The Team

Administrative Staff

+ Jack W. Schuler, Co-Founder/Executive Director jack@schulerprogram.org

Jack W. Schuler

Jack W. Schuler's Bio

Mr. Jack W. Schuler co-founded the Schuler Family Foundation in 2001 with his daughter, Tanya Schuler Sharman, and currently serves as its Executive Director. Mr. Schuler learned the value of an education at a very young age. When his father immigrated to America, he arrived as an educated man having previously earned a college degree. It was this education that paved the way for his father’s future success in America. Mr. Schuler applies this life lesson in the value he places on the tremendous education and experience that the Foundation provides to each Scholar to turn out top-notch students and future business leaders.

In addition to serving as Executive Director, Mr. Schuler currently serves on the Board of Directors for several companies, including Stericycle, Inc. Accelerate Diagnostics, Quidel and Biodesix. He has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Schuler received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business Administration.

+ Tanya Schuler Sharman, Co-Founder and Interim Director of HR and Strategy tanya@schulerprogram.org

Tanya Schuler Sharman

Tanya Schuler Sharman's Bio

Tanya Sharman co-founded the Schuler Scholar Program in 2001 with her father, Jack Schuler, and currently serves as its interim Director of Human Resources and Strategy.

While growing up Tanya not only attended a high school that provided excellent college counseling and prepared her for college academically, but she also had the benefit of growing up with family expectations of not only going to college, but also graduate school. She knew that students in neighboring communities did not have access to those same opportunities, which is why she became interested in starting the Schuler Scholar Program.

Tanya has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a bachelor's in Civil Engineering from Tufts University. Her career has had many twists and turns, which is why she encourages Scholars to get a good education from a top notch school that can support them in any career. Tanya has been a project engineer designing highways, consultant designing corporate digital technology strategies and a recruiter for a retained search firm. She feels lucky that her career has taken her around the globe, including to Europe and Singapore. 

Tanya currenly lives with her husband and three daughters. 

+ Jason Patenaude, Executive Director and COO jasonp@schulerprogram.org

Jason Patenaude

Jason Patenaude's Bio

Jason Patenaude had an experience in high school very like that of a Schuler Scholar, and it made a profound difference in his life.  Having grown up in a low-income household where college was not considered as a realistic option, Jason was fortunate enough in high school to be mentored by two of his teachers who introduced him to new cultural experiences, pushed him academically, and visited liberal arts colleges with him to ensure he would continue his education.  With their support, he became the first person in his family to graduate from college.  That education changed the trajectory of Jason's life, and he has tried to honor his teachers’ belief in him by dedicating his career to furthering education.

As an executive, Jason has focused on scaling organizations through an approach that balances intelligent growth with operational efficiency and technological innovation.  Prior to joining the Schuler Scholar Program, Jason served as the Chief Operating Officer of Cricket Media and then most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of Reading In Motion.  Jason has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BA in English from Bates College.   

+ Joanne Bertsch, Regional Director joanne@schulerprogram.org

Joanne Bertsch

Joanne Bertsch's Bio

Joanne Bertsch joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2008, working at Warren Township High School as a School Director before transitioning to Maine East High School in 2010.  Joanne then became a Regional Director, overseeing Schuler’s partnership high schools in the southern region, which includes Highland Park, Maine East, CICS Ralph Ellison, RTC Med Prep, and Lindblom Math & Science Academy.  Joanne’s primary responsibility is to collaborate with the school-based staff, managing school business operations and working in concert with Terry Broccolo, Regional Director for the northern schools, to ensure best practices are implemented throughout all partnership schools.  Joanne serves on the administrative team, focusing her efforts on organizational strategies, special assignments, and new school partnerships.

Before joining Schuler, Joanne worked at Marketing Support Inc., as a marketing executive advising on strategic business and marketing opportunities.  She also has extensive experience in marketing communications and retail branding with Bosch Corporation’s power tool division.  Joanne holds a B.A. with a concentration in marketing from DePaul University.  Outside of her professional interests, she travels, reads, works out and enjoys living on the far northwest side of Chicago with her husband and two children.

+ Tracy Cappas, Program Data Manager tracy@schulerprogram.org

Tracy Cappas

Tracy Cappas's Bio

Tracy Cappas became the Data Manager in June 2015.  In this role she coordinates all aspects of data procurement and reporting.  Prior to this role she was the Summer Program Manager. Tracy first joined the Schuler team as the Business Manager for the organization in March of 2013. Prior to becoming a Schuler staff member, she volunteered with the organization and helped to launch the College Connections Program, which maintains relationships and offers support to Schuler Scholars throughout their college careers. Prior to joining the Schuler team, Tracy spent most of her career as an advertising and marketing professional helping Fortune 500 companies develop and execute national marketing programs for consumer products and services. She also worked as an Academic Tutor developing and delivering enrichment programs for students across a variety of subject areas.

Tracy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Yale University and was a member of the Yale University Women’s Gymnastics team. She currently resides in the northern suburbs with her husband and three children.

 

+ Kathleen Clancy, Regional Director kathleenc@schulerprogram.org

Kathleen Clancy

Kathleen Clancy's Bio

Kathleen Clancy became a part of the Schuler Scholar Program team in the summer of 2014 as the School Director at Waukegan High School. She currently serves as the Regional Director for the north region and brings with her extensive experience in and a deep passion for educational access.

Kathleen grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago and recently moved back to the area with her husband and daughter after working in the youth development and college access fields in rural Ohio, Minneapolis, and New York City. In Oxford, Ohio, she worked with a team of people to start an after-school and mentorship program in an under-resourced community: establishing the organization as an official 501c3, raising the funds necessary for staff and supplies, establishing working organizational systems, creating curriculum, and developing staff and volunteer training. In Minneapolis, she worked as a school facilitator for Project Success, a Minneapolis-and St. Paul-based youth development organization. As a facilitator, Kathleen worked in partnership with the local theater community and the Minneapolis Public Schools English Department to create and facilitate future-focused workshops to be taught to all high school students.

Most recently, Kathleen worked as the Associate Director for the New York City site of Summer Search, a national youth development organization. She began working with Summer Search in 2008 as a Program Associate, working directly with first generation high school students in under-resourced communities to provide mentorship and college counseling. Kathleen then became the Program Director, supporting a team of five program staff and working with the national office to develop curriculum designed to build character and foster socio-emotional growth. As Associate Director Kathleen worked closely with the Executive Director to develop and support a five-year strategic growth plan that has enabled the New York City office to increase its impact by 200% in the first three years of the plan, serving nearly 400 young people and almost doubling the staff size while maintaining the college and career outcomes that Summer Search is committed to supporting their students in achieving.

