Stephen DriscollVP of Advancement
Stephen Driscoll was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Gross Catholic in 2010. As a student, he was involved in numerous activities including athletics, band, Marianist LIFE, and student council where he became president his senior year. Stephen went on to study at the University of Nebraska where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and Journalism. During his undergraduate, he joined Phi Kappa Theta, a men’s Catholic fraternity, and in 2013 worked as a journalist for Catholic News Agency and EWTN in Rome, Italy. After graduating, Stephen worked at the University of Nebraska Foundation as a Director of Development for UNO for nearly four years where he strategically planned, implemented and raised vital funds. Throughout the years he has remained active at Gross Catholic as a Marianist LIFE moderator and a member of both the Advancement and Alumni Committees. In 2019, Stephen became a member of the Gross Catholic Board of Directors and served on several committees before accepting the position of Vice President of Advancement in March 2020. Stephen is an active leader and member at St. Frances Cabrini parish.
Brokaw, BradyHistory Teacher
Mr. Brady Brokaw started teaching at Gross Catholic in 2019. His has a degree in Social Science from Doane University and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mr. Brokaw is from Grand Island, NE and a graduate of Grand Island Central Catholic High School. He is also an assistant Boys Basketball and Track and Field coach.(402) 734-2000 ext: 320
Placek, MatthewMath Teacher
Mr. Matt Placek has been at Gross Catholic since 2019. He has two bachelor’s degrees – one from Peru State College and the other from Western Governors University. While Matt has been involved in education for a long time, this is his first full-time teaching assignment! He had been a substitute teacher for many public schools in the Omaha metropolitan area. He also managed Sylvan Learning Center in Papillion. Matt lives in Council Bluffs, IA with his wife Courtney. They have two children – a boy and a girl.(402) 734-2000 ext: 300
Hampton, JustinHead Wrestling Coach
Coach Hampton can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pajnigar, CathieSchool Nurse
Mrs. Cathie Pajnigar is the school nurse at Gross Catholic. She is a 1995 Gross gradaute. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Creighton University in 1999. After getting married, Cathie and her husband moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa where she was a school nurse for five years. They chose to move back to Omaha in 2007 to be closer to family. She is also currently a registered nurse with CHI Health Bergan Mercy in the Hematology/Oncology Clinic. Dr. and Mrs. Pajnigar have four children who all attend Catholic school.402-734-2000 ext 116
Stanesick, BenScience Teacher
Mr. Stanesick started at Gross in 2018 teaching Biology, Environmental science, and Earth Science. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s of Science in Education with an endorsement in Biology. Prior to teaching Mr. Stanesick served six years in the United States Air Force Security Forces most of which as a Training Instructor; he also deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2013. Mr. Stanesick is married and has a son.402-734-2000 ext 301
Neuhalfen, PaulettePrincipal of Gross Catholic
Paulette Neuhalfen has served as principal since July of 2018 school year. Neuhalfen has a wide range of experience in Catholic education and school administration. She served as a teacher at Norfolk Catholic, the Associate Athletic Director at Iowa Western Community College, the Director of Admissions and Recruitment for Roncalli Catholic, and was also the Development Director and Assistant Principal for St. James Seton School. Most recently, Neuhalfen served as the Assistant Principal at Sacred Heart School in Omaha. A Hartington, Nebraska native, Neuhalfen graduated from Hartington Cedar Catholic High School and received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Briar Cliff University. She later received her Master’s degree in School Leadership from Creighton University.402-734-2000 ext 102
Kmiecik, JoeJournalism Teacher
Joe Kmiecik graduated from Creighton University with a degree in English in 2007, and from Emerson College (Boston) in 2009 with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. He has taught composition, rhetoric, creative writing, and other communications classes at Emerson College, Newbury College, and Southern New Hampshire University. He has also spent several years working as a copywriter and editor for an Atlanta-based home repair magazine. Joe is a proud graduate of St. Bernadette and South Omaha Boy. He and his wife have three children.402-734-2000 Ext 150
Moore, BenScience Teacher
Mr. Moore began teaching at Gross Catholic in 2016 after working in biomedical research labs at Creighton and UNMC for more than a decade. He holds a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Master of Education degree in Secondary Teaching from Creighton. He and his wife, Dalia, have two daughters.402-734-2000 Ext 323
Advancement Director :
Brandt, JoshComputer Technician
Josh Brandt is our computer technician. His office is located in the media center. If your computer needs to be fixed. Mr. Brandt is the man to see.
