Meet Our Staff

Meet our 2016-2017 Staff Members 

Teacher Name

Subject and Grade Level Taught

E-mail address

About the Staff Member

Jeanette Acevedo

Office Manager

Jeanette Acevedo was born and raised in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago. In 2005 she graduated from Robert Morris University with a bachelor's in Business Management. She joined Pritzker College Prep in 2012 when a friend recommend her to apply. She's currently the office manager at Pritzker College Prep. During her free time Ms. Acevedo enjoys going on walks with her dogs and trying out different restaurants.

Jose Alvarez

9th-12th Grades, MCJROTC  

Gunny is the Marine Corps JROTC Instructor.  He has a Bachelor’s in Justice Studies and is currently working on his Master’s degree in Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois. He is a native of Chicago, born and raised in the geographical area. He served for 21 years in the United States Marine Corps, decorated and honorably discharged. His passion is working with youth and mentoring wayward young men.    

Nicole Amato

10th Grade Classical Literature and Composition

Nicole Amato received her B.A. in English Education from Clemson University and her M.A. in Literacy from Furman University. Although Nicole grew up in New Jersey, she stayed in South Carolina to teach 9th Grade English and Creative Writing for 5 years. In 2012, Nicole traded in her sweet tea, BBQ, and southern hospitality for deep dish, public transportation and the snowy streets of Chicago – a decision she has yet to regret! Currently, Nicole is teaching 10th Grade Classical Literature and helping her advisory navigate their junior year! In her free time, you can find Nicole cooking for friends, catching a movie at the Logan Theater, or searching for the best tamale in town!

Hadley Austin

  12th Grade Lead European History

Ms. Austin was raised in Kentucky and spent most of her adult years in Arizona, moving to Chicago in 2008. She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Religious Studies and again in 2007 with a Master’s in English. In the past she has taught English and religious studies courses at Northern Arizona University, worked as a librarian at NAU’s Cline Library and the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library. She has also taught ESL and composition courses at Truman College and had a brief tenure as a children’s social worker at a women’s shelter. Of all these undertakings, teaching at Pritzker has been the most rewarding.

Chris Biddix

10th Grade, Geometry Teacher

Chris Biddix received his B.A. in Global Studies and Linguistics from Liberty University; M.Ed in Teaching from Grand Canyon University.  He is originally from North Carolina, and has worked with student mentors,  youth leadership training, and education for 7 years.  He has traveled to 14 different countries around the world and taught for 3 years on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Chris is beginning his 1st year at Pritzker teaching Geometry and serving as English as Second Language Support.  His passions, aside from teaching, include traveling,  food, and quality time with family friends.


Rachel Brick

9th Grade Lead, Composition Teacher

Rachel Brick attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she graduated with Honors with B.A. in Sociology.  Upon graduation Rachel joined Teach For America and taught elementary school in the New York City public schools for the following six years.  During her time in New York she received her Masters in Elementary Education from Bank Street College and became a NYC Department of Education Common Core Fellow.  After a wonderful experience teaching younger children Rachel decided to change her path and follow her dream of teaching high school, which led to an exciting move to Chicago.

Gabrielle Budzon

11th Grade, Biology Teacher

Gabrielle Budzon received her B.A. in Biology from Northwestern University, along with her teaching certificate.  Growing up in a western suburb of Chicago, Gabrielle enjoyed playing softball, tennis, and viola at West Leyden High School.  In her free time, she enjoys umping softball, reading, and taking care of her crested gecko, Gex.  She is excited to start out her teaching career at Pritzker College Prep as a 10th grade Chemistry teacher!

Marilyn Burns

9th-12th, Front Office Staff


Ron Burns

9th-12th, Disciplinarian


Kaellagh Cassidy

10th Grade, World History Teacher (History  Department Lead)

Kaellagh Cassidy received her B.A. in International Studies and French from the University of Wisconsin - Madison; M.Ed in Teaching from DePaul University.  She is originally from Chicago, and not much has changed aside from a spent year abroad and college.  Kaellagh is beginning her 4th year at Pritzker teaching World History and AP World History.  Out of the classroom she coaches Cross Country and runs the Pritzker Garden.  She is currently the 10th Grade Lead and excited about the '17 SophoMORES!  Kaellagh is a Stanford Hollyhock Fellow.  Her passions, aside from teaching, include running, french, frisbee, travel, and being nerdy.

Samantha Corvino

11th and 12th Grace Biology and Physics (11th Grade Lead)

Samantha Corvino was born and raised right outside Chicago.  She attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia on a Presidential Scholarship and majored in Mathematics, Physics, and French.  While in college Ms. Corvino studied for a year in Besancon, France, where she traveled extensively.  She loves French, but realized she was truly passionate about Science!  After graduating from Agnes Scott College, Ms. Corvino joined Teach For America in Chicago.  She spent 4 years teaching math and science before joining the Pritzker team, where she now teaches Biology and Physics.  Outside of school Ms. Corvino really enjoys spending time at the park with her dog and exploring all the fun that Chicago has to offer!

Sarah Coss

9th-12th Grade, Physical Education  

Sarah Cross was born and raised in Illinois. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. While owning a restaurant had always been her goal, she realized that working nights, weekends, and holidays so that customers could get a good steak was not actually what she wanted to do with her life. In 2007, Ms. Cross went to Costa Rica to become certified to teach English as a foreign language. She taught at a high school in Costa Rica for a year and then moved to Argentina to teach English to adults. Upon her return from South America, she volunteered with AmeriCorps for a year. Ms. Cross was extremely grateful that her AmeriCorps program placed her at Pritzker College Prep. She became an official member of the staff in 2010 and is very happy to have a job that she is excited to go to each and every day.

