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Our world class faculty is committed to helping Roycemore students succeed in and outside the classroom.

  • Eva Lambert
  • Nina Rozes
  • George Bravos
  • Matt Steadman
  • Sheila Shadrack
  • Ciat Conlin
  • Emma Milner-Gorvine
  • Margarita Stoimenova
  • Janna Arbuzova
  • Samantha Cossen
  • Tina Southerton
  • Amanda Reinglass
  • Alanis Gonzalez
  • Craig Tutt
  • Marie Cinquemani Thomas
  • Ruth Hecht
  • Ziggy Zapart
  • Shauna Young
  • Liv Garcia
  • Chris English
  • Marge Woodfill
  • Nicole Wise
  • Lizanne Wilson
  • Vicky Pickett
  • Dr. John Trowbridge
  • Kelly Strain
  • Howard Stanley
  • Ceairra Smith
  • Ashley Smith
  • Beth Shutters
  • Sara Keely McGuire
  • Mauricio Robert
  • Marysue Redmann
  • Stefanie Rivera
  • Beth Negronida
  • Susie Massey
  • Andrew Mahlan
  • Gina Lorenz
  • Dr. Brynn Leavitt
  • Katie Hilton
  • Shannon Henry
  • Hilda Gonzalez
  • Erin Kelly Gaines
  • Charlotte Freccia
  • Dr. Theodora Franck
  • Adrienne Floro
  • Tyler Fawbush
  • Grace Erb
  • Dr. Dan Dudek
  • Adeline Courtial
  • Karen Radke Byrnes
  • Dr. Luke Berryman
  • Courtney Barlow
  • Justin Bailey
  • Staci Aronson
  • Marielle St. Amand
  • Darcy Aksamitowski
  • Angela Peters Murphy
  • Morgan Graff
  • Amy Milner-Gorvine

Chris English

Head of School

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Chris English has over two decades of experience as a creative, solution-oriented, educational leader with a keen focus on effective classroom practice and student-centered learning. He has guided educational philosophy, brought new programs to fruition, developed alternative revenue, overseen expansion, led strategic planning, led accreditation, housed international students, and taught in classrooms, deserts, mountain tops, and rivers.

Chris and his wife, Lori, are parents to twin daughters. Lori and Chris enjoy home-renovation projects, historic houses and architecture, card games, movies, beaches, and discovering local art, music, and cuisine. Chris spends his downtime singing with his guitar or ukulele, or when he needs to be quiet, he settles in with a good book or TV show.


MA in Technical and Professional Communication, East Carolina University

BA in Creative Writing, East Carolina University

Favorite Quote

“What’s another word for Thesaurus?” – Steven Wright

Why Roycemore?

When describing what I was looking for in a school, the person I was talking to leaned forward and said, “It sounds like you’re talking about Roycemore.”

Ciat Conlin

Middle School French Teacher

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Cait was born in Utah and grew up across the US before attending college in France. After graduating, he returned to the US and worked as an Americorps volunteer at a Chicago school before studying for his MA at UIC.


M.A. in French and Francophone Studies, University of Illinois Chicago

B.A. in Comparative Literature, The American University of Paris

Favorite Quote

“Anyone who still wants to experience fairytales these days can’t afford to dither when it comes to using their brains.” - Robert Musil

Why Roycemore?

It's an amazing community!

Courtney Barlow

Physical Education Teacher

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Courtney Barlow is Roycemore’s Physical Education Teacher. Courtney is originally from California, where she received her B.S. in Kinesiology and Teaching Certification in Physical Education from San Diego Christian College. Courtney was a dual-sport athlete in high school and college playing both volleyball and basketball. After college, she taught middle school and high school P.E. in San Diego as well as coached high school volleyball and basketball.

She studied Spanish at Centro Linguistico Maya in Antigua Guatemala and lived in the Dominican Republic for three years while she designed and taught the Adaptive Physical Education curriculum at Genesis Special Education School. She also served as the Assistant Head of Schools and developed the Work Ability program, where students were able to gain new skills and obtain jobs in the community while earning their high school diplomas. Additionally, Courtney coached high school girls soccer and created an aquatics program for Doulos Discovery School, an English immersion and college preparatory school in the Dominican Republic.

