Meet our Staff

Below are brief bios about the incredible staff who are commited daily to the success of our students. If you are interested in joining our team, follow the link to learn more.

Ms. Augustiny- Paraprofessional /

This is Ms. Augustiny's second year working with ninth graders at Golder. She grew up in and graduated from high school in Los Angeles after which she moved to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago. She majored in English and worked in an elementary school in Bronzeville during her four years at UChicago, and gained an appreciation for the city and its many neighborhoods. In her spare time, she still loves exploring Chicago, spending time with friends, watching movies and reading. Ms. Augustiny serves as an adviser and a freshmen paraprofessional at Golder.

Mr. Bardin- Learning Specialist /

Mr. Bardin is a first year Learning Specialist at Golder College Prep. Mr. Bardin grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, studied English and American Literature at New York University, and then taught 9th grade English Language Arts at South Tech Academy in Boynton Beach, Florida. Mr. Bardin is currently earning his Masters of Arts in Teaching through the Relay Graduate School of Education. In his spare time, Mr. Bardin enjoys reading and going to the lake on a nice day. 

Mr. Batdorf- Choir Instructor /

Mr. Batdorf is thoroughly excited to join the Golder College Prep community this year as a Freshmen Advisor and Choir Teacher. Mr. Batdorf grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania where his fondest memories include jumping from barn rafters into bins of grain and making music with his four older siblings. Mr. Batdorf graduated from Wheaton College where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. While at Wheaton Mr. Batdorf studied both French Horn and Voice after giving up trying to chose between the two. Outside of school Mr. Batdorf loves playing volleyball, cooking, long distance running and seeing his many nieces and nephew as often as he can. 

Mrs. Bennett - Alumni Coordinator /

Mrs. Bennett earned her Bachelors in Secondary Education from Indiana University, and her Masters in Curriculum from DePaul University.  Mrs. Bennett joined the Golder family  in 2011 as a U.S. History teacher.  A proud advisor to 2015  graduates and 2019 future Golder alum,  Mrs. Bennett currently works to support all Panthers in their life after Golder through college and career.   Mrs. Bennett resides in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s southside with her husband and two sons. 

Mrs. Buchanan - 12th Grade English /

Ms. Buchanan graduated from North Park University in 2008 with a Bachelors in Arts degree in English Literature and from the University of Southern California in 2011 with a Masters Degree in Teaching.  Ms. Buchanan joined the staff in 2013 and has been teaching senior reading since then.  When she's not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, growing things, and reading.   

Ms. Burba - Learning Specialist /

Ms. Burba began working for Golder College Prep in January of 2013 as a paraprofessional. Ms. Burba is a graduate of Noble Street High School, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from DePaul University in 2011. In 2014, Ms. Burba earned an endorsement as a Learning Behavior Specialist. She is currently teaching 10th grade Math and Chemistry. In her free time, Ms. Burba enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and especially her niece Penelope and nephew Roland. 

Ms. Calvillo - Office Manager /

Ms. Calvillo grew up in the northwest suburbs of Wood Dale with her 5 brothers and 2 sisters.  She graduated from Robert Morris University in Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.  Before working for Golder College Prep, she worked for a professional liability insurance company for 7 years. Ms. Calvillo loves to spend time with her family and enjoys helping staff, students and parents.

Mr. Carpenter - PE Instructor /

Mr. Carpenter joined the Golder College Prep team as a Physical Education Teacher in January of 2016 and he recently accepted the role as the Head Football Coach. He comes to Chicago from Indianapolis, Indiana where he was a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer for a privately owned facility, Indy Core Wellness & Fitness. Mr. Carpenter earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Performance and Exercise Science from Marian University in Indianapolis and played football during his time at Marian. He will be completing his Master’s Degree in Sports Leadership and Management at Concordia University-Chicago this fall. Sports and physical fitness have always been a big part of Mr. Carpenter’s life and he is passionate about teaching and coaching students to healthier, more fit lifestyles.

Ms. Cozzi - Case Manager /

Ms. Cozzi is the Case Manager and 12th grade Learning Specialist at Golder College Prep. Ms. Cozzi was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and has been a proud Panteher since 2014. After earning her Bachelor's Degree from Illinois State University in English - Secondary Education in 2010, she went on to earn her LBS1 from the University of St. Francis. She co-sponsors the Knitting and Crocheting enrichment with Mrs. Maicher in the Spring. In her spare time she enjoys reading, watching movies, cooking, and fitness.

