Meet Our Team
The Office of Catholic Schools is a group of dedicated professionals who believe in the power of Catholic education. The goal of the OCS team is to support our Catholic school leaders in a variety of areas - from academics and social emotional learning, to marketing and communications, to scholarships and operations.
Your school's principal is the best first contact about enrollment, academics, individual student needs, operations, school records and safety procedures. If you still need assistance after contacting your school, please email us at [email protected].
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Greg Richmond, an internationally recognized leader in public and charter schools, became the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago in August 2021.
Richmond has dedicated his career to creating innovative school options for families locally and at the state, national, and international levels. He was most recently founder of the Richmond Strategy Group and is a senior fellow at the Future Ed think tank at Georgetown University and a Pahara Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
From 2005 through 2019, Richmond was the chief executive officer of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Under his leadership, the association established the nation’s professional standards for authorizing charter schools. He testified repeatedly before the United States Congress at the invitation of both Democrats and Republicans and worked with dozens of cities and states to implement the authorizing policies and practices that lead to quality schools. In 2017, he was inducted into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame.
From 1994 until 2005, Richmond worked within the Chicago Public Schools, where he led the district’s efforts to partner with educators and community organizations to create new schools. He founded the district’s Charter Schools Office in 1997 and later led all new school development activities in the district.
From 2011 to 2015, Richmond served as the founding chairman of the Illinois State Charter School Commission, working with educators and communities throughout the state to evaluate proposals for new charter schools and monitor charter schools in Chicago, the suburbs, and downstate.
Richmond has advised education officials in England, Abu Dhabi, and Chile in the development of charter-like school systems in their countries.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Chief Operating Officer for Catholic Schools
Matthew Walter brings a rich history of supporting educational programs through operations and finance. He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of ReGeneration Schools and held various roles with the Chicago Public School district, most recently as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He has also worked as an Equity Research Associate at MAR Research and FBR Capital Markets.
Matthew obtained a bachelor of science in finance from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He has a deep understanding of operational and financial dynamics, and a passion for education. Matthew and his family attend their local parish, where his children also attend Catholic school.
Deputy Superintendent for Academics
Therese Craig has more than 21 years of experience in the educational field. Therese began her role as the Regional Director for Vicariate III Catholic schools in July 2015. Prior to joining the Archdiocese, Therese was the principal of St. Luke Parish School in River Forest. Throughout her career, she has been a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, director of student services and assistant principal.
Therese holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Loras College and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.
Deputy Superintendent for School Support
Before joining the Office of Catholic Schools in July 2019, Karen Rebhan-Csuk had been the principal of St. Bartholomew School and St. Edmund School. Her devotion to education has been shown in her 30 years of making a difference in Catholic schools and public schools.
Karen worked as a special education teacher and public school principal before joining the Archdiocese of Chicago. While working in alternative schools, she worked with faculty to improve curriculum and increase learning in the classroom which helped improve test scores. She helped foster a collaborative environment with families. She continued these practices as principal of St. Bartholomew and St. Edmund School.
Karen holds a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Bradley University and a Master’s in School Administration from Governors State University.
Senior Director of Communications & Marketing
Katie O’Dea has more than 20 years of strategic communications expertise in the non-profit sector. For 16 years she served as the Director of Communications + Strategic Initiatives at Latin School of Chicago where she managed the strategic development, integration and implementation of all aspects of the school’s communications program including content creation, design, production, media relations and social media. She also led the implementation of the school’s strategic plan, including the creation of short- and long-term metrics for growth.
Before moving to education, Katie served as a speechwriter, managed events and community and media relations, and developed websites at Lurie Children’s Hospital, the City of Chicago and the Computing Technology Industry Association.
She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Katie is a proud graduate of a Chicago Catholic grammar school and a Chicago Catholic high school and is currently a parent of a Catholic school student.
Academic Leadership Coach
Dr. Kari King has more than 30 years of experience in the educational field. Dr. King began her role as Regional Director for Vicariate IV schools in July 2015. Prior to joining the Archdiocese, Dr. King was on the faculty at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the education and communication departments. Throughout her career, Dr. King was a teacher, dean of students, director of discipline, assistant principal for personnel and principal.
Dr. King holds a Master’s from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago and a Ph.D. from Loyola University, Chicago.
Academic Leadership Coach
Prior to joining the Office of Catholic Schools, Jerry Spatara was the principal of Divine Providence School in Westchester for seven years. Jerry’s professional background includes three years as a missionary and Facilities Manager at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Arkansas, several years as a community economic development organizer in central Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. He has taught at Catholic schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois. He has worked as a Catholic school principal within the Diocese of Joliet and Archdiocese of Chicago for more than15 years.
Jerry earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science/History from Westminster College, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. His teaching credentials are from the University of St. Francis, his Type 75 is from North Central College. Additionally, Jerry completed doctoral work at Lewis University.
