BASE Camp Teachers 2021

Experienced and creative teachers make BASE Camp extra special for kids. We have a blend of beloved District 97 teachers and partnerships with expert community members who bring a passion for their subjects to every camp.


JumpstART, Carnival Game Maker, Mythical Magical Art, Pop Culture
Jocelyne Adkins is the Program Director and one of two Lead Educators for By Discovery, a K-5 after school enrichment program of the Beye and Lincoln PTO’s. Jocelyne founded Beye Discovery in 2011 to offer students creative, project-based learning in art and science. She loves working with children and is inspired by their enthusiasm, creativity and endless knowledge. Jocelyne holds a Master of Arts in Art Education degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. Prior to By Discovery, Jocelyne taught for 7 years at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Schaumburg and for 2 years at Bowen High School in Chicago. She loves spending time with family, exploring nature and creative endeavors. Jocelyne was thrilled to teach with OPEF’s BASE Camp last summer and looks forward to facilitating spectacular creative projects with BASE Camp students again this summer!
Experimentation Station, Tinker Time

Caroline Baker has taught kindergarten and first grade at Whittier Elementary School since 2007. She also taught first grade at Irving Elementary School in Oak Park before joining Whittier. Ms. Baker has lived in Oak Park for over 20 years. She and her husband, Seth Baker, also a District 97 teacher, have three children, two cats, and one dog. Caroline, a National Board Certified Teacher, has a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University. Mrs. Baker is looking forward to experiencing hands-on science every day during BASE Camp!
sethbakerSETH BAKER
Critter Science, LEGO Testers

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 5th-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.
Tinker Lab
Tyler Banks is a fifth grade teacher at Irving Elementary. This is fourth year of teaching and her first at Irving. She graduated from the University of Missouri and began my teaching career in Columbia Missouri. Her love for math and science was fostered at the University of Missouri but began years earlier while attending Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. She is excited to be joining the BASE Camp teaching team and to have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of enthusiastic campers. She can’t wait to grow and learn together!
Breaking It Down, Know It Grow It          Maya Odim’s work as an artist and extracurricular educator has been designed to meet people where they are, to investigate relationships between movement and poetry in performance and to normalize dance experience. Working in both Spanish and English, Maya purposefully directs productions, teaches classes, and collaborates in workshops and to mount performances in ‘non traditional’ performance spaces to both remind people of what they’ve known and to challenge the occidental framing of performance as it is known. Maya works in K-12 schools, with community based organizations, nonprofits and individuals to share and create space for poetry and dance. Maya holds a B.A. in American Studies from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) and lives and works in Chicago, traveling often.
CSI Oak Park, Speedometry, Speedometry Overdrive                                                      Adam Bautista is very excited to be working with the Oak Park Education Foundation’s BASE Camp Program for his first summer! This is his 11th year teaching grades ranging from second to fifth, but this is his first year in District 97. He teaches at Washington Irving, which is also the school he attended for most of his elementary school years as a child. His students would probably describe him as silly, but with high expectations! He spends a great deal of time trying to develop activities and lessons that are both educational and memorable–and will do his very  best to bring those same qualities to the BASE camps he’s teaching this summer.
Game Makers, Ozobots
Shehara Brinson is a new third grade teacher at Irving Elementary.
Storybook Engineering, Space Rangers                                                                         
Jennifer Buckley (formerly Las) is a kindergarten 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 nine 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.
Cardboard City, Science of Sweets, Out of the Box: Cardboard Engineering
Angie Cataldo holds a M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, and formerly taught English Literature in CPS and outside of Boston. Since moving to Oak Park in 2009, she has taught sewing through the Park District and privately. When she isn’t exploring with her three children, Angie enjoys reading, gardening and sewing fun things. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of textiles and kitchen science in BASE camp this summer!
Social worker
Monica Collins has been a Mann School social worker for 13 years.  Her primary role is to support the social and emotional growth of all students. She works with students, parents, teachers, community providers and the administration to ensure that all students have a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment. She lives in Oak Park.
Urban Biker 5-6 & 7-8
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 multidisciplinary, community-oriented, hands-on projects. He is also a lecturer with Michigan State University’s Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.
Crime Scene Science, Disease Hunters                                                                                Lary Grimaldi has been a teacher at Emerson Jr High/Brooks Middle School for more than 20 years. He has taught science at all grade levels as well as language arts for four years at the 8th grade level. He has been a product of Oak Park since his childhood, when he played hockey for the Oak Park Eagles. Lary also has coached the girls’ and boys’ volleyball programs at Emerson/Brooks since his arrival in 1998. He has an extensive background in the physical and biological sciences as well as a holding reading specialist degree. He currently teaches 6th grade science at Brooks Middle School. Lary also brings some neat background knowledge for these classes, as his mother was the first female detective in the City of Chicago. Lary is thrilled to make his first appearance at Base Camp this summer.
Composing on Canvas, Frisbee Physics, Song Engineers                                         
Christian Hauser is an adjunct music professor at Concordia University and an active composer.  He completed his Ph.D. in music education from the University of North Texas and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He also serves as the director of worship at Calvary Memorial Church.  He plays organ, piano and guitar; additionally, he conducts, arranges and composes music for each Sunday worship service. A former elementary music teacher, Chris Hauser loves every and any outdoor activity, especially platform tennis, ultimate frisbee and skiing.
ARTbotics, Mindstorms, Mindstorms Masters

