School Secretary
Maria Beltran
Lydia Nantwi 

Ms. Nantwi has been an educator for more than 30 years and she has a Master’s degree in African History from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Governors State University, an ABD (All But Dissertation) from the University of Chicago, and an Ed.D in Transformative Leadership from Concordia University Chicago.

School President
Phyllis Winter

Ms. Winter is the heart and soul of Children of Peace. The founding principal of the Trinity School for the Deaf, Ms. Winter served as Principal of Children of Peace School when the school was formed in the early 1990s after a merger of three catholic schools. Ms. Winter is supposed to be retired but she is at Children of Peace from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. She provides homework assistance to children in the after-care program. She also teaches sign language to the younger students.

Ms. Beltran has served in various capacities at Children of Peace School for almost 25 years. Ms. Beltran is the first point of contact for parents and visitors and she manages the day-to-day operations of the school. Ms. Beltran has a degree in elementary education from San Miguel University

in Allende, Mexico.

Sign Langauge Interpreteurs

Dr. Carole Clark
Diane Russell

This is Dr. Clark’s third year serving as a sign language interpreter at Children of Peace. In addition to providing interpreting services for our students who are deaf or hard of hearing, Dr. Clark also teaches sign language to students in grades 3-8.

School Support Staff

Before-and-After-School Care

Jennifer Jones

Madeline Morales


Marylu Dukic
Teaching Assistant
Cynthia Mennella
Catherine Escoto

Tanya Coleman

Bertha Williams Everett

Javier Avila

Emilio Calderone

Catherine Escoto has been a teacher at Children of Peace School for 17 years. In addition to teaching our Pre-K students, Ms. Escoto also serves as volleyball coach. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Xavier University.

Grades 1 and 2
Veronica Gibson

Veronica Gibson is a graduate of Walter Payton High School and she has a Bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University. This is Ms. Gibson’s second year at Children of Peace School. She previously served as an early childhood educator with the Easter Seal Society.

Therese Kroeker is entering her first year at Children of Peace. She graduated cum laude from DeVry University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and she has a Master’s degree in Education. Ms. Kroeker has more than 11 years of experience as an educator in both public and private schools.

Ms. Russell has ministered to the deaf and hard of hearing for many years. She provides service to students at Children of Peace as a sign language interpreter. A retired teacher, Ms. Russell has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s degree in Deaf Education from University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Russell is a member of the International Catholic Deaf Association and the National Catholic Office of the Deaf.

Therese Kroeker

Marylu Dukic has a Bachelor’s degree and she is a Montessori credentialed educator. As an elementary school teacher, Ms. Dukic taught on a Navajo Reservation and she served as adjunct professor at Luther College, supervising student teachers.

Cynthia Mennella has been a teacher at Children of Peace for 16 years. She also formerly taught children’s liturgy at Our Lady of the Holy Family Parish (combined church of Notre Dame de Chicago with Holy Family). Ms. Mennella has a degree in Accounting and Finance from Sydney Technical College in Australia. In addition to her Bachelor’s degree, Ms. Mennella is a certified Montessori paraprofessional.

Francesca Varela has been a teacher at Children of Peace for 12 years. Ms. Varela serves as the third and fourth grade homeroom teacher. She teaches math and science to students in grades 3-5. In addition to her catechetical certification, Ms. Varela has a Bachelor’s degree from North Park College in Elementary Education and Psychology. Ms. Varela is endorsed in Middle School Science and Social Studies.

Pamela Helgerson serves as the homeroom teacher for 5th graders. She also teaches Social Studies and Science to students in grades 3-5. Ms. Helgerson has been a teacher at Children of Peace for 16 years and she has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Concordia University.

Third/Fourth Grade Homeroom
3-5th Grade Math and Science
Francesca Varela
Fifth Grade Homeroom
3-5th Grade ELA and Social Studies
Pamela Helgerson
Eighth Grade Homeroom
ELA 6-8th Grade
Kimberly Foley

Mrs. Foley has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education from Winona State University and a Master’s degree in Reading from Concordia University. Ms. Foley teaches English/Language Arts to our 6th – 8th graders. This is Mrs. Foley’s sixth year serving the students at Children of Peace.

6-8th Grade Math
Anne Kach
Mrs. Kach has been at Children of Peace School for nine years. She has a Masters degree in Mathematics.
Sixth Grade Homeroom
6-8th Grade Science and Social Studies
Andrew Hubbard

Mr. Hubbard is the sixth grade homeroom teacher. He also teaches grades 6-8th in Science and Social studies. 

Ms. Stoffels Graduated from Illinois State University with two Bachelors of Science in Education: Learning Behavior Specialist & Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ms. Stoffels is certified in Visual Phonics, Grammar Graphics and Bridgeview Learning Systems (all programs that benefit Deaf/Hard of Hearing students). She is the founder & facilitator of Sign Language Club here at COP, Secretary of the Cardinal Stritch Foundation and the Teacher Chaperone for COP's involvement with Big Shoulders' Brush Creek Science Enrichment Program. This is her 5th year at COP.

Art Teacher: Eliza Karatjas

Music Teacher: Zachary Jackson


Deaf Education Teacher/
7th Grade Homeroom
Madeline Stoffels
P.E. Teacher: Elizabeth Luszczyk