FACULTY PROFILES


The heart of every great school is its faculty.

Mr. Robert Barder LMFT, LCPC

Mr. Robert Barder LMFT, LCPC

Director of Parent Enrichment, College Counselor, Faculty

B.A. Northwestern University
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
rbarder@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 427

Bio

Mr. Michael Burns

Mr. Michael Burns

Faculty

B.A. University of Dallas
M.A.Ed. Lewis University
mburns@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 401

Bio

Mrs. Laura Bennett

Mrs. Laura Bennett

Volunteer Coordinator

B.S.N., B.S. Elmhurst College
lbennett@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 471

Bio

Mr. Hugo Chong

Mr. Hugo Chong

Assistant Headmaster

B.A. Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte
Business Administration (Gestión Empresarial), INDEG
hchong@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 432

Bio

Mr. Edwin Carbajal

Mr. Edwin Carbajal

Faculty

B.A. Princeton University
M.S.B.S. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
ecarbajal@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 466

Bio

Mr. Henry Clark

Mr. Henry Clark

Teacher Assistant

B.S. University of Minnesota
hclark@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 490

Bio

Mrs. Carol Corter

Mrs. Carol Corter

Registrar

ccorter@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 101

Bio

 

Mr. Michael D. Egle

Mr. Michael D. Egle

Faculty

B.S. Illinois State University
megle@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 147

Bio

Mr. Niall Fagan

Mr. Niall Fagan

Headmaster

B.A. Princeton University
M.B.A. University of Notre Dame
nfagan@northridgeprep.org

Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 456

Bio

Mr. Russell Fernandes

Mr. Russell Fernandes

Faculty

B.S., Loyola University
rfernandes@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 489

Bio

Mr. Jorge Fernandez

Mr. Jorge Fernandez

Records Manager

M.S. Central University of Venezuela.
jfernandez@northridgeprep.org

Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 482

Bio

Mr. Peter Fletcher

Mr. Peter Fletcher

Head of High School

B.A. & M.A. University of Dallas
M.A. Ave Maria University
pfletcher@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x473

Bio

 

Mr. Benjamin G. Foster

Mr. Benjamin G. Foster

Faculty

B.S. University of Notre Dame
M.S. Miami University
bfoster@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 489

Bio

Mr. Alex Hadley

Mr. Alex Hadley

Faculty

B.A. University of Notre Dame
ahadley@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 474

Bio

 

Mr. Patrick Harrington

Mr. Patrick Harrington

Faculty

B.A. Ave Maria University
pharrington@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 475

Bio

Mr. Diego Healy

Mr. Diego Healy

Assistant Manager, International Program

B.A. University of Dallas
dhealy@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 484

Bio

Mr. Pat Healy

Mr. Pat Healy

Chief Financial Officer

B.A. University of Dallas
phealy@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 480

Bio

Mr. Patrick R. Hunt

Mr. Patrick R. Hunt

MS Athletic Director, Assistant HS Athletic Director, Faculty

B.S. Loras College
M.A.Ed. Concordia University Chicago
phunt@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 142

Bio

Mr. Alan C. Jankowski

Mr. Alan C. Jankowski

Faculty

B.S. Rockford College
ajankowski@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 438

Bio

Mr. Leroy Jarka

Mr. Leroy Jarka

Faculty

B.S St. Joseph College
M.S. St. Francis College
ljarka@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 479

Bio

Dr. Thomas Kelliher

Dr. Thomas Kelliher

Faculty

B.A. Columbia University
Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
tkelliher@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 423

Bio

Mr. John M. Kestler

Mr. John M. Kestler

Headmaster Emeritus, Faculty

B.A. DePaul University
jkestler@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 115

Bio

Mr. Stephen Kim

Mr. Stephen Kim

Faculty

B.A. Harvard University
skim@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 481

Bio

Mr. Douglas Klatt

Mr. Douglas Klatt

Faculty, Assistant Music Director

B.A. Loyola University Chicago
M.A. Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México
dklatt@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 476

Bio

Mr. Daniel Klein

Mr. Daniel Klein

Faculty

B.A. Rice University
dklein@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 477

