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Teacher Spotlight: Lori Mathes and Nancy Colagrossi

 Meet our passionate, creative, nurturing, and patient preschool teachers, Lori Mathes and Nancy Colagrossi.

Lori Mathes

What is your educational background?

I grew up in Chicago and attended 12 years of Catholic school. I have both an Associates Degree and a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education. I also have an endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language from National Louis University.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at St. Luke?

I have been working with preschool children for many years. Over the years I’ve worked with 3-5 year olds in a day care setting and in public preschool programs. Before coming to St. Luke in 2015, I worked at a Catholic school in Chicago that closed. I have been teaching with the Archdiocese for 7 years. Teaching in a Catholic school feels like home to me.

Why do you believe in Catholic education?

I believe in a Catholic Education because I think it is important for children to learn about God’s love for them. Praying and learning about Jesus on a daily basis is a positive way to instill Catholic values and help children learn the importance of being respectful and kind.  I especially enjoy teaching children about the true meaning of the holidays we celebrate throughout the year.  

What do you like most about the St. Luke community?

I love my students! The families at St. Luke are kind, generous, supportive and dedicated to their children’s education. The faculty are amazing and supportive and we work together to create a positive learning environment.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?

Being patient, nurturing, creative and flexible. I’ve always been told I have a lot of patience.  I believe it is important to make learning fun for children. Therefore, I strive to be creative and flexible. I teach the youngest students and want their first experiences at school to be positive.


Nancy Colagrossi

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University in River Forest.  I also have an Early Childhood Special Education endorsement from National Louis University.  I hold a Type 04 teaching license with the State of IL.  I have been teaching for 18 years.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at St. Luke?

Prior to coming to St. Luke School, I was home with my 2 children, Nikolas (17) and Mikaela (14).

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?

I knew I wanted to become a teacher when I was a sophomore in high school.  I always knew I wanted to work with young children

Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at St. Luke?

You will find me in EDS on Wednesdays and Fridays after school.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?

I think my ability to be patient helps me most in my teaching.

How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom?

I know that the brain seeks novelty, so I like to keep things fresh and new in my classroom. I change out many of the toys and activities in my classroom on a monthly basis. 

What do you like to do outside of the classroom?

I love to spend time with my husband, two children, and two dogs. I like to read (mysteries) and bake (cookies, brownies and bread are my favorites), and I also enjoy traveling (the beach is a favorite destination).