Lab E-News

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

All Schools

  • Lab welcomes new faculty and staff, as well as employees in new roles


    New Teachers

    Thaddeus Andracki, Librarian, Middle School
    He served as a reviewer and outreach and communications coordinator at the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. While at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he worked as a graduate assistant in the library while earning his MS in library and information science.

    Allison Beaulieu, Art, Lower School
    Over the past nine years, she has taught at the elementary level at the Catherine Cook School, the Ancona School, and Dett Elementary School. She holds a BFA in art education from Adrian College and an MA in teacher leadership from Roosevelt University.

    Charles Campbell, French, High School
    He received his MA in French from Middlebury College where he studied abroad at the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris, France. His BA from Georgetown University is in Japanese language and culture. He is fluent in both French and Japanese.

    Erica Cheung, ’95, Math, Middle School
    She will be working to cover a maternity leave for one year. She has more than ten years experience teaching with the Chicago Board of Education. She helped author the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project Transition Mathematics textbook. She holds an MS degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA degree in teacher leadership from Roosevelt University.

    Christy Gerst, History, High School
    She holds a BA in history and political science from Washington University in St. Louis, a MSEd from Northwestern University, and a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law. Though she began her career as an attorney, she transitioned to teaching in 2007.

    Jessica Hanzlik, Math, Middle School
    She holds two Master’s degrees from University of Oxford in comparative social policy and particle physics as well as an MAT from Dominican University. She has been working at UNO Charter School network for the past three years and is a GMAT & GRE instructor at Manhattan Prep.

    Hsing-Huei Huang, Music, Lower School
    She has been working with Lab’s Music Department for several years as a piano accompanist and performer. Most recently, she has been working at Chicago High School for the Arts as a piano instructor. She holds a Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Benjamin Jaffe, Photography, High School
    He holds a BFA in film and art history and has held several art-related educational positions within the Chicago Public Schools. He began a statewide high school art exhibit called Illinois High School Art Exhibition, which has successfully awarded more than $5 million in scholarships.

    Simon Jarcho, Math, High School
    He holds a BA in economics from Colgate University and comes to Lab from Vermont Academy where he has been teaching for the past three years.

    Joseph Kerney, Fourth Grade, Lower School
    His previous experience as a case manager and counselor led him to a career with the Chicago Public Schools where he has taught since 2008. He holds a Master in elementary education from Roosevelt University.

    Erica Lee, First Grade, Primary School
    She comes to us from the Dalton School in New York City. In her six years of teaching experience she has taught in Beijing and New York. She earned a BA in art history from Oberlin College and an MS in early childhood education from Bank Street College of Education.

    Jean-Franklin Magrou, French/Spanish, High School
    He has several years of high school French and Spanish teaching experience, most recently with the School Town of Munster and Purdue University Calumet. He earned his BA in French literature from Indiana University and an MA from Ball State University in secondary education.

    Lauryn Marinho, 2nd Grade, Primary School
    She comes to us with eight years of teaching experience, most recently as a third grade teacher at Lafayette Elementary in California. She holds an MEd from the University of the Pacific.

    Sunny Neater-Dubow, Art, High School
    She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master in education from the American College of Education. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Follet Fellowship from Columbia College Chicago. She has more than ten years of teaching experience most recently as a visual arts teacher at North Lawndale College Prep High School.

    Leslie Pesis, Academic Specialist, Lower School
    She comes to Lab from Hyde Park Day School and holds a MEd as a reading specialist from DePaul University. Previously she spent three years at Lake Forest School District as a special education teacher.

    Zakary Ruelas, Third Grade, Lower School
    He has seven years experience teaching third grade at St. Malachy School in Chicago. He holds a MEd from Northwestern University.

    Micyelia Sanders, Science, Lower School
    She holds a MA in education from Dominican University as well as a middle school science endorsement from the University of Chicago. Her previous experience is with the Chicago Public Schools and the Museum of Science and Industry teacher-training program. She is also involved in a mentorship program for youth and girls.

    Jeremy Schwartz, Computer Science, Middle School
    He has 17 years teaching experience, most recently as the technology integration coordinator with the American School of Madrid. He holds a Master of Science in teaching from the University of Florida.

    Melissa Steger, Counselor, Lower School
    A licensed clinical social worker, her most recent experience includes heading the social work department at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. She holds a BS in sociology from Michigan State University and a MSW from University of Michigan.