Katie Curtin

9th-12th Grade, Journalism Teacher, Electives Department Chair

Katie Curtin was born in Bloomington, Minnesota, where she lived until moving to Phoenix for high school. She received her B.A. in International Relations and French from Boston University and her M.S. Ed. in Secondary English from the University of Pennsylvania. Katie began her teaching career through Teach For America, teaching 10th grade English in Philadelphia for three years before moving to Chicago. Katie is eager to start the journalism program at Pritzker and develop a student newspaper. Outside of school, Katie enjoys running, doing yoga, and pretending to know how to cook.

Benjamin Das

9th-12th Grade, Band Director

Benjamin Das founded the music department at Pritzker College Prep in 2007. Originally from New Jersey, Mr. Das first started playing the bass at age 13 and has been performing professionally since high school. He attended Berklee College of Music where he studied jazz performance and music education. In his seven years of teaching in Boston and Chicago, Mr. Das' commitment to teaching has only deepened. His achievements in music education have been recognized both locally and nationally, and his honors include Fidelity's Inspire the Future Award (2007) and the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Award (2010).

Emily Driessen

9th-12th Grade, Physical Education, PE Department Lead

Emily Driessen was born and raised in St. Charles, a western suburb of Chicago. After high school she continued her education at Illinois State University where she studied health and physical education. At ISU, Ms. Driessen worked as a referee at the student recreation center where she participated in a variety of intramural sports. After school, you can find her coaching volleyball, basketball, softball or hanging around the gym beating students at any sport.

Scott Dick

12th grade, European History and Resource Teacher

Mr Scott, a true Scotsman, earned his history MA at the University of St Andrews before traveling the world as an ESL teacher. He has taught in Hong Kong, South Korea, Poland, and England. Since coming to Chicago, he gained his MAT in History from UIC and has been a resource teacher at Pritzker for the past three years. Additionally, he coaches the Ethics Bowl team, runs the Webster Club, and helps out in Book Club. A keen philatelist, Mr Scott also enjoys hiking, swimming, and mystery novels.

Chris Duncan

9th Grade, Environmental Science Teacher

Chris is from Yorkville, Illinois and attended Illinois Wesleyan University. He spent 2 years following college working in consulting before joining Teach for America and moving to Baton Rouge to begin his teaching career. Chris worked as a middle school ELA Inclusion teacher and Selfcontained SPED ELA teacher in Baton Rouge. He then moved to New Orleans and worked as the 5th and 6th grade Math teacher and team leader and the 7th and 8th grade Math teacher and Team Leader before moving back to Chicago and moving into the 5th grade Science and Grade-Level Chair role at KIPP: Create. Last year Chris was the 7th grade Science teacher and Grade-Level Chair and is excited about being a part of Pritzker this year. Outside of work, Chris loves Insanity (if you're up for it, let him know), being on his bike, anything on the water, Groupons, and his dog Schmitty.

Laura Edwards

12th Grade, College Counselor and Summer of  Lifetime Coordinator

Laura Edwards received her B.A. in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan and worked in sales before getting her Masters in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After working in Chicago Public Schools for a few years, Ms. Edwards joined the Pritzker team in 2010 as a learning specialist and then transferred to the college team where she also serves as the summer program coordinator. During her free time Ms. Edwards enjoys rollerblading along the lakefront or going out to eat with friends in various neighborhoods. She also loves to travel and meet new people.

Luz Espinoza

12th Grade, College Manager

Espinoza was born and raised in Chicago - aside from the three years that she lived in Mexico and the four years she lived in Carbondale while attending Southern Illinois University. After getting her bachelor’s degree in business administration, she worked for a real estate company as an office manager. Three years later she realized that real estate was not for her and left the business. After hearing from her sister that a new Noble school was opening and that they were hiring, she became part of the founding staff at Golder College Prep. Along with being the office manager, she also coached the girls’ soccer team. She is now in her third year at Pritzker and is currently working in the college counseling department as well as coaching both boys and girls soccer. She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Michael Milkie and the Right Angle Foundation - which helped her attend Brown University during one of their summer programs - and do the same for Pritzker students.

Pam Eggum

11th Grade, Learning Specialist

Pamela Eggum received her Master of Teaching from National Louis University, where she completed endorsements in Social Science and Marketing.  In addition, Pam has been endorsed as a Learning/Behavioral Specialist from Dominican University.  She also completed her Master of Business Administration from Dominican University.  Her B.S. in Business Administration is from Northern Illinois University.    Pam began her teaching career at a therapeutic day school in the western suburbs before joining the Pritzker staff in 2014.  She enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, making dessert to share with her co-workers , and family dinners.  Pam is excited to work with the 11th grade students in their pursuit of academic success on the ACT to ensure they meet their personal goals for college.

Allison Fifolt  

10th Grade, Algebra 2 and Geometry

Allison Fifolt was born and raised in Grand Haven, MI, a small town on Michigan's west coast. Upon earning her Honor's Bachelor Degree from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), Allison joined Teach for America. As a TFA corps member she spent two years teaching on the south side of Chicago before transitioning to Pritzker College Prep. She currently teaches Algebra 2, Geometry, coaches the school's math team and enjoys supporting her advisory girls. In her free time Allison loves to snowboard, binge on Neflix TV series, and explore new restaurants.

Sara Golden

11th Grade,

Sara Golden grew up in Northern California, and has wanted to teach since she lined up stuffed animals for addition lessons. The opportunity to attend Stanford University meant she was able to stay relatively close to home and have one of the greatest college experiences she could have imagined. She majored in Mathematics and loved every minute of it. After graduation, she moved to Houston, where she taught Geometry, Algebra 2, and AP Stats for five years at a large suburban high school. A chance to move to Chicago brought her to live in a proper city for the first time three years ago, which Sara enjoys more than she first thought she would. She truly values the chance to teach in a city that she has grown to love. In the summer time you can probably find her at the lake, grilling, jogging, or just out enjoying the neighborhood. In the winter (which, for the record, is an easy trade-off after summers on the Gulf coast) she’s probably on the couch with a crochet project listening to a podcast.

