All of our full-time teaching staff at St. John Paul II Regional School hold New Jersey State Certifications in Education.
Mrs. Helen Persing – Principal
Mrs. Persing holds an M.A. in educational administration from Rider University along with a B.S. in business management. She has both her NJ State Principal/Supervisor Standard Certification and NJ State Elementary School Teacher Standard Certification, and she completed the New Jersey Leaders to Leaders Program in October 2008. Mrs. Persing was nominated 2013 Camden Diocese Principal of the Year. She is beginning her ninth school year as Principal of St. John Paul II Regional School since its inception in 2008 and was Principal at Queen of Heaven School in Cherry Hill for two years prior. Mrs. Persing taught middle school math, science and language arts as well as second grade in the Diocese of Trenton where she was named Outstanding Catholic Educator. Mrs. Persing is passionate about Catholic Education and continues to devote her time to meeting the needs of the students at St. John Paul II R.S.
Mrs. Lois Schuhl – Vice Principal
Mrs. Schuhl holds a B.A. in elementary education. She was the recipient of the Bishop’s Medal in 2002 and brings over 35 years teaching experience to the school. Mrs. Schuhl works with school administration and faculty to develop strong academic programs, time management tools and study strategies for all students. She believes these are the key ingredients for success in high school and beyond. Mrs. Schuhl organizes middle school retreats and service projects as well as high school informational visits for our students. Mrs. Schuhl is a Eucharistic Minister for her parish.
Mrs. Donatella Mazzagatti – Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Mazzagatti holds a Diploma in business expert and foreign-language correspondent from the Instituto Tecnico Linguistico, Ascoli Piceno, Italy. She is is bilingual speaking fluent English, Italian, Spanish and French and translates for our Latino families as needed. Before joining our school, Mrs. Donatella worked in tourism in Italy and attended St. Joseph School, Hammonton. Mrs. Mazzagatti had the pleasure of attending many Masses in Italy with Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Basilica. She enjoys volunteering in her parish.
Mrs. Paula DiGialleonardo – School Bookkeeper
Mrs. DiGialleonardo holds a BA in Accounting from Immaculata University. She has been our school bookkeeper for the past 4 years, and brings 14 years of nonprofit accounting experience to our school. Mrs. DiGialleonardo also enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and relaxing on the beach.
Mrs. Christine Willard – Advancement Director
Mrs. Willard holds a B.A. in communications, public relations from Rowan University. She brings over 10 years of experience in enrollment management, nonprofit marketing, development, and communication to our school. She has worked at the elementary school level, and as a consultant in advancing Catholic education for schools in the Camden Diocese. Mrs. Willard presented at NCEA on best practices in school mergers and developing a brand for recruitment and retention. She believes in collaborating and developing positive relationships with all members of the community for sustainable growth. Mrs. Willard and her husband are Marriage Preparation facilitators for Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
Mrs. Diana Juliani – Advancement Assistant
Mrs. Juliani holds a B.S. in mathematics and M.S. in education from St. Joseph’s University. She brings 10 years of human resources, training and development, and rewards and recognition experience to our school. Mrs. Juliani assists with student registrations, annual fund solicitations, database management, and event planning.
Mrs. Lizabeth Kelly – Learning Center Instructor
Lizabeth Kelly holds a B.A. in communication from Rowan University and N.J. certification in elementary education. Mrs. Kelly has taught in our Learning Center for the past three years and brings her teaching experience from Camden County Education Services Commission to the classroom. She truly enjoys working with students at multiple grade levels and believes learning is a process that should be engaging and fun. Mrs. Kelly looks forward to sharing new and exciting ways to teach concepts to her students this year! In her spare time, Mrs. Kelly enjoys taking dance classes with dance companies in the Philadelphia area.
Mr. Bill Miller – Learning Center Instructor
Preschool and Kindergarten
Mrs. Linda Meara-Preschool Three
Mrs. Meara holds a B.A. in elementary education and M.A. in reading along with a religious education certification. Mrs. Meara has been teaching in the primary grades for over 20 years. She brings her cheerful, nurturing, creative teaching style to our Preschool Three classroom. Mrs. Meara looks forward to a school year with faith, academic and social development in all her students. Mrs. Meara enjoys spending time with her young grandchildren and is also a Eucharistic minister at her parish.
