New Staff 2018-19

Foundational Program Faculty 

Alexis Anderson

Alexis Anderson – Speech/Language Pathologist

Alexis joins District 28 from the North Suburban Special Education District, where she held a similar position for the past four years. She began her career in September 2012 working for Easter Seals. Alexis has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from University of Central Florida. Alexis’s knowledge and experience with assistive and augmentative communication and her commitment to meeting students’ communication needs make her a valuable asset to the D28 team.

 Chelsey Cohen

Chelsey Cohen – Primary Foundational Teacher, Westmoor

Chelsey has been a special education teacher in East Maine School District 63 for three years, where she worked with general education teachers to implement individualized educational plans for her students. She has a passion for students who are most impacted by their disabilities and maximizing their potential. She has a bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State University.
 Kate Gilman

Kate Gilman – Occupational Therapist

Since graduating in 2015 with a doctorate of occupational therapy from Belmont University in Nashville, Kate has worked in both schools and private practice. She comes to District 28 from Autism Therapy Services where she was the lead occupational therapist. Kate has experience supporting students with a variety of diagnoses. Her perspective and expertise will be useful as we continue to partner with the many private providers with whom our students currently work.
Anne Ingratta
 

Anne Ingratta – Occupational Therapist

Anne has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dominican University and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Rush University. She worked for a year in a clinic setting before joining North Suburban Special Education District in August of 2012. Over the past six years, Anne has worked with a variety of programs at NSSED, including the Educational and Life Skills classrooms and students in the Structured Academic Integrated Learning program. Anne has a commitment to working with parents to support student independence across environments.
Arianna Mazza 

Ariana Mazza – Physical Therapist

After graduating from Northwestern University with her doctorate in physical therapy, Ariana Mazza worked for one year at PAEC Special Education Cooperative in Maywood before joining the physical therapy staff at North Suburban Special Education District, where she has worked for the past three years, primarily in the Early Childhood and Educational and Life Skills programs. Ariana received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and education from the University of Illinois and is also a certified physical education teacher. A graduate of Glenbrook South High School, Ariana also coaches field hockey and basketball there. Ariana has a passion for school-based physical therapy work and enjoys the challenge of ensuring that all students can access their school environments with as much independence as possible.
Jennifer Moore 

Jennifer Moore – Speech/Language Pathologist

Jennifer joins District 28 after spending 12 years at North Suburban Special Education District, three of which were at Westmoor School teaching in the intermediate Educational and Life Skills classroom. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in communication science and disorders and has been working in NSSED’s ELS program ever since. Jennifer has a passion for working with students and families who are most impacted by their disabilities. Jennifer excels in her knowledge and implementation of assistive and augmentative communication, and she is constantly thinking about how to support student communication across the school day.
Jamie Slowinski 

Jamie Slowinski – School Psychologist

Jamie received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Jamie began her career as a school psychologist in the Antioch Public Schools, providing group and individual counseling for students, and completing case study evaluations. For the last five years, Jamie has worked as an intervention specialist in the Educational and Life Skills program at North Suburban Special Education District. Jamie has been a part of classroom teams at elementary, junior high, and high school levels, supporting students and families with a broad range of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional interventions.
Katie Comer 

Katie (Trier) Comer – Intermediate Foundational Teacher, Westmoor

Katie Trier returns to District 28 in the role of Westmoor intermediate (3-5) foundational teacher. Katie was the classroom teacher in the Westmoor intermediate North Suburban Special Education District Educational and Life Skills classroom for five years before moving to the Glenbrook North NSSED Life Skills classroom two years ago to gain experience with another grade level. Katie returns to District 28 with a new perspective on what she is preparing her students for as they move through elementary, junior high, high school and toward their adult lives. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University. Katie has a wealth of experience in creating connections for her students within the school environment and developing opportunities for them in the community.
Brooke Valentine 

Brooke Valentine – NBJH Foundational Teacher

After graduating with a teaching degree from Western Michigan University, Brooke accepted a position as a teaching assistant with North Suburban Special Education District in the Educational and Life Skills program. While working, she returned to school to earn her special education endorsement from National Louis University. She has been the teacher in the NSSED ELS classroom at Northbrook Junior High School since spring 2015. Brooke has a collaborative nature and thinks creatively to develop programs for students. Brooke looks for ways to facilitate friendships between her students and the peer mentors who join her class four periods a day.
Laura VanDien 

Laura VanDien – Foundational Teacher, Meadowbrook

Laura VanDien earned a bachelor’s degree at New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in special education from Loyola University Chicago. Laura has worked for ten years in the North Suburban Special Education District Life Skills classroom at Glenbrook North High School, teaching a number of District 28 graduates. Laura has proven herself a tireless and unflappable teacher, thinking creatively to provide a rich, individualized educational experience for students with a wide range of abilities. Laura celebrates the importance of developing relationships between general education students and her classroom, welcoming high school peer mentors into her classroom each period of the day and providing space and structure for meaningful friendships to develop.

Early Childhood Structured Language and Learning Classroom (SLLC)

Kelly Breen 

Kelly Breen, Early Childhood Speech/Language Pathologist

Kelly is passionate about autism spectrum disorders, augmentative communication and building functional communication systems for preschool age children. Kelly received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree in speech language pathology from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. She has worked as both a private provider and in the school setting for the past 11 years. For the past four years she has worked for North Suburban Special Education District in the early childhood program at Arbor Academy and Winnetka Extended Blended. In 2014 Kelly was named Autism Speaks Hero of the Year Chicago. As the Chair for Autism Speaks Young Professional Program and Services Committee, she oversaw the creation of quiet areas that were launched around Chicago to provide a safe place for children who were over stimulated. Kelly has enthusiasm and passion about working with students and supporting their growth throughout the year.

Molly Walsh 

Marjorie (Molly) Walsh, Early Childhood Teacher

Molly received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Colorado at Denver. Molly taught in Colorado for ten years before moving to Chicago. For the past five years Molly has worked for North Suburban Special Education District as an early childhood teacher at Greeley Elementary and Winnetka Covenant Church. Throughout her career Molly has assisted in training early childhood staff, developed systems to support the needs of students with autism, created and implemented English language development programs to support English learners and acted as a co-teacher with the speech language pathologist.

 

 District Staff

 Mary Berger  

Mary Berger will be the districtwide KidCare director in 2018-19. She is the current KidCare Coordinator at Westmoor school. Mary has had a wonderful first year as a coordinator overseeing the 50 students who attend the after-school program there. She has created strong relationships with parents, students and staff. Mary has her bachelor's degree from Elmhurst College and has experience working in preschool and camp settings.  We are very excited about her becoming the KidCare Director.

   

Westmoor School

 

 Danielle Rubel Danielle Rubel will be joining the Westmoor team as an Instructional Facilitator for the 2018-19 school year. Danielle joins District 28 from Norridge School District 80 where she worked as an Instructional Coordinator. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Augustana College, her teaching certificate from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts from Concordia University. She has a strong literacy background and also has experience implementing a new math program and supporting social studies curriculum.