Meet Our Staff

Mr. Ajose, Paraprofessional
Graduated from Northern Illinois University

Mr. Ajose grew up in the city of Chicago and graduated high school in 2005 from Sullivan High School. He went to college at Northern Illinois University where he played football for four years.  He also was a campus leader and joined many organizations such as B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc and many other organizations. Mr. Ajose graduated college in August of 2010 in Kinesiology with a Bachelor's of Science. He has worked got Camelot Therapeutic School as a paraprofressional and teacher’s aide starting in January 2013 and joined Baker College Prep in fall 2014.

Ms. Arrigo, Assistant Principal
Graduated from Marquette University

Ms. Arrigo began teaching high school English and Literature in 2006 as a member of the Charter Corps of Teach for America- Connecticut. After completing her Teach for America tenure, Ms. Arrigo served as an advisor to new Corps Members at the Teach for America Summer Institute in Philadelphia. From 2008 to 2012, she was a founding instructor and English Department Chair at UIC College Prep, a campus of the Noble Street Charter School in Chicago. During this time, she also attended the KIPP Summer Leadership Program in New York City as a member of the Leadership Team cohort. After seeing the founding class at UIC College Prep graduate, Ms. Arrigo transitioned to Chicago Public Schools as the Manager of Recruitment and Authorization for the Office of New Schools, overseeing the Recruitment and Selection processes for new schools of all types. Ms. Arrigo is excited to be a member of another founding team of the Noble Network.

Ms. Ashraf, 11th Grade English Instructor and 11th Grade AP Language and Composition Instructor
Graduated from Bradley University

Ms. Ashraf is originally from Aurora, IL and went to Bradley University, where she majored in English and Secondary Education and minored in Spanish. As president of Sigma Tau Delta and a monitor at America Reads, she worked to promote the power of words and the importance of literacy within her university and surrounding community. After graduating, she joined Teach For America's recruitment team in Los Angeles, California and worked to recruit top college seniors and professionals throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. After her work on the recruitment team, Ms. Ashraf moved to the Mississippi Delta to teach 6th grade English Language Arts at Ruleville Middle School. After two years of teaching in Mississippi, she returned to Chicago to teach 10th grade reading at Baker College Prep. Ms. Ashraf loves literature, teaching, and the power of words. She has enjoyed making a home in Chicago and at Baker College Prep.

Mr. Borland, Learning Specialist
Graduated from Tiffin University

Mr. Borland attended Tiffin University from 2010 to 2014, where he majored in Homeland Security/Terrorism and Foresnic Psychology.  He has experience working in the criminal justice, service, and grocery industries.  In 2013, he interned with the United States Marshals in the Office of Inspection (internal affairs).  He started his career in education as a City Years Corps member in Miami, FL.  Mr. Borland is now a proud member of the Special Education Department at Baker College Prep. 

Mr. Daubenspeck, Social Worker

Mr. Davis, Paraprofessional
Graduated from Wayne State University

Mr. Davis is a 9th grade Paraprofessional at Baker College Prep. He has worked in education for over 20 years and worked for nearly 10 years with the Chicago area school system. He attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and is currently obtaining his TESL certification at the University of Illinois.  As an advocate for higher education and social justice, Mr. Davis continues to show his dedication through the mentorship of inner city youth and working with homeless veterans.

Ms. Dehghan, Art Instructor
Graduated from Tehran Azad University

Ms. Dehghan is a contemporary artist and fine art instructor who graduated from California Stat University of Fullerton in 2014 with a MFA in Drawing and Painting. Her work is in a world between painting and sculpture: two-dimension and three dimension.  Ms. Dehghan has lived, studied, and worked in several countries. She is inspired by works and views of a number of contemporary artists in the U.S. and other countries. Her goal has been to share what she has learned and discovered in the art world with her students, to encourage thinking out of the box, and producing art. 

Ms. Dunn, 9th Grade Biology Instructor
Graduated from Virginia Tech University

Ms. Dunn attended Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she earned Bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Psychology.  After college, she worked as a Chemist for the Navy under a Counter IED division.  Due to her strong desire to travel and make an impact in the world, she joined the Peace Corps, where she served as an Education Volunteer teaching math, sciences, life skills, reproductive health,  and many other subjects.  Upon her return, she continued working for underserved communities as an Adult Education Teacher in Rochester, NY, where she helped inner-city and refugee students obtain GEDs and citizenship.  Most recently, Ms. Dunn was a fellow for the University of Chicago's Crime Lab, where she performed high-intensive tutoring and mentoring for two CPS high schools on the south side of Chicago.  Ms. Dunn is thrilled to continue working with youth as a teacher at Baker College Prep.

