Meet Our Staff

Meet our 2017-2018 Staff Members 

Teacher Name

Subject and Grade Level Taught

E-mail address

About the Staff Member

Jeanette Acevedo

Office Manager

jacevedo@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Victoria Allen

Teacher at Large

vallen@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Victoria Allen is a fairly recent transplant to the Chicago area, originally hailing from Columbus, Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University (GO BUCKS) where she graduated with a BA in Public Affairs and minors in Community Organizations and Civic Engagement and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. She moved to Chicago shortly after graduation to do a year of service with AmeriCorps Project YES and was placed at Pritzker. Victoria is very excited to join the Pritzker family as an official staff member. In her spare time Victoria is fond of binging shows on Netflix and scouring the internet for recipes she may or may not try. ​

Jose Alvarez

9th-12th Grades, MCJROTC

jalvarez@pritzkercollegeprep.org  

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.    

Hadley Austin

11th and 12th Grade,  European History and IB Coordinator

 

haustin@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 and 10th Grade Lead

cbiddix@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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, Composition Teacher and English Department Chair  

rbrick@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Rachel Brick attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison and 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 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 follow her dream of teaching high school, and this led to an exciting move to Chicago. She now loves living and teaching in Chicago and is extremely happy to be a part of the Pritzker community.

Marilyn Burns

9th-12th, Front Office Staff

maburns@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Marilyn Burns was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, grew up in Chicago and graduated from Illinois Medical Institution. She joined Pritzker College Prep as an Administrative Assistant in 2012 on the recommendation of her son, Ron Burns. During her free time she loves working for her church, but her passion is spending time with her grandchildren and family.

Ron Burns

9th-12th, Disciplinarian

rburns@pritzkercollegeprep.org

 

Esther Cepeda

11th Grade Learning Specialist

 

ecepeda@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Esther Cepeda grew up in Wrigleyville on the north side of Chicago and attended Lane Technical High School before earning her undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, studying at Northwestern University and, eventually, earning her master's degree in education at Roosevelt University. When she’s not teaching you’ll find her writing, reading or walking her two rescue dogs. She also finds a few spare moments in life to be a piano student, a bowler and an aspiring cardistry artist.

Rodolfo Cervantes

Paraprofessional

rcervantes@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Rodolfo Cervantes is a local Chicagoan, raised in the Hermosa/Logan Square neighborhoods. As a child, he lived for four years in Puebla, Mexico where he enhanced his Spanish speaking abilities, savored the delicious food, and enjoyed the rich culture the country had to offer. Fast forwarding in time, he recently just graduated from Northwestern University with a major in European History and a minor in Spanish. He looks forward to enriching the lives of students that come from similar community backgrounds such as himself!! Outside of school, Rodolfo enjoys going to the movies, working out, dancing to the Latin beats, and spending time with friends & family.  

Taylor Cole

9th-12th Grades, Choir Teacher

tcole@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Taylor Cole is a new choir teacher at Pritzker College Prep. He just finished his Masters in Music Education at Northwestern University, and before that taught at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. He is also the program director at Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, Minnesota during the summer months. Taylor plays the piano, oboe, guitar, and any other instrument he can get his hands on, in addition to his love for singing. He is also a major cinephile, with a personal film diary of over 2000 unique movies. He’s excited to be moving to Chicago and joining the Pritzker family!

Samantha Corvino

11th and 12th Grades Biology and Physics 11th Grade Lead

scorvino@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

scross@pritzkercollegeprep.org  

Sarah Cross graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. After graduation, she took culinary and language classes in Italy and later 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 and was placed 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

kcurtin@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 joined Pritzker and founded the school’s Journalism program in 2014.

Benjamin Das

9th-12th Grade, Band Director

bdas@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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).

Scott Dick

12th grade, European History and Resource Teacher

sdick@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

11th Grade, Biology Teacher  

cduncan@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 Self contained 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

ledwards@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 and Alumni Support

 

lespinoza@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

peggum@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

afifolt@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 and 12th Grade, IB Math and College Algebra  

sgolden@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Sara Golden grew up in Northern California, and has wanted to be a teacher since she lined up stuffed animals for addition lessons. She majored in Mathematics at Stanford University and loved every minute of it. After graduation, she moved to Houston, where she taught for five years at a large suburban high school before she and her long-time boyfriend made the move to Chicago. This will be her third year teaching at Pritzker, and she can't imagine a better group of students or colleagues with whom to work. When she's not working, Ms. Golden is hanging out with her new baby son, who she's pretty sure could be the cutest baby ever.  