    Daniel Wheadon, Computer Science, High School
    Having worked for Intel as a senior software engineer, he made his transition to teaching in 2009 while he pursued his Master of Education from University of Illinois.

    Jin Yin, Chinese, High School
    She holds an MS in education from Northwestern University. Most recently, she served as a long-term substitute teacher at Lab with the World Languages Department. She has experience teaching Mandarin in the Chicago Public School system and teaching English in Shanghai, China at the Senior High School of East China Normal University.

    Luke Zavala, Physical Education, Lower/Middle School
    Relatively new to teaching, he comes to us from Oak Park and River Forest High School where he began his teaching career in 2012. He holds a BA in physical education from Concordia University Chicago.

    New Assistant Teachers

    Marlease Busnell, NK with Carrie Collin
    She earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Chicago. She has previous experience as a childcare and tutoring professional and as a community liaison with the Rebuild Foundation. She is fluent in French and Spanish.

    Karen DeMaio, NK with Maureen Movrich
    She served as an intern with Lab’s Extended Day program and as a site director for the YMCA. She earned her BA in education from Trinity International University.

    Michael Eldridge, NK with Jenny Araujo
    He earned his MSEd in early childhood education from Southern Illinois University where he was a graduate assistant. Later, he worked as assistant director of Bright Horizons at the University of Chicago.

    Atiya Hamilton, NK with Lisa Harrison
    She began her career at Lab as an intern with the Extended Day program and has been head teacher in both first and preschool classrooms. She earned her BA in early childhood education from Western Michigan University and is currently pursuing a Master in educational leadership from DePaul.

    Tina Jeon, PS with Amy Landry
    Coming from New York, where she has begun her teaching career in early childhood education, she holds a BA from Rutgers and is expected to receive a MS in Teaching from Fordham University later this summer.

    Octavio Parral, N/K Assistant with Dave Kaleta

    He began his career with Lab as an Extended Day assistant and substitute teacher last year. He holds a BA in elementary education from Goshen College.

    Casey Kennedy, PS with Eli Johnson
    She is coming to us from Belmont Day School where she was an associate teacher as part of a collaborative Master’s degree program in early childhood education through Lesley University. Prior to beginning her teaching career, she worked as an in-school program coordinator with the North Chicago Community Partners.

    Melissa Scott, NK with Meredith Dodd
    She earned her MEd from University of Cincinnati where she was also an adjunct professor of education. She participated in Reggio Study Groups and headed up a workshop called Making Learning Visible. This project work was displayed at the Cincinnati Children’s museum.

    Skyla Wright, NK with Kristin Plaut-Smith
    She worked as an assistant teacher in Lab’s Extended Day program this past year. Her background includes teaching at The Music Station and as assistant band director in the Chicago area. She holds a BS in clinical psychology from St. Xavier University.

    New Staff

    Deb Foote, Secretary, Middle School
    Having worked in various administrative/clerical and long-term substitute teaching roles at the University of Chicago and the Laboratory Schools, she will be responsible for direct support of the Middle School Office. She holds an MA in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago.

    Dana Jordan, Admissions Assistant, Office of Admission and Financial Aid
    She has been pursuing a MS in communication from Northwestern University. Her previous experience includes public relations and event coordination with Eastern Illinois University and the YMCA.

    Brian Lipinski, Director, Finance
    Serving at the University since 2006, he has served as finance manager for Facilities Services where he was responsible for collaborative capital and operational budgeting processes as well as university-wide financial reporting and analysis for all capital projects, including Lab's renovation and expansion project.

    Kourtnee Palamore, Assistant Director, Extended Day
    She comes to us with several years of program management experience. Over the last four years, she has served as a program specialist with After School Matters. She holds a BA in accounting from Clark Atlanta University.

    Alexzandra Wallace, Manager, Special Projects and School Outreach
    She comes to Lab with a rich background in project management. Most recently, she worked for UChicago in the Office of the President as a planning coordinator. In that role, she played an integral part in helping new Lab Director Robin Appleby to transition into her role. She holds a BS in learning and organizational management from Northwestern University.

    Rachel Schullo, Library Assistant, Blaine Library
    She has been working with the University since 2008 at Regenstein Library. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from Bellevue University.

    Joe Wachowski, Facilities Specialist, Campus Services
    He comes to us with more than two decades of facilities management and operations coordination experience.

