Faculty and Staff of Sacred Heart Catholic School for the 2018-2019 school year!
Fr. Leo Kosch was born in Columbus, NE. He is the seventh out of nine children, and his parents still live in Columbus. His name is pronounced “Kush” as in “cushion.” Fr. Kosch attended St. Bonaventure grade school, Lakeview Public high school, UNL, and Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. He was ordained a priest in 1993. In his first 22 years as a priest, he always taught at one of the Diocesan high schools (Lincoln Pius X, Hastings St. Cecilia’s, David City Aquinas, Wahoo Neumann) as a religion instructor at various grade levels 7-12. He comes to us most recently from St. John Parish in Prague, NE. Fr. Kosch’s hobbies include reading, hiking, playing guitar, learning vocal music, doing little maintenance projects, visiting with his family and his fellow priests, and an occasional movie or Netflix.
Ms. Laura Knaus originally hails from Sun Prairie, WI. She moved to Lincoln in middle school, graduated from Pius X Catholic High School, and the University of Nebraska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business before volunteering for a year to teach environmental education in Wisconsin. She then went on to pursue a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago in Elementary Education. She taught middle school for five years prior to becoming principal. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. She enjoys reading, outdoor activities, traveling, and learning.
Ms. Melanie Gibson joins the Sacred Heart faculty as our preschool teacher. She grew up in Lincoln and earned a degree in History from UNL as well as certification in Inclusive Early Childhood Education. She taught at St. Patrick Catholic School in Lincoln before moving to Tennessee where she taught Pre-K through Head Start. She is happy to be back in Lincoln teaching Sacred Heart’s youngest students. In her free time, Ms. Gibson loves to try new foods, travel, read, dabble in extremely amateur photography, and take ice dancing lessons. She lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and gecko.
Ms. Brianna Fritz – Preschool Aide
Ms. Brianna Fritz is an Iowa transplant and has been in Lincoln for four years. During those years she has assisted in the Catholic schools in classrooms from sixth grade to preschool! She is very happy to be a part of the Sacred Heart school family, and is looking forward to a great year. In her spare time, Ms. Brianna likes to read, take walks outside, watch movies, and study Scripture.
Ms. Alyssa Rettig began teaching at Sacred Heart Catholic School in 2014. She was raised in Nebraska City and attended Lourdes Central Catholic Schools from kindergarten until graduation. After high school she attended Wayne State College and received a degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. In her free time she enjoys attending Nebraska football games, reading, crocheting, and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys working at Sacred Heart Catholic School and helping the students grow in both their faith and academics.
Mr. Christopher Teixeira is a familiar face at Sacred Heart Catholic School. He was a paraeducator to Sacred Heart for 5 1/2 years. “Mr. Tex” is excited to teach 1st grade this year! His dad was in the Army when he was younger. He has had the opportunity to live in and travel to many places in the United States and around the world. In fact, he has been to eight countries! Christopher enjoys learning new things about his faith and sharing them with others. He also likes to learn new languages and spend time with his family and friends.
Ms. Susie Rziha was born and raised on a farm in Kansas. She is the fourth of eight children and she has 30 nieces and nephews but no children of her own. She earned a degree in Elementary Education from Newman University in Wichita. Her hobbies include reading, sewing, cooking, and playing the piano and guitar. She also feels blessed to help students prepare to receive their First Holy Communion during their second grade year of school!
Ms. Tricia Young graduated from Benedictine College in December 2017 with a degree in Elementary Education and has a Nebraska Teacher Certificate for grades K – 6. She enjoys reading, especially the Chronicles of Narnia series, Little House on the Prairie, and reading about the lives of the Saints. She is originally from Mullen, in western Nebraska. She likes to spend time with her family, being outside, going hiking, and playing volleyball She is excited to be teaching third grade at Sacred Heart Catholic School!
Mrs. Ally Beckwieth teaches 4th grade at Sacred Heart Catholic School. She is also the Newspaper Club teacher sponsor.
Ally is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Nebraska to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UN-L she had decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher and chose to major in Elementary Education. During college, Ally was given the opportunity to study aboard at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. This experience helped foster her appreciation for traveling and experiencing new things. Her husband, Matt, shares her passion for adventure. Matt also share’s Ally’s love of great food and learning new things.
In her free time, Ally enjoys visiting her friends and family, watching sports including the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the St. Louis Cardinals, and teaching CCD at St. Mary’s. Her greatest passion in life is helping children learn and grow. She’s forever thankful that the grace of God brought her to Sacred Heart Catholic School. Her mission is to help students grow more in love with Jesus Christ every day while learning the truths He has given us through education.
Mrs. Michelle Nice grew up in Valparaiso, a small town outside of Lincoln, where she attended Raymond Central School from K-12. She earned her degree in Elementary Education from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA where she was active in collegiate softball, education club, and honor society. This is Mrs. Nice’s third year at Sacred Heart and she loves teaching math and being able to play games with all the students in PE.
She and her husband, Scott, have one boy, Scotty, and recently welcomed a new baby girl, Joelle, into their family. Michelle enjoys going to the zoo and parks with her son, reading, fishing, four wheeling, watching her brother race “#62” at Eagle Raceway, and crafting with antique materials.
