A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School


Ravenswood school faculty are listed below. A quick-view PDF of staff assignments can be seen here: http://ravenswoodelementary.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/RavenswoodStaffSY2018.pdf

  1. Teachers and Special Education Teachers
  2. Enrichment Teachers
  3. Support Staff
  4. Lunchroom Staff



  • Name: Veronica Lazar 
  • Grade: Full Day Pre-K
  • Room: 007
  • Bio: I have been working at Ravenswood School since 2007. I was introduced to this amazing community through DePaul University, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in early childhood education. DePaul connected me to Ravenswood as a student teacher. That experience led to several other positions including Pre-K teacher and kindergarten teacher. I’m privileged to have found my second home at Ravenswood!

  • Name: Yeliz Williams (Zurawic)
  • Grade: Tuition-Based Pre-K
  • Room: 008
  • Bio: I am the tuition-based preschool teacher at Ravenswood Elementary. I have been working since 2012! I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, and I have been living in Chicago for more than 15 years. I received my bachelor’s in education from DePaul, and I am currently getting my counseling degree at Adler Professional School of Psychology. I believe that education should empower a child and help him or her make a positive contribution to our world.

  • Name: Meghan Residori
  • Grade: Kindergarten
  • Room: 206
  • Bio: I’m excited to be starting another school year at Ravenswood! I was lucky enough to find my place at Ravenswood and discover my passion for early childhood education at the same time. I began teaching with my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and later completed my Master’s in Early Childhood Education at Erikson Institute. I look forward to coming to work every day and feel fortunate to have found my second home at Ravenswood. When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending lots of time with my husband and two young boys, and visiting with our friends and family.

  • Name: Molly Mehl
  • Grade: Kindergarten
  • Room: 207
  • Year started teaching: 2009
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2009
  • Special Notes: I recently participated in the Playing With Numbers Math Professional Development Series at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Currently, I am participating in a year long training with the Gust Foundation about inclusive education practices.
  • Bio: I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Dance and Spanish at Ohio Wesleyan University. Upon graduating, I moved to Chicago and was lucky enough to find a job at Ravenswood. After teaching for a few years, I went back to school and received a Master’s of Arts in Language, Literature, and Culture with an English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement, from North Park University. Besides teaching, my other interests include dancing, reading, traveling, learning new languages, and going to theatre shows.



  • Name: Vanessa Vergil
  • Grade: 1st Grade
  • Room: 109
  • Year started teaching: 2009
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2010
  • Special Notes: Member of the Local School Council and I work closely with the International Club
  • Bio: After growing up in Rogers Park, I began my education at Northeastern Illinois University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I went back to school in 2012 and earned my Master’s Degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, which I also completed at Northeastern Illinois University. I decided to go back to school in the spring of 2017 to pursue a Master’s Degree in School Leadership, which I hope to complete in 2-3 years. When I’m not at school or working on a DIY project (i.e., mason jar crafts), I enjoy spending time with my husband, Yogi (pet beagle), and my family. I absolutely love trying new recipes, Zumba, reading, and traveling to new places.

  • Name: Ryan Jacobi
  • Grade: 1st Grade
  • Room: 208
  • Year started teaching: 2009
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2010
  • Special Notes: Member of the Ravenswood Instructional Leadership Team
  • Bio: Originally from St. Louis, I moved to Chicago to earn my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Erikson Institute. In my spare time, I participate on an adult swim team called the Chicago Smelts, am part of a monthly book club (with several other Ravenswood teachers), watch many movies (especially during Oscars season), and go out to eat with friends on a fairly regular basis.
  • Name: Stephanie Landry
  • Grade: Second Grade
  • Room: 110
  • Year started teaching 2011
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2018
  • Bio: I am excited to be at Ravenswood School! I began my career as a pre-k teacher in rural Mississippi, and I have been in early childhood and elementary education since. I received my B.A. from Holy Cross (MA) and am pursuing my M.S. in Child Development at Erikson. I am excited to be teaching at Ravenswood! In my free time, I like to play read, swim, travel, and play ultimate frisbee.
  • Name: Erin Bosman
  • Grade: Second Grade
  • Room: 111
  • Year started teaching: 2008
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2018
  • Bio: I am originally from Wisconsin, and moved to Chicago to serve in City Year, an AmeriCorps program.  After completing my masters in education at National-Louis University, I started my teaching career in the Chicago Public Schools in 2008.  Since then, I have taught kindergarten, second, and third grade.  I’m so excited to join the team at Ravenswood!  Teaching and working with children has truly been a gift in my life, and I strive to create a classroom environment of respect, purpose, and collaboration.  When I’m not teaching, I enjoy traveling, practicing yoga, and spending time with my family and my puppy, Georgia.