Kathleen is excited to bring her experience and heart to the Schuler team and is even more excited to continue to learn about this field from such a passionate and talented organization. She holds a BA in early childhood education from Miami University of Ohio.

+ Jasmine Ferguson, Strategic Project Coordinator jasminef@schulerprogram.org

Jasmine Ferguson

Jasmine Ferguson's Bio

Jasmine Ferguson joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2015 as a Reading Enrichment Scholar Coach at Waukegan High School. Jasmine grew up on the Southside of Chicago, attending Gwendolyn Brooks High school. Thanks to a college access program she entered her sophomore year of high school, she was able to meet and exceed her academic potential. Schuler was a great opportunity to give back in an alternative learning environment geared towards helping students grow holistically.

Jasmine graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis with a concentration in Sociology. In undergrad, Jasmine spent time working as a teacher’s assistant and youth counselor in Chicago, California, and Japan which shaped her passion for educational equity in America.  In her new role, as the Strategic Project Coordinator, she will be able to use her Public Policy background to implement yearlong projects evaluating organizational effectiveness and growth. 

+ Susannah Hill, Office Administrator susannahh@schulerprogram.org

Susannah Hill

Susannah Hill's Bio

Susannah Hill joined the Schuler Scholar Program in June of 2017 with a background in teaching, administration and floral design.  She is also a proud camper and counselor alumni of Camp Manito-wish.  She received her B.A. in English from Ithaca College, with a minor in Art History.

As Office Administrator, Susannah strives to provide support both to Central as well as beyond.

Susannah still occasionally does floral design for events when she isn’t negotiating life with her two teenage children.  She lives in Lake Bluff where she also grew up.

+ Noemi Larrondo, Program Associate noemil@schulerprogram.org

Noemi Larrondo

Noemi Larrondo's Bio

Noemi Larrondo joined the Schuler Scholar Program in June of 2016 as the Program Associate for AmeriCorps and the College and Alumni Program. Her responsibilities include working closely with the College and Alumni Program as they continue to grow primarily in the field of professional development and alumni outreach. AmeriCorps responsibilities will include outreach, interviewing and program implementation. Prior to coming to Schuler, Noemi worked at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep as a coordinator for the Corporate Work Study Program. She did account management and served as an HR representative for students.

Noemi graduated from Pitzer College with a double major in Political and Chicago Studies as well as a minor in Spanish. She is also a Schuler Alumni from Waukegan High School. Her passion for education derived from working four years at Pitzer’s Office of Admissions. Noemi is excited to work with the Scholar’s in hopes of helping them navigate life after graduation. 

+ Amanda Marshall, Director of Recruiting amanda@schulerprogram.org

Amanda Marshall

Amanda Marshall's Bio

Amanda Marshall joined the Schuler Scholar Program team in November of 2008 after years of involvement in school and community activities. Schuler’s affiliation with AmeriCorps in 2009 allowed her the opportunity to manage the recruitment and interview process for the AmeriCorps Scholar Coach (SC) position. Starting with just eight AmeriCorps members, Schuler’s Scholar Coach cohort has grown to almost 40 members. Amanda manages the AmeriCorps experience, starting with recruitment and continuing through a new SC’s arrival. Her favorite part of the position is speaking with young adults and learning about their backgrounds and interests. She is constantly amazed by the wide variety of experiences that draw volunteers to serve with Schuler. In her free time Amanda enjoys being outdoors, watching sports, and relaxing with her two sons and husband.

+ Kerry Pearson, Educational Counselor Trainer kerry@schulerprogram.org

Kerry Pearson

Kerry Pearson's Bio

Kerry Pearson joined the Schuler Scholar Program as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach in the summer of 2010. After serving for two years at Round Lake High School, Kerry continued to work with Schuler as a Program Associate. Focusing on AmeriCorps Scholar Coach recruitment, Kerry traveled to over 20 college campuses to recruit a diverse group of motivated and intellectually curious college graduates. She also conducted initial phone screenings, planned an applicant dinner, and coordinated sessions for the final in-person interview day in Chicago. When the opportunity arose, Kerry eagerly returned to a school setting and is currently the Educational Counselor at Highland Park High School. Kerry’s passion is building relationships with Scholars and supporting them as they develop and achieve academic and personal goals. Kerry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

+ Susan Toback, Executive Assistant to Jack Schuler and Business Manager susant@schulerprogram.org

Susan Toback

Susan Toback's Bio

Susan Brennan Toback joined the Schuler Scholar Program in October of 2015 with a background in investment banking and business development.  Susan has earned a Master’s in Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a Bachelor’s in Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has extensive experience in various traditional investment banking roles, from managing online business development organizations to overseeing the strategy and operations of two new start-up companies.

As Executive Assistant to Jack W. Schuler and Business Manager of the Foundation, Susan is responsible for all internal aspects of the program’s day to day operations, including developing and implementing annual budgets, financial reporting, employee staffing and strategic planning of programming.

Susan has volunteered for the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy and served as Board Member of the Northern Suburban Special Education Association of Parents of Staff. She lives in the northern suburbs with her two children.

Program Staff

+ Nicole O’Connell, Program Director nicole@schulerprogram.org

Nicole O’Connell

Nicole O’Connell's Bio

Nicole O’Connell joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2013, having previously worked with Schuler in her role as the Director of Education at Writers’ Theatre. She brings her arts education background and more than 10 years of teaching experience to her role as Program Director. Prior to Schuler, she spent five years as the Director of Education at Writers’ Theatre and served as a teaching artist for About Face Theatre and Metropolis Performing Arts Center, among other cultural organizations. Nicole has also worked as a classroom teacher, tutor, camp director, coach, and mentor. She received two degrees from Western Michigan University: a B.A. in English Literature Education and a B.A. in Theatre Performance. Nicole did her graduate work at DePaul University where she received a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on arts and creative education in public schools.

+ Ann Cocks, Writing Program Manager annc@schulerprogram.org

Ann Cocks

Ann Cocks's Bio

Ann Cocks joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2014 as Writing Program Manager, a role in which she designs curriculum and prepares resources to guide students and those who coach them. Her experience includes almost two decades as an English teacher with a passion for helping students develop confidence, authority, and problem-solving skills as writers, readers, and thinkers. 

Before joining Schuler, Ann taught Writing & Composition, American Studies, and a reading intensive class at Highland Park High School. She worked as a promotion/marketing manager and as an editor in book publishing before becoming a teacher.

