Faculty/Staff | University Laboratory High School

Michael Adams (madms)

is the business manager.

Kristi Bandy (kbandy2)

is the school counselor for last names ending in A-K. She is a University of Illinois alum, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2009. Ms. Bandy received her Master of Social Work in 2011 from Loyola University Chicago. She has experience working with students K-12 as a school social worker and as a school crisis counselor. She is also the proud new sponsor of the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Club.

Joel Beesley (jbeesley)

teaches Computer Literacy 1 & 2 and World-Wide Web Development as an elective for sophomores through seniors. He also teaches Yearbook. He earned his B.A. at Valparaiso University and his M.A. at Southern Illinois University.

David Bergandine (dbergand)

teaches Intro Chemistry and Chemistry A, B, C, and D. He earned his B.A. at Cedarville College. (His Website)

Tim Bicknell (tbick2)

has spent the last 12 years teaching Physical Education, Speech, and Driver Education, along with coaching basketball, football, and scholastic bowl along the way. The school districts Mr. Bicknell has taught in before coming to Uni are Griggsville-Perry, Petersburg P.O.R.T.A., and LaSalle-Peru. Mr. Bicknell earned his administrative experience at P.O.R.T.A. where he completed his Type 75 Administrative Certificate and at LaSalle-Peru where he was the P.E./Health/Driver Education Division Chair. Mr. Bicknell lives in Savoy with his wife Shannon and his daughter Vivian.

Gene Bild (bild)

has a B.S. in Math from DePaul University and a M.S. in the teaching of math from UIUC. Mr. Bild’s mathematical interests include polyominoes and other tiling problems, coding theory and 3D geometric construction puzzles such as Soma Cubes. He often teaches Uni’s Statistics course, for which he has developed a particular affection. In 2002 Mr. Bild won the Edith May Sliffe award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching. In 2008 the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) awarded Mr. Bild its Joint Service Award for his work as a Math Counts coach. Since then he has pretty much rested on his laurels. Mr. Bild's hobbies include practicing tai chi and qigong, collecting comic books and vintage paperbacks, especially ones with covers by Edward Gorey and interacting with his household’s two cats, Neko and Kuro. Mr. Bild lives with his wife and daughter (and those two beastly felines) in an undisclosed location somewhere near the Art Theater in downtown Champaign, IL.

Ioana Boca (iboca)

earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of Bucharest, a Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Southern California, and a MS in Statistics from the University of Illinois. She teaches Geometry, Calculus 1, and Accelerated Calculus 1. (Her website)

Warren Buck (wbuck)

teaches Math 1 and Advanced Topics. He earned his B.A. in mathematics education and his M.A. in mathematics from Eastern Illinois University. (His Website)

Chris Butler (butler3)

teaches Modern History and World Since 1945. He earned his B.A. and his M.Ed degrees at the University of Illinois.

Jim Carrubba (carrubba)

teaches Intro Physics and Physics A, B, and C. He earned his A.B. at Harvard and M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois.

Sheree Denham (sdenham)

is an office support associate. She earned her A.S. in Business Administration at Parkland College and her B.S. in Marketing at Illinois State University

Dr. Sharlene Denos (denos)

on sabbatical 2017-2018, teaches subfreshman science, engineering, and sustainable energy. She holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Marianne Downey (downey1)

joined Uni in 2010 after previously serving as the Director of Advancement at the University of Illinois Law School and at Cathedral High School, a private high school in Indianapolis. Marianne has an MA in Teacher Leadership, Education Leadership at University of Illinois Springfield, and a B.S. in Business at Indiana University - Kelley School of Business. She earned a Certificate in Fund Raising Management at the Indiana University, Center on Philanthropy Fund Raising School. Marianne first qualified for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) status in 1997 and has successfully recertified through 2016. Marianne is a participant in the UIUC campus Leadership Annual Giving Round Table, the Stewardship Roundtable and the Chief Advancement Officers meetings. She serves the central Illinois community as a member of the Champaign Kiwanis Club. She also serves on the Mayor of Urbana's Neighborhood Safety Task Force.

Dr. Phillip Ernstmeyer (pernstm2)

teaches Sophomore English. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is assistant coordinator of the Writing Center, and sponsor for both Philosophy Club and Political Activism Club.

Lisa Evans (levans)

teaches Studio Art 1, Two Dimensional Art, Three Dimensional Art, Art Exploration and Interrelated Arts. She earned her B.S. at Miami University, her M.B.A. at the University of Chicago, and her B.F.A. and M.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

John Garvey (jbgarvey)

teaches French 1 & 2, and is on the Technology team for Computer Literacy 1 and 2. He co-sponsors the French Club, co-directs the biannual French Trip, and is Assistant Chess Coach. He earned his B.A. at Frostburg State College and his M.S. at the University of Illinois.

