Spring Open House is Sunday, March 3rd

Faculty and Staff

Faculty

Ms. Annie Ang

B.A. De La Salle University

M.A. University of the Philippines

M.Ed DePaul University

Theology
Email Me

Mrs. Ally Benatuil

B.A. Dartmouth College

J.D. Duquesne University School of Law

English/History
Email Me

Dr. Jolene Birmingham

B.S. Marquette University

M.S. Johns Hopkins University

Ph.D Harvard University

Math
Email Me

Mrs. Nancy Brinckerhoff

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.S. National Louis University

M.S. Northern Illinois University

Director of College Counseling
Email Me

Mrs. Eileen Budde

B.S. Cornell University

M.Ed Rutgers University

Math
Email Me

Ms. Rhiannon Cassata '19

B.A. Dominican University

Art/PE
Email Me

Mrs. Theresa Cataniag

B.A. St. Mary’s College Kansas

B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago

M.A. University of Illinois at Chicago

English
Email Me

Ms. Cari Cotts

B.A. St. Olaf College

M.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Spanish
Email Me

Ms. Monika Culjak '16

B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Math/Theology
Email Me

Ms. Kate Cusack

B.A. The University of Dallas

M.A. The Catholic University of America

Theology/History
Email Me

Mrs. Cammy Czarnik '03

B.A. Marquette University

M.Ed National Louis University

History
Email Me

Ms. Briana Daley

B.A. Trinity College (CT)

M.A.T. Concordia University Chicago

English
Email Me

Ms. Maida Fernandez

B.A. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

M.A. Cardinal Stritch University

Science
Email Me

Ms. Patricia Filley

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A. Northeastern Illinois University

History/English
Email Me

Mrs. Nicole Hortness

B.S. Bradley University

M.A.T. North Park University

Science
Email Me

Mrs. Suzanne James

B.A. Albion College

M.A. Northwestern University

Theology
Email Me

Dr. Ann Marie Klein

B.A. Boston College

M.A. University of Helsinki

M.A., Ph.D. University of Dallas

English
Email Me

Ms. Suzy Lopez

B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago

French
Email Me

Ms. Jodi Marver

B.A. Knox College

M.S. West Virginia University

Physical Education
Email Me

Ms. Shelly Maxheimer

B.A. Illinois State University

B.A. Western Governors University

Math/Science
Email Me

Mrs. Anne Mclure

B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A. University of St Thomas-Houston (in progress)

English
Email Me

Mrs. Michele Morris

B.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago-Museum Campus

M.Ed. Columbia College

Art
Email Me

Mrs. Marianne Potter

B.S.N. Biola University

Theology
Email Me

Mrs. Phyllis Rogg

B.S. Purdue University

Science/Math
Email Me

Mrs. Molly Valdez '08

B.A. University of Navarre

Spanish
Email Me

Mrs. Claudia Vining

B.A. Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdi

M.A. Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart

Music
Email Me

Ms. Amy Walsh '92

B.S. De Paul University

M.Ed Concordia University

History
Email Me

Staff

Fr. Pete Arriagada

Chaplain

Email Me

Ms. Carina Greico

B.A., B.S. Loyola University Chicago

Front Office Manager
Email Me

Ms. Therese Chin Lee

A.AS Lexington College

B.S. Roosevelt University

M.S. Boston College

Director of Operations & Events
Email Me

Mrs. Laura Hernandez

Registrar
Email Me

Mrs. Sara Danielewicz

B.S. University of Arizona

Admissions Director
Email Me

Ms. Beth Dolack

B.B.A. Loyola University

M.Ed. Erikson Institute

M.Ed. Loyola University

Ph.D. (anticipated)

Executive Director
Email Me

Ms. Angela Fortunato

B.A. Northeastern University
M.A. University of Pittsburgh
MPH University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Head of School
Email Me

