Note: If you are a current parent, you can find all faculty email addresses after logging in to your Facts Family Portal account. Use the general Contact Us form to email a faculty or staff person if you don’t have access to Facts.
402-724-2000 ext. 110
Hana Abbott is a creative leader who has experience in Catholic education, public school education, and in the nonprofit sector. Hana (pronounced Hawn-ah) earned a Bachelor’s Degree [TC1] in Education from Wayne State College, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College, and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Midland University. She has taught in Millard Public Schools, Omaha Home for Boys, and Jesuit Academy. She comes to Gross Catholic from the CUES School System where she directed the STEAM program and worked as an academic manager at NorthStar Foundation.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 101
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. 302
Mrs. Brousek is one of our outstanding Theology teachers. Her husband, Bob, is a Gross graduate.
402-734-2000 ext. 137
Mrs. Joy Clark is our Media Specialist. She also teaches a technology course entitled, “Introduction to Technology.”
402-734-2000 ext. 114
Julie is an Advancement team member as the liaison between Advancement, the Business office, and the Board of Directors. She also is the Varsity Volleyball Coach.
Freddie Cougar, our beloved mascot, was magically born out of an abundance of school spirit the day the first student entered our hallowed halls on September the 3rd, 1968. Freddie is the embodiment of our mission and our spirit. Freddie IS the Cougar Family.
402-734-2000 ext. 113
Mike Dempsey is one of our guidance counselors, in charge of our freshmen and sophomores. Dempsey is the former Athletics & Activities Director, and the former Head Boys Basketball Coach here at Gross.
402-734-2000 ext. 320
Mrs. Emily Dorcey was born and raised in Tampa, FL and moved to Omaha in 2019, where her husband is originally from. She and her husband have a daughter. Mrs. Dorcey has previously taught high school Theology and middle school religion.
402-734-2000 ext. 102
Mr. Steve Eubanks is our principal. Eubanks earned a Bachelor of Science in biology education with a minor in physical science and coaching from the University of South Dakota, a Master of Arts in educational administration and supervision from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and is a certified athletic administrator. He has spent most of his educational career in the Omaha Public Schools District, having served as a science teacher, coach, student assistance team coordinator, assistant principal, director of athletics, principal and director of curriculum instruction and support.
402-732-2000 ext. 308
Kristen Ewing is one of our English teachers. She also coordinates the yearbook program and coaches the Cheer Squad.
402-734-2000 ext. 100
Michelle (Kokotajlo) Ginn, who graduated from Gross Catholic in 1991, is the school receptionist in the front office. She has been working at Gross Catholic since 2022. She is married and her children have attended Catholic schools.
402-734-2000 ext. 131
Mr. Conde Groski is our Facilities Manager. He was born and raised in South O and graduated from Bryan High School. Groski has two daughters who both are graduates of Gross Catholic. The oldest graduated from Doane University with a degree in graphic design and currently resides in California. The youngest daughter currently attends Northwest Missouri State. Mr. Groski is a parishioner of St. Bernadette parish and an active member of both the Men’s Club and KOC. He loves to golf, go to Polka dances, travel, and attend Husker football games. GBR! He is engaged to be married at the end of 2023.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 152
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 assistant technology director and has helped Catholic elementary schools develop their technology programs through teacher training workshops and consultation. He has taught on-campus and online 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.
Coach Hampton has got both wrestling teams fired up and ready to go. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Hartfield is the head swimming coach. The swim team co-ops with Ralston. Practices and home meets are at the Ralston High School pool.
Coach Hempel has been with the boys baseball program for many years and takes over for Mike Filipowicz, a legendary Gross Catholic Cougar Coach.
402-734-2000 ext. 129
Cris Herek is in charge of our lunch room and vending and does a great job for the kids.
402-734-2000 ext. 106
Maria (Novak) Hite is a 1991 Gross Catholic graduate. She is the Staff Accountant for the Business/Finance Office. Maria has lived abroad in Europe for the past 19 years, is married and have three daughters.
402-734-2000 ext. 121
Most recently, Ms.Brandi Holys was the Director of Development and Communications for Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha. She has a record of accomplishment securing six-figure grants from national, regional, and local foundations, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.
