Ellen Pavelich: A graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, Ellen completed the Assistants to Infancy (Birth-3) training at The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO, during the summer of 1996. She began working at MSLF in the Toddler Full Year program in 1993. Over the years she has also served in the Parent Infant, Toddler, and Parent Information programs, and now as Director of Education. In addition, Ellen opened MSLF’s third Toddler classroom last school year. Ellen’s daughter, Mari, is an alumna of MSLF. She attended from Parent Infant through Upper Elementary, and is currently a junior at Harborside Academy in Kenosha, WI.
Bev Adamczyk: Bev started in business doing Inventory Control and Production Planning for a fast-paced high-tech company, U.S. Robotics. After several years she returned to school to earn a BA in Classical Studies (with a minor in Business) and a MA in Ancient Greek from Loyola University Chicago, as well as a MA in Theater History from the University of Illinois. While a young mother Bev entered community service (La Leche League, the League of Women Voters), ultimately leading her to help out at her daughter’s school, MSLF. “Helping out” led Bev to join the MSLF Adolescent Program faculty in 2004, to teach Latin and History. She also completed her Montessori Elementary training at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in 2007. Bev’s daughter, Rania, graduated from the Adolescent Program in 2011 and now attends Chicago Academy of the Arts.
Ann Jordahl: Ann holds a BA in English and Theatre/Dance from Smith College, and an MS in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Wisconsin. She also completed her Assistants to Infancy (Birth-3) training at The Montessori Institute in Denver, CO. Her daughters, Brianna and Hille, both attended MSLF. On the faculty since 1998, originally as a Toddler teacher, Ann then joined the Adolescent Program in 2002, becoming Adolescent Program Director in 2010. She also teaches the Parent Infant class. This year Ann has assumed the role of MSLF’s Interim Executive Director.
Colin Palombi: Colin Palombi, who teaches Art as well as Culture and Expression, joined the Adolescent faculty at MSLF as a video specialist in 2003. He holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his Assistants to Infancy (Birth-3) training at the Montessori Institute in Denver, CO in 2007. In 2008 he completed a MEd in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. In addition to teaching at the Adolescent Program, Colin maintains the MSLF website and has produced a number of videos for promotion. Outside of MSLF, Colin teaches printmaking at Spudnik Press, a community printing studio in Chicago, and serves as a project coordinator for Homeroom Chicago, a non-profit arts organization.
Eric Carlberg: Eric became the Prairie Crossing Learning Farm’s Farm Manager, and the Adolescent Program’s Farm Teacher, in March, 2009. Before that, he worked on farms in various parts of the country and served as crew leader for Sandhill Organics, the certified organic farm that sits on 40 acres of Prairie Crossing land. Eric received an MA in Religious Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary, in Hyde Park, in May 2011 and plans to eventually help churches grow food for their surrounding communities. Eric came to farming through working with homeless people and witnessing their lack of access to healthy food. At Prairie Crossing, Eric works with young people to help them understand how communities and individuals can become more resilient. As Farm Teacher, his role is to teach both the attitudes that make farmers good citizens, and to teach students basic ways of participating in our economy.
Devon Mann: Devon is originally from Oregon & graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS is Biology in 1993. She then attended the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she received an MS in Biology with emphasis in Marine Invertebrate Zoology in 1996. After moving to Chicago in 1997, Devon worked for 5 years at the University of Chicago as manager of a research lab focusing on genes important to early vertebrate brain development. In 2003, she moved to Prairie Crossing and began teaching college level biology courses at the College of Lake County. Her daughter, Hollis, is currently in Lower Elementary at MSLF.
Sarah Stodard: Sarah joined the Blue House faculty in 2013 to serve as the Math Teacher. Sarah graduated from Princeton University with a major in Public Policy, and worked for several years in nonprofit finance and as an academic researcher at Columbia University in New York City. She completed some graduate work in Statistics at Columbia before embarking on a career in Investment Banking with Lehman Brothers, where she specialized in marketing fixed income derivative products to municipal clients. Sarah completed the AMI-NAMTA Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Cleveland, Ohio in July 2013. She and her husband, Randy, have four children who all attend MSLF: Eli (Lower Elementary), Ruby (Primary), Nola (Toddler), and Zoe (Blue House Baby!)