Board of Specified Jurisdiction

The Northside Catholic Academy Board of Specified Jurisdiction (BSJ) advises the school administration on a number of topics including school policies, budget and tuition rates. Board members also serve on committees that deal with subjects such as Finance, Long Range Planning, Facilities, Marketing and Development. The BSJ meets five times a year. See the NCA events calendar for meeting dates.

Board Members May Be:  

  • Parishioners
  • Alumni and parents of alumni
  • Leaders within the neighborhood, civic, business, and professional communities
  • School parents and guardians
  • A maximum of 20% of the Board members may be non-Catholic.


BSJ members commit to prepare for and attend board meetings, and to participate actively in at least one of the standing committees of the BSJ. The Northside Catholic Academy school community shall have an active and supportive role by having the NCA Parent Organization (NCAPO) President or designated representative of the organization attend and report at BSJ meetings. The president and the school principal sit on the BSJ Ex Officio.

The BSJ adopts a consensus model of decision-making; work is prepared in committee before presentation to the board membership. The Executive Committee includes the board chair, assistant chair, board secretary, the president, and the principal. The school administrator and the board chair set the board agenda and monitor the board calendar. An agenda, including the minutes from each current committee’s work, is provided to board members. 

2020-2021 Board of Specified Jurisdiction

Fr. Bob Cook, OFM Conv., PRESIDENT: Fr. Bob Cook is originally from central Massachusetts. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, Boston University School of Law, Washington Theological Union, and Sacred Heart School of Theology. After working as an attorney in a Boston law firm, he joined the Conventual Franciscans in 1995 and was a brother until being ordained to the priesthood in 2010. As a friar, his ministries have included Vice President of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Administrator of Marytown: The National Shrine of Saint Maxmillian Kolbe, Administrator of Saint Nicholas Parish in Evanston, Director of Carrollton Hall Catholic historical site, Provincial Secretary and staff attorney for Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program. 


Jackie Blake, CHAIR: Jackie Blake is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has four children, a 2-year-old and three children currently at NCA (1st, 3rd, and 7th). She has a background in campus ministry and nonprofit work.

Sarah Millar, VICE-CHAIR: Sarah is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has two children at NCA (8th and 6th). She is an attorney and specializes in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation.

Rich Stoltz, TREASURER: Rich is a parishoner at St. Gertrude and has one child at NCA (7th) and one alum. He is a Senior Attorney for the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He is also chair of NCA’s Fiscal Management Committee.

Karen Ewing, SECRETARY: Karen is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has an eighth grader at NCA and one alum. She is a legal assistant at JMB Financial Advisors, LLC. She is also the President of the NCAPO.

Chris Atkinson: Chris is a resident and active community member of the West Ridge neighborhood where she has lived for nearly two decades.  She is the Director of Real Estate, Construction, and Facilities at PharmaCann LLC where she oversees dozens of facilities and construction projects in excess of $175 million nationwide.  She previously served as President of the Associate Board for Girls on the Run Chicago and was a Community Educator and Support Group Facilitator at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in Chapel Hill, NC. Chris joined the BSJ in 2019, and is an independent (non-parent) board member. 

Colleen Clennon: Colleen is an alumna of the first graduating class of NCA and parishioner of St. Gertrude. An Intensive Care Unit nurse by background, she currently works as an Operations Manager within the healthcare industry. Colleen joined the board in 2019, and is an independent (non-parent) board member. 

Colleen Fulkerson: Colleen is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has three children at NCA (3rd, 7th, and 8th) and one alum. She works for Felician Services, Inc., the sole corporate member of the Felician Sisters of North America, overseeing governance and sponsorship for thirty ministries sponsored in the Sisters' name. She has been an active member of St. Gertrude's Parish Pastoral Council and serves on the NCA Advancement and Development Committee.

Kelly Hixenbaugh: Kelly is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has two children at NCA (5th and 8th). She is Vice President of Communication Strategy at Kindle Communications and serves as the Chair of NCA’s Marketing and Communications Committee. Kelly previously served on the Financial Council of St. Gertrude’s Parish.

Nancy Kelly: Nancy started her career as an educator in both Chicago Public Schools and the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago before becoming a Catholic Schools' principal. She has also taught in Teacher Education Departments at Loyola University and Northeastern Illinois University. She earned her PhD at Loyola University specific to the field of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in addition to obtaining several other education-related advanced degrees. Her grandchildren attend NCA (Jr K, 2nd, and 7th).

Brian Pavona: Brian is an independent Board Member. Brian currently sits on NCA’s Finance committee, and has served previously as Chair of NCA’s Membership and Governance Committee. He has a BBA and MAcc from the University of Michigan.  He is the Managing Director at BKD CPAs & Advisors and our representative from the Big Shoulders Fund Chairmens' Advisory Council.

Megan Thibert-Ind: Megan is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has four children (PS, 3rd, 5th, and 7th). She is an attorney at McDermott Will & Emery. She is chair of NCA’s Arts Committee.

Maggie Wrenn: Maggie is a parishioner at St. Ignatius and has had three children graduate from NCA and currently has an eighth grader at NCA. She is the Executive Director at Lakefront Hospitality Group. She has served as a board member for over 10 years.

John Wyman: John is a parishioner at St. Gertrude and has two children at NCA (3rd and 5th). He is the Managing Principal Broker-Wyman Real Estate Group under the @properties Brokerage firm. John is also the Chair of NCA’s Development and Advancement Committee.

2020-2021 Board of Specified Jurisdiction Grade Representatives:


Megan Thibert-Ind:



Jackie Blake:


1st Grade: 

Jackie Blake:


2nd Grade

Maggie Wrenn:


3rd Grade

John Wyman:


4th Grade:  

Colleen Fulkerson:


5th Grade

Kelly Hixenbaugh:


6th Grade

Sarah Millar:


7th Grade

Rich Stoltz:


8th Grade:

Karen Ewing:


Independent Board Representative (not NCA parents):

Brian Pavona:

Colleen Clennon: