Faculty & Staff
We look forward to hearing from you!
|Head of School||Carly Andrews||847-425-5800|
|Assistant Head of School||Denise Boswell||847-425-5800|
|Division Coordinator, Grades PreK-2||Merle Scharmann||847-425-5800|
|Division Coordinator, Grades 3-8||Jackie Haug||847-425-5800|
|Admissions Office||Denise Boswell||847-425-5813|
|Director of Advancement||Gena Johnson||847-425-5818|
|Director of Finance and Operations||Arona Puttrich||847-425-5817|
|Director of Student Life||Hannah Schutter||847-425-5814|
|Registrar and Assistant to the Director of Finance and Operations||Janine Brown||847-425-5811|
|Athletics Director||Patrick Dunafin||847-425-5827|
|Information Systems Manager||Brian Hagy||847-425-5848|
|PLĀ Coordinator||Nancy Perla||847-425-5838|
|Office Director and Executive Assistant to the Head||Shila Tuchman||847-425-5800|
|Pre-K: Three, Four, and More||Kim Johns|
|Grade 1||Melissa Makagon|
|Grade 2||Jane Rothschild|
|Grade 2||Anna Krzyzanowski|
|Grade 3||Stefanie Gehrig|
|Grade 3||Noel Pfannerstill|
|Grade 4||Tiffany Rampey|
|Grade 4||Anna Phillips|
|Grade 5||Kerah Sandler|
|Language Arts||Jon Bingaman|
|Phys Ed||Sarah Williams|
|Social Studies and Language Arts||Megan Beaudoin|
|Social Studies||Morgan Fitzpatrick|
|Phys Ed||Patrick Dunafin|
|Phys Ed||Sarah Williams|
|Learning Behavior Specialist||Lauren Librando|
|Learning Behavior Specialist||Terri Nitahara|
|Social Worker||Carrie Shonk|
Faculty & Staff Bios
Joined Baker in 2005
B.S., Western Illinois University
M.S., National Louis University
M.A.T., National Louis University
Certificate in Mediation, Columbia College
Tracy Aiden has been teaching at Baker since 2005. She began as a Pre-K teacher before transitioning into her current Kindergarten position. Prior to Baker, Tracy taught at School for Little Children in Evanston for four years. Before entering into teaching, Tracy worked in several different capacities as a Crisis Worker, Peer Mediation Center Developer and Coordinator, Conflict Resolution Trainer and Family Therapist. Tracy’s strong belief in community is evident both inside her classroom and in her life outside of Baker, where she strives to be active in the community.
Sara Angres joined Baker in 1998 as an associate teacher, then she spent time teaching in the inner city at a Chicago Public School Charter School. She returned to Baker as part of the Early Childhood Team in 2001 and taught both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, until leaving in 2007 to stay home with her son. She returned again to Baker in 2010, and is thrilled to be back at Baker as both a teacher and a parent.
Megan is an experienced Social Studies and Language Arts teacher. Her 16 years of experience include time as a classroom teacher in both middle and high school, teacher trainer and instructional coach in grades 4-12, and curriculum developer in high school. Megan is endorsed in Middle and High School Social Studies and English, and is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She holds a BA from Colorado College and a MAT from NLU, and was a Fulbright Fellow.
Jon Bingaman joined Baker Demonstration School in 2010 as the Middle School English teacher. Before his time at Baker, he taught both Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies for three years at Horace Greeley Elementary in Chicago. While at Greeley, Jon led the after-school media club, coached boys basketball, created and coordinated the after-school sports club, and was an advisor to 8th grade students. He worked for several years in advertising after finishing his Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Journalism) at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Jon decided to pursue a career in education and undertook a Masters in Instructional Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has an Illinois Teaching Certificate with Middle School endorsements in Language Arts and Social Studies.
Stacy Buehler began working with young children sixteen years ago as a Wiggleworms instructor at The Old Town School of Folk Music. This inspired her to get her master’s degree from the Erikson Institute in child development. Soon after she began working in the Chicago Public Schools as both a first-grade and pre-kindergarten teacher. Stacy joined the Baker early childhood team in 2005. Her third-grader also attends Baker. Stacy has never stopped making music for young children. Her credits include two of her own children’s music CD’s, Stacymusic and Over in the Meadow. She has also been collaborating with the Disney Publishing Worldwide for the past three years as a songwriter/recording artist creating music for the Disney English Program.
