The Administration, Faculty and Staff at St. Therese School are dedicated to serving the needs of the students and their families and would be happy to assist you in any way we can! You may contact staff members directly or by contacting the school office by email or at 312-326-2837 and 312-326-6243.
Fr. Francis Li
Email: email to come
Fr. Francis Li is the Pastor of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish and Administrator for our school. Fr. Li grew up in a Catholic family (and village) in the Shanxi Province of mainland China. He is the youngest of seven siblings, and his parents were devout Catholics. Fr. Li was ordained a priest in China. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Barbara Church, then as Pastor of St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church until the two parishes were combined into St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In 2014, Fr. Li received his Doctorate in Ministry from the Catholic Theological Union. He also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Chinese Catholic Association and is very involved with the faith formation of Chinese Religious priests and sisters through DePaul and Loyola Universities.
When he is not busy in the parish office, Fr. Li enjoys reading, biking, working out regularly at the gym, a good game of basketball, going to the movies, and visiting friends. Fr. Li always prays for guidance and wisdom. St. Francis of Assisi is his favorite Saint (his love for nature is inspirational).
Ms. Lisa Deborah Oi
Principal Lisa Deborah Oi has been with St. Therese since 1997. She spent the first 16 years in the classroom as the 2nd grade teacher, and then transitioned into the role of Assistant Principal and Director of the Resource Department in 2012. In this role, Ms. Oi worked closely with the school Principal to help ensure the smooth running of the school, managing school resources, and overseeing programs within the school. During her tenure as the Assistant Principal, St. Therese School saw tremendous growth in student academic achievement, expansion of curriculum and program offerings, and increased student enrollment. Throughout these years, St. Therese continued to be recognized nationally and internationally, winning numerous awards and accolades, including a National Blue Ribbon Award in both 2011 and 2018. In 2019, Ms. Oi became the principal of a two-campus school, opening the second campus of St. Therese Chinese Catholic School at the St. Barbara Campus in Bridgeport.
As principal, Ms. Oi is committed to advancing the school’s tradition of expanding Catholic faith formation, raising academic excellence, supporting student development, deepening parent involvement, and increasing the school’s capacity to reach for and achieve even greater results.
Ms. Oi is the first Chinese American woman to lead St. Therese Chinese Catholic School.
Ms. Oi was honored with The Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ Award by the National Catholic Educational Association. This award is presented to an individual who offers exceptional leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity or that serves students with diverse needs. Ms. Oi was also recognized as Assistant Principal of the Year for West Cook in 2016. She is currently on the Golden Apple Teacher Selection Committee, a member of the Illinois Principal Association, the International Society for Technology in Education, and the National Catholic Education Association.
Ms. Oi has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington and a master’s degree in Administration from Concordia University. Ms. Oi wrote and presented “Expanding College and Career Readiness: College Readiness- It Begins in Kindergarten!” at the 2015 Illinois ACT State Organization Conference. She also presented “Building Intercultural Awareness - Serving Chinese Americans in Today’s Catholic School” at the National Catholic Educational Association, and participated on a panel entitled "Mutual Benefits of Hosting International Students” also at the NCEA conference in Chicago.
Ms. Oi is an active member of our Parish, including participating in the Parish Leadership Committee in the Canary/Bridgeport/Chinatown grouping for the Renew My Church effort. She also is a recognized leader in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood.
Ms. Susan Leef
Susan Leef is the Assistant Principal at both the St. Therese and St. Barbara Campuses. Ms. Leef has worked as an educator in both public and private schools in her career. She completed her undergraduate degree at National College of Education in Evanston with a BA in elementary education and special education. She received her masters degree in educational leadership and special education supervision/directorship from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Ms. Leef holds certifications in elementary education, special education, english language learners, and director of special education. Ms. Leef is interested in the arts and spent many years studying a variety of dance at dance studios in the Chicago area.
