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Board of Trustees

Our world-class Board of Trustees is committed to helping Roycemore students succeed in and outside the classroom.

Our Board members voluntarily serve three-year terms in support of Roycemore School. Trustees provide fiduciary and strategic support as well as generative leadership. Together, the Head of School and the Board of Trustees ensure the school’s mission and vision is being pursued.

Trustees

  • Marisa de la Torre
  • Deborah Pergament '87
  • Thomas J. Ellis
  • Edith Eisner
  • Candace Risen
  • Mairead Reidy
  • Linda Reed '65
  • Bessie N. A. Mbadugha
  • Nicole Woodward Iliev
  • Dr. Terry Gdoutos ’05
  • Victoria Fromm
  • Aleksandra Egelja-Maruszewski
  • Dr. Anita Shah
  • Barry Praeuner
  • Brianna Sylver
  • Tim Costello
  • Michael D. Adams
  • Kevin Foote
  • Anthony Chambers
  • Kathleen Sheil Scheidt

Aleksandra Egelja-Maruszewski

Trustee

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Aleksandra Egelja-Maruszewski is Vice President, North America, Ansys Customer Excellence at ANSYS, Inc. She received a Ph.D. in Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. She and her husband, Joe, have two sons. One is currently in the Upper School and the other is a Roycemore alum currently attending Northwestern.

Anthony Chambers

Vice Chair

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Anthony Chambers, Ph.D., ABPP, is the Chief Academic Officer, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and a Board Certified Couple and Family Psychologist on staff at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Dr. Chambers is also the Director of Northwestern University’s Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies and is a Clinical Professor of Psychology. Dr. Chambers is also the 2016 President for the American Psychological Association’s Society for Couple and Family Psychology and the 2018-2019 President-elect for the American Academy of Couple and Family Psychology. Dr. Chambers received his B.A. in Psychology from Hampton University, his M.A. & Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Chambers’ other main interest involves independent schools where he is an avid reader of all things surrounding private school education. Having graduated as a lifer (ages 3-18) from the illustrious University School of Milwaukee, he has experienced firsthand the benefits of receiving a private school education. His most proud achievement is that he has been happily married for 16 years and has a beautiful daughter! In his free time, he enjoys traveling, exercising, ESPN, movies, reruns of Seinfeld and West Wing, and family time.

Barry Praeuner

Trustee

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Barry is a Retail and Multi-Site Sector Project Manager with CBRE, a commercial real estate services, and investment firm. He provides on-site representation for his clients to deliver new and remodel construction projects. Prior to working at CBRE, Barry worked in the architectural profession for 17 years, working on everything from small retail remodel projects to multi-family residential high-rises.

He has served and will continue to serve on the Roycemore Facilities Committee along with a team of other volunteers who help address current building and future infrastructure challenges. He is also the proud parent of twin Roycemore middle school students. If there is free time, he enjoys watching movies, riding bikes along the lakefront, traveling, and family time.

Bessie N. A. Mbadugha

Trustee

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Bessie N. A. Mbadugha earned B.A.s in Chemistry and English at Lafayette College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Emory University. Her academic background includes a postdoctoral fellowship in the Drug Discovery Training Program at Northwestern University, and professorships at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to relocating to Skokie in 2019, she was a highly engaged community leader in Hillsborough, NC, serving on the boards of The Expedition School and The Orange County Historical Museum, advocating for local businesses as an Orange County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, and leading numerous projects through grant-writing, fundraising and community organizing.

Bringing that same energy to the Roycemore School community, Dr. Mbadugha works on various committees including Admissions, Development, and the Scholarship Gala serves as the school’s Family Action Network liaison, and has organized many community-building events. Dr. Mbadugha lends her grant-writing skill to STEM School Evanston and is a member of the Evanston Reparations Education Subcommittee.

Bessie and her husband, Jason Keiper, have two students at Roycemore. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, writing, gardening, volunteering, museums, foreign and indie films, running, and being a lifelong learner.

Brianna Sylver

Trustee

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Brianna Sylver is the founder and president of Sylver Consulting, an international innovation research and strategy firm operating at the intersection of Market Research (MR), User Experience/Design (UX), and Strategy. Brianna and the team at Sylver support Fortune 1,000 organizations and city governments to confidently embrace change and future-proof their offerings by illuminating the clear and focused paths to future growth.

Brianna has gained recognition for her contributions to the fields of innovation, Design Thinking, UX and consumer insights by the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA), HSM Management (Brazil), and the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). She writes and speaks on topics such as the integration of UX and MR, innovation culture and transformation, civic and social innovation, blended hybrid research methodologies, and entrepreneurship.

Brianna holds a BFA in communication design from the University of Buffalo and a master’s degree in human-centered communication design and design strategy (MDES) from the Institute of Design at IIT.

Brianna’s daughter Livia joined the Roycemore community in August of 2020 as a 3rd grader.

