Meet Our Dedicated Teachers and Staff
Mrs. Veronica Bilas, 1st Grade Teacher
Mrs. Bilas has a master’s degree with a focus on Special Education. She is always working on ways to make school exciting and fun, and she’s committed to keeping up with technology! She and her husband, Terry, have been married for over 30 years and have three children, all of whom are married. Among Mrs. Bilas’ hobbies are reading, cooking, gardening and collecting children’s books. Visit my teacher page: http://thebusyhive.weebly.com
“My students learn that when our works are for God’s glory, we achieve happiness and success in what we do.”
Mrs. Marguerite Blake, 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Blake was born in Wadsworth, Ohio, the youngest of nine children. She is a graduate of Sacred Heart of Jesus School and has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Akron. She and her husband, Rick, have three daughters. One attends Cleveland State University; the others attend Sacred Heart of Jesus School. In her spare time, Mrs. Blake loves to read and bake. Visit my teacher page: https://mrsblake4b.weebly.com
Mrs. Sue Bott, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Bott has 20 years of teaching experience of which 16 years are at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. She has a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois. Mrs. Bott is the mother of seven children, three of which are, or will be, employed in the teaching profession. All of her children are graduates of Sacred Heart of Jesus School. “I like teaching here because God is at the heart of all we do. I think the family atmosphere here makes it a very special place.”
Ms. Cinnamon Chivers, Music & Drama Teacher
Ms. Chivers is a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre. She has worked professionally in the industry as both a performer and teacher for over 20 years. “It is exhilarating to watch children grasp music theory concepts and step outside of themselves into music and drama roles. Each student’s voice and accomplishments are so diverse within the arts. I feel like we are always on a journey together!”
Ms. Christy Kellish, Secretary
Christy was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and is a graduate of the University of Akron with a Bachelor in Human Resource Management. She began her career in banking where she worked in the field for 10 years until her first child was born, after which choose to stay home and manage her photography business of over 10 years while caring for her family. She adores working with children through her work at Sacred Heart of Jesus School and through her portrait photography. All of her free time gets spent with her own three children and enjoying any outdoor activities such has kayaking, camping, swimming, hiking and biking. Christy feels proud and blessed to be a part of the Sacred Heart of Jesus family.
Mrs. Lisa Cingel, 8th Grade & Social Studies Teacher
Mrs. Cingel has been a teacher for 22 years, 13 of them at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton. In addition to teaching 8th grade, Mrs. Cingel is the social studies teacher from grades 5-8. Her five daughters are graduates or current students of Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Visit my teacher page: https://sites.google.com/site/8amrscingel/
“Sacred Heart of Jesus School has always been a place of love and comfort. I call it home, and home is where the heart is. Christ is the center of the school. It’s where I want to be.”
Mrs. Mary Gegick, Director of Advancement
Mrs. Gegick began her career as a materials science engineer at LTV Steel before returning to school to earn a master’s degree in applied mathematics. She worked in the Microgravity Lab at the NASA John Glenn Research facility for 12 years until 2005, when she decided to concentrate her efforts on Sacred Heart of Jesus School. She is responsible for marketing, public relations, website maintenance, donor gift acknowledgements and several other jobs at the school and parish.
“I believe Catholic elementary schools build a strong spiritual and moral foundation for our children. These children, in turn, provide the future of the church.”
Mrs. Rene Gerschutz, 5th – 8th Grade Math Teacher, 7th Grade Homeroom
Mrs. Gerschutz grew up in Canton, Ohio where she attended St. Michael’s Elementary and then Canton Central Catholic High School. She is a Bowling Green State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary 1-8 education and Secondary 7-12 math education. She also has a master’s degree from the University of Akron in Reading grades 1-12. After teaching for 8 years, she spent 13 years as a stay-at-home mom who also kept busy as a math tutor, substitute teacher, and school volunteer. Recently, she has returned to the classroom. She and her husband, Kurt, have four children who also attend SHS.
“I love teaching in an elementary building surrounded by dedicated and caring staff and supportive parents where I can also help students grow in their faith. I feel blessed to be part of the Sacred Heart family.”
Mrs. Kim Hancock, 3rd Grade Teacher
I grew up in West Akron and now live in Norton. I have been teaching at Sacred Heart of Jesus School since 1989. I graduated from St. Vincent St. Mary High School and the University of Akron. While at Sacred Heart, I have taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade as well as middle school math and science. I have been married for 28 years and have two daughters Brittany and Ashley, both who are attending college. I also have two cats. Oreo and Lilo. When I am not at school I enjoy reading mysteries, scrap booking, and cooking.
Mrs. Michelle Hevener, Intervention Specialist and Math Teacher
Born and raised in Wadsworth, Ohio, Mrs. Hevener has bachelor degrees in elementary education and secondary math education. Now in her 23rd year at Sacred Heart of Jesus School, she is the Title 1 reading intervention specialist and math teacher for grades 5-8. Visit my teacher page: https://sites.google.com/site/mathematicsatshs/ “I love teaching at Sacred Heart of Jesus School because of the dedication of the staff and students. This is my home away from home.”
Mrs. Lisa Kelley, 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Kelley has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashland University and a master’s degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. She taught for one year in Virginia before moving back to Ohio to teach at Sacred Heart, where she has taught second grade for eight years. Visit my teacher page: https://mrskelley2a.weebly.com “I love that the students, parents and staff at Sacred Heart feel like family to me.”