Ms. Alicia Garcia

Business & Development Coordinator
Email Me

Mr. Alberto Lagunas

Assistant Facilities Manager
Email Me

Mr. Mark Madison

Facilities Manager
Email Me

Mr. John McNally

B.B.A. University of Notre Dame

JD, LLM The John Marshall Law School

Chief Financial Officer
Email Me

Mrs. Maureen McNally

B.S. Marquette University

M.M.F. Kellogg School, Northwestern University

General Manager
Email Me

Mrs. Rachel Meiner

B.S. North Park University

M.S. Ohio University

Athletic Director
Email Me

Ms. Taylor Meyer

B.S. Loras College

Athletic Trainer & Operations Coordinator
Email Me

Mrs. Lucia Pardilla

B.A. University of Dallas

M.A. Roosevelt University

International Program Coordinator
Email Me

Mrs. Betsy Rodriguez '95

B.A. Loyola University Chicago

J.D. Ave Maria School of Law

Interim Director of Advancement
Email Me

Mrs. Katie Stangel '87

B.A. Loyola University Chicago

 

Dean of Parents & Students 
Email Me

Dr. Jaime Vasquez '97

B.A. Lake Forest College

M.Ed. University of Illinois at Chicago

Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago

Head of School
Email Me

Ms. Lin Versino

B.A. Illinois State University

Chapel Coordinator
Email Me

Dan Rogers

Marketing Mastermind

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Ms. Annie Ang

Chapel Coordinator, Theology

B.A. De La Salle University, East Asian Studies
M.A. University of the Philippines, Teaching Reading
M.Ed DePaul University, Curriculum and Instruction

Email: ang@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Ang enjoys studying events, political and philosophical thoughts relate them to history and current times. She likes the Socratic method of teaching and learning. She loves adventures!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Theology 6, 2 Literature 7, Senior Capstone, Reading Enrichment

Mrs. Ally Benatuil

English/History

B.A. Dartmouth College, English
J.D. Duquesne University School of Law

Email: benatuil@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Bentauil has practiced both criminal and civil law, including trial work. She is married and blessed with two young children.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: History 10, English 9, High School Skills, Enrichment Mini Course

Dr. Jolene Birmingham

Math Department Head

B.S. Marquette University, Math and Computer Science with a minor in Statistics
M.S. Johns Hopkins University, Biostatistics
Ph.D. Harvard University, Biostatistics

 Email: birmingham@willowsacademy.org

Dr. Birmingham’s great interest in medical research is a great interest has led her to participate in several publications in medical and statistical journals. She enjoys communicating her passion for research to the students, especially in the AP Statistics course. She has eight children (six sons and two daughters), one fabulous husband, and a Goldendoodle. She is a huge hockey fan. Go Bruins!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: AP Computer Science, AP Statistics, 9th/10th grade Algebra II

Mrs. Nancy Brinckerhoff

Director of College Counseling

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Education with a Concentration in Special Education
M.S. National Louis University, Special Education Learning Disabilities & Emotional Disorders
M.S. Northern Illinois University, Educational Leadership and Administration

 Email: brinckerhoff@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Brinckerhoff believes in the importance of understanding the social and emotional development of teenagers and young adults. Her extensive study of emotional development and the teenage brain enables her to guide our girls with not only the college admissions process but also the expectations about what happens after the Willows. 

As a former Willows parent, she understands the road parents are currently traveling on, and feel her personal experiences can help families gain some perspective. She hopes to assure parents that while it can be a little scary raising teenagers, the future is bright!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: College counseling, Enrichment mini course

Mrs. Eileen Budde

Math

B.S. Cornell University, Engineering
M.Ed Rutgers University, Math Education

 Email: budde@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Budde worked in banking after college for 5 years and since then has taught math from 7th grade through AP Calculus at many independent and public schools. She also trained to teach yoga and loves learning languages.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: AP Calculus AB, Pre-Calculus, 7th/8th grade Algebra 1, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Rhiannon Cassata '19

Art/PE

B.A. Dominican University, Fashion and Design

Email: cassata@willowsacademy.org

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Art 7, Art 8, PE 6, PE8, Science & Art 6, Art 9, Enrichment mini course

