Tap each Board member’s name to see more information.
Lauren Polite ▾
Co-President Lauren Polite is the mom to Tia (U-High ’18), and Max (U-High junior), and wife to Blase Polite. They are a Hyde Park family, and affiliated with the university. Since there is something magical about 3’s–she is humbled to be serving her third term as PA President after a six-year hiatus. In her younger parenting days Lauren was involved as a room parent, on N/K Council, Book Swap, Rites of May, Connections, Used Book BuyBack, and other community-building events. She has enjoyed being a “sports mom” with Tia and looks forward to representing the parents in working with the current school administration, and faculty on the many opportunities available to our growing Laboratory Schools. Lauren has a background in health policy and currently works for the State of Illinois; Medicaid program. Lauren encourages all parents to become involved at the schools as much as one’s schedule allows, and to feel free to reach out directly to her or to any member of the PA Board. We want to hear from you! Please email Lauren Polite with any concerns or questions.
Barbara Kern ▾
Co-President Barbara Kern is mom to Ethan (10 grade) and Abbie (4th grade). A long time parent (her son started in Nursey 4) she has had many great opportunities to volunteer for Lab Schools, including NK Council, LS Council, Rites of May, and Co-PA President in 2014, and once again this year. Barb is thrilled to be working closely with her good friend Lauren Polite and all of the wonderful parents who volunteer their time and energy on the PA Board, committees, groups and more. Please contact Barbara with any concerns or questions, she would love to hear from you.
Saima Sufi ▾
Saima is from all over the world. She was born in Pakistan, but grew up in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It was then off to the University of Toronto before arriving in the United States in 2003. She has taught math at both the Winsor School and Walnut Hill in Boston, Massachusetts, and she has continued math education through tutoring Lab students and volunteering in Ms. Rochester’s first grade class. She served as treasurer-elect and then treasurer in 2015-2017, and is back for another term. Saima is the proud mother of three Lab children (1st, 4th and 7th grades). Please contact Saimi with any questions about the PA treasury.
Rupert Vaughn ▾
Rupert joined the Lab community in 2014, when his twin boys, Xavier and Dominic, transferred in as first graders. This is Rupert’s first term with the PA, though he has been a room parent and has served as a Lab volunteer in other capacities. Outside of Lab, Rupert volunteers at Ronald McDonald House every week, and cooks dinners for the RMH monthly. He lives with his wife, Sherry, in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and spends as much time as he can cooking, reading, gardening, hiking and generally puttering around at the family’s log cabin in rural Indiana.
Archana Dharanipragada ▾
Please contact Archana with questions about the PA treasury. Archana is the proud parent of two wonderful kids: her daughter, Devyani, is in 11th grade, and her son, Shouri, is in 8th grade. Archana is an adjunct instructor for undergraduate classes at a local Chicag area university. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, chess and doing hand embroidery. Archana is excited to be a part of the Lab community, and looks forward to meeting everyone.
Mariana Ingersoll ▾
Mariana and her husband, Paul, have three high school sons, two of them at Lab. Mariana has been an avid volunteer at Lab for many years. She has been a room parent, a volunteer at Rites of May and other festivals, a Connections Co-Chair, as well as a founding member of the parents group LASO (Latin American Spanish Organization). Mariana is also a trustee board member of High Jump, an organization working to expand the accessibility of our academic enrichment program to talented and motivated middle school students with limited family income. In her free time, Mariana enjoys playing tennis, and gardening.
Ann Grissom ▾
Ann previously served as Communications Coordinator-Elect, as well as a two-year term on High School Council and felt it was important to continue her support for Lab through the Parents’ Association as Communications Coordinator. Ann is a stay-at-home mom managing four children (John – U-High ’17, Peter – 11th, Jacob – 8th and Kate 6th), sometimes five if you include her husband, Doug. If Ann is not organizing closets or family albums, she might be out running (my main form of exercise). Or, if not doing the normal household chores or answering emails, she might be reading a book or knitting (her go-to pastimes). Ann looks forward to getting to know the communications role, the new members of the PA, and the new Lab families as well! Please reach out to Ann with any questions, concerns, or suggestions on how the Lab PA and Lab can better communicate with families.
Patty Jones ▾
Patty was born and raised in Panama, where she grew up bilingual and bicultural, playing along the banks of the Panama Canal. Patty has three children at Lab: a daughter in 10th grade, a daughter in fifth grade, and a son in 1st grade. They have been a Lab family since 2006. Patty has been a room parent, tour guide, helped with Connections, and is a founding member of LASO (Latin American Spanish Organization). This is her sixth year serving on the PA Board, and her fifth year involved with PA Communications. Patty is a co-chair of the Mad Hatters, a children’s improv storytelling troupe that performs throughout Chicago, promoting reading and children’s literacy. She and her husband Andrew serve as Resident Deans for Burton-Judson Courts, a dorm for undergraduates at the University of Chicago–this is their 17th year presiding over dorms and houses. Please reach out to Patty with any questions, concerns, or suggestions about PA and Lab communications.
