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Faculty/Staff

Michael Adams (madms@illinois.edu)
is the Assistant Director for Business Operations and oversees the budget, main office and facilities. He received his B.S. degree from Western Governors University and is a Notary Public and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

DoMonique Arnold (darnold2@illinois.edu)
joined University High School Library in August 2016! She is super excited to be a part of the high school staff, as she loves handing books to teenagers and scheduling awesome library programming.

Kristi Bandy (kbandy2@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
teaches Intro Chemistry and Chemistry A, B, C, and D. He earned his B.A. at Cedarville College.

Tim Bicknell (tbick2@illinois.edu)
grew up in Bluffs, IL and graduated from Bluffs High School in 1998. He attended Eastern Illinois University after high school, studying Speech Communication, Physical Education, and Driver Education. Once Mr. Bicknell began teaching and coaching, he earned his Master's in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University. He 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.

Ioana Boca (iboca@illinois.edu)
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)

Rachael Brewer (rbrewer3@illinois.edu)
teaches sports, fitness, and strength training in the PE department. She holds the M.S. in sports management from Illinois State University. As an undergraduate, she was captain of the ISU cross-country team and last spring she coached Uni track and field. She is a great community volunteer and has worked with area programs such as Girls on the Run and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rachael was the 2017 Illinois Marathon champion.

Emily Buhnerkempe (emilyeb@illinois.edu)
holds a master's degree in mathematics from Miami University in Ohio and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. At Miami she was a Graduate Assistant for two years and taught Pre-Calculus and Calculus. She has taught in all levels of math from General Education Math to Statistics and Calculus at Parkland College for three years as a tenure-track instructor. She also taught all levels of math at Lake Land College in Mattoon for four years as a tenured professor. In 2015-16, she served as a subject matter expert for textbooks and online course materials for McGraw-Hill.

Chris Butler (butler3@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
is an Office Support Specialist working in the Uni High School main office. She earned her A.S. in Business Administration at Parkland College and her B.S. in Marketing at Illinois State University

Marianne Downey (downey1@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
teaches Sophomore English. He received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and his M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in English (ABD).

Lisa Evans (levans@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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 the co-sponsor for the freshman class. He earned his B.A. in English and French at Frostburg State College in Maryland and his M.S. in Comparative Literature, as well as all doctoral coursework, at the University of Illinois with a concentration on French and British literature of the 16th and 17th centuries. He is the proud father of three Uni alumnae and father-in-law of two Uni alumni.

Chris Guyotte (guyotte@illinois.edu)
teaches Theatre Arts 1 & 2, Film Study, Introduction to Radio, and Interrelated Arts.

Kimberly Hursh (khursh8@illinois.edu)
teaches Intro to Social Studies.

Paul Kotheimer (p-kothe@illinois.edu)
is the senior library specialist.

Brian Lauthen (blauthen@illinois.edu)
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.

Susan Layton (stlayton@illinois.edu)
is the Office Manager handling Admissions and Graduation. She has a BA from the University of Virginia and an MS from Illinois State University.

Ben Leff (leff@illinois.edu)
teaches Junior US History, Interdisciplinary Thinking and Race Class and Gender in 20th Century American Popular Culture. He is an alum of class of 2001. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and master's degree in American history from Brown University.

Carol Lombardi (clombard@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
teaches French 3 and 4. She is the Executive Teacher for the Department of Foreign Languages. 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.

Dr. Elizabeth Majerus (emajerus@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
teaches Language and Literature 2 (Freshman English), African American Literature (Junior/Senior), and History as Fiction (Junior/Senior). 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. His current class blogs are: languageandliterature2.blogspot.com and aalitfall2019.blogspot.com.

Letitia Moffitt (letitiamoffitt@gmail.com)
teaches 19th Century English.

Rick Murphy (rgmurphy@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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.

Valerie O'Brien(vobrien2@illinois.edu)
teaches Freshman English and Nonfiction writing.

Christine Pierson (cpierson@illinois.edu)
is an Office Support Specialist. She has worked for the University of Illinois for over 32 years. Christine has greatly enjoyed the variety of people she has met and worked with during that time and has also enjoyed the variety of departments she has served. Although she retired from full-time University work in June of 2014, she is now employed as a permanent part-time employee with Uni High Advancement and is looking forward to engaging with students and staff this school year.

Mari Innami Porter (mainnami@illinois.edu)
teaches Japanese 1,2,3 and 4. She received her bachelor’s degree from Aoyama-Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan and her master degree from Aurora University in IL.

Jenny Robins (jmrobins@illinois.edu)
teaches German 1, 2, 3, and 4. She earned a B.A. in German, Anthropology, and International Studies with a minor in Japanese from the University of Iowa and obtained her M.A. in German Linguistics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). Frau Robins currently has ABD status at the LMU in the fields of applied linguistics and language theory and is writing her dissertation on the creation of a 15th-century German medical corpus and its application when studying select lexical and morphological features.

Dr. Karl Radnitzer (radnitze@illinois.edu)
is the club sponsor for the investment club, faculty rep for MPAG and co-coordinator for the Subbie Buddy Program. He has oversight of the SSAT tutoring program and administers the summer enrichment camp for 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.

Kathy Rodems (krodems@illinois.edu)
teaches Subfreshman English, Gender Studies, Social Justice, and Nonfiction Writing. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield and her M.A. in English from Eastern Illinois University

Craig Russell (hcrussel@illinois.edu)
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@illinois.edu)
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 son around various area parks.

Donna Shelby (dgshelby@illinois.edu)
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

Courtney Smith (cvonholt@illinois.edu)
is the Office Manager of the SSO.

Erin Smith (erines3@illinois.edu)
is teaching Math 2 and Advanced Topics. She has a degree in secondary education mathematics from Ball State University and is currently working at UI towards a master’s in Educational Administration. Erin has been a math instructor at Parkland Community College and at Bismarck-Henning High School. She most recently taught at Next Generation School, where she was also head track coach.

Cynthia Smyser (cl40@illinois.edu)
teaches Subfreshmen Science and Health. 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@illinois.edu)
teaches Spanish 1, 2 , 3, & 4.

David Stone (stone2@illinois.edu)
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.

Gale Walden (grwalden@illinois.edu)
is the creative writing instructor for the 2019-2020 school year. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona and an MS in journalism from the University of Illinois. She has taught creative writing at several Universities including Salem State, Roosevelt, and the University of Illinois. She is the author of two poetry books.

Dr. Andy Wilson (anwils84@illinois.edu)
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.