Courtney moved to Chicago in 2019 and served as the high school girls volleyball and basketball coach at Francis W. Parker for two years. Recently, Courtney worked as a Therapy Aide at Misericordia assisting adults with developmental disabilities.

In addition to coaching and teaching, Courtney enjoys cooking, gardening, camping, and spending time at the lake with her wife, Meredith, and Dominican rescue dog, Cake.

Courtney is looking forward to being a part of the Athletic Department at Roycemore and contributing to the development of holistic student-athletes. She is excited for the opportunity to teach Spanish and coach athletics. Go Griffins!


NFHS National Coaching Certification (in the process of completing)

Physical Education Teaching Credential, San Diego Christian College

Level 1 Spanish Certification, Centro Linguistico Maya

B.S. in Kinesiology, San Diego Christian College

Favorite Quote

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” - Maya Angelou

Why Roycemore?

I was drawn to the idea that Roycemore is not just a school, but a family. I knew that I wanted to be a part of a community that affirmed who I am, as well as the unique individuality of others. I see Roycemore as a way to be a part of and contribute to an exciting, forward-thinking, and diverse community, by teaching lifelong health-related fitness, collaborative team thinking, and individual success through Physical Education and sports. I’m also very excited about teaching Spanish and sharing my experiences from the Dominican Republic.

Craig Tutt

Director of Athletics

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Craig Tutt is Roycemore's Athletic Director. He began his career in education in 1999 as a Health and PE Teacher and coach in Virginia. He later migrated to the Seattle area where he continued to teach and coach for the Federal Way School District at Lakota Middle School. He later became the Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and Principal of Lakota Middle School.

Additionally, Craig has served as Assistant Principal of Ogden International School in Chicago and Principal of Springfield Elementary school in his hometown of Luray, VA. Later experiences led Craig to work under the Superintendent as the Executive Director of Equity, Student, and Family success for the Federal Way School District, one of the nation's most diverse school districts.

Craig was a three-sport athlete in high school and college (Basketball, Tennis, and Track) and has coached Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, and Track. In his spare time, Craig enjoys cooking and baking, playing guitar, and always keeps a puzzle in progress on his dining room table


B.A., Bridgewater College

M.A., Marymount University

Favorite Quote

"Don't let today be your best day" - Erin Jones

Why Roycemore?

I chose Roycemore School because it has the family feel that I have grown accustomed to in educational settings. A place where everyone is free to be who they are, supported in their quest for excellence while being challenged to be better individuals.

Darcy Aksamitowski

Early Childhood and Lower School Division Head

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Darcy’s love of education began in the mountains of Idaho, as a curious student at Community School in Sun Valley. With an emphasis on outdoor learning and leadership, her schooling inspired a genuine interest in the field of education. It was this interest that propelled her to Tulane University in New Orleans where she earned her BA of Psychology and Philosophy before attending Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and earning a master’s in education. Darcy has been fortunate to work alongside gifted colleagues at some of the finest progressive schools in the country. Having spent time at Brookline Elementary in Massachusetts and Crow Island Elementary in Winnetka, Illinois, she has enjoyed the emphasis on innovative teaching ideas, experiential learning, and witnessing profound growth and excitement among her young learners. Her desire to expand her role in education, led her to obtain a master’s of science in educational leadership, and take her 16 years of teaching experience into an administrative role.

Darcy has been with Roycemore since 2017, where she taught third grade, before moving into her current administrative role as Roycemore’s Early Childhood and Lower School Division Head in 2020. About her appointment in 2020, Darcy says, “I am honored to embrace this new role at Roycemore as the Early Childhood and Lower School Head. Roycemore exudes family, friendship, growth, achievement, leadership, and possibility. It is a community formed through partnerships striving to develop critical thinkers and young leaders. I am excited to continue to work with staff, students, and families to extend the ideals of our core mission and values while respecting Roycmore’s storied history and tradition as a leader in progressive education.”

Darcy’s passions are working alongside a team of strong and devoted educators to uphold the Portrait of a Graduate which seeks to develop students in all areas to embrace and take command as 21st century learners. Her desire to synthesize mindfulness into daily routines led her to become a Mindful Coach (Mindful Education Training with Daniel Rechtschaffen) in 2018. More recently she has been trained as a trauma informed Social Emotional Learning Coach, and became a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor through Breathe for Change. Her hope is to share her learning with all stakeholders in the school community.