Mollie Griffin

Dean of Instruction and 11th US History Teacher

Mollie Griffin is in her 5th year at Pritzker College Prep as the he 11th AP/US History teacher. She has a BA from Boston College and two masters in education, a MS from the UW-Madison and a MAT from National Louis. She began teaching as a Teach for American ‘07 corps member in a 9th grade English classroom on the south side of Chicago. In her teaching career she has held various leadership positions like Freshmen Academy Leader, Junior Grade Level Lead, and Relay Mentor Lead. She is currently a Stanford CSET Fellow and a Teach+ Policy Fellow. In her (limited) free time, Ms. Griffin spends most of time reading whatever she happened to have one-clicked for her Kindle, making Mr. Griffin take long walks throughout the city, researching which companies have teacher discounts, and talking to her two year old nephew on FaceTime.

Benjamin Groch

10th Grade, Classical Literature Teaher

Benjamin Groch received his B.A. in English with a minor in German at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M. Ed in Teaching from National Louis University. Hailing from a small town in rural Illinois, Groch pursued his interest in language and literature throughout and after college, including stints in Germany and Austria, where he studied German and taught the English language to adorable and treacherous grade- and high-schoolers. Returning stateside and moving into secondary education, 2016-2017 is his first year at Pritzker and his 5th year teaching high school. He hopes to share his passion for literature, language, soccer and music with students in order to engender multi-talented, life-loving students as they rise to and beyond college!  

Jasmine Guy

9th-12th Grade, Student Activities Coordinator and World History Teacher

Jasmine Guy was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Human Development & Family Studies with a concentration in Child & Adolescent Development. After gaining her  bachelors degree, Jasmine moved back to Chicago and began working as a preschool teacher. Outside of teaching,  Jasmine loves to read, shop, and eat awesome Mexican cuisine!

Huma Haider

9th Grade, Algebra 1 Teacher

Huma Haider studied Secondary Education and Mathematics here in Chicago at DePaul University. Prior to joining Pritzker, Huma worked with the marketing team at the Better Business Bureau and also tutored math at various schools throughout the city. Currently, she teaches ninth grade Algebra 1 and 2 at Pritzker. Huma’s other interests consist of running, eating delicious food (not cooking), and exploring the outdoors with her amazing dog, Buddy Boo Love.

Pam Johnson

9th-12th, Dean of Culture

Pam Johnson born and raised in the northwest suburbs on Chicago. She received a B.S. in Integrated Biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign followed by a M.A.T in secondary education from National Louis. As soon as she graduated, she moved to Corby, England to teach biology, chemistry and physics at Brooke Weston Academy. After 4 years of teaching and traveling Europe she came back to Chicago to teach Environmental Science at Pritzker and transitioned into Dean of Culture in 2013. In her free time, she loves traveling, walking her dog to Pritzker sporting events and cooking/eating all things chocolate.

Rebecca Kaegi

11th and 12th Grade, Russian Teacher

Rebecca Kaegi, a native of Kalamazoo, MI, received a BSJ (journalism) from Northwestern University; a Master's in Slavic Linguistics from Indiana University; and an M.Ed. from DePaul University. She began studying Russian in her freshman year of college, which led to two study-abroad experiences: a summer in Sochi, site of the recent Olympic Games in southern Russia; and two months in St. Petersburg, far to the north on the Baltic Sea. Her first teaching experience was a first-year Russian class during graduate school at Indiana University. After deciding to pursue a career in education, she taught middle school history for eight years in Oak Park, IL, leaving in 2007 when her first child was born. She now has a son and two daughters, and is very happy to get back to teaching!

William Kaplan

12th Grade, Physics Teacher

Will Kaplan, originally from Chicago, attained a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, while studying Urban Studies and Sociology.  Growing up in the neighborhood of Lakeview and attending the Latin School of Chicago, Will knew he wanted to return to beauty of the Windy City.  To that end, he joined AmeriCorps Project YES!, and was placed at Golder College Prep.  There he found a passion for education and joined Teach for America Chicago.  As part of TFA, Will taught Middle School Science and Social Studies in Washington Park on Chicago’s Southside, while continue to be the Head Varsity Baseball Coach of Golder College Prep.   Growing up playing ice hockey, football, and baseball, Will has a love for all things sports, but he also enjoys travelling, tasty food, TV, the outdoors, and reading!

McKenzie Kelly

10th Grade, Chemistry Teacher

Ms. Kelly was born in New England, but spent most of her life in Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota where she received a Bachelors of Science in Ecology with a minor in Geography. Upon graduation, she accepted a job teaching 7th grade science in Charlotte, NC. While teaching, Ms. Kelly returned to school to receive her graduate certificate in Education from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She is excited to move to Chicago, a city she has dreamed about living in since she was young. When she is not working, Ms. Kelly loves spending as much time as possible outside. She is love swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, yoga, hanging out with friends and family, going to new restaurants, and just exploring new places.

Jane Knoche

12th Grade, College Counselor

Jane Knoche graduated from DePauw University with a BA in Sociology. After college, she worked at Starcom Worldwide as a strategic media planner for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. Jane quickly realized advertising was not for her, and completed her masters in community counseling. After graduate school she worked as a mental health counselor at the University of Chicago's Orthogenic School and as a developmental aide at SmartLove Preschool and Family Services. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing volleyball, and exploring new places. Jane is thrilled to be joining the Pritzker team as a college counselor and collegiate seminar teacher.

Sarah Kruger

Director of College Counseling

Sarah Kruger received her BA in Psychology at the University of Dayton. Go Flyers! She was born and raised in St. Charles, a western suburb of Chicago.  After college, Sarah joined Teach for America and worked as a Spanish teacher at South Shore - School of Technology for five years.  She also earned a Masters of Teaching from Dominican University. Sarah is entering her fifth year at Pritzker and is currently a college counselor, teaches two sections of the Collegiate Seminar class, and is the 12th Grade Level Lead.