    Anthony Williams, Facilities Specialist, Campus Services
    Most recently, he has worked at UChicago as an event service worker, housekeeper, and material control coordinator. Prior to his University experience, he spent eight years providing warehouse management and maintenance support.

    Current employees moving to new roles

    Sandy Bixby, Interim Middle School Principal
    She has worked at Lab as a Middle School science teacher since 2007 and takes on the role of interim Middle School Principal for this academic year. She has 20 years prior teaching and administrative leadership experience at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.

    Lauren Collins, Acting Diversity Coordinator
    She takes on the role of Acting Diversity Coordinator for this school year. In addition to her current role as administrative manager of Earl Shapiro Hall, she will be responsible for implementing diversity initiatives across the Schools, co-chairing the Diversity Advisory Committee and continuing work on the school-wide diversity/multicultural assessment. She holds an EdM from Harvard University.

    Kellyn Gawel, Director, Human Resources
    Previously coordinator for human resources, in her new role she will be responsible for all of Lab's human resource functions including HR policies and procedures, employee relations, leave management, and compensation and recruitment planning.

    Scott Griffin, Associate Director Operations, Earl Shapiro Hall
    He will continue to manage all campus services operations at Earl Shapiro Hall and serve as a backup for services at Historic Campus.

    Arcelia Guerrero, Project Assistant III/Admissions Associate, Admissions
    Previously a project assistant I, she will take on some lead project assistant responsibilities in the Admissions Office.

    Andrea Martonffy, University Relations
    Though she retired from teaching in June, she will continue her work with the Summer Link program and coordinate programs for Lab students with the University and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

    Dawn Petrie, Payroll Supervisor
    Previously the Business Office cashier and secretary, she will take on payroll and other HR-related responsibilities in the Human Resources Office.

    Fountain Walker, Director, Operations
    He will continue to oversee the Schools' safety and security functions and emergency planning and preparedness. In addition, his oversight will expand to include leadership of Lab’s Campus Services function.

    Emma Wellman, ’02, Assistant Director, Extended Day
    She began her career with Lab as an intern in the Extended Day program and joined the Schools last year as an assistant teacher in Kindergarten. She also has served as director of Banana Mashers Daycare. She holds a MS degree in child development from Erickson Institute.

    Tony Wilson, Senior Associate Director Operations, Historic Campus
    He will be responsible for the Campus Service operations at the Historic Campus and take a more significant role in helping manage the Historic Campus renovation.

  • Director Robin Appleby shares thoughts for the start of school year

  • Learning@Lab wants your ideas for evening discussions


    Learning@Lab is a group for parents concerned about their kid's learning differences or social/emotional/medical issues and how they impact learning and success at school. This year we have suspended monthly morning meetings and hope to schedule evening meetings on focused topics. Please submit any ideas by email to Laura Lambert.

  • Lab families may join UChicago gyms at alumni rates


    As a member of the Lab community, the University encourages you (and your immediate family) to visit and consider becoming a member of the recreational facilities conveniently located on campus.

    The recreational facilities include the 150,000 square foot Ratner Athletics Center, the Henry Crown Field House, and the Stagg Field outdoor complex. Each facility provides unique opportunities to maximize your fitness routine.

    Read information specifically for Lab families here or contact Bob Petrowski, UChicago athletic facilities manager, membership services, 773-702-3846.

  • Join the Comer Children’s Hospital RBC Race for the Kids, October 5


    The UChicago Medicine event includes exciting runs for all ages:

    1. 5K Run/Walk—Open to all ages and all levels of physical fitness, the 5K begins on the Quad.
    2. Kids’ Dash—The Dash is a 200-yard race on the Quad and is recommended for children six and under.
    3. Kids’ Mile—In its second year, the Kids’ Mile is a one-mile, chip-timed run recommended for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. More than 200 children participated in last year.

    Events take place on the University of Chicago’s Main Quadrangle.

    Please join us in making a difference in the lives of children who receive care at the forefront of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. Contributions from the Comer RBC Race for the Kids fund research by some of the most talented physicians in the country, allowing us to provide the best possible care for our youngest patients. In 2013, more than 1,700 participants helped raise over $310,000 for Comer Children's Hospital.

    Register your whole family today!

