Reach for the Stars

Past Teacher Fellows

Andrew Augustine

(2010-2011)

Andrew Augustine is a 7th grade science teacher at Old Orchard Junior High in Skokie. He has 12 years of experience and spent the beginning of his career in Alexandria, Virginia teaching middle school science for Fairfax County...

Andrzej Barski

(2015-2016)

Andrzej Barski has been teaching astronomy at Lake View High School in Chicago for the past 3 years. During 12 years at LVHS he taught multiple subjects: environmental science, chemistry, physics, earth and space science, topics in science, scientific concepts, and...

Therese Block

(2014-2015)

Therese Block is currently a STEM teacher at Lincoln Junior High School in Skokie, IL.  She has been teaching all levels of math, science and applied technology at Lincoln for over twenty years.  She is a certified Project Lead the Way (PLTW) instructor for Design & Modeling and Automation & Robotics ...

Marie Breitenstein

(2011-2014)

Marie Breitenstein is a Science teacher at Chute Middle School in Evanston, IL, where she has taught primarily 6th grade for the past 20 years. She also acts as the 6th grade team leader and is National Board certified in Early Adolescent Science...

Cindy Curtis

(2013-2014)

Cindy Curtis has been teaching for 8 years as an Engineering teacher in the Career and Technical Education department at Evanston Township High School. She teaches Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Introduction to Engineering Design and Digital Electronics ...

Ellen Gaffney

(2012-2015)

Ellen is currently the Advanced Learning Teacher at Old Orchard Junior High where she teaches Reading, LA, Social Studies and Science. For the past 4 years Gaffney has been teaching Engineering and Computer Programming ...

Terry Gatchell

(2014-2015)

Terry Gatchell just completed her first year teaching chemistry and physics at ETHS. She is excited about working with GK12 to integrate computational modeling and computer programming into the AP chemistry curriculum, encouraging students to think algorithmically and to appreciate...

Aimee Karagiannis

(2012-2014)

Aimee Karagiannis will start her 15th year teaching science, 9 of which she has been teaching at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center in Chicago, IL. She received her BA in Biology from Wayne State University in Detroit...

John Krentsos

(2013-2014)

John Kretsos has been teaching Chemistry and Physics for the past 21 years. He received his BS in Science Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and an MS in Chemistry from Northeastern Illinois University ...

Dianne Lebryk

(2014-2015)

Dianne Lebryk is an AP Environmental Science Instructor at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. She has served as the Science Fair Coordinator, New Teacher mentor co-director, ALPHA team teacher, and taugh...

Ami LeFevre

(2010-2011)

Ami LeFevre is a science teacher at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois. She has taught Chemistry and Advanced Placement Biology for 19 years. In addition to teaching at Niles West High School, Ami is an adjunct professor for North Park University.

Emily Mason

(2011-2012)

Emily Mason is an Algebra Teacher at Muchin College Prep, a campus of the Noble Street Charter Schools.  She was a 2007 St. Louis Teach For America Corps Member, where she taught Pre-Algebra and Algebra to 7th and 8th graders.  She then moved to Chicago to help open Muchin College Prep...

Lisa McKenna

(2010-2011)

Lisa McKenna has been a science teacher at Niles North high school for the last 14 years. She has experience teaching regular level Biology, honors level Biology and Chemistry. She has spent the last few summers taking technology and content courses and spent a week writing curriculum for the Genetic Science Learning Center in Utah.

Gina Milanesio

(2011-2012)

Gina Milanesio has been teaching at Niles North High School since 2003 after completing her bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her philosophy is that lesson design is essential to creating an atmosphere of learning science...

Katie Page

(2014-2015)

Katie is in her 20th year teaching Physics, and 3rd year using ipads in the classroom. She will present at the ISTE 2014 technology conference to show how technology is being used in the her physics classroom to improve skills, creativity...

Elizabeth Ramseyer

(2011-2012)

Elizabeth Ramseyer is a science teacher at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois.  She has taught Physics for 20 years and also currently teaches the Astronomy class she developed in 1997.  In addition to teaching at Niles West High School...

Neil Reimer

(2010-2012)

Neil Reimer is a Chemistry Teacher at Muchin College Prep, one of the Noble Street Charter Network campuses. He is a 2007 Teach For America Chicago Corps Member and has spent the past three years teaching Chemistry and Physics at Farragut Career Academy in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.

Sara Ryder

(2012)

Sara Ryder is an 8th grade science teacher at Old Orchard Junior High School in Skokie. She has six years teaching experience and spent the beginning of her career in Hampton, Virginia teachi20ng middle school science for Jones Magnet Middle School. She grew up in north central Illinois and...

Joseph Serpico

(2013-2014)

Joseph Serpico has been teaching physics for the past 23 years at Niles West High School and has been teaching the summer physics course at Elmhurst College the past 6 years. He holds a BS in Physics...

Pamela Sims

(2011-2013)

I am the science teacher for the Middle School Program at Nettelhorst Elementary School. I have a BA in Interdisciplinary History and what would be considered a minor in General Science from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa...

Nick Tarantello

(2011-2012)

Nick Tarantello is an 8th grade science teacher at Old Orchard Junior High School in Skokie. He has three years teaching experience in the 8th grade. He is originally from upstate New York, but has lived in the Chicago area since...

Jim Thorson

(2013-2014)

Jim has been teaching high school science for the past 15 years.  He has worked at Rezin Orr High School, Lincoln Park High School, Niles West High School and Lake View High School (LVHS), where he has been for the past six years.  His teaching assignments .... 

Suzy Trzaskus

(2012-2013)

Suzy Trzaskus will start her 15th year teaching science at Niles North High School in Skokie, IL. She received her BS in Biology Education with a Chemistry minor from Illinois State University and her MA in Teacher Leadership from the...

Bonnie Weiberg

(2014-2015)

Bonnie Weiberg has been teaching Chemistry and Physics at Niles North High School for 22 years. She received her BS in Chemistry from Elmhurst College, and an M Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Bonnie is also a coach of the Math Team ...

Deborah Wilson

(2013-2014)

Deborah Wilson teaches mathematics at Highland Park High School. She taught mathematics and computer science at Lincoln Park High School for six years where she created a computer science program that included: web design, programming ...

Mark Vondracek

(2013-2014)

Mark Vondracek has been teaching physics at Evanston Township High School for 15 years, and before that taught physics at Amundsen High School in the Chicago Public Schools for three and a half years. He has a doctorate in ...