Mrs. Theresa Cataniag

English

B.A. St. Mary’s College Kansas, Liberal Arts
B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago, History
M.A. University of Illinois at Chicago, Educational Leadership

Email: cataniag@willowsacademy.org

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: English 10, Language Arts 7, Intro Latin, Reading Enrichment

Ms. Cari Cotts

Spanish

B.A. St. Olaf College, Latin American Studies
M.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Spanish Literatures and Cultures

Email: cotts@willowsacademy.org

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Spanish I-IV, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Monika Culjak '16

Math/Theology

B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Middle Grades Education with a Concentration in Mathematics

Email: culjak@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Culjak is an alumna of the Willows Class of 2016. Willows was where she discovered her passion for math and helping others understand it. After attending the University of Illinois to follow that dream, she wanted to come right back to where it all started! She is proud to be 100% Croatian and even has a dual citizenship!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 6th Math Foundations, Theology 8, W period

Ms. Kate Cusack

Director of MS Student Life, Theology/History

B.A. The University of Dallas, English
M.A. The Catholic University of America, English

Email: cusack@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Cusack has taught a variety of middle school classes at Willows and at our sister school Montrose in Boston. Over the years, she has furthered her education in her subject areas through classes, travel, presentations, and reading. 

Ms. Cusack loves reading, singing, and traveling. A few highlights of her travel have been seeing and receiving the blessings of Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict, and Pope St. John Paul II; getting to visit the Holy Land; singing medieval and Renaissance polyphonic music in the great European cathedrals with her college choir; visiting the spot where the Nile emerges from Lake Victoria; and enjoying the beauty and history of many European countries.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 6th Geography, 7th Theology, W-Period Lead

Mrs. Cammy Czarnik '03

History

B.A Marquette University, Secondary Education and History
M.Ed. National Louis University, Curriculum and Instruction
Type 75 Certification and Education Leadership Endorsement, North Park University

Email: czarnik@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Czarnik has a passion for learning and a love for History! Her love for history began at Willows in Mrs. Melody’s European History classroom. She is honored to now be teaching the course that was her favorite while attending Willows back in the day. As a history teacher, Mrs. Czarnik wants her students to find their voice to form and argue a well supported opinion. She is grateful that her own Willows experience prepared her to do just that and she is inspired every day that she can do the same for her own students.

Mrs. Czarnik is the youngest of five children, all of whom attended Willows and Northridge. Her mom (Barb Sunko) served as a past head of school and her dad not not only led the Fathers Club and annual Family Picnic but also served on the board for many years. She married her Northridge high school sweetheart, Josh Czarnik.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 12th History and AP History

Ms. Briana Daley

English

B.A. Trinity College (CT), English and Educational Studies
M.A.T. Concordia University Chicago, Secondary Education with a Concentration in English

Email: daley@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Daley began her teaching career at the Willows Academy in 2021. She enjoys mentoring young women and sharing her passion for literature and composition with her students! She also coaches track and cross country at the Willows.

Ms. Daley is the oldest of seven and is an avid runner. 

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 8th and 11th Honors & Accelerated English, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Maida Fernandez

Dean of Student Life, Science

B.A. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Biological Sciences
M.A.T. Cardinal Stritch University, Secondary Education

Email: fernandez@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Fernandez has a Masters of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Biology from Cardinal Stritch University. She loves nature and learning more about it each day together with her students.

She began at Willows as student teacher in the Fall of 2012 and has not left Willows since then! She loves the close-knit, family-like community. Ms. Fernandez enjoys working in an all-girls environment. It feels like home for her especially as the oldest of 8 girls in her own family.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 9th Biology, 12th Anatomy, Reading Enrichment

Mrs. Patricia Filley

English/History

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Home Economics Education
M.A.T. Northeastern Illinois University, Teaching of Language Arts

Email: filley@willowsacademy.org

Along with her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Mrs. Filley has teaching license endorsements for Social Science 5-8 and General Science 6-12. 