MS.Ed. in Educational Leadership, Western Governer's University

M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Lesley College

B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, Tulane University

Favorite Quote

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” - Meister Eckhart

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

I teach because I am allowed the opportunity to make an impact on those that will lead us in the future. I hope that the students in my care leave with a growth mindset and an “I can do anything” attitude; that they recognize some things will be challenging, but it is okay and necessary to struggle and make mistakes. I hope students will leave knowing we all have our unique strengths and weaknesses, but together we fit together like a puzzle and can help each other grow. I know that there is not a day of interaction with students where I don’t grow or learn something new from the curious minds around me.

Why Roycemore?

I applied to Roycemore because I was intrigued by the school’s progressive philosophy, and their desire to uphold pragmatic values within a progressive model, which is something I value as an educator. The more I learned about Roycemore during my first year, I realized I was walking back into a school very similar to my own experience in Idaho. I joined a school that values hands-on experiences and encourages students to have ownership of their learning; one where any idea is valid and any way to get to a solution is acceptable. I realized I joined a school where learning can look different depending on the student, where teachers communicate and work together, where seniors may be teaching third graders, or first graders teaching sophomores. I value the relationships formed by interacting with parents daily as they drop children off, or pick them up. Roycemore is a family atmosphere where everyone is working together; it is a place I proudly call home.

Dr. Brynn Leavitt

Middle and Upper School French Teacher

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Before arriving at Roycemore, Brynn taught three languages in three countries. A native of Montana and Oregon, it was after college that she ventured to the midwest to pursue her graduate degree in Secondary Education. In her program, she had the opportunity to study in Europe and spent two years in Italy and France. While studying, she also taught English for the British School of Siena, was a translator and interpreter with an Italian cooking school there, and worked as an au pair in Rennes, France. These were experiences of a lifetime and they have undoubtedly fueled her continued passion for languages, cultures, and teaching.

After France and Italy, she continued her teaching in local secondary schools in northern Indiana and as an instructor in French at Indiana University-South Bend. French also afforded her opportunities to offer translation services and advocate for refugees from francophone parts of Africa. It was also at this time that she took a particular interest in the metacognitive strategies that we teach and learn in the language classroom, the subject of her doctorate research at Middlebury College. In 2012, she and her husband moved to England, where they lived for 6 years and she enjoyed her role as a French and Italian teacher in an outstanding JK-8 independent school in Yateley, Hampshire. As a sports enthusiast, she loved getting to coach sports that were new to her, like rounders and field hockey.

While in England, her son Nathaniel was born and they made lifelong connections and friends, but in 2018 we returned to the U.S. They are excited about setting new roots in Chicago and she is thrilled, and feels very fortunate, to be joining the esteemed Roycemore community!


Ph.D. in Modern Languages (French & Italian), Middlebury College (in progress)

M.S. in Secondary Education with Endorsement in French & ENL, Indiana University-South Bend

B.A. in Art History & Architecture, University of Oregon

PGCE in Secondary Education with Endorsement in French, University of Reading, England

Fun Fact

Henley-on-Thames Sprint Triathlon Champion

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

There is so much to learn about the world! I love working with students, getting to know them and exploring languages and cultures together, and examining our roles within local and global communities.

Why Roycemore?

I admire Roycemore’s approach to education as a comprehensive yet personalized learning experience. The collaboration of students, faculty, and families seems an ideal environment in which everyone can thrive.

Dr. Dan Dudek

Upper School Science Teacher

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Dan teaches Science and STEM classes for the Upper School at Roycemore. Dan has conducted research in biomechanics around the world including as a professor at Virginia Tech. Prior to teaching at Roycemore, he taught Physics at North Cross School in Roanoke, Virginia. When not at school, Dan enjoys spending time with his family, walking his greyhounds, and playing cello.


Ph.D. in Biology, University of California, Berkeley

B.A. in Biology, University of Chicago

Favorite Quote

“We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out — and we have only just begun.”-Neil deGrasse Tyson

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

The world is a mysterious and awe-inspiring place. The fact that we can understand and predict so much of what happens around us is remarkable when you stop to think about it. As Douglas Adams wrote in The Salmon of Doubt, “I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.” I hope that students who leave my classroom have the awe of understanding, understand where they are ignorant and are hungry to fill in the gaps.

