Alumni Staff

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St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School is proud to include several alumni on our teaching staff. Read what compeled them to return to teach at St. Francis and a few of their fond school memories.

Mrs. Julie (Fantone) Pritzel

Class of 1995

St. Francis is and was a strong guide in my faith formation. From the moment I had the opportunity to continue my faith journey as a teacher at St. Francis School, I felt blessed to return to such a special place.

My favorite memories of my school days at St. Francis are mass with Fr. Charlie for middle school. All of the faculty and our priests created such a loving and faithful environment where I felt safe to follow God. My confirmation was a beautiful day celebrated with my family, friends, and peers. I felt so proud following the mass and feeling continually welcomed into the spiritual community of St. Francis of Assisi. Each teacher cared for me and I was overjoyed each day as I walked into the school. Many other memories come to mind, but it was the every day joy and pride that was prevalent in all the students and staff at St. Francis that truly made the most impact. It is an honor to be an alumni of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School.

Ms. Carlye Malcolm
Grade 3 Teacher

Class of 2000

I felt so comfortable coming back to St. Francis Assisi Catholic School and still knowing so many staff members. It was like coming back into a family. Also, as a new teacher, just a little bit out of college, coming to teach at a place where you're already familiar with the building and the community really reduces the acclimation period and allows you to get right down to work with the kids. I am so happy to be back here. The environment is so supportive and I feel very comfortable in my work.

I remember some of the fun activities teachers worked hard to create for the students: the 4th grade play with Mrs. Dalian, the first Big Dig and Chariot Races with Mrs. Lemke, the Pezda Grand Prix and the Egg Drop. I remember doing on-the-spot speeches in Mrs. MacGillivray's 7th grade class and hugging Ms. Hatta (2nd grade) and Mrs. Boivin (1st grade) every day. I loved playing on the volleyball and basketball teams for Mr. Maierle. I also remember that Mr. Moran, our principal at the time, told us that he would temporarily shrink himself every morning so he could stand inside the PA speaker in each room and deliver the morning announcements class by class!

Mrs. Kathryn (Rolph) Dhitirojana
Grade 3 Teacher

Class of 2000

I feel so proud and blessed to teach at St. Francis, where I was also a student for 8 years.  Much like when I was a student here, there remains such a strong sense of community. Families, staff, and students support one another and create lasting relationships. I still count some of my elementary classmates among my closest friends, and am so grateful that St. Francis gave me the opportunity to establish and cultivate those friendships.
It was such a joy to return here and find that, while St. Francis has advanced with the times to keep up with technology and new teaching practices, so many memorable traditions are still in place.  I have fond memories of preparing for the Christmas program each year, and I see the same excitement on my students' faces as they get ready for their performances.  As a first grader I looked up to my eighth grade Mass buddy with admiration, and when I finally reached eighth grade I was proud to be a role model for my first grade buddy.  The current first and eighth grade buddies display the same mutual respect for one another.  I also remember having my first opportunity to be a part of a theater performance in the fourth grade play and what a wonderful experience that was.  As a third grade teacher, I love to see my former students discover new talents that they are able to share with others in the form of their fourth grade play.

St. Francis is a wonderful school, and yet it is so much more than that. While we strive for academic excellence, students also come to school knowing that there are adults and peers there who care about them and are dedicated to helping each child develop his/her unique gifts and talents.  I couldn't have asked for a better place to spend my elementary years, and there is nowhere else I would rather teach than here at St. Francis.


Mrs. Maura (Smith) Dalian
Grade 4 Teacher

Class of 1972

I made the decision to return to St. Francis Assisi Catholic School so long ago, however; it is my privilege and my blessing to work with wonderful families at St. Francis School. The children bring me nearer to God and teach me so much every year. I am so richly and humbly blessed.

I have so many fond memories from St. Francis School! One night the phone rang . My mom answered it. She was very short with her answers and hung up. She whispered something to my dad and he smiled. The next thing I knew, Sister Jean Annette was at our backdoor. The nuns had asked to borrow our sleds. We saw our sleds being handed over and my mom and the sisters swore us to secrecy. I never told...until now.
When I was in the eighth grade many wonderful things happened. Our teacher was MaryLou Daby, who later became principal. We were all sitting around talking at lunch and someone said,"Hey, I wish we didn't have school on Halloween." We all agreed. So we began brainstorming ways to get out of school on Halloween. We came up with the idea of a carnival. Mrs. Daby was excited about the idea too, and helped us get it organized. We had a hotdog lunch followed by a much simpler version of the carnival we enjoy at St. Francis today.
I often spend time with 4 of my closest friends from St. Francis. We have known each other for over 40 years. There is something very unique and special about the relationships built at St. Francis. I saw the same thing happen with my children.  Lasting friendships are built here. In Chicago a group of St. Francis kids (now adults) get together every once in awhile. They call it Mustang night. That just makes me smile.

Mrs. Emily Vigo


60th Anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi School

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