Schafer Elementary School
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September 1, 2023 / Schafer

Get to Know Our Sharks: Teaching Assistant Edition

TAs

Kelle Bashqawi

Mrs. Bashqawi is one of our veteran sharks starting out as a Schafer parent and then becoming a teaching assistant in the STARS program. 

Mrs. Bashqawi shares that her favorite part about being in education are the students!

When she thinks about her own school experience, she shares that her favorite teachers were the teachers that were kind to her children. If she could choose one teacher’s class to enroll in for a day, she would choose art class because it looks like it would be fun and relaxing to create art.

Mrs. Bashqawi wants our Sharks to know this is just a small part of a whole big world, don’t sweat the small stuff. Her wish for the 2023-24 school year is PEACE.

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 8

Birthday: 7/5

Family: Married for 22 years, have 3 Beautiful girls, (21,18,14) all my girls went to D45 schools. 

Favorite school subject: Home Economics 

Favorite school memory: Being in Marketing class with her cousin in High School 

Favorite color: Green

Favorite pet: Dogs

Favorite hobby: Hike, Read, Travel

Favorite drink: Coffee, then Ice coffee, then more coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper

Favorite food/restaurant: Pizza and Mexican 

Favorite sports team: Bears (She doesn’t watch much sports) 

Favorite music: #41 (if you know,you know)

Favorite place visited: The National Parks, where she can hike and the beach

Dream vacation: The Holy Lands, Jerusalem

Surprising fact: Her age

Favorite quote: Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

 

 

Cathy Butler 

Mrs. Butler is one of our newest sharks and is a teaching assistant in the Resource program. 

Mrs. Butler shares that her favorite part about being in education are the children. Mrs. Butler wants our Sharks to know to stay rested and be kind, especially to yourself. Her wish for the 2023-24 school year is that everybody will try their best.

 

Fun Facts:

Birthday: 5/12

Family: She has 3 daughters, 1 son in law, and 2 grandchildren 

Favorite hobby: photography

Favorite sports team: Chicago teams 

Favorite music: Classic rock 

Favorite place visited: Ireland 

Dream vacation: Disney World with her grandchildren 

Favorite quote: Love one another

 

 

Ana Castillo

Mrs. Castillo is one of our veteran sharks and is a TBE assistant.

Mrs. Castillo shares that her favorite part about being in education is getting to see each child grow and learn new things! When she thinks about her own school experience, she shares that her favorite teacher was Mrs. Aliga from York Center. She would always help us out when needed and even nowadays when she sees you she greets you with a big welcoming hug! If she could choose one teacher’s class to enroll in for a day, she would choose Ms. Arenas.

Mrs. Castillo wants our Sharks to know to never give up! Her wish for the 2023-24 school year is for children to love what they are doing and learn something new everyday! 

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 10

Birthday: 4/25

Family: She is married and has one son named Rowan who is going to be 4 years old next month! 

Favorite school subject: Reading

Favorite school memory: Getting a letter from a student saying thank you for making a difference in their lives! 

Favorite color: Red

Favorite pet: Dogs

Favorite hobby: Cricuting and baking

Favorite drink: Apple juice/ cherry coke

Favorite food/restaurant: Cheesecake Factory/ bibipop

Favorite sports team: Cubs

Favorite music: Lauren Daigle

Favorite place visited: Cancun

Dream vacation: Hawaii 

Surprising fact: She lives in the same house where she was brought to since she was born! So she has never moved! 

Hidden talent: Baking

Favorite quote: The things that make me different are the things that make me! – Winnie the Pooh

 

 

Eileen DeCicco 

Mrs. DeCicco is one of our veteran sharks. She is a teaching assistant for the Bridge program. 

Mrs. DeCicco shares that her favorite part about being in education is watching the children’s growth. Mrs. DeCicco wants our Sharks to develop the love of reading. Her wish for the 2023-24 school year is that all goals are met! She also wishes that we have a safe and happy school year. 