Mrs. Cheryl Leach, Art and Gym Teacher
Mrs. Leach was born and raised in Norton, Ohio, and has taught at Sacred Heart of Jesus School for the past 11 years. She taught Kindergarten for the first eight years and loved every minute. Both of her daughters attend the school.She returned to school mid-career and earned a master’s degree in early childhood literacy in 2010.
“I take pride in getting to know each one of my students and being an enthusiastic teacher. Sacred Heart of Jesus is like a family, and I have the best job in the world.”
Mrs. Wendy Ligas, Spanish/French Teacher
Mrs. Ligas is in her fourth year teaching at Sacred Heart of Jesus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French education from the University of Akron in 1992. She took an absence from teaching in order to stay at home with her three children, all of whom attend or have attended Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Mrs. Ligas teaches French for grades 4-8 and Spanish for grades K-3. Visit my teacher page: https://sites.google.com/edu.shswadsworth.org/sacredheartforeignlanguage/home
“I chose to come to Sacred Heart of Jesus School to continue my career because of its great family atmosphere.”
Mrs. Christine McMillan, 5th -8th grade Reading Teacher and 7th Grade Homeroom
I am pleased to be the homeroom teacher for 7th grade as well as the science teacher for grades 5-8. I look forward to putting on some goggles and exploring with all the fascinating items in the lab. I have taught at Sacred Heart School for over 13 years, most recently as the education specialist. When not at school, I enjoy hiking, gardening, and spending time with my husband and three children.
Mrs. Janet Palte, Librarian
Mrs. Palte has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University and began her career with Westfield Companies. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 19 years and have three sons. She holds a substitute teacher license with Sacred Heart of Jesus School and has been the school librarian since 2011. “My responsibilities at Sacred Heart continue to grow. I am happy to be a part of the children’s education and faith-building experience.”
Miss Katherine Paydo, 1st Grade Teacher
My name is Katherine Paydo, and I am the 1A teacher at Sacred Heart School. I was born and raised in Wadsworth. I attended Sacred Heart School from kindergarten to 8th grade. I graduated from Kent State University where I received my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. As a teacher, I believe that all students should be supported and should be given the best ability to learn. I believe in a safe, respectful, nurturing environment where students feel comfortable and open to express their ideas. Visit my teacher page: http://misspaydosclassroom.weebly.com “It is an honor to return to Sacred Heart School as a teacher, and I am blessed with the best students I could ever ask for.”
Mrs. Adrienne Polczak, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Polczak graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent two years teaching third grade at Sts. Peter and Paul before becoming the third grade teacher at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. She lives in Wadsworth with her husband of ten years, Jon, and their two children who also attend Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Visit my teacher page: https://ouradventuresbegin.weebly.com “I am so thankful for the opportunity to share the Catholic faith with my students and to watch them grow and learn to be servants of the Lord.”
Mrs. Angela Robinson, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
A native of Wadsworth and one of nine children, Mrs. Robinson is a graduate of Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Wadsworth High School and the University of Akron, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She and her husband, Rich, have three children and a 3-year old granddaughter. Mrs. Robinson launched the pre-Kindergarten program at Sacred Heart of Jesus seven years ago. Visit my teacher page: https://sites.google.com/site/prekmrsrobinson/home “I absolutely love coming to work every day. I am especially thankful for being able to teach our Catholic faith in the classroom.”
Miss Shawna Russell, 5th – 8th Grade Science Teacher, 6th Grade Homeroom
Miss Russell graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelors degree in Middle Childhood Education specializing in math and science. This is Miss Russell’s first year of teaching. She lives in Wooster and is a member of St. Mary Parish. Miss Russell likes to travel. She’s been to 7 countries and almost half of the United States. Outside of school Miss Russell enjoys spending time with family and friends, biking, and skiing. “Sacred Heart reminds me a lot of my elementary school. The first time I walked in the doors it felt like home.”
Mrs. Vanessa Semrau, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Semrau grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, and attended the University of Akron, where she met her husband of 32 years, George. They have three adult children, all of whom attended Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Mrs. Semrau has taught here for the past ten years, and still LOVES to teach the Kindergarteners. Visit my teacher page: https://kinderkornerka.weebly.com “I am thankful to my students for bringing joy and a sense of wonder to my life and to the faculty and staff for becoming my extended family.”
Mrs. Beth Sobnosky, Secretary
Mrs. Sobnosky was born in Montpelier, Ohio, near the Indiana and Michigan border. She is a graduate of Kent State University where she met her husband, Don. Both of their adult children are graduates of Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Mrs. Sobnosky has been at Sacred Heart of Jesus for 17 years and has held a number of positions.
“I never dreamed that working in the office of a Catholic school could be so rewarding spiritually and keep me young at heart with the daily interaction with the little ones.”
Mrs. Liz Valeri, 5th Grade & English Teacher
Mrs. Valeri is a member of our parish, and her children attend Sacred Heart of Jesus School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Akron, and she brings a wealth of experience to us, having taught in Catholic schools since 1996.
“My family and I moved to Wadsworth in 2012, and we enjoy being part of this wonderful community.”
Mrs. Michelle Workinger, Technology Teacher
Mrs. Workinger has joined our Sacred Heart school family after teaching for 10 years in the public schools and then taking time off to raise her family. She graduated from The University of Akron with a B.S. in Elementary Education and Kent State University with a M.Ed in Instructional Technology/Library Media Science. Mrs. Workinger lives in Wadsworth with her husband and three children. Be sure to visit my teacher page!