Ms. Amanda Lowery graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Elementary Education in 2010. She has been teaching Music & Art at Sacred Heart Catholic School for 6 years, and is delighted to be able to share her love of the Fine Arts with her students on a daily basis. Amanda is a graduate of Sacred Heart Catholic School and has been a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church her whole life. Amanda cherishes spending time with her three children. She also enjoys reading, hiking and horseback riding on occasion, and learning more about the beauty of her Catholic faith.
Mr. Luke Fischer is originally from South Dakota and moved to Nebraska after receiving a scholarship to study Engineering at UN-L. During college he worked at a summer camp where he discovered a passion for working with children. This combined with a great love of history led Luke to leave engineering behind and instead pursue and obtain a degree in Social Studies Education. While at the University he also met his future bride, Anne, during a retreat put on by the Newman Center. Luke and Anne were married in 2011 and now have two wonderful children. In addition to teaching at the school, Luke and his family are members of Sacred Heart Parish.
Luke has a great love of the outdoors and (along with his family) enjoys camping, hiking, bike riding, and just about anything that allows him to experience the wonders of the natural world. He relishes family adventures, ranging from visits to the park or zoo to cross country road trips. He and his wife have a life goal of visiting all the National Parks in the United States. In his limited free time, Luke enjoys reading (all sorts of books, but especially books about his favorite historical figure, Theodore Roosevelt), gardening, playing the guitar and cooking. He has run three marathons and hopes to do more in the future. Luke’s great passion in life (outside of being a husband and father) is for teaching and his is thankful for the opportunity to pass on his love of history to the students at Sacred Heart Catholic School and to help them to encounter Christ and all the treasures of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Mike Katalenich grew up in Plattsmouth, NE. He attended Lourdes Central Catholic High School in Nebraska City, and joined the Church on the Easter of his junior year. Then he was accepted to the University of Nebraska where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Languages (Latin and Ancient Greek).
After graduation, he entered the novitiate for the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) for six months of prayer and study before following God’s call to pursue the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church back in Nebraska where he found our opening for a Latin teachers.
He will be teaching both at Sacred Heart and at Pius X High School and is very excited to share the beautiful treasure of the Latin language and all that has been written by the Roman Church: hymns, philosophies, doctrines, and tales with our students.
Ms. Jenny Bykerk teaches sixth through eight grade Science and Kindergarten through eighth grade Resource. She grew up in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska in the small town of Taylor. Her educational background includes studies at the University of Nebraska, Concordia University, and the University of Notre Dame.
She has taught in several diocesan schools, most recently at St. Peter School and St. Vincent de Paul School, teaching a variety of age levels from second grade to eighth grade. She was a substitute teacher at Sacred Heart during the 2016-2017 school year and has enjoyed being here every day!
Mrs. Sandra (Sandie) Caradori was born in Omaha, NE. She is an only child, but always yearned for siblings. She met her future husband at Ralston Junior/Senior High. They had two beautiful boys. Sadly, twenty-seven years ago her husband and younger son were killed in a tragic plane crash. Her surviving son is a Captain on the Nebraska State Patrol and has four children (her grandchildren).
Sandie earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Sandie has over twenty years of teaching experience. Teaching is her passion as she continues to learn and share what she’s learned with anyone who will listen!
Mrs. Kate Derickson has a master’s degree in middle level curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska with endorsements in language arts, social studies, dance, and mathematics. Mrs. Derickson started her teaching career 18 years ago at Cathedral of the Risen Christ School and could be found most recently at Mickle Middle School, both in Lincoln. While living in Washington D.C., she taught at St. Peter on Capital Hill where she enjoyed taking students on field trips all over the city, even through the White House!
Mrs. Derickson aspires to make mathematics accessible to all students and wants her students to know how elegant, fun and powerful math can be. She is looking forward to being part of the resource team, which is so vital for student success. She is excited to be at Sacred Heart Catholic School and is looking forward to a wonderful year!
Mrs. Megan Burkle is the band teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School. Megan grew up in central Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with her bachelor’s degree in K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Education in 2008. She began her teaching career teaching K-6 general music in Alma, NE. After moving to Lincoln, she took a year off to stay home with her two small children at the time. A lack of school-teaching jobs led her to seek employment at Christ Kids childcare where she worked with toddlers for two years. In 2015, she was hired to teach band within the Catholic Schools in Lincoln. She currently teaches band at Sacred Heart, Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Blessed Sacrament, and assists at Pius X High School. She and her husband are parents to four incredible daughters. Megan enjoys being outside, reading, and making music with others!
Ms. Maria Flink grew up in Lincoln and is a graduate of Sacred Heart Catholic School. She taught preschool for 5 years and is looking forward to working with the students of Sacred Heart Catholic School. She loves to spend time with family and friends. She also really enjoys listening to music, traveling, reading, and playing the ukulele when she gets a chance.
Mrs. Dianne Kalita began working as the school secretary at Sacred Heart Catholic School in 2015. She enjoys playing the piano, flower gardening, and spending time with her husband, two grown children, and four cats. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Ms. Julie Dahlberg – Lunch Assistant