Why Roycemore?

Roycemore fosters a community where students (and faculty) can grow their knowledge while being themselves. Our small size allows me to get to know the students and individualize my teaching to help them develop as critical thinkers.

Dr. John Trowbridge

International Family Liason and World Language Teacher

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Dr. John Trowbridge is the International Family Liaison and Teacher at Roycemore School. He has previously taught Upper School Chinese and Spanish and was a freshman advisor at Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. In addition, John has taught courses in Asian, Western, and cross-cultural comparative philosophy, as well as traditional Chinese literature at a variety of colleges including Loyola University Chicago, the City Colleges of Chicago, the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Pacific University, and Kapi‘olani Community College. He has also taught Mandarin Chinese to children in grades K-5 at Haha‘ione Elementary School, as well as privately to adults and children of all ages. He has lived in Taiwan and has worked for an international adoption agency supporting families through international adoptions. In addition to Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese, and Spanish, John has an extensive background in Ancient Greek. In his spare time, he enjoys philosophizing, learning the guitar, Kenpo Karate, science fiction, and spending time with his four children.


Ph.D. in Philosophy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

M.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese), Ohio State University

M.A. in Philosophy, Ohio State University

A.B. in Asian Studies, Washington University

A.B. in Philosophy, Washington University


Favorite Quote


"The Master said, 'If you learn (xue 學) without reflecting (si 思) on what was learned, you will be lost; if you reflect without learning, you will fall into dangerous circumstances.'" - Analects (Lunyu 論語) 2.15

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

I hope to inspire a life-long love of learning and a deep sense of empathetic imagination in my students.

Why Roycemore?

Roycemore, as a small, private school that prides itself on a personal touch in education where students are known and not just numbers in a large bureaucracy, reminds me a great deal of the school I attended from grades 5-12 and I am eager to give back some of what I received in that context of teaching and learning.

Dr. Luke Berryman

Gifted Coordinator

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Dr. Berryman’s career in education began in 2011 at The University of Cambridge, where he was a College Lecturer and a Director of Studies. He went on to teach in a British secondary school. In 2015, he joined Oxbridge Academic Programs, a New York-based company that runs study-abroad programs for middle- and high-school students. His work with Oxbridge took him everywhere from the Canadian Northwestern Territories to the urban jungle of Metro Manila! He moved to Illinois with his wife (who comes from Chicago) in 2020.

At Roycemore, he collaborates with students, faculty, and parents to provide gifted support across the community. He is also the founder and manager of The Ninth Candle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending antisemitism by sharing knowledge. Outside work, he loves classical music and soccer. He can often be found tuning into obscure cable channels at odd times of day to watch games being played in his native England!


Ph.D. in Music History, King's College London

M.M. in Music History, Boston University

B.A. Hons in Music, University of Oxford


Favorite Quote

“Awareness of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom” – attributed to Socrates

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

The simple answer is that I teach because I love teaching! I consider myself a lifelong learner, and the students have a huge impact on me. Their inquisitiveness fires my thinking and changes the way I see the world every day. I hope to be able to reflect some of their own enthusiasm back at them as we go on our journey together.

Why Roycemore?

I appreciate Roycemore’s small, close-knit community, and its ethos of individuality. This ethos informs not just daily life within the school, but the structure and nature of our learning. The possibilities for pursuing individual strengths and passions is really unique and, I believe, extremely valuable.

Dr. Theodora Franck

Upper School Social Studies Teacher

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Dori Franck began her career at UTHS in East Moline, Illinois, and subsequently taught at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook for the bulk of her career. Additionally, she taught for the Glenbrook evening school, helping dropout students earn their high school diplomas. She has been an adjunct professor at Concordia University where she taught education classes and placed student teachers, and was an instructor for the CTD program at Northwestern University. At Roycemore, she currently teaches AP Psychology, U.S. History, and a variety of semester psychology courses. She also served as Roycemore’s Northwestern Coordinator and as a Co-Sponsor of our yearbook.

She has been fortunate to have been the recipient of a variety of awards, such as GBN’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year, Calvin College Excellence in Teaching, AP Psychology Notable Instructor, Golden Apple Nominee, GBN Distinguished Service Award, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Eastern Illinois University Excellence in Teaching Award, was chosen to be a member of the Teacher Development Board at Augustana College and an AP Advocate for the State of Illinois.