Ann is an associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College and a workshop leader in the Institute’s summer Writing and Thinking Workshop for high school students, a two-week residential program at Lake Forest College.

Ann received B.A. degrees in English and French from University of California, Riverside and an M.A. in English from New York University. 

+ Kip Gasper, STEM Program Manager kip@schulerprogram.org

Kip Gasper

Kip Gasper's Bio

Kip Gasper joined the Schuler Scholar Program as Mathematics Program Manager in the fall of 2011. He came to Schuler after a 35-year career teaching mathematics and computer programming. The last 31 years were at Deerfield High School. He also taught at Joliet Catholic High School and Benet Academy. Kip is committed to the proposition that everybody can improve their ability to think mathematically and become more successful in the math classroom as well as do the math needed in their chosen field of study in college and in their career.

Kip works with School Directors and Math Scholar Coaches to deliver a multifaceted program of math activities to Schuler Scholars. The program includes using the ALEKS online learning system to remediate and strengthen mathematics from previous courses, teaching Scholars how to learn math successfully, helping Scholars become better problem-solvers and mathematical thinkers, exposing Scholars to ways math is used in the real world and careers that make use of math, helping prepare Scholars to perform successfully on standardized tests, and providing mathematical growth opportunities for talented Scholars.

Kip earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University and a Master of Science degree from University of Illinois Chicago. He has participated in National Science Foundation programs at Illinois Math and Science Academy, FermiLab, and Lake Forest College. Over the years he has spoken at conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Metropolitan Math Club of Chicago.

Kip continues to coach boys' cross country and boys' track and field at Deerfield High School.  He is participating in the Basic Program in the Classics of the Graham School at the University of Chicago. In his free time, Kip and his wife Christina enjoy traveling, especially to visit their son Jayson and his wife in Los Angeles and daughter Kirsten and her husband in Houston. Other hobbies include photography, bicycling and roller blading, gardening, and cooking.  

+ Carolina Cormack-Orellana, Reading Program Associate carolinac@schulerprogram.org

Carolina Cormack-Orellana

Carolina Cormack-Orellana's Bio

Carolina Cormack-Orellana joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2015 as an Americorps Scholar Coach serving at Warren Township High School and has transitioned into the role of Reading Program Associate, where she supports the development and implementation of high school programs in schools in Schuler’s north region.

Carolina studied Classics and Creative Writing at Bucknell University as a Los Angeles Posse Scholar. Her experience as an underrepresented student who benefitted from a college-access program brought her to Schuler with a passion for developing culturally relevant programs. In her free time, Carolina babysits, tutors, and writes for her personal blog as well as for Efniks.com, a multimedia site for voices of LGBT people of color. 

+ Kareem Mohammad, Reading Program Associate kareemm@schulerprogram.org

Kareem Mohammad

Kareem Mohammad's Bio

Kareem Mohammad joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2015 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach serving Maine Township High School East. Kareem has earned bachelor of arts degrees in Psychology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. As an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, he uses his knowledge and experience to create diverse and inclusive programs.

As the Reading Program Associate for the Southern region, Kareem collaborates with school staff to customize in school and after school programs, providing thoughtful feedback, in an effort to create innovative curriculums.

Kareem lives in the city and in his spare time collects manga (Japanese comics). 

+ Nikki Rodgers, STEM Program Associate nikkir@schulerprogram.org

Nikki Rodgers

Nikki Rodgers's Bio

Nikki Rodgers joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2017 as the STEM Program Associate for the Southern region. She brings her experience of working in small group settings with high school Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors in math reform. Nikki has earned both a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management and Bachelor’s Degree in Manufacturing Engineering at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania.

As a STEM Program Associate she helps develop STEM enrichment programs, gives STEM Scholar Coaches feedback in relationship building and academic support for Scholars, and collaborates with school staff.

Aside from working with Schuler, Nikki considers herself a true lifelong learner and has been taking Korean Language and Dance classes for the past 3 years. 

+ Natalie Staples, Program Associate natalies@schulerprogram.org

Natalie Staples

Natalie Staples's Bio

Natalie Staples joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2014 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Round Lake High School. After serving for two years, Natalie transitioned to the role of Writing Program Associate based at North Chicago High School. There, she works to help Scholars articulate their ideas and find their voices in writing. Her passion for education and literature led her to Schuler.

Natalie received a B.A. from Kenyon College where she majored in English and concentrated in Creative Writing. At Kenyon, she interned for The Kenyon Review and was an upper class counselor for incoming first-year students. In her spare time, she enjoys writing poetry and riding horses. 

+ Ron Sullivan, STEM Program Associate ron@schulerprogram.org

Ron Sullivan

Ron Sullivan's Bio

Ronnie joined the Schuler Scholar Program in the summer of 2013 as an AmeriCorps Math Scholar Coach at Waukegan High School. He currently holds the position of Math Program Associate, which allows him to continue applying his interest in math and science to his passion for educational access and enrichment. In this role, he helps develop and revise new STEM programs for the organization and provides extra support for Math Scholar Coaches at partnership high schools.

Ronnie graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Wabash College, where he majored in Chemistry and minored in both Biology and Philosophy. He has a deep love of music, and enjoys reading, playing board games, and being outdoors in his free time.

+ Anna Zahm, Writing Program Associate annaz@schulerprogram.org

Anna Zahm

Anna Zahm's Bio

Anna Zahm joined the Schuler Scholar Program in the summer of 2015 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Warren Township High School. After two years of service, Anna transitioned into the role of Writing Program Associate for schools in the southern region, where she helps to develop and implement customized writing programs and curriculum.

Anna graduated with a B.A. from Hamilton College, where she double majored in Anthropology and Classical Studies. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching English in Thailand as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Her experience teaching abroad and her passion for education led her to Schuler upon her return to America. In her free time, Anna loves reading, writing, singing, and exploring the outdoors. 

College Counseling

+ Ryan Everett, Co-Director of College Counseling ryane@schulerprogram.org

Ryan Everett

Ryan Everett's Bio

Ryan Everett joined the Schuler Scholar program in 2015 as the College Counselor at Maine East High School.  Prior to joining the Schuler team, Ryan worked in undergraduate admissions, student affairs and residential life in addition to serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua.  He is very passionate about working with students and helping Scholars to achieve their educational dreams.  

Ryan holds a Bachelors of Arts in History, and in Spanish Language and Literature from NC State University.  He also earned a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University.  When he's not working, you can find Ryan traveling, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.