Shanahan, RyanBuilding Maintenance Specialist
Ryan Shanahan is our building maintenance specialist.402-734-2000 ext 132
Rice, DebbieAdministrative Assistant
Debbie Rice is our administrative assistant. She is an ’86 graduate of Gross Catholic. Deb is married to Bill, also an ’86 grad. They have 9 children (additionally, she has 400+ adopted Gross Catholic children). Debbie received a bachelors degree in Elementary and Special Education from UNL. After staying home for 19 years to raise her children, she began working at Gross Catholic in 2015. Once a Cougar always a Cougar!402-734-2000 ext 101
Mimick, ColleenSchool Receptionist and Spirit Store Manager
Colleen Mimick has been employed at Gross Catholic High School since 2013. She works in the main school office part-time as receptionist. She also manages the school Cougar Spirit Store. Her husband, Jeff is a 1979 Gross graduate. They have two children that also graduated from Gross Catholic, Sarah ’12 and Nicole ’15.402-734-2000 ext 100 or 119
Herek, ChrisLunch Room and Vending Manager
Chris Herek is in charge of our lunch room and vending.402-734-2000 ext 129
Yanovich, RickBoys Soccer Coach
Rick is the head boys soccer coach. He graduated from Gross Catholic in 1991 and also is a youth soccer coach for Omaha Football Club.
Wilson, WayneHead Coach Girls Golf
Mr. Wilson is the current girls golf head coach.
Van Haute, TomStudent Success Coordinator, PE Teacher, Head Football Coach.
Mr. Tom Van Haute is our Study Skills Teacher, PE Teacher as well as our Head Football Coach. He graduated from Hastings College in 2015 with a Master’s in Special Education. His undergraduate degree is in Physical Education.402-734-2000 Ext 309
Van Haute, JanetBusiness Manager
Mrs. Janet Van Haute has been the Business Manager at Gross Catholic since 2001. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting at UNO in 1984, and her master’s degree in Business Administration at Creighton University in 1991. She also has passed the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and Certified Management Accounting (CMA) tests. Mrs. Van Haute, her husband and three sons attend St. Bernadette Parish.(402) 734-2000 ext: 106
Sweetmon, ShelbyBusiness Teacher
Mr. Shelby Sweetmon grew up in California, attended and played football at El Toro High School in Orange County. After playing lacrosse and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University in 1988, he moved to Omaha in 1992. He began his coaching career at Gross Catholic in 1996 and graduated with a second bachelor’s degree in education from UNO in 2000. After serving as the assistant business manager, bookstore manager, and recruiting director, Mr. Sweetmon moved to the classroom where he is a certified P.E. and business teacher. He has been a varsity football coach since 1998 and has also served as the girls tennis coach and head track coach. Mr. Sweetmon married his wife in 2002 and they have three children.(402) 734-2000 ext: 342
Sweetmon, MicheleCampus Ministry, Intro to Education Teacher
Mrs. Michele Sweetmon has been teaching at Gross Catholic since 2000. She received her bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff University and has continued her education in the area of on-line and distance learning through the University of South Georgia. Additionally, Sweetmon has Masters Degree from Concordia University as a Reading Specialist with an ESL endorsement. Mrs. Sweetmon’s moderates the National Honor Society and is the Assistant Campus Minister. Mrs. Sweetmon is a graduate of Gross Catholic, and she and her husband have three children.(402) 734-2000 ext: 311
Sloup, RickMath teacher, ACT Prep, CAD
Rick Sloup is a 1989 graduate of Daniel J. Gross Catholic High school and has taught mathematics at his alma mater since 1997.(402) 734-2000 ext: 336
Dawn SledgeSpecial Events and Marketing Director
Dawn is our Director of Special Events and Marketing.(402) 734-2000 Ext 124
Schmitz, RandyScience Teacher, Assistant Coach Varsity Football
Mr. Randy Schmitz joined Gross Catholic in 2008, but has been teaching science in Catholic high schools for many years. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from South Dakota State University, and a master’s degree in secondary education from Peru State College. He is a member of the varsity football coaching staff. He and his wife, Trixy, have lived in Bellevue for 10 years, and are members of St. Mary’s Parish in Bellevue. They have 6 children.(402) 734-2000 ext: 341
Powers, TimSocial Studies Teacher, Head Coach Boys Basketball, Head Coach Boys Golf
Faculty member Mr. Tim Powers has been teaching at Gross since 2000, where he has enjoyed working in a family atmosphere. He currently teaches various Social Studies classes. Mr. Powers also coaches boys basketball, and boys golf. Mr. Powers is an alumnus of Gross and went to Appalachian State University. In his spare time, Mr. Powers likes to golf, travel, and spend time with his wife and kids.(402) 734-2000 ext: 331
Peterson, JulieGuidance Office