Mr. Crocker - 11th Grade Math /

Mr. Crocker grew up in rural Arkansas and attended Hendrix College, where he received a degree in Applied Mathematics. Following graduation, he immediately moved to Chicago to begin teaching math to high schoolers. After teaching for two years on the south side, Mr. Crocker came to Golder, where he now teaches juniors.

Mr. Elsik - 11th Grade Composition /

This is Mr. Elsik's third year at Golder College Prep. He graduated from Creighton University in 2012 with a degree in both English and Secondary Education. Mr. Elsik then earned his masters degree from National Louis University in June of 2014. Mr. Elsik teaches AP Language & Composition and English III to juniors. He is also the the soccer coach at Golder for both boys and girls. In his spare time, Mr. Elsik likes to travel, cook, and play with his dog.

Mr. Fink - 11th Grade Composition /

This is Miss Fink's first year at Golder. She spent the last five years living and teaching in New York City. Born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Miss Fink received her bachelors in Pure Math from DePaul University and her masters in teaching from New York University. Miss Fink is always looking to learn and grow as much as possible and is excited about joining the Noble Network. 

Mr. French –Dean of Instruction for Math & Science /

Mr. French has loved the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field ever since he began tutoring other students in third grade at Collierville High School just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. He started teaching math in the fall of 2008 as a graduate student at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). While there, he earned his Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in mathematics with a focus on combinatorics and graph theory. After graduating, he spent two years teaching in St. Louis before moving to Chicago and teaching at Golder for five years. In his current role, Mr. French supports math and science teachers, teaches AP Calculus, and coaches tae kwon do.

Ms. Garcia – College Counselor /

Ms. Garcia joined Golder College Prep’s College Team in the summer of 2014. She grew up in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. She graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. While there she learned to love both acting and playing basketball. After high school, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Theology from Georgetown University. She later completed her Master of Science in Education at Northwestern University. In her spare time Ms. Garcia delights in spending quality time with family, trying new food, traveling, and hanging out with her cats. 

Mr. Hill- Algebra 3 /

Mr. Hill joined the Golder team as a Mathematics Teacher in the summer of 2015. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2012, earning a bachelors in Philosophy, with honors. Prior to his time at Golder, Mr. Hill was the Operations Manager of The Princeton Review's Illinois and Wisconsin offices. 

While originally from Chicago, the majority of Mr. Hill's youth was spent in Boise, Idaho. Growing up in the Mountain West was a remarkable experience, and Mr. Hill often fondly reminisces about his upbringing in a giant potato. During his time at University of Puget Sound, Mr. Hill founded the Philosophy Club, competed on the debate team, wrote editorials for the student paper, and put on weight. Mr. Hill also worked part time in college. His jobs ranged from Test Prep Instructor, to that dude who checks your ID card as you enter the gym, to Formal Logic Teaching Assistant, to Physics Department Office Aide. Mr. Hill's hobbies include writing, playing basketball, reading, skiing, watching sports, listening to music, backpacking, and believing that the most potent offenses in football establish the run before the pass. 

Finally, Mr. Hill has a deep respect for math. He believes that mathematical comprehension comes not from rote repetition, but from the student-led application . He attempts to live by this creed in his classroom, placing the onus on students to discuss and explain their work.  

Ms. Horning- Director of College Counseling /

Ms. Horning joined the Golder family in the fall of 2013. She was born and raised in Chicago's Humboldt Park/Logan Square neighborhood. Ms. Horning attended Knox College where she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and then returned to Chicago to complete her Master's in Education in School and Community counseling at DePaul University. Ms. Horning started at Golder as the Collegiate Seminar instructor and a college counselor. Currently, she is the Director of College Counseling, helps facilitate the Summer of a Lifetime program, and coaches the girls' varsity volleyball team

Mrs. Hynes – Assistant Principal of Operations /

Mrs. Hynes is a founding staff member of Golder College Prep.  She has been in the field of education since 2003.  Before working at Golder, she taught Science and Reading at Darwin Elementary. She hails from Columbus, OH, but has made Chicago her home since 2000.  Mrs. Hynes graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and also holds a masters degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University.  Currently, she is in school to receive another master's degree in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Jefferson- Learning Specialist /

Ms. Jefferson is new to Golder College Prep this year as a 10th grade Learning Specialist. She is originally from Southern California and recently moved to Chicago. Although she will miss the warm California weather, she is excited to call Chicago and especially Golder, her new home. Ms. Jefferson graduated from Biola University where she majored in Sociology and minored in International Studies, and is currently working on her Master’s in Special Education at Dominican University. Outside of school she enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with her family.

