about RPMS


We are a community of families and educators guided by the philosophy of Maria Montessori

Rogers Park Montessori School (RPMS) is a not for profit (501)c3, non-sectarian, educational organization located in the Andersonville neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois.  It is a co-educational day school that enrolls children from ages 2 to 14.  We are a community of families and educators guided by the philosophy of Maria Montessori.  RPMS is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS).  

RPMS admits students of any race, color, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.  No student, on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any RPMS education program or activity.  


                                  


RPMS at a glance

RPMS At a Glance: 2018-2019

Founded in Rogers Park in 1966
Student Body: 410 (ages 2-14)
Students receiving tuition assistance: 11%
Students of color: 28.3%
Graduates accepted into Chicago Selective Enrollment High Schools: 92%

Our graduates commonly attend the following high schools: Beacon Academy, Jones College Prep, Lane Tech College Prep High School, Loyola Academy, Northside College Prep, Senn Arts and IB, St. Ignatius College Prep, Von Steuben, Walter Payton, Whitney Young, Wolcott, in addition to other local public and independent schools.

Most of our families live within five miles of RPMS and come from the following neighborhoods:  Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Edgewater, Rogers Park, Bowmanville, Lakeview, Ravenswood, and Lincoln Park.



virtual tour

please enjoy a stroll through our school




our history


Rogers Park Montessori School was founded by ten Rogers Park parents in September of 1966 in a converted space at St. Ignatius parish and has provided quality education to the children of Chicago ever since. 

In 1975, the school moved its site to Bethany Lutheran Church at 1244 W. Thorndale. RPMS gradually expanded to offer a Toddler class, five Children's House classrooms, and after school care for working families.  The RPMS elementary program launched in 1991 and in three years, the class grew from its initial enrollment of 7 to 18 students.

In 1994, RPMS opened a 9-12 program and a year later, with the continued growth of the elementary program, new space was leased at 1020 West Bryn Mawr in the Edgewater Presbyterian Church. This building housed our 6-9 and 9-12 classrooms and after-school elementary program.  The combination of growth and separate buildings created the need to look for a single site to house both our programs. This search spanned over 10 years.

In 2004, RPMS purchased and began construction on our current home, a 47,000 sq. ft. educational facility at 1800 West Balmoral. Thanks to the hard work, support, and continued energy of RPMS parents, a state-of-the-art school that incorporates the Montessori philosophy into its design opened in January 2006. The facility includes Montessori programming from Toddler to Middle School, two gyms, library, green roof, playgrounds, and green space.

In 2014, enrollment demands and a desire to expand led the school to develop plans for a 14,000 square foot addition to the existing building. The expansion allowed the school to add a middle school wing with science stations, a central group presentation area, and breakout learning spaces. Dedicated library, drama, music, and resource rooms were added along with additional administration office space and rooftop recreation playspace and gardens. The large gym was retrofitted with commercial grade lighting, sound, and audiovisual equipment for use in staging performances and hosting events. The expansion also enabled the school to grow its lower and upper elementary program by renovating the existing building to add two new classrooms.





academic staff


Rogers Park Montessori School attracts and retains an experienced and dedicated faculty. Our teachers hold Bachelors or Masters degrees, are Montessori certified, and have many years of in-class experience.



early childhood
teaching staff

Our early childhood staff creates a special sense of continuity and belonging for the youngest members of our community.  Their knowledge of child development and Montessori education, as well as their practical expertise, make for an environment that is both child and parent friendly.



elementary/
middle school
teaching staff

At the elementary level, our Montessori trained classroom teachers are joined by specialists who lead the co-curricular programming of Spanish, drama, art, music, and physical education.  Many of our teachers have taught at RPMS for over 15 years.  Their loyalty, talent, and professionalism are exceptional, and their dedication and commitment to children have garnered RPMS a reputation for excellence in Montessori education.



montessori training

Montessori training is specific to age groups:

  • Toddler (2 year olds)
  • Children's House (3-6 year olds)
  • Lower Elementary (6-9 year olds)
  • Upper Elementary (9-12 year olds)
  • Middle School/Adolescent (12-14 year olds).

RPMS utilizes a variety of both AMI and AMS Montessori training centers throughout the United States.



May 2018 Rogers Park Montessori Board Members at Strategic Planning Retreat 

(Left to Right) Vasili Gerogiannis, Ann Scholhamer(R), Kathy Lunsky, Paul Herbert, Paul Kuzma (R), Chris Paluch, Danielle Loevy, Ben Blair,  Mita Jain, Chris Lozier, Lori Morlock, Mark Levine

Not pictured:

Yvette Gonzales, Derek Zolner, Tony Malcoun (R), Katie Wise (R)

R=Retired in 2017

governance

RPMS is a board-governed 501(c)(3) organization.  The Board of Directors meets approximately eight times per year, and focuses on the school’s strategic direction and long term sustainability in line with our mission and core values. Committees of the board include business finance, diversity and inclusion, marketing, committee on trustees, advancement, and alumni relations.

board members

Ben Blair

RPMS Principal

Ben is the new Principal at Rogers Park Montessori School.  He holds a Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Columbia College Chicago, and a Montessori I & II Elementary Credential.  For the past 13 years, he has served the RPMS community, first as a classroom teacher and more recently as the Elementary Program Director.  In addition to his work at RPMS, Ben has served as a site consultant for Montessori training centers.  Montessori's focus on the whole child, coupled with her vision of children as humanity's best hope for peace, has imbued his life as an educator.  He values the compassion, mutual respect, and adaptability of his staff and faculty above all else.  In addition to serving as the school's principal, he is the parent of a first grader and new student in the toddler program at the school.
 