Mrs. Filley is married and has three daughters. Her favorite travel spots are historical sites and sunny beaches. In her free time, she loves to swim laps and solve crossword puzzles.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: History 7, History 8, Language Arts 6, Reading Enrichment

Mrs. Nicole Hortness

Science

B.S. Bradley University, Civil Engineering
M.A.T. North Park University

Email: hortness@willowsacademy.org

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Physics 11, Bridge Algebra, PreCalculus 12, 11th grade Alg II, Reading Enrichment

Mrs. Suzanne James

Theology Dept Head, Theology/Philosophy

B.A. Albion College, Economics and Music
M.A. Northwestern University, Economics

Email: james@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. James taught economics and mathematics while a graduate student, became an actuary after graduate school, and later found her true calling in philosophy and theology. 

She and her husband have six children, including two Willows graduates. Mrs. James enjoys cooking, Cross-Fit, and all things Shakespeare.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 10th Theology, HS Philosophy, Enrichment Mini Course

Dr. Ann Marie Klein

English Dept Head, English/Theology

B.A. Boston College (junior year at Manchester College, Oxford), Secondary Education and English
M.A. University of Helsinki, English Philology and Literature
M.A. University of Dallas, English
Ph.D. University of Dallas, Literature (IPS: Institute of Philosophical Studies, UD)

Email: klein@willowsacademy.org

Dr. Klein has published articles on literature (including St. Thomas More’s Utopia, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry, and George Eliot’s Romola) and is currently working on a book on Hopkins. She helped to found a bilingual high school in Finland that prepared and continues to prepare graduates to study at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as at other universities in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the US. Before coming to Willows, she was a visiting professor for four years at the University of St. Thomas, MN. 

Dr. Klein did Irish dancing during elementary school, a joy which she has passed on in our Enrichment classes!  She has also been spreading her passion for Shakespeare through monologue competitions. Dr. Klein also speaks Spanish and Finnish.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 9th Theology, 12th Honors and AP English, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Jodi Marver

Physical Education

B.A. Knox College, Elementary Education
M.S. West Virginia University, Physical Education Teacher Education
American College of Education, Endorsement in English as a Second Language

Email: jdmarver@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Marver is the Physical Education teacher as well as the Head Varsity Girls Basketball coach. She has a passion for teaching girls how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

She grew up in Northbrook where her parents still live. Her brother lives right outside of St. Louis. Ms. Marver’s family are the biggest Willows basketball fans and never miss a game!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 6th/7th/8th grade PE, Sport Fit Elective, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Shelly Maxheimer

Math/Science

B.A. Illinois State University, Community Health Education
B.A. Western Governors University, Educational Studies with a Concentration in Secondary Biological Sciences

Email: maxheimer@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Maxheimer loves teaching students about women who have shaped the field in math and science, such as Marie Curie and Beatrix Potter.

She loves all things nature and land conservation. She also enjoys hiking in the woods with her family and being in the garden.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Science 8, 8th/9th/10th Geometry, Pre-Algebra 7, Reading Enrichment

Mrs. Anne McClure

English

B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, English with minors in French and Secondary Education
M.A. University of St Thomas-Houston, Faith & Culture (in progress)

 Email: benatuil@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. McClure has worked in the education field since 2005. She taught 10th and 11th grade Writing & Humanities at a Chicago charter school and then worked as a homeschooling parent, ACT tutor, curriculum editor, and education consultant. She is a Registered Instructor with the Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Mrs. McClure and her husband Matt have 5 children. She loves reading and hiking.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 6th English Literature & Language Arts, IEW Consultant

Mrs. Michele Morris

Fine Arts/PE Dept Head, Art

B.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago-Museum Campus, Computer Animation and Architecture
M.Ed, Columbia College

Email: morris@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Morris fosters creative expression in her students, instills art appreciation, and encourages them to find their own personal aesthetic. She plans and prepares lessons with initiative, inventiveness, and flexibility.

