Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy
Leaders Grow Here!
I always knew that I would be a teacher. After all, the women I loved most, my mother and grandmother, were teachers. Through them I saw that teaching was a wonderful profession that I wanted to be part of as early as five years old. Just ask my younger brother-who had to endure hours and hours as a student in my childhood classroom in the basement of our house!
I was born and raised in the Chicago area. I attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and I received a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. I began my career in the Chicago Public Schools in 1990 and since that time I have held the positions of classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator and Assistant Principal of Newberry Academy. I assumed the role of principal of Newberry on July 1, 2010. I am very proud to lead what I consider to be the finest school in the city! The next time you’re in the building, I hope that you stop by to say hello
My name is Edward Collins and I am very happy to continue serving the Newberry community as Assistant Principal. Having previously taught middle school, I came to Newberry in 2005 as a classroom teacher and have enjoyed every moment since my arrival! Growing up in Chicago, I am committed to educating and empowering the children of our great city to be critical thinkers and involved in their communities. Growing up in a bi-cultural, Cuban-American home and speaking Spanish from an early age, I grew to thoroughly enjoy both Latin American as well as early American histories, which led me to pursue this as an area of study and receive my B.A. in History/Education at DePaul University; as my interests in teaching and learning developed, I later earned by M.Ed. from the same institution.
I have a passion for teaching and learning because we as educators have the power to inspire children and help them visualize their bright futures. I am drawn to the rich diversity that Newberry Academy offers and have never taken this for granted. At our school, we learn alongside those who have different life experiences and different backgrounds. This is truly something special and an experience many of us adults did not have as young people. What I have learned here at Newberry is that with this exposure to our diversity comes responsibility for all of us to see the world differently, respect others, and be open to understanding various opinions. Through my lens as part of the leadership team, I see how our teachers both promote student independent thinking while also nurturing their development as young people, empowering them to be tomorrow’s leaders, advocates, and citizens.
I began teaching in 1973 after receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, and I have been teaching in the Chicago area ever since. I have been a teacher at Newberry Academy for the past 13 years, and in 2005 received my Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies and Curriculum from National-Louis University. During my tenure at Newberry I have had the privilege of teaching approximately 350 students in various grades, including working with primary age students—which is where my heart is! I enjoy watching my students grow into confident readers, writers, and mathematicians. Each day I am awestruck by the energy and enthusiasm that seven- and eight-year-olds have for learning. I believe that all children want to learn and to do well, and with this philosophy in mind, I prepare lessons that will reach students at all skill levels.
As a Chicago Public School (CPS) high school graduate and a CPS teacher, I am drawn to supporting Chicago’s public education system and my fellow educators. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, I have also served Newberry and the CPS system in various capacities. I have been a presenter and mentor to new teachers entering the CPS system, including many teachers new to Newberry. I am also a CPS consulting teacher, where I have the responsibility of enhancing and expanding the skill set of teachers through individual consultation. For the past three years I have been an Everyday Math presenter for the CPS Office of Math and Science, and a qualified provider of CPDUs, allowing teachers to earn credits for their teacher recertification. Finally, I presently serve as the Teacher Representative on the Local School Council.
Hello and welcome to Newberry Academy! My name is Laura Cardiff and I teach fourth grade. From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher. I am thrilled to be part of the Newberry family to fulfill that dream!
Before becoming a teacher, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Illinois, Springfield. While in Springfield, I spent some time working as an intern for the legislature in the state Senate. After graduation, I moved back to Chicago and began working as a Quality Manager for a large physicians’ group out of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. My desire to be a teacher was still calling me. It was during this time that I attended DePaul University to complete the classes to earn my teaching certificate. Through DePaul, I began my relationship with Newberry. I started as a tutor and eventually completed my student teaching in a first-grade classroom. After student teaching, I received my teaching certificate and later earned my Masters in Education from DePaul University.
My teaching philosophy is to provide a safe and caring environment where teaching is individualized and differentiated to meet the needs of all my students. Also, I strive to communicate and partner with my students’ families. I sincerely believe in a strong teacher/parent relationship.
Amy Jarrett-Clancy teaches Math at Newberry Math and Science Academy. In 2001, she earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. During her first few years teaching, Mrs. Clancy discovered that she has a passion for teaching math! She has developed this love for math through working with the University of Chicago’s Everyday Mathematics program, the Chicago Math and Science Initiative, and training as a CPS Professional Development Leader. During the school year and the summer, she teaches educators from around the city and country to use the Everyday Math curriculum. In 2008, Mrs. Clancy was one of three finalists in Illinois for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She also earned her Masters Degree in Teaching Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. Mrs. Clancy lives with her husband, who is also a math teacher, and their cats, Frank and Ozzie.