Bio

Mr. Brian J. T. Knight

Mr. Brian J. T. Knight

Marketing & Development Manager

B.A. UCLA
bknight@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 464

Bio

Mrs. Nancy Kopecky

Mrs. Nancy Kopecky

Receptionist

nkopecky@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 100

Bio

Mr. Joseph Lechner

Mr. Joseph Lechner

Faculty

B.S. Illinois State University
M.A.T. University of Chicago
jlechner@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 111

Bio
Dr. James R. Lothian

Dr. James R. Lothian

Faculty

B.A. University of Rochester
M.A. Fordham University
Ph.D. University of Chicago
jlothian@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 460

Bio

Mr. Emmett McGovern

Mr. Emmett McGovern

Dean of Students, Head of Advisory

B.A. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
M.A. Concordia University Chicago
emcgovern@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 459
Bio

Mr. Ante Marovic

Mr. Ante Marovic

Facilities Manager

amarovic@northridgeprep.org

Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 470

Mr. Matthew Marsland

Mr. Matthew Marsland

Faculty

B.A. University of Notre Dame

mmarsland@northridgeprep.org

Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 491

Bio

Mr. Mike McCormick

Mr. Mike McCormick

Athletic Trainer

B.S. Southern Illinois University
M.A. DePaul University
mmccormick@northridgeprep.org

Bio

Mr. Steve T. Omachi

Mr. Steve T. Omachi

Faculty

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.B.A. DePaul University
somachi@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 413

Bio

Mr. John Powell

Mr. John Powell

Faculty

B.S. Northwestern University
M.S. Northwestern University
jpowell@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 448

Bio

Mr. Robert Rey

Mr. Robert Rey

Director of Admissions

B.A. University of Notre Dame
rrey@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 446

Bio

Mr. Will Rey

Mr. Will Rey

Athletic Director, Coach, Faculty

B.S. Northeastern Illinois University
M.A. Concordia University Chicago
wrey@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 117

Bio

Mr. Joseph Rhee

Mr. Joseph Rhee

Head of Middle School

B.A. University of Notre Dame
M.Ed. University of Notre Dame
jrhee@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600

Bio

Mr. John Riccobono

Mr. John Riccobono

Faculty

B.A. New England Conservatory of Music
M.A. New England Conservatory of Music
jriccobono@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 440

Bio

Mr. Vincent Rinaolo

Mr. Vincent Rinaolo

Program Manager, Faculty

B.A. & M.A. Northwestern University
vrinaolo@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 478

Bio
Mr. Richard Rodríguez

Mr. Richard Rodríguez

Faculty

B.A. Williams College
Affiliated B.A. Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge (UK)
M.S.T. University of Illinois at Chicago
M.S. University of Illinois at Chicago
rrodriguez@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 449

Bio

Mr. Álvaro Vargas

Mr. Álvaro Vargas

Faculty

B.A. Loyola University Chicago
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School
avargas@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 461

Bio

Mrs. Michele Whalen

Mrs. Michele Whalen

Admissions Coordinator

mwhalen@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 457

Bio

Rev. Leo Agustina

Rev. Leo Agustina

Chaplain

B.A. Pompeu Fabra University
Ph.D. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
frleo@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 451

Bio

Rev. Deogracias Rosales

Rev. Deogracias Rosales

Assistant Chaplain

B.S. De La Salle University
(Manila)
J.C.D. University of Navarre
frdeo@northridgeprep.org
Phone: (847) 375-0600 x 483

Bio

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8320 Ballard Rd, Niles, IL 60714
Tel: 847.375.0600 Fax: 847.375.0606
info@northridgeprep.org

FACULTY PROFILES

FACULTY PROFILES

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8320 Ballard Rd, Niles, IL 60714
Tel: 847.375.0600 Fax: 847.375.0606
info@northridgeprep.org

Mr. Robert Barder, LMFT, LCPC ’93

Director of Parent Enrichment, Counselor, Faculty

Subjects: English

rbarder@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Northwestern University; M.A. Northeastern Illinois University

Year Appointed: 2011

Robert Barder is a graduate of Northridge’s class of 1993. Bob worked in the non-profit sector for fifteen years at Misericordia Home, Lions Clubs International, and Midtown Educational Foundation before coming to Northridge. He has also taught for programs in Lithuania, México, and Spain. Bob is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with experience working with children, adults, couples, and families. With his interest in literature and psychology, he has taught courses at Northridge’s Parent University on Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina as well as a course entitled “Temperament Dynamics in Marriage and Family Life.”  Bob and his wife, Julene, have five children.

