Head of School
Jason Patera has been part of the Academy community for nearly 20 years, serving as a faculty member, Chair of the Music Department, Assistant Head of School, Principal, and now Head of School.
Director of Enrollment Management
Kitsana Salyphone brings over 15 years of independent school experience, including teaching, admission, diversity, communications, advancement and marketing.
Dean of Students and Student Services Coordinator
Elizabeth Cunningham is the Dean of Students as well as the Student Services Coordinator. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and a Master of Education in Special Education at Loyola University, Elizabeth Cunningham spent over fifteen years working with adolescents and children in therapeutic day school programs and advocating for special needs students as a Due Process Hearing Officer for the state of Illinois.
Sarah Langford was a high school teacher for fifteen years and is now College Counselor at The Academy. Sarah attended the University of Missouri and holds a Master of Education from The University of Illinois (Chicago).
Director of Finance & Operations
Jon brings to The Academy 15 years experience in arts administration. Prior to The Academy, Jon was the Managing Director of Next Theatre, and has served with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Circle Theatre and Chicago Public Art Group.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Tim joined the Academy in early 2016 after previously working in film and live music marketing.
Director of Development
Bringing over 15 years of development experience to The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Judith leads the development department’s vision and goals, and fosters relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations to advance the mission of The Academy. Judith joined the Academy in March 2016.
Mental Health Counselor
Lauren is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor. She brings years of clinical experience in working with teens and young adults in school, clinical, and collegiate settings.
Visit and Volunteer Coordinator
Melanie Wagner has spent the past 6 years working in education and non-profit. After completing her degree in English Education, she began working in Chicago community centers, teaching reading and English as a Second Language to adults. This is her first year at The Academy.
Marketing and Events Coordinator
Jennifer joined The Academy during the fall of 2015 after woking in various aspects of music and film. She earned a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Music Business from Columbia College Chicago.
Custodian and Handyman