Academic Leadership Coach
Dr. Bridget de la Peña has worked in Archdiocese of Chicago elementary schools for over 20 years as both a teacher and administrator. She previously taught at various schools in Chicago, including at Children of Peace School-Holy Family Campus, St. James Catholic School, and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School and in the St. Ignatius College Prep summer school program. Prior to becoming an Academic Leadership Coach, she served as principal of St. Michael the Archangel and as a regional director with the Office of Catholic Schools.
Dr. de la Peña graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in music and a minor in the Catholic social tradition. She also has earned a Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and Doctorate of Education in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In addition to general administrative and superintendent endorsements, she holds teaching endorsements in English language arts (6-8; 9-12), mathematics (6-8), music, (PK-12), science (6-8), and reading (PK-12).
Director of Leadership Formation
With over 25 years of experience in education, Jodi McLawhorn brings invaluable knowledge as the Director of Leadership Formation. She is an alumna of St. Gall School and Maria High School. She previously worked at St. Nicholas of Tolentine School as a teacher, St. Rita of Cascia High School as the Humanities Division Head and Director of Student Activities, Regina Dominica High School as the Director of the Leadership Institute and St. Albert the Great School as the principal.
Jodi has a bachelor of music education degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and plays several instruments including the flute. She also holds a master’s in education leadership from Concordia University.
Associate Director of Leadership Formation
Donna has been a leader in Catholic education for almost three decades. She began her work as the founding Kindergarten teacher at a Catholic school and quickly moved on to serve in leadership roles such as Principal, President, Admissions Director, and Board member/chair of various Catholic schools throughout Texas, Minnesota, Wyoming and Arkansas. She has served PK - 12 schools in a variety of settings and socioeconomic communities: historic inner city, struggling rural, growing new suburban, and renewed urban.
Donna holds a Masters in Catholic School Leadership from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor's degree in Education and Early Childhood from Texas Woman's University.
Regional Director for Big Shoulder Fund Plus Schools
Dr. Robert Bassett joins the Office of Catholic Schools as a Regional Director after being a principal for the last 10 years. For the last 3 years, he has worked alongside teachers and parents at St. Procopius School, the only dual language school in the Archdiocese of Chicago, to support a school community that celebrates and values student culture and heritage while focusing on academics, faith, and the Spanish language. He has also been a public school administrator, 7 years as a principal and 2 years as an assistant principal. Before becoming an administrator, Dr. Bassett taught high school English, including one year in Cali, Colombia, as well as middle school Spanish in underserved Chicago suburbs.
Dr. Bassett graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University, and he received his master's degree from Benedictine University in Education Administration & Leadership. He earned his educational doctorate from National-Louis University in Educational Leadership with the superintendent licensure.
Regional Director for Vicariate I Schools
Tammy joins the Office of Catholic Schools Staff after 11 years serving in Archdiocese of Chicago schools, 10 years as a principal and on year as a teacher. Before her career in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Tammy also worked in public schools teaching kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades along with serving on a number of committees. She also has a passion for working in recreation and has been a long-time employee serving youth in outdoor education and youth sports.
Tammy holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Monmouth College, and two master's degrees: one in Recreation Administration from Aurora University and one from Northeastern Illinois University in Education Administration. She is also currently pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University.
Regional Director for Vicariate II Schools and High School Liaison
Steve joins the Office of Catholic Schools as a Regional Director and High School Liaison after 13 years at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, where he served for 9 years as principal and as an English and Social Studies teacher. Prior to that, he taught at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in East Los Angeles through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE Program). In 2015, he was honored with the Michael Pressley Award for Excellence in Catholic Education.
Steve holds three degrees from the University of Notre Dame - a Bachelor's in English and American Studies, a Master's in Education, and a Master's in Educational Administration.
Regional Director for Vicariate III & V Schools
Natalie is an experienced and accomplished Catholic school leader. Before joining the Office of Catholic Schools, she was the principal of Infant Jesus of Prague in Flossmoor. During her time as principal, Natalie worked to significantly improve the school’s academic quality, culture, enrollment and financial vitality. Natalie also previously worked as an English teacher, Dean and Assistant Principal at Queen of Peace High School in Burbank.
Natalie possesses a bachelor’s in secondary education from St. Xavier University and a master’s in educational administration from Dominican University. Natalie is a person of great energy, enormous vision and a sincere faith. She cares deeply about our Catholic educational mission.
Regional Director for Vicariate IV & VI Schools
Before joining the Office of Catholic Schools in July 2016, Lorelei Bobroff was the principal of St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, she was also previously a teacher at Ascension School in Oak Park. Lorelei has taught second grade, as well as junior high language arts and religion.