Also, Ms. Holys also has experience with capital campaigns as a consultant to diocesan campaigns and with the Nebraska Humane Society. She is an alumna of St. Patrick’s High School in North Platte and since 2005 has called the Omaha area her home. With 20 years of experience as a fundraiser and director, Ms. Holys expertise and passion is helping organizations and causes generate financial resources to do great work and make a difference.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 105
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 social media channels, the school information system, and the school website. Mr. Homan has lived in Omaha most of his life. He has 2 daughters.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 313
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. Mrs. Hughes is married to a Gross Catholic grad (Mark ’83) and they are the parents of three children who have attended Catholic school.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 317
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. 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. 318
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. 150
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.
Graduating from Bellevue West High School in 2014 and playing softball for Coach Cassie Onken, Coach Knoblauch knows what it takes to be a successful athlete. Not only did she play for Mount Marty University and Coach Tate Bruckner from 2014-2018, but she also coached JV softball at Ralston and Bellevue West. Now, she’s ready to bring her knowledge and experience to our beloved Cougar family. And did we mention that she’s a St. Bernadette parishioner? She is married to Devin, Gross Catholic class of 2014. She wants the Cougar family to know how excited she is to uphold the proud tradition of Cougar softball and to serve our student athletes in reaching the next level for our program! We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated coach.
402-734-2000 ext. 126
Mr. Ryan Larson comes to us from more than a decade of recruitment experience at the college level. Most recently, he was Assistant Registrar for the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He has served in admissions leadership roles at Buena Vista University, Iowa Western Community College, and the University of South Dakota – where he recruited primarily from the Omaha metro area.
Mr. Larson and wife Samantha reside in Council Bluffs with their dog Molly. In his free time, he enjoys woodworking, watching sports, traveling, photography and spending time with family.
402-734-2000 ext. 306
Mrs. Lizzie Mason attended Mercy High school and then Wayne State College where she graduated in 2019 with a degree in Social Studies Education.
Mrs. Mason spends her free time listening to podcasts, crafting, and traveling with her husband. She is also an avid board gamer player and collector.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 311
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, 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. 337
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. 112
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) married in 1995 and they have been blessed with 4 children.
402-734-2000 ext. 128
402-734-2000 ext. 323
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. 138
Mr. Bruce Moore is our Technology Director. Mr. Moore earned a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and holds certifications in instructional technology, history, physical education, and coaching from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He has served as a middle school/high school teacher, coach, assistant technology director, STEAM integration director, and technology director in both public and private schools. Mr. Moore and his wife live in Bellevue. They have three children, a son and two daughters.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 326
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. 340
After graduating from Indiana University in 2008 with her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English, Ms. 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. Novotny joined the Cougar family in August of 2011 and is married to Nate Novotny, who is a Gross Catholic graduate and also taught at Gross for a number of years. They have two children.
402-734-2000 ext. 108
Terry O’Donnell, our Athletic Director and Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, attended St. Joan of Arc Elementary and Middle School in Westgate and attended Gross Cath0lic. While at Gross, he was a multi-sport athlete: football, basketball, baseball, and track. After high school, he entered Bellevue University to study business and play basketball. After deciding to become a teacher, he transferred to the University of Nebraska, Omaha to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education. While at UNO, he helped coach Bellevue University’s basketball team.
Terrence has held several positions in his professional career. He spent a year in South America teaching middle and high school English in Cali, Colombia. He returned stateside to teach social studies at Omaha South High School. There he coached Freshman and JV boys’ basketball. Subsequently, O’Donnell moved to Bryan High School where for nine years he taught history and sociology and was the Varsity boys’ basketball coach.
Terrence has deep ties to the South Omaha community and has been influential in athletic communities throughout the city. He was the co-founder and Director of Basketball Development for the girls’ basketball team Mid-City Mambas. Also, O’Donnell has volunteered with Completely Kids and Police Athletics for Community Engagement (PACE). Finally, he is active with the Dual Language Home and School Association and serves on the school board at St. Joan of Arc.
Terrence is married to Gross alumna, Rosa Valencia ’00, and they have three children. They are parishioners at St. Joan of Arc. Notably, Terrence enjoys triathlon training and mountain biking, practices mindfulness and yoga, and is an avid adventure traveler.
402-734-2000 ext. 116
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. 300
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. 119
Kelly (Waring) Povondra graduated from Gross Catholic in 2000. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Kelly previously worked for the Lincoln Journal Star in their advertising department. Kelly and Dan ’00 have three children.
