The PTO is happy to offer WISE (Whittier IS Enriched), which is a 100% volunteer-run, fee-based, after-school enrichment program available to all Whittier students. We provide experiences in the arts, academics, STEM and athletics.
LIDYS AGUIRRE (Las Piñatas)
Lidys Aguirre has been teaching Spanish in District 97 since 2014 and at Whittier since 2018. Before coming to Oak Park, she taught one year in Park Ridge. She also taught four years in an early childhood program in the northside of Chicago. Señora Aguirre graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BA in Spanish and later received teaching certification in Computer Science, Bilingual Ed, and Spanish language for grades K-12. She has a bilingual 3 year old son.
WILLIAM ARAMIL (Dynamic Chess)
William Aramil is a U.S. National Master and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess Openings. William was the 2002 and 2003 Illinois High School Champion and also the 2003 Denker National High School Champion. In 2004, he won the collegiate section of the K-12/ Collegiate Championship. William is the trainer of the 2011 and 2013 Whitney Young Magnet High School State Champions. He has also coached the Kindergarten State Champion and several other top players at the elementary level in the state. William is the current Head Coach of the OPRF High School Chess Team. (www.dynamicchessinc.com)
HANNAH CONNELL (Clay Play)
Miss Connell recently graduated from Michigan State, is a Whittier alum and coaches the OPRF girls swim team! She could not be happier to be back at the place where her love for art began. As an artist, she has worked with many art forms and is most passionate about passion, no matter what that passion may be. She hopes to help guide our awesome Whittier Wildcats in finding and expressing their own passion through art making.
DANIELLE COSTANZO (Board Game Bonanza)
Mrs. Costanzo has been teaching at Whittier since 2015. She taught second grade for two years before moving into the Language Arts Specialist role. Prior to teaching at Whittier, she taught for 2 years in Baltimore and 5 years in Chicago. Mrs. Costanzo lives in Chicago with her firefighter husband and spoiled puppy.
KERRI DRUCKMILLER (Kitchen Wizards)
Whittier's own Kerri Druckmiller, M.S., currently teaches second grade and is a former Whittier parent. Past recipient of the Illinois Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching, she looks forward to cooking up a storm!
ALEX FRISCH (Actor's Garden: A Play a Day)
Alex Frisch has enjoyed working with the Actor's Garden for the last decade, first as a student, then as a counselor, and for the past five summers as Summer Camp Assistant Director. She has a degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and is currently working as an Assistant Speech Team Coach at OPRFHS while completing a secondary concentration in History from Northwestern. Her career as a Chicago Actor and Teaching Artist has been, and will continue to be, driven by her passion for story-based, interactive learning and education.
LINDSAY HEIDE (Board Game Bonanza)
Mrs. Heide has taught 5th grade at Whittier since 2017. She also taught 5th grade for four years in CPS before joining Whittier. Mrs. Heide lives in Oak Park with her wife, baby, and fur baby.
NANCY HOEHNE (Let's Get Crafty Basic Sewing and Crafts)
Nancy Hoehne is a third grade teacher at Whittier School. She minored in Art and knows that the importance of creating and making things teaches you about self-expression and finding your hidden talents. She is looking forward to teaching Let's Get Crafty and making projects with a group of enthusiastic Whittier kids!
DAN KANE & LEGACY SPORTS (Multi-Sport Madness)
Dan is the owner of Legacy Sports Camp. Dan coached boys' and girls' junior high basketball for four years at St. Giles and has run basketball camps and programs for over 10 years.
TERRY MUELLER (Experiential Painting and Mask Making)
Terry Mueller has been teaching Experiential Painting with kids since 2009, when she opened her studio, Creative Changes. She has taught kids' summer camps sponsored by the Oak Park Arts District and the Oak Park Art League for several years. She's been offering her creative painting class in after school programs in Oak Park since 2013 and is continually fascinated by the creative nature of children. Since 2001, Terry has painted with Michele Cassou, who is the developer of Process Painting (aka Experiential and/or Point Zero Painting).