High School Council
Angie Holleb ▾
Angie and her husband, Tom, have two sophomores at Lab, Peyton and Grace. Angie has been involved with various parent activities during their 11 years at the school, including Connections, tour guide, room parent and Development Committee. Angie joined the High School Council with the goal of fostering community given the school’s growth and change in many of the schools’ leadership positions over the past few years. Angie can often be found on Lakeshore Drive commuting from Lincoln Park to Lab for drop-off, meetings and games. Please reach out to Angie to discuss U-High, the PA and Spirit Council.
Zainab Baig ▾
Zainab is a practicing physician with a junior and seventh grader. At Lab, Zainab has served as a mentor to new families, hosted neighborhood socials and volunteered at PA/faculty events. She has previously been on the board of an independent K-8 school, chaired the school auction and capital campaign. As part of the HS Council, Zainab hopes to bring her passion and commitment for the Lab community to support students, teachers and the administration to the fullest extent possible. Please email Zainab with any questions.
Farah Noor Cheema ▾
Farah, originally a physician by profession, has dedicated a majority of her time to being an active volunteer at her children’s’ establishments. She has a 10th grader, Noor, who came to Lab from The Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, IL. While at ACS, Farah served as a room parent, headed the Cultural Connections program, and served as the treasurer for Home and School Association. She also organized events such as the school auction, eighth grade graduation, and was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. During her first year at Lab, she has co-chaired the Rites of May Festival and helped with high school graduation. Farah has also served on the board of the HUNAR foundation, an international nonprofit organization whose objective is to provide young adults within the underprivileged and marginalized segments of society with standard vocational training, leading to economic freedom and empowerment. As a member of HSPC, she hopes to contribute the same zeal and dedication towards aiding the Lab community. Please reach out to Farah to discuss any high school concerns or suggestions for the High School Council. She would love to hear from you!
Kevin Tan ▾
Kevin is a retired Chief Investment Officer who enjoys chess, fishing and soccer. He also serves as Park Commissioner and Treasurer for the Oak Brook Park District. His daughter, Jasmine, joined UHigh in 2017-2018 as a freshman. She enjoys theather, fencing, debate and Karate. Kevin likes making new friends so please reach out to Kevin with any questions or concerns about U-High.
Middle School Council
Angela Cobb ▾
Angela and her husband, Darryl, have two children at Lab–Myles a 7th grader, and Zoe, a 4th grader.Both began attending Lab in Nursery 3. Since joining the Lab Schools community, Angela has worked in many volunteer capacities including, serving as a room parent, launching the Parent Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2010, leading that group for 5-years, and also working with school leadership to launch the all schools Diversity, Advisory Committee in 2013. In her day job Angela runs her own consulting practice – FirstGen Partners – working with education nonprofits, schools, and other social enterprise to enhance their programs and become more diverse, equitable and inclusive. If you have any questions or concerns about Middle School, please reach out to Angela .
Susan Farmer ▾
Susan has two daughters at Lab (Kira: 7th, and Laurel: 4th, grades). She and her husband Richard met at Booth in 2000 and soon will be moving to Hyde Park from Bucktown. After a 15-year career in business administration and marketing research, Susan has returned to her first love: oil painting. The Farmer house typically has a huge mess of kids’ art covering the playroom floor, and a number of animals getting into mischief. Susan has been a frequent volunteer, currently serving on the team developing the new ColLABorator tool for teachers to more easily draw upon Lab’s diverse parent/grandparent/alumni community to augment the curriculum. Please feel free to reach out to Susan for all things Middle School. She and her family would love to get to know you.
Monica Hughson ▾
Monica Lee Hughson joins the Parents’ Association for a second time. She comes from a career in public relations and public education with emphasis on organizational and leadership effectiveness as well as evaluating culture and climate. Since moving to Chicago in 2009, she continues to use her skills supporting and working with various professional, educational and cultural organizations such as Social Venture Partners, Human Rights Watch, The Hyde Park Art Center and the Goodman Theatre. Monica has been a strong supporter and advocate for the Lab community by serving on the ESH council from 2014-16, being a room parent, being a parent representative on various advisory hiring committees such as Lab’s executive search and focus groups. She lives in Hyde Park with her husband Bill Hughson and their two daughters who will begin fourth and sixth grades in September 2018. Please email Monica with any questions about Middle School.
Heather Tamburo ▾
Heather’s daughter, Téa, will be in 8th grade this year. This will be her second year at Lab (they started in the 2016-2017 school year with the 6th grade expansion). Heather met her husband, Ted, in Chicago—he is an advertising photographer and has a studio one mile from their house. They live in River North and enjoy eating at all the interesting restaurants within walking distance from their home. As a new parent last year, Heather volunteered for a few events at Lab and really enjoyed the parents, teachers and faculty she met and worked with. She is looking forward to the additional involvement that being on the MS Council entails. Heather enjoys reading books on China (1911-current day), as well as books on racism and social justice. This summer, she has has gotten back into reading fiction for pleasure. Heather also likes to collect small objects- antique buttons and charm bracelet charms. She grew up in Woodstock, IL, graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in Environmental Design. After college she moved to Chicago and has lived here ever since—which is a really long time (31 years). Please contact Heather with any questions about the PA or Middle School.