  • Name: Michael Tajchman
  • Grade: Third Grade
  • Room: 310
  • Year started teaching: 2002
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2011
  • Bio: I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. I took the long route to Chicago, eventually moving here in 1999. Prior to that, I lived in and attended grad school in Pittsburgh, PA.. I then lived in Nepal for four years, where worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Prior to becoming a school teacher, I was a social worker. This is one of the reasons I love teaching at Ravenswood since our school has a strong focus on social / emotional learning as well as academics. In my free time, I enjoy fitness (running, biking, yoga) and reading. I’m a member of a monthly book club made up of teachers.



  • Name: Eve Ludwig
  • Grade: Third Grade
  • Room: 312
  • Bio: My, how the time flies! I have been teaching at Ravenswood School for more than 20 years, and it seems like the blink of an eye. During that time, I have been a reading resource teacher of all grades, a middle school language arts teacher and a reading specialist. My favorite and most enduring post, however, has been that of a third-grade teacher. All of these years have afforded me the joy of watching children grow up to be fine citizens of this community and world. It is a great privilege to be a small part of that process.
Stefani Stallard

  • Name: Stefani Stallard
  • Grade: Fourth
  • Room: 304
  • Year started teaching: 2010
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2015
  • Bio:  I grew up in Skokie, IL and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. I then moved to New York where I taught in East Harlem as a member of Teach for America, and earned my Master’s Degree in Education from Hunter College. After spending a year working with education organizations in India and Central America, I made my way back home to Chicago and worked as an instructional coach at South and West Side schools for two years. I was eager to get back into the classroom and spend everyday with students, and I could not be more thankful that I ended up at Ravenswood! My approach to teaching aligns with Ravenswood’s focus on whole-child education, inclusion, social-emotional learning, inquiry, and arts-integration. When I’m not at school, I love spending time outside, cooking, doing yoga, and enjoying good music.

  • Name: Priya Manocha
  • Grade: 4th Grade
  • Room: 305
  • Year started teaching: 2001
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2011
  • Bio:  I am originally a Jersey girl! From New Jersey where I was born, I moved around quite a bit until I went to college at Penn State University. I graduated in 1998 with my B.S.in Family Therapy and Social Work, then went to NYU to get my Master’s Degree and Elementary Education Certification. I taught in New York from 2001 until I got married and moved to Chicago in 2011. I was fortunate to get a job at Ravenswood and am grateful to be part of such an amazing community! I live in Logan Square with my husband, my French Bulldog, Georgia, and we had a baby last year whose name is Kavi (Ku-vee)! I am currently seeking an ELL endorsement at UIC. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, dancing, reading and begin outdoors.

  • Name: Marc Garcia
  • Grade: 5th / 6th Grade Math
  • Room: 311
  • Year started teaching: 2000
  • Year started at Ravenswood: Student teaching 1999, Teaching 2000
  • Special Notes: Former winner of many grants including the Oppenheimer, Rochelle Lee, and a $3000 library grant from scholastic books. I am a lifelong brother of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity Inc, a service and social fraternity dedicated to the cultural,social, and academic advancement of Latinos and all people of color.
  • Bio: I am a native Chicagoan who was born on the Southeast Side many Halloween nights ago to a Polish mother and a Mexican father. I hold four degrees, A.A.S; A.S; B.S in Ed; M.S in Ed; and I have an endorsement in middle school mathematics from the University of Chicago, Sesame Program. My DNA is a part of Ravenswood and I am fortunate to know no other school in Chicago. I feel very lucky to be part of such an outstanding school community and every year has been a new and amazing learning experience.

