A big thank you to our Academic Team judges
Meet the team of educators who judged this year's Daily Herald Academic Teams:
• Jeff Bialeschki has been a school counselor at St. Charles East High School since 2005. He is the faculty adviser for the Studio Theater Program and the Peer Leadership Student Mentoring Program, and he is the piano accompanist for student musical performances. Bialeschki has bachelor's and master's degrees in education and he taught in Elgin Area District U-46 from 1997-2005.
• Adrijana Bisevac has been a social studies teacher at Grayslake Central High School for 10 years, teaching AP U.S. History for the last nine. She has also been an AP Reader for the exam and sponsors Key Club and Chess Club. She has a bachelor of arts in history and secondary education, and a master's in education in Educational Organization and Leadership.
• Bridget Buckley is the director of guidance at Aurora Central Catholic High School, where she has worked for the past five years. Bridget was previously a counselor at Kishwaukee College. She completed her master's in school counseling at Lewis University in 2011 after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.
• Colleen Carroll has been a counselor at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect for 12 years. Prior to that, she worked in Des Plaines Elementary District 62 for eight years as an elementary school Spanish teacher.
• Jim Conrey has served as public information coordinator at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire since 1994. Prior to joining Stevenson, he was a newspaper reporter and editor for seven years in Indiana and Illinois. He is a graduate of Northwestern University. Conrey also is a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church, serving the Diocese of Rockford.
• Shannon Garcia is a school counselor at Vernon Hills High School. She has been in education 10 years as an English literature teacher and three years as a high school counselor. She holds a master's degree in school counseling from Northeastern Illinois University and a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education from the University of Illinois.
• Kim Munro is a guidance counselor at Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream. She has worked in student development at Northern Illinois University, Millikin University and Ball State University, and has counseled students at Geneva High School, St. Charles North High School, and the Glenbards. Munro has a bachelor's degree in music, and master's and Educational Specialist degrees.
• Mike Pressler, principal at Maine East High School, has been an administrator in Maine Township High School District 207 for 25 years and Maine East principal since 2010. He was Fine Arts Department chairman and Director of Bands at Maine South High School; he also taught at Lyons Township High School, in Wichita, Kansas and in downstate Carlinville. Pressler has a doctorate in education, a Master of Science in Music Education and a bachelor's degree in music.
• Amanda Smith has been a school counselor at Round Lake High School for 12 years. She received her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in Special Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and her master's in school counseling from Purdue University.
• Hilary Stott has taught science at East Aurora High School since 2010, most recently anatomy & physiology and dual credit medical terminology. She earned her teaching license from Aurora University and her bachelor's degree from Monmouth College after graduating from Yorkville High School in 2003. Currently, she plans and advises international travel experiences for EAHS students, and has coached cheerleading and advised Science National Honor Society.
• Dan Thorpe is director of college guidance at Marmion Academy in Aurora, where he is also the head football coach and head track coach. Altogether, Thorpe has worked with students in seven high schools in four states over 35 years. He has a master's in school counseling and a teaching degree in the social sciences.