Chris Guyotte (guyotte)

teaches Theatre Arts 1 & 2, Film Study, Introduction to Radio, Public Speaking, Stage Craft and Interrelated Arts MFA- Wayne State University, MA- University of Illinois, BA Plymouth State University.

Paul Kotheimer (p-kothe)

is the Senior Library Specialist at Uni High Library. He has worked in academic libraries since 1988, has been a University of Illinois library employee since 1994, and has been at Uni High since 2010. Paul earned his B.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has dropped out of at least two graduate programs

Brian Lauthen (blauthen)

teaches Latin 1-4. He was born and raised in Iowa. He has a BA and an MA in Classics from the University of Iowa. He taught Latin at a private school in Atlanta for 13 years before moving here to work at Uni. Brian loves Sci-Fi, Fantasy, nature, grilling and cats. His favorite pastimes are playing French horn, reading, and watching movies.

Ben Leff (leff)

teaches Junior U.S. History, Race Class, and Gender in 20th Century American Popular Culture, and Interdisciplinary Thinking. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and master's degree in American history from Brown University. He is also the faculty sponsor for Habitat for Humanity Club, Spring Club, and Model U.N. Club.

Carol Lombardi (clombard)

teaches two sections of Journalism, is the Gargoyle advisor and works for the Advancement Office. She earned a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego and an M.S. from the University of Illinois.

Lynda Lopez (blues)

teaches French 3 and 4. She earned her B.A. in Russian at Ferrum College (VA), her M.A. in Russian Literature at UIUC (IL), and earned her certification to teach French and Russian at the middle/high school level from UIUC. In addition to teaching French, she co-leads student language-based trips to France every other summer, and completed a second master's (in the online Global Studies in Education Master's degree program at UIUC), in Educational Policy Studies. Outside of school, her family (husband and two sons) keeps her on task. She is the co-sponsor of French Club and co-sponsor of Asian-Media/Anime Club. Her class website is: http://unifrancais.weebly.com/.

Elizabeth Majerus (emajerus)

is the Executive Teacher in the department of English. She teaches The Non-Fiction Writing, Native American and Chiano Literature, and Creative Writing. She also sometimes teaches one or more sections of Sophomore English. She earned her B.A. in English and Integrated Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the recipient of the 2010 Ella Leppert Award. The blogs for her classes are the following: Poetry, Non-Fiction Writing, and Native-American and Chicano Literature.

Lisa Micele (lmicele)

is the Director of College Counseling and serves as the Department Head for the Student Services Office. She is also the coordinator & supervisor of the Peer College Counseling program at Uni High. Lisa received her B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She received a 2nd master's degree (M.A.) from Lewis University. Lisa has been a part of the Uni High faculty since March of 1993. For a more complete bio, please go to: www.illinois.edu/sso/staff.

Matt Mitchell (mtmitch)

teaches the Twentieth-Century Novel, Nonfiction Writing, History as Fiction, and the Short Story classes to juniors and seniors. He earned his B.A. in English at Rutgers University in 1994 and his M.A. in English at the University of Illinois in 1997. He also teaches courses on the Coming-of-Age Novel and African American Literature. He is the recipient of the 2016 Ella Leppert Award. His current class blogs are: www.mitchell-goodbyetwentiethcentury.blogspot.com and www.nonfiction2017.blogspot.com.

Rebecca Murphy (murphy)

teaches sports, fitness, and strength training in the PE department. She earned her B.S. and her M.S. at the University of Illinois.

Rick Murphy (rgmurphy)

teaches Music Theory, Interrelated Arts, Art Exploration, Chorus, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Madrigals. He earned his B.F.A. at MacMurray College and his M.M.Ed. at Illinois State University. During his time here at the University of Illinois, he has completed all of the course-work in the music education doctoral program.

Doug Mynatt (mynatt)

teaches sports, fitness, and strength training in the PE department. He is also head coach for the track and field and cross country teams. He earned his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa.

Dr. Jeanette Nuckolls (nuckolij)

is Associate Director. She holds the Doctor of Education degree in education administration and foundations from Illinois State University. Dr. Nuckolls holds the state's certifications as a secondary school principal and as a superintendent. She also is a certified teacher of English with a bachelor's from Bradley University.

Gwyn Ortiz (geortiz)

is the office administrator.

Mari Innami Porter (mainnami)

teaches Japanese 1, 2, 3, and 4. She received her bachelor's degree at Aoyama-Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, her M.A. at Aurora University in Illinois and is a state-certified teacher of Japanese, grades K-12.