Jim Hayward has been teaching in District 97 since 1999. During his career, he has taught students in 4th and 5th grades and is currently a 4th-grade teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School. He has participated in OPEF’s Science Alliance as a teacher partner for many years. He has earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education, as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership. He has also taught education courses at the graduate level and courses in web design at a local community college. He has two children and a wife, and lives in the far northwestern suburbs.
On-site administrator and teacher                                                                                         
Tye Johnson enters her 16th year of teaching, primarily in Oak Park and at Beye School. She currently teaches 4th grade at Mann School. She received a bachelors in studio art/graphic design from Michigan State University and worked as a graphic designer/marketing specialist. She holds a Master of Art in Elementary Education degree from DePaul University, as well as a Master of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology degree from Full Sail University. A world traveler, Tye spent the last couple of years in Dubai where she served as the Innovative Learning Coordinator for a progressive school. Tye is also an artist with an entrepreneurial spirit, and is committed to teaching her students to explore their creativity and to use their gifts to be social change agents. Her passion lies in empowering people to be who they were created to be and, to this end, she has dedicated her life to finding creative ways to spread love in order to touch and change lives.
Local Adventures on Wheels (biking) 5-6, 7-8                                                                   
Anton Miglietta grew up in the community of Uptown, Chicago from 1978 to today and attended Chicago Public Schools as a child. He received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University and completed his masters at Chicago State University. Anton taught in alternative schools for ten years, becoming the Social Justice Curriculum Coordinator at Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy and lead organizer of the annual citywide Social Justice Student Expos (2004-‘08). Returning to the classroom in 2016, Anton gained his National Board Certification while teaching at Instituto Justice Leadership Academy in Pilsen. He and his partner, Lindsay, raise two wonderful daughters together. Anton enjoys sports, recreation, nature, and experiencing new local activities.
Creative Chef                                                                                                                       
Cheryl Munoz is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse and one of the founders of the Sugar Beet Food Co-op.  Cheryl received the Golden Beet Award from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance for Community Food Development in 2015 and has twice been named to New City Chicago’s “Big Heat” list of Chicago’s “movers and shakers” in the Chicago food scene.Cheryl enjoys planning community events, learning about food culture and progressive education and LOVES sharing her passion with others.  Cheryl lives in Oak Park, IL with her little farmers, Cedar and Cora, and their critters.
Coding with Ozobots, Map Your World
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.
Textile Magic

