Meet Our People

More than 75 dedicated educators and administrators make up Morgan Park Academy's full-time faculty and staff, a diverse team of professionals who love what they do. Working in close collaboration with each other, they are profoundly committed to discovering the key to each student's talents and abilities, and to helping each other grow in character, intellect, and confidence.

Discover teachers who give you the freedom to think openly and deeply, to question and make mistakes.

Built around small class sizes and strong teacher-student relationships, the MPA experience invites students to develop a worldview rooted in their own culture while broadening and deepening their thinking beyond the boundaries of campus, city, and country.

Our teachers invite dialogue, infuse relevance into lessons, and forge meaningful connections with students because they know real learning takes real relationships.

Teachers collaborate on new ideas for projects and how to present material to students in a more interesting way, understanding what catches students’ attention and what’s going to inspire them to work harder and figure things out on their own.

The end result is graduates who emerge as confident young adults, original thinkers, and creative problem solvers. They progress into the next stages of their lives well-prepared for advanced college coursework and poised to meet and exceed the high expectations that they refined at MPA.

Mercedes Z. Sheppard
Head of School

Vincent Hermosilla
Assistant Head of School, Community Relations

Julie Cuadros-Perry
Director of Finance

Tom Drahozal
Upper School Principal

Heather Kurut
Lower School & Middle School Principal

Jennifer Schmidt
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Emily Drown
Upper School Assistant Principal

Kari Misulonas
Lower School Assistant Principal

Heidi Yernberg Echols P’20, ’22, ’28

Michael J. Harris P’20, ’23
Vice President

Torrence Moore P’18

Andrea Durbin

Sonja Brisard P’20

Dr. Lisa Daniel-Olimene ’89, P’23, ’25, ’29

Kishore Paluri P’23, ’26

Kimberley Rudd

Elgie R. Sims Jr. P’23, ’27

Teachers committed to building relationships
Teachers experienced in online instruction connect learning to real-life experiences. Our active learning approach enables students to apply what they have learned, skills practice, and check for understanding. The Academy teachers are committed to building relationships with students. To learn more about how our educators build relationships with learners visit our blog.

MPA Online Institute provides an individualized high school experience. Our multi-year academic plan is an integral part of students’ personal college prep plans that they create with counselors to reflect their skills, aptitude, and future goals.

MPA students work with each other, instructors, and academic advisors to achieve their goals. The success of this school will be evident every day in the academic stimulation that students experience as they are challenged to reach their highest potential.

Instruction and support from teachers—through online classroom sessions, phone, e-mail, and IM—ensures that instructors are always in close communication with students, providing them with an individualized learning experience. Teachers facilitate engaging online discussions between students, and offer one-to-one help through live sessions to review difficult concepts.