Jennie Kuehl

11th Grade, IB Literature and American Literature

Jennie Kuehl received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she also taught English for four years before moving to Chicago in 2008. In addition to teaching at Pritzker College Prep and in Milwaukee, she has also taught at Harper High School in the Englewood neighborhood. Currently, she serves as the English Department Chair and teaches American Literature.

Liam Lawson

Alumni Coordinator

On a rainy morning in the year one thousand, nine hundred and ninety two, Liam Lawson joined the human species on Earth. The arrival was not smooth, however, as he was cursed to age extremely slow. To this day, he has only had five birthdays. Regardless, Liam made his way through high school (a little place called Pritzker College Prep), and then Connecticut College despite his youth. During those years, he nurtured passions for all things rugby, Chicago Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, White Sox, and unfortunately Chicago Cubs.Upon graduating from CC (not to be confused with UCONN), Liam earned B.A.'s in Music and Anthroplogy. Looking to return to Chicago, and specifically the Hermosa neighborhood, Liam joined the first Relay GSE cohort and highly anticipates his return to high school.

Sabrina Lee

9th Grade, Environmental Science and Algebra 1 Teacher

Sabrina Lee received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Amherst College in Amherst, MA and is currently working towards her teaching credentials and her Master of Art of Teaching (MAT) with Relay GSE.  Originally from California, life has brought her from coast to coast and she is ready to try out the Midwest. Lee is beginning her 1st year at Pritzker, aiding in Chemistry, Algebra 2, Environmental Science, and Contemporary Literature.  Out of the classroom she helps run the Yu-Gi-Oh/ Pokemon and Ethics clubs. While Pritzker keeps her busy, outside of school, Lee hopes to keep up her swimming, running, and travels.

Julia Levit

10th Grade, Learning Specialist and ELL Coordinator

Julia Levit has lived in the Chicagoland area her entire life. She attended Glenbrook North High School then moved to the city in 2001. While learning to navigate public transportation and the grid system, she attended DePaul University where she received her B.A. in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. Julia worked as a teacher's assistant in special education for several years, which was where she found her love for this population of students. As a result, she pursued a Master's at DePaul to become a Learning/Behavioral Specialist. Julia graduated from DePaul in 2012 and was hired at Pritzker College Prep. When she is not teaching, Julia is often hanging out with her cats (Ernie and Bert), grabbing dinner with friends, traveling, reading, catching up on TV shows on Netflix, or doing CrossFit (Level 1 certified). Whenever she drives down LSD (that's Lakeshore Drive for non-natives), she is overwhelmingly reminded how fantastic and lucky it is to call Chicago "home."

Larua MacCallum

12th Grade, Learning Specialist

Laura MacCallum hails from the busting metropolis of Sparta, WI. Laura graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Political Science.  She then moved to Chicago to do a year of service with AmeriCorps.  Laura spent a year as an AmeriCorps member at Pritzker, knew how special of a school it was, and wanted to stay.  As a 2014 Teach for America corps member, Laura is very excited to start as a 12th Grade Learning Specialist at Pritzker.  She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Special Education from Dominican University.  In her free time, Laura loves to travel, check out new restaurants, and attend concerts.  Laura's mother and two of her three sisters are teachers and she hopes to follow in her family's footsteps and pursue her passion in education at Pritzker.

Dominic Manna


Dominic Manna was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in the northwest suburb of Des Plaines. He received a degree in Mass Communication from Illinois State University. After working for several years for a Chicago-area lock company, Dominic came to Pritzker on the recommendation from his sister Megan, who at the time taught at PCP. Dominic's many interests include Scorsese films, tattoos, music (especially punk rock, 80's thrash metal, and 90's alt-rock), and hockey. Dominic's been playing hockey for more than 25 years! He's also married and has a son and a daughter.

Diana Manning

Intercampus Coordinator

Diana received her B.S. and M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an M.Ed. from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Diana is a founding staff member of both Pritzker College Prep and The Noble Academy and has spent the last 10 years supporting Noble’s mission as a social worker, college counselor and administrator. Her current work focuses on management and operations at both Pritzker and Noble Academy where, among many roles, she has the job of crashing dreams and tempering idealism with pragmatism and rationality in scrooge-like fashion.  In her free time, Diana loves to hang out at home with her baby, husband and two fabulous kitties. Her goals this year are to increase the number of offers accepted by prospective candidates by 10%, end the year with a budget surplus of at least $2, and read (from start to finish) one book having nothing to do with the topic of education or babies.

Julia Martinez

Recruitment and Enrollment

Ms. Martinez earned her degree in Political Science from Ripon College. Upon graduation, she volunteered in a political campaign and worked at the Mercantile Exchange as a clerk in the Hogs Pit. You can also find her giving back to the community by tutoring after school on Wednesdays. On her free time, Ms. Martinez, loves eating at all the new restaurants, enjoys great company, and likes to splurge on Intelligentsia coffee.

Ashley McCaw

11th Grade, American Literature

Ashley McCaw grew up in a small town just South of Kalamazoo, Michigan. She graduated from The University of Michigan with a B.A. in Secondary Education and English. Ashley’s Dad grew up on the Southside of Chicago, so she grew up with roots in this city; she discovered during her time at U of M that she felt passionate about coming to teach and learn with the students of Chicago, and working towards closing the educational achievement gap. After moving to Chicago in early 2012, Ashley began working at Namaste Charter School in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood as a full-time substitute teacher. She then spent the next two years in her own classroom—teaching 9th grade readers in Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. Ashley is extremely excited to join the Noble team, and to continue growing with the kids at Pritzker College Prep. When she’s not teaching, you can find Ashley playing rec-league soccer, continuing her quest to find Chicago’s best pizza.