402-734-2000 ext 327
Ms. Paloma Power holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Nebraska Wesleyan University and moved to New York City shortly after graduating in 2018 where she performed as well as booked contracts across the United States. She is also the Dance Director and choreographer for The Broadway Advantage with Broadway performer, Kelli James and composer, Steven Applegate. She works as a professional actress across the country and is the Midwest Representative for Brian Clowdus Experiences.
Ms. Power’s most recent regional theatre credits include playing Katrina in the award winning national production of The Sleepy Hollow Experience and Belle in The Christmas Carol Experience. She feels blessed to have worked and performed with Broadway stars: Steven Applegate, Kelli James, and Anthony Crivello in Home for the Holidays. She has choreographed countless productions across the Midwest in both high school and university settings. Come October, Ms. Power will be reprising her role of Katrina in Granbury, Texas in the award winning Sleepy Hollow Experience!
She is working on obtaining her Masters in Teaching. Ms. Power is a 2015 alumna of Gross Catholic High school and is very excited to mentor students in their performance skills!
(402) 734-2000 ext. 331
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 and is the Dean of Curriculum. 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. 123
Lexi is our Donor Relations Specialist. Previously, Lexi worked at Midland University where she was Assistant Director of Admissions for their graduate school programs.
Mr. Anton Rice is our track coach. He began coaching at Gross Catholic in 2023.
Coach Rice ran four years of Track and Field at Gross Catholic and was a nine-time state qualifier and All-State in the 800m (and two-time state champion in the 800m in his junior and senior years).
In college, he ran four years of Track and Field at Marquette University in Milwaukee and served as team captain junior and senior years. Rice improved personal records in 400m (48.54), 500m (1:04.22), 600m (1:19.19), and 800m (1:51.26) throughout his outstanding career.
Post-college, Rice coached for five years at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee and served as the Head Sprints Coach for three of the five years. He took multiple athletes to the Wisconsin State Meet every season.
Outside of coaching track and field, Coach Rice is married and he works as a project manager for a local generator contractor that serves the Omaha area.
402-734-2000 ext. 101
Debbie Rice is our office manager. 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.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 160
Nick Romero began his teaching career at Gross Catholic in 2010. He then went to teach at La Vista Middle School in 2016, and returned to Gross a few years ago. Mr. Romero performs often around the metro area and especially enjoys playing in the pit orchestra at the Omaha Community Playhouse. He and his wife Carrie have 4 kids.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 341
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. 301
Ms. Schwartz is a science teacher and cross country/track and field coach. She came to Omaha as a part of the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps program at Creighton University, where she is currently pursuing her masters in education. Ms. Schwartz grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with a degree in Biology in December of 2020. Outside of school, she enjoys running, biking, and hiking the National Parks with her family.
402-734-2000 ext. 132
Ryan Shanahan is our building maintenance specialist.
402-734-2000 ext. 304
Mr. Andrew Siewert recently finished thirty years of teaching English, mostly to seniors, at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, MO. In addition to teaching at Chaminade, he was also the student leadership advisor for their house system and student council.
Mr. Siewert moved to Omaha in order to be close to family who live here. He is familiar with Omaha, as he attended Creighton University for college and graduate school. While in school there, he taught one semester at Gross Catholic. He states “It feels a bit like a return of sorts, though if anyone had told me then that I’d be back one day, I wouldn’t have believed it!” Mr. Siewert is a passionate supporter of the United States’ men’s and women’s soccer teams. He likes to cook, read, play guitar, and listen to music.
(402) 734-2000 ext. 336
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. 301
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. 342
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 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. 311
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 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. 309
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.
Linda Walker is our girls varsity basketball coach. Coach Walker previously coached girls basketball at Wahoo High School and guided the Warriors to 373 wins over 24 seasons as head coach.
402-734-2000 ext. 107
Nancy Williams began working at Gross Catholic in 2023. She is the Senior Accountant in the Business Office.
Mr. Wilson is the current girls golf head coach and has had great success. When he is not on the golf course, Coach Wilson owns and manages the Runza in Papillion.
Mr. Yanovich is the head girls soccer coach. He previously was the boys soccer coach. He graduated from Gross Catholic in 1991 and also has been a youth soccer coach in the Omaha area.