Ms. Jernberg- 10th Grade English /

This will be Ms. Jernberg’s first year working with Noble.  Prior to working at Noble she taught at several charter schools as well as the recovery school district in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Ms. Jernberg originally grew up in Milwaukee, WI and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her bachelor’s degree in English.  After moving to New Orleans in 2008 she received her teaching certificate from Tulane University and is currently finishing her master’s in English through the University of New Orleans.  Ms. Jernberg loves traveling and recently returned from teaching in Bucaramanga, Colonia this past winter.

Ms. Maas – 12th Grade Physics/

Ms. Maas joined Golder College Prep in the summer of 2016. She is a graduate of Concordia University Chicago with a degree in Chemistry. Following graduation, Ms. Maas moved to La Union, Honduras where she taught science for a year. She moved back to the United States to join Teach For America in Massachusetts, where she taught Chemistry for two years. While living in Massachusetts, she took classes at Boston University for her Master's in Curriculum & Instruction- Science Education. In her free time, she can be found running, hanging out with friends, and looking up science jokes to share with her students. 

Ms. Mack – Learning Specialist /

Kelly (Samborski) Mack is currently entering her 6th year at Golder College Prep. In her current role she serves as the Special Education Department Chair and an 11th grade Learning Specialist. She grew up in Norridge, IL and graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Not soon after she continued her education and graduated from National Louis University in 2013 with a master's degree in Special Education.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, riding her bike, and watching documentaries. She currently resides in Evanston, IL with her husband and two dogs Gordy and Ella. 

Ms. Maicher - Algebra 1 /

Mrs. Maicher (formerly Ms. Ceven) graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst with a Bachelors Degree in French and Francophone Studies in 2006.  She also finished her Master's Degree in Educational Technology at the University of Connecticut in 2014. This school year, Mrs. Maicher will be teaching two classes of Math I and the AP and Honors sections of Math II. She will also be co-coaching the Volleyball Team with Ms. Horning and Ms. Rozmarynowski.  Mrs. Maicher moved to Chicago in July 2013 from the East Coast, where she had been teaching for six years.  She is excited to start her tenth year of teaching and to see all her students again this year!

Ms. Maldonado – Learning Specialist /

Ms. Maldonado is new to Golder College Prep. She was born and raised in Chicago. Ms. Maldonado is a graduate of Noble Street College Prep. She started her college career at Northern Illinois University, but finished at Roosevelt University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She is excited to return to Noble, but this time as a teacher. Ms. Maldonado plans to start working toward her master's degree in secondary education.

Ms. McCabe- 11th & 12th Grade Dean of Students /

Ms. McCabe graduated from Bradley University in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education-History and from Concordia University in 2013 with a Masters Degree in School Leadership. From 2007-2013, Ms. McCabe taught World History and Collegiate Seminar at Pritzker College Prep. In 2013, Ms. McCabe joined the staff at Golder as Director of College Counseling and became Dean of Students for 11th and 12th grades in 2015. 

Ms. McDaniel – Biology /

Ms. McDaniel has been at Golder College Prep since the fall of 2013. She received her bachelors degree in biology from Scripps College. After college, she pursued a career in scientific research and received a masters in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her masters of arts in teaching at the University of Chicago, through the Urban Teacher Education Program. Ms. McDaniel is originally from Alaska, and if requested she will be happy to share a story or two about bears or dog-mushing!

Ms. MacQueen – Chemistry & AP Chemistry /

Ms. MacQueen is the new Chemistry and A.P. Chemistry teacher at Golder College Prep. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ms. MacQueen studied Environmental Science and Chemistry at the University of Vermont. After graduating, Ms. MacQueen worked at Parsons Corporation as an environmental consultant for the Department of Defense. She moved to Chicago in 2012 in order to teach chemistry and receive her Masters degree from Dominican University. Ms. MacQueen is excited to be joining the Panther Family this year and looks forward to bringing nerdy science jokes into her students' lives.    

