| SETH BAKER|
Critter Science, LEGO Entrepreneurs
Seth Baker has been teaching in District 97 since 1994. During his career, he has taught students from 3rd–8th-grade, and is currently a 3rd-grade teacher at Irving Elementary School. He has participated in OPEF’s Science Alliance as a teacher partner since 1994 and began coordinating the Science Alliance program in 2005. A Golden Apple recipient, he has earned degrees in biology and education, as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. He lives in Oak Park with his three children and wife, who also teaches in District 97.
Build a Business, Junior Detectives
Sarah Becker has been working with children and families for over five years. Having spent time at the Museum of Science and Industry teaching children of all ages science and history at the U505, she then went on to work at Northwestern University teaching in their Saturday Enrichment Program. Currently, Sarah is finishing her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at the Erikson Institute of Chicago. She enjoys playing music and riding her bike.
Marc Bishop worked in large international corporations as a product manager and engineer before deciding to pursue an interest in education. He has served as a paraprofessional in District 97 since 2010 as well as an instructor to others in the district. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, plus a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Northwestern University Technological Institute, and has completed graduate studies in education at Quincy University.
Fairy Tale Engineering 1/2, Mini Meteorologists, Space Rangers, LEGO
Jennifer Buckley (formerly Las) is a first grade teacher at William Beye Elementary School with a degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. She has been a teacher for 8 years. She also graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School and is thrilled to be back in the neighborhood. She loves the Blackhawks, trying new foods and traveling as much as possible.
Spoken Word 6/7/8
Jamael “Isaiah” Clark got his start in spoken word at Oak Park & River Forest High School. In 2012, Jamael founded Impact Mākars, a spoken word organization at Northern Illinois University. Jamael has a B.A. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he conducted research on how poetry can enhance student engagement. Jamael recently completed his teaching artist residency at Percy Julian Middle School in partnership with the Oak Park Education Foundation, where co-designed the Spoken Word curriculum, taught spoken word poetry to 7th graders, co-facilitates the Julian Spoken Word club. Now, Jamael is on a mission to bring Impact Mākars in Oak Park to reach even more kids with the transformative power of spoken word.
OAK PARK GO!
Fiesta Mexicana, Making Zines
Guillermo Delgado is a community artist with a history of art creation and teaching since 1994. He shares his passion for art, literacy, and writing with children, college students, adults, and educators wherever he goes, engaging them in the creation of their own interdisciplinary work as well as helping to construct a curriculum that infuses the arts into the academic and civic engagement experience. A long-time artist with OPEF’s Art Start program, Guillermo has inspired hundreds of Oak Park students with his multi-disciplinary, community-oriented, hands-on projects. He is also a lecturer with Michigan State University’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.
Liita Forsyth is the owner of The Little Bits Workshop in River Forest. Prior to opening the workshop in 2010, she was an art director in the publishing industry designing books and magazines. She studied illustration at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. After working with kids at a summer camp in Russia in 2001, she realized how much she loved teaching kids how to create and it sparked the idea to open a workshop. Liita’s habit of collecting endless bits that seem useful, coupled with an insatiable desire to create, inspired the concept of The Little Bits Workshop where she teaches sewing, knitting, building, fiber and paper arts, book arts, assemblage and everything in between. Liita and her husband, Paul, have two children and live in River Forest.
Architectural Photography, Photo Workshop
Paul Goyette is a photographer with a wide range of professional experience, including journalism, architecture, sports, families, and events. Paul also has experience as a researcher in early childhood education. He lives in Oak Park with his wife and three children. He’s been volunteering with OPEF since 2007, and since 2012 has been teaching kids to discover new ways to look at their everyday surroundings via the Digital Photography BASE Camp.
Science Olympiad, Kinetic Contraptions
Allison Ibarra is a third grade teacher at Longfellow. She has been teaching at Longfellow since 2004. Allison grew up in Oak Park and attended District 97 schools (Lincoln and Emerson – now Brooks) as a student. Her dream, since she was in seventh grade, was always to become a teacher in Oak Park to give back to the amazing community and school system that she benefited from. Allison earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois in Champaign, and her master’s degree in reading education from Concordia University. Allison currently resides in Oak Park with her fiancé, Jeremiah. She loves spending time with family and friends, party planning, dogs, the Chicago White Sox, and 90’s music! She looks forward to a fantastic summer Base Camp experience!