Kirby is an experienced math teacher who has taught the advanced eighth grade geometry class in Evanston District 65 for many years. He brings over 22 years of experience as an educator to Baker. Kirby spent nearly a decade working for the Center for School Improvement and the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, culminating with his work as a Director at the university’s North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School. In addition to teaching, Kirby has worked as a consultant to charter schools, providing expertise on design, budgets and facilities. Kirby holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, a M.A. in Non-Profit Management from Yale, and a M.A.T. from NLU.
Becky Crawford began her career at Baker as an Associate Teacher in second and third grade classrooms, while earning her MAT in Elementary Education at National Louis University. She continued as the Technology Associate in 2010 while working toward her Certificate of Advanced Study in Technology in Education at NLU. Becky is passionate about integrating technology at Baker and empowering students to be confident, creative digital citizens. Becky also holds a MS Ed in Outdoor Education from Northern Illinois University.
Amy Deuble comes to Baker with more than 25 years of teaching experience in private and public schools along the North Shore. She began her teaching at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka as a physical education teacher and coach upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After receiving her M.A.T. at National Louis University, she taught first and second grade at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka. For several years, Amy was a full time teacher of her two children as well as a volunteer at North Shore Country Day School, where her husband teaches and coaches. She returned to the classroom and taught at Greeley School in Winnekta, Sears School in Kenilworth, King Lab School in Evanston, and Roundout School in Lake Forest. She helped develop new curriculums in Language Arts, Math and Writing as well as advising the physical education departments on curriculum. She is a lifelong learner whose commitment to progressive education has directed her arc of professional development and teaching positions. Amy is passionate about creating meaningful interdisciplinary units of study in which students learn specific subject skills and knowledge while making new connections and deep understandings. Amy has served as an affinity leader at the People of Color Conference and been trained at SEED seminars – Seeking Education Equity and Diversity.
Liz comes to Baker as an experienced middle school Spanish teacher. She originally taught high school Spanish in the south suburbs of Chicago. She then moved to Ithaca, New York for 5 years teaching 6-8th grade Spanish. During that time, she spent one year in an alternative school setting creating individualized lessons to meet the needs of students that did not thrive in a traditional school environment. While in New York, Liz spent her summers getting her Master of Arts in Spanish at the prestigious Middlebury College Language School. She has lived abroad in Spain and Mexico and traveled extensively to Costa Rica, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. After taking time off from teaching to focus on family, she is ready to bring her enthusiasm and expertise to the Baker community.
Prior to joining the Baker community five years ago, Patrick Dunafin taught in the Chicago Public Schools. When completing his teaching program at Michigan State University, Patrick won the Janet A. Wessel Award for Adapted Physical Education and served as a teaching assistant in the same area. Other work in and around the Lansing, Michigan area included coaching swimming for the Special Olympics, coaching varsity/junior varsity tennis and volleyball at various high schools, and instructing private and group tennis lessons at Court One Athletic Clubs. While at Baker, Patrick has coached flag football, basketball, and soccer. Other roles include lead advisor for student council and private swim instructor. Patrick is a current member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
Karrie Fisher has been the librarian at Baker Demonstration School since 2008. She has been a school librarian for 18 years, and has loved every minute of working with children. Karrie began her career as the Young Adult (high school) Librarian at Glenview Public Library, where she is still employed as a part-time librarian. Her favorite thing to do is talk to children about the books they like – and don’t like – to read. Her goal for the Baker Library is to make it a vibrant place to be, where children can find reading adventures that will enthrall them. She loves to create fun reading adventures for her classes, provide a venue for children to share books, such as the Little Free Library, and design programs like Café Biblioteca and Battle of the Books. Karrie has presented her library programs at conferences including the Progressive Education Network and the Illinois School Library Media Association. She also teaches photography to Baker’s middle school students. When Karrie is not reading a fabulous book, she’s baking, taking photographs, and learning how to Zumba dance without falling down. She is currently serving on the Illinois Student Choice Bluestem Award Committee as a reader and selector for the nominee list.