  • Name: Timothy Hart
  • Grade: 5th / 6th Grade English Language Arts
  • Room: 309
  • Bio: “If you know, teach. If you receive, give. Pass it on.” This quote by the late Maya Angelou is shared over and over by Mr. Hart in hopes of developing a cycle of students seeing themselves as both learners and teachers, and to develop a community where we all receive and give. Mr. Hart has been teaching at Ravenswood for over 24 years. After graduating from UIC and working in the business field for three years, Mr. Hart received his Master’s in Teaching and Learning from DePaul University and entered the teaching profession. Working alongside other passionate, dedicated educators, he is proud to be a part of the amazing place called Ravenswood School.

  • Name: John Catarello
  • Grade: 5th / 6th Grade Social Studies
  • Room: 104
  • Bio: I am the middle school social studies teacher. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I am married and I have two children. I also have nine brothers and sisters and 38 nieces and nephews. I consider Ravenswood as part of my large extended family. In what little spare time I have, I like to spend it with my wife and kids.
  • Name: Keri Schroeder
  • Grade: 5th / 6th Grade Science
  • Room: 203
  • Bio: Keri Schroeder discovered her passion for science education while working as Program Director at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. She attained her Master in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and began working in Chicago public schools in 2008. Soon after beginning to teach, she attended the Masters in Science Education program at De Paul University to complete her science education certification. Prior to joining the staff at Ravenswood, Ms. Schroeder taught at Franklin Fine Arts Center in Old Town. Each summer, she teaches at Center for Talent Development through Northwestern University. Wherever she teaches, she is passionate about creating classroom communities where each student feels socially significant and empowered to reach their learning potential. In addition to being a teacher, Ms. Schroeder is an outdoor enthusiast, a yogi, a violinist, and a swimmer. She enjoys spending time with her friends, her husband, and their son Felix.
  • Name: Hope Sheldon
  • Grade: 7th / 8th Grade Math
  • Room: 003
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2018

  • Name: Kim Toomey
  • Grade: 7th / 8th Grade English Language Arts
  • Room: 002
  • Bio: I am working with all middle school scholars this year as a reading and writing teacher. Prior to coming to Ravenswood, I have worked as a middle school teacher, a reading specialist and a literacy coach. After beginning my teaching career with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies from Antioch College, I went on to earn my master’s from NEIU as a reading specialist. Outside of teaching, my life is filled with four amazing children — Ruby, Caleb, Owen,and Alice Rose — one teacher husband and lots of family fun time. Besides reading, traveling and making s’mores in the backyard, I love to watch the Bears, the Bulls and the Blackhawks. This is our year!

  • Name: Frank Panion
  • Grade: 7th / 8th Grade Science
  • Room: 213
  • Year started teaching: 1996
  • Year started at Ravenswood 2016
  • Bio: Time flies when you love what you do, and I love teaching science! I have been teaching students for over 20 years, in both English and in Spanish. I received my undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, and my graduate degree from Columbia College in Chicago. Science has fascinated me since I was a child and I’m thrilled to be able to share my passion for learning and science with the students at Ravenswood. I also enjoy music, dancing, and traveling. One of my favorite quotes is from the famous Noble Laureate scientist, Marie Curie, “Nothing in life is to be feared, only understood.”
  • Name: Jenna Forton
  • Grade: 7th / 8th Grade Social Studies
  • Room: 202
  • Name: Rachel Prastisis
  • Grade: Special Education Teacher
  • Year started teaching: 2016
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2016
  • Special Notes: Member of Ravenswood Instructional Leadership Team
  • Bio: I grew up in Clarkston, MI and earned a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and Elementary General Education from Indiana University. After graduation, I moved to Chicago and was lucky enough to find a job at Ravenswood. I love being part of this community and working with the third grade team! When I’m not at school, you can find me exploring new restaurants and neighborhoods throughout Chicago and spending time outdoors.
  • Name: Susan Conti
  • Grade: 5th Grade Inclusion Teacher
  • Room: 401
  • Bio: This is my 14th year at Ravenswood. I joined the Ravenswood community as a student teacher and was lucky to be asked to join the staff permanently. In my years at Ravenswood I have had the privilege to teach both general education and special education. I live in the Ravenswood Community and love seeing students and parents in the neighborhood. I am also a mom to an amazing 2 year old girl who will be joining us at Ravenswood next year.
  • Name: Jessica Lukosavich
  • Grade: Middle School
  • Year started teaching: 2007
  • Year started at Ravenswood: December 2013
  • Bio: As a Michigan native, I will always root wholeheartedly for my beloved Detroit Red Wings, drink apple cider all fall, and show you my “home” on my hand. Having lived and taught in Chicago now though for 15+ years, it means more to me than I ever expected it would. I currently hold an elementary teaching certificate, a Learning Behavior Specialist I certificate, and middle school endorsements in math, social studies, and language arts. My teaching experience has included 4 years of teaching at a dropout recovery high school, a few years mostly in 1st-3rd grade, and now a few years at Ravenswood in middle school. Having taught (for at least a little while) every grade from first grade to 12th, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge about student development and content, and I am enjoying teaching my diverse students in our amazing middle school.