  • Principals Sylvie Anglin and Carla Young contribute to book, Our Baby’s First Seven Years


    First published in 1928, Our Baby’s First Seven Years has sold more than eight million copies. The text was compiled with input from a team of medical professionals at the University of Chicago (including some Lab parents) and with help from Lab Principals Sylivie Anglin and Carla Young, who contributed to the sections entitled “Our Child's Second Through Seventh Years” and “Our Child's Education.”

    Published by the nonprofit UChicago Lying-in Hospital Board of Directors, proceeds support education, research, and patient care that benefit women's and infants' health.

    The 13” x 10”, 108-page linen book, available on Amazon, and features:

    • Pages for seven years of records
    • Updated medical and developmental information
    • A section for vital medical records
    • Checklists and charts
    • Post-binding allowing the addition or removal of pages
    • One-of-a-kind illustrations
    • Blank pages for photos, drawings, and memorabilia
    • A keepsake storage box

High School

  • Attendance policy updates clarify guidelines


    Included in this year’s handbook (given to your child at school and online here) on pages 51–56 is a re-articulation of U-High’s attendance policy. The most notable change is that the policy no longer expresses what is deemed a troubling or excessive number of absences in terms of percentages but rather the specific number of days those previous percentages represented.

    For example, at the extreme, “excessive,” end of the spectrum would be a child missing eight classes in one quarter. (To put this in context, that would essentially mean a student missing a full two weeks of class during what is only 10-week quarter in the winter and spring, alone.)

    This clarification was recommended by a faculty committee convened to review the attendance policy. They examined a year’s worth of attendance records to confirm that the policy works as intended: to address egregious (often discipline-related) instances of a child missing school. Additionally, the dean’s office will be in contact earlier with a student and his/her parents should absences and tardies increase. And remember, the goal of Lab policies is always to support the very mission of our school.

    Lab is a place where the individual is of prime importance. Should your family or student circumstances require more discussion, never hesitate to contact Dean of Students Ana Campos, 773-834-8084.

  • Registration for UChicago classes: deadline September 29


    Students interested in taking a class at the University of Chicago must meet with Mr. Fech during open time on Tuesday, September 16 in UH103. All completed fall course registration forms, including the necessary signatures, are due by September 29.

  • Principal Chat, Tuesday, October 7, 8 a.m and 6:30 p.m.


    High School Principal Scott Fech invites you to his first Principal Chat for the 2014–2015 school year. To accommodate as many parents as possible, the October chat will offer an opportunity to attend a morning or evening session. The room will be announced in a future Enews.

  • Sophomore Retreat, Wednesday to Friday, September 17–19


    Sophomores will attend morning classes then will board busses in front of Blaine Hall in time for the 1 p.m. departure. Students will travel to Perlstein Resort in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, and return to U-High on Friday by 5 p.m. Sophomores will spend these days doing community service, bonding as a class, and having fun. If you have questions about the trip, please contact Ana Campos.

  • College Counseling Senior Parent’s Info Night, September 16, 6–8:30 p.m., UH103–104


    As seniors begins to work their way through the college application process, our college counselors are hosting an information night for parents of seniors. During this program, counselors will discuss several components of the application process such as how students finalize their college list, meetings with college representatives at Lab, and the process through which your child will actually hit the “submit” button on their applications. Our goal is to provide clearer insight and to answer your questions as we embark on this college application journey together.

    RSVP to Jeannie Grbavac, 773-702-9445 by Monday, September 15 if you are able to attend the program.

    Due to space limitations, please consider having only one parent/guardian for each child attend. Students do not need to attend this program, as the information shared will be discussed during senior advisory within the school day.

Middle School

  • Volunteers needed—advisory social coordinator


    Help to build community at Lab: Volunteer to be the parent advisory social coordinator for your student’s advisory. The responsibility of the coordinator is to plan a fall gathering for your advisory (about a dozen families) to help parents get to know each other better. Sign up now!

  • Parent Night, Thursday, September 11; Dinner, 5 p.m., class visits, 6–8:15 p.m.


    Meet with Middle School Interim Principal Sandra Bixby and hear from teachers as you track your child's schedule. The Parents' Association will provide dinner beginning at 5 p.m. in the cafeteria. Student schedules will be distributed and classroom visits start at 6 p.m.

  • Picture Day, Monday, September 22. Volunteers needed


    Picture retakes will take place on Wednesday, October 29. A portion of the proceeds from Picture Day orders benefits the Parents’ Association. Contact Ann Grissom or Alejandra Linquist with questions or to volunteer.