 

+ Juli Scalf, Co-Director of College Counseling julis@schulerprogram.org

Juli Scalf

Juli Scalf's Bio

Juli Scalf rejoined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2016 as the Assistant Director of College Counseling, as well as the College Counselor at Waukegan High School. Most recently, Juli had been an Advisor for Northwestern University’s Northwestern Academy program, providing academic and college guidance to students attending Chicago Public Schools. Juli first joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2009 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Waukegan High School. She later served as a College Counselor at Round Lake and Waukegan High Schools.

Juli earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French at Kalamazoo College, and is completing her Master of Science degree in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University.

+ Jessica Rosenberg, College Counselor and Summer College Program Manager jessicar@schulerprogram.org

Jessica Rosenberg

Jessica Rosenberg's Bio

Jessica Rosenberg joined the Schuler Scholar Program as a College Counselor in the summer of 2015. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Marketing, she began her career working in digital marketing in New York City. While volunteering as a mentor and college counselor to high achieving, low-income high school students in New York City, she realized her passion for education and college counseling and decided to switch careers.

Jessica went on to receive her Masters of Education in School Counseling from Hunter College while also interning as a College Counselor at a selective enrollment high school. She moved to Chicago with her husband in the summer of 2014 and learned the other side of the admissions process as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Lake Forest College. She is so happy to be back on the high school side of the process and has loved being able to share her knowledge with the students and families of Schuler to help them find the school that is the right fit for them. 

+ Celina Garza, College Counseling Assistant celina@schulerprogram.org

Celina Garza

Celina Garza's Bio

Celina Garza joined the Schuler Scholar Program team in July of 2013 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Round Lake High School. Celina, however, is no stranger to Schuler, having been a Scholar herself at Waukegan High School. After completing two years as a Scholar Coach, Celina eagerly transitioned into the College Counselor role at RLHS. After two years as a College Counselor Celina put herself the Scholars’ shoes as she applied to graduate school. Celina is excited to continue her work with Schuler as the College Counseling Assistant while attending graduate school full-time.

Celina attended Tufts University and holds a B.A. in Community Health and Anthropology. While at Tufts she also completed a minor in Latino Studies. When she’s not working or in class, she enjoys going for runs, hiking, testing out new recipes and watching documentaries. 

College & Alumni Program Staff

+ Gayle Meyers, Director of College and Alumni Programs gayle@schulerprogram.org

Gayle Meyers

Gayle Meyers's Bio

Gayle Meyers has served as the Director of College and Alumni Programs for the Schuler Scholar Program since 2009. In her role with Schuler, Gayle created the College and Alumni Program to support Schuler Scholars through the transition from high school to college life, then through college to graduation and beyond. Under Gayle’s direction, the College and Alumni Program staff work to strengthen the Schuler professional network by developing programs that encourage mentorship, networking, and community-building among professionals and Schuler Scholars in college and after graduation. Gayle oversees the Transition to College Program for high school seniors, professional development programs for Schuler Scholars in college, college and alumni events, corporate partnerships, career exposures, and the annual Schuler Career and Internship Fair. Gayle also oversees the College Connections Program, the Campus Ambassador Program and the Schuler Parent Initiative.

Prior to working with Schuler, Gayle worked for 15 years in corporate sales and marketing for Tiffany and Company, Marshall Field and Company, and C.D. Peacock, where she managed a corporate client base that generated more than $1 million in sales annually.  

Gayle has held various leadership roles in her community, including serving as the Vice President of Educational Enrichment for the Parent Teacher Organization.  She also directed a local youth group that serves over 200 youth and volunteers with Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) in her local community. 

Gayle graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in Communications.  She resides in the northern suburbs with her husband and two daughters.

+ Margaret Falter, Program Manager margaret@schulerprogram.org

Margaret Falter

Margaret Falter's Bio

Margaret (Margie) Falter is thrilled to be a part of the Schuler family as Program Manager of volunteer and parent programs. In her role, she helps develop the College Connections Program and parent opportunities within Schuler. Before joining the Schuler team, she was active in CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), where she helped advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the juvenile court system. Prior to CASA, she was a member and past president of the Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center Auxiliary Board, a board member of CYCLE (a scholarship and extracurricular programming charity targeted at the youth of Cabrini Green), and served on various boards and committees in her local school district.  Early in her career, Margie owned and operated a corporate events planning company, Best Events, which created events for various global corporations. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Human Resources.

+ Sarah Johnson, Special Projects Coordinator sarah@schulerprogram.org

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson's Bio

Sarah Johnson joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2013 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Warren Township High School. Serving as a Scholar Coach affirmed her desire to help Scholars develop strong academic mindsets before they head off to college, and in July 2015, Sarah transitioned to the role of Educational Counselor for WTHS Scholars.

Sarah attended Brandeis University where she majored in psychology and sociology. During her time at Brandeis, Sarah oversaw the community service organization on campus, led after-school enrichment programming at a local elementary school, and assisted in research attempting to understand how adults of different ages manage their emotions.

+ Starr De Los Santos, Program Associate starrd@schulerprogram.org

Starr De Los Santos

Starr De Los Santos's Bio

Starr De Los Santos joined the Schuler Program in August of 2017 as a Program Associate helping to support College and Alumni Programs. Starr graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Justice Studies, minor in Sociology & Philosophy and a Master’s of Science in Political Science concentration in American Politics and Public Affairs. She also 2 certifications in Career and Education advising from Indiana University and Grantsmanship and Program Development from Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. Starr’s passion has always revolved around working with students and throughout the years has had experience working as a student advocate, college support specialist, and program coordinator for Chicagoland non-for-profits. 

Starr enjoys being civically engaged and has volunteered for numerous political and advocacy campaigns over the years. She also enjoys all things related to fitness and healthy living.  

+ Margaret Smith, Program Manager margarets@schulerprogram.org

Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith's Bio

Margaret Smith has worked for the College and Alumni Programs department since March of 2014. As Program Manager, Margaret coordinates outreach, engagement and professional development for Schuler Scholars. In addition, she runs the Transition to College Program and manages the organization's internship program. Margaret graduated summa cum laude from Skidmore College with a double major in Theatre Directing and Gender Studies. Following graduation, Margaret served as the Program Assistant for Skidmore’s unique First-Year Experience in London through IES Abroad. While in London, she mentored incoming college freshmen and orchestrated their social activities and transition to college program. This experience cemented Margaret’s desire to work with young people and make the college transition experience as smooth as possible. After she hopped back across the pond to her home city of Chicago, Margaret completed a Casting Internship and Artistic Fellowship with Chicago’s renowned Goodman Theatre. In her free time, Margaret performs long-form improv comedy on a house team at iO Chicago and volunteers with Angles’ Pride Youth Program.