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 18

Birthday: 10/22

Family: Three grown children, two married and one grandchild.

Favorite school subject: Algebra and history 

Favorite school memory: Subbing at her children’s school when they were in grade school.

Favorite color: Navy blue 

Favorite pet: Dog

Favorite hobby: Sew

Favorite drink: Root beer float

Favorite food/restaurant: Garbage pizza from Dominick’s

Favorite sports team: Bears

Favorite music: Santana

Favorite place visited: Ecuador 

Dream vacation: A cruise 

Surprising fact: She went to interior design school.

Hidden talent: She knows how to draft.

Favorite quote: Whatever it takes!

 

 

Robin Diederich

Mrs. D is one of our newest sharks and is a teaching assistant in the Resource program. 

 

Fun Facts:

Family: 2 adult children and 1 granddaughter

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite pet: Dogs

Favorite hobby: Gardening, crafts

Favorite food/restaurant: Mexican

Favorite sports team: Cubs

Favorite music: All music

 

 

Justine Ewalt

Mrs. Ewalt  is one of our veteran sharks. First, as a Schafer parent and now a teaching assistant for the STARS program. 

Mrs. Ewalt shares that her favorite part about being in education is when she can see the excitement on a student’s face when they master a skill. Her wish for the 2023-24 school year is that everyone has a fun year as they work towards their goals.

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 5

Birthday: 9/27

Family: She has been married for 28 years. She and her husband have 2 amazing sons that attend Willowbrook High School. Their family also includes our dog, Cherry.

Favorite school subject: Social Studies/History

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite pet: She loves dogs and always has had one. In the past she also had a cat, fish, guinea pigs and turtles.

Favorite drink: She can’t live without coffee with vanilla creamer

Favorite food/restaurant: Tacos and pizza

Favorite sports team: Da Bears

Favorite music: Dave Matthews Band 

Favorite place visited: Orange County California and Bar Harbor, Maine

Surprising fact: She went to Schafer a very long time ago.

Favorite quote: There’s bad times but that’s OK. Just look for love in it and don’t burn the day away.

 

 

Rosa Garcia

Garcia

Mrs. Garcia is one of our veteran sharks and is a teaching assistant for the Resource program. 

Mrs. Garcia shares that her favorite part about being in education is helping and seeing the students grow to their full potential. When she thinks about her own school experience, she shares that her favorite teacher was Ms. Deceico who was a kind and effective teacher. If she could choose one teacher’s class to enroll in for a day, she would choose Ms. Arenas because she makes teaching fun. Mrs. Garcia wants our Sharks to know to keep trying.

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 18

Birthday: 7/3

Family: She has her husband Lucas, two daughters Ashley, Lilybeth and two grandchildren Alessandra, Milo.

Favorite school subject: Math

Favorite color: Pink

Favorite hobby: She takes Zumba classes.

Favorite drink: Coke

Favorite food/restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite sports team: Whatever team Messi is on

Favorite music: Enrique Iglesias

Favorite place visited: Cancun

Dream vacation: Paris 

Surprising fact: She is the 2nd youngest of 10 siblings 

Favorite quote: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

Dana Gilliam

Mrs. Gilliam is a veteran shark and is a teaching assistant in our STARS program.

Mrs. Gilliam shares that her favorite part about being in education is watching milestones being achieved. Mrs. Gilliam wants our Sharks to know that you can do it! Believe in yourself!

 

Fun Facts:

Years in education: 3

Birthday: 9/25

Family: She is married. They have one son, and two dogs

Favorite school subject: Art

Favorite school memory: Making friends and playing on the playground

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite pet: Dogs

Favorite hobby: Crafting

Favorite drink: Diet Coke

Favorite food/restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Favorite sports team: All Chicago teams 

Favorite music: Country

Favorite place visited: Arizona

Dream vacation: Italy

Hidden talent: Crafty

Favorite quote: Live, laugh, love