St. Michael the Archangel Faculty and Staff

Fr. Andrew Torma - Pastor

Fr. Andrew Torma is the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish.
Fr. Torma, who comes to us from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), has over 34 years of religious experience, including 5 years as a pastor at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, NY. He also boasts an extensive education background which includes a BA in History from DeSales University in Center Valley, PA, a Masters of Divinity from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL, a Master of Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and a Certificate in Preaching from St Thomas Aquinas Institute in St Louis, MO.

Fr. Patrick Wangai - Associate Pastor and School Chaplain

Fr. Patrick Wangai is the associate pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School chaplain. He says Mass for the students every other Wednesday and enjoys teaching religion classes and visiting the students at the school. Father Patrick, who is diocesan priest, has a master of divinity degree.

Mr. Rees - Principal

Mr. Rees graduated from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in mechanical engineering and psychology. After graduation, he was a member of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), where he earned a master's degree in education while teaching middle school math and coaching at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mr. Rees holds a Type 09 teaching certificate in mathematics. Mr. Rees recently earned his degree in school leadership through the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Rees is also certified as a catechist. Prior to becoming principal, Mr. Rees completed his principal internship at St. Michael. He was also a member of the Archdiocesan Common Core Standards Implementation Team, the University of Chicago's Everyday Mathematics Program, the UIC Mathematics Initiative. Mr. Rees moderates Boys' Running Club. Mr. Rees, who attends St. Thomas the Apostle parish, is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Mrs. Rivera - Preschool Teacher

Mrs. Rivera has taught students in preschool, first grade, and third grade and has also worked as an early childhood consultant at Chicago State University. Certified as a Type 04 (early childhood) teacher, Mrs. Rivera graduated from Chicago State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in education with a focus on early childhood education and fine arts. She is currently pursuing her English as a second language (ESL) endorsement and is part of the archdiocesan Early Childhood Education Teacher Leader training program. Mrs. Rivera, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, is also pursuing her catechist certification.

Mrs. Corona Garza - Preschool Assistant Teacher and Early Childhood Catechist

Mrs. Corona Garza is a preschool assistant teacher and the early childhood catechist. Mrs. Corona Garza has attended Roosevelt University where she studied biology. She has earned her Basic Certificate in Child Development from Olive Harvey College and her Level I Early Childhood Certification from Malcolm X College. Mrs. Corona Garza graduated from Olive-Harvey College with her associate's degree in 2014. In addition to her current role as a preschool assistant teacher and catechist, Mrs. Corona Garza has also worked as an extended day assistant, a Girls' on the Run! coach, and a substitute aide. Prior to working at St. Michael, Mrs. Corona Garza worked at Chicago Children's Museum as a play and learning facilitator and as a receptionist and at American General Financial Services as a customer account specialist. Mrs. Corona Garza is a member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish.

Mr. Berry - Kindergarten Teacher

I grew up in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park. I have over fourteen years teaching experience in early childhood education. I’ve taught in American schools and overseas in local and international schools. I’ve had several opportunities to develop age appropriate academic curricula and programs for native speakers and second language learners in pre-kindergarten to second grade and in high school that are fun and diverse. One of the strengths I can bring to this position is a strong instinct for intentional planning and documentation. I truly value exchanges with colleagues and other community members about our shared and unique observations and reflections on classroom and out in the field interaction. My hobbies are the following when I need to rest and relax: photography, aikido, cultural places exploration, hiking and camping in nature, movies, performance art/music shows, movies, and follow my Chicago sports teams of the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, and White Sox.

Ms.Ziegler - Primary Grades Teacher

Ms. Ziegler graduated from Trinity International University in 2016 with a certification in Elementary Education. Prior to joining St. Michael, she studied at Moody Bible Institute and worked as a teacher’s assistant in a special education classroom. She has many years of experience working with students of all ages and backgrounds. Ms. Ziegler enjoys the outdoors,learning about history, and volunteering at her church.

Mr. Truslow - Primary Grades Teacher and Lead Literacy Teacher

Mr. Truslow, who has both an elementary teaching certificate and a coaching certificate, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Drake University. With over 30 years of teaching experience, Mr. Truslow has successfully integrated technology and has implemented diversified teaching strategies to meet the academic needs of each student, resulting in above average academic growth on standardized tests. He has also promoted student academic and social achievement by using varied teaching strategies and techniques, including individual and small group instruction, to provide a firm academic foundation and positive attitude toward learning. In addition to his extensive classroom experience, Mr. Truslow developed an after school reading tutoring program for at risk students. Mr. Truslow completed The Accelerate Institute's Teacher Leadership Program at Northwestern University and Everyday Math coaching and training through the University of Chicago. He will continue his role as the lead math teacher and coach at St. Michael this year.

