Dominican Vision January 2014

Trinity teachers, classmates still inspire former student


Sister Angele Spehn, OPSister Angele Spehn, OP, liked teaching and being with people, especially children. She remembers her years at Trinity, River Forest, IL, with warmth. “I liked it at Trinity,” she said. “Some of my students are now married and far away.” Sr. Angele is grateful that her former students write to her.


by Eileen Dushek-Manthe

I am eternally grateful for my teachers at Trinity High School, River Forest, IL, as well as my classmates who still inspire me.


Junior and senior years, Sister Angele Spehn, OP, taught us as much about culture and the arts as she did about literature and writing. Back then, we loved to get her off track of the assignment and have her talk to us about the staging of a play or what Verona [Italy] was like in the 1500s or a multitude of other topics. We thought we were getting away with something, but it’s unbelievable how much learning was going on during those side discussions. She took us to plays, including Kabuki Medea, which has remained impressed in my memory to this day. Along with my mom, Sr. Angele was a huge part of my cultural formation.


The morning of our American History mid-term exam, we were greeted with the sad news that our teacher, Sister Joel Stier, OP (1922–1983), had passed away. We all respected her and were very saddened. We had American History 5th period after lunch and spent the end of our lunch studying the reading assignment Sr. Joel had given us, since she would randomly call on us to answer questions. No one wanted to face her if we didn’t have the answer! She also had the gift of divining who was chewing gum (not allowed) and would make us spit it out.


Sister and two students
From left: Lynda “Lyn” Potucek (now Schmidt), Sr. Joel Stier, and Christine Caponigri (now Frech) at Trinity High School, River Forest, IL, after the junior ring ceremony.

Teachers play such an important role in the development of teens (second only to parents), and, therefore, of society in general. I was very blessed to have these dedicated women participate in the formation of who I am today.


Christine V. (Caponigri) Frech
Chicago, IL