Lower School

  • Welcome back to Banana Splits


    The department of Learning & Counseling Services is again offering groups during the school day for children whose parents are not living together. Using games, activities, and friendship, these groups offer a warm and supportive environment in which children can discuss their experiences and concerns. Groups will be resuming in the next few weeks for children in grades 3–5. If you are interested in having your child participate in a Banana Splits group or would like more information, please e-mail your child’s counselor (Cathy Gruber, grades 4 & 5, and Melissa Steger, grade 3)

  • What to do if your child is not going to be at school


    If your child is not going to be at school for all or part of the school day, please notify the Lower School office (773-702-9448). If your child is going to be late, please call the office by 8:20 a.m. When they arrive at school, they should pick up a late slip from the office, Blaine S108, to bring to their teacher.

  • New ramp entrance for Blaine Hall


    As part of the renovation of Blaine Hall, ramps have been added to the west side of the main entrance of Blaine and at the east and west sides of the courtyard.

  • Room Parent info meeting, September 12, 9–10 a.m., ESH Lobby


    Room Parents are a vital link between parents, teachers, and the Parents’ Association. Come learn more about volunteering as a Room Parent in your child's classroom. Contact Tara Marsh with any questions.

  • Parent Night, September 17; light dinner, 5:45 p.m., classrooms open 6:15 p.m.


    Parent Night is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your child’s school experience. Homeroom and Special Area teachers will share their curriculum with parents. The Lower School council provides light dinner fare and refreshments beginning at 5:45 p.m. Classrooms open at 6:15 p.m. and formal programs begin at 6:30 p.m.

  • Volunteers needed for LS Picture Day, Monday, September 22


    Parent volunteers are needed to help in multiple capacities with Picture Day at Blaine. Contact Ann Grissom or Alejandra Linquist with questions or to volunteer.

  • 2014-2015 Lower School Handbook online


    Review the Handbook here or access it via the Lower School pages of Lab’s website.

N/K & Primary Schools

  • ESH carline: volunteers needed


    Help our littlest ones get to their new classrooms! Please consider spending a morning helping the principals, staff, and council members at ESH greet and walk children into the building. Sign up now!

  • Room Parent Info Meeting, September 12, 9–10 a.m., ESH Lobby


    Room parents are a vital link between parents, teachers, and the Parents’ Association. Come to this informational meeting to learn more about being a room parent in your child's classroom! Contact Brittany Chang with any questions.

  • Kindergarten Parent Night, September 16, 5:30–7:30 p.m., ESH Lobby


    Light refreshments will be provided by the Parents’ Association beginning at 5:30 p.m. Principal Carla Young will deliver a welcome at 6:05 and classroom presentations will begin at 6:15 p.m. This is a parent-only event.

  • Primary School Parent Night, September 18, 5:30–7:30 p.m., ESH Lobby


    Light refreshments will be provided by the Parents’ Association beginning at 5:30 p.m. Principal Susan Devetski will deliver a welcome at 6:05 and classroom presentations will begin at 6:15 p.m. This is a parent-only event.

  • ESH School Pass stickers


    School Pass stickers are available to families in the Primary School office, ESH201. Please see Carolyn Martin, PS Secretary, with any questions.


Issue: Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Upcoming Events

Thu. 09/11

MS Parent Night

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Fri. 09/12

Room Parent Volunteer Meeting

Earl Shapiro Hall 9:00am - 10:00am
Tue. 09/16

Kindergarten Parent Night

Earl Shapiro Hall Main Lobby 5:30am - 7:30pm

Senior Parent: College Information Program

6:00pm - 8:00pm
Wed. 09/17

Sophomore Retreat

Perlstein Resort, Lake Delton, Wisconsin 12:15pm - 4:00pm Thru 9/19/2014

LS Parent Night

Blaine classrooms 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Thu. 09/25

Family Flu Vaccine Clinic at Lab

2:00pm - 6:00pm
Thu. 10/02

Family Flu Vaccine Clinic at Lab

2:00pm - 6:00pm
Tue. 10/07

HS Principal Chat

TBA 8:00am - 9:00am

HS Principal Chat

TBA 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Thu. 10/16

Family Flu Vaccine Clinic at Lab

2:00pm - 6:00pm