Mollie Griffin

Dean of Instruction

mgrffin@pritzkercollegeprep.org

 

Mollie Griffin is in her 8th year at Pritzker College Prep (11th year in education). 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 sout 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 has also been a Stanford CSET Fellow and a Teach+ Policy Fellow. In her (limited) free time, Ms. Griffin spends most of her time hanging out with her son, reading whatever she happened to have one-clicked for her Kindle, and researching which companies have teacher discounts.

Benjamin Groch

10th Grade, Classical Literature Teacher

bgroch@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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, Assistant Dean of Culture

jguy@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Jasmine Guy was born and raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood 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 before becoming a staff member at Pritzker in 2014.  In 2017, Jasmine received her Masters in the Art of Teaching. Outside of teaching, Jasmine loves: reading, binge watching past seasons of Game of Thrones, and spending time with her 13 nephews and 7 nieces.

Huma Haider

9th Grade, Algebra 1

hhaider@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Matt Jewell

 9th and 10th Grade, Multicultural Literature and Geometry

 

mjewell@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Matt Jewell grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Matt attended the University of Notre Dame where he studied history and business-economics. His free time was spent enjoying wrestling, martial arts, tutoring calculus students, and spending nights in haunted places. He received a grant to spend a summer studying in Hamburg, Germany, which inspired the thesis he would later write on the city. After four years at Notre Dame, Matt decided he hadn't had quite enough of the university and joined Notre Dame's ACE program, from which he received his M.Ed.. Currently living in Chicago proper, Matt is excited to be teaching at Pritzker College Prep, and looking forward to meeting new people--faculty and students alike. In his free time, Matt keeps a fairly low-key lifestyle. He has just begun watching Seinfeld for the first time. His preferred reading is historical nonfiction, and continued education is a large factor in his life.

Eric Johnson

Building Engineer

ejohnson@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Eric joined Pritzker in October of 2016. He also currently works part-time at Kindred Healthcare. He grew up on the west side of Chicago. Eric enjoys working at Pritzker because he’s always learning how to do new things working with the engineers. He has two boys and when he does have free time, he enjoys traveling, playing

basketball, watching sports (especially boxing!) and spending time with his family.

Pam Johnson

9th-12th, Dean of Culture

pjohnson@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Pam Johnson born and raised in the northwest suburbs of 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

rkaegi@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

wkaplan@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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!

Amber Killion

9th Grade English

akillion@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Amber Killion grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but has called Chicago home for the past thirteen years. She received her B.S. in Secondary Education from Indiana University-Bloomington and earned her M.S. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University.  This year, Amber will begin her 14th year of teaching. She has taught in various schools on the South Side of Chicago, but is really looking forward to becoming part of the Pritzker team.  When she is not in the classroom, you will find her at home or at a park with her husband (Eric) and their three year old daughter (Ashland).

Mackenzie Kelly

10th Grade, Chemistry Teacher

mkelly@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 and Mental Health Counselor

jknoche@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

Dean of College Counseling

skruger@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 eighth year at Pritzker and is currently a college counselor, teaches two sections of the Collegiate Seminar class, and is the 12th Grade Level Lead.

Liam Lawson

Alumni Coordinator

llawson@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

10th Grade, Chemistry

salee@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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, Classical Literature

jlevit@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Julia Levit has lived in the Chicagoland area her entire life, she moved to the city and 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

9th and 12th Grade, Learning Specialist

lmaccallum@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Laura MacCallum is entering into her fifth year at Pritzker. Laura graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  Laura then moved to Chicago and spent a year as an AmeriCorps member at Pritzker.  After her year of service with AmeriCorps, Laura started as a 12th grade Learning Specialist at Pritzker after joining the 2014 Teach for America Chicago corps .  In 2016, Laura received her Master's in Science in Special Education from Dominican University. In her free time, Laura likes to watch the Packers and Badgers and hang out with her friends.

Dominic Manna

Disciplinarian

dmanna@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

Assistant Principal

dmanning@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 Coordinator

jumartinez@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Julia Martinez was born and raised in the city of Chicago, Il. After graduating from Lincoln Park High School, she worked at a law firm in Ripon Wisconsin while earning 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 at Erie House on Wednesdays, where she gives back to the community by tutoring/mentoring high school students. In her free time, Ms. Martinez, loves eating at all the new restaurants, enjoys great company, and likes to splurge on Intelligentsia coffee.