Amanda Meyers

9th Grade, Composition Teacher

Amanda Meyers received her BA from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she majored in English and minored in Secondary Education. In the next year, she'll decide what classes to take to obtain her Master's Degree. She was born and raised in Tinley Park, a southwest suburb of Chicago. Amanda started her teaching career three years ago at Pritzker. She currently serves as the Sophomore Literature and Composition Teacher and also coaches the Boys and Girls Soccer Team. In her free time you can find Amanda reading or traveling; next summer, she's planning to travel to Europe!

Paige Moran

Dean of Students

Paige Moran received her B.A. in History and Communications from DePaul University.  She was raised in St.Charles, IL, a suburb of Chicago.  Paige began her teaching career with Teach for America in Denver, CO.  Wanted to be closer to her family, she traded the mountains of Colorado for the big city of Chicago.  She currently serves as the 9th Grade Level Lead, teaches 9th grade Algebra, and also coaches the school's Math Team.  In her free time, you can find Paige running by the lake, checking out the newest restaurant, camping, or catching up on numerous television shows she watches. Currently, she is pursuing her Certificate of Administration and Supervision through the KIPP School Leadership Program.

Lauren Nelson

11th Grade, Russian Teacher

Lauren Nelson received a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Russia and Eastern Europe from Illinois Wesleyan University. She was awarded a FLAS fellowship at Stanford University where she earned an M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia and Prague, Czech Republic. Lauren spent two summers in Vermont at Middlebury College’s Russian Language School. Since moving to Chicago in March 2012, Lauren has found herself involved in education in various ways: she worked as a freelance writer and editor for UChicago’s Urban Education Institute and volunteers with 826CHI. Lauren loves baking bread, editing, and going to grocery stores in different countries. At Pritzker, Lauren teaches Russian I to almost all of the junior class.

Luriel Ocampo

9th-12th, Culture Team Member

Luriel Ocampo graduated from Pritzker College Prep back in 2010 as a part of the inaugural class. He went off to study at Tufts University right outside of Boston, MA. He received his B.A in Sociology with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. He currently is a Teacher at Large and hopes to impact the students as much as his previous Pritzker teachers impacted him.

Beth Oyarzun

9th Grade, Resource Teacher and ELL Support

Beth Oyarzun received her B.A. in International Studies and her M.S. in Public Administration from DePaul University. She was born and raised in Chicago, and while she has lived in several other places as an adult, she always returns to Chicago. Beth joined the Pritzker team at the end of last year 2016 and is thrilled to be back for another amazing year! She is a paraprofessional working as an ELL resource with freshmen and sophomores. She also plans to return to pursue her Master’s in teaching this upcoming year. When Beth is not at Pritzker she loves to spend time with her 3 awesome kids, and to travel and stay fit.

Tiffany Pahnke

12th Grade, Learning Specialist and Special Education Department Lead

Tiffany Pahnke received her B.A. in Secondary English Education from DePaul University and her LBS1 endorsement from Lewis University. She was born and raised in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. She taught in both junior high and high schools in the Chicago land area prior to becoming a Jaguar at Pritzker College Prep. She is eager to begin her second year as an 11th grade Learning Specialist.

Allison Pallardy

9th grade, Multicultural Literature

Alison Lifka received her B.S. in Adolescent Young Adult Education and B.A. in History from the University of Dayton.  She was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL.  Before joining the Pritzker Staff Alison was a 2012 Teach for America Charter Corps member in the Southwest Ohio region.  While a part of Teach for America she taught high school social studies in Covington, Kentucky while living in Cincinnati, Ohio.  When not in the classroom, Alison loves to test new recipes, try out new restaurants and spend time with family and her dog, Wilson.

Ryan Palmer

10th Grade, Chemistry teacher

Ryan Palmer grew up in Helena, Montana where he spent the majority of his time playing a variety of sports (soccer, basketball and golf), hiking and fly fishing. While it was difficult for Ryan to leave the Big Sky state he followed his passion for the sport of soccer to St. Paul, Minnesota where he attended college at Macalester College. At Macalester, Ryan was a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology and was a goalkeeper on the Men’s Soccer team. Ryan found a new passion while at Macalester in the form of education through volunteer work at local elementary schools and a variety of soccer coaching jobs and during his senior year applied for the Teach for America program. Ryan was placed in Chicago in 2008 at a small alternative high schools on the city’s northwest side where he taught Chemistry, Physics and Biology for two years. During Ryan’s placement for TFA he also obtained his Master’s of Arts in Teaching from NLU. After his placement Ryan moved to ACE Tech Charter High School on the city’s south side where he taught Chemistry, Physics and Biology and coached the girls and boys soccer teams. Ryan is so excited to be joining the talented, dedicated and skilled staff at Pritzker and can not wait to work with the bright and driven students at the school where he will be teaching 10th grade Chemistry.

Shelby Parkins

11th Grade, Learning Specialist

Shelby Parkins is originally from Richmond, VA and graduated from the University of Mary Washington where she studied cultural anthropology. She moved to Chicago a year ago and spent the last year serving at Rowe Elementary with Americorps. Her favorite job she has ever had was working in Glacier National Park as a housekeeper for a summer

Brian Pavloff

9th-12th Grade, Choir Director

Brian Pavloff earned his B.A. in Music from Centre College in 2005. In 2007, he moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University's School of Music. Hired by Pritzker in 2009 to launch a choral program, he  has brought the the choir to a prestigious status. The concert choir has earned Division I Ranking in both the CPS and IHSA Choral Festivals. In addition, the concert choir earned 2nd place in the Heritage Music Festival in St Louis, and the Festivals of Music contest in Philadelphia. Mr. Pavloff also directs the Pritzker Jazz Band, which placed 4th at the Berklee High School Jazz festival in Boston.

