Meet Our New Principal

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff!

I hope and pray that everyone enjoys their vacation here in Chicago and elsewhere. The school and church parking lot is quiet, and we miss you. In case you didn’t know, we have completed our Fatima Garden project in front of the school. The garden and the school look lovely. Thank you to everyone who helped us with the donations to build this garden. When you have a moment, please check the particular gallery from the blessing and dedication of the garden – Click here to open.

Once again, thank you to our principal, Mrs. Sue Betlzolt, for the 12 years she has been principal of St. Francis Borgia School for her dedication and service to our community. We wish her well and will pray and remember all her excellent work.

I am happy to announce our new principal’s appointment for the S.F.B. school. Mr. Eric Passarelli will be stepping into this pivotal role, bringing his unique skills and experience to our community. Mr. Passarelli officially assumed his responsibilities on July 1. His first day in our school will be Monday, July 8, 2024. Please see below for information about our new principal. We welcome Mr. Passarelli into our school and offer our prayers and support.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the members of the Principal Search Committee. Their invaluable consultation, unwavering dedication, and fervent prayers were instrumental in this process. Their continued support will be crucial as we navigate this transition.

As a reminder, here are the members of the Principal Search Committee:
  • Father Marek Smolka – Pastor

  • Lorelei Bobroff – Archdiocese Regional Director

  • Melanie Petzold – S.F.B. Kindergarten Teacher/Parishioner/Parent of Alumni

  • Christine Gallagher – S.F.B. Seventh Grade Teacher

  • Craig Hammermeister – School Board President/Alumnus/Parent 

  • Britni Rakowiecki – Parent

  • Lucja Mirowska-Kopec – Parish Council

  • Anna Zawisza – Operation Director 

  • Darlene Lehman – Finance Council/Elementary Teacher for 30 years

  • Wojciech Kois – Parishioner/ Parish Council  

If you are in town, I would like to invite you to our weekend masses on July 13/14 (English masses – Saturday 4:00 pm, Sunday 7:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, and Polish masses—Sunday 9:00 am, 1:30 pm, 6:00 pm) to meet our new principal. There will also be more opportunities to meet Mr. Passarelli later on. 

Pray for the new principal, staff, faculty, students, and parents as we transition.


Fr. Marek Smolka
Pastor of St. Francis Borgia

Hi SFB Families and Community,

My name is Erick Passarelli and I am excited and blessed to be named the new principal of St Francis Borgia School! This school has a great reputation within the Archdiocese of Chicago and I am honored to now help contribute to the great successes already taking place here! 

I am a product of Catholic education, having graduated from St. Patricia School, Marist High School, and then Lewis University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education. I continued my education at Lewis for my master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and then Educational Leadership. Catholic education has been a big part of my life and I am proud to continue that with the principal position here at SFB! 

I have been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal within the Diocese of Joliet and the Archdiocese of Chicago since I started my career 12 years ago and each position has taught me valuable insights on running a successful Catholic school. 

I invite everyone to please reach out if you want to talk about anything SFB! I look forward to getting to know this great community and I also look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you!

Go Bombers!

– Erick Passarelli