School Based Staff

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep

+ Emalie Dalbke, School Director emalie@schulerprogram.org

Emalie Dalbke

Emalie Dalbke's Bio

Emalie Dalbke first joined the Schuler Scholar Program as the Educational Counselor at North Chicago Community High School in May 2013. She currently serves as the School Director at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. As Educational Counselor, Emalie worked to develop systems and programs to both support and challenge the Scholars of North Chicago. Prior to her start, Emalie was already well acquainted with the Schuler Scholar Program, having graduated from Waukegan High School as a Schuler Scholar in 2005. Emalie began her professional career teaching preschool in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago with the Teach for America Program.  She went on to explore various sectors of the education field, spending time in in education research and education technology before beginning her work with Schuler. Emalie is truly passionate about educational equity, and hopes to inspire young people to seek empowerment in the opportunities afforded by an excellent education.

Emalie holds a B.A in Psychology from The University of Notre Dame. While attending Notre Dame, Emalie also studied Mandarin Chinese and studied abroad in Shanghai, China. Emalie currently resides in Hainesville, IL with her husband, Steve. 

+ Amy Schlessman, Educational Counselor amy@schulerprogram.org

Amy Schlessman

Amy Schlessman's Bio

Amy Schlessman first joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2013 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. After two years as a Scholar Coach, Amy transitioned to working with Cristo Rey Scholars as an Educational Counselor, which allows her to support students and families as they learn about themselves and their journey through high school to college. Amy is passionate about encouraging literacy, building relationships, and creating equitable college access for all students.

Before joining the Schuler family, Amy graduated with a double major in Psychology and Spanish Area Studies from Kenyon College, where she was involved in varsity tennis, admissions, residential life, and community service. Amy is a proud Ohioan and loves to read and stay active in her free time. 

+ Stephanie Morales-Lopez, College Counselor stephaniem@schulerprogram.org

Stephanie Morales-Lopez

Stephanie Morales-Lopez's Bio

Stephanie Morales-Lopez joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2015 as an AmeriCorp Reading Enrichment Scholar Coach at Highland Park High School. After serving at Highland Park High School for two years, Stephanie has transitioned into the College Counselor role at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep and North Chicago Community High School. As a College Counselor, she works closely with Scholars and families to navigate the college process and guide them to find the best college fit. Stephanie’s experience as a first-generation college student coupled with her passion for social justice and education brought her to Schuler.

Stephanie graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish.  During her time there, she was involved in the Latino Student organization, community service and independent research. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring new places.

 

George Westinghouse College Prep

+ Ali Morguson, School Director alim@schulerprogram.org

Ali Morguson

Ali Morguson's Bio

Ali Morguson joined the Schuler Scholar Program in November 2015 as School Director at George Westinghouse College Prep.  She brings 15 years of experience as a high school English teacher to her position at Westinghouse.  While teaching, Ali predominantly taught Honors and AP courses to college bound urban students in Indianapolis.  A family relocation to Chicago prompted her to pursue a longtime interest in education non-profit work.  Her passion for working with high-achieving, first generation college students led her to Schuler, where she works every day with motivated Scholars who are preparing to matriculate to the most competitive colleges in the country. 

Ali holds her M.A. in English Literature from Indiana University; she also holds her B.A. from Indiana University in English (with Teacher Certification) with a minor in African-American Studies.  

+ Megan Thompson, Educational Counselor megant@schulerprogram.org

Megan Thompson

Megan Thompson's Bio

Megan Thompson joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2015 as an Americorps Scholar Coach at Round Lake High School. After serving as a Scholar Coach for two years, Megan transitioned into her current role as the Educational Counselor at George Westinghouse College Prep School, where she works with bright and motivated Scholars to help them meet their educational goals and develop strong academic mindsets. Her interest in making educational opportunities available for all students brought her to Schuler.

Megan graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2015, where she majored in Urban Studies and minored in Educational Studies. During her time in college, Megan served as a student executive for Columbia’s community service organization, coordinated a program that took middle school students on cultural exposures throughout New York City every weekend, and coached a team of second graders in baseball for a sports and literacy program. 

+ Jessica Rosenberg, College Counselor and Summer College Program Manager jessicar@schulerprogram.org

Jessica Rosenberg

Jessica Rosenberg's Bio

Jessica Rosenberg joined the Schuler Scholar Program as a College Counselor in the summer of 2015. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Marketing, she began her career working in digital marketing in New York City. While volunteering as a mentor and college counselor to high achieving, low-income high school students in New York City, she realized her passion for education and college counseling and decided to switch careers.

Jessica went on to receive her Masters of Education in School Counseling from Hunter College while also interning as a College Counselor at a selective enrollment high school. She moved to Chicago with her husband in the summer of 2014 and learned the other side of the admissions process as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Lake Forest College. She is so happy to be back on the high school side of the process and has loved being able to share her knowledge with the students and families of Schuler to help them find the school that is the right fit for them. 

+ Lizzie Anderson-Krengel, Project Coordinator lizziea@schulerprogram.org

Lizzie Anderson-Krengel

Lizzie Anderson-Krengel's Bio

Lizzie Anderson-Krengel joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2015 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at CICS Ralph Ellison in the south side of Chicago. As a second year Scholar Coach, she moved to George Westinghouse College Prep in the west side, while continuing to help manage and support the CICS Ralph Ellison Scholars. Lizzie is originally from Middletown, Connecticut and holds a B.A. from Smith College with a major in Psychology and a minor in Dance. In college, Lizzie was very involved in social justice and activism on campus, specifically in the Black Lives Matter campaign. She has been trained in social justice mediation and gained extensive experience in mentorship, conflict management, and decision making skills in her role as the head Resident Advisor in her dorm at Smith. She also conducted research on mindfulness and meditation in elementary schools at the Smith School of Social Work during her junior year in college.

As Project Coordinator, Lizzie will work to revamp the selection process at GWCP, help Scholars who have a passion for community outreach and social justice get involved in the city, and provide emotional, social, and work support to first year Scholar Coaches working in the city.

In her free time, Lizzie babysits and volunteers at Harmony House for Cats, a cat shelter in the north side. She will attend graduate school for School Social Work in fall 2018. 