Lower School Council
Jill Cross ▾
Please contact Jill with any questions about PA Lower School events, or concerns.
Melissa McMahill ▾
Melissa has a daughter in 5th grade, and a son in 2nd grade. Melissa has served as room parent and volunteered in multiple classroom and school events. She grew up in Minneapolis and went to college in Colorado. After school, she moved to Manhattan and then finally to Chicago for graduate school where she met her husband, who works at the U of C Medical Center. They live in Kenwood and enjoy being part of the Lab School and Hyde Park communities. Please email Melissa with any questions–she’d love to hear from you.
Abundio Rodriguez ▾
Many may agree that the University of Chicago’s distinct intellectual environment of rigorous inquiry depends upon diversity of perspectives and experiences among those who compose it. We, as part of this great University, through our children’s eyes, have affirmed this charge, by collaborating side by side with men and women, members of many races, and those part of a wide range of religious and economic backgrounds. Being outnumbered by women in his own home, Abundio is thoughtful of his daughters’ own citizenship and independent thinking, and he is compelled to use their and the voice of his own experiences to inspire creative outside-the-box thinking as he works together with you to support our children’s education. Abundio and his wife, Elizabeth, are the proud parents of Liv (4th Grade), Sophie (2nd Grade), and Eli (Nursery 4). Please reach out to Abundio with any questions or concerns.
Catherine Rosenberg ▾
Catherine and her husband, Mike, have recently moved to Kenwood from the Lakeview area and are parents to Ellie who is entering 3rd grade. Catherine has enjoyed being a room parent over the past several years as well as volunteering to run ESH’s Picture Day program. Originally from La Jolla, California, she has lived in Chicago for the past 20 years. Catherine spent many years in the healthcare and real estate consulting world before staying home full time with her family and enjoying time volunteering with Lab and the Cradles to Crayons’ organization. She’s looking forward to volunteering her time on the Lower School Council of the PA. Please reach out to Catherine with any questions!
Earl Shapiro Hall Council
Meggan Friedman ▾
Meggan Friedman has been a Lab parent for three years, during which time she has served as a room parent, a mentor to new families, and has volunteered for Connections, Dewey Dance, and the Parents Fund. Meggan is a Senior Investment Sales Strategist for a bank in Chicago, and she and her husband, Sam, live in Old Town and are proud parents of a kindergartener. Meggan looks forward to connecting with ESH families in the year ahead and to helping people to get more involved in the life of the school. Please don’t hesitate to contact Meggan with any questions.
Samantha Morales ▾
Samantha is in her second year as a Lab parent and lives in Humboldt Park with her husband, Jaime, her daughter, London (N4), and their dog Gus. Illinois natives, the Morales clan spends as much time outside as possible, with trips to Lincoln Park Zoo and Maggie Daley Park topping the list of favorite activities. While at Lab, volunteering for admissions tours, the Parents Fund, Connections, and Rites of May have offered Samantha meaningful opportunities to meet and work with other parents. Samantha is a marketing professional for the University’s Alumni Relations and Development office, and is excited to marry her passion for communications with serving the Lab community. Please contact Samantha with any questions or concerns about ESH or the PA.
Jelani Frazier ▾
Jelani has two boys that attend Lab. Zachary in 33d grade, and Logan in 1st grade. This will be Logan’s fourth year at Lab, and Zachary’s third year. Jelani and his family live in Beverly. Jelani loves doing anything that allows them to be outside as a family, but biking together is their main family hobby. They are lifelong Chicagoans. Please contact Jelani with any questions about ESH.
Amelia Klein ▾
Amelia Klein has two kids at Lab – Rafael who is in 2nd grade and Bronte who is in N4. This is their second year at Lab. Amelia grew up in Sydney, Australia and has lived in the USA for eleven years including time in New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Princeton. After all these moves Chicago is now home! We love exploring the city and you’ll see us scootering and biking around Hyde Park. Amelia loves baking and scrapbooking and is looking forward to helping create lots of ways for ESH families to connect throughout the school year. Please feel free to reach out to Amelia with any questions.
Michael Norwood ▾
Michael Norwood Jr. is the father of Natasha (N4)student, and is married to his wonderful wife, Tiffany, who works in the Middle School. Michael and Tiffany also have two sons, Michael III and John-Michael. As a retired professional international football player for Team USA, Michael has an extensive history playing for teams in Canada and Brazil. He was inducted into the Minor League Football Hall of Fame in 2017. He currently works as a Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director at a school in the South Shore neighborhood. Michael holds a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science from North Central College and a Masters degree in Sports Management from The University of the Southwest. Please reach out to Michael Norwood with any questions about ESH.
Christie Tate ▾
Christie lives in the South Loop with her husband Jeff and fourth grader, Sadie, and second grader, Simon. They like to bike on the lakefront and take a road trip every summer. Their family roots are in California and Texas so making friends who are like family at Lab has been really special for them.