The Superintendent's Cabinet is comprised of the district's senior level administrators. This 10-member leadership team holds bi-weekly meetings to discuss educational, operational, programmatic, and fiscal issues related to the maintenance of the district's schools.
Peggy Banks, MBA
Director of Food & Beverage
Peggy has worked for the district for 6 years and was recently appointed to the position of Director of Food and Beverage. Her position includes the management and supervision of 33 staff members in the daily operations of cafeteria food production. She began her culinary career as a high school student at Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago. Peggy became a line cook for Marriott International in downtown Chicago at age 15. During the past 15 years, she has worked with Lettuce Entertain You (inside Water Tower Place), Hilton Hotels, Rhapsody, La Casa Del Zorro Resort (in Borrego Springs, CA), Marriott Suites O'Hare, NASCAR Raceway (in New York), and Seven on State (in the former Marshall Fields building). She earned a bachelor's degree in Culinary Management from The Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix (Schaumburg).
Charles DiMartino, MA, SBO
Director of Finance
Charles has served District 215 for the past 10 years as the Director of Finance. He began his business career as an entrepreneur, working in the areas of group travel, insurance, and real estate. For over five years, he also owned and operated two casual food restaurants on Chicago's North side. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Italian and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a double major in Accounting and a minor in Education. For ten years, he taught Italian, Mathematics, and Computer Science at the high school level at Steinmentz High School in Chicago. Charles was recruited to set up the first networked PC lab in the Chicago Public Schools and within a year, he expanded to 15 schools. Over the next 20 years, he served as a city-wide coordinator and a program coordinator. He held the position of chief financial officer for Career and Technical Education in the Chicago Public Schools for six years. Charles has also worked as an adjunct instructor of computer applications for business at DeVry University. He has a Master's of Education from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and began a PhD program at Northern Illinois University. He holds a high school teaching certificate, an administrative certificate, and a school business official certificate. He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations that promote Italian language and culture.
Director of Information Technology
Brandie has an extensive background in leadership and technical skills deriving from her military career with the U.S Army. She received medals for her oversees service and management career with the federal government. Mrs. Edwards has worked in the field of technology for over 15 years progressively operating in positions including Network Engineer, Network Administrator, Systems Coordinator and Information Technology Director. Mrs. Edwards received her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Management and master's degree in Network Communications from DeVry University and Keller Graduate school of Management, respectively. Mrs. Edwards has accomplished implementing Student Innovation Studio’s at all three District 215 campuses to provide an environment consisting of innovative teaching, working and learning for the students, teachers, and staff. Brandie manages support for helpdesk services, information technology training, technical applications, database management, network infrastructure, cybersecurity, instructional technology, and building an environment that maximizes academic and operational outcomes.
Dr. Dwayne Evans, Ed.D.
Principal, Thornton Fractional North High School
Dwayne has served as the principal of TF North High School for the past 15 years. His career in education began 27 years ago when he worked as a sixth grade teacher at Holy Angels School in Chicago. Since then. Dr. Evans has held a variety of positions in education including teacher, assistant athletic director, athletic director, and principal. Dr. Evans received a bachelor of science from Florida A & M University, a master's degree from Chicago State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Principal, Thornton Fractional Center for Academics and Technology
John Robinzine is T.F. Center’s newly-appointed Principal and Director of Career and Technical Education entering his 18th year as an educator. He also serves as the Title IX Nondiscrimination Coordinator and as one of the district's complaint managers. During his career with District 215, he spent seven years teaching a variety of social studies courses and also dedicated four years as the assistant and head track and field coach before pursuing an educational leadership role. John also served as an Assistant Principal and Credit Recovery Program Coordinator at T.F. South. He has held several other leadership roles at T.F. South, including co-chairing curriculum committees, the Early Intervention Program (EIP), and T.A.C.T (Tolerance, Acceptance, Community, and Togetherness), a committee of staff and student volunteers that organizes efforts to build and maintain a positive school climate. John also developed a community service program in an effort to involve students in community service activities in-lieu of suspensions. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science Education and earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Governors State University. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree from Concordia University Chicago.
Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development
As the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, Mike serves in a leadership role that guides the development and implementation of district curriculum initiatives, the selection of instructional equipment and resources, the construction and implementation of federal Title I and Title II grants, the coordination of professional development opportunities for staff members, supervision of district testing programs, coordination of articulation with partner schools, and coordinator of the district school improvement plan. Mike's career in education has spanned 26 years, 30 of which have been spent working in District 215. He began his teaching career at Schrum Memorial School District 157, where he worked for 6 years. Mike has held a variety of positions throughout his educational career including middle school language arts teacher, high school English teacher, dean of students, assistant principal of building control, assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, boys' basketball head and assistant coach, assistant baseball coach, Monogram Club sponsor, and assistant athletic director. Mike received a Master's in Educational Administration from Chicago State University.
Principal, Thornton Fractional South High School
Jake Gourley is T.F. South’s newly named Principal after serving 18 years in the classroom. He holds a B.A. in History with an English minor from Illinois State University and earned his M.A. in Educational Leadership from Chicago State University. Jake was awarded the prestigious Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 which permitted him to spend a semester sabbatical studying Leadership and Education at Northwestern University. He was community co-chair of the committee that successfully marketed a construction referendum that helped secure a $19 million state grant for modernization and expansion at all three District 215 campuses. In addition to his responsibilities at T.F. South, he serves as Vice President for the Lansing Association for Community Events, Chairs the Golden Apple Academy of Educators, and sits on the Board of Directors of both the Golden Apple Foundation and A.C. Jaacks Credit Union. He is a former President of Thornton Fractional Federation of Teachers Local #683.
April Jerger, SHRM-CP, PHR
Director of Human Resources
April has worked in the district's human resources department since 2008. Prior to working for District 215, April worked in human resources for the United States Postal Service. April is responsible for directing and managing the overall provision of human resources services, policies, and programs for the district including strategic planning, performance management, recruitment and retention, and problem resolution. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Nevada - Reno and a Master of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University.
Director of Facilities
Tim has over 30 years of service within the maintenance departments of District 215, beginning his career as a Student Maintenance Worker at T. F. South. He then worked four years as a full-time Custodian at T. F. North before being promoted to Custodial Supervisor. After eight years of supervising, Tim transitioned to Maintenance Worker, which he enjoyed for the next eight years. In 2009, Tim was selected as the new Building Foreman at T. F. South. Tim has played an integral role in the successful completion of several major District-wide renovations, including the addition of a new gymnasium and 10 classrooms at the North campus. Tim has maximized energy efficiency through campus improvements, updated all aspects of building security to ensure safety, and has overseen HVAC updates at the South campus. In his newly appointed role as Director of Facilities, Tim manages the maintenance, grounds, and custodial functions in all five buildings in District 215 and supervises a staff of 45 in the daily operations of the facilities at each campus.
Dr. Rena Whitten, Ed.D.
Director of Student Services
As the Director of Student Services, Rena ensures that the district remains in compliance with special education regulations, enhances special education programming through a variety of initiatives, supports the continued implementation of the District's Response to Intervention (RtI) program, supports the Pupil Personnel (Guidance) Department, oversees the district's McKinney-Vento program, ensures the district's compliance with state mandated training requirements, and oversees out of district special education programs. She also serves as one of the district's Title IX complaint managers. Ms. Whitten is in her 5th year with the district. She held a variety of roles throughout her educational career including paraprofessional, substitute teacher, and speech pathologist. She holds a Master's in Communication Disorders and Educational Administration from Governors State University.
Teresa A. Lance
Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Lance began serving as superintendent for District 215 in July 2018. Her career path has taken her from Baltimore, Maryland; to Houston, Texas; to Naperville, Illinois; and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her prior experience includes serving as Chief School Leadership Officer of Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she provided support and supervision to schools and campus leaders with a student population of 11,000. Ms. Lance earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and masters in Health Education from the State University College at Cortland, New York. She earned her School Administration and Supervision certificate from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree from the University of Phoenix. You may find out more about Ms. Lance by clicking on her biography on the left side of this page.