Mr. Michael Burns ’93,

Head of Middle School

Subjects: Religion, History, Latin

mburns@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Dallas; M.A.Ed. Lewis University

Year Appointed: 2000

Mr. Burns grew up on the north side of Chicago. He and his wife have five children. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family, read classic literature, follow the Cubs, play cards and critique movies. He points to his heroes, his parents and St. John Paul II, as his inspirations.

Mrs. Laura Bennett

Volunteer Coordinator

B.S.N, B.A. Elmhurst College

Year Appointed: 2018

A Northridge mom for 13 years, Mrs. Bennett has experience working as a nurse, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a proud mother of two Northridge Alumni: Thomas'19, Matthew '12. She received her BSN and a BA in Early Childhood Education from Elmhurst College.

Mr. Hugo Chong

Assistant Headmaster

hchong@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte; Business Administration (Gestión Empresarial), INDEG

Year Appointed: 2011

Mr. Chong has been an educator for over 25 years. He initiated his profession as an ESL teacher for the U.S.-Ecuadorian Binational Center and Benedict School in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Later, he joined the Centro Educativo Nuevo Mundo Bilingual, a prestigious International Baccalaureate school in Ecuador, where he was the head of the foreign language department. He was a member of the founding team of Unidad Educativa Torremar in Guayaquil, a school with the same philosophy and spiritual formation as Northridge Prep. He was the Head of Secondary School (grades 7th to 12th) until August 2007, when he was offered the opportunity to teach in the Union County Public Schools System of North Carolina. Mr. Chong is also a co-founder of Borealis Language Institute, a Spanish and English academy established in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2009. Hugo and his wife, Maria Eugenia, are the parents of three girls, two alumni of The Willows Academy and one currently at Embers.

Mr. Edwin Carbajal

Faculty

Subjects: Science, Mathematics

ecarbajal@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Princeton University
M.S.B.S. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Year Appointed: 2017

Mr. Carbajal was born in Honduras and grew up in the Bronx, NY. He attended high school in Wilton, CT as an A Better Chance (ABC) scholar. In 2014, he graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While in his junior year, he studied abroad at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama, where he gained first hand field exposure. After graduation, Edwin became a research trainee at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, MD, where he completed an IRTA fellowship in Helminth Immunology. In 2017, Edwin completed a PREP research fellowship in Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he investigated the innate immune responses to seasonal influenza. He is currently working on a few scientific manuscripts for publication.

While living in DC, Edwin helped run high school seminars at the Tenley Study Center, and later in NY he spent two years leading seminars for The Grade NYC, a leadership program co-sponsored by Overlook and Southmont Study Centers for high school students. He is excited now to be working with the seminars at the Sauganash Study Center here in Chicago!

Edwin enjoys writing poetry, playing volleyball, and studying the philosophy of science.

Mr. Henry Clark

Teacher Assistant

hclark@northridgeprep.org

Year Appointed: 2019

Henry Clark graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics. As an undergrad, he was involved with St. Lawrence Newman Center, Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO), and the UMN club gymnastics team. Henry has helped run Northridge's "Dangerous Camp" for the past three years, helping young men learn what it means to pursue a life of adventure. Henry lives in Evanston, IL and is a member of the Northridge class of 2014.

Mrs. Carol Corter

Registrar

ccorter@northridgeprep.org

Year Appointed:

.

Mr. Michael D. Egle

Faculty

Subjects: Physical Education

megle@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Illinois State University

Year Appointed: 1989

Mr. Egle is a graduate of Maine East High School where he was an all state cross-country runner. An accomplished competitive runner, he is a Horton Physical Education award winner, a national championship masters runner, Chicago Area Runner of the Year three times and Chicago area masters runner of the year four times. Mike ran an astonishing 4:07 mile while in college! Mike and his wife have one son, Justin.