Ms. Gaddis, Learning Specialist


Mr. Gay, Principal

Graduated from Temple University

Mr. Gay is the founding Principal of Baker College Prep.  Prior to founding Baker, he was the Assistant Principal at UIC College Prep, another campus of the Noble Network of Charter Schools.  Prior to joining UIC College Prep, he spent four years teaching AP U.S. History at Montclair High School in New Jersey. While at Montclair, he contributed outside of the classroom by being a sponsor of the National Honors Society as well as the Civics and Government Institute. After leaving Montclair, he went to work in program support roles for Citizen Schools and Teach for America. Outside of school, Mr. Gay enjoys watching sports and exploring the city. 

Ms. Gilstrap - 9th Grade Algebra I Instructor
Graduated from Rhodes College

Ms. Gilstrap is an Alabama native and passionate yogi.  For the past two years, she has served as an AmeriCorp Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools Illinois, working after school in two south side schools.  Prior to coming to Illinois, Ms. Gilstrap worked with students in the Hollywood community of north Memphis, where she led discussion groups on self-esteem, nutrition, and academics.  Ms. Gilstrap earned her B.A. in Psychology from Rhodes College, where she was inducted into the Student Leader Hall of Fame.  She believes in hands-on, inquiry-based approaches to learning to equip students with problem-solving and critical thinking skills to help them thrive in the 21st century.

Mr. Healy, Dean of Students

Graduated from Pennsylvania State University

Mr. Healy graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 with a major in political science and sociology. Upon graduation, he joined Teach For America as a 2011 Houston Corps Member. He spent two years teaching 6-8th grade English at Pro-Vision Middle School in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Mr. Healy plans to continue teaching in Chicago as a 9th grade reading teacher at Baker College

Mr. Henderson, Dean of Discipline
Graduated from Northern Illinois University

Mr. Henderson is one of Baker’s founding staff members.  Prior to joining Baker, he spent five years on active duty in the United States Army, including a tour in Afghanistan from 2008-2009.  He attended Northern Illinois University and has also been a member of the Illinois Army National Guard since 2001.  While active, Mr. Henderson trained and prepared soldiers, sailors, and airmen for overseas deployment.  He takes pride in his service and the rewarding nature of being a member of the armed forces.  The search for a similar pride is what brought him to the Noble Network and Baker College Prep to engage daily with inner city youth in preparation for the future and higher education.

Ms. Henderson, Physical Education Instructor

Ms. Hochstetler, Learning Specialist
Graduated from Gonzaga University

Ms. Hochstetler is excited to be moving back to the Midwest and starting at Baker College Prep this fall.  At Gonzaga, Ms. Hochstetler found her passion to be working with kids, and she majored in Special Education and received certification in secondary math education.  After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Master's in Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University.  She taught high school math for the past four years in Los Angeles, where she has served as a moderator for several differnt clubs and was also the Department Chair for Math and Science.  In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, running, and just being with friends and family. 

Ms. Hoopingarner, 9th Grade English Instructor
Graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ms. Hoopingarner just completed two years in the Teach For America program in Miami, Florida before returning to her home in Chicago.  In Miami, she taught ninth and tenth grade English at Carol City Senior High School.  Along with teaching, Ms. Hoopingarner created the first soccer team at Carol City in over ten years and was the lead coach during her two years there.  She is thrilled to be joining the Baker College Prep team! 

Ms. Hunt, Learning Specialist
Graduated from Ohio State University

Ms. Hunt is originally from Ohio and attended the Ohio State University, where she majored in Art History.  After graduating, she moved to Chicago, where she attended DePaul University and recived her Master's degree in Secondary Education in Visual Art Education.  Prior to joining Baker, Ms. Hunt taught in both Chicago and New York City.

Ms. Jaruseski, 10th Grade Reading Instructor
Graduated from Northwestern University

Ms. Jaruseski is from Lombard, Illinois and attended Northwestern University.  After graduating with a degree in Political Science and International Studies, she began her Teach for America commitment in Kansas City, Missouri.  There, she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Communication arts for two years.  She received her Master's in Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is excited to come home to Chicago and continue her career as an educator at Baker College Prep!  

Ms. Jones, Disciplinarian
Graduated from Devry University

Ms. Jones was raised in the West Town area of Chicago.  She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Devry University in 2013. Ms. Jones worked within the West Town/Humboldt Park community for the past eight years mentoring the youth and teaching technology to seniors. Ms. Jones is excited to bring her skills to the Baker Community and work with students and families to foster a bond that will go beyond the four high school years. 

