SAGA Innovations

Chicago Leadership

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Shauna Mobley

Deputy Executive Director (Chicago)

Ms. Mobley has a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice with Minor in French and Masters in Criminology from the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as an EC Generalist 4-8 Teacher Certification.  Prior to moving to the Chicago area she taught elementary and middle school math in Dallas and Arlington, Texas.  She also worked with youth in juvenile justice and corrections in Dallas, TX and Olathe, KS.  Ms. Mobley served both MATCH Corps: Chicago and SAGA as a Site Director at Bogan High School.  She has an immense passion for youth and is convinced that given the proper tools, and surrounded by the right people, all students can succeed!  Ms. Mobley continues work with SAGA Innovations to positively impact youth in Chicago, and to be on the front line of education reform.

 

Heidi Nardini

Heidi Nardini

Director of Academics (Chicago)

Mrs. Nardini is a graduate of North Park University in Chicago, where she majored in mathematics.  She earned her Masters in Educational Leadership at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Prior to joining SAGA, she spent 15 years with the Chicago Public Schools teaching middle and high school math.  What she loves most about teaching is the lightbulb that goes off when a kid who struggles gets it!  She joined SAGA innovations to continue working with students and to help others achieve “light bulb” moments.

 

Betty Anthony

Betty Anthony

Site Director

Betty Anthony graduated from Creighton University with a B.S. in mathematics and completed her teacher certification at that time.  She received her Masters at National Louis University in curriculum and instruction.  Mrs. Anthony began her teaching career in the Minneapolis Public Schools teaching middle school students for many years.  After moving to Illinois she taught in Naperville, District 204 for eight years.    She then worked as a private tutor in the Naperville area.   Mrs. Anthony is thrilled to be a new member of the SAGA team.  She believes the small group instruction SAGA tutors provide will help Chicago students increase their academic skills and their level of confidence.

 

Devin Davis

Devin Davis

Site Director

Devin Davis graduated from Oberlin College in 2013 where he earned his B.A. in Geology & Environmental Studies. After graduating his interest in education and working with youth led him to City Year Chicago where he served as a corp member from 2013-2014. Afterwards, he joined the Match where he served at a tutor in Chicago.  In 2014, he served on the first SAGA team at Bogan Computer Technical High School. 

 

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Felipe Alaniz

Site Director

Mr. Alaniz has a B.A. from Brandeis University in the discipline of Sociology. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, Mr. Alaniz was a member of Match Corps: Lawrence during the 2012-2013 school year at Lawrence High School in MA. Mr. Alaniz served a Leadership Fellow, Acting Site Director, and Site Director with Match Corps: Chicago through 2013-2015. He joined Saga Innovations because he believes it is an opportunity to improve the state of public education in the US. His personal mission in life is to build a world of balance and understanding by building purpose for self and others.

 

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Joey St. Clair

Site Director

Mr. St. Clair has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a Master of Science in Mathematics Education, Leadership from Illinois Institute of Technology.  Mr. St.Clair relocated to Chicago after he finished his Bachelor’s to work at Young Women’s Leadership Charters School, where he taught four levels of mathematics.  After YWLCS, Mr. St.Clair worked with Betty Shabazz international charter school as a math assistant, then on to do school reform preventing school from closing in urban neighborhoods.  Prior to joining SAGA Innovations, Mr. St. Clair was a math interventionist at Perspective Charter School of Technology.  

 

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Julie Dziedzic

Site Director

Ms. Dziedzic has a B.S. in the Teaching of Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She started her career as a mathematics teacher at Hubbard High School, CPS. During her fourth year of teaching, she earned her M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Ms. Dziedzic was the Head Girls Cross Country Coach for five years and became the Head of the Mathematics Department in the last year and a half at Hubbard. From there, she worked at Riverside Brookfield High School teaching in an alternative program for off-track juniors and seniors. Ms. Dziedzic joined SAGA, because she believes in the resiliency of at-risk students. Ms. Dziedzic finds purpose and joy in motivating and encouraging students to graduate high school so they have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. 

