Our Middle School Teachers
Our middle school teachers are subject-focused. Each teacher teaches a specific subject, along with leading a homeroom. Please feel free to email your student’s teacher directly to discuss any questions or concerns.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.