Student final projects from the Chicago History Museum field trip. Students found examples of primary and secondary sources, local government, and branches of government, among other things. They took pictures with their group’s iPad and then used the Popplet app to put the information together. Click here to view the photos
I am thrilled to join Newberry this year as your school counselor. I have been working in CPS for the past 10 years; first as a teacher and then as a counselor. I have lived in Chicago mostly, with the exception of a stint in Connecticut for college. I earned my degree in photojournalism from the University of Connecticut. After returning to Chicago, I became and art teacher before transitioning to the role of school counselor. I am a Chicago sports fan. My favorite team is the Chicago Bulls. My family lives near the United Center and enjoys attending many games each season! Please stop by an introduce your self. I look forward to working with the Newberry community this year!
I have had a relationship with the Chicago Public Schools for 39 years! 13 years as a student and 26 years as an Educator. Born and raised in Chicago, I attended the Chicago Public Schools as an elementary and high school student. I attended and graduated from Frederic Chopin Elementary and Roberto Clemente High School. My passion for teaching began way back in second grade with my teacher, Mrs. Pupich. It was then that I knew I wanted to grow up to be just like her.
After graduating from Clemente I attended DePaul University and earned my first degree in Elementary Education, there after I immediately began to work for the Chicago Public Schools. Not satisfied with my knowledge about Special Education, I returned to DePaul to earn my second degree, a Master of Education in Reading and Learning Disabilities.
I have taught both General and Special Education across all grade and age levels and have worked as a Reading Coordinator, Middle School Science, Literature and Language Arts teacher. For twelve years I held dual roles as a Case Manager and Special Education Teacher. Fluent in Spanish, I even taught Spanish as a Second Language my first three years of teaching. I truly believe and recognize that every child is unique in their approach to learning. As a Special Education teacher it’s my craft to tap into the child’s approach and provide the strategies for a successful academic and social/emotional life.
I love Chicago and still live in the neighborhood where I grew up. I live with my husband, Tony (also a Clemente graduate and former baseball player, City Champions 1981) and my two daughters Melanie and Kellie. Melanie, the avid reader and writer, is a graduate student DePaul University (summa cum laude, 2012) and Kellie, the athlete, just graduated from St. Ignatius (with distinction, 2012) has joined her sister at DePaul University…can you tell I am a proud Mom! As a family we love sports (Go Go White Sox!!!) and love to travel, our favorite destination is Italy!!!
I was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. I am a Learner Behavior Specialist, and this is my 4th year as part of the Newberry family. I have had the pleasure of working with almost every grade in our building. Some of you may hear the name Ms. Corrao because that is my maiden name. I married my husband, Mark, two years ago. We have a beautiful, 1-year-old daughter named Emma. We are the proud owners of 2 Pit bull/Bulldog mixes, one of which we saved from the streets, and they love to love people. Sports are a very important part of my life. I was a figure skater for 12 years before fully committing to play volleyball and softball at Lane Tech. I am currently an active volleyball and softball player in the Chicago Park Districts. Before daughter arrived in our lives, I played roller derby for the Windy City Rollers. I am also the coach here at Newberry for the girls’ softball and volleyball teams. This year, I will be co-teaching with Mr. Radcliff in Math, and Ms. Wietholter in Language Arts. I will also have a separate class in Room to provide individual learning services. One of my favorite things about being a teacher is getting to know my students and building trusting relationships with them. I believe that is the first step in engaging them in their learning. I look forward to many more years here at Newberry!
My mother, a successful lifelong teacher, inspired me to follow in her footsteps. As a lifeguard in high school, I enjoyed teaching swimming lessons. This fostered an early development of my organizational, leadership, and nurturing skills.
I received my B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa in 1998. After completing my student teaching, I was hired as a first grade teacher by the Aldine School District in Houston, Texas. I taught first, second and third grade during my first three years of teaching. During this time I met, Debbie Diller, who implemented the Guided Reading and Balanced Literacy Program training for my district. These trainings changed my thinking about instruction and delivery. It is still at the core of what and how I teach today. In Texas, I had a large EL population in my classrooms, so my focus also was English as a Second Language (ESL), whereby I completed my certification and then taught sixth through eighth grade ESL-Newcomer Reading, English, and Social Studies at Grady Middle School in Houston.
My family moved to Chicago in 2002, and I joined CPS as the Reading Specialist, ESL teacher, and Bilingual lead teacher at Belmont-Cragin School during their inaugural school year. I followed my goal of continuing education by achieving National Board Certification in Reading-Language Arts, Early and Middle Childhood. In addition, I fulfilled an elective duty by mentoring other teachers seeking this certification.
In 2006, seeking new challenges and a zest for a classroom of my own students, I joined the team at Newberry. I taught third grade for many years. Now in 2014, coming full circle, I am back to working as the ESL teacher, Reading Specialist, and Bilingual Lead teacher K-8.
I have always known that I wanted to work with children in some capacity. I grew up babysitting and working in summer programs for youth in Kansas City, Missouri. I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I moved to Chicago, and worked as a preschool teacher and nanny for 4 years. During this time, I also completed a Master’s degree in Human Services and Counseling from DePaul University, and interned at a therapeutic day school. I went on to work for the Early Intervention state program for 2 years. While tutoring and providing developmental therapy services to school-age children, I realized how much I missed working with children directly, and went back to school again at National Louis University, graduating with a M.A.T. in Special Education. I love working with all students and helping students reach individual goals.