Mr. Niall Fagan

Headmaster

nfagan@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Princeton University; M.B.A. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 2015

Niall grew up in Washington DC, the oldest of eight children, and attended The Heights School from grades three through twelve. In 2003 he graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics. His senior thesis at Princeton focused on the role of “intrinsic value” in Aristotle’s definition of happiness. From 2003 to 2005 Mr. Fagan taught Latin and Religion to Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors at Cardinal Hayes, a large all-boys high school in the Bronx, NY. He then worked for a Chicago private equity group from 2005 to 2008, leading projects to improve companies they had acquired. He next earned an MBA at the University of Notre Dame, serving as the President of the Case Competition club and graduating magna cum laude in 2010. Upon graduation, Mr. Fagan joined the Leadership Development Program of Milwaukee based Harley-Davidson Motor Company, where he held various roles, including serving on a large retail strategy project and leading an initiative to design a new rider training program in Harley’s international dealers. He launched that program in China, South Africa and Mexico, and helped launch a new vehicle in the US. He was then promoted to the role of Director of Dealer Development, he was responsible for the company’s strategy for its 1300 dealerships in over 80 countries.

While living in Chicago, Mr. Fagan helped run high school seminars at the Sauganash Study Center, and later in Milwaukee he spent five years helping lead the Complete Man Series, a leadership program for high school men at Layton Study Center.

In 2015 Niall moved to Northridge as the Director of Admissions and was named Headmaster starting fall 2016.

Mr. Russell Fernandes

Faculty

Subjects: Science, Mathematics

rfernandes@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Education, Loyola University

Year Appointed: 2019

In the two years before joining Northridge, Russell had been the Science Lead for the 11th grade at Intrinsic Schools, a successful charter school in the City of Chicago. There he was responsible for the 11th-grade science curriculum, and taught biology and several other subjects. Prior to Intrinsic, Russell taught students with learning disabilities; he also spent several years teaching middle school science and math at St. Mary of the Angels parish school in Chicago. Russell lives in Skokie with his wife Elizabeth and two children. He enjoys the outdoors, especially fishing, and did a stint in culinary school.

Mr. Jorge Fernandez

Records Manager

jfernandez@northridgeprep.org

M.S. Central University of Venezuela

Year Appointed: 2018

A father (and grandfather) of several Northridge alumni, Mr. Fernandez brings over 40 years of IT & Data Center experience to the Knights. His passion for computer technology began in school, which led to studies in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the Central University of Venezuela. Over the years, he has expanded his skill set to include programming, database management, systems engineering, computer networking, and operations.

Mr. Peter Fletcher

Head of High School

Subjects: English, Religion

B.A. & M.A. University of Dallas
M.A. Ave Maria University

Year Appointed: 2018

Peter Fletcher completed a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy and a Master of American Studies at the University of Dallas. His undergraduate thesis focused on the role of freedom and conscience in the philosophy of Pope St. John Paul II, and he presented the English Literature Poet Project on the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins. While teaching high school in Omaha, NE, Peter completed an education certificate through Creighton University and a Master of Theological Studies degree through Madonna College of Ave Maria University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education at the University of Mary, researching and writing on ways to strengthen Catholic identity in different models of Catholic schools.

For more than 20 years, Peter has served in Catholic education a teacher, youth director, Catholic radio host, assistant principal, headmaster, president, and school board member, but his greatest love has always been teaching. As Head of High School, Peter continues to teach Freshman English Literature and Fides et Ratio, the Senior Theology Seminar Course.

Following the lead of Pope St. John Paul II, Peter enjoys forming young people through great literature, philosophy, sports, mountain climbing, and spending time in nature. Peter is also passionate about serving the poor, marginalized, and most vulnerable among us. He has led mission trips, youth retreats, and pilgrimages to Rome and to the March for Life in Washington D.C. He and his wife Christie have been blessed with seven children, two of which were adopted with special needs.

Peter is also a speaker who gives talks on education, culture, marriage, morality and bioethics.

Mr. Benjamin G. Foster

Faculty

Subjects: Science, Mathematics

bfoster@northridgeprep.org

B.S. University of Notre Dame; M.S. Miami University

Year Appointed: 2017

Ben Foster arrived in Chicagoland from Victor, NY via South Bend, IN. Along the way, he developed a love for creation, especially its plant life, and its Creator. He has previously taught as a graduate assistant and high school science teacher. He currently resides in Park Ridge with his wife and daughter.

