Ms. Bosman is originally from Wisconsin, and moved to Chicago to serve in City Year, an AmeriCorps program. After completing her masters in education at National-Louis University, she started my teaching career in the Chicago Public Schools in 2008. Since then, she has taught kindergarten, second, and third grade.
Ms. Bosman is so excited to join the team at Ravenswood! Teaching and working with children has truly been a gift in her life, and she strive to create a classroom environment of respect, purpose, and collaboration. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, and spending time with her family and her puppy, Georgia.
Mr. Catarello is the junior middle school social studies teacher. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He is married and has two children. He also has nine brothers and sisters and 38 nieces and nephews. He considers Ravenswood a part of his large extended family. In what little spare time he has, Mr. Catarello likes to spend it with his wife and kids.
Ms. Kitty was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She comes from a long line of teachers. Her mother taught gifted 6th grade and was a pioneer in arts integration. She received a BA in Literature and Arts from the University of Michigan. She moved to New York City, then travelled around Europe for 3 months where she found her love of Art. Ms. Kitty returned to Chicago and received her Degree in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute. She moved to Madrid Spain to teach English and study art. She taught English at the City Colleges then found her home here at Ravenswood School. She achieved her National Boards in 2006 and renewed in 2016. She graduated from graduate school at National Louis University and received her M.Ed. in 2007. She has two children, Isabel and James, who both graduated from Ravenswood School where they met and learned from our excellent staff.
In addition to her National Board Certification In Visual Arts, she’s been a finalist for the Golden Apple Award two times. She received the Illinois Arts Educator of the Year. She presents at Local and National Arts Education Conferences. She haS travelled Internationally to share and learn about Arts integrative strategies, has taught at Columbia College and served on panels for the School of the Art Institute and University of Illinois. She has also hosted over 30 student teachers during her tenure at Ravenswood School.
Ms. Kitty currently works with art teachers throughout CPS and has played a prominent role in developing the respected “Every Art, Every Child” arts integration curriculum for elementary school teachers.
Ms. Conti joined the Ravenswood community in 2004 as a student teacher and was, in her words, “lucky to be asked to join the staff permanently.” In her years at Ravenswood she has had the privilege to teach both general education and special education. She lives in the Ravenswood Community and loves seeing students and parents in the neighborhood. She is also a mom to an amazing girl who will soon be a Ravenswood student!
Ms. Forton began her career at Ravenswood after completing her degree at DePaul University. Growing up in a family of teachers, learning and growth was always fostered and something she looks to encourage in our future generation. Ravenswood has been her home for over seven years and every year, she looks forward to teaching a new group within the Ravenswood community.
I grew up in the suburb Darien, Illinois and attended Hinsdale South HS. In 2008, I graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and have earned three education-related Master’s degrees since. I started teaching in 2009 and started at Ravenswood in 2016. In my free time, I enjoy bargain shopping and cheering on Chicago/Fighting Illini sports teams. I love being an inclusion teacher because I am able to make learning meaningful for all students, no matter their ability level, learning preferences, or unique interests.
Mr. Garcia is a native Chicagoan who was born on the Southeast Side many Halloween nights ago to a Polish mother and a Mexican father. He holds four degrees, A.A.S; A.S; B.S in Ed; M.S in Ed; and has an endorsement in middle school mathematics from the University of Chicago, Sesame Program. His DNA is a part of Ravenswood and he considers himself fortunate to know no other school in Chicago. He feels very lucky to be part of such an outstanding school community and every year has been a new and amazing learning experience.
He started teaching in 2000, and has been at Ravenswood for his entire teaching career.
I’m the winner of many grants including the Oppenheimer, Rochelle Lee, and a $3000 library grant from scholastic books. I am a lifelong brother of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity Inc, a service and social fraternity dedicated to the cultural,social, and academic advancement of Latinos and all people of color.
Mr. Guidry has been teaching drama at Ravenswood since 2011. Prior to working at this magnificent school, he taught technical theatre at Arts at the Capitol Theatre Performance High School in Connecticut, drama at University and Cesar Chavez Middle School in Texas. He has worked as a Theatre Teaching Artist in Chicago and Connecticut traveling to middle and elementary schools to integrate drama into the classroom. He received his Masters of Arts in theatre education from Emerson College in Boston, and his Bachelor of Arts in theatre: performance and directing from the University of North Texas. He has been performing, directing, designing or running crew for theatre for the past 22 years, taking part in more than 150 productions. He couldn’t imagine a better home, a better staff, better students or a better administration than what he has here at Ravenswood to share his passion for this art form.