Julie Peterson has been employed at Gross Catholic High School since 2001. She works in the Guidance Office as a Administrative Assistant. Julie and her husband Glenn both graduated from Gross Catholic in 1981. They have three children that graduated from Gross Catholic.(402) 734-2000 ext: 115
Ostrowski, DorothyPresident of Gross Catholic
Dr. Dorothy Ostrowski has been at Gross Catholic since 1981. She began as a classroom teacher in the English Department and moved to Assistant Principal in 1996. Dr. Ostrowski went on to become Principal in 2000 and school President in 2012. Dr. Ostrowski holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Creighton University and earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska in 2005. She was born and raised in Omaha and attended St. Stanislaus Elementary School and Archbishop Ryan High School. She is a life-long member of St. Stanislaus parish.(402) 734-2000 ext: 103
Nano, SuzannePhysical Education Teacher, Sports Medicine, Athletic Training
Mrs. Suzanne Nano has been at Gross Catholic since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a master’s degreee and teaching endorsement from UNO. She grew up in Rockford, Illinois. She teachs PE classes and is also the Cerified Athletic Trainer at Gross Catholic.(402) 734-2000 ext: 326
Novotny, Erin McGuanSpanish Teacher
After graduating from Indiana University in 2008 with her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English, Ms. Erin McGuan Novotny moved to Omaha to obtain her master’s in Education from Creighton. Since moving, she has worked in the elementary, middle and high school levels teaching Spanish and Art. She currently teaches Spanish II and Spanish III. Ms. McGuan Novotny grew up in the Northwest Indiana and Chicago area and still travels back often to visit. Ms. McGuan Novotny joined the Cougar family in August of 2011 and is married to fellow Cougar Mr. Nate Novotny.(402) 734-2000 ext: 340
McNamara, JulieGuidance Counselor and College Planning
Julie McNamara (class of 1991) began her career at Gross in 2009. Prior to working at Gross she taught at Bryan High school from 1995 – 1999. She obtained her education degree from UNO in 1995 with an endorsement in math. She obtained her masters degree in Preventive Mental Health and High School Counseling from Creighton University in 2017 and currently works with the Cougar family as the junior/senior guidance counselor. She and Mark (class of 1990) were married in 1995 and they have been blessed with 4 children, Victoria (class of 2014), Casslyn (class of 2017), Jillian (Class of 2020), and Andrew (Class of 2022).(402) 734-2000 ext: 112
Maxwell, PamSpanish Teacher
Pam Maxwell has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Deaf Education. She holds teaching certificates in Deaf Education and Spanish. After leaving a business career, Pam taught deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Minnesota. She volunteered in Guatemala for 2 years and was acting principal and development director for Our Lady of Guadalupe-Ines Mission School in South Omaha. She has taught high school Spanish for 9 years and college Spanish for 1 year. She has traveled through Central America, Spain, France, England, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica and has volunteered as a teacher of English to Spanish-speaking inmates at the county jail. Pam was raised in Omaha and is a member of St. Bernadette Parish. She and her husband, Chip, have seven adopted children from Guatemala.402-734-2000 ext 337
Matzen, KimTheology Teacher, Social Studies Teacher, LIFE Moderator Assistant, Varsity Girls Soccer Coach
Mrs. Kim Matzen is a 1994 a graduate of Gross Catholic, and has been teaching at Gross Catholic since 2000. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the College of Saint Mary. Matzen teaches Theology and Social Studies, is a LIFE Moderator, the co-chair of the MIT team, and is an assistant coach for girls soccer. Mrs. Matzen and her husband have two children.(402) 734-2000 ext: 311
Johnson, CaSandraArt Teacher, Art Club Moderator
Mrs. CaSandra Johnson has been at Gross Catholic since August of 2000. She is visual arts teacher, as well as moderator of the Art Club and Knitting Club. Previously, Mrs. Johnson has taught art for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Omaha, Girls Inc., El Museo Latino, and currently at the Joslyn Art Museum. She is graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a B.S. in K-12 art education, and is an alumnus of The Art Institute of Chicago’s TICA program. She and her husband Doug are members of St. Bernadette Parish. They have 2 sons.(402) 734-2000 ext: 318
Jackson York, BeccaDrama & Music Teacher, Drama Moderator
Becca Jackson York is the Director of Theatre Arts and Vocal Music. Ms. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simpson College, where she studied theatre and music. In addition to her work with Gross, Becca has performed with Opera Omaha and has directed and performed in a multitude of productions in metro area.402-734-2000 ext 327
Jacobson, MichalaAdmissions Director
Michala (D’Ercole) Jacobson, ’90, is currently the Admissions Director.