Candace Risen

Trustee

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Candace Risen is new to the Evanston community, having moved here from Cleveland, Ohio in July 2020 to be near her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed a long and satisfying career as a social worker/ psychotherapist and Co-Director of the Center for Marital & Sexual Health. She remains on the faculty at the medical school of Case Western Reserve University where she is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She has always had a passion for teaching, mentoring, and supervising psychotherapy trainees, particularly in the areas of sexual/gender identity and professional ethics.

Candace is the proud grandmother of two students at Roycemore; one in Upper School and one in Middle School. Since arriving in Evanston, Candace has immersed herself in home renovations, baking, gardening, and spending time with family while waiting for the pandemic to lift so that she can venture out more into the community at large.

Deborah Pergament '87

Trustee

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Deborah is an alumna of Roycemore School. She was the Distinguished Alumna in 2017. She is an attorney with Children’s Law Group, LLC. Deborah’s practice focuses on complex special education matters with a particular emphasis on representing children with cochlear implants, genetic disorders, and social-emotional disabilities. She has also taught special education law at DePaul University College of Law and disability law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Deborah credits her Roycemore education with instilling the importance of following Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “Do well by doing good.”

Dr. Anita Shah

Trustee

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Dr. Anita Shah is a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician at Northwest Pulmonary Associates in Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois. She was commissioned into the United States Army after her first year of medical school and completed her Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the National Capital Consortium Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington D.C.

After graduation, she deployed to a trauma hospital in southern Afghanistan for 6 months, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, as a pulmonary critical physician and the medical director of the intensive care unit. Dr. Shah completed 11 years of active duty service and moved back to Chicago in 2016.

She is currently a partner in her medical practice at Northwest Pulmonary Associates. She is a member of the Health and Safety Taskforce that helped navigate Roycemore through the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shah and her husband, Jeffrey, have two children at Roycemore. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising, snowboarding, traveling, and shopping.

Dr. Terry Gdoutos ’05

Trustee

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Dr. Terry Gdoutos is a Principal Research Scientist in Aerospace at Caltech. He studies and develops novel technologies for deployable solar arrays, antennas, and integrated sunlight collection and power beaming arrays, enabling spacecraft to collect solar energy in space and wirelessly beam it to Earth, the Moon, or other planets. Terry is currently leading a multi-disciplinary team of research scientists, engineers, and graduate students on the design, procurement, fabrication, and integration and testing activities for the development of DOLCE, an on-orbit 50 kg technology demonstration of an ultralight deployable structure and deployment mechanism for space-based power stations in Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project.

He received his Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech and holds Bachelor of Science degrees from Northwestern University in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science.

Edith Eisner

Life Trustee

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Edith served as a Latin and English teacher at Roycemore in 1956 and was an adviser to an award-winning yearbook staff for years. She also served as Roycemore’s Public Relations and Communications Coordinator and later the Director of Admissions. Mrs. Eisner retired from Roycemore in 1985 and in 1989 was elected to the Roycemore School Board of Trustees. She is the school’s longest-serving trustee, and after another 29 years as an active trustee, the board conferred Mrs. Eisner the status of Life Trustee.

Mrs. Eisner and her family have been steadfast benefactors of Roycemore through philanthropy and deed. Mrs. Eisner married the Chair of Roycemore’s Board of Trustees, Robert Eisner. Upon his passing, Mrs. Eisner established the Robert Eisner Distinguished Scholarship Program in his memory. This program provides students with tremendous benefits as it awards up to three new full-tuition scholarships annually to Roycemore students based on their academic achievement and outstanding leadership abilities.

Kathleen Sheil Scheidt

Chair

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Kathleen Sheil Scheidt is a partner in the Employee Benefits group at the law firm Ice Miller LLP. Her practice focuses on ERISA, Internal Revenue Code, and securities law compliance for compensation and benefits programs, Total Rewards strategy, equity-based incentive arrangements, executive compensation, and corporate governance. When Kathleen is not deciphering laws and regulations, she enjoys yoga, biking, reading, and gardening. Kathleen grew up on a farm in eastern Iowa, then attended college at the University of Notre Dame and law school at the University of Iowa. She and her husband, Karl, have twin sons in Upper School.

Kevin Foote

Treasurer

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Kevin Foote is a former equities and derivatives trader with Goldman Sachs and the Hull Group, later co-managing an independent trading firm of his own. His focus has always been on managing people and situations with a clear statistical research discipline and establishing formal processes to ensure future success. He now devotes his time to a real estate investment business that he founded in 2011, parenting his teen, and serving in various nonprofit leadership capacities. Kevin has a history of work with youth-oriented philanthropic ventures including the Adoption Center of Illinois, Children’s Research Triangle, the Nettelhorst School, and the Chicago Yacht Club. He holds a degree in economics from Colgate University (1989) and lives in Chicago with his wife Diane, and their son Steven, a proud Roycemore student in the upper school.

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