Gina Portelli

9th Grade, Resource Teacher

Gina Portelli received her BFA in painting from the University of Louisville and MAAT from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before joining Pritzker, as a Resource Teacher and Art Club director, Gina worked in hospitals, community centers, and schools as an art therapist. Currently, Gina is pursing her LBSI Teaching Certification at Northeastern Illinois University.

Juanita Reyes

9th-12th Grade, Disciplinarian

Juanita Reyes was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She has worked with children in the community since her teenage years, beginning at the YMCA in the Logan Square area. She also worked for a daycare for several years in the Hermosa Park neighborhood. She graduated from Ashworth College with her Associates in early childhood in 2010. Juanita has a genuine heart for community and has volunteered at homeless shelters and soup kitchens regularly. She is passionate about Chicago youth and educating them to make the wisest choices for their future. Her personal journey as a mother of four has proven to be her best training ground to pour into the students at Pritzker High School. She is extremely excited to join the Noble team

Alex Riggs

9th Grade, Aglebra 1 Teacher

Alex Riggs was born in Lexington, Kentucky (go Wildcats!). He went to Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he majored in his evented major Behavioral Economics and minored in Spanish and Computer Science. He also played soccer for the DePauw Tigers and was apart of the schools first NCAC conference championship. After graduation, Alex joined Teach For America in Detroit. Over his last two years at Phoenix Multicultural Academy, he taught middle school Spanish, Math, Science, and Social Studies. In addition to teacher, he coached the school’s soccer team and two soccer teams for South Oakland County Soccer Club. He also played on an adult men’s team (if that vibe wasn’t clear, he digs soccer). Alex loves to play any and all sports. He is a social person who enjoys getting to know people, cracking bad jokes, talking politics, watching TV series, and having a good time. He is super excited to join the Pritzker team and work with college bound students. By the time he arrives in Chicago, Alex will have his Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Oakland University.

Ben Roffman

11th Grade, Resource Teacher

Ben Roffman grew up in Albany, New York (“where there’s a Taco Bell on every corner.” That’s not the official city slogan but there are an inordinate amount of Taco Bells, and not much else). He moved to Chicago in 2006 to attend Columbia College Chicago (“where there’s a failed writer on every corner.”). Ben fell in love with Chicago and has been in the city ever since. After a few years working at a recruiting firm and writing sketch comedy shows, Ben decided to do a service year through the AmeriCorps Project YES! program. It was here that he was placed at Pritzker, a placement that turned out to be a great fit! He currently lives with his wife and four cats in the Humboldt Park/ Ukrainian Village area. His interests include watching cartoons, writing bios about himself in the third person, and hiphop. He’s incredibly excited to officially be a part of the Pritzker team!

Charles Rosentel

1oth Grade, World History Teacher and 10th Grade Team Lead Teacher

Hailing from Newtown, CT, Mr. Rosentel received his bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University and his master’s in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University. He has taught eighth graders in Social Studies through seniors in US Government with courses in World History, World Studies, US History, African History, English-Language Arts, and Enrichment in between. Cutting his teeth in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, maturing in Chicago’s Little Village and North Lawndale, and refining on Champaign’s north side, he has had the privilege of calling Pritzker home since 2012. Here, he instructs freshmen – in such minutiae as the clarifying power of the Oxford comma and such global concerns as writing effectively – in Composition I and co-coaches the Speech and Debate Team.

Mark Rychlik

9th-12th Grade, Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director

Mr. Rychlik is from the northern suburbs of Chicago. He received his B.A. from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, his Masters of Ed. from DePaul University in Chicago, and his Admin Certificate from Concordia University in River Forest.He currently serves as the Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, and PE Department Chair. Mr. Rychlik lives in Chicago with his wife Stephenie and their two children.

Caroline Ryden

Assistant Principal

Caroline Ryden was born and raised in Hinsdale, IL a western suburb of Chicago. After graduating from Fenwick High School, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from Fairfield University in Connecticut. Upon graduating, she returned to Chicago and joined an AmeriCorps program called Project YES! Through this program she was placed at Pritzker College Prep in October of 2007. She currently serves as the Assistant Principal and is very excited about having so many Pritzker Alumni graduating high school and on track to graduate from some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in America.

Teddy Schrishuhn

11th Grade, Math Teacher

Teddy Schrishuhn received his B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Illinois State University with a minor in Sociology. He grew up about an hour southwest of Chicago in the small town of Minooka Illinois.  Upon graduation from ISU Teddy moved across the Atlantic and lived and taught mathematics in Buckingham England.  While living overseas he visited over 30 different European cities and saw Leo Messi score 5 goals against Arsenal at Camp Nou (Wow!). Teddy currently serves the students of PCP as the Precalculus teacher, Math Department Lead, and Ultimate Frisbee Coach.  He likes to spend his free time drumming, dancing, grilling, and biking.

Molly Schrishuhn

9th Grade, Learning Specialist

Molly Schrishuhn received her B.S. in Theatre Ed from Illinois State University and a Learning Behavior Specialist certification from Lewis University. She grew up in Minooka, IL moved out by Starved Rock to teach and soon discovered the country bored her to tears. She jumped at the chance to move to Chicago last year to join the Pritzker team. Her seven-year career has thus far included roles as a founder & director of two community theatre programs, a high school musical director & choreographer, a teaching assistant, a club & grade-level sponsor, and a teacher and learning specialist. She is currently working at Pritzker as a 9th grade learning specialist. In her free time, Molly enjoys singing, playing the piano, cooking & baking, reading, and crocheting. This year she hopes to significantly improve upon her Spanish literacy skills, and hopes to learn more than four chords on the ukelele.