“If you know, teach. If you receive, give. Pass it on.” Mr. Hart shares this quote by the late Maya Angelou over and over in hopes of developing a cycle of students seeing themselves as both learners and teachers, and to develop a community where we all receive and give.
Mr. Hart has been teaching at Ravenswood for over 25 years. After graduating from UIC and working in the business field for three years, he received his Master’s in Teaching and Learning from DePaul University and entered the teaching profession.
He is proud to be a part of the amazing place called Ravenswood School and work alongside other passionate, dedicated educators.
Mr. Jacobi is extremely excited to be starting a new school year with your family! He joined the Ravenswood community in 2009 and is thrilled to have found a school like none other in Chicago.
Originally from St. Louis, Mr. Jacobi earned his Bachelor's in Psychology from Truman State University. After two years in service with AmeriCorps, he decided to pursue his love for early education by moving to Chicago to attend Erikson Institute. At Erikson he earned his Master’s in Early Childhood Education. When he is not in the classroom, he swims on a Master’s swim team (Go Chicago Smelts!), participates in a monthly book club, and goes out to eat more often than he probably should!
I am so excited and feel so lucky to have found such an amazing school as Ravenswood to continue my teaching career. I’m thrilled to get the chance to work with you and your child, I love coming to school and can’t wait to both teach my students as well as learn from them the entire year!
Ms. Jaramillo was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. She came to US at the age of 21. She studied English at Truman College until she was ready to take English classes at the university level. She continued her education at Columbia College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. Soon after, She began teaching Arts to children with special abilities. It was this experience that sparked her interest in teaching. Shortly after, she enrolled in an alternative teaching program with Golden Apple Teachers at Northwestern University to receive her teacher certification. Additionally, she received her Master’s in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She started teaching in 2001, and began working at Ravenswood in 2017.
She lives in Rogers Park with her husband, daughter, and dog . When not at work, she enjoys working on Art projects around her house, spending time with family, dancing, reading, cooking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. She was fortunate to get a job at Ravenswood and is grateful to be part of such an amazing community!
Some achievements she is proud of:
-Little Village award winner Bilingual teacher “El Achieve” 2010,
-Computers at schools winner of 20 laptops 2011.
-Participated in the CLIMB project with the Field and Science Museums
-E2SP Partnership with the Children’s’ and Field Museums
-Ravinia Music partnership and Mexican Museum Biculturalism project.
-Member and lead teacher of the International Club (BAC)
Candice Jennings joined Ravenswood in the 2018-2019 school year as the 5th grade Diverse Learner Instructor. She was born in Chicago and has spent all of her life here. She is a product of Chicago Public Schools, having attended Joyce Kilmer Elementary and Roger C. Sullivan High School, both being located in the very nearby Rogers Park.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Northwestern University; and Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University.
Ms. Jennings’ first experience working with children came when she was still an adolescent, and was employed through the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Program as a camp counselor. Subsequently, she has worked with students academically in various capacities, all before becoming a teacher.
Ms. Jennings’ favorite activities surround the arts which is why Ravenswood is so unique to her! She loves to sing, dance (Salsa, in particular), write, act, paint, and cook- she has some culinary training. She is experienced in both plant-based and non-plant based cooking.
What makes her unique as an educator is that she is relentless about not giving up on students’ potential. She considers herself a lifelong learner taking every opportunity to grow her professional knowledge by attending professional developments and workshops in which she applies the latest research in her instructional methods and in the classroom as a whole.
Ms. Landry is excited to be at Ravenswood School! She began her career as a pre-k teacher in rural Mississippi, and she has been in early childhood and elementary education since.
She received her B.A. from Holy Cross (MA) and is pursuing her M.S. in Child Development at Erikson. Ms. Landry is excited to be teaching at Ravenswood! In her free time, she likes to play read, swim, travel, and play ultimate frisbee.
Ms. Lazar has been working at Ravenswood School since 2007. She was introduced to this amazing community through DePaul University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education. DePaul connected Ms. Lazar to Ravenswood as a student teacher. That experience led to several other positions including Pre-K teacher and kindergarten teacher. She is privileged to have found her second home at Ravenswood!
My, how the time flies! Ms. Ludwig has been teaching at Ravenswood School for more than 20 years, and it seems like the blink of an eye for her. During that time, she has been a reading resource teacher of all grades, a middle school language arts teacher and a reading specialist.
Her favorite and most enduring post, however, has been that of a third-grade teacher. All of these years have afforded her the joy of watching children grow up to be fine citizens of this community and world. It is a great privilege for her to be a small part of that process.