Ms. Kieltyka, 10th Grade Geometry Instructor

Mr. Lee, Physical Education Instructor

Mr. Lewis, Culture Team Member and In-House Substitue Teacher

Ms. Love, Disciplinarian

Mr. Lim, 9th Grade Biology Instructor
Graduated from the University of Chicago

Mr. Lim joined Baker College Prep in 2014. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014 with a B.A. in Economics and Public Policy. Prior to teaching at Baker, he worked at several educational organizations, including the Urban Education Institute in Hyde Park, as well as the New York City Department of Education.

Mr. Mack, Manager of Student Recruitment & College Counselor 
Graduated from Valparaiso University

Ms. Magar, Assistant Dean of Discipline
Graduated from Indiana University

Ms. McNeal, Dean of Special Education
Graduated from Loyola University

Ms. McNeal joined Baker College Prep during the 2014-15 school year after working as a Case Manager on Chicago's Westside. A Chicago native, Quiana was also a TFA corps member in the Chicago region ('12). Quiana is a career changer and a licensed attorney. Quiana was brought to education by a sense of justice and a desire to ensure that all children get a world-class education. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, vacationing, good crossword puzzles, and cooking.

Ms. Meyer, 10th Grade Chemistry and 11th Grade AP Chemistry Instructor
Graduated from the University of Southern California

Ms. Meyer graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 with a major in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a minor in Natural Science. Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America as a 2012 Mississippi Delta Corps Member. She spent two years teaching Chemistry at Byhalia High School in Byhalia, Mississippi. In her second year, Ms. Meyer restarted the A.P. Chemistry program and coached the B.H.S. Softball Team. In 2014, the STAR student at B.H.S. designated Ms. Meyer as her STAR teacher, the person who made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.

Mr. Monson, Paraprofessional & Athletic Director & 9th grade Civic Instructor
Graduated from Ball State University

Mr. Monson has spent the last ten years recruiting in the three largest educational sectors: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Prior to joining Baker, he worked as an Assistant Director of Admissions for the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. He is a volunteer for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and is excited about bringing in resources to enhance our after-school enrichment and community service programs. Mr. Monson is Baker’s founding Head Football and Track & Field Coach and plans to attend Northeastern Illinois University January of 2015 to pursue an M.A. in Inner City Studies Education.


Ms. Pagni, 10th Dean Of Instruction
Graduated from the University of Michigan

Ms. Pagni graduated in 2011 from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education certification in English and History. During her time at Michigan, she spent two years working in sports journalism, as a writer and editor for the campus paper, The Michigan Daily. Prior to joining the Noble Network, Ms. Pagni was the 6th grade Reading teacher at Uncommon Schools' Rochester Prep Middle School in upstate New York.

Ms. Pate, 10th Grade English Instructor
Graduated from DePaul University

Mr. Romeo, Learning Specialist

Ms. Royston, 9th Grade Algebra Instructor
Graduated from DePaul University

Ms. Royston was born in Sacramento, California and raised in on the south side of Chicago. After attending elementary and high school in Chicago Public Schools, she was selected as a Golden Apple Scholar for her dedication to becoming a teacher. She went on to study elementary education, concentrating in math and French, at DePaul University. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Ms. Royston continued her education, also earning a Master's from DePaul in Curriculum studies. She taught 5th grade and was also a cheerleading coach before going on to complete her second Master’s in human development and psychology from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. She enjoys solving math puzzles, baking, shoe shopping, and spending time with her new son, Lance.

Ms. J.Royston, Paraprofessional

Ms. Ryan, Learning Specialist
Graduated from the University of Dayton

Ms. Ryan joins the Baker College Prep team as a Learning Specialist teacher. Ms. Ryan was born and raised in Glenview, Illinois.  She graduated in May 2014 from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education as an Intervention Specialist.  She is very excited to begin teaching at Baker.

Mr. Rynne, 11th Grade Reading Instructor and 11th Grade AP U.S. History Instructor
Graduated from Marquette University

Mr. Rynne is excited to return to Chicago to teach American History and Reading. Prior to joining the Baker team, Mr. Rynne taught Humanities as a founding teacher at Tindley Prep, an all-male middle school in Indianapolis, as part of his Teach For America 2012 Corps commitment. He has lived abroad in Ireland twice, first as a student and then shortly after graduating from Marquette University. Mr. Rynne has also worked in educational publishing and done archival work. He was born and raised in Evergreen Park on the south side and has a strong affinity for all things Chicago, particularly its sports and its food.

