--biking, exploring nature, hiking, volunteering, coaching and playing sports, reading, playing piano, and playing games.

    favorite children's book:  "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!"  It made me laugh every time my mom read it, and we still joke about moving to Australia.

    favorite place in NEO:  I love St. Colman's Church on St. Patrick's Day!  I also love spending time at Youth Challenge (Sports and Recreation for Children with Physical Disabilities)--I started volunteering there when I was 12 years old and I continue to be inspired and motivated by the children, volunteers, and families of YC.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher was passionate about learning and teaching, exuded positive energy, was compassionate yet fair, and she strove to empower her students.

    education: Bachelor of Science (Biology) and a focus in Peace Studies, Xavier University; Master's degree in Mild/Moderate Special Education, Cleveland State University

  • Brian Sinchak

    Brian Sinchak, President

    favorite saint: Saint Ignatius of Loyola. I admire his commitment to both education and social justice. Furthermore, Ignatian spirituality has been an important part of my formation as a Catholic educator. favorite moment at LCA: The first day of school when the students, parents, and staff gather for prayer in our courtyard then walk into the school to the sound of bagpipes playing “When The Saints Go Marching In.” favorite outside-of-work activity: Volunteer service & traveling the world. favorite children's book: “The Rainbow Fish” By Marcus Pfister. It reminds us of the importance of generosity and happiness. Also, “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry because it highlights the power of a child’s imagination and the need to preserve it. favorite place in NEO: Playhouse Square - I love the Broadway Series and consider myself lucky to live in a city that celebrates the fine and performing arts. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Passion and energy.  She cared for her students as if they were her own. I hope I embody these same characteristics in my work. education: Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, John Carroll University; Masters in Educational Administration, John Carroll University
  • Caroline Gainley, Physical Education

    favorite saint: I've always connected with St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. 

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Exploring the delicious Cleveland food scene with my husband and parents, and traveling to Chicago and Washington DC to visit my two brothers, sister-in-law, and nephew. I also enjoy cuddling my cats. 

    favorite children's book: The BFG by Roald Dahl.  I admire the BFG's relationship with Sophie and how they cook up an ingenious plot to free the world together. "Two rights don't equal a left."

    favorite place in NEO: Playhouse Square-- I am so grateful to have the second largest theater district in the country in my backyard.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Enthusiasm, intelligence, grace, and kindness. He would leave each class saying, "Peace and love," a sentiment I carry with me to this day. I also had a brilliant professor who would bring confetti cake to class every so often. Nothing like a sweet treat to spark inspiring, great dialogue! 

    education: B.A., Case Western Reserve University

  • Emma Peck, 5th and 6th Grade Science

    favorite saint: Saint Brigid. Under the strong leadership of Saint Brigid, Ireland's first religious house of women was founded.  Her compassion for those in need and her desire to educate are inspiring to me.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Swimming, biking, and spending time with friends and family.

    favorite children's book: Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathman.  As a child, my parents took me to meet Peggy Rathman.  I fell in love with her characters and illustrations.

    favorite place in NEO (North East Ohio): Mitchell's ice cream!

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Passionate, caring and creative

    educationB.A., Middle Childhood Education, Baldwin Wallace University

  • Brenna Warrell, Principal

    favorite saint:  My favorite saint is St. Nicholas, because he is the patron saint of children.  He is also known for inspiring the generosity and happiness that is associated with being charitable during the holidays.

    favorite moment at LCA:  Our staff retreat at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.  We had a great day learning more about the Sisters of Charity, exploring the gardens, and collaborating on our social justice projects for this year.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my family or attending Indian's games.

    favorite children's book: Time for Bed, Sleepyheads by Normand and Sandra Chartier.  My mom read it to us every night before bed, and  now I read it to my niece when she sleeps over. 

    favorite place in NEO:  Jacob's Field

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher pushed everyone to do their best and to challenge themselves.  She was always very positive and motivational. 

    education: Bachelor of Arts in History and Education, Denison University;  Master of Education, Notre Dame College

  • Mike Fletcher, Dean of Students

    favorite saint: Michael, for his strength, and his willingness to take on the greater challenge.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Athletics – playing, watching, coaching.

    favorite children's book: “The Beast in the Bathtub,” it’s a favorite of my own children.

    favorite place in NEO: The house where I put my children to bed each night.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teachers all knew how to make learning fun and how to make school about more than just what was in the textbook.

    education: B.A., English, John Carroll University; 7-12 grade teaching license in integrated arts, Notre Dame College; Master of Education, Notre Dame College.