Ashley McCaw

Alumni Coordinator

amccaw@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Nancy Mendoza

Business Manager

nmendoza@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Nancy Macedo, Business Manager, grew up in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and attended

High School in the Bay Area. She attended College at San Jose State and National

University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She

was a founding staff member at Pritzker College Prep. Nancy enjoys spending her free

time with her 12 year old son.

Amanda Meyers

9th Grade, Composition Teacher

ameyers@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Amanda Meyers received her BA from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she majored in English and minored in Secondary Education. She started her teaching career at Pritzker five years ago and currently serves as the Junior American Literature and Composition Teacher, coaches the Boys and Girls Soccer Teams, and is a Director for Operation Snowball. In her free time, you can find Amanda playing soccer on her recreational team or traveling.

Paige Moran

Dean of Students

pmoran@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Paige Moran was raised in St.Charles, IL, a suburb of Chicago. After graduating high school, she received her B.A. in History and Communication from DePaul University. Paige began her teaching career in Denver, CO. Wanting to be closer to her family, she moved back to Chicago and began teaching at Pritzker as a 9th grade math teacher. She currently serves as the Dean of Students. In her free time, you can find Paige hanging out with her husband and daughter, checking out the newest restaurant, camping, or catching up on numerous television shows she watches.

Lauren Nelson

11th Grade, Russian Teacher

lanelson@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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. At Pritzker, Lauren teaches Russian 1 to juniors and IB Russian to juniors and seniors. She is a staff advisor for The Pritzker Press and the Russian peer tutoring program. Lauren loves baking bread, editing, and going to grocery stores in different countries

Beth Oyarzun

9th Grade, Resource Teacher and ELL Support

boyarzun@pritzkerollegeprep.org

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

tpahnke@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Tiffany Pahnke earned her B.A. in Secondary Education from DePaul University and  her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Teacher Leadership from Concordia University. She began working at Pritzker College Prep in 2013 as a Learning Specialist and is currently the Head of the Special Education Department. She is married with two children and enjoys drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee.

Allison Pallardy

9th grade, Multicultural Literature , 9th Grade Lead

apallardy@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Alison Pallardy was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL.  She graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Adolescent Young Adult Education and a B.A. in History. Before joining the Pritzker Staff Alison was a 2012 Teach for America Southwest Ohio Charter Corps member.  In her free time she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and travelling with her husband.

Ryan Palmer

12th Grade Psychology and AP Psychology

rpalmer@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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. Ryan left Montana to attend Macalester College, where he 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 will be a part of the senior team this year teaching Psychology and AP Psychology.

Shelby Parkins

11th Grade, Learning Specialist

sparkins@pritzekrcollegeprep.org

Shelby Parkins grew up in Richmond, VA and graduated with a B.A in Cultural Anthropology from The University of Mary Washington. In 2015, she moved to Chicago and served a year in AmeriCorps at Rowe Elementary. She is currently a paraprofessional and co-advisor at Pritzker. Outside of school you will find her traveling, trying new restaurants, and going to the movies.

John Planisek

11th Grade American Literature

jplanisek@pritzkercollegeprep.org

John Planisek graduated from Elon University with a bachelor's degree in Music Education and earned his MEd from the University of Miami. He taught middle school science as a Teach For America Corps Member in Miami, FL before joining the Noble Network in 2011 to teach Choir and eventually becoming a part of the college team. After a brief hiatus from teaching, John is excited to re-join Noble as part of the English team at Pritzker teaching American Literature.

Gina Portelli

9th and 10th grade Learning Specialist

gportelli@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 pursuing her LBSI Teaching Certification at Northeastern Illinois University.

Juanita Reyes

9th-12th Grade, Disciplinarian

jreyes@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Alex Riggs

9th Grade, Algebra 1 Teacher

ariggs@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 a part of the school’s 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.

Charles Rosentel

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

crosentel@pritkercollegeprep.org

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 Composition, 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 sophomores in World History, serves as History Department Chair, co-coaches the Speech and Debate Team, and co-sponsors Film Club.

Peter Ryan

12th Grade, English

pryan@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Peter Ryan was born and raised in Glenview, IL.  He attended the University of Dayton, where he majored in both English and Psychology before graduating in 2012.  A few weeks after graduation, Peter left the cornfields of Ohio for the bright lights of Philadelphia, where he participated in the Alliance for Catholic Education at St. Joseph’s University.  During his time in ACESJU, Peter taught English at Mercy Career & Technical High School and coached the boys’ basketball team.  He is still undefeated in free throw competitions, and earnestly welcomes all challengers.  Peter most recently spent the 2016-2017 academic year teaching 7th grade composition at Mastery Charter—Shoemaker in West Philadelphia.  Although Peter already misses cheesesteaks and tours of Independence Hall, he is excited to be back in Chicago and is looking forward to helping the Pritzker College Prep Class of 2018 prepare for college!