Ms. Mullen – Dean of Instruction for Humanities /

Ms. Mullen is excited to join the Panther team as the Dean of Instruction for Humanities courses. For the past three years Ms. Mullen supported seven start-up high schools in Detroit, MI around teaching and learning.  Prior to moving to Michigan, Ms. Mullen worked at UIC College Prep from 2009 – 2013 as a freshmen literature teacher.  There, she served as the ninth grade team leader for two years and the Reading Department Chair for a year.  Previous to teaching in Chicago, she worked at the Edward W. Brooke Middle School in Boston.  She started her career in education through the DC Teaching Fellows – teaching fifth grade in Southeast Washington, DC for two years.  Ms. Mullen received her B.A. from Bates College, a Masters in the Art of Teaching with Elementary certification from American University, and a Masters in the Art of Teaching with High School English certification from Simmons College.

Mr. Ortiz – Digital Arts /

Mr. Ortiz is the Digital Arts teacher at Golder College Prep.  He is also the assistant coach of the girls’ basketball team, and the yearbook enrichment teacher. Mr. Ortiz has been involved in the field of education since 2005, where he started as a tutor/mentor in seven different CPS high schools.  Born and raised in the city of Chicago, he graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago in 2010 where he earned a bachelor of fine arts in Media Arts and Animation.

Mr. Pagan- Dean of Culture /

Mr. Pagan has been at Golder College Prep since the Fall of 2014. He is a graduate from Morraine Valley Community College with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in the same field. He started to work as a disciplinarian at Noble Street College Prep in 2010 and became the Assistant Dean of Culture in 2013. In the fall of 2014, Mr. Pagan became the Dean of Culture at Golder College Prep. Mr. Pagan has been a Chicago resident since early childhood and enjoys spending quality time with family and serving in his community church.

Ms. Race – 11th grade Spanish /

Ms. Race is beginning her sixth year at Golder College Prep as the junior Spanish teacher and the ESL coordinator.  She has been in the field of education since 2006 and can’t imagine doing anything else as a career.  Ms. Race grew up in River Forest, IL, attending high school less than ten miles from GCP.  She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving her degree in Spanish and Secondary Education and then continued on to Dominican University to receive a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language.   Although not a native Spanish speaker, Ms. Race developed her language skills with living in both Spain and Argentina.

Ms. Raeckers – 9th & 10th Grade Dean of Students /

Ms. Raeckers has taught Geometry at Golder College Prep since 2008. She is originally from Tampa, FL but moved to Chicago in 2008 to pursue a career in the field of education. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics accompanied by a minor in Secondary Education. She is currently completing her masters at Northeastern Illinois University in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Rogers- 9th Grade Environmental Science /

Ms. Rogers loves being a part of the Panther Family!  She is a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Biological Sciences- Secondary Education.  Following graduation, Ms. Rogers was a professional horticulture intern at Disney World where she grew Mickey Mouse shaped pumpkins!  She has a Master's in Curriculum & Instruction- Science Education from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  She taught middle school in Chicago for 6 years before making the switch to GCP last year.  At Golder, she coaches the dance team, looks for ways to make the school more eco-friendly, and loves living the #PantherLife.

Ms. Rozmarynowski- 9th Grade English /

Ms. Rozmarynowski earned her Bachelors degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in English and Secondary Education, as well as an ESL endorsement from Concordia University. This is Ms. Rozmarynowski's second year at Golder College Prep, and she was nominated by her students last year as Freshman teacher of the year. She strives to make learning fun and create an environment in which students desire to be life-long learners. 

Mr. Ruiz - Athletic Director /

Mr. Ruiz has been at Golder College Prep since the Summer of 2011. He is a recent graduate from Loyola University Chicago in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in International Studies with specifications in Latin America and the Middle East. He started to Work in the Main Office during the summer of 2011. Mr. Ruiz also worked at Golder Part time during the 2011-2012 School Year working with the Freshman Team assisting in their everyday needs, also taught an Enrichment Class in Architecture. This following 2012-2013 School Year Mr. Ruiz will be joining the Administration Staff as an Office Administrator. He will also be helping coach the Boys Soccer Team and Girls Soccer Team this coming year. Mr. Ruiz has been a Chicago resident all his life and enjoys the city life in his leisure time.