Ms. Santoyo, Office Manager
Graduated from Devry University

Ms. Santoyo was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, Illinois. She received her Associates Degree from City Colleges of Chicago. She is in the process of completing her Bachelor’s degree from Devry University. Ms. Santoyo has experience working with children and families in low income communities. She has served as a Family Service Worker for children between the ages of 3-5 in the community of West Humboldt Park.

Ms. Scodro, College Counselor
Graduated from Columbia University

Ms. Scodro joined Baker College Prep as the Founding Dean of Operations in 2013 after spending about four years working at the KIPP Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports KIPP’s national network of charter schools.   In addition to working on Baker's operations and student recruitment, Ms. Scodro also taught an Early Collegiate Scholars course and supported the founding year of Baker's Summer of a Lifetime Program.  As the Dean of Students for the 2015-16 school year, she worked to assist students with meeting promotion requirements and persisting on the path to college graduation.  Ms. Scodro will be a college counselor for Baker upon her return from maternity leave this spring.

Mr. Snitker, 10th and 11th Grade Spanish Instructor
Graduated from Loras College

Sr. Snitker grew up playing sports and milking cows in the small town of Waukon, IA.  He attended Loras College (Dubuque, IA), where he earned a degree in Spanish Education as well as a minor in Media Studies.  After college, he moved to Charlotte, NC, where he taught high school Spanish and coached basketball.  As a basketball coach, he won two consecutive state championships.  His favorite hobby is staying physically active and running Obstacle Course Races such as the Spartan Race.  In the summer, he loves working at Loras All-Sports Camp, where he has worked for the past eight years. 

Mr. Smith, 9th and 12th Grade African American History Instructor
Graduated from University of Notre Dame


Ms. Thomas, 11th Grade Algebra II Instructor and 11th Grade Level Chair
Graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology

Ms. Thomas joined the team with a myriad of corporate and education experience. With a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Loyola University, Ms. Thomas has taught classes at the college and high school level, trained instructors, led departments, and co-authored as well as edited a math textbook. She has worked as a recruiter, manager, and software programmer in corporate America. Most recently, Ms. Thomas worked for Davenport University as the Math, Physics and Engineering Curriculum Specialist for the Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program.  Ms. Thomas uses these experiences as real-world applications to inspire students to be great critical thinkers and problem-solvers in the math classes she teaches.

Ms. Uchendu, Social Worker
Graduated from Trinity International University

Ms. Uchendu is excited to be a part of Baker College Prep and is honored to be able to help provide students with the social-emotional skills they need to succeed.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English-Communications from Trinity International University and a Master of Social Work degree, with a school specialization, from Loyola University Chicago. In addition, she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), which required her to receive additional training to provide clinical therapy and she is licensed by the state of Illinois to do so. Prior to working at Baker College Prep, she worked for 2.5 years as a social worker in a suburban high school.  When she is not at school, she enjoys reading, traveling, and seeking out new experiences. 

Mrs. Villegas, Learning Specialist

Mr. Waychunas, 9th Grade Civics Instructor
Graduated from Marquette University

Mr. Waychunas was born and raised in Elmhurst, Illinois, graduated from York Community High School, and received his Bachelor's degree from Marquette University in History and Secondary Education. Upon graduation, he moved to Las Vegas where he lived for four years, teaching one year of 3rd/4th grade, two years of 6th-8th grade social studies, and serving this past year as the School Improvement Coordinator/Data Coach at the 100 Academy of Excellence. Through coursework in Political Management at the College of Southern Nevada, he had the opportunity to serve as the Campaign Manager for a Nevada Assemblywoman through a victorious primary and general election. As a firm believer in the fact that every student can (and will) learn, he is looking forward to helping students realize their full potential and become active and engaged citizens.

Mr. Weisenburger, 11th Grade Physics Instructor and 10th Grade Honors Chemistry Instructor
Graduated from Loyola University Chicago

Ms. Weisenburger grew up in Ploymouht, MN and moved to Chicago to attend Loyola University Chicago.  She received her B.S. in Biology and M.Ed. in Secondary Education.  Upon graduation, she began her teaching career at Harper High School.  She has taught multiple science disciplines and levels in the city of Chicago for the past six years.  She coached the girls soccer team at Lakeview High School and started a tap dance club at ChiArts.  She is very excited to join the Baker family as the founding Physics teacher. 

Ms. Wright, 9th Grade English Instructor
Graduated from Penn State University

Ms. Wright began her career in education over thirteen years ago working to develop outreach programming for high school students in Philadelphia. Through the New York City Teaching Fellows program, she became certified to teach ELA in New York.  Since 2005, she has taught in New York City, Ypsilanti, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.  She holds a B.A. in English and Journalism from Penn State University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from Iowa State, and an M.Ed in English Education from CUNY: Brooklyn College.