  • Marge Lanzola, Business Office Manager

    favorite saint: St Therese of Lisieux – The Little Flower. She made her sacrifices in private, with no recognition. I really feel that it’s the things we do that are NOT noticed that bring us more grace. Also the medical miracles – how awesome! favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with family. favorite children's book: “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams because it’s a story about how love can be so strong, it turns unreal things real. favorite place in NEO: Lake Erie coast/beach education: Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College
  • Karen Burke, Secretary

    favorite saint: Jude. When my husband was diagnosed with ALS, we began praying to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases. We knew there was no cure and felt hopeless. What better saint to pray to? I can honestly say, that my husband is in a better place. He no longer feels hopeless, all he feels is peace. Thank you St. Jude! favorite moment at LCA: The summer of 2005, when everyone was pitching in to make LCA a great place for their children. Wow, we have come a long way. favorite outside-of-work activity:  Enjoying the outdoors and being with my grandchildren. favorite children's book: “The Little Engine that Could.” When my children were growing up and they would say that they could not do something I would always bring up the Little Engine, and before we knew it we would be saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” and we would start laughing. It was a great life lesson to learn. NEVER GIVE UP! favorite place in NEO: The Metroparks qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher made learning fun. She made you feel special. She took the time to listen to you.  She was very kind and loving.
  • Maureen Arbeznik, French

    favorite saint: Saint Thomas Aquinas because he is the patron saint of students.

    favorite moment at LCA: Every day brings a special and memorable moment.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Being with my family.

    favorite children's book: “The Old Woman and the Willy Nilly Man” because I used to read it to my children when they were young and they loved it when I changed my voice to match the characters in the book.

    favorite place in NEO: Georgetown Restaurant in Lakewood

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Kindness and patience

    education: Cours de Civilization Francaise, The Sorbonne; B.S., Elementary Education, Xavier University; M. Ed. Administration, Cleveland State University

  • Edward Kroeger, Director of Facilities

    favorite saint: St. Edward…great name! favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with family and friends. favorite children’s book: "Go Dog Go." It’s an easy read with a great message! favorite place in NEO: Anywhere along the lake. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Toughness and consistency. education: Xavier University
  • Kimberly Arrighi, Middle School Theology & Social Studies

    favorite saint: Saint Joseph. My husband and I were married on the feast of Saint Joseph. During the homily, Father Walsh connected the faithfulness of Joseph and his role as earthly father to Jesus. I had never really truly thought of the importance of Joseph before this, having more of a personal affinity to Mary and her relationship with Jesus. Now with my own family I see Joseph as a model to do what is best and what is needed. I think Saint Joseph has a special place for me since my own father is such an important person in my life. favorite moment at LCA: In March of 2012, I helped to coordinate a pirate-themed Family Math Night. For two hours students followed a treasure map moving from station to station playing different math games and participating in activities. favorite outside-of-work activity? On the weekends I can often be found trolling stores and shops for that just right piece of furniture. I enjoy crafting or upcycling items to use as well. favorite children's book: At the recommendation of my 5th grade students, I read “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. It tells the story of August, a boy born with a craniofacial deformity entering 5th grade. Due to the host of medical issues associated with his condition and his parents desire to protect him from ridicule, he has been homeschooled. I cannot remember feeling so wretched and joyful as the events of a book unfolded. favorite place in NEO: Anywhere you can see the lake around sunset. education: Bachelor’s of Science, Elementary Education, Gannon University
  • Karen Beegan, Kindergarten

    favorite saint: St. Francis. He is the protector of animals big and small. He just happens to be our classroom saint and my students love to learn about him during the school year.