Morgan Fitzpatrick began at Baker as an associate in 2013 after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in History. While at Baker he worked to complete his teaching licensure, with an endorsement in Social Studies grades 6-12, from Northeastern Illinois University. Since 2011, Morgan has coached both youth and high school baseball in Evanston. For the past few summers he has also worked at Baker’s Summer Discovery Program, most recently as the Director of Sports and Games. After student teaching at Amundsen High School in Chicago and working as an associate at Crow Island School in Winnetka, Morgan is excited to return to the classroom as a Social Studies teacher at Baker.
Dennis Gallagher joined Baker in 2012 following many years as a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system. He is featured in Heineman’s Best Practice, 4th edition, and also in its video companion. Dennis has taught for a number of years at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, most recently teaching an honors geometry course. Dennis received a math endorsement from the University of Chicago and also pursued a Ph.D. in the areas of labor history and sociology.
Stefanie thinks the supportive, collaborative, diverse community at Baker helps students have a unique, enriching experience. Stefanie left her extensive career as an art director in the publishing world to pursue a second Masters degree and become an educator. She is so glad she did! She feels teaching is the most creative thing she has ever done. Before teaching at Baker, she taught art to K-8 at an environmental school and then taught third and fourth grade. Stefanie thinks third grade is a sensational age because her students are so open to new ideas and making unexpected connections. When Stefanie is not spending time with her students, she is with her husband, two daughters and silly dog. She enjoys kayaking in the summer, cross country skiing in the winter, hiking all year long and reading a variety of genres, including new books for 8-10 year olds. Stefanie is thrilled to be part of the Baker community.
Jamee Guerra has taught music on the east coast, the British Virgin Islands, and Chicago’s south side. She has designed and implemented two brand new music curriculums in previous schools, and is always open to trying new ideas in the music classroom. While teaching at a girl’s high school in New Jersey, she collaborated with a co-worker to write and compose music for a full length musical. Her first instrument is piano, but loves playing drums and teaching percussion and vocal ensembles. Jamee believes that every student has musical intelligence, which is multifaceted, and she seeks to help all students develop their musical abilities in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them.
Natasha loves to learn and teach science! Her favorite living scientists include Robert Sapolsky and Neil deGrasse Tyson, both of whom she admires for their intellect, but more importantly for how they popularize the biggest ideas in science with great storytelling. She came to Baker with three years of experience teaching high school biology and chemistry in the south side of Chicago. Natasha teaches with an inquiry-based approach, and enjoys pushing students to think creatively. She has also worked in a neuroscience lab where she “played” with rats everyday to see how their brains worked. Natasha loves to draw, paint, and read science fiction books — particularly those of Isaac Asimov.
Kim Johns has been an early childhood educator since her sophomore year at Colorado State University, where she became a lead teacher in their campus-based early childhood program. Kim also taught preschool at the Auraria Metro campus in Denver before moving to the Chicago area. She taught toddlers and two-year olds at Baby Toddler Nursery in Evanston, during which time she earned the Evanston Teacher of the Year award. Kim has been an active member of the Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children and their Anti-Bias Commission, presenting at professional conferences on topics including toddler curricula, anti-bias curricula, and early literacy. Kim has had experience in both kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, and has taught pre-kindergarten at Truman College.
Anna Krzyzanowski grew up in the Chicago area. She studied Psychology but switched paths after working with students from the Jumpstart program and now holds a Masters in Elementary Education. Before joining the team at Baker, she spent 7 years teaching at an inner-city charter school that emphasized constructive learning, movement, and restorative justice. She appreciates working in an environment that respects students’ right to learn in a positive and meaningful way.
Tyler joined the Baker community in 2010 after eight years at The Williams School in New London, Connecticut. In his time at Williams he taught Latin, Ancient World History, World Geography, and Classical Heroism, acted as an advisor to Middle and Upper school students, coached soccer, basketball, and golf, and served as Dean of Students for the Middle and Upper School and as Head of the Middle School. Tyler received his Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages with Honors in 2002 from Hamilton College, where he received the Hawley prizes for Latin and Greek, the Arthur W. Soper prize for Latin, and was elected to the Iota Nu chapter of Phi Sigma Iota for excellence in foreign languages.
Lauren has been an educator since 2006 when she received her Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. She has been a Special Educator for primary and intermediate students in a variety of public school settings. She began her teaching journey by instructing a Cross Categorical classroom for children with Learning Disabilities and then taught a class for children with a variety of academic and social/emotional needs. She moved onto becoming a Resource Teacher for students in grades one through five for six years prior to arriving at Baker. Lauren appreciates being part of a school that demonstrates such a clear love of learning and progressive practices.