Art Around the World, Kinetic Contraptions
Tye Johnson, a fifth grade teacher at William Beye Elementary School in the Oak Park Elementary School District 97, is a critically acclaimed artist with a studio in the world renowned Zhou B Art Center. Johnson received her bachelor’s degree in studio art/graphic design from Michigan State University and worked as a graphic designer/marketing specialist at the educational media company United Learning. She was instrumental in the start-up of their video streaming brand, now owned by Discovery Education. She holds a Masters of Art in Elementary Education from DePaul University and a Master of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology. Johnson is also a founder of paper heART, a Chicago-based social change and arts program for teens. The paper heART model of teaching will be incorporated into her Art Around the World camp this summer!
Art Around the World, Mosaic Mural Project
Kimberly Jones is the K-5 Visual Arts teacher at Holmes Elementary School. Before coming to Oak Park, Kimberly taught art in Iowa and Chicago as well as Athens, Greece, and Bangkok, Thailand. Her passport is full as her passion for art and adventure have taken her on explorations in over 30 countries. Kimberly earned her BA in Art Education at the University of Northern Iowa where metalsmithing was her emphasis. Current media she explores include painting, drawing and photography.
BASE Camp Tech Coordinator, Coding for Kids
Gretchen Junker is the community member who proposed Geared Up to the Oak Park Education Foundation during our Call for Ideas to the community in 2008. Gretchen has a BA in Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington. “Geared Up shows kids that science (and school) can be fun,” she says. “Our family has always had an interest in how things work, and that curiosity has managed to fuel our day-to-day life. For me, Geared Up is a natural extension of what my 3 sons and I have already incorporated into our ongoing family dialogue.”
Tom Kennedy is a Nationally Board Certified Physics teacher at Oak Park River Forest High School. He has a degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, a MAT in Mathematics from Concordia University and a Science Certification from Loyola University. Currently he is coaching the newly formed Science Olympiad team at Brooks Middle School. Tom lives in Oak Park with his wife, four kids, one dog, seven fish and two crabs.
|JILL KRAMER GOLDSTEIN|
Explorers & Map Makers; Wandering Artists
Jill Kramer Goldstein received her MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA in Printmaking from Kent State University. Since 2012, Jill has served as OPEF’s Art Start program coordinator and is an active member of the Oak Park Art League. Jill has experience teaching in museum and community art settings and has facilitated programs for all ages, from preschoolers to seniors. Her artistic practice focuses on illustrative portraits of historic architecture, as well as re-interpretations of deteriorating and idealized landscape. Jill works from her home studio in Oak Park where she lives with her husband and two children.
Frank Lloyd Wright – Fix It Up
Cate LiaBraaten is a museum educator with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Trained as a historian, her Bachelor of Arts degree is from Cornell College and her Master of Arts in Historical Administration degree is from Eastern Illinois University. She has worked with students at multiple museums and nontraditional learning environments in capacities including outreach programs, on-site field trips and workshops, and summer camps.
Mindi Maneck has been the teacher librarian at Holmes Elementary School since 2011. Before coming to Oak Park, she worked as a library assistant and technology teacher in Winnetka where she also taught clay animation classes for the Winnetka District 36 summer program. Mindi has a bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art from the University of Vermont, and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh. The clay animation class she’s teaching this year for BASE Camp is a perfect blend of the things she loves: arts and crafts and storytelling!
Minecraft, and Comics Creator
John McDowell has been a math, science and technology teacher for 10 years. After spending two years as a National Technology Education Consultant for Pearson Education, John returned to the classroom. Currently, John is a 7th-grade science teacher at Brooks Middle School and is a Head VEX Robotics Coach. This is John’s second year with Base Camp. John lives in Chicago with his wife Anne and dog Dublin.
Matthew grew up on a farm in rural Iowa. Caring for animals and gardening as a child instigated his respect for farming and his enthusiasm for seasonal eating and local foods. For the past 15 years, Matthew has worked as a cook for restaurants in Albuquerque, New Mexico and here in Chicago. He teaches cooking classes and camps at Sugar Beet Schoolhouse and also works as a server at Berwyn’s Autre Monde, a restaurant committed to using local, seasonal, organic ingredients to create innovative Mediterranean cuisine. He lives with his wife and two sons in Oak Park. Matthew loves playing in the kitchen with his children.
Jessica Moncatch is a fifth-grade teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School. She has been teaching math, science and reading since 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Science from The University of Illinois where she majored in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. She has been working with VEX Robotics since 2012.
VEX Robotics Intensive and VEX Robotics Coding
Jason Morrell has been teaching sixth-grade science, reading and language arts and helping coach VEX Robotics at Percy Julian Middle School since 2006. Jason graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Sociology and worked for a few years in marketing/advertising before getting his Master of Education from Roosevelt University. He received his second master’s degree in teacher leadership in 2013. He has a life-long interest in anything science related and has a passion for building and construction.