Mrs. Huynh is originally from the Maryland/D.C. area and she is thrilled to now be a part of Newberry! This is her 6th year teaching and she strongly believes that it is her job to be a catalyst in our student’s learning process. She enjoys integrating the arts into academics and advocates that learning was meant to be meaningful, intentional, purposeful, and fun!
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education from the University of Maryland, College Park and she is currently working on earning her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She had the honor of receiving the Maybelline Beauty for Education Award and was featured in PEOPLE magazine in 2008. She also earned the Maryland’s Making a Difference Award for integrating the arts, education, and mentoring into Maryland communities through her work with HOODHOP inc.
Mrs. Huynh and her husband, Tuan, recently moved here from Kansas. Tuan loves the arts as much as she does and he is a graphic designer at Leo Burnett. They enjoy exploring the city, cooking, mentoring, and traveling.
Ever since I was a kid, I always knew I was going to be a teacher. Growing up in the South Suburbs of Chicago, my parents always taught the importance of education and I wanted to help others appreciate that importance as well. It wasn’t until college that I realized my calling was in Special Education. After graduating from Illinois State University in 2011 as a certified Learning and Behavior Specialist, I began working for Chicago Public Schools. In November of 2014, I was lucky enough to join the Newberry Family. When I am teaching, I try to involve my passions for music, movies, and sports into my lessons while also including my students’ interests and learning styles. My mission as a teacher is to have my students believe that they are capable of anything they put their minds to. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy being outdoors golfing, snow skiing, and fishing. As stated earlier, I am very passionate about music and love to play the piano and attend different concerts. I also appreciate having some down time and enjoy reading and watching movies or TV. I am also a huge Chicago sports fan. Go Bears, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks!
I am so thrilled to be a part of the Newberry team this year! I fell in love with the teaching profession when I worked as a counselor at summer camp in the suburbs of Detroit where I was born and raised. This experience ignited a spark and I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to working with children. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Special Education – Learning Disabilities, I moved to Chicago and completed a full year of student teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. After my student teaching, I taught Special Education in Atlanta, Georgia for one year. My experience in Atlanta inspired me to pursue a Reading Specialist Master’s degree, which I completed at DePaul University in 2014. While working on my Master’s, I taught 3/4 grade in the Hyde Park neighborhood. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy attending concerts and listening to live music, exercising, watching and playing sports, and spending time with my family back in Michigan. I’m looking forward to a wonderful school year at Newberry.
Welcome to Preschool. My name is Amanda Radcliff and I have been a teacher at NewberryAcademy for thirteen years. I graduated from RooseveltUniversity with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I was very fortunate to have done my student teaching at Newberry in Kindergarten and first grade. Newberry is my first school as a teacher and it has always been an honor and a privilege to be a teacher here.
During my teaching career I have taught kindergarten, second grade and third grade. In 2009 Newberry opened a Tuition Based Preschool Program. I have been the preschool teacher since the program began. I have always loved teaching but it was not until I took on this new adventure that my love for teaching young children grew exponentially. Our days in preschool are filled with wonder and excitement. The curriculum is literacy based and has 10 thematic units of study. Creativity is abundant as we get to play and explore, discover and learn together. It is a very gratifying responsibility and I am thankful that my relationship with my students and families is strong.
Outside of the classroom I enjoy gardening and spending time with my husband and our welsh terrier ‘Alfie”. I love spending my summers in N. Michigan at our cabin which is on the Mackinaw Straits. I like to work on my garden, bike ride, hike, kayak and paddle board. Although I love my summers, I get excited every year at the opportunity to see returning students and to meet my new preschoolers as they start their academic journey. Preschool is the foundation for the rest of their lives and I am proud to be a part of that journey.
Hello there to the Newberry community of students, families and its staff! Thank you for stopping by! I recently joined the Newberry team this school year and am ecstatic to be here. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Victoria Marquez, but you can call me Ms. Vicky. I was born and raised in Chicago. I am very happy to be working in the Preschool program as a Teacher’s Assistant. I recently came from The Gardner School in the West Loop where I worked with children aged from 6 weeks to 5 years old! It was a life-changing experience that opened my eyes to the positive role that teachers play in a child’s life.
I believe that life is a journey and without a great education I wouldn’t be where I am today. When I was deciding where I wanted my journey to go, I was torn between a degree in Education or the Arts. Alas, my creativity won me over and I chose to move to Wisconsin where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Photography. But my passion to work with children never left my side. It was then that I decided to work towards the other dream that never left me. Although this is my 2nd year in Education, I have over a decades’ worth of experience working with children. I am a silly person by nature. This is why Preschool is the perfect fit for me! I never go one second without smiling and laughing. I don’t think a job can get better than that!
