Board of Trustees
PATTY ABRAMS, CHAIR
Patty Abrams is the parent of two Montessori-educated daughters, one of whom is a 2019 Beacon Academy graduate. She has worked as a corporate project manager for Solo Cup Company, and has served as a board member and officer at Corporate Imaging Concepts, a brand marketing company. She was on the board of directors for the Montessori School of Lake Forest before serving on the founding board of Beacon Academy. She has tutored both adults and at-risk youth in North Chicago. She has a BA in Humanities from John Carroll University and an MLS from Lake Forest College. She and her husband Brian live in Chicago.
JEANNETTE SCHAR, VICE PRESIDENT
Jeannette is a proud parent of three Montessori-educated children, one a Beacon sophomore. A New York native, she has called Chicago home for nearly 30 years. In her early career upon graduation from law school, Jeannette was a development officer working on capital campaigns, major gifts, and corporate and foundation relations for some of Chicago’s leading cultural and educational institutions. She has also served as Chair of the Local School Council of a selective enrollment elementary school in Chicago. She currently co-chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of her younger children’s school. Jeannette is excited to be a part of Beacon’s work as a model for high school education and lives on the north side of Chicago with her family.
ROBERT GOLDMAN, TREASURER
Bob is a Vice President at Charles River Associates, an economics consultancy, where he provides valuations of intellectual property for companies and litigation attorneys. Bob is a recovering engineer, having worked at a major automaker and as a founding team member of a start-up sensor company in his early career. He has an MBA in finance from Northwestern, and bachelor and master degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois. Bob has served on a variety of boards, including as Treasurer of a national professional society and cooperative apartment corporation. His daughter is a recent Beacon graduate, and he lives with his wife, Anne Ryan, in Evanston.
SUSAN SATTELL, SECRETARY
Susan Sattell is a communication and PR specialist, and is excited to help Beacon Academy showcase its image as a leader in high school education. She has a Ph.D. in Communication/Rhetoric from Northwestern University, and teaches argumentation and rhetoric courses at Lake Forest College. Previously, Susan was in public relations, and was a senior vice president and group head at a global public relations firm. She managed worldwide accounts for the Mexican government and for US clients, and is bilingual English/Spanish. Susan also has a master’s degree in English Literature from UIC and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Chip Hunter, and their children, Gray and Emily. Gray is a recent graduate from Beacon, and Emily is a current student at Beacon.
DAVID RHIND, CHAIR, TRUSTEES COMMITTEE
David Rhind is a lawyer and parent of a recent Beacon graduate. For twelve years David was General Counsel, North America, for Hudson Global, Inc., a global, publicly-traded professional staffing and recruitment firm. Before Hudson, David served for eight years as Associate General Counsel at Technology Solutions Company, a technology consulting company. David spent the first five years of his career practicing corporate and securities law at Gardner, Carton & Douglas in Chicago. David is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kewaunee Scientific Corporation, a publicly-traded global manufacturer of laboratory casework, furniture, and equipment, and serves as chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. For thirteen years David served as a trustee of Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he was chair of the Nominating Committee. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Lawyers Club. David received his J.D. degree from Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana and his B.A. degree in English from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
Christopher Ambroso is the Junior High Director at Near North Montessori in Chicago. He works with the students, teachers and parents during their 7th and 8th grade years and helps families prepare for the transition into high school. During his 27 years in Montessori education, Chris taught in the lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Junior High before moving into Administration. Chris is dedicated to getting students out of the school building and out into the real world. He's led student groups to every corner of Chicago and made trips with students to Wisconsin; Indiana; New York City; Washington, DC; Mesa Verde, Colorado; Guatemala; China; Italy and Honduras. Chris also serves on the Board of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), an organization that provides homes, education, and a family to children in need in nine Central American and Caribbean countries. Chris is an avid long distance runner and recently completed his 30 marathon. In March, 2020, he will run the Tokyo Marathon in pursuit of the "Six Majors" medal.
Shubha is a financial services entrepreneur and founder of The Wealth Marketer, a firm that offers strategic marketing for wealth management and financial planning firms. She has over twenty years’ experience across a variety of senior roles in financial services with leading companies including HSBC, Allstate Financial and McKinsey & Company. She has an MBA (High Honors) in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an MS (Honors) in Financial Markets & Trading from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She’s passionate about making sustainable financial betterment achievable for all, and loves to explore innovative solutions to any problem, big or small. A long-time Montessori parent, she lives in Evanston with her husband and son, who is currently a student at Beacon Academy.
Devin is a Partner at ParkerGale, a Chicago-based private equity fund focused on buying and transforming small software companies. Prior to co-founding ParkerGale, Devin was a Managing Partner and a member of the investment committee at Chicago Growth Partners where he ran their technology group. He also spent five years at Baird Venture Partners where he was the Managing Partner and chair of the investment committee. Early in his career, Devin worked at Great Hill Partners and William Blair Capital Partners. He studied Art History at SUNY Binghamton and received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Devin supports Chicago’s visual arts community as a Board member of threewalls. Devin and his wife live in Winnetka, with one Beacon graduate and a sophomore at Beacon Academy.