Ms. Schlueter- 10th Grade English and 10th Grade World Studies /

Ms. Schlueter has been at Golder College Prep since the summer of 2015. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in English and minors in French and Education; she also holds a Master's Degree in Education from Stanford University. At Golder, Ms. Schlueter teaches English II and World Studies to sophomores. In her free time, Ms. Schlueter loves to cheer for the Chicago Bulls, the Green Bay Packers, and the San Francisco Giants!      

Ms. Schulz - Learning Specialist /

Ms. Schulz is a learning specialist at Golder College Prep.  She studied Social Science Education at DePaul University (graduating Magna Cum Laude) and Special Education at Roosevelt University.  Ms. Schulz has been tutoring students for the ACT and the SAT since she was in college.  She grew up in the Western Suburbs, lives in Chicago, and has been teaching in the Chicagoland area for the last 4 years.   An avid sportsperson, Ms. Schulz has raced a Hobie catamaran sailboat in regattas for the last 7 years.

Ms. Tavera- College Counselor/

Mrs. Tavera is a returning staff member of Golder College Prep.  From 2007 to 2009 she worked in the main office as an Administrative Assistant.  Now she is working with the College Counseling Team.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from DeVry University in Chicago.  She is the proud mother of two scholars (Junior and Freshmen) at RCP and a third grader at Otis.  She enjoys spending time with her family doing anything that makes her children happy.  She is excited to once again be part of the Golder Team and looks forward to helping our students with their college preparation needs.

Ms. Tenorio – 9th grade Multicultural Literature /

Mrs. Tenorio is starting her fourth year at Golder College Prep after teaching for three years in Northeast Los Angeles. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Ms. Tenorio earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in ‘10 and a master’s degree in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University in ’12.  Ms. Tenorio loves to be part of the Golder team and looks forward to motivating her students to aim high.

Ms. Thune- Honors English 2 & English 3/

Ms. Thune graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. While a student at Wheaton, she spent six months conducting field research in Eastern Europe as part of the school's Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) Program. After college Ms. Thune taught high school environmental science, chemistry, and civics on the southwest side of Chicago, and completed her Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. In her free time Ms. Thune enjoys improving her photography skills, and her work recently was featured in a BBC Travel photography competition.

Ms. Trevino- World History/ AP World History/

Ms. Treviño is new to Golder College Prep and is excited to teach World History to the class of 2019. She was born and raised in Houston, TX, where she became the first person in her family to attend college. Ms. Treviño earned her BA in International Studies and Communications from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. After college, she joined the Teach For America Detroit Corps and taught Spanish for two years. Afterward, Ms. Treviño moved to Chicago to join the Noble Network as a Social Science teacher. In her free time, Ms. Treviño enjoys watching film, reading, and repurposing materials into art. 

Mrs. Velasco – Learning Specialist /

Mrs. Velasco is a 10th grade learning specialist at Golder College Prep and has been teaching here since the fall of 2009. She graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce Degree- Accountancy (Honors Program) and worked as a Certified Public Accountant for many years. She made the decision to change careers and attended Northeastern Illinois University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Special Education. Mrs. Velasco was born and raised in Skokie, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. Outside of school she enjoys quality time with her husband and son.

Ms. Verdos- 11th and 12th Grade Spanish /

This is Ms. Verdos' first year at Golder College Prep and she is so excited for the 2014-2015 school year. She recently received her Masters in Education in Foreign Language Education. She received her Bachelors Degree in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Verdos enjoys speaking a plethora of languages during her free time.

Ms. Wells- 9th Grade Environmental Science & 11th Grade Biology /

Ms. Wells is joining Golder College Prep this year, and is very excited to be a part of the team and community! She grew up partially in the Philippines and Denver, Colorado. She first pursued a degree in biology at University of Alabama then transferred to Loyola University Chicago. Ms. Wells earned a bachelor's degree in biology and neuroscience while finding a love for social justice and research at Loyola. She then joined Teach for America and taught in Hammond, Indiana for 2 years. Ms. Wells enjoys trying new foods and kickboxing during her free time.

Ms. Whitaker- 9th Grade Environmental Science & 10th Grade Chemistry /

Ms. Whitaker attended the University of California, Merced where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Human Biology and a minor in Cognitive Science. She moved to Chicago in 2015 from Northern California where she spent three years teaching chemistry in beautiful Sacramento. When Ms. Whitaker is not working on labs for chemistry or finding interesting articles for environmental science she can be found exploring Chicago and falling in love with it more and more every day.