Melissa Makagon has been teaching children from preschool age through second grade since 1996. During that time she has had the privilege of leading teachers on literacy, conducting parent literacy and math nights, and mentoring many student teachers in the classroom. Melissa comes to Baker with a strong background in constructivist teaching and strives to continue her professional growth in progressive education.
Learning Behavior Specialist
Joined Baker in 2009
B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago
M.Ed., University of Illinois at Chicago
C.A.S., National Louis University
Prior to arriving at Baker, Terri Nitahara spent eleven years teaching in both the public and private schools in Chicago and Evanston. Her professional experience includes time spent as an education classroom teacher, a learning behavior specialist and an educational administration team member. Terri has worked extensively to support the academic, social, emotional and independent functioning needs of her students. She created the Community Based Training Program for students with special needs for Illinois District 299, Region 2. Terri has served for numerous years as a parent volunteer, school board committee member and community representative in Glenview, where she worked to develop and implement the character values education program utilized in schools across the village. Terri is an avid supporter of progressive education and is an active member in the Council for Exceptional Children.
Noel Pfannerstill has been teaching children from first grade through third grade since 1994 in both traditional and multiage settings. Noel began his teaching career in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, at Tomahawk Elementary School, before he and his family relocated four years ago to the Chicago area, where was very excited to discover Baker. Noel is married and has three daughters, Kali, Meg, and Haidyn. Noel truly enjoys working with younger students to cultivate relationships, fuel their curiosities and make new discoveries. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys nature with which he brings many experiences and knowledge to share within the classroom. Noel also loves to teach through his own everyday life stories and experiences, especially those related to his daughters and dogs, Gabby and Sassy.
Anna Phillips started her teaching career in Kansas City Missouri Public Schools and has since worked primarily in urban education. While working in the public school system, she became very interested in alternative avenues to learning and whole-child approach and set out to find a school that matched her own educational philosophy. While working in a progressive charter school on the southwest side of Chicago, Anna pioneered a fully integrated Inquiry curriculum, introduced Restorative Justice based practices and helped write a School Culture Handbook, and led a variety of parent workshops based on whole-child approach and Restorative Justice. Anna has a Masters in Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, Bachelors in Communications and Digital Media from Carthage College and completed her National Boards Certification in 2016. Anna is deeply passionate about giving every child what he or she needs in order to become the strongest inquirer and most caring citizen and is excited to bring her passions and experience to the Baker community.
Barb Pietroski joined Baker with many years of teaching experience across all grades. Her career began at Northbrook Junior High, where she helped develop the Spanish program for District 28. Later she joined the staff at Buffalo Grove High School, where she taught beginning through advanced levels of Spanish. During her tenure, she was granted a sabbatical leave to study at the Art Institute to link art to languages. Most recently she taught primary grades at Hubbard Woods in Winnetka. Throughout her career, Barb has been involved in professional organizations including AATSP and ICTFL. Besides being on the Executive Council of the Chicago Chapter of AATSP, she has been president and newsletter editor of the group. Under her leadership the chapter was named the 2014 national chapter of the year and she was honored with the Chicago Chapter Distinctive Service Award. Barb is a regular presenter at local, state, and national language conferences.
Tiffany Rampey has spent her teaching career in schools with progressive roots and practices. She began teaching 4th grade in the Winnetka public schools where she helped establish an exchange with a school district in Honduras, both traveling to the community and having students from both schools communicate regularly. Tiffany came to Baker by way of Wingra School in Madison, Wisconsin where she taught in two multi-age classrooms, both 5-7 year olds as well as 7-9 year olds. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s degree in Technology in Education from National Louis University.
Michelle is thrilled for the opportunity to teach inquiry-based Science at Baker. She previously taught Biology and Environmental Science in Chicago Public Schools, where she also coached cross-country and track. Before teaching, she spent five years working on a blood-screening product for Abbott Laboratories. Michelle’s main drive is to get students interested in Science and participating in active learning and discovery. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and M.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
Jane Rothschild has been a part of the Baker school community since the spring of 2012. She first served as an Associate Teacher in both second and fifth grades. She also served as a maternity leave substitute teacher before becoming a lead second grade teacher in 2015. In 2008 Jane returned to graduate school at for her Masters in Teaching. Before that she worked for more than a decade in a reading literacy program in Evanston/Skokie School District #65. She and her husband, Tony, live in Evanston, where they raised their two grown sons, Jimmy and Danny. Jane and Tony are both long-time volunteer tutors for students in after-school and summer programs in Chicago and Evanston.