    favorite moment at LCA: Spa Day is such a sweet time for the children to show moms just how important they are and the children love to pamper their moms with love and lots of make-up! It is a great way to start the Mother’s Day weekend.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Hiking and being outdoors with my family and friends. We try to take at least one hike up a mountain every summer.

    favorite children's book: I love all Junie B. Jones, Kindergarten books. The students love to hear all of the situations that Junie B. gets herself into. It gives the students a chance to see that children (and adults) make mistakes and how we can learn from them.

    favorite place in NEO: Lakewood is my favorite place in Northeast Ohio! We have wonderful libraries, restaurants, parks, and festivals!

    education: B.S. in Retail Management, Purdue University; Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Cleveland State University

  • Frances Bluhm, Auxiliary

    favorite moment at LCA: The first year that the school was opened. It was so exciting to watch and listen to the children from the different schools -- St. Luke, St. Clement and St. James -– come separately and then become one. I can still hear them talking about where they came from and sizing each other up.

    favorite outside-of-work activity:Hiking with my two dogs in the woods.

    favorite children's book: “White Fang” by Jack London. It was so thrilling to learn about the Alaskan wilderness and the wolves that live there. I was also enthralled by the love between White Fang and his person.

    favorite place in NEO: The fabulous Metroparks. We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful park system.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher made learning fun and took an interest in me as a person.

    education: B.A., English, Cleveland State University; Master’s in Education, Curriculum and Design, Cleveland State University; Reading Endorsement, Cleveland State University

  • Allison Boehm

    favorite saint: St. Gemma Galgani because she endured painful times at such a young age and never lost faith. In actuality, her challenges brought her closer to God. favorite moment at LCA: The welcome ceremony with bagpipes and drums in the courtyard on the first day of school. favorite outside-of-work activity: Taking advantage of the diverse food scene in Northeast Ohio by checking out local food and music events, such as the Cleveland Flea Market. favorite children's book: I love anything by Shel Silverstein, his creative stories, as well as the illustrations, remain interesting and engaging even as an adult. favorite place in NEO: The Westside Market or Rocky River Park, where my dogs can swim in Lake Erie! qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Fair, humorous, relatable, and very approachable. education: Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in American Studies, Ohio State University; Masters in Education (Special Education, AYA Integrated Language Arts), Baldwin Wallace University
  • Katie Brocklehurst, Good Shepherd Catechist

    favorite saint: Therese of Lisieux because I have always loved her “little way” and her encouragement to do everything we do, great or small, with as much love as possible.  Her words and prayers inspire me daily.

    favorite moment at LCA: A group of kindergarteners and I had just reflected on the parable of the Good Shepherd for the first time together, and I asked if there was anything any of the children wanted to say to Jesus. One child responded, “God, I love you as much as you love me.”  It was a genuinely joyful moment for the child as she recognized her own loving relationship with the Good Shepherd.  It’s the goal of everything we do in the atrium and it was wonderful to witness.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my husband.

    favorite children's book: “The Giving Tree: by Shel Silverstein. I cherish its timeless message of sacrificial love.

    favorite place in NEO: The Level I Atrium at LCA.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher was positive, smart, goofy, and really good at connecting our subject matter with the greatest realities of life and the beauty of the world around us.

    education: B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame; Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, U.S.A. Certified Catechist, Level I and Level II

  • Ashley Christyson, 7th and 8th Grade Math and Religion

    favorite saint:  St. Angela Merici was an educational leader, especially for women. She ignored stereotypes as she worked for change and served those around her.

    favorite moment at LCA: The living stations performed by the 6th grade each year.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my family.

    favorite children's book: The Fancy Nancy series are cute stories that relate well to young girls and introduce excellent vocabulary. 

    favorite place in NEO: Progressive Field.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Passion, love, and respect.

    education: Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood Education, Math and Science, University of Dayton; Master of Art in Educational Leadership with a focus in Catholic Education, University of Dayton

