Our Teachers and Staff

Administration

Mira Weber – Principal
Michele McNally – Assistant Principal

Instructional Staff

Freeda Pirillis – PYP Coordinator Designate, National Board Certified
Lisa Starring
Melissa Swanson – National Board Certified
Erin Szarnych
Carly Wallace
Emily Hulbert
Katherine Acevedo
Stefanie Sheets
Akemi Taguchi
Neil Mikota
Cathy Fitzsimons
Tiffany Mohiser
Hillary Welsh
Myriah Brown-Rivera– National Board Certified
David Rench – MYP Coordinator
Lauren Fish
Matt Collins
Josie Pierson
MaryAnne Flanigan
Toni Robertson
Christine Alvarado
Joni Burgess
Esther Velazquez – ESL Endorsed
Rebecca Rosenberg –  ESL Endorsed
Rachel Swanson
Laura Medaglia
Kelsey Altieri
Allie Bucon
Sieana Johnson
Sari Freier
Marosa Kachaochana
Julie Hines-Lyman – National Board Certified, Reading Specialist
Calli Leventis
Nicholas Hall – Reading Specialist
Jan Heyn-Cubacub
Julius Oni
Jessica Gyorffy–  ESL Endorsed

Main Office

Marilyn Rosario-Caro – Clerk
Martha Maldonado – Main Office Support
Charles Harris – Security

Professional Support

Olivia Craig– Professional School Counselor
Caroline Craig– Psychologist
Dana McNicholas – Speech Pathologist
Social Worker
Thomas Liberto – Occupational Therapist
Rodney Weir – Physical Therapist

Paraprofessionals

Connie Cardenas
Luis Figueroa
Christian Foy
Estrella Hernandez
Susie Jackson
Theodora Kontos
Sandra Lopez
Martha Maldonado
Joe Tinich
Uneika Thomas
Kristen Bullerman
Linda Castillo

Classrooms

Visit our classrooms page for a listing of classroom websites.

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Meet Our Principal

Mira Weber, Principal

Mira first became interested in education very early in life. Her father was an avid reader and read to her daily. He spent hours with her at libraries and would ensure that no matter what the day held there was time for a good book. When Mira was three, her twin siblings were born three months premature and Mira watched both of her parents advocate fiercely for the special education services they both received. Throughout life her father, instilled in her the firm belief that education is the key to success, it should be available to all students and it should be designed to fit their individual needs.

Mira began her career with CPS as a special education teacher. She has had the rare but special opportunity to teach in the same school that she is now principal. At Agassiz Mira has taught special education for middle school and general education for primary age students. She has proudly served as the Agassiz principal for the past nine years and is honored to call herself an Agassiz parent of two boys.

Entering her tenth year in this role, Agassiz is in a completely different place than it was when she started. Today it is among the top performing schools within CPS and an International Baccalaureate candidate school. Mira credits the collaboration between staff, parents and community for the gains made over her administrative tenure. Mira’s vision includes fostering team cohesion amongst staff and parents to help students grow. To her, the true measurement of student growth is whether the school has fulfilled its promise to develop students into life long learners by cultivating their positive distinctions whether they be academics, arts, or athletics.

Meet Our Assistant Principal

Michele McNally, Assistant Principal

Michele has worked as an elementary school teacher since 1989, and the last 26 of those years have been at Agassiz School. She has taught in several different capacities: primary grades, low incidence program (students diagnosed with autism), media center and as IB coordinator. Michele has thoroughly enjoyed all her roles at Agassiz and is committed to all the students and families.

On an interesting note, Michele met her husband at Agassiz, who started his teaching career as a substitute in our school. Their two children, Michael and Meghan, attend Agassiz and can't say enough about all the wonderful things that teachers in every grade and subject have done for them.
Agassiz prides itself on providing a strong academic, artistic, and athletic foundation for students. As the assistant principal, Michele looks forward to supporting those expectations and creating a positive experience for all students.

Meet Our New Staff

Sieana Johnson, Special Education

My name is Sieana Johnson and I am excited to be teaching at Agassiz this year.  I have been a special educator for 16 years. I have a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree from Michigan State University in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education. I grew up in Michigan and enjoy going back there and to Colorado to visit family. I have a three year old son who will be starting pre-k next week! I am looking forward to an exceptional school year with the Agassiz community!

 

Sari Freier, Special Education

I am thrilled to be joining the Agassiz community and am looking forward to getting to know and work with the Agassiz staff, families, and scholars! This will be my 7th year as an elementary school Special Education teacher. Previously, I worked at Dr. Jorge Prieto Math & Science Academy in Chicago and at Winkelman School in Glenview. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Indiana University and a Master's in Elementary Education & LBS1 endorsement from National Louis University. Outside of school, I love reading, baking (and eating) chocolate chip cookies, and cheering on the Cubs! I am very much looking forward to collaborating with my new co-workers to provide a positive and engaging learning environment for our kids! I am excited for a wonderful school year!

 

Jessica Gyorffy, English Language Learners

I am thrilled to be joining the Agassiz team as the new Bilingual Coordinator and ELL teacher! I have a Master’s Degree in both Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership. I am also Bilingual certified. I have taught in CPS for several years in primary, middle school, and bilingual classrooms. I enjoy learning new strategies that will help with the growth and development of every child and believe in the value of communication. Some of my favorite things include: going to museums with my two young children, attending festivals, and going on long walks with my boxer.

 

Olivia Craig, Professional School Counselor

My name is Olivia Craig and I am elated to be the Professional School Counselor at Agassiz. I
have been an International Baccalaureate educator for 17 years in the high school setting and I
am fulfilling my dream of becoming a school counselor. My educational background includes a
B.A. in English from DePaul University, a M.S. in Secondary Instruction: Language Arts from
Northeastern Illinois University and a M.A. in School Counseling from Concordia University. On
a personal note, I am married to a Diverse Learners educator and we have two children. Our
son will be entering Kindergarten this year and our daughter will be a Third Grader. My favorite
activities include running and going on bike rides with my family. My favorite literary quote
comes from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, “There is only one thing that makes a dream
impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

 

Caroline Craig, Psychologist

My name is Caroline Craig and I am so excited to join the Agassiz school and community as the new School Psychologist! I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in General Psychology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and immediately upon graduation I enrolled at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL where I earned my Education Specialist Degree. This is my second year practicing with Chicago Public Schools. I previously worked at two elementary schools and one high school in the south side area. I greatly look forward to not only working with the students but the staff, family and community to ensure the best possible education and developmental experience for the kiddos! Some things I enjoy when I am not at school include creative arts, music, street festivals, riding my bike, playing sports and lounging at the beach!

 

Linda Castillo, Paraprofessional

Hello my name is Linda Castillo. Born and raised here in Chicago, I graduated with my AA in Early Childhood Education. I am currently attending National Lewis University in my last year working on my BA in Early Childhood Education. I love getting to know and learn from the children I teach. Children’s development is typically looked at through four core developmental domains: social and emotional, physical, language and cognitive. While all children will typically show growth in all areas, simultaneously children will show strengths in one particular area at a time. That being said, Early childhood education is a crucial developmental learning stage in your child’s life. I love the outdoors and capturing memories through photographs, my hobbies include hikes, camping and photography. I am eager to embark upon this journey with my students here at Agassiz Elementary.