She is a 1990 graduate of Gross Catholic High School. She received a bachelor’s degree from College of Saint Mary in elementary and Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Doane College. After being in the classroom teaching for 14 years, Michala became the Assistant Principal and then Principal at St. Gerald Catholic School.
Michala and her husband Chris have three daughters and one son.(402) 734-2000 ext: 126
Hughes, TriciaMath Teacher
Mrs. Tricia Riha-Hughes has been a member of the Gross Catholic faculty since 1996. After her graduation from Gross Catholic in 1992, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and her master’s degree from Peru State College. Currently, Mrs. Hughes teaches mathematics and is the Math Department Chair. In addition, Mrs. Hughes was the Cheerleading coach and the Girls Golf Coach. Tricia Riha-Hughes is married to a Gross Catholic grad (’83) and the mother of three children who attend a local Catholic grade school.(402) 734-2000 ext: 313
Homan, JimIMS Specialist, Girls Varsity Soccer Head Coach, Student Council Moderator
Mr. Jim Homan, at Gross Catholic since 1987, has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Creighton University. He is in charge of the school’s Bring Your Own Device program, and coordinates PowerSchool, GCGmail, and social media. Homan’s other duties at Gross include coaching girls soccer and moderating student council. Mr. Homan has lived in Omaha for most of his life. Mr. Homan has 2 daughters.(402) 734-2000 ext: 105
Hartfield, DockerHead Swimming Coach
Mr. Hartfield is the head swimming coach.
Hamersky, SteveScience Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Engineering Team Advisor, Chess Club Advisor, Robotics Team
Mr. Stephen Hamersky holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with areas of specialization in mathematics, physics, and computer science, and holds a certification in network management from Cisco Systems. He has served on many advisory boards and writing teams including the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics, the Nebraska State Mathematics and Science Frameworks, the Nebraska Mathematics and Science Coalition, and the Education Council of the Nebraska Technology Commission. He has sponsored many academic teams including robotics team, chess, physics, computer programming, and engineering team. He is the technology director and has helped Catholic elementary schools develop their technology programs through teacher training workshops and consultation. He has taught on-campus and on-line courses in mathematics, science, education, and computer technology for Creighton University, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College, and Iowa Western Community College. He has been married to Kitt Hamersky since 1975 and they have three daughters.(402) 734-2000 ext: 152
Groski, CondeBuilding Manager
Mr. Groski is the building manager.402-734-2000 x131
Gilson, MartyGuidance Counselor, Testing Coordinator
Over 30 years in education, Mr. Gilson has taught English, Physical Education, and Health and has been a Head Basketball Coach. Currently, Mr. Gilson is one of the guidance counselors working with Freshman and Sophomores. He also is available to help any student or parent as needed in the areas of personal, social, academic, and college/ career. Additionally, Mr. Gilson is the testing coordinator.
Gilson grew up in Los Angeles but has lived in Nebraska since the early 80’s. Mr. Gilson is married to his wife Lori and they have 4 children and 8 grandchildren.402-734-2000 ext 113
Fuchser, BrianTheology Teacher, Speech Teacher, Competitive Speech, Site Director Athletic Events
Mr. Brian Fuchser, at Gross Catholic since 2005, has both a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in secondary education from Creighton University. Fuchser has many duties at Gross, including theology, speech, and serving as a site manager and public address announcer for various sports. Mr. Fuchser grew up in O’Neill, Nebraska and has lived in the Omaha area since 1998, except for a two-year stint teaching theology and coaching at Scotus Central Catholic in Columbus, Nebraska. Mr. Fuchser also spent a year working as a reporter, photographer, and advertising specialist for the Catholic Voice before coming to Gross Catholic.(402) 734-2000 ext: 305
Filipowicz, MikeHead Coach Varsity Baseball
Mr. Filipowicz is the head baseball coach.
Nolte, MollyAlumni and Communications Director
Molly (McGill) Nolte was born and raised in Omaha and is a 1999 graduate of Gross Catholic High School. She attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Molly has more than 13 years experience working for an e-commerce company as a buyer and has developed skills including creating extensive business plans, marketing, vendor relations, and events management.