  • Courtney Ryan

    Courtney Ryan, 2nd Grade

    favorite saint: Saint Catherine of Siena because both my elementary school and my parish growing up were named after her. Catherine was a generous lady who, as a child, would give her clothes away to the poor and is a wonderful example of what it is to be a disciple of Christ. favorite moment at LCA: My favorite part of being at LCA is being surrounded by all of the wonderful students and parents. favorite outside-of-work activity: Gardening favorite children's book: “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister. It is a reminder to share our abilities given to us by God and to accept all people. favorite place in NEO: Anywhere near the water -- Lakewood Park, Rocky River Reservation, Edgewater Park. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: She was fun-loving and got to know each student individually. She always went the extra mile. education: B.S. in Elementary Education with a K-12 Reading Endorsement, John Carroll University; Master’s in Technology Enhanced Learning, University of Dayton
  • Bethany Conaway, 1st Grade

    favorite saint: Saint Joseph, because he quietly cared for Jesus and Mary and did as God asked.

    favorite moment at LCA: The opening day of school this year with the bagpiper, drummer, and the procession into school. I thought it was a fun way to start a new year and a new tradition!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Walking and spending time with my family.

    favorite children's book: A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban. I love all the Frances books, but I especially loved this one because I had a tea set that looked just like the one Frances has in the story.

    favorite place in NEO: The Metroparks

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: She had a way of making each of us feel special. She made each one of us feel like we were her favorite!

    education: Elementary Education Degree, Cleveland State University

  • Laura Crabb, Technology

    favorite saint: St Isidore. Not only is he the patron saint of the Internet, but he showed such a capacity for forgiveness.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: I love to travel and all kinds of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and road racing. I am a "foodie" and enjoy trying all kinds of food. But I especially love watching my children in their activities (sports, band...).

    favorite children's book: I remember being wildly addicted to "The Monster at the End of this Book" by Grover (Sesame Street). Maybe because my older brother read it in character...."Again! Again! Read it again!"

    favorite place in NEO: My front porch

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My statistics teacher challenged us but also made the work applicable. She treated all of us like we were intelligent.

    education: B.A. in Secondary Math Education, University of North Florida; M.A.E in Technology, Ursuline College

  • Kelly Dorinsky, Kindergarten

    favorite saint: Terese of Lisiuex “Little Flower.” St. Terese believed and trusted Jesus to make her holy. She relied on small sacrifices rather than great deeds to make her holy.

    favorite moment at LCA: The Kindergarten Mom Spa. It is always such a pleasure to plan and treat the most special people in our little “kinders’” lives with a couple of hours of “pampering.”

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with family and friends

    favorite children's book: I have two favorites: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein because it is a beautiful example of sacrificial love and “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. It is just so touching; I cannot read this without getting teary-eyed.

    favorite place in NEO: I like the Lake Erie Islands area.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Kind, caring, supportive, inspiring, loving, and happy.

    education: B.S. in Elementary Education, Bowling Green State University

  • Tom Flandera, Math Tutor

    favorite saint: St Ignatius, because he realized the importance of education.

    favorite moment at LCA: When the math all clicks!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Coaching Football

    favorite place in NEO: Angelo’s Pizza

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Patience

    education: M.A. Villanova University, John Carroll University, Kent State University

  • Holly Higgs, School Psychologist

    favorite saint: St. Francis of Assisi as he is the patron saint of animals. I am an animal lover and I have always had a soft spot in my heart for animals in need.

    favorite moment at LCA: The 2014-15 opening ceremony in the courtyard. It was great to hear such beautiful music and see the excitement on the faces of the students as they started a new year!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Running; I participate in several running races each year.

    favorite children's book: “The Poky Little Puppy” by Janette Sebring Lowrey because I have fond memories of my mother reading this story to me when I was young.

    favorite place in NEO: Angelo’s Pizza! They have some of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted!