  • Name: Brittany Luxton
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Bio: I have been at Ravenswood for many years. I started as a special education classroom assistant and became a special education teacher. I am currently the inclusive practices and co-teaching coach!
  • Name: Laura Gangichiodo
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Year started teaching: 2009
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2016
  • Bio: I grew up in the suburb Darien, Illinois and attended Hinsdale South HS. In 2008, I graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and have earned three education-related Master’s degrees since. In my free time, I enjoy bargain shopping and cheering on Chicago/Fighting Illini sports teams. I love being an inclusion teacher because I am able to make learning meaningful for all students, no matter their ability level, learning preferences, or unique interests.

Enrichment Teachers

  • Name: Kitty Conde
  • Grade: Visual Arts teacher
  • Room: 112
  • Year started teaching: 1990
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 1992
  • Special Notes: I have achieved National Board Certification In Visual Arts. I have been a finalist for the Golden Apple Award two times. I received the Illinois Arts Educator of the Year. I present at Local and National Arts Education Conferences. I have travelled Internationally to share and learn about Arts integrative strategies. I have taught at Columbia College and served on panels for the School of the Art Institute and University of Illinois. Have hosted over 30 student teachers during my tenure at Ravenswood School.
  • Bio: I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. I come from a long line of teachers. My mother taught gifted 6th grade and was a pioneer in arts integration. I received a BA in Literature and Arts from the University of Michigan. I moved to New York City, then travelled around Europe for 3 months where I found my love of Art. I returned to Chicago and received my Degree in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute. I moved to Madrid Spain to teach English and study art. I taught English at the City Colleges then found my home here at Ravenswood School. I achieved my National Boards in 2006 and renewed in 2016. I graduated from graduate school at National Louis University and received my M.Ed. in 2007. I have two children, Isabel and James, who both graduated from Ravenswood School where they met and learned from our excellent staff.

  • Name: Jeremy Guidry
  • Grade: Drama Teacher
  • Room: 004
  • website: http://www.mrguidrydramaclass.com/
  • Bio: I have been teaching drama at Ravenswood since 2011. Prior to this magnificent school, I taught technical theatre at Arts at the Capitol Theatre Performance High School in Connecticut, drama at University and Cesar Chavez Middle School in Texas. I have worked as a Theatre Teaching Artist in Chicago and Connecticut traveling to middle and elementary schools to integrate drama into the classroom. I received my Masters of Arts in theatre education from Emerson College in Boston, and my Bachelor of Arts in theatre: performance and directing from the University of North Texas. I have been performing, directing, designing or running crew for theatre for the past 22 years, taking part in more than 150 productions. I couldn’t imagine a better home, a better staff, better students or a better administration than what we have here at Ravenswood to share my passion for this art form.

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  • Name: Jeff Switzer
  • Grade: Gym Teacher
  • Room: Gym
  • Bio: I am the physical education teacher at Ravenswood Elementary School. I enjoy working with children and building their self-image and confidence. My goal has always been to instill in students a lifelong love of athletics and fitness.I was born and raised in Chicago but recently moved to Evanston a couple of years ago. My daughter, Katelyn, is in her final year of high school and looking forward to going away to college. I have a black lab named Luna that is 15 months old and loves to play and chase rabbits.I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you this school year!