Run Play Eat!
Sugar Beet Food Co-op Founder Cheryl Muñoz loves good food! From digging in the garden to touring vertical farms in abandoned warehouses, Cheryl is eager to share the lessons that are all around us in our urban agricultural environment. Cheryl is especially excited about the possibilities for youth in the Good Food Movement as they work together to grow, cook and share meals and has led youth workshops and farm tours that connect kids to good food. Cheryl lives on her little farmstead in Oak Park with her husband and two young farm hands, where they grow their own food and make delicious meals together.
Kristiana Murray graduated with honors with a MAT in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in Sculpture and a Minor Emphasis in Dance from the University of Kansas. Mrs. Murray has taught Fine Arts at Brooks Middle School since 2003. She also teaches After School Art Club with various themes and media. Along with a guest artist and about 30 students, she created the first permanent art installation at Brooks, the “Brooks Mosaic” during Art Club. As a visual artist, Mrs. Murray works with a variety of materials oftentimes creating textural, mixed media paintings with fibers and found objects. Prior to her teaching career, Mrs. Murray worked as a fashion stylist on Michigan Avenue and an Interior Design Consultant in Kansas City. She enjoys creating Interdisciplinary lessons in her classes with various art forms including dance, yoga, fashion, design, and of course – the visual arts.
Ozobots, LEGO Entreprenuers
After graduating from St. Ambrose University with a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology, Scott worked for a social service agency in Chicago for over 10 years. Scott went on to earn a Masters in Teaching and Learning from Concordia University and has been teaching 2nd grade at Longfellow Elementary School since 2004. He lives in Oak Park with his wife and two sons.
Run Play Eat!
Sandy Noel has taught physical education/health for 40+ years (many at Hatch!), and as co-chair of the District 97 Wellness Council was instrumental in changing the district’s lunch program. She teaches about the importance of nutrition and exercise for learning, memory and performance, and does it in an action-oriented way – everyone participates and has fun while learning. Sandy has received numerous teaching awards including Golden Apple, NASPE Teacher of the Year, USA Today Teacher Team, and the Action for Healthy Kids Healthy Hero award. She has served as the Co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness, and now teaches at Concordia University.
Origami Movie Shorts and LEGO Pre-Engineering
Katie Noonan is the teacher-librarian at Irving Elementary School. She has been teaching at Irving for 7 years. Before becoming a librarian, she taught 1st and 2nd grade in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a HUGE Badger fan. You can always find her cheering on the football and basketball teams! She has her masters’ degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Stevens Point, WI, but has lived in Chicago for 14 years. She has two nieces who are the loves of her life and keep her busy all the time! When she’s not teaching she enjoys reading, traveling, going to dinner with friends, watching sports or spending time with family.
|MAYA BARROS ODIM|
Spoken Word 3-5, Science Olympiad
Maya Odim shares her knowledge of the arts and humanities through teaching and performance. As an artist she works both independently and collaboratively to host workshops, participate in exhibitions self publish writing, and smuggles movement work like dance into whatever she does. As a scientist, writer and dancer Maya has experience teaching in a range of spaces and in both English and Spanish. Her most recent work, Sinestesia, a group show, debuted in Guatemala City, Guatemala June 2016. Currently Maya is working collaboratively on an interpretation of a Langston Hughes poem Ask Yo Mama, debuting in Chicago December 2017. Maya holds a BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University Middletown, CT.
Steve Olson has a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology and worked in education from 2013-2016 in Chicago, where he focused on middle school science and the Project Lead the Way engineering curriculum. He currently works at both Julian and Brooks middle schools teaching Design and Modeling, Robotics, and Electronics. Steve served as a judge for the OPEF Battle of Bots in 2016 and started serving as an OPEF VEX Robotics Coach at Brooks in 2016-17.
LEGO Stop Motion
Noelle Parr is a kindergarten teacher at Holmes Elementary School. She grew up in Oak Park, attending Whittier Elementary School, Brooks Middle School and Oak Park River Forest High School. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in speech and hearing science, and received her MEd from DePaul University. Noelle has worked for the Park District of Oak Park as a lifeguard, aquatic facilities coordinator and lifeguard instructor. Noelle is eager to continue working with the children of Oak Park this summer.
Tech Studio, Bionics Builder
Tasia is a 7th grade Science teacher at Brooks Middle School. This is her first year at Brooks MS and her 7th year teaching. She received her Masters in Pure Mathematics from DePaul University and is a STEM certified instructor through MSU-Wipro. She has presented twice at a CPS Tech Talk and won a trip to SXSWedu from her Tweets about innovation in the classroom. Tasia is passionate about teaching math and science and she loves integrating technology in her classroom. She works hard to ensure science is relevant, hands-on, and student-centered. She is excited to bring that energy to BASE Camp!