When I am not working with my favorite sprouts of Preschool, I simply enjoy whatever experience comes my way. I love anything creative such as arts and crafts, music and going to the theater. I never feel more like myself than when I’m in an artistic environment.
Welcome to Preschool! Let the reading, writing and counting commence!
The students call me Ms. Viki. I recently joined the wonderful preschool team, here at Newberry Math and Science Academy, as a Teacher’s Assistant. Though new to room 116, this is my second year at the school, where I previously worked as an educator and coordinator for the after school program Right At School. I am so happy and grateful to be a proper Bobcat family member.
Ever since my college days, back in my native Republic of Macedonia and through the past 8 years I’ve been calling Chicago home, I have been working with elementary school children of different ages, in both volunteer and professional capacity. Preschool is definitely my favorite age now. It is amazing to watch little preschoolers’ faces light up when they discover and learn something new. It’s been such an unexpected gift being able to share the beginnings of their journey as lifelong learners.
I love running, hiking, travelling and spending vacations with family on the other side of Lake Michigan and in Europe. In my spare time I try to take full advantage of the rich cultural scene our great city has to offer.
Unknowingly to me, my teaching career began with a reassuring comment from a nurse while presenting my first child. “They don’t come with instructions”, she said. As a child having dug up every single tulip bulb from the backyard one afternoon, I knew there were instructions to everything and the opportunity to learn them would sometimes follow after the fact.
My son’s infancy right through his first days of school was fascinating. School looked deceptively easy. I volunteered daily and knew teaching was what I wanted to do. I returned to Roosevelt University to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Education and later a Master of Arts in Teacher leadership. I am always mindful of my ability to read at age 3, supportive adults that graciously answered my endless questions and happily replanting tulip bulbs.
Teaching and learning are my passion. The nature of intelligence, brain development, technology and the future are my fascinations. Adult and peer supported real world apprenticeship for very young children is the basis of my instructional philosophy. It has been my mission to preserve and nurture the creativity, curiosity, wonder and whimsy of childhood within a curriculum that provides the strongest foundations for later academic success. Back to tulips, I learned so much: I learned their bulbs cost money and sometimes you pay people to plant them, our yard was landscaped, and I could watch the landscapers when they came back next year.
As far as I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher. I pursued my dreams at Michigan State University focusing on a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I obtained my Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. I also obtained an ESL endorsement. I taught prekindergarten and Kindergarten for the last 13 years at another Chicago Public School and am excited to be at Newberry School.
My philosophy of teaching is to teach children through a developmentally appropriate curriculum. I believe that all children regardless of race, ethnicity or religion are entitled to the same high quality education. Practices that teach children diversity and independence are greatly needed in order for children to understand and appreciate the complex world that we live in. Each child brings diversity to a classroom, and as such should be celebrated and not ridiculed.
I strongly believe that the greatest teacher a child can ever have is a parent. As a teacher, I feel it is important for school and family to share the responsibility of ensuring a child’s success in school. I encourage families to create an environment in which school is valued and appreciated. Teachers and parents who work together create a lasting, and meaningful impression on children’s attitudes about the importance of school.
Growing up, I was always involved in cheerleading, softball, student council, playing cello and piano, and singing in choirs. I am a hard worker and expect that of my students.
“You can do anything you set your mind to.”
Greetings Newberry students and families! I am very excited to join the Newberry staff this year. This is my first year as a teacher, and I could not have hoped for a better school to begin my journey as an educator. I recently graduated from DePaul University and received my Master’s in Early Childhood Education. Over the course of my life, I have always worked with children in some capacity. I have served as a dance instructor, tutor, and teacher in the Children’s Ministry at my church. Thus, I have always been drawn to working the children, and it was during those times in my life I felt the greatest reward and passion for my work.
I hold the belief that all children can learn, and have unique gifts and talents to bring to the learning experience. Though the levels and learning styles may vary, I find it my responsibility to spark the same interest and enthusiasm about learning in all of my students. I look forward to a successful school year and working with the students, families, and staff of Newberry!
Greetings Newberry students, families and community members, my name is Andrea Bonanno-Lersch. I’m honored to be joining the amazing staff at Newberry this year. This is my tenth year in the classroom and my passion for education and the enrichment of young people has only grown over the years. I’m committed to assisting my students in their learning process and working with them to find the best methods to unlock their potential. At my previous school, I worked as an After School Matters teacher, coached Girls on the Run groups and served as a Local School Council representative to forge my place within that learning community. I have hopes of working and meeting with as many of you as possible while I work to benefit the culture and community at Newberry.
It’s my sincere belief that school is a home away from home for everyone entering our school. School is a place of wonder and security for our kids. I take it upon myself to create a classroom that respects the needs and learning styles of all my students. Please feel welcome to stop by Room 109 and visit my little corner of Newberry. My class and I will do our best to make you feel at home.