Early Childhood Faculty
Ms. Jien Chen
Jien Chen is the Pre-K teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Ms. Chen was born and raised in Chicago Chinatown. Ms. Chen graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in human development: early childhood education. She previously worked with Pre-K and children with cognitive and social-emotional disabilities. In her free time, Ms. Chen likes to spend time with her dog, cooking & bake, perfecting the “perfect” cup of coffee, and traveling with her friends.
Mrs. Kathleen Gortowski
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Aide
Kathleen Gortowski is a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Aide at the St. Therese Campus. Mrs. Gortowski describes herself as a wife, mother, learner, teacher, caregiver, and a friendly face. Mrs. Gortowski enjoys being a guiding hand and an academic, social, and personal support to the children as they learn and grow.
Ms. Elizabeth Blackburn
Elizabeth Blackburn is the Junior Kindergarten teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Miss Blackburn has taught at St. Therese and other schools in her career. She received her master’s degree in early childhood education with a Special Ed Endorsement from Governors State University. She created the "Preschool Clubhouse," where students bake, create crafts, and have lots of fun. If she's not in the classroom or working on activities for her class, she loves to hike, watch movies, and make pottery!
Ms. Ashley Rogers
Ashley Rogers is the Kindergarten teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Chicago born and raised, Ms. Rogers is a proud graduate of DePaul University. In her spare time, Ms. Rogers loves to check out a new book, travel to new, exciting destinations, and watch her favorite White Sox play. She is also a proud mom of a toddler.
Primary Grades Faculty
Ms. Hannah Doty
1st Grade Teacher
Hannah Doty is the 1st grade teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Ms. Doty has also taught Kindergarten and 1st grade in Japan, Chicago, and Champaign, Illinois. She has directed many Theatre and Fine Arts Camps for children, including St. Therese's Junior Drama Club and the Living Stations of the Cross. Originally from Champaign, she graduated from Illinois State University in Elementary Education and Theatre, and has endorsements in Language Arts, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Special Education, Speech, and Drama. Ms. Doty is an alum of Harvard University's Project Zero Classroom Program and received a master’s degree from the University of St. Francis. Outside of school, Ms. Doty can be found watching live music and theatre, hunting for antiques, and enjoying Starbucks.
Ms. Angela Gloninger
2nd Grade Teacher
Angela Gloninger is the 2nd grade teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Ms. Gloninger graduated from Denison University with a BS in International Studies and a minor in Poli Sci. She has studied Mandarin for over 10 years and previously studied in both China and Thailand. Before teaching at St. Therese, Angela lived in Taiwan on a Fulbright grant, teaching Elementary EFL. In her free time, she enjoys singing, cooking, and being outside.
Middle Grades Faculty
Ms. Lillian Guo
Lillian Guo is the 4th grade teacher and 3rd through 5th grade English Language Arts teacher at the St. Therese Campus. Prior to coming to St. Therese, Ms. Guo grew up in Naperville, IL, and then she graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Social Policy and a minor in Asian American Studies. Following that, she pursued her interest in teaching as an EFL teacher with the Fulbright program in Taiwan where she worked at an elementary school for a year and a half. During her time in Taiwan, Ms. Guo gained not only teaching experience, but also immersed herself in studying and practicing Mandarin Chinese. Outside of work, Ms. Guo is an avid baker and cook, and loves live music, hiking, and photography.
Ms. Mary Osborne
Mary Osborne is the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Science and Social Studies teacher. Ms. Osborne taught in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for twenty years before relocating to Chicago this summer to be near her children and family. She has experience in both urban and suburban settings at the middle school and junior high school levels. Ms. Osborne grew up in Mattoon, Illinois and attended Eastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.
Junior High Faculty
Ms. Kelli Kielusiak
Kelli Kielusiak is the 7th grade homeroom teacher and 6th – 8th grade English and Reading teacher at the St. Barbara Campus. Ms. Kielusiak is an avid reader who challenges her students to develop their critical reading and writing skills every day. She is also the advisor for Student Youth Council and the National Junior Honor Society. Prior to working at St. Therese, Ms. Kielusiak served underprivileged schools in high-needs areas as a literacy coach. She has a bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Illinois, a certificate in English Language Arts, and Endorsements in Language Arts and Social Science. Ms. Kielusiak is a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction. She also participated in Harvard University's Project Zero Classroom program.
