We are delighted to introduce CHA’s new Faculty and Staff, as well as announce internal role changes for 2020-21. God’s provision for the CHA community is always so good!
Mrs. Leslie Cornwell – Learning Resource (6-12) & ESL Teacher
Mrs. Betty Lee – Middle School English and Learning Resource (1-5)
Mrs. Jessica Loza – Third Grade
Mrs. Therese O’Shea – Coordinator of Admissions and Financial Aid
Mrs. Adina Pascotescu – Registrar
Mrs. Eileen Swanson – Instrumental Music (4-8), 8th Girls Bible Teacher, Choral Music (4-12)
NEW TO CHA:
Mrs. Robin Geitner
MS/US Art Teacher
Mrs. Geitner creates art whenever possible! She graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood/Child Development from Southern Illinois University and an M.Ed. in Educational Media from the University of Georgia. Most recently Mrs. Geitner has been teaching art and literature bi-weekly in the North Chicago Schools as a volunteer in a program she created for North Chicago Community Partners that serves as many as 800 K-3 students. For 17 years she was one of the staff leaders for the children’s ministry at Christ Church Lake Forest and a frequent participant in their fall art exhibit that coincides with sermon series. Having taught preschoolers through senior citizens, she feels blessed to now have the opportunity to merge her passion for teaching art with her faith at CHA. Mrs. Geitner and her husband Neal have four adult children, and two grandchildren under the age of two. They have been actively involved at Christ Church Lake Forest for nearly 40 years.
Mrs. Rebecca Hacker
Mrs. Hacker is a new teacher who loves to help students understand and get excited about God’s beautiful and intricate creation. Originally from northwest Georgia, she received a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Union University in Jackson, TN. In 2016, she received her Master’s in Bioethics from Trinity International University. Mrs. Hacker is married to Dustin who is an associate pastor at Christ Church Crossroads. They have one 9 month old daughter, Grace.
Mrs. Jessica Kurpiel
Mrs. Kurpiel graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) with a B.A. in Social Work. She earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Social Work and a certificate in Evidenced-Based Mental Health Practice with Children from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 2016, she returned to UIC to earn a School Social Work endorsement. She has worked in social service, school, and ministry settings. In her free time, Mrs. Kurpiel enjoys running, rollerblading, going on walks with her dog (Buehrle), hiking, volunteering, and reading.
Miss Kat Metzger
6th grade Bible, MS/US Drama Teacher
Miss Kat graduated from Trinity International University with a degree in Communications and Organizational Leadership. She also studied musical theatre and other related theatre arts at the Webster Conservatory in St. Louis and Black Box Acting in Chicago. Miss Kat has served as the student Creative Arts Director at Christ Church in Lake Forest, IL for twelve years running the theatre program Route 6:6. At Christ Church Miss Kat implemented and runs the middle school and high school theatre ministries, TNT and D2. She also serves as small group leader for 5th and 6th grade girls as well as the elementary school large group coordinator, curriculum editor, and the summer preschool coordinator at Christ Church. Miss Kat’s script writing has been published with Lillenas Music drama division, she is a former Roster Artist with Incubator Records, and when able she enjoys performing in various productions with theatres around the Chicagoland area. Miss Kat has a passion to serve and glorify Jesus! She desires and delights in seeing her students discover how God has uniquely created them. She strives to help them discover and then develop their gifts, talents, and interests, so that they can point others to Jesus. Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 45:1: “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.” Miss Kat lives in Vernon Hills with her two cats, Gingerbread and Comet, and loves celebrating Christmas all year long.
Mrs. Barb Mack
Mrs. Mack graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and an MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. She has 11 years experience working in the Youth Department of the Mount Prospect Public Library and an additional 5 years as a school librarian in Districts 57 and 25. She has a heart for ministry and has been involved in youth ministry and missions with her husband and family. She is passionate about working with students, teachers, and parents to make the library a vital part of CHA! Mrs. Mack attends the Arlington Heights campus of The Orchard and has a wonderful husband, three sons, two daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters.
Mrs. Rani Nolan
Long Term Substitute Teacher (Algebra 1)
Mrs. Nolan received a B.S. in Mathematics and Education and an M.A. in Educational Research Methodology from Louisiana State University. Prior to moving to Chicagoland nine years ago, she lived in Texas, where she taught high school mathematics and served as a mentor teacher, curriculum coordinator, and the School-Year Director for Breakthrough Houston, a non-profit educational program for at-risk kids co-funded by her school. Mrs. Nolan’s three children, Hadley (grade 6), Waverly (grade 4), and Grant (PK), have been a part of the CHA family for the past 8 years. She has served in a variety of volunteer parent positions in and around CHA. Mrs. Nolan and her husband, Ben, serve as Children’s Ministry Directors and Head Bible Quiz Coaches at their local church. She is also an adoption advocate with New Beginnings Adoptions and speaks at various events sharing their God-led adoption story of their son, Grant. Mrs. Nolan is also passionate about global missions, as after university, she served as a missionary/teacher in 2003-2004 in the country of El Salvador. She prays she can be a blessing to CHA, as CHA has been a blessing to her family for the last eight years.
Mr. Caleb Tolleson
General Music (2-5), US Jazz Band
Mr. Tolleson graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music and Worship in Piano. In high school, he began to teach private piano lessons in his hometown of DeMotte, Indiana. Teaching became a passion for him as he grew in his understanding of how to share and communicate his passion: music. Toward the end of his college career, Mr. Tolleson joined the worship team at The Moody Church in downtown Chicago and continues to serve as keyboard and piano player for the morning service, and music director for the evening service. During his free time, he enjoys playing jazz with his music friends, and drinking coffee!
Mrs. Erin Sugihara
MS/US Math Teacher
Mrs. Sugihara has lived in the city of Chicago her entire life. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BS in the Teaching of Mathematics. She taught at Lake View High School for seven years and left to raise and homeschool her two children. She is excited to return to the classroom after an over 6-year hiatus and is confident her two young children will be well cared for and loved by their new CHA teachers! Mrs. Sugihara has made many CHA connections through 10 years of attending and leading at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). The Sugihara family serves and leads at Church of Christ, Presbyterian, a small historically Japanese church in the city. Mrs. Sugihara enjoys cooking, baking, and all things fitness.
Ms. Sharon Van Dyke
MS/US Social Studies Teacher
Ms. Van Dyke graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a B.S. in Public Accounting. She worked in financial management for a number of years, and came to realize that it was not her passion. She felt God calling her into the teaching profession, as she loves learning and helping children discover that same passion. Therefore, Ms. Van Dyke pursued a Master of Arts in Teaching from Trinity International University. Upon graduating she taught middle school language arts and social studies for four years in Waukegan. Ms. Van Dyke is excited to be joining the CHA Faculty and to see God working in the lives of the CHA families and students. Sharon is a long time member of The Orchard EFC in Arlington Heights, and is involved in serving with the Unlocking the Bible ministry.