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 1990s. 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.
Toy Inventors
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!
Art for Social Change                                                                                                           
Jenny Raia has been teaching art at Longfellow for many years. She loves giving her students opportunities to express themselves through the creative process. Though she studied painting and printmaking, Ms. Raia’s favorite art supplies are construction paper, cardboard, scissors and glue. She lives in Oak Park and learns a lot about new ways to make art from her own very creative kids, ages 11 and 13.
Who’s Outside                                                                                                                          Gina Lee Robbins has been creating objects and installations out of clay and found materials for 30 years. She’s led arts integration and enrichment programs in preschool, elementary and middle school classrooms, as well as adult cancer and wellness support centers in Chicago and throughout the Western Suburbs since 2010. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and is included in private and corporate collections worldwide.  Learn more about Gina at her website.
Building Administration, Extended Camp                                                                              Mo Santiago is the current teacher artist for OPEF’s Spoken Word program, which serves all middle schoolers in D97. “Miss Mo” works to provide young writers with the tools they need to start their own dialogues and express themselves in ways that shed light on who they are. If provided the chance, she’ll give you the rundown on how to ditch plastic and save the environment. She’s attended OPRF and now lives in Chicago, where she studies writing at Columbia College Chicago. In her free time she drinks coffee and travels to Ireland as often as possible.
Urban Biker 5-6, 7-8
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 and beyond. An active club rider, Peter enjoys sharing the joys of cycling with everyone.
Local Adventures on Wheels (Biking) 5-6, 7-8
Lindsay Smith is a mom of two wonderful daughters, a resident of Uptown in Chicago and has been a teacher in DIstrict 97 for 15 years. She has worked on the Equity Team, the district’s Diversity Committee and is currently the teacher representative on the Beye School PTO. Lindsay completed her undergraduate work at Ohio University, holds a masters in curriculum and instruction from University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her National Board certification in 2018. She loves reading, learning, cooking, all time spent in nature and biking adventures with her partner Anton and their two daughters.
International Art
Julia Stenger is a third grade teacher at Irving Elementary and currently in her second year of teaching. She is passionate, enthusiastic, and is inspired by her students. Julia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa. She loves spending time with her family and friends, exploring new places, and being creative. Julia is thrilled to join  OPEF Base Camp this year and provide a novel, artistic learning experience with students this summer. 
Sew Monsters and More
Georgina Swanson is a 3rd grade teacher at Whittier where she loves to work with kids on all kinds of creative and hands-on projects. She’s taught an after school sewing and crafting class for five years and she’s been delighted by the detail kids put into their work. Georgina’s been a sewer since she was in elementary school and currently spends her time on quilting projects. She looks forward to working with students to see the projects “come to life” as they move from pieces of fabric to lovable creations! She has BA in Sociology from Grinnell College and a MA in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Oak Park with her husband and she has three college-age daughters.
Theater of the Wild, Time Warp Tales
Second City-trained actress Rhona Taylor has been a teacher at Pilgrim Community Nursery School for over 20 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, After School Arts Program for District 97. Rhona also facilitates improv workshops at Maze Library and is a teaching artist with OPEF’s Art Start program. Rhona has recently received an Interdisciplinary Degree in Theater and Early Childhood Education at Columbia College.
REACH Sailing
Miranda Tucker teaches 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. 
3D Modeling with SketchUp, Lift Off Aeronautics                                                              Ryan VenHorst has been a Technology and Engineering Teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School since 2003. Along with teaching, Ryan has also coached wrestling at OPRF and has been participating with the OPEF BASE Camp since 2012. He has been working with youth from 5th grade on through seniors in high school for his entire career and enjoys bringing the high tech world to students in a way that makes connections with the exciting things in life they’re already familiar with. Ryan has a Bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s degree in Career and Technical Education from Concordia University-Portland. He is looking forward to making connections with the campers this summer and sparking some excitement in their world of curiosity and technology!
Pet Painting Pack                                                                                                            Kimberly Viviano brings exciting project-based learning in art and science to the classroom as an Art Appreciation Educator for District-97. She is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kimberly enjoys working with learners of all ages and shares the same adventure and excitement for the arts. Kimberly holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kendall College of Art-Ferris State University. She is an avid volleyball player and plein air painter. Kimberly looks forward to working with you on enriching creative projects this summer in OPEF’s Base Camp.
Minecraft Create, Minecraft Explore
Griffin Waterman grew up in Oak Park and is currently a teacher at Mann Elementary. He also spent four years as a teacher assistant at schools throughout District 97 and completed his student teaching at Irving Elementary. Before moving back to Oak Park this school year, he spent three years as a teacher in Waterloo, Wisconsin. He has master’s degrees in both American history (Loyola University Chicago, 2012) and elementary education (Dominican University, 2017). Since 2014, Griffin has worked for the OPEF at BASE Camp and as a VEX Robotics Coach. He is looking forward to working with BASE Camp again this summer.
LEGO Pre-Engineering, LEGO Stop Motion
Emile Williams teaches second grade at Irving Elementary School, where he has taught for 16 years. A BASE Camp teacher for the past four summers, Emile Williams grew up in Oak Park and attended Beye, Julian and OPRF before heading off to college and a teacher career. In his free time, he loves basketball and hip hip.
Coding for Kids, LEGO Architects, LEGO Designers
Ryan Winchell is a 2nd-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 graduated from Michigan State University (which is why he’s an avid Spartans and Detroit sports fan!). He has two sons in first and second grades 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!
Bead Happy, Breakthrough Beading, Totally Twisted
Tania Wilson is the Program Director and Lead instructor for Crafternoons, a Pre K-5 art and crafts program in River Forest.  In addition, Tania has been a Program Manager and Instructor for Giving Artfully Kids in Oak Park and Riverside school districts and the River Forest Community Center. Tania believes kids can make a difference through spreading kindness and helping others. Today Tania still offers specialized workshops through The Little Bits Workshop where she started in 2013.  Tania loves crafting but not nearly as much as she loves her husband of 27 years, two amazing daughters and lively German Shorthaired Pointer.
On-Site Administrator
Salome Yigzaw is a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. She has been teaching in Oak Park since 2009. Salome is very excited to be working at BASE Camp for her sixth summer and is looking forward to seeing the kids’ creations! In her free time, she likes to relax by watching movies and reading books.