  • Name: Christine Reed
  • Grade: Dance
  • Room: 006
  • Bio: I am pleased to join Ravenswood Elementary as the dance teacher! I have taught dance for 12 years in a variety of settings, including elementary schools, dance studios and community programs. This is my third year working with Chicago Public Schools. Most recently I taught reading at Nettelhorst School as an RTI teacher assistant and dance at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a teaching artist.After studying dance while growing up and at the collegiate level, I performed professionally as an original member of the Open Window Dance Company, a modern dance company that fuses contemporary dance styles with Asian movement forms. After performing in the Midwest and on the East Coast, I began teaching dance full-time. I enjoy teaching all subject areas and dance styles, and I love to integrate dance with other disciplines.I hold a Masters of Art in teaching with endorsements in elementary education, dance and socialsStudies, and a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in general business, dance and arts management. When I am not teaching and dancing, I enjoy practicing yoga, reading, biking and spending time with my family.
  • Name: Emily Piper
  • Resource Coordinator / Youth Guidance
  • Room: 005


Support Staff

  • Name: Kim Acosta
  • Special Education Classroom Assistant


  • Name: Linda Andros
  • Special Education Classroom Assistant
  • Name: Jean Mamola
  • Special Education Classroom Assistant

  • Name: Daniel Ramos
  • Security
  • Name: Clare Shreve
  • Special Education Assistant
  • Name: Kayla Santos
  • Special Education Assistant
  • Name: Alejandro Labdo
  • Teacher Assistant
  • Name: Sandra Jaramillo
  • Grade: All Bilingual Support
  • Room: 105
  • Year started teaching: 2001
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2017
  • Special Notes: Little Village award winner Bilingual teacher “El Achieve” 2010, Computers at schools winner of 20 laptops 2011. Participated in the CLIMB project with the Field and Science Museums, E2SP Partnership with the Children’s’ and Field Museums, Ravinia Music partnership and Mexican Museum Biculturalism project. Member and lead teacher of the International Club (BAC)
  • Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. I came to US at the age of 21. I studied English at Truman College until I was ready to take English classes at the university level. I continued my education at Columbia College where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. Soon after, I began teaching Arts to children with special abilities. It was this experience that sparked my interest in teaching. Shortly after, I enrolled in an alternative teaching program with Golden Apple Teachers at Northwestern University to receive my teacher certification. Additionally, I received my Master’s in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
    I live in Rogers Park with my husband, my daughter, and my dog . When not at work, enjoy working in Art projects around my house, spending time with family, dancing, reading, cooking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. I was fortunate to get a job at Ravenswood and am grateful to be part of such an amazing community!

  • Name: Daniel Ramos
  • Security

  • Name: Dayna Scaringe
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • I am very excited to be working with Ravenswood! I’ve been living in Chicago for seven years and working as a speech-language pathologist for CPS all over the city since 2012. I’m originally from upstate New York where I graduated with my masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. When I’m not working, I love spending time traveling and cooking. I look forward to working with the wonderful students and staff at Ravenswood!
  • Name: Kate Picinich
  • Grade: School Counselor
  • Room: 306
  • Year started teaching: 2004, started counseling 2012
  • Year started at Ravenswood: 2016
  • Special Notes: NCC, LPC, Rochelle Lee recipient, 4 time ASAS grant winner, 5 time Koldyke Grant winner
  • Bio: I originally hail from upstate, NY where I received my BA in Psychology & Women’s Studies from Hobart & William Smith. I started teaching on the westside of Syracuse in 2004 while earning my MS in Literacy from Syracuse University. In 2007 I packed up and moved to the Windy City where I continued to work with diverse learners while earning my masters in both Community and School Counseling. In my free time you can find me out by the lake in my hammock reading a book, working on a DIY project, cooking for people, or training for a marathon/triathlon. I’m so grateful to have found my home in the Ravenswood community!
  • Name: Safet Hodzic
  • Engineer
  • Name: Maria Aguirre
  • Custodian
  • Name: Belem Arzuaga
  • Custodian
  • Name: Ziggy Zelico
  • Custodian


Lunchroom Staff