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: She was funny and presented information in an amusing way. She also demanded your full attention in class and wouldn’t hesitate to call you out or embarrass you if you weren’t paying attention!

    education: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Nova Southeastern University; M.A. in Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Cleveland State University; B.A. in Psychology, Cleveland State University; Associate of Arts in Pre-Professional Psychology, Lorain County Community College

  • Patty Holmes, 7th and 8th Grade Science

    favorite saint: The Blessed Virgin Mary, because of her incredible strength and devotion to her son favorite moment at LCA: Seeing the Living Stations of the Cross for the first time. favorite outside-of-work activity: Photography and spending time with my children favorite children's book: “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. I love this book because it is inspirational to children ages 0 - 110. The book provides you with feelings of hope, support, success, and belief. Its message tells us that we can do anything and we will succeed, but not without struggles and failures along the way. favorite place in NEO: Marblehead qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teachers took the time to get to know their students and relate to them. They were also the “tough” teachers and held high standards of expectations from their students. education: B.A., Bowling Green State University; M.A., Ashland University
  • Meghann Campbell, Middle School Language and Literature

    favorite saint: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was a woman who had somewhat of a difficult life as an adult, but she did not give up and helped to better the lives of young people by starting the first Catholic school. She proved that even in the toughest of times, hard work and perseverance pay off, but it is also important to remain strong in your faith. favorite moment at LCA: Each year I enjoy the production of the Living Stations on Holy Thursday. favorite outside-of-work activity: Coaching basketball at Magnificat High School. favorite children's book: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. This is a story I remember my teacher reading one of my very first days of school and often share it with my 5th grade classes. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Firm but fair, humorous, caring, and challenging. education: B.A., Early Education, John Carroll University
  • Mary Kate Kocsan, School Nurse

  • Jennifer Komar, 1st Grade

    favorite saint: St. Francis of Assisi because he taught others to love God’s creatures.

    favorite moment at LCA: The very first day we opened. Everyone worked so hard to get our school ready for this special day. I’ll never forget how excited everyone was to see a new tradition begin.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: I love to travel.

    favorite children's book: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I’ve always loved this book because it teaches us to appreciate the important things in our lives.

    favorite place in NEO: The Metroparks and any place along Lake Erie.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My favorite teacher was my 1st grade teacher, Mr. Hill. I remember him as always being kind and funny.

    education: Early Childhood Education, Cleveland State University

  • Mary Martin, Middle School Tutor

    favorite saint: Mary, Our Blessed Mother. My mother had a special devotion to Mary and I was named after her. Mary is the perfect example of love, trust, faith, obedience, and devotion to family. favorite moment at LCA: Over the years, I have loved seeing the youngest students grow up and move through the primary grades, quickly joining us in the 5th and 6th grade wing. favorite outside-of-work activity: I love to spend time with my seven grandchildren and their parents, watching their many sporting events, babysitting, and enjoying family dinners and vacations at the beach. favorite children's book: “You’re All My Favorites” by Sam McBratney. This story reinforces the message that all children are special in their own way and there’s always enough love to go around -- in families and in classrooms. favorite place in NEO: Lakewood Park on the boardwalk by the water. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Sr. Angelica my 6th grade teacher was very kind, funny, and creative. education: Bachelor of Science, Education, Bowling Green University
  • Sheri Masterson

    Sheri Masterson, 3rd Grade

    favorite saint: Joachim and St. Anne. They are the parents of Mary and, therefore the grandparents of Jesus. favorite moment at LCA: One of my many favorite moments would have to be “Grandparents’ Day!” It is LCA’s most-attended event. I love planning this Mass with my 3rd grade students. I love seeing the proud, smiling faces of the grandparents, as they visit our classroom and visit with their grandchildren! favorite outside-of-work activity: My favorite outside of work activity is spending time with my family and friends! favorite children's book: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I like to read this book at the beginning of every school year. I believe that it is a great example of the joy of giving and unconditional love. favorite place in NEO: One of my many favorite places is The Beck Center for the Arts.  My daughter has been involved in many theater classes and productions there. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: The teachers who LOVED and ENJOYED what they were doing and had a GREAT PASSION and ENTHUSIASM for teaching! education: B.S., Elementary Education, Edinboro University
  • Linda McCafferty