In 2006, Brittany graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Business Administration and minor in Speech Communication. After being presented with an opportunity to work in a classroom supporting students with special needs, she quickly realized that the field of education was where she belonged. Brittany graduated from Roosevelt University with a LBS1 and Master’s in Special Education in 2009 and immediately began my life long journey to ensure educational equity in public school systems. She came to Ravenswood during the 2007-2008 school year and worked as a paraprofessional. Upon graduation in 2009, Brittany transitioned into the role of a Diverse Learning Teacher (also known as a Special Education Teacher) and have worked throughout every grade level. Luxton is currently one of the Diverse Learning Teachers in Middle School while simultaneously fulfilling the role of Case Manager for the entire school.
Ms. Manocha is originally a Jersey girl! From New Jersey where she was born, she moved around quite a bit until she went to college at Penn State University. She graduated in 1998 with a B.S.in Family Therapy and Social Work, then went to NYU to get her Master’s Degree and Elementary Education Certification. She taught in New York from 2001 until she got married and moved to Chicago in 2011.
Ms. Manocha has been teaching at Ravenswood since 2011, and is grateful to be part of such an amazing community! She lives in Logan Square with her husband, her French Bulldog, Georgia, and her baby Kavi (Ku-vee)! She is currently seeking an ELL endorsement at UIC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, dancing, reading and being outdoors.
Ms. Mehl is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Dance and Spanish at Ohio Wesleyan University. Upon graduating, she moved to Chicago, in her words, “was lucky enough to find a job at Ravenswood.” After teaching for a few years, she went back to school and received a Master’s of Arts in Language, Literature, and Culture with an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement, from North Park University. Besides teaching, her other interests include dancing, reading, traveling, learning new languages, and going to theatre shows.
Time flies when you love what you do, and Mr. Panion loves teaching science! He has been teaching students for over 20 years, in both English and in Spanish. Mr. Panion received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and his graduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago. Science has fascinated him since he was a child and he is thrilled to be able to share his passion for learning and science with the students at Ravenswood. He also enjoys music, dancing, and traveling. One of his favorite quotes is from the famous Noble Laureate scientist, Marie Curie, “Nothing in life is to be feared, only understood.”
Ms. Picinich is the School Counselor at Ravenswood. She is excited for this upcoming school year and looks forward to building a relationship with you and your child!
As the Counselor, her primary responsibility is to promote the academic, personal, and social development of all students. She will be collaborating with you, teachers, staff, and outside organizations to ensure we can support your child(ren) in the best way possible! Some of her responsibilities at Ravenswood include: large-group lessons (various social-emotional topics); small group guidance; individual student support.
Ms. Picinich originally hails from upstate NY where she received her BA in Psychology & Women’s Studies from Hobart & William Smith. She started teaching on the west-side of Syracuse in 2004 while earning her MS in Literacy from Syracuse University. In 2007, she packed up and moved to the Windy City where she continued to work with diverse learners while earning her masters in both Community and School Counseling. In her free time you can find her out by the lake in a hammock reading a book, working on a DIY project, cooking for people, or training for a marathon/triathlon. She is so grateful to have found her home in the Ravenswood community!
Ms. Prastitis is very excited to be starting another school year at Ravenswood! She joined the Ravenswood team in 2016 and strongly believe that this community is one of a kind.
After growing up in Michigan, she attended Indiana University where she double majored in Special Education and Elementary Education (Go Hoosiers!). Knowing that she wanted to teach in an urban setting, she made the move to Chicago and was lucky enough to be welcomed into the Ravenswood Elementary community.
When Ms. Prastitis not at school, you can find her at the YMCA, trying new restaurants, or exploring Chicago neighborhoods.
Ms. Reed is pleased to be at Ravenswood Elementary as the dance teacher! She has taught dance for 12 years in a variety of settings, including elementary schools, dance studios and community programs. This is her third year working with Chicago Public Schools. Most recently, she taught reading at Nettelhorst School as an RTI teacher assistant and dance at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a teaching artist. After studying dance while growing up and at the collegiate level, she performed professionally as an original member of the Open Window Dance Company, a modern dance company that fuses contemporary dance styles with Asian movement forms. After performing in the Midwest and on the East Coast, I began teaching dance full-time. She enjoys teaching all subject areas and dance styles, and she loves to integrate dance with other disciplines. She holds a Masters of Art in teaching with endorsements in elementary education, dance and socialsStudies, and a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in general business, dance and arts management. When she is not teaching and dancing, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading, biking and spending time with her family.
Ms. Residori was so happy to be able to call Ravenswood her home away from home and to be entering another year in this incredible school! She has been teaching kindergarten and first grade since 2004, including four years that she spent at another CPS school before joining the Ravenswood family.
After growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Ms. Residori began her education at DePaul University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. After teaching kindergarten for a year at Ravenswood, she discovered her passion for early childhood, which led her to earn her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, which she completed at Erikson Institute. She lives with her husband and three boys not far from our school and love being a part of this community. You may see her out and about with her sons Luca, Leo, and Nico, and she’ll be sharing lots of stories about them with the class.
Every day that she spends working with young children is a learning experience for her. She feels lucky that she is able to get up everyday to go to work doing something she loves in such a wonderful school community!
Mr. Samerson moved to Chicago in 1998 from S. Florida, and Chicago has truly shaped him as a person, and has influenced his purpose for becoming a teacher for Diverse Learners.
Shortly after arriving in Chicago, Mr. Samerson became acutely aware of the injustice and inequality that has plagued People of Color in this city for decades. He wanted to be a part of the change and solution. After many years of working in the healthcare field, and self-employment, he went back to college at Northeastern Illinois University to become an educator. It was during this time in his journey that he began to see the parallel struggle for rights, dignity, and equity that Black people in America and persons with special needs share. He is a teacher of all Diverse Learners.
As a teacher of Diverse Learners, he believes all of his students can find their success and find their voices, as he has.
Ms. Santos-Cardenas joined the Ravenswood community in February of 2018 and could not be happier to be part of the team! She is passionate about teaching children as much as she is passionate about learning from children and cannot wait to grow with the Ravenswood community as a lifelong learner!
Growing up in the city of Chicago, she attended CPS for both elementary and high school. Fun fact: she graduated from Ravenswood in 2006! So her history with the school runs quite deep and she couldn’t be happier to now be a part of the staff here to make the impact that was made on her all those years ago! In 2016, she graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BA as a Learning Behavior Specialist. When she is not in the classroom, some of her hobbies include most outdoor activities and traveling with her husband and dog, Harley!
Veronica Santos started her Ravenswood experience as a parent in 2000. Shortly after her second daughter joined the school, she became an employee. In her 14 years at Ravenswood she has held many roles throughout the school which have allowed her to work with many of our students and families.
I am very excited to be working with Ravenswood! I’ve been living in Chicago for seven years and working as a speech-language pathologist for CPS all over the city since 2012. I’m originally from upstate New York where I graduated with my masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. When I’m not working, I love spending time traveling and cooking. I look forward to working with the wonderful students and staff at Ravenswood!
She discovered her passion for science education while working as Program Director at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. She attained her Master in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and began working in Chicago public schools in 2008. Soon after beginning to teach, she attended the Masters in Science Education program at De Paul University to complete her science education certification. Prior to joining the staff at Ravenswood, she taught at Franklin Fine Arts Center in Old Town.
Each summer, Ms. Schroeder teaches at Center for Talent Development through Northwestern University. Wherever she teaches, she is passionate about creating classroom communities where each student feels socially significant and empowered to reach their learning potential. In addition to being a teacher, she is an outdoor enthusiast, a yogi, a violinist, and a swimmer. She enjoys spending time with friends, her husband, and their son Felix.
I am the 8th grade diverse learning teacher, working with our students across the subject areas. Before my time here at Ravenswood, I taught middle school in Uptown and K-3 in Humboldt Park.
I got my undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, where I studied Social Policy and Gender Studies. Later, I went back to DePaul to get my master’s in Elementary Education and Special Education. When I'm not teaching, I'm learning to play piano, reading three books at once, or working with an organization called KT's Kids that supports the children at Schwab Hospital in Lawndale.
Mrs. Shaughnessy is returning to Ravenswood School as part of the Diverse Learner team. During the 2015-2017 school years, she taught Kindergarten in Rooms 004 and 006. This year she is taking on a new role as part of the RJMS and Middle school teams. Working primarily with homerooms 311 and 202. She looks forward to partnering with you and your students this year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sheldon come to Ravenswood Elementary from teaching 18 years in Englewood, West Garfield Park and Bronzeville. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Instructional Leadership from UIC and my Middle School Math Endorsement from University of Chicago. She is passionate about teaching middle students with a healthy side dish of math nerdiness!
Ms. Sheldon has two sons (8 and 15), speaks Spanish fluently, and lives in Humboldt Park--which she loves. She is a gardener in the spring and summer and a knitter/BBC mystery fan in the winter. Ms. Sheldon reflects that, “Every year that I teach, is a year that I grow personally and professionally. It's a truly engaging career that leaves me humbled and challenged.”