With a B.A. degree in Interior Design and A.A.S. in Architectural Technology Pam worked in the field of architecture for many years but gravitated back to her love of fiber in the early 1990’s. Pam has a passion for combining traditional needle art and fiber techniques in unique and contemporary methods to create her own textile art. Pam has taught knitting, sewing, crocheting and felting for over 25 years to both adults and children with the goal of passing on not just the traditional techniques but the love of fiber and art.
Anna Petrick earned her BFA in Early Childhood Education and Masters in Elementary Education from Dominican University. Anna grew up in Oak Park and currently lives in Forest Park with her husband, son, and dog. She’s been teaching since 2010. She currently teaches as a bilingual Spanish teacher in West Chicago. Anna loves the opportunity to ignite student’s interests in a variety of topics and provide them with the tools and support they need to succeed. She looks forward to making students’ inventive dreams a reality this summer at BASE Camp!
Fairy Tale Engineering, Origami Movie Shorts
Molly Sakamoto is a third-grade teacher at Irving Elementary School. Ms. Sakamoto moved to Chicago four years ago from Columbus, Ohio, where she taught first grade. Molly has a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education from Miami University. She loves spending time with friends and family and has really enjoyed her time teaching in Oak Park. She plays tennis to stay active and is an avid NHL hockey follower. She currently resides in Lincoln Park.
Peter started at OPEF in 2014 with the first Urban Biker camp. He is a certified group fitness instructor and a Spinning® Master Instructor for Mad Dogg Athletics teaching in Oak Park. Peter helps D97 physical education teachers with the third grade bicycle safety program. An active club rider, Peter enjoys sharing the joys of cycling with everyone.
Michael Sorensen is a 1st-grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary. He has been working in district 97 since 2009. Michael grew up in Oak Park and believes he is who is he because of the community he was raised in. Michael has his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago and his Masters of Arts from Concordia University Chicago. In his free time Michael loves to play basketball as well practice riding his longboard.
Coding for Kids
Paula Spring is the Instructional Coach at Whittier Elementary School. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science in Education from Northwestern University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Technology in Education from National Louis University. She first learned how to program using Scratch in 2008. She is excited to be working at BASE Camp again this summer, because she is always amazed at what the students create when programming. Ms. Spring lives in Oak Park with her husband, two daughters, dog, and cat.
Nefret was born and raised in the east coast state of Virginia! She has a BA in English from The College of William and Mary and a MA in Middle/Special Education from the University of Virginia. She just moved to Oak Park this past year and has been teaching 7th grade English/Language Arts at Brooks Middle School. She reads about one book per week, enjoys cooking, and hanging with her husband and two young boys. Not to mention, she loves directing her creative energy to writing and is excited to be teaching Girl Writes this summer.
Mason Strom is a 2000 graduate of District 97 and current filmmaking and radio/TV broadcasting teacher at Maine South High School in Park Ridge. He loves being behind the camera and received his bachelor’s degree in cinematography and filmmaking at Colombia College Chicago. Where most people just see light or color, Mason sees art. He is a wizard at pulling focus and can quote, word for word, pretty much any movie you can name. In his spare time he enjoys coaching, officiating and watching ice hockey. He is the current head coach of the Fenwick/OPRF Girls Varsity Hockey team.
Theater of the Wild
Second City-trained actress Rhona Taylor has been a teacher at Pilgrim Community Nursery School for 19 years. She has led theater workshops for children as an Artist-in-Residence for the City of Chicago, with the Park District of Oak Park, Village Players, Intuit Dance Studio, Triton College, the Oak Park Art League and Art Start and After School Arts Program for District 97. Rhona has recently received an Interdisciplinary Degree in Theater and Early Childhood Education at Columbia College and is a member of The Anti Gravity Experiment Improv Ensemble.
REACH Sailing, Science Olympiad
Miranda Tucker is in her fourth year of teaching at Julian Middle School. She also spends her time as the co-yearbook sponsor and co-head coach of the Julian 6-7th grade volleyball team. She joins us from southern Illinois where she worked with educators in Title I schools who needed support in teaching and obtaining resources to better implement the current Illinois Science curriculum. She graduated from Southern Illinois University and holds a Master of Curriculum and Instruction as well as Science Education. She currently lives here in Oak Park with her pups and secretly cheers on the Green Bay Packers.
|TRACY VAN DUINEN|
Tracy Van Duinen is a 20-year veteran teacher and international award-winning community-based artist. He has been teaching visual arts at Oak Park & River Forest High School since 2014. Through his work as a community artist, he’s helped urban teenagers develop a dialogue with their communities by creating large-scale multi-media murals around the country. His local work includes the underpasses of North Lake Shore Drive. Van Duinen has received several awards for his teaching including the distinguished Golden Apple Award. He currently lives in Chicago but is excited to relocate to Oak Park with his wife and two sons this summer.
