North Central College - Naperville, IL

Thomas Smith M '02

Thomas Smith M ’02 was named social science/world language division head at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, IL. Smith has taught social science courses for 15 years at John Hersey, Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, IL, and Elk Grove High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from North Central and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northeastern Illinois University.

Debra Behrens '97

Debra Behrens was named development director of College Possible Twin Cities. She will oversee strategic fundraising and communication plans to build community support for the mission and programs of College Possible. Behrens also serves on the board of the Stevens Square Community Organization. She previously held positions as the director of development for the Animal Humane Society and associate development officer with the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

Aubrey Pauly Secrest '07

Aubrey Pauly Secrest is owner and founder of Bride Meets Wedding, Inc. which can be found at BrideMeetsWedding. com. She began the online bridal resource website in March 2012. The website is aimed at couples in the Galena/tri-state and Rockford areas looking to host destination weddings and have access to vendors and information when planning from afar. Secrest also recently launched an online bridal consignment site called, which allows women from across the country to resell or purchase gently used gowns, décor, accessories and more.

Amy Pietras Newman '00

Amy Pietras Newman received the 2013 Utah Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award from the Utah Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (UAHPERD). She teaches elementary physical education and middle school adventure physical education at Weilenmann School of Discovery in Park City, UT. Newman recently completed her first 50-mile trail race and plans on more races in the future. She and her husband Aaron reside in Park City with their dogs.

Karen Larson Graves M '03

Karen Larson Graves M ’03 is director of the Chester P. Sutton Community Center and East Central Illinois Mass Transit District. She previously served as a technology/ computer coordinator for Paris Union School District 95. The center helps senior citizens fill out government forms and assists with other services. She has taught, worked in the private sector and owned her own business. Outside of work, she operates the Save a Mutt Dog Shelter in Chrisman, IL.

Joanna Bourque '98

Joanna Bourque was a designer for the DuPage Children’s Museum’s M.A.S.K. Project to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The project supported the museum’s mission to stimulate curiosity, creativity and problem-solving in children. Professional artists designed more than 100 masks autographed by 65 celebrities, and the masks were auctioned off online. Before becoming a teacher, Bourque served as a school programs and exhibits specialist with the DuPage Children’s Museum. She is an elementary school art teacher at Spring Brook Elementary in Naperville.

Anthony Tinerella M '07

Anthony Tinerella M ’07 will take over as the next headmaster at Marmion Academy in Aurora, IL, on July 1. Tinerella began at Marmion Academy in 1990 as a physics and biology teacher. He has served as the science department chair, varsity head football coach, assistant dean of students and dean of students. In 2009 he accepted a position as principal of Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, IL.

Robert Pomazak '01

Robert Pomazak was hired in the St. Charles North High School physical education department and will coach football beginning August 2013. He previously served as a physical education teacher, sophomore baseball coach and football defensive coordinator at Elk Grove High School. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health from California University of Pennsylvania. During his time at North Central, Pomazak played baseball for the Cardinals.

Sarah Eikleberry '04

Sarah Eikleberry earned a Ph.D in health and sports studies from the University of Iowa. In fall 2013 she will begin working in the department of kinesiology at St. Ambrose University as an assistant professor. She attributes her ability to realize this goal to Jerry Gems, professor of health and physical education at North Central.

Emily Ruggiero '98

Emily Ruggiero is business development manager for Management Concepts in Washington, D.C. She has been in sales and marketing for 15 years and pursued post-graduate work at the University of Virginia. In her current role, she works with federal government entities and intelligence and civilian agencies regarding financial training and verification. Ruggiero may be reached at