Mark Rychlik

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

mrychlik@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

cryden@pritkercollegeprep.org

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. Ms. Ryden spends her free-time with son and husband exploring Chicago.

Edwin Salgado

11th and 12th Grade, Resource Teacher

esalgado@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Edwin Salgado was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He has received his Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a Pritzker Alumni and has previously worked with Pritzker through Jr. AmeriCorps. Edwin plans to continue his education in the future. He currently dances in a Chicago team, and has played various sports in high school and college: soccer, rugby, and ultimate frisbee. He enjoys conversing with people and plans to change the world one person at a time.

Teddy Schrishuhn

11th Grade, Math Teacher

tschrishuhn@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

mschrishuhn@pritzkcollegeprep.org

Molly Schrishuhn received her bachelor's degree in Theatre Education from Illinois State University and an LBS-1 certification from Lewis University. She grew up in a small Illinois town and has worked as a barista, baker, theatre director and choreographer, and a general & special education teacher in theatre, reading/writing, math, science, social studies, speech, geography, & consumer economics. Molly is currently in her 5th year working as a 9th grade learning specialist at Pritzker.

Caroline Schwartz

9th grade Computer Science

cschwartz@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 basically minored in Sports. When she wasn't watching Da Bears or The Illini, she was tearing up flag football games, as well as coaching boys’ soccer and basketball for the Champaign 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 back home to her family, the Bears, the Cubs, the Blackhawks, the Bulls, and made her a new fan of the Pritzker Jaguars.

Daniel Selan

12th Grade, Statistics Teacher

dselan@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 left the United States to attend McGill University where he received his B.S. in Mathematics. Returning home, 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 11th year at Pritzker College Prep where he teaches AP Calculus AB and Algebra II. 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 advise the greatest bunch of sophomores at Pritzker!

Megan Shein

12th Grade, Statistics Teacher

mshein@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

10th and 11th Grade, US History and Classical Literature

jsosa@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

sstewart@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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

pstosberg@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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 also completed 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

tstroud@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Tomas Tavera

Building Engineer

ttavera@pritzkercollegeprep.org

 

Victor Tavera

Building Engineer

vtavera@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Victor Tavera was born in Mexico and moved to Chicago at 6 years old. After graduating high school, he attended American Coyne College where graduated in 1992 with a degree in Electrical and Electronics. He was hired in 2009 at Pritzker College Prep on the recommendation of Nancy Mendoza. When he’s not at work, Victor enjoys spending time with his kids doing their sports activities. He’s always on the go with his wife of 3 kids!

Erica Urbina

9th-12th, Front Office Staff

eurbina@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Erica Urbina was born and raised in Chicago and is currently an administrative assistant in Pritzker’s main office. She attended Wright College and joined the Pritzker in 2009. In her free time, Erica enjoys spending time with her family, baking and doing crafts.  

Kaydee Wasserman

9th and 10th Grade, Learning Specialist

kwasserman@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Kaydee 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 in 2007. She received a Learning Behavior Specialist endorsement from Roosevelt University in 2010. Prior to working at Pritzker, she taught elementary school for 6 years, ranging from Kindergarten through 8th grade. She joined the Pritzker team in 2013 and has been on the 9th grade team ever since. Ms. Wasserman teaches math, science, and composition. After school, she leads the Sign Language Club at Pritzker.

Jeff Watkins

9th-12th Grades, Speech and Debate Teacher

jwatkins@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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.

Andrew Wetmore

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

awetmore@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Andrew Wetmore was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. At Pritzker, Andrew teaches health and physical education across all grade levels, while also serving as the head coach for the baseball program and the head coach for the boys' JV basketball team. In his free time, you can find Andrew watching baseball, expanding his musical interests, or exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of the beautiful city of Chicago.

Bryan Williams

10th  Grade, World History Teacher

bwilliams@pritzkercollegeprep.org

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, College Counselor & Testing Coordinator

mwilliams@pritzkercollegeprep.rog

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

10th Grade, Learning Specialist

kyoung@pritzkercollegeprep.org

Kaedi Young grew up in Northbrook, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. Kaedi has two younger siblings; Hank, who is going to be a junior this fall at the University of Illinois, and Annie, who will begin her 8th 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!