Ms. Carol Hang
Carol Hang is the 8th grade homeroom and 6th – 8th grade math teacher at the St. Barbara Campus. Ms. Hang’s math program is well known for its rigor, featuring high school-level Algebra and Geometry. Ms. Hang’s leadership of the program helped St. Therese be recognized as an Intel School of Distinction for Middle School Math. She also leads our competitive math teams to great success, including placing first in the nation in Algebra I among Catholic elementary and high schools in 2017. Ms. Hang also helps to prepare our 8th grade students and families for the high school entrance tests and high school application process. Ms. Hang received her M.S. in Economics from SIU-C and master’s in Education from National Louis University with endorsements in Mathematics, Social Science, Business, Marketing, and Management. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and watching cooking shows.
Mr. Jeff Chrusciel
Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade Physical Education
Jeff Chrusciel is the Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher for students at both St. Therese School campuses. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, holds a master’s degree in Teaching from National Louis University, and a master’s degree in Sport Management from Indiana University. Mr. Chrusciel is a Certified Trainer and Evangelist for the University of Notre Dame Play Like a Champion Coaching Education Program. He is a staunch supporter of positive coaching methodology and his teams are consistently high performing. He believes that a positive playing experience is the most important aspect of athletic participation for his players and that athletic participation holds many moral and spiritual aspects. In his spare time, Mr. Chrusciel can be found spending time playing and traveling with his adventurous family and coaching his children's various athletic teams.
Mr. Joe Delfin
2nd-8th Grade Religion
Joe Delfin is a Religion Teacher charged with Faith Formation at both St. Therese campuses. A longtime parishioner, Mr. Delfin has been working with St. Therese Chinese Catholic School in multiple capacities since 2005. Currently, he works with the Director of Religious Education to help our students develop a relationship with Christ, build community, make disciples, and inspire witness. Mr. Delfin also helps coordinate sacramental programs, service projects, and retreats. He works very closely with the pastor in a number of ministries and serves on the parish pastoral council. Mr. Delfin is also an accomplished radio broadcaster as an on air personality, mixshow DJ, manager, and programmer at radio stations. He has been the DJ/MC for the Chinese New Year Benefit since 2005.
Mrs. Miriam Gonzalez
Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade Spanish
Miriam Gonzalez is the Spanish teacher at both St. Therese campuses. Mrs. Gonzalez has a bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier University. She is also the mother of two St. Therese students. She was raised in Honduras and came to the US as a teenager to continue her education. In her free time, Mrs. Gonzalez loves to read, especially Spanish literature, cook new recipes, listen to music, and explore Chicago neighborhoods.
Ms. Sabina L. Lilly
Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade Music
Vocal artist, keyboardist, and educator Sabina (pronounced with a long “i”) has called Chicago home since 1997. A Berklee College of Music graduate, she is comfortable wearing many musical hats. Classical career highlights include PianoForte’s “Schubertiade,” recording with the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter the Apostle, and serving as principal cantor at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church for over a decade. She has performed jazz and her own originals at Chicagoland venues such as Davenport’s, Ciao! Café, Katerina’s, FitzGerald’s, Jazz Showcase and Andy’s Jazz Club with an array of artists including Delfeayo Marsalis, Marlene Rosenberg, Neil Alger, Ryan Cohan, and Willie Pickens.
Throughout her career, Sabina has worked extensively in nearly all musical facets of church music. Most recently, she was music director at Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard before assuming that role at St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in January of 2022. A passionate educator, Sabina maintained a full-time music studio from 1995 to 2003. She taught voice and piano at Music Makers in Western Springs before coming aboard as music teacher at St. Therese. Sabina is currently pursuing an M.A. in Vocal Pedagogy at NEIU.