Dr. Karl Radnitzer (radnitze)

is the club sponsor for the investment club, faculty rep for MPAG and assists with the Subbie Buddy Program. He has oversight of the SSAT tutoring program and administers the summer enrichment camp for 5th, 6th and 7th graders. He received his B.A. in psychology/education from North Park College, M.S. in international development from the University of Illinois, C.A.S in educational policy from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in Human Resource Development/Educational Organizational Leadership from the University of Illinois. He recently completed his MBA from the University of Illinois.

Steve Rayburn (srayburn)

is a Teaching Associate in English. He holds a B.A. in English from Lambuth College, a M.A. in English and American Literature from Ohio University, and completed doctoral course work at The University of Mississippi. Currently he teaches Freshman English and a Junior/Senior Seminar. He is also the sponsor of the Current Events Club and serves as a faculty representative on PFO. For Freshman English, course information may be found at unifroshenglish.wordpress.com.

Kathy Rodems (krodems)

currently teaches Subfreshman English along with Gender Studies and Non-Fiction Writing. She earned her B.A. in English from the the University of Illinois at Springfield and her M.A. in English from Eastern Illinois University.

Craig Russell (hcrussel)

is a Teaching Associate and Executive Teacher who earned his S.B. in mathematics at MIT in 1983. He served in the Army for 11 years, earning M.S. in Applied Mathematics (completing all but dissertation requirements for the Ph.D.) at RPI in 1992 and teaching at the United States Military Academy (West Point), where he taught freshman and sophomore math courses and was the math department leader in a study involving issuing students laptop computers for class work. At West Point, Mr. Russell was bitten by the teaching bug, so he resigned from the Army to become a high school teacher. Mr. Russell's favorite people are his wife and two children, followed by students who like math. Mr. Russell has enjoyed working with the Math Forum on several projects and with the NCTM Illuminations project.

Melissa Schoeplein (mschoepl)

Melissa Schoeplein is the Executive Teacher for the Department of Social Studies. She teaches Introduction to Social Studies and coordinates the Uni High Oral History Project. Ms. Schoeplein holds B.A in History from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to teaching at Uni, she taught high school in the Washington, DC area and worked for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. She is currently co-sponsors the subfreshman class and sponsors the WILL interns. When not at Uni, she is chasing her toddler son around various area parks.

Donna Shelby (dgshelby)

is an office support associate. She earned her A.S. in Business Administration at Parkland College and her B.S. in Finance at University of Illinois

Greg Smith (gregs)

is the Executive Teacher of Computers and Educational Technology. He is one of four members of the team teaching Computer Literacy 1 & 2 to subfreshmen and freshmen. He also teaches Computer Programming and Computer Technology as electives for sophomores through seniors. He is a Uni High alum, class of 1973. He has a B.S. in Radio and Television from the U of I (1977) and an Ed.M. (Master of Education) in Curriculum and Instruction (1991). In his spare time, Mr. Smith is involved in photography, television production and amateur radio, but his real passion is model rocketry. He's Director of Operations for Central Illinois Aerospace, Champaign-Urbana's sport rocketry club. You can visit their web site at ciarocketry.org or view pictures of local rocketry activities (many taken by Greg) at cia-rocketry.smugmug.com.

Cynthia Smyser (cl40)

teaches subbie science and 1-semester classes to seniors which include engineering explorations and sustainable energy. She earned a B.S. from the University of Illinois and another B.S. from Illinois State University and her M.S. from Illinois State University.

Juan Socarras (socarras)

teaches Spanish 1, 2 , 3, & 4.

David Stone (stone2)

teaches Intro Biology, Organismal Biology, Field Biology, and Genetics. He earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, and his M.S. in Entomology and M. Ed. in Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Jeff Walkington (jwalking)

is the Director of Uni High. Dr. Walkington began his career as a teacher of English in public schools; he later took on teaching and administrative roles in independent schools, such as Webb School in Knoxville, TN (Director of the Writing Center, Public Relations Director), and Cannon School in Charlotte, NC (Upper School Director, Assistant Headmaster). His post immediately before Uni was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Latin School of Chicago. Walkington earned his bachelor's degree in English and French at DePauw University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jeff and his wife, Sarah, have a daughter, Ellen, who works at the UI foundation, and a son, John, a recent Uni graduate.

Paul Weilmuenster (weilmuen)

teaches German 1, 2, 3 & 4. He earned his B.A. at Eastern Illinois University and his M.A. at the University of Illinois.

Andy Wilson (anwils84)

Andy Wilson teaches Freshman World History, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Introduction to Psychology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Chadron State College as well as a master’s degree and doctorate In U.S. history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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