Vasili Gerogiannis

Vasili became a Board member in 2016, after joining the Business Finance and Audit Committee a year earlier. Vasili, his wife Caroline, and their two daughters, Vivian (Oak) and Juliet (Palm) have been part of the RPMS community since 2013. Vasili is VP, Finance at OppLoans, an online lender. In his free time, Vasili enjoys playing guitar, bike riding and playing games.

 

Yvette Gonzales

Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair 

Yvette joined the RPMS Board in 2018 and currently chairs the Diversity and Inclusion parent committee at RPMS. Yvette and her partner, Eileen Murphy, have two sons at RPMS, Colin (Walnut) and Emmett (Palm).  Yvette is a lifelong Chicagoan and works as a Software Engineer and Data Scientist. Yvette enjoys biking, hiking and camping with her family. 

 

Paul Herbert

Alignment Committee Chair

Paul joined the RPMS Board in 2018 after working as a non-board member on the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee for a year.  Paul and his wife Karen have been a part of the RPMS community since 2012.  Daughters Nora and Josie are currently students in Hawthorne and Magnolia/Ginkgo Extended Day, respectively, and look forward to their younger brother Wes enrolling in the school in the future.  Paul is Managing Director at Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc., an investment management firm.  Paul likes hanging out with the family, and playing guitar and tennis.

 

Mita Jain

Mita joined the RPMS Board in 2017 after working as a non-board member on the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee for a year. She and her husband, Manu, have two daughters, Riya (Aspen) and Sonali (Sequoia). Mita has held various roles in finance for more than 20 years and is currently the SVP of Tax & Treasury at Edelman, a global public relations company.  When Mita has free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, and learning to cook new vegetarian recipes.

 

Mark Levine 

Mark has over 20 years experience working with startups to multinationals. He has been both an IT and a Management Consultant assisting a wide variety of clients including Kellogg's, SnapOn Tools, and a satellite phone startup. He took an active interest in the internet, both working for, as well as founding, his own Internet Consultancy. Most recently he has combined those experiences and is working in IT compliance for a global financial services firm. He has one son at RPMS who started at extended day and is currently in 7th grade.

 

Danielle Loevy

Board President 

Having joined the RPMS Board of Directors in 2011, Danielle is currently Board President.  She has been active on both the Trustees Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  She is mother to two RPMS graduates (Carter and Ethan), and one current student Oliver (Sycamore). Danielle had a career in mediation, facilitation, and training, and is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for Beacon Academy Montessori High School.  Danielle enjoys playing as much tennis as possible, as well as reading, biking, and hiking.

 

Chris Lozier

Board Treasurer, Business Finance and Audit Committee Chair 

Chris joined the Board in 2015 and serves as Chair of the Business, Finance, and Accounting Committee. He and his wife, Monisha, have been involved with the school since 2008 and have two daughters attending: Anna (Aspen) and Mae (Sycamore). Chris is Chief Operating Officer of the National Center for Teacher Residencies, still tries to swim competitively, and plays bluegrass music whenever possible.

 

Kathy Lunsky

Board Secretary (interim)

Kathy has over 20 years of operations and human resources experience, in a variety of services organizations, with local and national operations, both for-profit and nonprofit, and with employee populations ranging from less than ten to 30,000+. Kathy has experience leading general operations and administration, human resources, payroll, accounting/finance, IT, communications and facilities. She served as the Chief Operating Officer at Rogers Park Montessori School for eight years and the Vice President of Human Resources for a financial services firm. Currently, Kathy is providing executive HR and operations consulting services to small and mid-size companies. Kathy's two children (Bryce and Devin) are graduates of Rogers Park Montessori School, where they each attended the school from preschool through 8th grade.

 

Lori Morlock

Board Vice President, Advancement Committee Chair

Lori joined the Board in 2015 after helping with the school’s Raising Our Future Capital Campaign. She and her husband, Lee, have three children at RPMS: Taryn (Walnut), Emily (Oak), and Tessa (Poplar). Lori graduated from Harvard Law School in 2004 and worked in private practice in Chicago before turning her attention to writing fiction. If she’s not writing, Lori can probably be found riding her horse, Charlie, or taking long walks with the family dog, Lucky.

 

Chris Paluch

Alumni Relations Chair

Chris became a member of the RPMS community in 2003.  He and his wife Susan Bennett have two children: Anya (alumnus; class of 2014) and Ben (alumnus; class of 2015). He has participated in many activities at RPMS throughout the years including coaching basketball, building the playground, chaperoning field trips, TS Love, carpool and many more.  Chris is a woodworker/furniture builder.  He stays fit by playing basketball and soccer.

 

Derek Zolner

Trustees Committee Chair

Derek joined the Board in 2013 and is Chair of the Trustees Committee. He and his wife, Erica, have four children at RPMS, Liam (Walnut), Maddox (Oak), Owen (Sequoia), and Annabel (Poplar). Derek spends most of his time following his children to soccer, baseball, basketball, guitar lessons, ballet, or wherever else they lead. He works as in-house counsel for Oracle.








1800 W. Balmoral Ave Chicago, IL 60640


phone: 773.271.1700      email: info@rpms.org


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