Mrs. Jing Jing Ton Lee
4th-8th Grade Mandarin
Jing Jing Ton Lee is the Mandarin teacher for students in 4th through 8th grade at both St. Therese campuses. Mrs. Lee helps students from all language backgrounds learn, understand, and appreciate the language and culture with great passion and commitment. Her greatest joy is to interact with students and see their accomplishments. Outside of school, she loves to cook and taste great food.
Ms. Geli Sun
Pre-Kindergarten-3rd Grade Mandarin
Geli Sun is the Mandarin teacher for PreKindergarten through 3rd grade at the St. Therese Campus. She is a native of Jilin, China and earned her B. A. in Dance Choreography at Northeastern Normal University in nearby Changchun. She began her teaching career in southern China, teaching dance and music appreciation, before moving to the US. Initially settling in Minnesota, where she worked as a choreographer and performer with the Ming Hua Dance Company, Ms. Sun eventually moved to Chicago and began teaching dance and Mandarin to the lower grades. In 2019, Ms. Sun’s dancers performed before an audience of thousands at the NCEA conference, as well as in the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown.
Mrs. Elisa Wong
Pre-Kindergarten-8th Grade Art
Elisa Wong teaches Art at both St. Therese School campuses. She feels that her greatest sense of reward comes from seeing class after class of students being inspired by various forms of visual art. She also loves traveling to different parts of the world with her family.
Mr. David Ashley
David Ashley is the Maintenance person for both St. Therese Campuses. Mr. Ashley has worked in the construction and maintenance industry for many years. He was born and raised in the Bridgeport neighborhood and resides there to this day. When not moving, cleaning, painting, improving, and repairing our campuses, Mr. Ashley enjoys spending time with his family and watching football, especially his beloved New England Patriots.
Mrs. Fanny Chan
School Registrar and Bookkeeper
Fanny Chan is the School Registrar. Both of her daughters graduated from St. Therese. Mrs. Chan is a native of Hong Kong and came to Chicago with a foreign student program. She loves cooking and spending time with her family.
Mr. Sun C. Chang
Sun C. Chang is the Technology Coordinator for both campuses of St. Therese, responsible for the school's computer network and technology infrastructure. He has been working with computers for over 45 years and has held various technical, engineering, and operation management positions. Mr. Chang has two U.S. patents, and their associated Canadian and European patents. He received his BS and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA from University of Chicago. Mr. Chang is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Server Administrator (MCSA), and a Promethean Certified Installer.
Dr. Dan Foertsch
Director of Instructional Technology
Daniel Foertsch is the school’s Director of Instructional Technology serving both campuses. Dr. Foertsch previously worked for the Office of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago as its Director of Data and Research, working on several Archdiocesan committees focused on student assessment. Currently, Dr. Foertsch manages our Aspire testing program, including data analysis of the Aspire summative and interim test results. Dr. Dan is also involved in several other school projects ranging from school technology implementation to communications, marketing, fundraising, and special projects. Dr. Foertsch has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Educational Psychology and a B.S. in Psychology.
Ms. Dorris Hailer
Ms. Dorris Hailer is an Office Assistant at the St. Barbara Campus. Ms. Hailer says she enjoys learning from the students just as much as she enjoys teaching them. “They always have something new to share if you give them the opportunity.”
Ms. Emilia Salceda
1st and 2nd Grade Teacher Aide
Emilia Salceda is the 1st and 2nd grade teacher aide, Office Assistant, and Jack-Of-All-Trades at the St. Therese Campus. She began at St. Therese as a volunteer when her daughter was in 3rd grade and has played many roles since then. You can find her doing anything and everything around school, including baking beautiful cakes!
Ms. Nicole Yong
Nicole Yong is the Community Liaison serving both the school and the parish. Ms. Yong graduated from St. Therese Chinese Catholic School and continued her Catholic education at St. Ignatius College Prep for high school and Saint Louis University for college and graduate school. She received her Master's and PhD degree in Experimental Psychology. While attending school, she remained active in the parish community. Ms. Yong is an advocate for protecting God's planet through sustainable practices and enjoys traveling, reading, exploring new restaurants, and playing with her daughter and two dogs.