Molly and her husband Mike have been married for over 15 years and have two boys. Both boys currently attend Catholic schools. Molly enjoys running, Pilates and spends a lot of her time on the soccer field, cheering on both of her boys.402-734-2000 ext 123
Dorwart, TeresaEnglish Teacher, Academic Decathlon
Mrs. Teresa Dorwart is a long-time Gross Catholic teacher, having arrived in 1982 from a teaching job in the Omaha Public Schools. Mrs. Dorwart has both a bachelor’s degree in English and French with a minor in secondary education and a master’s degree in English from Creighton University. She has taken additional classes at Georgetown University, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, University of Nebraska – Omaha, and Peru State. Her main teaching responsibility at Gross Catholic is senior English, including AP classes. Additionally, she is the coach of the Academic Decathlon team. Mrs. Dorwart, her husband and four children attend St. Bernadette Parish. All four children have attended Gross Catholic.(402) 734-2000 ext: 308
Dempsey, MikeAthletic and Activities Director, Assistant Principal
Mr. Mike Dempsey is currently the Athletic & Activities Director and the Assistant Principal. He is a 1975 Gross graduate. He received a bachelor’s degree from UNO in 1980 and a master’s degree in 1983. Mr. Dempsey began his career at Gross in 1980, teaching math as well as assisting coaching football and basketball. In 1986, he left Gross for five years to teach and coach at another Catholic high school in Omaha. Dempsey returned to Gross Catholic in 1992 to become the head basketball coach, teach math, work in the counseling department and assist coaching football. Mr. Dempsey finished another master’s degree in administration in the fall of 2008. Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey have four children that have graduated from Gross Catholic.(402) 734-2000 ext: 104
Connelly, DanTheology Teacher, Assistant Football Coach, Assistant Baseball Coach
Mr. Dan Connelly started teaching at Gross Catholic in 1996. He went to high school at Cathedral and attended college at UNO & Wayne State. Mr. Connelly also attended the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary. He now puts that Seminary training to use teaching theology classes. Mr. Connelly helps coach football and baseball. He is married and a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.(402) 734-2000 ext: 306
Carson, YvonneEnglish Teacher, Varsity Volleyball Coach
Yvonne Carson has been at Gross Catholic since 1994. She has a degree in English and physical education from Doane College. She has also been a part of the “Bearing Witness” program, a highly recognized program on how to teach the Holocaust within a Catholic teaching environment. She attended special classes on the Holocaust in addition to studying for two weeks in Israel and has taken these experiences back into her classrooms to help the students better understand the Holocaust. Mrs. Carson lives in Omaha and her husband, Scott, works for Mutual of Omaha as a system analyst. They have two children who attended Gross Catholic. Mrs. Carson is also the Gross Catholic High School head volleyball coach.
(402) 734-2000 ext: 304
Carey, RichHead Coach Cross Country, Geo Garden Director
Mr. Rich Carey began teaching in 1971 and taught at Gross Catholic from 1976 to 2010. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in science and physical education at UNO and also ran cross country and track during his time there. His duties at Gross Catholic include teaching biology, anatomy and coaching cross country. He also has coached track and basketball (state championship in ‘91.) Mr. Carey started the Geo-Garden in 1998 and maintains it still today. He has received several awards over the years for coaching and his garden work. Mr. Carey retired from teaching in 2010. He has been married to Marybeth, since 1970, and their three children graduated from Gross Catholic. They now have three grandchildren.(402) 734-2000 Ext 304
Brousek, TraceyTheology Teacher
Mrs. Brousek is one of our outstanding Theology teachers. Her husband, Bob, is a Gross graduate.402-734-2000 ext 302
Boro, Chris JohanekEnglish Teacher
Chris Johanek Boro has been at Gross Catholic since 1980, but she likes to tell her students she was here “when the earth was cooling.” A proud graduate of Gross Catholic class of ’76, she earned her bachelor’s degree from UNL with majors in English and reading, and her master’s degree from UNO, with a graduate endorsement in Teaching the Gifted and Talented. She has taught all levels of English, most recently sophomores and seniors, as well as creative writing; she and three other teachers form the team that teaches the ACT Prep class to juniors and seniors. During the 2007 – 2008 school year, she was a member of the Nebraska Department of Education Reading and Writing Standards Revision Committee. Prior to that, she served the Archdiocese of Omaha in a similar capacity, writing and revising Language Arts Standards and Assessments for grades K – 12. Ms. Johanek Boro has lived in Omaha her entire life, and has been married to Craig Boro since 1998. They are parishioners of Sts. Peter & Paul Parish, where both she and Craig are choir members, lectors, and volunteers for parish activities. They are also active in Global Catholic Outreach, an exchange student program that sponsors students from former Communist countries.(402) 734-2000 ext: 317
Antoniak, SandySchool Receptionist
Sandy Antoniak is the school receptionist in the main office. She has been at Gross Catholic since 1996. She has 2 adult sons and three grandchildren.(402) 734-2000 ext: 101