Mrs. Morris is also part of a private school art teacher group that shares lessons and any ideas associated with an art classroom. This group came about four years ago thanks to Willows sponsoring her attendance at a continuing education art educator workshop.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: All HS Art and electives, Enrichment Mini Course

Mrs. Marianne Potter

Theology & Parent Formation

B.S. Biola University, Nursing

Email: potter@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Potter worked in both pediatric and geriatric nursing before she became a mom. More recently, she completed a two year course of study in philosophy and theology offered through Opus Dei. Sharing what she learned in those classes with young moms in a variety of situations has been a big part of her life for the past several years. Now, she is also sharing that with the girls at Willows.

Mrs. Potter is an adult convert to Catholicism, coming into the Catholic Church in 2001 along with her husband and the three children they had at that time. They now have nine kids, and all but the youngest (who is still too young) have either graduated from or are currently students at Northridge Preparatory School or Willows Academy.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Theology 11, Enrichment Mini Course

Mrs. Phyllis Rogg

Science/Math

B.S. Purdue University, Chemistry ACS approved

Email: rogg@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Rogg has taught Science and Math at every level – from elementary to university. She has taught at a large state university, small private k-12 schools, as well as home school. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry and pursued two years towards a masters in chemistry while also completing state certification in secondary chemistry and math education. Teaching and learning is a passion for her, especially helping young women explore the natural world and develop their God -given talents.

Mrs. Rogg and her husband have been blessed with five beautiful children here with them and four already in heaven. They also enjoy their wonderful son-in-law and four lively grandbabies. Mrs. Rogg enjoys walks in the woods, a good coffee and, best of all, time with family.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Chemistry 10, AP Chemistry, 9th Algebra I, Enrichment Mini Course

Mrs. Molly Valdez '08

World Langauge Dept Head, Spanish

B.A. University of Navarre, Humanities

Email: valdez@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Valdez attended La Universidad de Navarra to learn Spanish and earn her degree. She has spent time in both Spain and Peru teaching English and literature. 

Mrs. Valdez is a proud Willows alum!

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Spanish II-IV, AP Spanish

Mrs. Claudia Vining

Music

Performance Degree in Voice/Music with teaching certificate, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdi in Leipzig, Germany
Master in Voice Performance, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart

Email: vining@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Vining would like to share her love of music with the Willows community. It is through her intensive musical background, especially in vocal performance and leading choirs, that she feels confident to bring beauty and creativity into the girls’ daily schedule.

Mrs. Vining grew up and studied in Germany. She is a third generation Music Teacher in her family. She and her husband have four children: two in college and two currently at Willows and Northridge. 

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 6th, 7th, and 8th General Music, High School Choir, Enrichment Mini Course

Ms. Amy Walsh '92

History Dept Head

B.S. De Paul University, Education with a concentration in History
M.Ed. Concordia University, Curriculum and Instruction with a Social Studies Concentration

Email: walsh@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Walsh graduated from Willows in 1992 and is the mother of two current Willows student.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: 9th History, 11th History with AP

Fr. Pete Arriagada

Chaplain

L.L.B. (Bachelor of Laws), Universidad Católica de Chile
S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology), Pontificia Università della Santa Croce
J.D., Pontificia Università della Santa Croce

Email: arriagada@willowsacademy.org

Fr. Pete has been chaplain to several schools around the world. He is originally from Santiago, Chile, but has lived in several countries around the world (El Salvador, Italy, Spain, France and Texas, U.S.A.).

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Theology 12 and chapel period

Ms. Carina Greico

Front Office Manager

B.A. Loyola University Chicago, Theology
B.S. Loyola University Chicago, Psychology

Email: greico@willowsacademy.org

A few of Ms. Greico’s favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, using watercolors, chasing sunsets, and hanging out with Jesus in Adoration. She is very much looking forward to her wedding in the summer of 2024!

Ms. Therese Chin Lee

Director of Operations & Events

A.AS Lexington College, Hospitality Management
B.S. Roosevelt University, Hospitality Management, Special Events
M.S. Boston College, Leadership & Administration, with a specialty in Executive Leadership

Email: chinlee@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Chin Lee has worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade with a constant passion for serving others. She grew up in Trinidad &Tobago where she learned to appreciate the small joys in life. These lessons were taught to her by her family, and they are the main reason for her love of service.