Mr. Alex Hadley

Faculty

Subjects: English, Religion

ahadley@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 2018

Mr. Hadley grew up in Maryland with nine older brothers and sisters. He is an alumni of the Heights School in Potomac, and went on to study Great Books and Classics at the University of Notre Dame. There, he grew to love the liberal arts tradition which stretches back to Socrates and Plato.

Mr. Patrick Harrington

Faculty

Subjects: Latin, Religion

pharrington@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Ave Maria University

Year Appointed: 2018

Mr. Harrington grew up in a small rural town in Northwestern Illinois, and is the fourth-oldest son in a family of 12 children. He received a B.A. from Ave Maria University in Florida where he studied Classics and Early Christian Literature. Before coming to Northridge in 2018, Mr. Harrington taught high school Latin and Religion for two years at a private Catholic in New York City. He is happily married to his college sweetheart Rachel, and is the proud father to two children.

Mr. Diego Healy

Assistant Manager, International Program

dhealy@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Dallas

Year Appointed: 2018

Originally from northern Mexico, Mr. Healy grew up in San Diego, California where he attended an all-boys Augustinian High School. He received an economics degree from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. During his time in school and shortly after, Mr. Healy has held a couple of operations and marketing roles. He relocated to Chicago in the summer of 2018 to assist with the logistics and development of the international student program at Northridge.

Mr. Pat Healy

Chief Financial Officer

phealy@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Dallas

Year Appointed: 2018

With a background in corporate finance and entrepreneurship, Mr. Healy comes to Northridge from New York City, where he worked as the Assistant Director of The Grade, an educational non-profit serving students in the NY/NJ/CT area. Mr. Healy sold his first company when he was still in college at the University of Dallas, where he was a Gates Millennium Scholar and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He then went on to work for Moody’s Investors Service in New York City. There, he analyzed the credit profile of corporations as an Associate Analyst. He is one of nine children and enjoys playing sports including basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball.

Mr. Patrick R. Hunt ’88

Middle School Athletic Director, Assistant High School Athletic Director, Head Varsity Baseball Coach, Head Sophomore Basketball Coach, Faculty

Subjects: Physical Education

phunt@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Loras College; M.A.Ed. Concordia University Chicago

Year Appointed: 1998

Mr. Hunt graduated from Northridge in 1988 and initially went on to St. Leo’s College in Florida where he played Baseball. After a year at St. Leo’s, he attended Loras College and graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1993. Returning to the Chicago area he began teaching at St. Mary of the Angels, before joining the Northridge team in 1998. While teaching at St. Mary’s, Mr, Hunt also coached Varsity Baseball at the Latin School, where he was named conference Coach of the Year. He was named Varsity Baseball Coach of the Year in the Chicago Prep Conference three out of six years. In 2013 he received his Masters Degree from Concordia University in School Administration. Mr. Hunt and his wife Josette, have four children.

A JankowskiMr. Alan Jankowski

Faculty

Subjects: Mathematics

ajankowski@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Rockford College

Year Appointed: 2012

Mr. Jankowski graduated from Rockford College (now University) in December 2011 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a Secondary Education minor. He holds a middle school endorsement for both Mathematics and Social Science, but primarily focuses on teaching math. Mr. Jankowski played four years of college baseball at Rockford as a pitcher and has brought his knowledge and passion of athletics into Northridge. Mr. Jankowski was hired at Northridge in November 2012. He coaches during all three high school sports seasons. In the fall, Mr. Jankowski coaches the Varsity and Junior Varsity Golf teams. In the winter, he coaches the freshman basketball team. In the Spring, he assists Coach Hunt with the Varsity baseball team, specifically coaching the pitching staff. In his free time, Mr. Jankowski enjoys golfing, fishing, bowling, bass guitar, and trivia.

Mr. Leroy Jarka

Faculty

Subjects: History

ljarka@northridgeprep.org

B.S St. Joseph College
M.S. St. Francis College

Year Appointed: 2018

Mr. Jarka is an experienced teacher and administrator. His teaching experience includes many years of teaching Honors U.S. History and A.P. European History, and a combination of World History, Geography and Government. His administrative experience includes number of years as a Dean of Students and Athletic Director in both private education and public education. His coaching experience includes being a Head Boys Basketball Coach at three different high schools in the Chicago area.