 

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Maryellen Leneghan

Site Director

Ms. Leneghan graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Middle Childhood Education with a focus on Mathematics and Science. She joined SAGA after spending four years with Perspectives Leadership Academy, as an Algebra 1 and Geometry teacher as well as the State Testing Coordinator and an Assistant Dean of Discipline in Chicago, IL. Prior to working in Chicago she taught math and science at an all boys juvenile detention center in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Leneghan is excited to take her passion for math outside of the traditional classroom setting to work with students in a more individualized way.

 

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Nazek Sankari

Site Director

Nazek Sankari graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language & Literature and a minor in Social Justice. Before joining SAGA, she worked for Match Education in Chicago from 2013-2015 in the South Lawndale community. Last year, she served as a Site Director at Kelvyn Park High School.  Ms. Sankari believes every student can be an agent of change and she is excited to continue supporting  students as they become advocates for themselves and their communities. 

 

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Nicole Prahin

Site Director

Nicole Prahin earned a BFA in Theatre Arts from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Her interest in education began after working with students through the Alley Theatre and Redmoon Theater’s education programs. Eventually she joined Teach for America and taught middle school writing as well as reading, writing, theatre and art at a local community center in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to SAGA, Ms. Prahin worked for Match Education as a tutor and then Site Director at Harper High School and Bowen High School. She believes it is never too late for students to advocate for themselves and drive towards their goals and passions. She is excited to continue her work with youth in Chicago and to join SAGA Innovations in its efforts to provide tutoring to more students in both traditional and alternative classroom settings.

 

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Stephen O’Donnell

Site Director

Stephen O’Donnell graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Environmental and Ecological Engineering. Prior to joining the education world, Stephen worked as a research engineer. He has since been a Tutor with Match Education and a Leadership Fellow with SAGA Innovations. He will be returning to Little Village Lawndale High School for his third year, now as a Site Director. 

 

Toni Iyoha

Toni Iyoha

Site Director

Toni Iyoha has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. Prior to her work with SAGA Innovations, she served as a tutor to Match Education in Chicago for two years. She was fortunate to work at both Harper High School and Harlan Community Academy in her two years with Match Education. She believes in the mission to help all students succeed and to empower and encourage underserved urban youth. Her ultimate goal is to bring educational and economic equality to Black American and Latino American communities. She joined SAGA Innovations to continue working and empowering with Chicago youth. She is currently a Site Director at Phillips Academy High School. 

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Yetunde Awolola

Site Director

Ms. Awolola graduated with honors from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. After completing her Bachelor’s degree she returned to school to get a Master’s in Education from National Louis in 2008. She joined SAGA after spending two years in activations and sales with Pearson Learning. In addition, she spent several years as a lead teacher, helping to guide the curriculum and pacing of the mathematics department. She put her vast mathematical knowledge to use by providing intensive math tutoring to scholars and parents. 

 

Chelsea Hopson

Chelsea Hopson

Assistant Site Director

Chelsea Hopson earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Sociology with a concentration in Crime and Criminal Justice from Wake Forest University.  During her time at Wake Forest University, she volunteered at a maximum security prison for men, worked as a Student Coordinator for the Protégé Mentoring Program, and conducted research for the Partnership of Child Development at Imperial College in London. Prior to joining SAGA Innovations, Ms. Hopson served as a tutoring fellow at Harper High School and Bowen High School for Match Education in Chicago. This past school year, she served as a Leadership Fellow for SAGA Innovations in Chicago and is excited to continue as an Assistant Site Director in 2016. 

 

Percy Austin

Percy Austin

Assistant Site Director

Percy Austin is a graduate of Chicago State University. He earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree while majoring in Mathematics. Prior to joining SAGA, Percy has contributed his unique style of tutoring to programs at different universities, city colleges and high schools in the Chicago land area. Percy even started his own academic remediation program called CoreED, where he has tirelessly worked to empower young people through education in various ways. Percy has been an academic coach, master tutor, teacher assistant, tutor trainer and academic remediation specialist. He joined SAGA Innovations because he wholeheartedly believes in the mission and vision of SAGA. Percy hopes his work with SAGA will allow him to continue to be at the forefront of education reform and to continue his work to empower students and help shape the minds of our future.

 

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