Mrs. Kathleen Considine – Preschool Four
Mrs. Considine attended LaSalle University and University of Salamanca Spain and has been teaching in Catholic schools for 30 years. Mrs. Considine believes in creating a warm and welcoming environment for students where all feel special and loved. She is excited to bring language arts and math to her students in fun and creative ways, and looks forward to students beginning to read by spring. She enjoys the Pumpkin Picking trip with students and parents and celebrating all holidays in a special way. Mrs. Considine is also a choir member and director of the Children’s Liturgy Program for her parish.
Mrs. Joyce Romano-Kindergarten
Mrs. Joyce Romano holds a B.A. in elementary education and special education. She brings over 20 years of experience in both public and Catholic school settings teaching special needs students as well as preschool through fifth grade students. Mrs. Romano has recently helped rewrite the math curriculum for the Camden Diocese in collaboration with other diocesan elementary school teachers. Mrs. Romano believes, “Everything in Kindergarten is exciting, which makes it so much fun!” She will help her students remember that the first four letters of Kindergarten are KIND and that each child is unique, special and always a beloved child of God. Mrs. Romano also serves as the faculty representative for our school’s peer leadership program, Bridge Club and enjoys watching sports, crossword puzzles and participating in fun runs with friends and family.
Mrs. Nancy Lynch-Kindergarten
Mrs. Lynch holds a M.A. in elementary education and has been teaching for over nine years. She continues to develop her teaching skills in Catholic faith formation through the University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation program (VLCFF), now on Level 2. She views Kindergarten as an exciting world of discovery and wants her students to get that spark for learning so that they leave her classroom loving school. Her passion is education and finding new ways to teach her students. Mrs. Lynch looks forward to teach Christmas Around the World this year when students will “travel” to various countries to learn about traditions, cultures, geography while celebrating the birth of Jesus. She is also a Eucharistic Minister at her parish, loves spending time with her family, reading, going to the beach, everything Disney, and the Phillies!
Grades 1 to 5
Mrs Cathy McBride – First Grade
Mrs. McBride holds a B.A. in elementary education from Rowan University. Mrs. McBride strongly feels the best thing about her classroom is the students and loves their enthusiasm and love of learning. She strives to generate their creative minds with great literary reading, complementary projects and various writing assignments. She uses the Smart Board and iPads for added practice to lessons in math and language arts. Mrs. McBride looks forward to teaching students about the Saints, Presidents, space, community life, and animals this year as well.
Mrs. Patricia Babnew-First Grade
Mrs. Babnew holds a B.A in early childhood education from Holy Family University. She has over 11 years teaching experience teaching second grade in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and also in the public school system working with autistic children. Mrs. Babnew believes in active learning where children benefit from hands-on activities and are an integral part of the learning process. She wants her students to be excited about learning every day. She looks forward to first grades’ traditional Saints Project and developing strong math and literacy skills in her students. Most importantly, Mrs. Babnew wants their love of God and each other to grow in our great school community! Mrs. Babnew teaches Children’s Liturgy at her parish on Sundays and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time at the beach with her family.
Mrs. Denise Ballerini – Second Grade
Mrs. Ballerini holds a B.S. in business and a graduate level teaching certification and has taught at the preschool through second grade levels. Mrs. Ballerini believes in a faith-based education and is very excited about celebrating First Holy Communion and First Penance with her second grade class. She appreciates how her students genuinely accept one another and enjoy celebrating each other’s achievements. Mrs. Ballerini is involved in her own children’s school, as well as her parish.
Mrs.Mindy Pratt – Second Grade
Mrs. Pratt holds a B.S. in elementary education and special education. She brings over 15 years of classroom teaching experience to our school. Mrs. Pratt believes in teaching across the curriculum with a hands-on approach whenever possible as well as integrating technology. Her students work in centers using cooperative learning to create a strong and effective educational environment. She looks forward to preparing her class for First Penance and First Holy Communion. Mrs. Pratt reinforces positive behavior in the classroom with the behavior management system, Positive Behavior Supports. Mrs. Pratt enjoys spending time with her family, reading, music, and cooking.
Ms. Katilynn Grey-Third Grade
Ms. Grey holds a M.A. in education and B.S. in elementary education. She is certified in special education as well. Ms. Grey believes third grade is an exciting year for students. They will learn key math concepts like: multiplication, division, and money as well as literacy and writing skills. She is excited to teacher her students God’s Word this year as well as helping students strengthen friendships in the classroom for a positive learning experience all around.