Dr. Thomas Kelliher

Faculty

Subjects: History, Religion

tkelliher@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Columbia University; Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 1992

Dr. Kelliher taught for six years at The Heights School in Maryland. He then studied at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his degree in American History. For over twenty years, he has organized a summer Civil War trip for students. For two years, he was the principal of Kingswood Academy in Darien. He is a Yankees fan.

Mr. John Kestler

Headmaster Emeritus, Faculty

Subjects: Mathematics

jkestler@northridgeprep.org

B.A. DePaul University

Year Appointed: 1990

Mr. Kestler has been in the teaching profession since 1973. Mr. Kestler was born and raised in Chicago. John has coached for many years at Northridge and was the first coach to bring a Northridge Cross Country team to the State Championship. He and his wife, Sharon, have been married for over 43 years and have raised seven children and eleven grandchildren.

Mr. Stephen Kim

Faculty

Subjects: English

B.A. Harvard University

Year Appointed: 2018

Stephen Kim was born in New York City and grew up in northern New Jersey. He holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Harvard College. Prior to coming to Northridge, Stephen was the youth group director at his home parish, taught college prep courses in Taipei, and led high school leadership conferences at UC Berkeley. Outside of the classroom, Stephen enjoys going to concerts, boxing, and exploring the culture of Chicago.

Mr. Daniel Klein

Faculty

Subjects: English

B.A. Rice University

Year Appointed: 2018

Dan joins the Northridge faculty after spending the past two years at the Archdiocese of Chicago, where he worked both on the Renew My Church campaign for Church revitalization and grant programs for local community organizations. Prior to that, he earned his B.A. in English Literature from Rice University and a Certificate of Languages in Spanish from Rice's Center for Intercultural Communication. In the classroom, Dan places particular emphasis on teaching students to read, write, and think critically. He especially loves exploring early 20th century poetry and fiction with his classes. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, climbing, playing sports, and reading the world's great works of literature.

Mr. Brian J. T. Knight

Marketing & Development Manager

bknight@northridgeprep.org

B.A. UCLA

Year Appointed: 2017

A California native, Mr. Brian Knight studied history at UCLA. Before coming to Northridge, Brian worked as a marketer for the music industry in Los Angeles. In the Summer of 2017, Mr. Knight moved to Chicago to help spread the school's mission to build men of intellect and character who love God. As Marketing & Development Manager, Brian spends his days promoting the school's mission, advising students, and producing student films in his Filmmaking club.

Mrs. Nancy Kopecky

Receptionist

Year Appointed: 2018

Before coming to Northridge, Mrs. Kopecky worked for a Family Medical Practice as a receptionist for nearly 20 years. She has 5 sons and 2 daughters, three of them are married. She is the proud grandmother to 14 precious grandchildren and enjoys hobbies like gardening and cooking.

Mr. Joseph Lechner

Faculty

Subjects: History

jlechner@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Illinois State University; M.A.T. University of Chicago

Year Appointed: 1982

As a high school student at Maine North, Mr. Lechner was both captain of the gymnastics team and co-founder of the school’s drama club. While in college, he was elected a member of the student assembly and performed as an acrobat in a fraternity circus that raised money for charitable purposes. After earning his Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Sciences and History at the University of Chicago in 1979, Joe taught for three years at Palatine High School, where he founded the Advanced Placement course in History and served as the technical director for ten major school dramatic productions. Joe joined the Northridge faculty in 1982 and is a member of both the national and state Associations for Teachers of Social Science. Mr. Lechner and his wife, Diane, have seven children and two grandchildren and live in Deerfield.

Dr. James R. Lothian

Faculty

Subjects: History

jlothian@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Rochester; M.A. Fordham University; Ph.D. University of Chicago

Year Appointed: 2016

Dr. Lothian has been a teacher since 1998. Before coming to Northridge on 2016 he taught at the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate in history in 2006, at Indiana University, and at Binghamton University in NY. His research on the Catholic writers of 20th century Britain culminated in a 2009 book published by the University of Notre Dame Press. Jim and his wife Sheila are St. John Cantius parishioners and live on the northwest side with their four children.