SONDRA NELSON (Kitchen Wizards)
Sondra Nelson, M.A., is a former Whittier parent, a Whittier first grade teacher and a veteran WISE instructor. She is excited, once again, to share her enthusiasm for cooking with a great group of kids.
PAULA SPRING (Clay Play)
Paula Spring is a Title I tutor at Whittier. A former classroom teacher and Whittier instructional coach, she is very excited to be teaching the Clay Play class again this session.
PLAY-WELL TEKNOLOGIES (Lego STEM FUNdamentals)
Play-Well brings over 20,000 pieces in each class/camp, and hundreds of projects, so there is no limit to what you can build. We teach through play. We explore, solve problems, and express ourselves through LEGO. Our curriculum is designed by engineers and refined by teachers, but the kids just think it's fun!
CHERYL RAUSCH (Colored Pencil Kids)
Cheryl Rausch is a professional illustrator & photographer with two great passions: art and nature. Combining the two has been her biggest goal over her 30 year art career, and has provided much creative inspiration over the years. One of her favorite mediums is the amazing colored pencil, which can provide the lush richness and value you might see in other mediums, and the product is easily accessible and affordable to just about everyone. Colored Pencil Kids is offered through MAPP Sports (www.mappsports.com).
SUGAR BEET SCHOOLHOUSE (Homesteading)
Sugar Beet Schoolhouse is a nonprofit that provides positive, hands-on learning experiences that connect people with good food. Started by Whittier mom Cheryl Munoz, Sugar Beet Schoolhouse offers cooking, gardening and wellness workshops out of its kitchen and greenhouse in River Forest. The Schoolhouse also partners with area schools and community organizations to ensure that everyone has access to fun and engaging experience that inspire a new generation of Good Food Advocates.
GEORGINA SWANSON (Let's Get Crafty Basic Sewing and Crafts, Learn to Knit)
Georgina Swanson is a third grade teacher at Whittier School. She loves sewing, quilting and making many different kinds of things. She is looking forward to teaching Let's Get Crafty and Learn to Knit and making projects with enthusiastic Whittier kids!!
VINSON VILLENA (Flying V Martial Arts)
Master Vinson Villena has over twenty-five years of experience practicing the martial art of Taekwondo and has taught across Asia and the United States. Some of his accomplishments in this sport include being a Sixth Degree Black Belt, an NCAA Taekwondo MVP, a Certified International Instructor, and former Philippine Taekwondo Team Player. Additionally, he has competed and won in several local and international tournaments. He opened Flying V Martial Arts in 2013 in Oak Park because he loved what he was doing and wanted to share the true meaning of marital arts – respect, discipline, focus, confidence, self-esteem – with his students. Focusing on the true meaning along with character development helps his students reach their full potential. Classes are taught with genuine care to enhance students’ spirit and life through training their body and mind.
KIM VULINOVIC (YogaKids)
Kim Vulinovic is a Whittier alum and the director and teacher of the YogaKids classes at Oak Park Yoga. She has studied a variety of yoga styles for over 20 years. She is a Certified YogaKids Teacher (CYKT) and a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Kim has found that both boys and girls enjoy the active, calming and fun parts that comprise each YogaKids class.
ANNE MARIE WILLIAMS (Lion King Jr. Broadway Dance Crew)
Anne Marie Williams is a Whittier first grade teacher who started dancing at the age of four and was trained at the Academy of Dance arts in ballet, jazz and lyrical. She started competing at the age of 11 with her studio and danced for her high school poms team. In college, Mrs. Williams danced for Clemson University dance team. After college, Mrs. Williams continued her love for dance by choreographing for her school musicals. She has created and taught choreography for 101 Dalmatians (2015), Lion King Jr. (2016), Lion King Kids (2017 & 2018). Last year, she taught jazz technique and private lessons at Deforest Dance Academy in Elmhurst. She now looks forward to bringing her expertise and passion to Whittier!