Caroline Schwartz

9th Grade, Environmental Teacher

Caroline Schwartz loves Chicago. She grew up in the northern suburbs and then stayed close to home, attending The University of Illinois where she majored in Advertising and Football. Although she did not end up receiving her B.S. in Football, she sure tried her very darnedest. When she wasn't watching Da Bears or The Illini, she was tearing up powderpuff games, as well as coaching boys’ soccer and basketball for the Park District. After realizing her dreams of the NFL were too far out of reach, and that she loved coaching kids, she applied for Teach for America. In 2010 she headed down to Houston for three years where she taught middle school science, coached boys' football and soccer, and ate a lot of Tex-Mex! Her love for teaching started with her love for sports, which, in 2013, brought her home to her family, the Bears, the Blackhawks, Cubs, and the Bulls.

Daniel Selan

12th Grade, Statistics Teacher

Daniel Selan, although born in our fair city of Chicago, was raised a few miles north in the one-time world's largest village of Skokie, Illinois. His early years included such notable achievements as being able to recite all of the presidents in under 30 seconds and knowing every country on a world map! In 1999, he fled the United States to attend McGill University where he received his B.S. in Mathematics. Returning to the US, he received an M.S. in Math Education from UIC and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. Mr. Selan is currently in his eighth year at Pritzker College Prep where he teaches AP Calculus AB and AP Statistics. He sponsors both the Math Team and Senior Council. Apart from solving complex math problems and helping put on the best proms in the Chicago, Mr. Selan is a loyal Chicago Bulls fan and in his free time travels around Mexico attempting to learn Spanish.  Mr. Selan is also quite proud to graduate his fourth advisory this upcoming year!

Megan Shein

12th Grade, Statistics Teacher

Megan Shein grew up in South Bend, Indiana and graduated from Boston College with a BA in Math, a minor in Spanish, and an M.Ed in Secondary Education. After graduating, she taught in Boston at The Steppingstone Foundation for underprivileged promising youth helping them achieve an academic level high enough to help them into exam schools. She then moved to Israel to teach at a low income, high immigrant population school. She taught middle school students English struggling with learning Hebrew, but enjoying the culture and the amazing country. But Megan missed home, the US, and the happy people of the Midwest, which brought her back to Chicago and into the amazing arms of Pritzker College Prep. Currently, Megan teaches 12th grade Statistics with a 9th grade advisory. She is new to the city (at least as an adult), but is already loving the restaurant scene and lakefront trail and is looking forward to the anticipation of the now more difficult to reach camping/hiking trips. More than anything, she is excited for the school year and for getting to know her students!

Josh Sosa

9th-12th, Relay Teacher and Teacher at Large

Mr. Sosa returned to Chicago after a short, academic hiatus where he--akin to Nietzsche--began to deconstruct the Truth (yes, truth with a big T that Plato discussed in the Allegory of the Cave).  After some years of struggling to pinpoint a focus in Political Science and Russian Studies, Mr. Sosa decided to narrow in on educational policy with a global perspective and Russian literature (mostly Russian fairy tales). However, Mr. Sosa is very interested in global proliferation and counter-terrorism studies. More specifically, he is interested in how other state actors (whether legitimately recognized or not) respond to the liberal, capitalist world order.  

Shauna Stewart

9th-12th Grade, Social Worker

Shauna Stewart received her B.A. in History of Science with a minor in Psychology from Harvard University and M.S.W. in School Social Work from the University of Chicago.  She is originally from Southern California, but has made her home in Chicago since college and sees her future here.  Shauna is beginning her 1st year at Pritzker as the full-time school social worker.  Out of the classroom, she hopes to help coach girls’ basketball. Her passions, aside from helping students with social-emotional concerns, include biking, knitting, cooking, yoga, and travel.

Phil Stosberg

12th Grade, Russian Teacher and Russian Department Lead

Phillip Stosberg received his BA in Russian Studies from the University of Kentucky in 2004. He attended the Russian School at Middlebury College that summer, and then went on to complete a second BA in German, spending 2005-2006 studying German, Russian, and philosophy at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany. He has been to Russia several times, and most recently received a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to travel with a group of educators to Moscow in the summer of 2014. Phillip is completing his MEd in World Language Education at DePaul University in 2014. He has been teaching Russian at Pritzker since 2008. He received a rating of "Superior" on the ACTFL's OPI exam in Russian, and he has also passed the third certification level exam of the TORFL (ТРКИ). In addition to teaching Russian at Pritzker, Phillip gives drum lessons and is an assistant director of the Jazz Ensemble.  In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, chess, and reading Russian and German literature.

Torey Stroud

11th Grade, U.S. History Teacher

Torey Stroud received his B.A. from The Ohio State University and his M.Ed. from Lipscomb University. This is his third year teaching and first year at Pritzker College Prep. Before teaching, he was a medic in the U.S. Army for six years. He is the father of a 7 year old son and the husband to his wife of 8 years. Outside of the classroom Torey enjoys music, trivia, sports (playing and watching), biking, and reading. He is also very passionate about all things related to where he grew up near Cleveland, Ohio.

Mary Sweeney

12th Grade, AP Literature and Senior English

Mary Sweeney grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, and attended Benet Academy, where she had an unusually good high school experience. Her favorite parts of high school were running cross country and graduating. She went on to attend University of Dallas, a small liberal arts school with a Great Books curriculum. There she majored in English and minored in Painting. After earning her Masters in Literature at American University, she, naturally enough, teaches a reading-intensive Genre Studies course at Pritzker as well as... Pre-Calculus. Her hobbies include painting, riding her bike around Chicago, and bonding with her nieces and nephews. This is her first year teaching at Pritzker College Prep, and she is excited to be part of the Noble culture!

Erica Urbina

9th-12th, Front Office Staff


Kaydee Wasserman

9th Grade, Learning Specialist

Kathryn Wasserman was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She stayed in Illinois for college and received her B.S. in Special Education from Illinois State University. After four years of teaching, she felt the need to continue her education and received an LBS1 endorsement from Roosevelt University. Prior to working at Pritzker, she taught elementary school for 6 years, ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade. This is her second year as a Freshman teacher at Pritzker, and she thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Noble culture.