Hello Newberry families! My name is Vanessa De La Regata and I am thrilled to be part of the dynamic and positive community that is Newberry. I am originally from Miami, Florida and a graduate of the University of Miami. I moved to Chicago several years ago and joined Newberry’s preschool program in its pilot year. I had such a wonderful experience that I decided to pursue my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and am now returning as a second grade teacher. As a primary teacher, I believe in every single one of my young students. As they navigate their educational journeys, it is my privilege to join them on their journey, and inspire them as much as they inspire me.
Classroom Website: http://room105busybees.shutterfly.com/ Hello Newberry families! My name is Carissa Wolfman and I am very excited to be a part of this great school community teaching 2nd grade. I am originally from Michigan and attended the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) where I received my Bachelor degree in Education. Just last year, I graduated from American College of Education and received my Master degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Kids are truly the most fun and interesting group to work with and I am thrilled that I get the opportunity to be with them every day as a teacher. I am looking forward to a fantastic year of learning, leadership and happiness!
My name is Kelly Fitzgerald-Clark and I have been a ChicagoPublic School teacher for 17 years. I am a native Chicagoan, who attended the University of Chicago Lab School and Whitney Young Magnet H.S. I grew up in Chicago’s Jackson Park Highland neighborhood.
I currently reside in Lincoln Park with my husband and 8year old son Colin. We love taking trips and spending quality time together. Our son loves attending our neighborhood school Alcott Elementary, and is excited about being in third grade.
I am one of the newest staff members at Newberry and am very happy and excited to be a part of this school. I am looking forward to working with the staff and students and having many great successes!
Let me introduce myself, my name is Louis Navas and I have been teaching for 15 years. The last ten years I have been in Newberry Academy. I didn’t exactly follow a straight and narrow path towards teaching. Along the way I did accounting and sales. I love my career; each day brings a new adventure. My goal is to enhance your child’s learning
I decided to enter teaching because I felt a calling to guide young people towards success. I feel a great responsibility as a teacher to be of service to my community. I earned my degree at Roosevelt University.
My name is Laura Bianciotto and I am very excited to join the amazing staff of Newberrry Academy. I have been working in CPS for almost 10 years and am thrilled to take on the Middle School Math position here at Newberry. I am a Chicago native, born and raised on the South side, but have called the North side home since starting my undergrad at DePaul University. I first obtained a BS in Elementary Education, and after experiences passion for teaching mathematics, returned to DePaul University for a Master’s Degree in Middle School Mathematics Education.
I am a huge Chicago sports fan and an athlete myself. I enjoy running and have recently trained and participated in Chicago and Wisconsin triathlons. After a long day of teacher, training or whatever it might be, you’ll most likely find me playing board games with friends, reading a great page turner, or hanging with my awesome dog Ozzie.
Hello Newberry students and families! My name is Emily Turk and I am thrilled to join the Newberry family this year. Prior to this year, I spent three years teaching First Grade on the west side of Chicago in addition to a year of teaching Fourth Grade in the suburbs of Chicago. I am a proud graduate of the University of Michigan where I earned both a Bachelor and Master of Arts. I am also an avid Michigan Football fan. Go Blue!
It is my belief that we are educating the whole child to be productive and responsible citizens in society. It is crucial that the learning environment provides students with a safe and nurturing environment where students feel comfortable and confident taking risks and reaping great rewards. I know each and every student can succeed when given the right supports and environment to do so. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing growth and successes that will happen during our school year!
I am currently in my third year of teaching Social Studies at Newberry Academy…and there is no place that I would rather be! It is such a pleasure working with the students and families of this great school. I am a Chicago native, so it brings me great joy to work with the kids of this city. I have a student-centered approach to learning and am dedicated to helping my students become life-long learners.
I started teaching in the Chicago Public Schools as soon as I graduated college. Since I began with CPS, I have gotten married, had two children and returned to school to pursue higher education. I attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for both my undergraduate and graduate studies, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s Degree in School Leadership. I am looking so forward to a great year in Social Studies and a great year with the Newberry community!
If someone told me years ago while sitting in my fifth grade classroom that I was going to be a fifth grade teacher I would have considered them crazy! My plans had me leaning towards something in marketing or perhaps media. Nonetheless, throughout high school and college the counselors gave many questionnaires to help determine one’s career path, and my results always steered towards working with children. Following graduation from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, I moved to Chicago and began looking for a job in the business world. After working in corporate America for a few years, I found myself substitute teaching. I realized not only did I need to go back to graduate school to become a teacher, but I missed my calling and should have listened to the results of my career surveys way back when! I went on to pursue and receive my Masters in the Art of Teaching from National-Louis University.
Changing careers has been a valuable adjustment in my life. Being passionate about what I do has changed my outlook on everything. I strive to ensure students are as enthusiastic as I am about being in the classroom. I pride myself on coming up with ways to keep the students engaged, foster their eagerness to learn and instill a pursuit of lifelong learning. Not everyone knows what they want to do when they grow up, but as long as my students know education is the norm and not the exception, I know they will be EXCEPTIONAL!