Kim Vulinovic has studied a variety of yoga styles for over 25 years. She is Certified YogaKids Teacher (CYKT) and holds the designation of Experienced 200-hour adult yoga teacher (ERYT) through Yoga Alliance. She began her business, YogaKids of Oak Park, in 2001 and teaches over 12 children’s classes, pre-school to teens, each week in the Oak Park area. YogaKids is based on Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. In every class, music, stories and cooperative activities insure that each child is engaged and confident. Age-appropriate breathing techniques both calm and energize. Yoga poses strengthen and stretch the body. Verbal directions and movement that crosses the body?s mid-line create new brain pathways to learning and concentration. Since yoga is a non-competitive activity, self-esteem is naturally fostered. Both boys and girls enjoy the fun, friendship and focus that comes through yoga.
Urban Biker, VEX Robotics Intensive and VEX Robotics Coding (Julian)
Tim Walsh began teaching science at Julian Middle School in 2000. In 2005, he was approached by a colleague about helping start a robotics club at Julian and school has never been the same. Since then Tim has been the Head Coach of the Julian VEX Robotics Team. In 2012, Tim presented a proposal to the District 97 School Board for STEM classes at the middle schools, which became a reality in the fall of 2013. Today, Tim teaches both Design & Modeling and Robotics at Julian. Tim and his wife, Susan, live in Oak Park with their two young daughters.
Griffin Waterman is currently a student teacher at Irving Elementary, he was previously a teaching assistant at Longfellow. He received his master’s degree in American history at Loyola University Chicago, and worked for Chicago Public Media. He remains a contributing producer and the senior rock correspondent for Vocalo Public Radio in Chicago. Griffin is currently a graduate candidate at Dominican University’s School of Education where he is pursuing a Master in Teaching Elementary Education with a Social Studies endorsement.
Tania Wilson has returned to her passion for creative activities after nearly 20 years in financial services management. She has taken these talents and focused on working in after school programs in both River Forest (Little Bits Workshop) and Oak Park teaching jewelry design as well as arts and crafts. She believes that everyone has a creative side that just needs to be encouraged to blossom and delight in. Working with a “Creative Enabler”, like Tania will inspire those who wish to take their talents to a higher level and enjoy doing so. She’s excited to be back at BASE Camp!
Comics Creator, Peacemakers, Mixed Media Makers
Jamie Winchell is the teacher librarian at Percy Julian Middle School. She is a graduate of Dominican University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Iowa. Her life’s work is building solidarity with young people as they engage with their realities and craft their futures. Jamie is passionate about equity and all literacies. She reads too much and enjoys gardening, cooking, and exploring. Jamie and her husband, Ryan, live in Oak Park with their two young boys. Jamie is looking forward to her first summer with BASE camp!
Ryan Winchell is a 1st-grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary School. A teacher since 2002, he’s been at District 97 since 2007. Ryan’s originally from East Lansing, Michigan, and grad uated from Michigan State University (which is why he’s an avid Spartans and Detroit sports fan!). He has sons in kindergarten and first grade who both go to Longfellow. He loves building with LEGOs and working with kids. You’ll often find Ryan enjoying the outdoors, hiking at Morton Arboretum with his wife and boys, and taking advantage of Chicago’s fabulous summers!
Salome Yigzaw is a second grade teacher at Holmes Elementary School. She has been teaching in Oak Park since 2009. Salome is very excited to be teaching BASE Camp for the sixth summer in a row and is looking forward to seeing the kids’ creations! In her free time, she likes to relax by watching movies and reading books.
Run, Play, Eat
Originally from Columbus Ohio, Wendy has now been living in Chicago for just shy of a decade. For the last few years she has worked for the Chicago Botanic Gardens managing a rooftop farm downtown and instructing inner-city teens in a class on urban agriculture. In that position she was able to not only teach the students how to grow and tend to a variety of veggies and herbs but also how to prepare healthy seasonal dishes using their abundant harvests. She has cooked and baked in multiple cafes in Chicago, focusing mostly on vegan cuisine. She lives in Humboldt Park with her husband Chad, her tiny sous chef Solomon, her cat Paris Hilton, and a 145 lb mastiff named Tank.