Jeff Watkins

9th-12th Grades, Speech and Debate Teacher

Jeff Watkins is an Oklahoma native, born and raised. And though he tries to hide it, his Okie drawl rears its ugly head from time to time. After spending the first eighteen years of his life in a small farming town, he went to Oklahoma State University, where he would spend the next four years of his life in a somewhat bigger farming town earning his Bachelors of Science in Sociology. Upon graduating, Mr. Watkins moved to Chicago and joined AmeriCorps Project Yes! mostly because he wanted to participate in civil service, but also because he wasn’t sure what to do with his life. After serving as an AmeriCorps member at Pritzker for a year, he became very attached to both the school and the students in it. Now, Mr. Watkins runs the Public Speaking and Debate elective, in which he helps students become more confident orators and, consequently, more confident people.

Brittney Welch

11th Grade, Learning Specialist

Brittany Welch grew up in Belleville, IL, which is about 5 hours south of the city of Chicago. She comes from a big family being 1 of 7 and loves all the fun chaos that comes along with having so many younger siblings! She graduated with her Special Education degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and then took some time to teach abroad in Kenya after graduating. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of her life! She loves to travel and teach abroad and has done so in Mexico and Haiti as well. Before joining the Pritzker team, she taught 18-20 year olds with severe and profound special needs at a year around school. She loved her time with them but is excited to be in Chicago and starting a new adventure. Teaching is her passion and she can’t wait to join the Noble team and meet all of her bright new students when the school year starts!

Shannon Wenck

11th-12th Grades, US History Teacher and College Counselor

Shannon Wenck grew up in Des Moines, IA and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Iowa with a BA in History and Spanish and minors in Sociology and Latin American Studies.  She was accepted into Teach For America-Rio Grande Valley in 2008 and taught 11th grade U.S History for two years in Brownsville, TX. As much as Shannon loved living near the beach, she decided to join Teach For America staff as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development in rural Mississippi where she worked for three years. Currently, Shannon teaches Pre-College Seminar for all juniors and is a 12th grade college counselor. Besides college readiness, Shannon’s other passions include eating delicious Indian food, travel, antique”ing,” and group fitness.

Andrew Wetmore

9th-12th Grades, Physical Education & Health Teacher

Andrew Wetmore was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. He is beginning his second year of teaching (both at Pritzker) and his first as a health & physical education teacher. Andrew also serves as the community service coordinator at Pritzker. Furthermore, he is excited to coach the boys' basketball team this upcoming winter, as well as to continue assisting with the baseball program. In his free time, you could find Andrew watching baseball, expanding his musical interests, or exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of the beautiful city of Chicago.

Bryan Williams

9th Grade, Multicultural Literature Teacher

Mr. Williams grew up in the city of Troy, Michigan which is a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Williams has two younger siblings; Mitchel, who is going to be a sophomore this fall at Michigan State University, and Claire, who will begin her freshman year in the fall at Michigan State University as well. As a kid, Mr. Williams loved swimming and it became a major part of his life. He was fortunate enough to have received a scholarship to swim at Michigan State University. While there he set 5 school records and represented MSU at the 2012 Olympic Time Trials and the 2013 World Championship Trials. Mr. Williams majored in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science: Social Science Education with a minor in History. This past year he taught 10th grade American History and 11th grad Government within Metro Detroit. Mr. Williams considers himself to be a die-hard Spartan fan and claims that his blood is green rather than red. He is very excited to be a part of the Pritzker staff!

Mark Williams

9th-12th, Asssitant Dean of Culture


Mark Williams received his B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mark is currently serves as a Teacher-At-Large, acting as a substitute and conducting LaSalles. His interests include travel, Latin American literature and Puertorican cuisine.

Kaedi Young

1oth Grade, Learning Specialist

Kaedi Young grew up in Northbrook, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. Kaedi has two younger siblings; Hank, who is going to be a sophomore this fall at the University of Illinois, and Annie, who will begin her 7th grade year in the fall. As a kid, Kaedi loved to dance and swim which became a major part of her life. Throughout high school, Kaedi swam and played water polo for four years. After she graduated from Glenbrook North High School she attended Illinois State University. Kaedi majored in Special Education with a minor in early childhood education and graduated in 2016. Kaedi is a kind, caring, and passionate person, as well, as hard worker. She is very excited to be part of the Pritzker staff and cannot wait for the school year to start!

Jessica Ziparo

12th Grade, English Teacher

Jessica Ziparo grew up in Westhampton Beach, NY. She attended James Madison University, majoring in History. From there she went to Harvard Law School, earning her JD in 2004. Jessica then moved to San Diego where she practiced environmental law, and taught law as an adjunct. One Christmas, as she pecked out emails on her Blackberry about a wastewater discharge exceedance while her jet lagged family opened presents under the tree in their California hotel room, Jessica decided to leave the law and return to school to continue her study of history. She sold her possessions, got a chocolate lab, and moved to Baltimore where she attended Johns Hopkins University and met her now husband, John. Together, they moved to Chicago and Jessica finished her dissertation-- a study of women who worked for the federal government during the Civil War-- to earn her PhD in History. Jessica and John moved to Salem, MA in 2013 so that Jessica could accept a one-year position as an Assistant Professor of History at Salem State University. The following year, she accepted a position at Harvard University, teaching freshman writing. In December 2015, Jessica moved back to Chicago to allow her husband to accept a job. Jessica looks forward to joining the Noble team and working with Noble students and faculty. After school, Jessica will be playing with their new baby son, Zane, and their Labrador, Lincoln (who is still recovering from her post-baby demotion to "dog.") Jessica is a rabid fan of both the Baltimore Ravens and Abraham Lincoln.