Lorelei has attended Bearing Witness Holocaust Studies programs in Washington, D.C. and Israel. Prior to her role as Regional Director, she served on several committees for the Office of Catholic Schools, including a committee that developed a Standard Based Report Card System. Lorelei also implemented service and curriculum projects with St. Paul of the Cross School that involved working with other schools in the Archdiocese and the Field Museum in Chicago. Lorelei holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master’s of Education from Dominican University. She also has an Administrative License from the Illinois Department of Public Education.
Director of Inclusive Education
Amy joined OCS in 2022, after spending time at Chicago Public Schools and various non-profits in the City of Chicago. After her undergraduate degree, Amy did one year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps helping immigrant and refugee families with the immigration process. She has a strong passion for disability advocacy.
Amy attended Catholic grammar and high school in Denver, CO. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts from Saint Louis University and a Master’s in Social Work from Loyola Chicago.
Director of Mission and Culture
Dr. Link brings over 20 years of experience in Catholic education to her role. She previously served as the Theology Department Chair and International Baccalaureate (IB) service program coordinator at Trinity High School in River Forest. Prior to her work at Trinity, she chaired the English Department and served as an IB Diploma Program instructor at The Ahliyyah School for Girls in Amman, Jordan. Melissa holds a Doctor of Ministry and Master of Arts degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a BA in religion, philosophy, and social work from Loras College in Dubuque, IA..
Director of Social Emotional Learning
Director of Federal Funds
Dr. Walthers was the principal of St. Christopher School in Midlothian before joining the Office of Catholic Schools in the summer of 2022. Dr. Walthers initiated improvements during her time at St. Christopher including securing funding for Chromebooks and learning tablets, helped the school become a “Preschool for All” provider and participating in the i-Ready pilot program.
Dr. Walthers holds a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Trinity Christian College, a master of arts in education from Governor State University, and a doctor of education in Educational Leadership from Trident International University. She also has an education specialist degree with a concentration on educational leadership from Liberty University. She is currently an adjunct professor at Olivet Nazarene University and a clinical supervisor at Western Governors University for teacher candidates.
Hispanic Outreach and Engagement Manager
Erika is an enthusiastic ally of Catholic education and over the years has supported this mission in various roles. She first joined the archdiocese as a volunteer CCD Confirmation Teacher, then became the Business Manager at her home parish in 2003. After some years in the role, she transitioned to the Pastoral Center in the Human Resources Department, where she worked primarily with Vicariates 3 & 4 and wherever her bilingual skills where needed supporting school and parish staff. In 2019, Erika came on board with the school’s office in the new role of Hispanic Engagement and Outreach Manager. In this role she supports, Cultural Awareness, ESL Supports and Spanish Language Programs in Early Childhood for schools as part of the Specialist Support Team.
Erika holds a B.S. from DePaul University and most recently became a Hernandez Teaching Fellow through the English As A New Language Program from the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). Erika has been married for 20 years and her two sons attended Epiphany Catholic School in the Little Village neighborhood for their elementary education.
Student Health and Wellness Coordinator
LaTeasha has served in the role of Wellness Coordinator within OCS for 16 years. She has also worked Designated School Officer for International Students for 10 years. Previously, she served as a Prevention Specialist where she worked on prevention programs such as Too Good For Drugs/Violence, Mentoring Programs, programs for parents, and other Bullying programs for elementary schools. LaTeasha has been a member of different organizations/coalitions for many years such as Chicago Asthma Consortium and NASFA Association of International Educators.
LaTeasha holds an associate’s degree from Robert Morris College as a Paralegal, a Bachelor’s in Technical Management from DeVry University, and a Master’s in Public Administration in Government Law from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
Director of Enrollment Marketing & Communications
Heather has been working with Chicago Catholic schools for nearly 15 years, first as a volunteer, then as Director of Stewardship and Development for Saint Clement Parish and Director of Admissions for St. Mary of the Angels School before joining the Office of Catholic Schools in 2022. Heather brings significant experience to the role as an engaged parishioner, involved school parent and experienced marketing & development professional.
Before moving to education, Heather spent 15 years in the commercial real estate finance industry, where she held various investment analysis and relationship management positions at Allstate Investments, J.P. Morgan, and Heller Financial. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Management with dual focus in Marketing and Organizational Behavior from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Heather is also a graduate of a Catholic elementary and high school located in Ottawa, Illinois and is the proud parent of a recent Catholic high school graduate.
Communications Project Manager
Meghan joined the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2019 and began her tenure on the Renew My Church (RMC) team serving as a liaison with the Office of Catholic Schools. She transitioned to the role of project manager on the RMC Organizational Transition team and now rejoins OCS as a member of the Communications and Marketing Team. She will serve as project manager, bringing significant experience as she has directed performance, relational, operational, and advocacy initiatives in parish and school settings.