Mrs. Catherine Olson-Third Grade
Mrs. Olson holds a B.S. in elementary education from Pace University. She enjoys teaching third grade students as she feels it is a great age when children are very curious and eager to please. Mrs. Olson looks forward to teaching her class about communities and the election process in social studies as well as sharpening multiplication and division skills. Hands-on assignments in language arts and religion include writing creative book reports and a Mother Teresa research project. Mrs. Olson is a proud mother of three and enjoys spending time with her family in her spare time.
Mrs. Jaclyn Salter – Fourth Grade
Mrs. Salter holds a M.A. in elementary education from Fairleigh Dickinson University with over ten years teaching experience. In a faith-based learning environment, she had a great desire to provide a safe and loving environment for her students. She loves seeing her enthusiastic students come to school each day with big smiles on their faces, and showing their eagerness to learn. She hopes that her students will develop a strong love for their faith and find success in everything they do wherever life takes them. Mrs. Salter is also our faculty representative for our student Yearbook Club and coordinator for our summer camp, Camp Fun.
Ms. Shannon Bailey – Fourth Grade
Ms. Bailey holds a B.A. in elementary education and history from Rowan University. She is very excited to teach fourth grade with her experience in teaching math, language arts and social studies in the lower grades. Ms. Bailey looks forward to engaging her students with exciting projects especially as they learn about the state of New Jersey. Her goal is to tie her lessons to the real world to demonstrate its value to her class. Ms. Bailey wants all students to walk into her classroom feeling safe and eager to learn. She loved school as a child and wants to encourage that same feeling in her students.
Mrs. Katie Hennigan-Fifth Grade
Mrs. Hennigan holds a M.A. in elementary education from Wilmington University and a B.A. in communication of arts from Rampo College of N.J. She has been teaching in grades first through fifth for seven years and is excited to be teaching fifth grade this year. Mrs. Hennigan looks forward to incorporating technology into the curriculum as well as teaching her students about U.S. history. Mrs. Hennigan develops creative projects to enhance reading and vocabulary skills in her students to best prepare them for middle school. She looks forward to building a rapport with the fifth grade students and creating a learning environment in which they feel comfortable and confident in learning! Mrs. Hennigan enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Ms. Kelsey Marcoccia-Fifth Grade
Ms. Marcoccia holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Her experiences involve working with children in various classroom settings. She is excited to develop bonds with her students, and teach them independent study and research strategies to prepare them for middle school. Ms. Marcoccia encourages a love for learning in her classroom through interactive lessons and cooperative group work in mathematics, language arts, and through science experiments.
Middle School – Grades 6-8
Mrs. Danielle Hurd – Sixth Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Science
Mrs. Hurd holds a B.A. in elementary education and psychology with over 15 years teaching experience. In addition to science, she has taught language arts, mathematics, and religion in fifth through eighth grade. Mrs. Hurd motivates her students by incorporating creative, educational programs into her science lessons. Her science classes frequently work in our new Science Center with laboratory experiments and observations to follow-up on material taught in the classroom. Mrs. Hurd also enjoys using the smart board with her students, sharing power point presentations, and using Science World magazines that are internet friendly. Mrs. Hurd runs our afterschool club, Science Explorers for Grades 1-5 and assists with our school’s Bridge program.
Ms. Melissa Cardillo-Sixth Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Social Studies
Ms. Cardillo holds a M.S. in elementary education-reading specialist and B.S. in elementary and special education from St. Joseph University. She minored in Autism Studies and taught special needs in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Ms. Cardillo believes in fostering a fun and caring classroom environment for her students. She will integrate technology in her social studies lessons for students to learn exiting facts about the Ancient World as well as the history of our country.
Mrs. Mary McKeown – Seventh Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Math
Mrs. McKeown holds a B.A. in elementary education and history from Nazareth College, Michigan. With over 35 years experience, Mrs. McKeown focuses her teaching on the belief that children should feel comfortable learning, asking questions, and knowing that they will get the help they need. She is excited to begin teaching new math curriculum to students that she helped develop for the Camden Diocese. Mrs. McKeown works to prepares middle school students with the rigors of high school math by teaching two levels of Algebra based on students’ abilities.