Highland Park High School

+ Julie Levine, School Director julie@schulerprogram.org

Julie Levine

Julie Levine's Bio

Julie Levine joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2008 as the School Director at Highland Park High School. She brings her extensive experience working with adolescents as a licensed clinical social worker and a former school social worker to her position at Highland Park. Before joining the Schuler team, Julie worked as a school social worker in a Chicago Public School for eight years. While taking a few years off to raise her children, Julie worked as a Summer Programs Consultant, helping families find summer programs for their high school students, such as language immersion programs, wilderness trips, or academic experiences on college campuses. She was also a member of the executive board for the Parent Teacher Association at her children’s school as well as the President of the auxiliary board of Planned Parenthood.

Julie holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan with a major in Psychology and a minor in Political Science and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She also holds an LCSW and a Type 73 certificate as a school social worker.

+ Cheryl Smith, Educational Counselor cheryls@schulerprogram.org

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith's Bio

Cheryl Smith joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2017 as the Educational Counselor at Highland Park High School. After graduating from college, Cheryl moved to Ecuador and taught English at the Universidad Estatal de Bolívar in the small Andean town of San Miguel de Bolívar. During her four years in Ecuador, Cheryl worked with both high school and college students, as well as community members, teaching them English and building a language program that best fit their needs. Upon returning to the United States, Cheryl received her Master’s in Education Policy. She is excited for the opportunity Schuler has provided which allows her to return to the educational setting to work with and support high school students once again.

Cheryl holds a B.A. from Agnes Scott College with a major in International Relations and a minor in Spanish and an M.P.P. in Education Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Lindblom Math and Science Academy

+ Kari Mueller, School Director karim@schulerprogram.org

Kari Mueller

Kari Mueller's Bio

Kari Mueller joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2017 as the School Director at Lindblom Math and Science Academy.  After graduating Marquette University having majored in English and International Affairs, Kari enlisted in the Peace Corps and taught English in Poland for two years.  Upon her return, she ran an English program for recently arrived refugees and expanded its reach to include vocational training as well.  She went back to school to obtain her M.Ed. so that she could return to the classroom.  For twelve years, Kari taught English in Chicago Public Schools at both middle school and high school levels, and she served in a number of leadership positions including Department Chair and Middle School Coordinator.  It was during this time that Kari saw first-hand how valuable a program like the Schuler Scholar Program is and sought to become a part of it.

+ Katie Valentine, Educational Counselor katiev@schulerprogram.org

Katie Valentine

Katie Valentine's Bio

Katie Valentine joined the Schuler team in 2015 as a Scholar Coach at Lindblom Math and Science Academy and transitioned to the role of the Educational Counselor at LMSA in 2017. As a Scholar Coach she helped build the Schuler program from its first year in the LMSA partnership, and she looks forward to continuing to establish relationships with both Scholars and the school community.

Katie graduated from Pomona College where she studied Public Policy Analysis and Sociology, with a particular interest in education policy. She has been passionate about education since her childhood growing up in a small town in New Mexico. Now as a resident of the big city of Chicago, she enjoys exploring different neighborhoods, finding new favorite restaurants, and singing in a choir.

Maine East High School

+ Karly Vance, School Director karly@schulerprogram.org

Karly Vance

Karly Vance's Bio

Karly Vance is the School Director at Maine East High School. She began working for the Schuler Scholar Program in 2010 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Maine East High School, and she continued her work there as an Educational Counselor.  She also worked as a Program Associate, helping to revise Schuler high school reading and after-school enrichment programs and train Scholar Coaches to facilitate those programs. Karly graduated from Hope College in 2010 with a major in English with a concentration in Writing.

+ Martin Austin, Educational Counselor martina@schulerprogram.org

Martin Austin

Martin Austin's Bio

Martin Austin currently serves as the Educational Counselor at Maine East High School.

Prior to moving to Illinois, Martin lived in Michigan where he worked for several national youth organizations including Upward Bound, Junior Achievement and The HandsOn Volunteer Network of America. Martin has dedicated his life and career to mentoring youth with the focus on helping them achieve academic success.

Martin is extremely excited that the Schuler Scholar Program has afforded him the opportunity to work with an exceptional group of Schuler Scholars. His goal is to help them develop the skills, behaviors and academic mindsets that supports college readiness and success.

+ Ryan Everett, Co-Director of College Counseling ryane@schulerprogram.org

Ryan Everett

Ryan Everett's Bio

Ryan Everett joined the Schuler Scholar program in 2015 as the College Counselor at Maine East High School.  Prior to joining the Schuler team, Ryan worked in undergraduate admissions, student affairs and residential life in addition to serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua.  He is very passionate about working with students and helping Scholars to achieve their educational dreams.  

Ryan holds a Bachelors of Arts in History, and in Spanish Language and Literature from NC State University.  He also earned a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern University.  When he's not working, you can find Ryan traveling, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.

 

Mundelein High School

+ Carissa Jandrositz, School Director carissa@schulerprogram.org

Carissa Jandrositz

Carissa Jandrositz's Bio

Carissa (Martin) Jandrositz first joined the Schuler Scholar Program team as an Education Counselor at Waukegan High School in October 2013. She currently serves as the School Director at Mundelein High School, Schuler's newest partnership school. Before joining Schuler, Carissa worked as a school counselor within New York City public schools. She brings her experience in education and counseling with children and adolescents to her work at Schuler. Carissa is passionate about cultivating a supportive and collaborative environment where Schuler Scholars can receive the academic and personal support necessary to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. Her interest in college access for first-generation and underrepresented students as well as counseling led her to Schuler.

Carissa holds a M.A. and M.Ed. in Psychological Counseling and School Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.S. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Carissa hails from Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

+ Eduardo Gomez, Educational Counselor eduardog@schulerprogram.org

Eduardo Gomez

Eduardo Gomez's Bio

Eddy Castillo Gomez first joined Schuler Scholar Program in 2017 as an Educational Counselor at Mundelein High School. Prior to joining the Schuler team, Eddy served as a Residence Director at Syracuse University where he supervised and mentored student leaders. Having come from Mexico as an international student, Eddy became passionate about helping students from other countries in their transition to college and living in the United States.

Eddy received a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice from Texas State University and completed his master's degree from the University of Oklahoma in Higher Education Administration. He is also currently completing a second master's degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He enjoys playing soccer, cooking Mexican food and spending time with his wife traveling to other countries.

North Chicago Community High School

+ Stephanie Oettinger, School Director stephanie@schulerprogram.org

Stephanie Oettinger

Stephanie Oettinger's Bio

Stephanie Oettinger, School Director at North Chicago Community High School, joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2010 as an Educational Counselor and math tutor at Highland Park High School. Under Stephanie’s leadership, the North Chicago partnership was launched in 2012 at a time when the district was undergoing a state-supervised transformation to improve educational outcomes of the students of North Chicago.