    Linda McCafferty, Secretary

    Favorite Saint: Theresa the little flower. I was introduced to her as a child and was touched by her message of love and image of each of us, a flower in God’s garden. Her novena has been a huge help during difficult times. Favorite Moment at LCA: There have been countless special moments, but most of all I love when a child speaks to me in Spanish outside the classroom, truly owning the language. That’s a gift. Favorite Outside-Of-Work Activity: I enjoy working with my hands, crafting, making cards and small gifts. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. Favorite Children's Book: "Charlotte’s Web." I love the beautiful story of an unlikely friendship and the unconditional support and encouragement shared. Favorite Place in NEO: The Root Cafe Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Kindness and encouragement to explore and discover. Education: B.S., Miami University (Ohio)
  • Eileen McGuire, Dean of the International Baccalaureate Program

    favorite saint: Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She did what needed to be done.  She was practical, but in her practicality, she exhibited great love.

    favorite moment at LCA: Watching the class of 2014 graduate. I began teaching at LCA when they were fourth graders and had many of them, in at least one of a variety of classes, for five years.  They are a very special group and I still miss them!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Going to Cross Country/Track meets.

    favorite children's book: “The Giving Tree”

    favorite place in Lakewood:Lakewood Park

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Boldness, kindness, passion for the subject.

    education: B.A., Secondary Math Education, DePaul University; M.S., Applied Mathematics, DePaul University

  • Tara Greggs

    Tara Greggs, Librarian

    favorite Saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton because of her devotion to children and Catholic education. She began the first free Catholic School for girls, had five children, and was a teacher. My mother was born on her feast day and my grandmother admired her. favorite moment at LCA: Transforming my third grade classroom for Christmas Around the World with Mrs. Masterson. favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time outdoors with my son Edison and husband Doug. favorite children's book: “Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards. I love this book because I am able to get lost in the story. This story is about an orphan girl who discovers an abandoned cottage outside of the orphanage walls. favorite place in NEO: Holden Arboretum. We visit often and especially enjoy the butterfly garden. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: My high school art teacher taught me to try new things and to take risks. education: B.S., Education, Cleveland State University
  • Leah Nagy, 4th Grade

    favorite saint: Joan of Arc.  She was a strong, passionate woman who stood up for what she believed in no matter what.

    favorite moment at LCA: Leading over 300 students in a dance party during Catholic Schools Week!

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my husband and going out to eat or seeing a movie!

    favorite children's book: The Harry Potter series because I love the magical and imaginative spirit of them!  If I could attend any school in the world it would definitely be Hogwarts!

    favorite place in NEO: Some of my favorites are the Botanical Gardens, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Malley’s, Edgewater Park, Playhouse Square, Ohio City, and Progressive Field!

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: She was patient, kind, loving, and fair! She taught me that I was unique and special just the way I was!

    education: Bachelor of Arts, Childhood Education and English, Canisius College; Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Biological Science, Miami University

  • Paula O’Sullivan, Auxiliary Clerk

    favorite moment at LCA: 8th grade graduation. Seeing the looks of accomplishment on students’ and teachers’ faces is a great feeling.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Going to my son’s sporting events.

    favorite children's book: “Green Eggs & Ham” by Dr. Seuss. It is introduced at a time when children are just learning to read.

    favorite place in NEO: Lakewood Park. I love the pool and the lake. The fitness trail is wonderful and such a nice skyline!

