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Our Team & Partners

We fill our halls with professionals who care.

You get out what you put in – and we pride ourselves in staffing the very best. Every Metro faculty member comes to us with a multi-discplinary education background and a passion for working with differentiated learners.

Our educators and support staff are the cream-of-the-crop; the very best in all of Chicagoland.

Jennifer Kelly

Executive Director & Founder

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Marisa Wakely

School Social Worker

Marisa is excited to be starting her first year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse as a School Social Worker! Marisa will be working with students on social emotional learning (SEL), English Applications, and Math Applications. In addition, Marisa will also be working with the high school students to achieve their post high school goals. Marisa is a Licensed Social Worker and received her Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. Prior to becoming a Licensed Social Worker, Marisa received a Master’s of Arts degree in the Social Sciences with a concentration in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Marisa has a background working in school and clinical settings and has experience working with kids of all ages and ability levels.  In her free time, Marisa enjoys long walks with her dog, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors. Marisa is looking forward to a great school year and helping students succeed in and outside of the classroom.

Sarah Brady

Position / Title

Sarah is looking forward to the 2023/2024 school year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse. It will be her 4th year at Metro, and her 13th year teaching. She’s very enthusiastic about her new role this school year Alongside teaching math to a small group of students, and assisting with art classes, she will serve as the school’s program director. In this new role, she will be organizing and coordinating all special events including but not limited to field trips, after school family events, overnight educational student trips, and the big school trip at the end of the school year. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech/Communication, and has an Illinois Teaching Certificate with endorsements in science, social science, English, and speech.

In Sarah’s spare time, attends local country shows and concerts with friends. Additionally she is actively visiting colleges with her husband and her two kids who are college bound!

Gabriella Gunderson

Position / Title

Gabriella is excited to be starting her 10th year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse. Gabriella has filled many hats at Metro. She has taught all grade levels, and had an administrative role as well. She is very excited to be working with the Blue Line students again in reading and math and will also be the Red Line ELA teacher and a SLANT reading specialist school-wide. After a year of extensive training, Gabriella has officially become a SLANT Certified Teacher. SLANT is a structured literacy program that is Orton Gillingham based. Gabriella is excited to implement SLANT throughout the school this year. Gabriella is also our curriculum director, and works closely with all of the staff to help with implementation and instruction. Gabriella has been working in the education field for the past 15 years with kids of all ages, ability levels, and class sizes. In her spare time, Gabriella loves to play the piano, and offers piano lessons at Metro! You will also probably hear her talking about her three-year old daughter, Eleanor, and her goldendoodle, Tanner. Gabriella is looking forward to a great school year and focusing on the growth and success of each student.

Claire Jager

Position / Title

Claire is excited to be starting her 2nd year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse teaching the Brown Line. Claire obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Education with an endorsement in English. She has been teaching for almost ten years and has worked in a variety of school settings. Claire has previously worked as an afterschool program director, a kindergarten assistant, a special education paraeducator, and taught third and fourth grade for the past 6 years. Additionally, Claire has coached a variety of sports including middle school basketball, soccer, cheerleading, and dance. Claire enjoys exercising and being outside in her free time, especially taking walks on the lakefront or to local coffee shops. She’s a big sports fan and loves cheering on our Chicago home teams, including the Cubs and the Bulls. She is looking forward to joining the Metro team and making Metro magic with her new students and colleagues!

Erin Taylor

Position / Title

Erin is delighted to begin her 4th year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse! She began at Metro as a Maternity Leave teacher for Gabriella’s K-2 students. While at Metro, she has had an administrative role and has also taught students of all levels in both the classroom and on a one-on-one basis. Erin has a BA and MA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has experience teaching all levels of learners including teaching English at the college level. In her spare time, she loves visiting art galleries and museums. She also loves everything health and wellness related and is a certified Health Coach. Erin is really looking forward to starting the new school year at Metro with our Metro students and faculty!

Marcy Campagna

School Librarian

Marcy can’t believe that she is starting her 9th year at Metro as the School Librarian. She is very excited to share all the new books that Metro has added to the library over the summer. She loves helping the kids find the materials that they need, especially for the Book Challenge! Her favorite thing is read-aloud time with all of the classes. Marcy worked for 26 years at the Elmwood Park Public Library in their Technical Services Department, 24 of them as department head. She supervised the ordering and processing of all the material on the shelves. She also filled in at both the Adult and Youth Services References Desks whenever needed. In her spare time she loves listening to music, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family, especially her three year old granddaughter, Eleanor and her new grandson Paul! Marcy is looking forward to another fun and successful year at Metro.

Cindy Kelly

Art Teacher

Cindy is excited to be starting her third year as the Metro Art teacher. Along with teaching art, Cindy also helps in the office and works 1:1 with students throughout the day. Cindy has been teaching ceramics to children and adults for the past 26 years. The things she loves most about art is encouraging her students to use their imagination to express themselves. She is looking forward to introducing new art mediums to our students this year in our dedicated art and makerspace room! When Cindy is not at Metro, she enjoys working in her garden and spending time with her husband, kids, and grandchildren.

Thomas Vazquez

Position / Title

Thomas is thrilled to begin a new journey in his first year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse. He has taught high school mathematics for 18 years ranging from pre-algebra to precalculus and everything in between, as well as coaching tennis for eight years. For seven of those 18 years he was the mathematics department chair and for five years co-led the Instructional Leadership Team to establish school-wide instructional priorities in CPS. Thomas has a BA in mathematics and has completed post-grad work in mathematics education at DePaul and UIC. Much of his off time is spent happily with his son, doing whatever a six year old wants to do. When Thomas does have a solo moment he is an avid fisherman and also enjoys exercising and reading.

Max Guy

Position / Title

Max Guy is delighted to begin his first year at Metropolitan Schoolhouse! Max has a BFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University. He has exhibited internationally and locally at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has experience not only on the collegiate level, but also working with school aged children fostering their love of learning through art and language. Max loves reading, biking, and studying languages (he is currently learning Hebrew). He looks forward to meeting Metro students and sharing his love for art and literature!

Become a Metro family.

If you’re interested in applying to join our Metro family, we strongly encourage you to do so. We’ll invite you in for a tour and get a jump start on making sure we’re a great fit!