I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, moved to Cincinnati for school and then on to Chicago. After living in Chicago for a few years I moved to Boston for a brief stint and missed the Windy City so much I had to come back! I am an avid sports fan, amateur photographer, and frequent traveler. I am looking forward to the 2011-2012 school year adding another chapter in my Newberry Academy adventures.
Classroom Website: https://sites.google.com/site/newberrybobcatsms/
Kyle Radcliff has been a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for thirteen years. He originally hails from Ohio, and moved to Chicago with his beautiful wife in 2000. Constantly seeking improvement in his teaching, he has completed a Masters in Education from National-Louis University, as well as a Middle School Math Masters degree from DePaul University. In 2011, the Golden Apple Foundation awarded Kyle with a Fellowship, which included a sabbatical to Northwestern University.
Kyle currently teaches 6th and 7th grade math. He enjoys helping students find that math can make sense. He uses the Everyday Mathematics program in 6th grade, and also trains teachers in the program. He has created a Google website titled NewberryBobcatsMS where he regularly adds links and videos that provide students with help.
Mrs. McKinney’s websit
Middle School Homework Blog
Since I was little, learning was always important to me. I enjoyed putting the time into it and being with my friends at school. When I was older, I was very fortunate to have a teacher who had a passion for science education. I fell into that passion as well, and decided to combine my love for learning and science.
I attended University of Illinois- Chicago and received a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Biology. Soon after, I earned my Masters Degree in Science Education at National Louis University. Getting my Masters was the best thing I did for my career because I learned how scientists think and work (nature of science) that has brought so much value to the classroom in addition to science content.
My science teaching philosophy encompasses bringing together aspects of nature of science, science inquiry, and specific science content within the 6th, 7th and 8th grade curriculum at Newberry Academy. Students investigating and learning as scientists do is as important as what they learn.
I have had many wonderful opportunities to be part of research regarding the development and implementation of lessons using the nature of science to learn science content. As a result, the students are developing a vivid concept of how scientific knowledge is acquired. I have presented a few of these lessons at National Science Teacher Conferences and am a co- author of a piece titled Teaching Nature of Science Through the Concept of Living that was published in Science Scope, a national teachers’ journal for middle school science.
Lastly, I have 2 wonderful children- Rowan and James. I am learning so much from them and enjoying every moment we have together. I was very honored to have received the The 2013 iCON Knowledge Builder Award. This award recognizes a K-12 teacher who fosters growth within the life sciences community and who has positively impacted students’ understanding of biotechnology’s promise and challenges.
Ms. Wietholter’s Classroom Website
Middle School Homework Blog: http://newberryhomeworkblog.blogspot.com/
I am so excited to be starting my fourth year at Newberry this year. Prior to Newberry, I taught fourth-eighth grade for seven years on the west side of the city. I feel so fortunate to be teaching at such an amazing school with great administration, teachers, families, and of course, students!
I am originally from Allen Park, Michigan and after graduating high school, I attended Greenville College in southern Illinois where I received my teaching degree. After graduation from college, I moved to Chicago to begin my teaching career. In 2006, I earned my Masters in Curriculum and Education from Olivet University. I am committed to keeping up with best practices and the latest research on teaching methods so that I can bring my best to my students.
Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I love to stay active (you may even catch a glimpse of me biking around the city or rollerblading along the lakefront!) and I have enjoyed kickboxing for the last six years. I love to travel and have visited many interesting countries including Italy, England, France, Spain, and Mexico. But, my true passion in life is without a doubt, reading. It is not uncommon for me to be in the midst of reading several books at any given time. My goal as a teacher is to convey this love of reading to my students and spark that same interest within them. I am especially excited about coaching Newberrys Battle of the Books team again this year.
For me, teaching is not just a job, it is a passion. I work hard to create a sense of community in my classroom. I value mutual respect and collaboration in my classroom and set very high expectations for both myself and the students I teach. It is my goal to help students become lifelong readers and to see the value and enjoyment of reading, both in and out of school.
My name is William Chrobak-Prince. This is my first full year at Newberry. However many of you know that last year I was privileged to be a part of the Newberry community for the last half of the year. The most memorable thing about my experience was the way I was made to feel welcome by the staff, the families and especially the students.
Leo Buscaglia once said :”Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –
As a teacher in Chicago Public schools for 24 years I have always believed that a students success is as much about academics as it is about building relationships. I work hard everyday to make sure every student feels respected and loved. If students feel part of something they will rise to heights that have not been achieved.
I am myself a native Chicagoan and a product of the Chicago Public Schools. (Lane Tech Class of 79) My wife (Teresa) of 22 years is a principal in the Chicago Public Schools and also a product of CPS. My children Ben, Julian, and Annika have always attended public schools. I believe the Chicago Public Schools offer a quality education to the children of Chicago.
Before becoming a teacher I spent 6 years in the U.S. Navy working in the nuclear power plant of the USS Enterprise. I graduated from UIC in 1991 and received my Masters in elementary Math education in 2004. I enjoy reading, hiking, camping, and the occasional exercise.
I look forward to getting to know more of the children and families of Newberry.