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: I encountered my favorite teacher in 3rd grade. I was new to the school and she made me feel so welcome and helped me adjust to making new friends.

    education: Associate’s Degree in Applied Business, Bowling Green State University

  • Kathy O’Toole, Learning Lab

    favorite saint: Jude Thaddeus. As an apostle, St. Jude was tasked with spreading the word of God. He taught that the faithful must keep going even in desperate and difficult circumstances. favorite moment at LCA: The first mass that was celebrated in the grotto. It was beautiful to see the children, faculty, and parents worshiping together in this beautiful environment. favorite outside-of-work activity: I love reading, quilting, and spending time with my family. favorite children's book: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. In a very simple style the book exemplifies God’s love for us and the love we should have for each other. favorite place in NEO: The lake front promenade in Lakewood Park. I find it so peaceful to be close to the water. education: B.S. Education, Bowling Green State University
  • Gretchen Petty, Physical Education & Health

    favorite saint: I have three! Saint Anthony because he always pulls through when I need him. He helps me find my car keys often. Saint Christopher because he helps me protect me. And St. Sebastian because is the Patron Saint of Athletes.

    favorite moment at LCA: It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d have to say it was watching my daughter grow academically, socially and spiritually while being at LCA for nine years.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my children and watching them play sports.

    favorite children’s book: “The Giving Tree.” I just love the theme.

    favorite place in NEO: I love the beach and being near the water.

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: A good sense of humor.

    education: B.A., Hiram College

  • Amanda Podhradsky, Music and Choir

    favorite saint: St. Cecilia -- even as she died, she sang praise to God.

    favorite moment at LCA: Watching the faculty, along with my husband Steven, play the 8th graders in a basketball game benefiting the Logan John Podhradsky LCA Scholarship Fund. To see so many people come together to raise money, and have fun while doing so, in honor of my little angel was very special.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Spending time with my family and dogs

    favorite children's book: “The Great Cookie Thief” because I have such wonderful memories of my father reading it to my brother and I, while using all of the various silly voices of course, when we were little.

    favorite place in NEO: I love the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Each time I go, I notice something I didn’t see before. It gives me chills to be in the presence of so much amazing music history!

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: She was compassionate, and always there with a smile or a hug when I needed it.

    education: Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Bowling Green State University; Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Phoenix

  • Jenny Reali, Kindergarten & 1st Grade

    favorite saint: St. Anthony. As a child, my grandmother always had me pray to this saint for everything. If I lose something I always pray to him. Our fourth son is named after him. favorite moment at LCA: Spa Day in Kindergarten during the 2013-14 school year. I have been to four Spa Days with my own sons and I had the privilege of being a substitute mom in Mrs. Beegan’s classroom. My son Anthony proceeded to make me look “beautiful” with the five different colors he used on my face. favorite outside-of-work activity: Bike riding with my boys. favorite children's book: “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina. I remember reading this as a child and thinking how funny it was, then I became a teacher and it’s a great book to act out. favorite place in NEO: Clifton Beach! I always feel like I’m on vacation when I’m down there. education: B.S. in Education from Xavier University
  • Catherine Seiler

    Catherine Seiler, Pre-Kindergarten

    favorite saint: Saint Mary Magdalene because she reminds me that through penance God forgives us for our sins. She reminds me to try to always be a better person. favorite moment at LCA: This has come from being a parent and watching my kids grow over the past 7 years. I love watching them in talent shows, band concerts, and sporting events. favorite outside-of-work activity: I love to "play" with my family. We love picnics, bike rides, baseball games and swimming. favorite children’s book: “Harry Potter” because we like to read it together as a family. favorite place in NEO: Holden Arboretum. It is a beautiful place to hike and explore nature. qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Growing up, my favorite teachers took a genuine interest in students. I loved seeing teachers outside of school at students' music concerts, plays and sporting events. education: B.A., Elementary Education, Saint Mary's College
  • Patty Sullivan, 4th Grade

    favorite saint: St. Patrick (missionary) and St. Catherine of Siena (doctor of the church) strong, wonderful and unafraid people.

    favorite moment at LCA: Our West Side Market field trip.

    favorite outside-of-work activity: Relaxing, spending time with family and friends, reading, and walking.

    favorite children’s book: Danny and the Dinosaur” by Syd Hoff. It’s the first book I remember being able to read by myself.

    favorite place in NEO: West Side Market

    qualities your favorite teacher possessed: Kindness and a sense of humor

    education: B.S., Education, Middle Childhood, Cleveland State University