Mrs. Botello - Assistant Teacher, Secretary, and Director of Extended Day

Mrs. Botello has worked at St. Michael since 1999. Mrs. Botello, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, works as the second and third grade assistant teacher, secretary, and director of the Extended Day program. She has completed her Level I early childhood assistant teacher certification. Mrs. Botello, whose six children are graduates of St. Michael School, also volunteers with a variety of parish and school events. Mrs. Botello is also a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

Ms. Czerpaniak 4th - 5th Grade

Ms. Czerpaniak is a recent graduate of Saint Xavier University. She received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with middle school endorsements in mathematics, social science and English language arts. Prior to graduating, Ms. Czerpaniak student taught in a multi age 4/5th grade classroom and also volunteered to teach a second grade religious education class at a school in the Beverly neighborhood. She loves physical education, and has spent some of the summer coaching sports safety to children at various park districts.

Ms.Harrsion - 6th Grade

Ms. Harrison is a third year teacher. Before becoming the middle school math teacher at Saint Michael School, she taught eighth grade math at Howe School of Excellence in Chicago, and she taught high school math at Hinsdale South High School and Oak Park and River Forest High School. In addition to her work as an educator, she has continued to pursue her own education by completing her Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction as of June 2016. Ms. Harrison is thrilled to be teaching math to grades 6, 7, and 8 at St. Michael School, and she is looking forward to the adventures ahead this school year.

Ms. McDonald - 8th Grade Science and Social Studies

Ms. McDonald comes from a rich Catholic education background. As a graduate from Visitation Elementary and Queen of Peace High Schools, she has been involved with her current community and church, Visitation Catholic church, and in the Englewood community for many years as a coach, tutor, mentor, and teacher. Ms. McDonald has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Curriculum an Instruction. She has worked with special education, ELL/ESL, and general education students in preschool through eighth grade for several years.

Alexander Pape-7th Grade English

Mr. Pape received a Bachelor’s in Communications from Goucher College and an MAT in Secondary English from the University of Maryland—Baltimore County. He has worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore as well as Giant Steps in DuPage county teaching students with disabilities. He has a major passion for writing, and is developing a podcast for fiction writing, and has had his own stories broadcast on other podcasts. Mr. Pape hopes to share this passion with the students of SMAS. In his spare time, Mr. Pape enjoys music, fencing, and martial arts.

Mr. Glover - Music Instructor

Mr. Glover is the music instructor at St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Gabriel Catholic Schools and the organist and pianist for school Masses. Each summer, Mr. Glover hosts a music camp, which focuses on piano, violin and percussion, and teaches private piano and violin lessons. Mr. Glover serves as the organist at St. Felicitas Catholic Church and director of music and the organist and choir director at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Mr. Glover received his musical training at the American Conservatory of Music and earned his Level I World Music Drumming certification from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Glover has received numerous awards and honors, including the Archbishop James P. Lyke, O.F.M., African-American Male Image Award.

Ms. Andrés - Librarian and Title I Tutor (DMDL)

Ms. Andrés has worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago since 2000. She worked at St. Michael the Archangel for about 8 years as the 8th grade teacher, math instructor and on the weekends led the Religious Education Confirmation Groups for St. Michael the Archangel Parish. During that time, she also worked at Immaculate Conception during the summer with their summer programs, leading the 6th through 8th graders in math.

In recent years, Ms. Andrés has worked for The School City of Hammond as a bilingual instructor (Franklin Elementary in Hammond), Wonder Years Learning Center in Munster, Indiana, long term sub at Our Lady of Guadalupe School (South Chicago), and for the City of Chicago (Chicago Tutorz) as an after school tutor. Ms. Andrés, who grew up in the South Chicago area, returns to St. Michael School as a Title I tutor and continues to sub for the various Catholic Schools in the South Chicago area and in Hammond, Indiana.

Ms. Edwards - Special Education Teacher

Ms. Edwards - Special Education TeacherMs. Edwards holds a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Dominican University (2001) and professional educator license, Special Education (PK-Age21) with LBS I (Learning Behavioral Specialist), LD (Learning Disabilities), and SED (Social & Emotional Disorders) endorsements. She has provided special education services for St. Michael the Archangel School and several other south side school for the Archdiocese of Chicago since 2013. Ms. Edwards has worked in public, private, and therapeutic day schools for over ten years and provides professional tutoring in Reading and Math. Other degrees include an MBA (Roosevelt University) and BA in political science (DePaul University). She enjoys cooking and making home cozy in her spare tim

Ms. Quiñones - Title I Tutor (DMDL)

Ms. Quiñones has worked in archdiocesan schools for nearly fifteen years. She has served as a school librarian, primary grade teacher's aide, middle school teacher's aide, lunchroom monitor, and playground assistant. Ms. Quiñones has also worked for the Chicago Park District as a summer camp recreational leader. Ms. Quiñones earned her associate of arts from Harold Washington College. In addition to her work at the school, Ms. Quiñones serves as a lector at St. Michael the Archangel Parish.