BRADLEY PEACOCK, CHAIR, ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE
Bradley Peacock is the President of Peacock Nine, a strategy consultancy focused on business transformation, innovation, and brand-building. Peacock Nine’s clients range from leading private equity firms, management consultancies and advertising agencies to members of the Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial elite. In addition, Bradley has helped many non-profits hone their strategic focus including; Georgetown University, Loyola Press, MetroSquash, Steppenwolf Theatre, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Bradley currently is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University teaching Marketing for Innovators. He is also a Trustee of The Pembroke College, Oxford Foundation of North America, for which he serves as Secretary. Bradley holds a B.A. from Bates College and an M.A. from Oxford University. He and his wife Tracy live in Wilmette, IL with their sons George and Tasker, a junior a Beacon graduate, respectively.
ROC RONEY, CHAIR, FACILITIES COMMITTEE
Roc Roney has a general contracting firm, StableRocket, Inc. with years of experience renovating homes and apartments, design/building new homes and commercial properties. On the Beacon board he has served as secretary, trustee chair and currently chairs the facility committee. Roc graduated Albion College with an Economics degree. He and his wife Debbie have three Montessori-educated children and live in Lincoln Park. Roc enjoys working with the Beacon community in creating a model Montessori high school.
Coco Sharp, a Beacon Alumni, class of 2018, is a student at Loyola University, Chicago, and intends to study journalism and French. While she was a student at Beacon, Coco participated in multiple councils, and created Direction Day for students like herself, who transferred into Beacon in the middle of her junior year. She quickly became part of the Beacon community, and strived to make a difference for the future of Beacon. Coco is a Chicago native who enjoys playing soccer and playing with her dog in her spare time.
David Snyder is Chief Operating Officer of Chicago CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny), a Chicago-focused anti-violence initiative. Prior to joining Chicago CRED in 2017, Snyder spent more than three decades in various roles—most recently as Publisher—at Crain’s Chicago Business. He was named Publisher in October 2010, having previously served as Associate Publisher and as General Manager/Interactive where he launched and then managed the paper’s daily online publishing operation. Earlier in his career he was an award-winning journalist for Crain’s, starting as a reporter and ultimately serving more than six years as Editor (1993-2000). Snyder is on the Board of Directors of the Harris Theater—where he serves as chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee —and The Polk Bros. Foundation. He is also a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago, the City Club of Chicago and The Chicago Club. A native of Easton, Pa., David is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where he received his degree in business administration.
Susie Steinberg is an Executive Creative Director/copywriter at BoomAgers, a boutique advertising agency based in New York, focusing on marketing and communications to Baby Boomers. Prior to joining BoomAgers, she had nearly 20 years of experience at global ad agencies, including DDB and McGarryBowen, where she helped build brands for consumer packaged goods and retail clients. She wholeheartedly embraces the BoomAgers mission, to do smart strategy and advertising for the coolest demographic around. She loves the energy of being part of a thriving start-up whose mission is excellence. In fact, this is how she feels about being a part of Beacon, as well. Susie and her husband, David Axelbaum, live in the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood of Chicago with their two daughters, Sammie and Sunny, and their dog, Melvin. Both girls attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, in the city. Sammie is recent graduate of Beacon, and Sunny will be a sophomore. In her free time, Susie enjoys jogging, reading, and hanging out with her family.
Gregory White has served as the President and CEO of LEARN Charter School Network since 2008. Under White’s leadership, LEARN has expanded from one school serving 200 students to a network of ten schools educating over 4,000 students across three cities in Illinois. His latest project is opening a new school in Washington, D.C.. Previously, White had worked for more than 15 years in the investment, entrepreneurial and finance industries. He was a Co-Founder and Partner of a private equity firm, Chicago Venture Partners, L.P., where he identified, evaluated and structured investments in rapidly growing companies and assisted the fund’s portfolio companies. Earlier in his career, White worked for Salomon Brothers, Continental Bank and Shorebank. He currently serves on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, a $90 billion wholesale bank, and Beacon Academy. He and his wife, Leslie Davis, live in Chicago with their son Chad and their daughter, Cameron, a sophomore at Beacon Academy.
Suzanne Wychocki is a principal at Vine Counseling Center in Naperville working as a therapist with adults, adolescents and families. She is a trained mindfulness educator and proponent for mindfulness in education and schools. She has been an advocate for Montessori education serving on the Board of Trustees for Montessori de Terra Linda in San Rafael, CA while all three of her children attended the preschool and elementary programs. She has a BA in marketing from the University of Illinois and an MSW from Loyola University, Chicago. She and her husband Mike live in Lincoln Park and have both a Beacon graduate and a current junior at Beacon Academy.