Mrs. Laura Hernandez

Registrar

Mrs. Sara Danielewicz

Admissions Director

B.A. University of Arizona, Political Science

Email: danielewicz@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Danielewicz’s background is in sports marketing. She first came to Willows as a Cross Country coach and fell in love the families, students and faculty. She enjoys the sense of community that is committed to helping young women be their best.

Her and her husband Michael have three fabulous children, Lucas (21), Allie (19) and Tatum (16). They are a very active family and enjoy traveling and spending time together outdoors!

Ms. Beth Dolack

Executive Director

B.B.A. Loyola University, Finance
M.Ed. Erikson Institute, Child Development
M.Ed. Loyola University, Special Education
Certification in School Administration (anticipated)
Ph.D. Catholic Global Leadership (anticipated)

Email: dolack@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Dolack’s first job out of college was an accountant for Tribune Broadcasting. She felt a desire to serve children and pursued graduate degrees in Education, taught at several Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and served on several Boards of Directors. She was asked by Monsignor Boland to join Catholic Charities to manage the Child Development programs and grew locations from 12 to 20.

She became the principal of St. Mary of the Angels School in 2009, when the school was earmarked to close. Under her tenure, the school has grown over 200% and has received awards in Character Development, Catholic Identity and is currently rated one of the best private schools in Chicago.

Ms. Dolack is a third generation Chicagoan who grew up in the northern suburbs. She has a profound love and zeal for Catholic education! As a graduate of all Catholic schools and universities, Ms Dolack understands firsthand the importance of authentic Catholic education. She believes she has been called to serve by fusing together her degrees, strong work ethic, and love of the Catholic Church and her teachings. 

Ms. Angela Fortunato

Assistant Head of School, Science Dept Head

B.A. Northeastern University, Biology with Minor in the History and Philosophy of Science
M.A. University of Pittsburgh, Bioethics
M.P.H. University of Pittsburgh, Public Health with a certification in Aging
Professional Year Certification in Science Education, University of Pittsburgh

Email: fortunato@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Fortunato is excited to pursue a second profession in education administration and science education after having worked in geriatric health care research. Her professional background has focused on the pedagogy of: STEM, bioethics, human life issues, and on living well through chronic and terminal illness.

Ms. Fortunato moved to Willows in 2021 after a 12-year stint at its sister school in the DC area, called Oakcrest School. There, she taught science during a key time of transition to a new campus and of mission-guided growth.

2023-24 Teaching Assignment: Science and Arts 6, Science 7

Ms. Alicia Garcia

Business & Development Coordinator

Email: garcia@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Garcia has over 15 years experience as an administrative professional with a strong knowledge in the inner workings of the Willows Academy. She loves being able to support and assist her colleagues and the Willows Community.

Ms. Garcia loves spending time with her family, especially with her nieces & nephews.

Mr. Alberto Lagunas

Assistant Facilities Manager

Mr. Mark Madison

Facilities Manager

Mr. John McNally

Chief Financial Officer

B.B.A. University of Notre Dame, Accounting
J.D. The John Marshall Law School
L.L.M. The John Marshall Law School, Tax

Email: jmcnally@willowsacademy.org

Mr. McNally has worked in both industry and in public accounting during his career. His career has spanned 37 years. Mr. McNally has been involved with Willows since his first daughter began attending in 2003. He is a big Chicago/Notre dame sports fan.

Mr. McNally has been married for 34 years. He and his wife have five children (3 girls, 2 boys). All three of his daughters are graduates of Willows Academy. He also acted as Treasurer of Willows Academy for 12 years.

Mrs. Maureen McNally

General Manager

B.S. Marquette University, Business Administration Major – Economics & Finance
Master of Management Finance & International Business, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

Email: mcnally@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. McNally’s business education and background in banking and IT provided the knowledge to manage the business needs of Willows.

She and her sisters thrived in an all-girls high school environment. Mrs. McNally and her husband were happy to find Willows for their three daughters to also thrive. She enjoys spending time with her family.