Middle School Homework Blog
“Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I find the above quote so fitting in describing how I came into teaching. It was a little later in life when I realized my true passion for children, creativity, literature, communication, and learning. What job, I questioned, would utilize all these skills in the best way? EUREKA! Teaching! With a Bachelor of Arts from Cleveland State and a Masters in Education from National-Louis University, I set out to make a difference in the lives of the Chicago youth. Previously, I taught fourth grade at Brighton Park Elementary. Although it was a fabulous experience, I have found that teaching middle school students is a much better fit for my personality. I not only love teaching older students but also love being part of a scholastic team that is held in such high esteem among the Chicago Public Schools.
One of my strongest beliefs about teaching and learning are that they are both CONSTANT! No matter what age or role, an individual open to new ideas will continue to learn. I will push my students to explore, inquire, and vocalize their thoughts and feelings. I am anticipating an exciting year full of lively discussions, mature book talks, and imaginative essays. The big goal is to teach our children to become law-abiding citizens that make great contributions to our society. These achievements start with a classroom where children feel comfortable expressing their opinions, beliefs, and knowledge. They will experience this in room 217.
When I am not reading a fabulous novel or writing in my journal I enjoy many hobbies, including playing sports, spending time with my husband and our pit-bull, traveling to near and far destinations, renovating my home, and discovering new restaurants in the city with my closest friends. I played volleyball at the collegiate level and play whenever I get the chance.
I am looking forward to an exhilarating year!
What I really enjoy about teaching is the feeling that I get when one of my students finally understands a concept that they have been struggling with for a long time. The feeling is indescribable and makes all of the long days worth it.
I was raised in Mercer Island, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, and came to the Midwest when I was eighteen to attend Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I came to Chicago to pursue a career in sales. While working in the sales department of a freight brokerage firm, I realized that something was missing and that I needed to work with kids. I attended classes in the evenings and earned my Master’s in Education from DePaul University. I accepted a position teaching math at Oscar Mayer Elementary School, where I worked for four years before coming to Newberry.
Newberry is a special school where students from all over the city come to learn and grow together. My classroom is a place where students can be free to make mistakes because the best learning comes from trial and error. I believe that every child has the capacity to succeed and it is my mission to make sure that all of my students achieve success.
Besides teaching math at Newberry, I also coach the Newberry girls’ track and field teams and am head of the girls basketball program at Walter Payton High School.
I live in Chicago with my wife, who is also a Chicago Public School teacher and my two cats, Karma and Namaste.
I’ve always been curious about why things around me happen, so it makes sense that I’m now teaching kids why things around them happen!
I earned my Bachelors in Elementary Education at the University of Michigan with a middle school and science endorsement. After finishing school I decided to move to Chicago and haven’t looked back since.
I’m currently working on my masters in Teaching Biological Studies from the University of Miami of Ohio along with Project Dragonfly. Through this program I am learning even more about being a scientist in the field and how to translate that to the classroom. I’m looking forward to bringing my experiences and knowledge back to the students of Newberry.
I believe that students should be exposed to the scientific method on a daily basis and my hope is that in intermediate science they will continue to develop not only their love of science, but their understanding of how scientists work in the real world. We will do this through hands-on labs, thoughtful analysis, and exposure to current events in science.
Classroom Website: http://newberrystudio211.wordpress.com/
Hello, and greetings from Studio 211, Newberry’s very own art studio! My name is Kat Taubensee and I am Newberry’s Preschool through 8th Grade Visual Arts teacher. I love teaching the creative process and have enjoyed working with students across the whole range of artistic abilities. I am so excited to have the opportunity to teach your students about the limitless possibilities of the arts!
I have a strong background in visual art thanks to a lifelong love of the arts that started when I was a tiny tot and to my studies as an undergrad at the University of Colorado at Boulder with a major in Studio Art. My background in education is equally husky due in part to my time spent studying art education as a graduate student at the University of Denver. It was there that I received my Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in the philosophy of education. My teaching experience and history of working with children spans an array of adventures in eduction, everything from teaching Computer Literacy and Art to being a day camp director to teaching swimming and instructing Boating Safety for the Water Safety Patrol of Lake Geneva and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. I am confident not only in my abilities to teach and share the arts, but also in those of your children to think creatively and to appreciate what the arts have to offer.
Besides having gone to school to pursue my dream of being an educator of the arts, I am also an active individual who loves family, friends and adventure. I also love snow. I ski, I snowboard, I snowmobile, and I build snow forts and snowmen with abandon. I enjoy playing golf, and love being on, around, or in the water on warm, sunny days boating, floating, fishing or catching up with friends. I truly enjoy creating things and have worked as an independent artist in many fields including custom invitations, crafts, paintings, and graphic design. A few of my favorite wares include hand-sewn sock monkeys that modeled off of members of my family, and a refurbished, reinvented rocking horse for my niece.