Her dissertation was entitled Teaching Empathy for the Military Experience to High School Students. She is passionate about extending that study into her classrooms. It is her goal not only to teach content to students but also to help them become productive, compassionate, and well-rounded citizens.


Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Organizational Change

M.S. in Counseling

B.A. in Psychology

Favorite Quote

“Teach like the world depends on it.”

Why do you teach? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

I LOVE teaching. I cannot think of a more noble profession and the opportunity to work with young minds.

Why Roycemore?

I chose Roycemore since it would be an entirely new experience for me. I have spent over 30 years in the public education sector and usually had classes that were quite large. I thought it would be a nice change of pace to be able to work with students in smaller groups and get to know them better.

Emma Milner-Gorvine

Middle School & Upper School Spanish Teacher

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Emma Milner-Gorvine has been studying Spanish since she was in kindergarten. She attended a dual-language elementary school and continued taking Spanish through middle and high school. While she had not planned on majoring in Spanish, she was drawn to the language, and graduated with a degree in Spanish and Hispanic Studies with minors in education, teaching English as a second language, and Jewish Studies.

Emma had the opportunity to study in Granada, Spain during her college years. During college, Emma worked with students of all ages. During her summers, she directed Arts Immersion Camp for the City of Evanston. In her junior year, she taught a homeschool Spanish class to middle school students, and her senior year she worked with high schoolers as a synagogue youth group advisor. After graduating, Emma moved to Madrid and taught English in an elementary school. She decided to return to Evanston and pursue a Masters in Education.

Emma is a third-generation teacher following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, eating out, and petting her cats.


Master's in Teaching in Elementary Education and K-12 Bilingual Education and Spanish, Northeastern Illinois University - In Progress

Bachelor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies and Education, Earlham College

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certification

Favorite Quote

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." -Desmond Tutu

Why Roycemore?

I have been part of the Roycemore community for the last several years. My mom teaches in middle school, and I did an internship at Roycemore during college. I have always appreciated that Roycemore is a community where everyone is encouraged to be themselves. Roycemore is committed to meeting the needs of individual students while cultivating a strong sense of community. Having gone to a small liberal arts college, I know how important a tight-knit community is. I am excited to work at Roycemore because I know it is a place where I can have a strong relationship with my students and other faculty and staff while also growing as a teacher myself.

Erin Kelly Gaines


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After working 29 years at an after-school program in Lake County, Erin was thrilled to land at Roycemore in September of 2018.

Erin grew up in Waukegan, the firstborn of five children. Being the eldest, her main responsibility was to care for her younger siblings. That led to babysitting cousins, close family friends, and children of her parents’ co-workers. Twelve years of her life were spent in Catholic schools. While attending Carmel High School, she took a Child Development class. It made her realize that she wanted to follow a career path that involved children. Thanks to a relative’s recommendation, she was hired to work at the Afterschool Club. She spent more than half of her life with them. Some of the kids she had taken care of came back and worked for her. A few even wound up sending their own children to her program as the years went on.

She married her husband Tom in May of 1999. Upon fully renovating his childhood home here in Evanston, they moved in during the spring of 2018. They are thrilled to be living in the city they both love so much. Erin has 13 nieces and nephews that are the lights of her life. Being an aunt is the greatest thing in the world to her!! When she is not working, you can find her cheering loudly at a Bears game (she’s a season ticket holder), at a concert, or traveling. NYC/Broadway is her favorite place to visit!

Favorite Quote

"Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show." - Unknown

"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

"Throw kindness around like confetti!" - Unknown

"Enjoy life now… this is not a dress rehearsal." - Unknown

Why do you like working with students? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

Having worked hands-on with children for so many years, I realize how much a person/event can impact them. I strive to leave positive, lasting impressions on the kids I interact with. Sometimes a smile, hello/how are you or a hug can turn a day around. You never know what they might have been dealing with up to that point. My previous company’s motto was: “We make great memories!” I am proud to say that I’ve contributed to many.

Why Roycemore?

I wanted to become part of the Roycemore community as soon as I visited the website. It reminded me, in several ways, of my grade school… even the school colors were the same. Upon meeting the amazing administrators, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I was welcomed with open arms by the staff, faculty, and families from day one. I am beyond grateful to be a part of this wonderful institution!

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