The following bio was published in February 2022.
Michelle Dennis Nitsche ‘93 is an award-winning educator and administrator whose career has been dedicated to inspiring her students and enhancing the schools in which she has served.
Michelle grew up in St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish alongside five siblings. She was raised by her mother, who always supported her hopes and dreams, and chose to follow in her older sister’s footsteps by attending Mother McAuley High School.
As captain of the varsity volleyball team, Michelle led her team to winning the state championship in 1992. After graduating from McAuley, she began her collegiate career at Tennessee Tech on a volleyball scholarship. She later finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Michelle also holds a Master’s Degree in Reading, also from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Type 75 Certification in Administration from Concordia University.
Michelle began her teaching career in the heart of Chicago’s inner city. She spent 14 years transforming the lives of Chicago Public School students and was nominated for the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.
During her years as a teacher, Michelle met and married her husband Marty, and they began their family. Their oldest son Marty, and their triplets, Brian, Billy, and Molly, are the greatest gift that she ever received. After taking time away from her career to care for her young children, Michelle returned to the workforce in 2016 as the principal of St. Cajetan Elementary School in Chicago’s Morgan Park community.
Under her leadership, St. Cajetan has consistently increased its enrollment, conducted fundraising campaigns that have netted more than $2.8 million, and designed and built new STEM and Technology labs for its students. In recognition of these efforts, Michelle was recently awarded the St. Thomas Aquinas Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago. This award is given to principals who relentlessly foster excellence in education through a commitment to rigor, continuous improvement, and 21st-Century instructional practices.
Michelle is a Mighty Mac through and through, and she credits her four years at Mother McAuley with helping her develop a strong foundation in faith, character, and leadership. She will forever be grateful to the teachers, administrators, coaches, and peers who made her four years at McAuley such a transformative experience. She would also like to thank her mother for being her greatest role model, her siblings who always took her under their wings, her husband and children who love her unconditionally and support all her crazy endeavors, and her dear friends, most of whom are fellow Mighty Macs who have been by her side through the roller coaster ride of life.