Clare Shreve is a Special Education Classroom Assistant in second grade. She is currently in her final year of graduate school at National Louis University. She will receive here master's degree in early childhood education later this year. Before moving to Chicago in 2015, Clare was an AmeriCorps member in Baltimore, MD working with a non-profit that provided community arts education classes to newly arrived refugee youth. She loves working with young children and is excited to become a certified teacher!
Ms. Stallard grew up in Skokie, IL and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. She then moved to New York where she taught in East Harlem as a member of Teach for America, and earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Hunter College. After spending a year working with education organizations in India and Central America, she made her way back home to Chicago and worked as an instructional coach at South and West Side schools for two years. She was eager to get back into the classroom and spend everyday with students, and she could not be more thankful that she ended up at Ravenswood!
Ms. Stallard has now been teaching since 2010 and have been at Ravenswood since 2015.
Her approach to teaching aligns with Ravenswood’s focus on whole-child education, inclusion, social-emotional learning, inquiry, and arts-integration. When she’s not at school, she loves spending time outside, cooking, doing yoga, and enjoying good music.
Mr. Switzer is the physical education teacher at Ravenswood Elementary School. He enjoys working with children and building their self-image and confidence. His goal has always been to instill in students a lifelong love of athletics and fitness.
Mr. Switzer was born and raised in Chicago. His daughter, Katelyn, is in her final year of high school and looking forward to going away to college. He has a black lab named Luna that is 15 months old and loves to play and chase rabbits. Mr. Switzer looks forward to meeting and getting to know all of you this school year!
Mr. Tajchman was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. He took the long route to Chicago, eventually moving here in 1999. Prior to that, he lived in and attended grad school in Pittsburgh, PA. He then lived in Nepal for four years, where worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Prior to becoming a school teacher, he was a social worker.
Mr. Tajchman started teaching in 2002, and began teaching at Ravenswood in 2011.
This is one of the reasons he loves teaching at Ravenswood since our school has a strong focus on social/emotional learning as well as academics. In his free time, he enjoy fitness (running, biking, yoga) and reading. Mr. Tajchman a member of a monthly book club made up of teachers.
Working with middle school students is Ms. Toomey’s passion and she is grateful for the chance to do it at Ravenswood. In her words, “adolescents are in this sweet spot of development where they are figuring out themselves, the world around them, and how to actualize their own power to leave their mark on the world. I believe that reading and writing are keys in this development. Texts provide students windows through which to read the world and mirrors to examine themselves.”
Before landing at Ravenswood as a middle school ELA teacher, Ms. Toomey taught in Ohio, New Mexico, and at other CPS schools. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. Antioch's mantra is "Be ashamed to die until you have won a victory for humanity," and teaching gives her the chance to work towards this victory every day inside my classroom. She also have a Master's Degree in Reading and am a certified Reading Specialist.
Ms. Toomey is a mom of four (18, 14, 10, and 6) and spends all her free time with her family. Besides reading and traveling, she loves music, sneakers, and art.
Ms. Vergil considers herself fortunate to be able to work doing something she is so passionate about in such a progressive and committed community! She joined the Ravenswood community in 2010 and it's become her second home. She is really looking forward to another great school year with the students, staff, and parents here at Ravenswood!
Ms. Vergil began her education at Northeastern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She went back to school in 2012 and earned a Master's Degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, which she also completed at Northeastern Illinois University. She decided to go back to school in the spring of 2017 to pursue a Master's Degree in School Leadership.
When she is not at school or working on a DIY project, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and beagle. She loves trying new recipes, Zumba, reading, and traveling around the world.
Ms. Williams has been working at Ravenswood since 2012! She was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, and she has been living in Chicago for more than 15 years. She received her bachelor’s in education from DePaul, and she is currently getting her counseling degree at Adler Professional School of Psychology. She believes that education should empower a child and help him or her make a positive contribution to our world.
“Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it.” -Shel Silverstein.
Mr. Wiss joined the Ravenswood team in the fall 2018 after spending the last couple of years regularly serving Ravenswood as a substitute teacher. Mr. Wiss is looking forward to the opportunity of supporting Ravenswood Elementary this year.
Mr. Wiss spent last summer as the 3D Modeling and Animation instructor at Phoenix Military Academy(#1 Rank High School in Chicago and State) and looks forward to continuing that role.
Mr. Wiss had spent the previous twenty years working in social service while earning his BA in Film Studies from Columbia College of Chicago and a his MA in Animation from DePaul.
Mr. Wiss likes to spend his free time traveling with his wife and his daughter.
Our head of school security Daniel Ramos is currently enjoying his third year at Ravenswood. He spends his day ensuring the safety of our students and school, and providing assistance and support with a variety of school functions.