North Shore Country Day welcomed a number of new faculty and staff members for the 2020-21 school year. 

Dara Brown of Chicago joins NSCD as the senior kindergarten assistant teacher. She earned a bachelor of music from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Since graduation, she worked with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA as an actor and educator, performing and teaching Shakespeare’s plays to youth.  

Lauren Collins of Chicago joins us as the director of equity, inclusion and community engagement. Lauren was most recently the director of diversity at Near North Montessori School. Previous to that role, she worked as an administrative manager and acting diversity coordinator at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and as an academic liaison and community connector in the Weston, MA, and Chicago Public Schools systems, respectively. Lauren earned a bachelor of philosophy in interdisciplinary studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and an Ed.M. in prevention science and practice from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.  

Emily Culbert of Chicago joins NSCD as the new lower school visual art teacher. Emily earned a bachelor of arts degree in environmental studies with a minor in studio art and a master of fine arts in printmaking from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Emily previously served as an assistant teacher at Francis W. Parker School, a youth fine arts teacher at the Evanston Arts Center and a teaching artist at the Lill Street Art Center. She has received several awards and residencies through Cranbrook, Saugatuck’s Ox-Bow and The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists. Her artwork has been exhibited at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio; the University of Wisconsin, Parkside; and the Cade Gallery of Art in Arnold, MD.

Mary Fielder of Alexandria, VA, is our new assistant head of school. Mary’s career began as a teacher of history at the Fountain Valley School, Charles Wright Academy, The Madeira School and The Lovett School, where she also served as history department chair and academic dean. Following her time at Lovett, Mary served as Georgetown Day School’s director of studies. She comes to North Shore following 10 years as Episcopal High School’s assistant head for academics, a role in which she oversaw faculty recruitment, retention and evaluation, as well as the school’s academic program. She also served as a member of the school’s senior leadership team and supervised all members of the school’s academic leadership. Mary earned a bachelor of arts in history from Princeton University and a master’s degree in religion from Catholic University.   

Kristi Kamen joins NSCD as a junior kindergarten teacher. Kristi earned a bachelor of science in theater education from Illinois State University and a master of arts in Teaching in early childhood education from National Louis University. She arrives at North Shore after working as the lead preschool and then lead pre-k teacher at Jewish Council for Youth Services in Highland Park.  

Dan O’Hara joins NSCD as the junior kindergarten assistant teacher. He earned a bachelor’s degree in acting from Roosevelt University. Since then he has held several positions at the Metropolis School of the Performing Arts in Arlington Heights, including improv faculty, where he taught 3rd-12th grade students the fundamentals of spontaneity, “yes and” and performance technique. He also served as the instructor for outreach workshops at other elementary schools, for scout troops and through the Arlington Heights Park District.

Angela Orr of Seattle, WA, joins North Shore as a middle and upper school mathematics teacher. She earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics with a secondary teaching certificate in mathematics and a minor in physics from Northwestern University and a field-based master of education in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University.  Angela’s teaching career began as a mathematics teacher at Evanston Township High School. She served as an upper school mathematics teacher at Seattle’s Lakeside School for 20 years. During her time at Lakeside, Angela served as the upper school mathematics and computer science department head, the director of the Academic Bridges Program, and the advisory system coordinator. Additionally, Angela served on the faculty of the School Year Abroad program in Viterbo, Italy, for two years. 

Manuel Ortiz of Chicago joins NSCD as the technical theater director, middle and upper school theater teacher and auditorium manager. He earned a bachelor of fine arts in theater from DePaul University.  He previously served as a teaching artist for Studio BE, a technical director, site director and facilities manager for Pride Films and Plays, and technical director and teaching artist at York High School.  Additionally, he has experience serving as a technical director for a number of professional theater productions at the Strawdog, Rivendell, American Blues and Shattered Globe theater companies. 

Karen Park joins North Shore as a middle and upper school mathematics teacher. Karen joins us after teaching at Packer Collegiate Institute, Marymount School and Nightingale-Bamford in New York City.  Karen earned a bachelor of science in education and a minor in mathematics from Temple University and a master of arts in mathematics education from Columbia University’s Teachers College.  

Carin Peacock joins North Shore as a senior kindergarten teacher. Carin joins us after teaching across a range of Lower School grades at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet, Greeley School, Baker Demonstration and, most recently, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Carin earned a bachelor of arts in elementary education as well as a master of arts in reading and language from National Louis University.  

Catalina Rincon-Bisbey returns to North Shore as an upper school Spanish teacher. Catalina served as a year-long leave replacement role for Carmen Gomez-Fiegl during the 2017-18 Academic Year and has taught at the Roycemore School since. Prior to her initial role at NSCD, Catalina served as a researcher and instructor at Tulane University and as a teaching assistant at the University of Colombia. Catalina earned her bachelor of arts in literary studies at the University of Colombia as well as both a master of arts and Ph.D. in Spanish from Tulane University.   

Juan Vidal of Washington, D.C., joins NSCD as an upper school mathematics teacher. He earned a bachelor of science in statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master of arts in mathematics education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. He also completed a cross-cultural language and academic development certificate from the University of California, Berkeley. Juan arrives at North Shore after five years of teaching high school mathematics at Georgetown Day School.  

More News Stories

Fall Day Of Service

NSCD held a Fall Day of Service on Saturday, November 13, benefiting The Bloc in Chicago and Connections for the Homeless. More than 200 food items were donated on Saturday for The Bloc, supplementing what had already been collected by an upper school student-led food drive.

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Winter Play Premieres

The NSCD upper school troupe, The Duff Players, will perform “You want some lunch? You betcha!” on November 18, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium. The Duff Players is a cast of upper school students tasked with bringing to life a collection of third and fourth grade stories through movement, music, costumes, props and much more.

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NSCD Holds Vaccination Clinic

Almost 150 children received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, November 12, during a vaccination clinic held on campus. The school partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11, as well as booster doses of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for faculty and staff. The clinic was open to NSCD students and their families, even if siblings attend school elsewhere. 

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Students Launch Bottle Rockets

Each year, Middle School Science Teacher Lee Block requires his eighth graders to build and launch bottle rockets. The goal of this project is to apply what they have learned during their study of Newton’s Laws of Motion. 

The friendly competition is designed to see who can launch a bottle into the air and keep it afloat for the longest period of time. Students must follow specific rules about the type and size of the bottle, the design of the nose cone and fins, the parachute and the amount of pressure (PSI) pumped into it.

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Learning About Monarchs

North Shore Country Day's senior kindergarten class recently paraded around the school dressed as monarch butterflies, singing songs and displaying their handmade wings with their parents and our community. The students learned all about monarchs through an integrated curriculum that incorporated literacy, math, science, social studies and art.

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Rajiv Vinnakota Visiting Fellow

Each year, NSCD hosts the Harold H. Hines Jr. Visiting Fellowship that brings to campus a distinguished individual who exemplifies the school motto, “Live and Serve.” This year’s visiting fellow was Rajiv Vinnakota. Raj has dedicated his career to supporting students from underserved communities and to building a stronger democracy.

Read More about Rajiv Vinnakota Visiting Fellow