Mr. Emmett McGovern

Dean of Students, Head of Advisory

emcgovern@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota; M.A. Northeastern Illinois University; M.A. Concordia University Chicago

Year Appointed: 2016

Mr. McGovern is entering his 19th year as an educator.  His first 18 years were at Saint Patrick High School, 2 years as a Business teacher and 16 years as a Counselor.  The last 9 years he has been the Director of Student Services, as well as, an Assistant Basketball Coach.  He and his wife, Colleen, are both lifetime Chicagoans, married for 32 years and are the parents of 4 children.

Mr. Matthew Marsland

Faculty

Subject: Latin

B.A. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 2019

Matthew Marsland was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin where he graduated from Saint Ambrose Academy In 2015. He holds a Certificate of Mastery of Russian as a Foreign Language from Moscow International University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Russian Language from the University of Notre Dame In 2019. While at the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Marsland helped found and run the first ever Notre Dame Model United Nations Conference, and in later years expanded the conference to include high schools from across the country. Mr. Marsland has extensive experience in music and theater, having performed in more than 20 operas, musicals, and plays, including many lead and soloist roles.

Mr. Steve T. Omachi

Faculty

Subjects: Mathematics, Science

somachi@northridgeprep.org

B.S., M.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.B.A. DePaul University

Year Appointed: 2010

Steve Omachi comes to Northridge from St. Benedict High School in Chicago, where he taught algebra, physics, pre-calculus and AP calculus for four years. There, he participated in a variety of school projects, including creation of a teacher mentoring program, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2009. Mr. Omachi has worked as a senior development engineer, project leader and financial analyst for International Truck and Engine Corporation and as an applications engineer at SoMat Corporation. State-certified to teach secondary school, Mr. Omachi is originally from the Chicagoland Area, and currently resides in Evanston.

Mr. John Powell ’07

Faculty

Subjects: English

jpowell@northridgeprep.org

B.S., M.S. Northwestern University

Year Appointed: 2015

John Powell is a graduate of Northridge Prep’s Class of 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies and a Masters of Science degree in Education with a concentration in English from Northwestern University. John has been a coach at Northridge since 2012. He lives in Glenview with his wife, Mallory, and their dog, Roo.

Mr. Robert Rey ’10

Director of Admissions

rrey@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 2014

Robert Rey graduated in 2010 from Northridge where he was an All-State basketball player and one of 5 players in school history to score more than 1,000 career points. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies as well as a minor in Business Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. After graduating from Notre Dame, Mr. Rey joined Northridge as a History teacher and assistant Varsity Basketball coach. After two years of teaching, Mr. Rey moved into the role of Director of Admissions in 2016.

Mr. Will Rey

Athletic Director, Coach, Faculty

Subjects: Religion

wrey@northridgeprep.org

B.S. Northeastern Illinois University; M.A. Concordia University Chicago

Year Appointed: 2004

Will Rey has coached basketball for 41 years at the high school and university DI levels. During his tenure at Northridge, the varsity team owns a 243-128 (.655) overall record and a 120-38 (.759) mark in conference games. In addition, the Knights have captured 5 IHSA Class AA Regional Championships, advanced to the state’s “Sweet 16” in 2009 and 2015, won 2 conference championships, 6 conference 2nd place finishes and garnered 3 major holiday tournament championships. Coach Rey was voted Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 2007, 2008, 2013 & 2017 and IBCA District Coach-of-the-Year in 2009, 2014 & 2015. He was inducted into 3 Halls-of-Fame---Illinois Basketball Coaches’ Assn (2015), Chicago Catholic League (2017) and Five-Star Basketball Camp (2005), and presented with Sports Faith International’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010). He and his wife, Diane, have three grown children and 5 grandchildren.

Mr. Joseph Rhee

Head of Middle School

Subjects: Science

jrhee@northridgeprep.org

B.A. University of Notre Dame

M.Ed. University of Notre Dame

Year Appointed: 2017

Mr. Joseph Rhee is a New Jersey native, relocated to Illinois teach Science at Northridge Prep starting in 2017. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame where he earned B.A.'s in Political Science and Pre-health studies. After graduation he enrolled in the Alliance for Catholic Education Program to earn his M.Ed. He began his teaching career in Los Angeles, where he taught math and science, and coached football.