I have many exciting plans up my sleeves for Studio 211 for this academic year. Together we’ll explore the art of the masters, the creative process, and a multitude of ways we can think outside the box. Artists of all grade levels will complete projects in drawing, painting, and three dimensional design through the exploration of the elements of art: color, tone (value), form, texture, shape, space, size (proportion) and line. There are even some ceramics projects in store! And who doesn’t love to get their hands dirty with a little art? I am working on a Studio 211 blog where you’ll be able to view some of the projects we’ll busily be creating throughout the year. You’ll also be able to find studio policies, a supply list and other information pertinent to your child’s visual art experience at Newberry. I am confident that this is going to be a very exciting year!
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
The name is what gets most people and it always brings a smile to my face when I am asked how to pronounce it. I have to explain the origin immediately. My father is Nigerian (Isele-uku chief in the Ibo tribe) and my mother is an African American woman from the west side of Chicago, by way of Mississippi. I, however, have never felt rooted in one single place. I have always felt that the world is my home. I feel at home on the streets of Brooklyn New York, as I do in the forestry lands in Kaduna, Nigeria.
I have lived as an artist, truthfully since I was little, always recording stories, moments, movements of people, facial gesturing, laughter, sadness, stories within my own movement. I was born in Chicago, left at 5 with my family to Lagos, Nigeria until I was 10. As a teen, I went to Notre Dame High School for girls, and later attended University of Illinois at Chicago. While at UIC, during my medical studies, I took a dance class with Mr. Timothy Buckley, a performance artist from New York, and the rest is history. I never looked back. I performed for 15 years as a professional dancer and performer, with groups like Urban Bush Women, SunDance, Muntu Dance Theater,. I have performed in Dance Africa, tributes to Katherine Dunham, St.Louis Dance Festival, African Arts Festival, guest artist for Marvin Tate and D-settlement, panelist for WGCI artist development, etc. I also have lectured at Kaduna Polytechnic in Nigeria, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago Lab schools, and Columbia College. I have toured and traveled with my companies as far as LA, New York, Kansas, St. Louis, and participated in films shown in Germany.
Why teaching? Well as a child, my books and imagination kept me company, as I played. I have always loved academia and admired teachers and educators, from the Dean, Principals, to all of those who service youth. The older I got, I challenged myself to complete my Masters study in Education at Columbia College. As I began to teach, I fell in love with it. I began integrating the arts as a tool to educate children in the Chicago land area.
I am excited to bring my brand of Dramatics and audition style to Newberry. It will be an exciting, depth filled time spent in my class. I bring the world of acting and entertainment to the reach of every child. It is my hope that they journey and find that the world is richly generous if they know themselves and understand others. The most important lesson is to be kind.
A life-long Chicago resident and product of Chicago Public Schools, I’m very happy to be a part of the Newberry team. Born into an exceptionally large family of musicians, it was no surprise music would be a part of my career.
I graduated high school from Kelvyn Park on the west side, where around senior year I’d decided to pursue a teaching career in music. Our band director at the time encouraged me to attend Roosevelt University. After taking her advice, I graduated from Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2004 and have been teaching at CPS ever since. This will be my 12th year teaching music and I’m looking forward to beginning my first at Newberry.
I consider myself energetic, passionate about teaching & learning, and love sharing the beauty of music with kids of all ages. Like all learning, music should be fun. It should be a means for students to express themselves in ways they otherwise couldn’t. When students come to class, my goal is to instill in them an appreciation for music & the arts, and to provide a welcoming environment where each student’s contribution plays an important role.
Graduated in 1999 from Dr. Carlos Gonzalez high school in Aguada, Puerto Rico. At that same year, I was accepted to begin an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming at the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla. In 2001, I completed the degree mentioned before and began a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems in the same university. I obtained the bachelor’s degree with honors in 2003. Three years later, I started a Master’s degree in the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico and finished in 2010 with high honors.
With more than 5 years of experience troubleshooting, maintenance, monitoring and installation in different areas such as network, applications, laptops, desktops and printers, this is the best position for me to assist and provide excellent technical and communication skills regarding to computer technology with teachers, administration and students at Newberry Math and Sciences Academy.
Library website: https://newberryacademylibrarypage.shutterfly.com/
Being a school library media specialist is the most rewarding job I have ever had. Watching children’s faces light up as they experience a new story, or find just the right piece of information is priceless. I am very excited to get to share my passion of literature with the students and staff of Newberry. Along with literature, l also intend to help students become responsible seekers and users of information so they may keep up with the fast-paced world we all live in.
My journey in education began in 1998 when I graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I worked as a junior high social studies teacher for several years before I decided to take some time off to stay home with my four wonderful boys. Once my youngest began preschool, I decided it was time to come back to education. At that point, I made the decision to become a library media specialist so I went to National Louis University and received my Master’s in Language and Literacy, along with my endorsement in library science. I have worked as a library media specialist for four great years and I look forward to many more years doing what I love the most.
I look forward to a fantastic year in a beautiful new media center. The Newberry media center was beautified over the summer and I can’t wait for the students to experience it!