Mrs. Pike - Title I Instructor (DMDL)

Veteran teacher, Mrs. Pat Pike (B.A., M.A.) has always believed that learning should be fun! She created the WORDBUSTER Reading Rap Educational Program so that children could learn the rules of phonics while they moved to the beat! She also created the Math-a-Magic Multiplication CD that teaches children multiplication facts as they sing-a-long to music from various genres. During her thirty-four years of teaching in Chicago Public Schools, she taught grades kindergarten through grade 8 and served as assistant principal. Mrs. Pike has always used innovative methods to reach and teach children.

As a professional provider for the Illinois State Board of Education, she enjoys conducting workshops for teachers. The workshops are motivational and she shares strategies for differentiated instruction, the goal of which is to include all students in the learning process. She has served as a Music Consultant to the CPS Office of Arts Education; Curriculum Writer for: The Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts (2009), The CPS Character Education Manual for Grade 5 (1997), The CPS Fine Arts Assessment Handbook (1995), and The CPS System Wide Objectives Music Handbook (1988, 1989). She taught music in the Communication Arts Center of Walt Disney Magnet School, and at McDade Classical School where she also served as assistant principal.

Many have recognized Pat Pike’s innovative teaching strategies. She has received several awards including: Who’s Who Among Educators (2005), Chicago Public Schools Drive Award Finalist (2005), Those Who Excel Award -Illinois State Board of Education (2003), and she was a Golden Apple Award Finalist (1993).

As a retired teacher, her love for teaching continues as she serves as a music consultant for Discover Music Discover Life, where she goes into schools teaching reading and math through music, and she also conducts teacher and parent workshops.

Pat has served as the Director of Music at St. Ailbe Catholic Church for the past ten years.

Ms. Lazich - Literacy Coach

Samantha Lazich is St. Michael the Archangel’s Language and Literacy Integration for the Negotiation of Knowledge (LLINK) coach from Concordia University. Our LLINK coach works to support student learning through meaningful and purposeful interactions. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in education and a Master of Education (M.ED.) in language, literacy, and specialized instruction with a concentration in reading and learning disabilities. Samantha has over a decade of experience teaching literacy in the classroom. In addition, she has worked with teachers in various capacities. Some of those capacities include training teachers in various literacy programs and assisting teachers with struggling readers in the classroom. Truly, her enthusiasm lies in supporting teachers and students in bringing resources, strategies, and the love for literacy to life in the St. Michael classrooms.

Mrs. Sandoval - Secretary

Mrs. Sandoval has worked at St. Michael since 1991. Mrs. Sandoval, who speaks fluent English and Spanish, works in the front office. She has been a member at St. Michael the Archangel Parish for over 30 years. Three of Mrs. Sandoval's own children have graduated from St. Michael. Prior to joining the staff here, Mrs. Sandoval worked at an insurance company and at a local grocery store. She attended Bowen High School and went on to take computer classes at Olive Harvey. Mrs. Sandoval enjoys sewing and crocheting.

Mr. Ortiz - Director of Maintenance

Mr. Ortiz is the director of maintenance St. Michael School. Prior to that, he worked for St. Michael Parish, as a plumber and an electrician at Lake Park Manor, and in a variety of maintenance positions. Mr. Ortiz is a parishioner at St. Michael Parish, where he has volunteered as a catechist. Four of Mr. Ortiz's children are graduates of St. Michael School.

Mrs. Solis - Food Service Director (FSP)

Mrs. Solis has worked at St. Michael for over 20 years. In addition to her work with FSP, she has regularly volunteered for special events and fundraisers at the school. Mrs. Solis is a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish.

Mr. Joe Perez - Volunteer

Mr. Joe Perez is a regular volunteer at St. Michael School. He particularly enjoys cooking for faculty lunches and special events such as the Catholic Schools Week Open House and First Communion. In addition to his service to St. Michael School, Mr. Joe is an active member of the Knights of Columbus (Santa Maria Council). A long-time member of St. Michael Parish, Mr. Joe serves as an usher and cooks for parish events.

Mr. Escobedo - Admissions Counselor

Mr. Escobedo comes to St. Michael the Archangel with over 15 years of admissions and marketing experience.  He graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  For the past 5 years, Mr. Escobedo has worked in the field of education with a concentration in enrollment, branding, and development initiatives. Mr. Escobedo is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish.

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