Mr. John Riccobono

Faculty

Subjects: Music, Religion

jriccobono@northridgeprep.org

B.A., M.A. New England Conservatory of Music

Year Appointed: 2013

Mr. Riccobono began his career as principal percussionist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, while at the same time performing as a freelance jazz pianist and vibraphonist. As an educator, Mr. Riccobono served as the director of the Supplemental Program for Educational Skills (SPES), a program providing academic enrichment and character education for boys living in Boston’s inner city. Here he started an instrumental music program with a few donated instruments, teaching all the lessons and directing rehearsals. The music program eventually grew to over 100 students with three ensembles for different age-levels and professional musicians volunteering to help with lessons. The SPES jazz band made several tours, performing in cities such as Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago. Mr. Riccobono moved to the Bronx, NY to become director of the Crotona Center, a character education program for boys, and most recently worked at the Midtown Center in Chicago, assisting with volunteer training and teaching character during the summer program.

Mr. Vincent Rinaolo

Program Manager

Subject: Science

B.A. & M.A. Northwestern University

Year Appointed: 2019

Mr. Vincent Rinaolo was born and raised in Chicago. He attended Northridge Prep and received a bachelors and masters degree in Chemistry at Northwestern University in 2017. Prior to his return to Northridge, Vince worked for the Crotona Achievement Center where he directed a variety of tutoring and character development programs for inner-city boys. In his free time, Mr. Rinaolo enjoys reading about a variety of topics, from math to literature to the natural sciences. He also helps run enrichment programs for middle and high school boys at the Sauganash Study Center.

Mr. Richard Rodríguez

Faculty

Subjects: Latin, Spanish, Mathematics

rrodriguez@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Williams College; Affiliated B.A. University of Cambridge, UK; M.S.T., M.S. University of Illinois at Chicago

Year Appointed: 2015

Mr. Rodriguez holds degrees in Classics, Mathematics/Statistics, and Math Education. He has traveled extensively and has lived in Mexico, Spain, and England. In his spare time he enjoys weight training, volunteer-teaching Hebrew and Greek, and studying higher mathematics and world religion/philosophy.

Mr. Álvaro Vargas

Faculty

Subjects: Spanish, Religion

B.A. History Loyola University Chicago; B.A. Theology Loyola University Chicago; M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School

Year Appointed: 2016

Álvaro Vargas is beginning his teaching tenure at Northridge after graduating from Harvard Divinity School with a Masters in Theological Studies on May 2016. He is originally from Mexico and is the youngest of 12 children. He has lived in Chicago his whole life and has been involved with church programs like Charismatic Renewal and catechism, especially within the Latino community. He loves playing sports, mainly soccer and currently coaches his nephew's U12 soccer team. Alvaro is extremely excited to be part of such a vibrant Catholic school for men as Northridge.

Mrs. Michele Whalen

Admissions Coordinator

mwhalen@northridgeprep.org

Year Appointed: 2015

Michele Whalen is married to Bill Whalen and has four children. Mrs. Whalen’s two daughters graduated from the Willows Academy, and her two sons graduated from Northridge. All four of her children are married and she is the proud grandmother to six grandchildren.

Rev. Leo Agustina

Chaplain

frleo@northridgeprep.org

B.A. Pompeu Fabra University; Ph.D. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Year Appointed: 2015

After being ordained in 2008, Fr. Leo developed his ministry as a priest during 5 years at Aldovea High School (Madrid, Spain). In 2013 he moved to Berkeley, California. He has been involved in several programs for High School students, providing them with spiritual guidance and helping them to live their Catholic Faith as an integral part of their personality. He came to Northridge in the summer of 2015 and is always available especially for Sacramental Confession and Holy Mass.

Rev. Deogracias Rosales

Assistant Chaplain

frdeo@northridgeprep.org

B.S. De La Salle University (Manila)
J.C.D. University of Navarre

Year Appointed: 2018

After his priestly ordination in Rome in 1982, Fr. Deo was appointed chaplain simultaneously of two schools in Metro Manila, one for boys (Southridge School) and another for girls (Woodrose School). He also was spiritual director of two seminaries of the San Pablo Diocese and taught Latin in another seminary, the San Carlos Seminary in the Cebu Archdiocese. After he moved from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1997, he did his pastoral work in Washington, DC, Cambridge, MA, New York City and now in Chicago. He was Associate Pastor at St. Mary of the Angels Parish before coming to Northridge.