Faculty/Staff | University Laboratory High School

Michael Adams (madms)

is the business manager.

DoMonique Arnold (darnold2)

is a librarian. She earned her MS in Library and Information science from the University of Illinois and a BA in Latin as a James Scholar. She has worked in the Classics Library at UIUC and at Champaign Public Library’s Frederick Douglass Branch. She has been an instructor in the Department of Educational Psychology and taught their 203-level course in Race, Ethnicity and Power. In addition to her library experience, Ms. Arnold also has worked in many community outreach positions, such as the coordinator of all educational and internship programs at the YWCA.

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.

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)

Rachael Brewer (rbrewer3)

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.

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)

Emily Buhnerkempe (emilyeb)

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)

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

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 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 alumna and father-in-law of two Uni alumni.

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.

Joshua Hall (hall48)

is the Assistant Director of Advancement. He has earned both his BS and MS degrees from the University of Illinois. Joshua worked for the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics summer camps and clinics and the ticket office. Before coming to Uni High, he was the Director of Operations and Sales at Elite Entertainment.

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

Donzell Lampkins (lampkin2)

is the school counselor for last names ending in L-Z. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Social Work: Advanced Clinical from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received advanced training through the National Association of Social Workers & Council on Social Work Education, Stanford Medicine, and Youth Mental Health First Aid USA. Prior to joining Uni High, he worked as a Behavioral Health Clinician in an outpatient health clinic where he promoted well-being by assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with mental illness. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, visiting their family in Chicago (their hometown), swimming, indulging in all things milk chocolate, and blogging.

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 She teaches Creative Writing, Nonfiction Writing, the Nineteenth Century Novel, Poetry, and Utopias and Dystopias in Literature. 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: Creative Writing, Poetry, Nonfiction Writing, The Nineteenth Century Novel, and Utopias and Dystopias in 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.

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 cross country team. 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.

Christine Pierson (cpierson)

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.

Vicki Pietrus (pietrus2)

is the 2017-2019 graduate assistant in the Uni High library studying K-12/youth services librarianship at the university. She earned her BA in English and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to her work at Uni, she was a Teach for America corps member as well as a middle school and high school English teacher.

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, life club, zero degrees of separation, SFAC, 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 and 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 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)

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 a 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)

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.

Erin Smith (erines3)

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.

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 which includes 1 semester of the nature of science and 1 semester of earth and space 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)

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.

Courtney Von Holten (cvonholt)

is the Office Manager of the SSO.

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 University of Texas, and a son, John, a recent Uni graduate and student at the University of Houston.

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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