Mrs. Rachel Meiner

Athletic Director

B.S. North Park University, Mathematics
M.S. Ohio University, Athletic Administration

Email: meiner@willowsacademy.org

Before coming to Willows Academy, Mrs. Meiner worked as an Athletic Director at both Resurrection High School (5 years) and Trinity High School (10 years). She believes her vocation is to empower young women through sports. She will encourage all students to try new sports and to cheer for their fellow Eagles!

Mrs. Meiner and husband Jason have 2 kids – Chelsea (age 11) and Derek (age 9). They live in Park Ridge. She continues to play soccer and enjoys running. She has run the Chicago Marathon 3 times.

Ms. Taylor Meyer

Athletic Trainer, Operations Coordinator

B.S. Loras College, Athletic Training

Email: meyer@willowsacademy.org

Ms. Meyer is a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer. She has a passion for health and wellness and helping athletes succeed on and off the court. Her favorite part of the job is seeing her injured athletes succeed on the court post rehab.

Ms. Meyer grew up in Dyersville, Iowa and has 1 younger brother. She has a passion for dance and loves being the Varsity Dance Coach at Willows. Her favorite things to do are read, spend time with family and friends and anything that involves the outdoors!

Mrs. Lucia Pardilla

International Program Coordinator

B.A. University of Dallas, Elementary Education
M.A. Roosevelt University, Elem Ed

Email: pardilla@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Pardilla Taught for the Chicago Public Schools. She has developed and implemented educational programs for UD, the Metro Achievement Center and various Catholic Parishes. Most recently, she developed and thoroughly enjoyed directing Camp Soar.

Mrs. Pardilla is the mother of nine children. She enjoys reading old classics and watching period movies. She also enjoys cooking with my children. Her favorite art period is French Impressionism, favorite foods are Thai food & French fries (although not together). Her favorite book is Jane Eyre and her favorite musicians are Dolly Parton, Dave Matthews, and Lauren Hill.

Mrs. Betsy Rodriguez '95

Interim Director of Advancement

B.A. Loyola University Chicago, Philosophy
J.D. Ave Maria School of Law

Email: rodriguez@willowsacademy.org

After earning her undergraduate degree from Loyola, Mrs. Rodriguez worked in the advancement office for Alliance for Character in Education (ACE). She left to earn her J.D. at Ave Maria School of Law. Following law school, she worked in General Counsel’s office for the U.S. General Services Administration.

She is a Willows alum (class of ’95), parent of a graduate from the class of ’22, and have 5 more daughters on their way to being Willows alumnae.

Mrs. Katie Stangel '87

Dean of Students and Parents

B.A. Loyola University Chicago, Organizational Communications
B.A. Loyola University Chicago, Political Science

Email: stangel@willowsacademy.org

Mrs. Stangel began her professional career as a speech writer for the Consul General of Japan and head of the political section of the Japanese Consulate in Chicago. After her children were in school full time she switched gears and began teaching P.E. and was Assistant Athletic Director at Willows Academy. Currently, she is a member of the Administrative Team as Dean of Students and Parents.

She is an alum of Willows (class of ’87) and attended school in the very first Willows Academy up in Glencoe, IL. She and her husband Mike have been married for 32 years and have six children and two grandchildren. All four of their daughters graduated from Willows Academy.

Dr. Jaime Vasquez '97

Head of School

B.A. Lake Forest College, Elementary Education and History
M.Ed. University of Illinois at Chicago, Curriculum & Instruction
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, Curriculum & Instruction

Email: vasquez@willowsacademy.org

Dr. Vasquez has more than 20 years experience in education as a school leader, teacher, instructional coach, evaluator, and researcher, with a focus on professional development of teachers and parent partnership. She has been our Head of School since 2019 having previously worked as part of the Willows administration as the Director of Curriculum and Faculty Development.

Dr. Vasquez (’97) and her husband, Raul, have three children including a daughter at Willows.

Ms. Lin Versino

Chapel Coordinator

B.A. Illinois State University, Education

Email: versino@willowsacademy.org