Mr. Matthew Frankunas – Seventh Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Language Arts
Mr. Frankunas holds a B.A. in elementary education and social studies from Rowan University and has over 10 years teaching experience. Mr. Frankunas has been an ABA Facilitator for the Washington Township School District since 2001, where he provides at-home instruction to students with autism. He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta (National Historical Honor Society) and Honor Society.org. ‘Mr. Frank” provides students in his classroom with a skill set to develop strong research, writing and public speaking skills. He motivates students to think for themselves and develop strong problem solving skills. In the classroom, while learning the traditional components of Language Arts, students will also learn various historical periods, issues, and cultures based on the novels they read. Mr. Frankunas is the director of our school’s spring plays, which have included: Aladdin, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. He feels theater is an excellent way for students to express their creativity and to build a sense of community within the student body. His interests also include: zoology, mythology, and film/art history and brings his love of learning to the classroom.
Mrs. Teresa Finnegan – Eighth Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Language Arts
Mrs. Finnegan holds a B.A. degree in psychology and education from Chestnut Hill College and has been teaching social studies and language arts for over 20 years. Mrs. Finnegan enjoys teaching and preparing students for high school. She serves as the faculty representative for student council and helps plan eighth grade activities for the year.
Mrs. Cheryl Pardee – Eighth Grade Homeroom; Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Religion
Mrs. Pardee holds a B.S. in elementary education and special education from University of Alabama. She has over 35 years teaching experience in the Camden Diocese. Mrs. Pardee looks forward to preparing our middle school students for high school and beyond as well as working with our 8th Grade students in planning service, academic, and social activities for their final year here at Saint John Paul II R.S.
Mrs. Regina Scott-Art
Mrs. Scott holds a MA in art education with an emphasis in Special Populations and a BFA in art education with a focus of 3D Design from Moore College of Art and Design. With her students, Mrs. Scott reinforces creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, collaboration, non-verbal communication and much more. In the classroom, she looks forward to teaching patterns, printmaking, sculpture, paper Mache, optical illusions, book making among other activities during the year. Projects are done in conjunction with art history and based on movement, time periods, or a specific artist across many cultures. Every student has work displayed at our annual art exhibit when students are most proud to show off their work. Mrs. Scott is also the faculty representative for our afterschool Art Club.
Mr. Robert Komada-Music
Mr. Komada holds a BA in music education and music performance from the University of the Arts. He is multi-instrumental and able to play all band instruments. Mr. Komada believes that all students should have some involvement with music in their lives. For younger students, he teaches singing and the recorder, and teaches older students music history and various instruments. Mr. Komada prepares students for their singing role in our annual Christmas pageant. He also teaches as a professor of music at Chestnut Hill College and directs the Jazz Ensemble.
Mr. Steven Coyne-Latin and Spanish Teacher
Mr. Coyne holds a BA in Latin from Richard Stockton College of NJ and holds a NJ Certification in Latin. He has over two years teaching and tutoring experience in Latin. Mr. Coyne teaches K-8 students the Roman way of life in addition to the language at age appropriate levels. He will cover history, mythology, and trace aspects of modern day society and language to their origins. He believes in incorporating fun projects into lessons such as making togas, preparing food from ancient Roman recipes, and playing quiz games with students. Mr. Coyne is also the faculty representative for Latin Club, an afterschool program.
Mrs. Debbie DiPaolo-Physical Education
Mrs. DiPaolo holds a BS in health and physical education from Rowan University. She has taught physical education for over 30 years to all grade levels through high school as well as coached field hockey and softball. Mrs. DiPaolo brings her energy and passion for exercise and sports to students from preschool through Eighth Grade by keeping her classes active and fun. She enjoys seeing students learn to work as a team with classmates and is thrilled that they all love coming to physical education class. She hopes her message to students to be active, because it leads to a long life is one that remains with them throughout their lives.
Mrs. Lynda Chesterton-Learning Center
Mrs. Angela Lipenta-Preschool Three
Mrs. Franziska Senior-Preschool Four
Mrs. Denise Mount-Kindergarten
Mrs. Tricia Bonagura-Kindergarten
Mrs. Sharon Roche-First Grade
Mrs. Barbara Klink-First Grade
Mrs. Diana Peralta-Second Grade
Mrs. Catherine DeFrank-Grades 3-5