Before joining Schuler, Stephanie had an extensive career in management, accounting, and finance. After taking time off to raise her children and become an active community member, including serving as a Vice President of the local school Parent-Teacher Organization, she sought an opportunity that was in line with her passion for education reform and equal college access for all children. She is proud to contribute to the mission of the Schuler Scholar Program.

Stephanie earned a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Sociology from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and her M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She resides in the northern suburbs with her husband and two children.

+ Robert Barry, Jr., Educational Counselor robertb@schulerprogram.org

Robert Barry, Jr.

Robert Barry, Jr.'s Bio

Robert A. Barry Jr. (Rob) joined the Schuler Scholar Program in August of 2017 as the Educational Counselor at North Chicago Community High School with a background in cross-cultural and youth development. Through his professional experience in youth development and success in various educational capacities, Rob’s passion for education brings him to Schuler and is the reason why he continues to support educational efforts personally, professionally, and academically to eliminate barriers, while building bridges, for students to be successful.

Prior to coming to Schuler, Rob earned his M.A. in Critical Ethnic Studies specializing in African and Black Diaspora Studies from DePaul University and B.A. in Black and Educational Studies from Denison University where he was involved in student government, The Black Student Union, and fraternity/sorority (Greek) life. 

+ Stephanie Morales-Lopez, College Counselor stephaniem@schulerprogram.org

Stephanie Morales-Lopez

Stephanie Morales-Lopez's Bio

Stephanie Morales-Lopez joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2015 as an AmeriCorp Reading Enrichment Scholar Coach at Highland Park High School. After serving at Highland Park High School for two years, Stephanie has transitioned into the College Counselor role at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep and North Chicago Community High School. As a College Counselor, she works closely with Scholars and families to navigate the college process and guide them to find the best college fit. Stephanie’s experience as a first-generation college student coupled with her passion for social justice and education brought her to Schuler.

Stephanie graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish.  During her time there, she was involved in the Latino Student organization, community service and independent research. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring new places.

 

Round Lake High School

+ Susan Erickson, School Director susane@schulerprogram.org

Susan Erickson

Susan Erickson's Bio

Susan Erickson joined the Schuler Scholar Program as School Director at Round Lake High School in November 2015.  Prior to joining the Schuler Team, Susan taught public speaking courses at various colleges and universities across the nation as well as consulted with corporate, governmental and non-profit clients in the areas of leadership, organizational effectiveness and communication.

Susan is recognized for helping leaders of all ages achieve positive, measurable changes for themselves, their teams and their organizations. She is passionate about education and assisting high potential, first generation college students succeed at the most competitive colleges in the country.

Susan holds a B.A. and M.A. in Communication Arts & Sciences from Michigan State University as well as an M.S.W. from the University of Southern California.  She is the mother of five active children, including an adorable son adopted from Ethiopia. She is thrilled to be a part of the Schuler family.

+ Ann Colomer, Educational Counselor ann@schulerprogram.org

Ann Colomer

Ann Colomer's Bio

Annie Colomer joined the Schuler Scholar Program team in July 2013 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Round Lake High School. After serving as a Scholar Coach for two years, Annie transitioned into her current role as Educational Counselor at RLHS, which allows her to continue to build relationships and support Scholars as they pursue their goals inside and outside of the classroom. Her passion for college access and educational enrichment led her to the Schuler Program.

Annie received a B.A. from Kenyon College where she majored in Classical Languages and minored in Art History. While at Kenyon, she was involved in community service, first-year student outreach programs, and academic honor societies. In her free time, Annie enjoys reading fiction, frequenting the Art Institute, and seeing as much live music as she can.

+ Joana Garcia, College Counselor joanag@schulerprogram.org

Joana Garcia

Joana Garcia's Bio

Joana Garcia joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2015 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Zion Benton Township High School. After serving at ZBTHS for two years, Joana transitioned into the College Counselor role at Round Lake High School. There, she works closely with Scholars and their families through the college application process, guiding them and ensuring their understanding of each step, and ultimately helping them find the best fit. Joana’s experiences as a Schuler Scholar at Waukegan High School as well as her passion for education and social justice brought her back to Schuler.

Joana graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a B.A. in Sociology. In her time at Dartmouth, Joana interned with the First Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP), a program designed to support and empower first-generation students in their transition to college, where she worked closely with the director to brainstorm and implement new ways to provide continued support for students in the program. Joana participated in FYSEP as a first year student and later became a mentor for other students through FYSEP’s mentorship program.

RTC Medical Preparatory Magnet High School

+ Richard Siegler, School Director richards@schulerprogram.org

Richard Siegler

Richard Siegler's Bio

Richard Siegler joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2017 as a School Director at RTC Med Prep High School in Chicago. He brings more than 10 years as an educator and program leader with a focus on helping young people grow into and access their dreams. Prior to joining Schuler’s team, Richard worked in Rwanda and the U.S. with Bridge2Rwanda, where he co-founded the Bridge2Rwanda Scholars program in 2011. Since beginning this program, Bridge2Rwanda has helped more than 150 African students to accept full-need scholarships with a total value of more than $40 million. Today, Bridge2Rwanda’s students come from Rwanda, Burundi, DR-Congo, Liberia and South Sudan and attend more than 70 universities on scholarships, including all of the Ivy League universities, MIT, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Williams, Swarthmore and Pomona. The students’ admission results created more than a tenfold increase in full scholarships accepted for students coming from the country of Rwanda, representing a substantial increase in the country’s next generation of leaders. At Bridge2Rwanda, Richard’s responsibilities included leading academic preparation for the students, as well as supporting their growth as leaders and their success in earning scholarships and excelling at university.

Richard is from Chicago and has a bachelor’s degree from NYU and a master’s degree in English from UC-Davis. From 2004 to 2007, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, West Africa, working as an English teacher and helping to start a clinic and manage a scholarship program for female students. When not working, Richard enjoys mentoring students and young professionals, reading a bit of everything and learning about global health among other subjects, and living in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago.

 

+ Aliza Rosenfeld, Educational Counselor alizar@schulerprogram.org

Aliza Rosenfeld

Aliza Rosenfeld's Bio

Aliza Rosenfeld joined the Schuler Scholar Program in July 2014 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Zion Benton Township High School. After serving for two years, Aliza transitioned to the role of Educational Counselor at RTC Medical Preparatory Magnet High School. There, she works to help Scholars realize and achieve their goals to be successful in high school and beyond. Her investment in education, college access and counseling brought her to Schuler.