Kerah Sandler started her teaching career at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka as an assistant in second and third grade classrooms after student teaching there as part of Northwestern University’s Creative Drama program. After receiving her MAT from National-Louis, Kerah became the fourth grade lead teacher at NSCDS, where she taught for seven years until she became a mom. She tutored for One-to-One Learning Center and in private practice until her son was ready to enter Kindergarten, at which point she had the privilege of becoming both a Baker teacher and parent. Kerah and her family are so grateful to be a part of the progressive and nurturing Baker community.
Ms. Shonk graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from De Paul University. She spent the earlier part of her career in quality of life outcomes research for patients facing acute and chronic illness at Evanston North Shore Hospital. Carrie then attended Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work where she graduated with a Master’s Degree with honors after internships working in a homeless shelter and a Junior High School. Carrie then worked at a kindergarten through eighth grade therapeutic day school. In 2008, Carrie joined Chicago Public Schools where she supported students at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy for eight years. Carrie happily joined Baker as the school social worker in 2015. Carrie has conducted workshops in the Chicago and North Shore area for parents around special education topics, most recently in May 2016 at the Erickson Institute through Chicago’s Neighborhood Parent Network. Carrie is glad to be part of Baker, a school which is academically challenging and honors child development.
Rachel Sun joined the faculty at Baker in 2015 after moving from Massachusetts with her family. In Massachusetts, she taught high school Geometry and Language Arts tutorials at an independent school for students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities. After taking two years off from teaching and earning a Master’s Degree, Rachel returned to the classroom to teach a sixth grade math and a two-year integrated Algebra/Geometry course for eighth and ninth graders. At her previous school in Massachusetts, Rachel also served as Middle School Coordinator and was instrumental in developing a three-year progression for middle schooler students including study skills, intellectual habits of mind, and a fairly self-directed STEM class. She is delighted to be part of the Baker community.
Julie Toole comes to Baker with more than 20 years of teaching experience in the Chicago Public Schools. While at CPS, Julie curated student art shows and helped beautify the school environment with student-created murals, mosaics and installation art. Julie is a member of the national leadership team for Teaching Artistic Behavior (TAB), the winner of over 15 grants, including the National Crayola Creativity Grant, a frequent presenter at national and state art education conferences, and a published author in Arts & Activities Magazine and School Arts Magazine. A leader and advocate for the Choice-Based/Studio approach to Art Education, she has organized and led a summer institute for art teachers interested in studio art. In addition to her work with teachers, Julie has developed, organized and led parent education workshops and created and led parent-child and family art making workshops. Julie is a national board-certified teacher in Early/Middle School Art, a photographer, collage artist, book maker and painter.
Mrs. Williams joined the Baker faculty in 2015.
Lizanne Wilson has worked for seventeen years as the Drama Specialist for K-8 students at Baker Demonstration School. Integrating drama into the core curriculum, co-teaching with classroom teachers and other specialists, and creating innovative middle school productions have helped to make the arts a centerpiece of a Baker education. She was the keynote speaker and guest presenter on “Drama and Critical Literacy” at UC Fresno for the Cesar Chavez Conference on Multiple Perspectives in the Classroom. She has given workshops for the International Multi-Cultural Literature Conference “Reading the World”, the National Association of Laboratory Schools, the National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for Social Studies, ISAACS, and the Illinois Theatre Association. A professional actress, singer, director and master teacher, Lizanne has been part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, the New Tuners Theatre, the Organic Theatre and the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago.
Jessy Zich has been a part of the Baker community since 2011. While enrolled in the M.A.T. program at National Louis University, Jessy worked for three years at Baker as a Pre-Kindergarten associate and Kindergarten intern. Jessy’s love for working with children first began as an environmental educator with Clemson University and the Chicago Park District. She is committed to connecting children with nature, and has presented on this topic with Chicago Wilderness, Chicago Park District, and The Alliance for Early Childhood. During the summer Jessy is an active volunteer in monarch butterfly conservation and education. She continues to lead workshops for teachers on raising monarchs in the classroom.