Welcome to the new members of our faculty and staff who have joined the MPA family this year!
Meg Carey, Upper School English
An Ohio native, Ms. Carey earned her undergraduate degree at Kenyon College and also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Tufts University, a Master’s degree in literature and composition from Northeastern University, and a Master of Science in literacy education from Northern Illinois University. She taught high school English and coached swimming in the Boston area and taught writing at a suburban high school for the past five years. Ms. Carey, a Naperville resident for nearly 15 years, has two daughters and four family pets. She enjoys cooking, gardening, swimming, and traveling.
Heather Cleveland, Fifth Grade
Mrs. Cleveland has taught lower school and middle school at a variety of grade levels for nearly 20 years in both public and private schools. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Western Oregon University and a Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. In the past five years, Mrs. Cleveland has been honored to receive two professional award nominations: the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Heart of the School Award. Born and raised in Washington state, she has lived in Beverly with her husband and three daughters since 2000. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and reading.
Vanessa Cleys, Middle & Upper School Social Studies
After being away from Illinois for six years, Ms. Cleys is excited to return to her home state and work at MPA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science Secondary Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s in International Education from Framingham State University. After a year in San Diego, working with “at-risk” youth for AmeriCorps, she moved to Guatemala City to teach Language Arts and Social Studies at a private school. She is excited to share the knowledge she gained abroad with her students. She also is the assistant coach for varsity girls tennis this fall.
Ferdinand de Guia, Sixth Grade Math & Science
Mr. de Guia obtained his microbiology degree from the University of Michigan, where he then worked in cancer research for Pfizer. He moved to the Chicago area to work in the stem cell lab at the UIC hospital. After earning his teaching certification from Western Governors University, Mr. de Guia taught seventh-grade math and also taught at an alternative high school in Chicago for the past decade. He also coaches basketball and is an avid sneakerhead.
Hallie Fahey, Upper School Social Studies
Mrs. Fahey previously taught junior high social studies at a Catholic school in LaGrange. She came to education as a second career after 25 years as a practicing commercial litigator in downtown Chicago law firms, representing Fortune 500 companies in lawsuits pending throughout the United States. Mrs. Fahey holds a B.S. in Accounting with concentrations in Economics, Political Science and Sociology from Butler University; a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was a member of the University of Illinois Law Review; and a B.S. in Business Education from Illinois State University. Currently, she is working towards her Ed.M. in Global Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. A Beverly resident since 1996, she will be the faculty advisor for the Model United Nations team, Mock Trial team, and GLSEN.
Mary Hobbs, PreK-4 Aide
A Beverly native, Ms. Hobbs earned her undergraduate degree from SIU Carbondale, then returned to Chicago to earn her graduate degree in Elementary Education from Roosevelt University. She loves reading and playing and watching sports. She puts her passion for sports into action by coaching girls sports teams in her spare time.
Eileen Kicmal, Upper School English
Dr. Kicmal has more than 25 years of teaching experience at both the high school and college level. She holds a B.A. in English, Communications, and Secondary Education from Eastern Illinois University, an M.S.Ed. from Northern Illinois University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, where she also has been teaching for more than 10 years. She most recently taught at Aurora University. Dr. Kicmal joined the MPA faculty near the end of last school year and is thrilled to be back for a new year.
Kymber Marine, Seventh & Eighth Grade Science
Ms. Marine lives in Lakeview and is a third-generation North Sider. She earned her undergraduate degree in environmental policy with a minor in environmental science from Roosevelt University in Chicago and now is entering her 16th year as a science educator and her seventh year in a traditional classroom. Prior to her time in a traditional classroom, she was a museum educator for six years with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. She also taught environmental science for two years in Panama during her service with the Peace Corps. She still volunteers on occasion for the Nature Museum and enjoys hiking and reading.
Amanda McDermott, PreK-4
Born in Germany, raised in Kentucky, a consummate army brat, Mrs. McDermott earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Kentucky Wesleyan College before moving to Chicago to “change the world.” She earned her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University at Chicago and spent 10 years working as a second grade teacher and instructional coach at an elementary school on the far south side of Chicago. Mrs. McDermott is excited to join the MPA family as a teacher and a parent of an MPA preschooler. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and taking (and teaching) fitness classes at a nearby barre studio.
Julie Naughton, PreK-3 Aide
Mrs. Naughton has many years of experience in education, both in individual and group settings. She is super excited about joining the MPA family to continue doing what she loves: working with children. At home, she loves reading, drawing, coffee — lots of coffee — and spending time with family.
Nikita Stange, Associate Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations
After graduating from MPA in 2006, Ms. Stange went on to earn a B.A. in Sociology at John Carroll University and an M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego. She brings with her nearly a decade of nonprofit experience, in particular with a background in special events, volunteer management, and fundraising. She is so thrilled at the opportunity to return to the Academy! She has one fur-child, a loveable cocker spaniel named Miley.
Vinson C. Williams, Lower & Middle School Athletics Director
Coach Williams, a 1991 graduate of MPA and a member of our Athletic Hall of Fame, returned to his alma mater last year to coach Middle School girls basketball and girls soccer, and now runs the interscholastic athletics program for Lower School and Middle School. Prior to getting involved with coaching, he earned a B.S. in Industrial Technology from Illinois State University and an M.B.A. from Eastern Illinois University, working for 20 years in roles including quality control, sales, category management, and risk management. He lives with his family in Beverly.
Please also help us welcome to new roles this year:
Allie Bowles, Associate Director of Admissions
Jeanne Pagliaro, Upper School Science