Before moving to the Archdiocese of Chicago, Meghan spent close to 20 years in the public school sector with Chicago International Charter School as Director of Community Engagement and Special Projects. She is a former middle school teacher with OCS and CPS and holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and certification in Executive Nonprofit Education from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Meghan is also a graduate of a Catholic elementary and high school located in suburban Chicago.
Nora was previously the Digital Content Specialist at Mother McAuley High School before joining the Office of Catholic Schools in the Summer of 2023. She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding social media and digital content creation. Intrigued by the power of communication and inspired by the potential to make a difference, she recognizes the untapped opportunities lying within the realm of school marketing. With a dynamic and creative approach, Nora’s goal is to introduce innovative campaigns that resonate with both current and prospective students, parents, and faculty members. She does this through captivating visual content, interactive storytelling, and leveraging the power of user-generated content. Nora harnesses the potential of social platforms to foster engagement, expand reach, and create a lasting impact.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She graduated in 2020 with Departmental Distinction after fulfilling the requirements of the English Honors Program.
Nora is also a proud graduate of a Catholic grammar school and a Chicago Catholic high school.
Director of International Student Program and Operations Consultant
Miriam has served a number of roles within the Office of Catholic Schools over the years. In her current role of Director of International Student Program, Miriam promotes our Catholic schools to families worldwide and supports Archdiocesan schools with the complex requirements when admitting international students. Miriam also provides operations consulting to OCS administration, is a past member of the Legislative Advisory Council and co-authored the Fiscal Management Handbook for Non-Public Schools.
Miriam received her Master of Project Management degree from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. She is a Kellogg Executive Scholar and holds the Executive Certificate of Professional Achievement in Non-Profit Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Miriam also received the St. Sabina Academy Humanitarian Award, is fluent in five languages and enjoys spending time with her grown daughter, grandson and granddaughter.
Director of Scholarships
Clare began serving as Director of Scholarships in August 2017. She is strong advocate for families and believes all children should have the opportunity to receive a Catholic education. Previously Clare served as Director of Finance at AUSL, an educational non-profit organization serving Chicago Public Schools. She also worked as vice-president/controller for a commercial real estate company and started her career in public accounting.
Clare holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University. She is a parishioner at her local church and both of her children graduated from Catholic high schools.
Adrienne has been a Scholarship Manager in the Office of Catholic Schools since 2018. She previously served as the Director of Marketing & Enrollment at St. Ann School in Pilsen and spent the first 13 years of her career in Hispanic marketing. In her role as Scholarship Manager, she provides assistance to schools and families seeking financial aid.
Adrienne holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Chicago and co-chairs the finance council at her home parish of St. Paul Church in Pilsen. She is a proud Catholic school parent of four children, currently attending St. Ann School.
A native of the Southwest, Katherine joined the Office of Catholic Schools in 2018. She brings a wealth of administrative and operational experience after serving 20 years in public service at the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and City of Chicago.
From 1997 to 2005 Katherine held the position of Operations Manager for Bowen High School, assistant to the Comptroller in the finance division of CPS, Director of Administration for the Office of Professional Development and Director of Administration for the Office of Accountability.
From 2006 to 2018 Katherine served as senior budget analyst in the public safety division of the City of Chicago Budget Office, later holding the Director of Administration position for the Independent Police Review Authority and culminating with Director of Human Resources for the City’s Department of Public Health.
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Albuquerque and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Katherine is an active member of Holy Name Cathedral Parish, once serving as co-chair of the Evangelization and Spiritual Life Commission and chair of the Liturgy Council.
Janice began her work with the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1999 and joined the Office of Catholic Schools in 2005. She currently supports the Deputy Superintendent of School Support and the School Support Team. Her duties vary from the start of the school year with ISBE Recognition to the end the year with recognizing school employees who reach a milestone or are retiring. In between, she works on various special projects.
One of Janice’s favorite projects was when she was the liaison to assist with a Professional development Day for our Catholic school teachers, where we gathered at the UIC Pavilion. Mass was presented by Cardinal George and we had a wonderful keynote speaker. At the time, she was fairly new to OCS but was excited the event went well. And, most importantly, that our teachers enjoyed their day!
Marcela has been with the Office of Catholic Schools since October of 1997. She currently supports the Director of Formation Leadership and the Director of Catholic Mission and Culture with various projects and events.
Marcella is also involved with her parish, Our Lady of the Heights in Chicago Heights.
The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School Board is established by the Archbishop of Chicago to provide guidance, oversight and support for the educational mission of the Archdiocese and the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS). The Board focuses on designated areas, including strategic planning/goal setting, school-related finances, marketing, advancement and policy formation. The Board does not administer the Catholic schools or the OCS, nor does the Board manage individual student or personnel matters.
Members of the School Board represent alumni, leaders and supporters of our Catholic schools. Board members are appointed by the Archbishop of Chicago.