Aliza received a B.A. from Oberlin College where she majored in Sociology and minored in Religion. At Oberlin, she ran a middle school mentoring program and was a peer counselor for the Career Center. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, reading and biking around Chicago. 

+ Monique Moore, College Counselor moniquem@schulerprogram.org

Monique Moore

Monique Moore's Bio

Monique Moore joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2014 as a College Counselor for North Chicago Community High School and CICS Ralph Ellison High School. Prior to joining the Schuler staff, Monique served as a Professional School Counselor and Academic Dean in the Austin and North Lawndale communities for eight years. As a Posse Scholar alumna, Monique earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Studies and Communication from Denison University. During her time at Denison University, Monique discovered her passion for working with at-risk youth and decided to pursue a career in secondary education. As a result, Monique continued her educational journey at DePaul University, where she earned a Masters of Education degree in School Counseling.

Warren Township High School

+ David Whitlock, School Director davidw@schulerprogram.org

David Whitlock

David Whitlock's Bio

David Whitlock joined the Schuler Scholar Program as School Director of Warren Township High School in 2016.  In 2013 David launched The Happiness Catalyst, a life coaching practice focused on helping young adults discover their calling and live more authentic lives. Prior to that he worked in the field of integrated marketing communications for companies such as Accenture, IBM, and Grainger. He earned his BS in Communication Studies and his MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. He also recently completed his College Counseling certificate from UCLA.

David lives in the northern suburbs with his wife, two children, and a dog named Hudson.

+ Uriel Gonzalez, College Counselor urielg@schulerprogram.org

Uriel Gonzalez

Uriel Gonzalez's Bio

Uriel Gonzalez joined the Schuler Program in October 2016 as the College Counselor for Warren Township High School. Prior to joining Schuler, Uriel was an admission counselor for his alma mater, Bates College, and then served as a college counselor for the UNO Charter School Network in Chicago for three years. Uriel became familiar with Schuler Scholars after meeting Schuler students at Bates and working with the Schuler Scholars through the Admission Office. Uriel is looking forward to helping Scholars develop their skills and stories to help propel them to and through college. Uriel has a B.A. in Russian Studies and Arts and Visual Culture. 

When Uriel is not working, you can find him somewhere outdoors, most likely fishing.

Waukegan High School

+ Lindsay Vozar, School Director lindsayv@schulerprogram.org

Lindsay Vozar

Lindsay Vozar's Bio

Lindsay Vozar joined the Schuler Scholar Program team in the summer of 2016 as an Educational Counselor at Waukegan High School before moving into the role of School Director. Before joining Schuler, Lindsay began her professional career as a high school English teacher. She traveled and worked in various international schools around the world for several years before returning home to the Chicagoland area to pursue her master’s degree. Most recently, Lindsay worked as a social worker for the Illinois Regional Safe Schools Program where she counseled and advocated for the needs of at-risk students. Lindsay is passionate about promoting the importance of social and emotional health in schools. Her goal is to create an environment where all Schuler Scholars feel safe and supported throughout their high school experience.

Lindsay received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Her studies focused on children and families and school-based social work. She holds a B.S. in Secondary English Education from Boston University.

+ Audrey Knox, Educational Counselor audreyk@schulerprogram.org

Audrey Knox

Audrey Knox's Bio

Audrey’s passion for equal opportunity and access to quality education brought her to Schuler in the summer of 2015, when she first joined the team at Waukegan High School as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach. After serving two years as a Scholar Coach, she transitioned into the role of Educational Counselor at Waukegan. As the EC, she continues to build relationships and support Scholars’ academic and personal growth as they work towards achieving their goals in high school and beyond.

In 2015, Audrey graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Psychology. At Oberlin she played in the orchestra, was an active member of the taiko drumming ensemble, and directed Oberlin’s steel band for two years. She served as a Team Leader and Lead Instructor at Camp Galileo for four summers during college, working to develop innovative and collaborative mindsets in pre-K campers. In her spare time, Audrey enjoys reading, spending time outside, playing her violin, and learning new things. 

+ Juli Scalf, Co-Director of College Counseling julis@schulerprogram.org

Juli Scalf

Juli Scalf's Bio

Juli Scalf rejoined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2016 as the Assistant Director of College Counseling, as well as the College Counselor at Waukegan High School. Most recently, Juli had been an Advisor for Northwestern University’s Northwestern Academy program, providing academic and college guidance to students attending Chicago Public Schools. Juli first joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2009 as an AmeriCorps Scholar Coach at Waukegan High School. She later served as a College Counselor at Round Lake and Waukegan High Schools.

Juli earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French at Kalamazoo College, and is completing her Master of Science degree in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University.

Zion-Benton Township High School & New Tech High

+ Shavonne Kearney, Interim School Director shavonnek@schulerprogram.org

Shavonne Kearney

Shavonne Kearney's Bio

Shavonne Kearney joined the Schuler team in May 2016 as the Educational Counselor at Zion Benton Township High School. However, Shavonne is not new to Schuler having been a Scholar herself while at Waukegan High School. After graduating in 2008, she went on to earn a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Zoology from Miami University (Ohio) in 2013. While in school she was active in her campus church where she served in children’s ministries and spent time traveling both nationally and abroad on service and outreach mission trips. Shavonne comes to us from North Chicago Community Partners where she held a Program Associate position. While working there she spent a majority of her time providing academic, social/emotional, and enrichment support to students at Forrestal Elementary School.

Outside of work Shavonne enjoys spending time volunteering in children’s ministries with her church in addition to participating in community outreach ministries with her husband and close friends. She also loves tapping into her more youthful side where she enjoys playing sports, board games, reading, building puzzles and forts, and watching her favorite TV shows. At the end of the day, Shavonne experiences great joy when she is doing what she is most passionate about, which is helping others reach their full potential and helping them find true hope throughout difficult life circumstances and in this world. It is with that heart that she is incredibly excited to start her journey of serving students with the Schuler Scholar Program.

+ Aimee Polimeno, College Counselor aimeep@schulerprogram.org

Aimee Polimeno

Aimee Polimeno's Bio

Aimee Polimeno joined the Schuler Scholar Program in 2016 as the College Counselor for Zion-Benton Township High School. She joins the team having previously worked in admissions as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Education at Colby College, where she focused her research on the role that privilege plays in the development of adolescents’ identity. She is excited to apply that research, as well as her background in selective admissions, to helping Scholars achieve their educational goals and to find success and pride in their accomplishments.