School Board


The Saint Mary School Board consists of 10 men and women who volunteer their time to the school, in an advisory role. These individuals have expertise in varying fields, participate in the school community in many ways, and bring diverse perspectives and vantage points to the Board.

School Board Members Bios

Joy Barr

Joy became a school board member in 2017. Joy and her husband, Greg, have been parishioners since 1985. They have two children who are alumni of St. Mary School: Michael (class of 1993) and Elizabeth (class of 1995). As a couple Joy and her husband were marriage preparation sponsors for ten years. Joy spent her entire career in elementary education as a teacher in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Before becoming a full time second grade teacher at St. Mary School, she was a substitute teacher. Joy taught at St. Mary for 26 years. She also served as assistant principal at the school for 14 years until her retirement in 2014. She is delighted to be part of the St. Mary School community once again.

Donna Berg

Donna joined the School Board in 2016. Donna and her husband, Chris Jones, are the parents of alumni Connor Jones (class of 2016). They have been parishioners for nine years. Donna served on the SMS FSO board more than five years, two as vice president of fundraising. Donna has been involved with many activities at SMS over the past seven years. She was part of McDonald’s Corporation Corporate Communications department for over 15 years before starting her own business in 2011. She currently is president and owner of DJB Media and Events, Inc.

Rani Dabbs

Rani joined the School Board in 2017. She and her husband Patrick are the parents of Jack (Class of 2020) and Max (Class of 2024). They moved to Long Grove in 2011 from Evanston and joined the parish in 2012. Rani and Patrick have volunteered at SMS since joining. Rani has a B.S. in Accounting from DePaul University and works at KPMG as a Director of Portfolio Management.

Sharon Edwards

Sharon joined the Saint Mary School Board in 2015. Sharon is a resident of Palatine and has been a Saint Mary parishioner since 2010. Sharon has four children, two of whom currently attend Saint Mary School, Erin (Class of 2018) and Sarah (Class of 2020). Sharon is a CPA and Director of Finance for Allstate's Investment Group.

Bob Gutierez

Bob joined the Saint Mary School Board member in 2014. He has three children, all who have attended Saint Mary School; his oldest graduated as part of the Class of 2014 and his twins are part of the Class of 2020. Bob and his wife have been parishioners since before their wedding at Saint Mary’s church nearly 18 years ago. Bob brings to the Board his experience as an Engineer, Project Manager and Analyst. Bob has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University Graduate School of Business. He is currently employed at Motorola Mobility while his wife, Kathy, teaches biology at Glenbrook North High School (and regularly judges for the 7th grade science projects).

Teresa Li

Teresa has served on the Saint Mary School Board since 2013 and was elected to serve as President in 2015. Teresa and her husband, Jim, are the parents of two St. Mary students; Ryan (Class of 2018) and Megan (Class of 2021). The Lis have been part of the St. Mary community since Ryan was in kindergarten. Teresa has a B.A. in Economics with a minor in English from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Human Resources from Loyola University. Teresa is currently the Manager, HR & Total Rewards, at Rust-Oleum in Vernon Hills.

Ed Michalski

Ed became a Saint Mary School Board member in 2016, and serves as Finance Liaison. Ed and his wife, Martha, have been parishioners of Saint Mary Parish since June, 1983. They have four children who are all alumni of Saint Mary School: Kathryn (Class of 1991), Laura (Class of 1994), Mark (Class of 1996) and Nicholas (Class of 2002). He has served on the Parish’s Finance Committee and ICT. As a couple, they were FOCCUS coordinators as well. Ed earned his B.S. in Accounting from University of Illinois – Chicago and is a CPA. In a mid-career change, Ed moved into many Information Technology roles for over 28 years with Baxter/Cardinal Health. He retired in 2007 and teaches computer classes at the AH Senior Center.

Diana Rickert

Diana (Sroka) Rickert joined the school board in 2017. She is grateful for the opportunity to use her time and talents to serve the parish, which has been such an important part of her life since her childhood. Diana graduated from St. Mary School in 2000. She continued her Catholic education during high school, and ultimately graduated from Marquette University with degrees in political science and journalism. Diana currently serves as Vice President of Communications for the Illinois Policy Institute, the state’s top government watchdog organization. Diana’s professional expertise includes reputation management and branding, communications strategy and organizational management. Diana and her husband Charles were married at St. Mary Church in 2009, and their daughter Liliana was baptized at the parish in 2014. They reside in Buffalo Grove.

Laura Robinson

Laura and her husband, Mark Szczepkowski, are the parents of two Saint Mary students, Anna (Class of 2021) and Jack (Class of 2025). In 2008, Laura and her family moved from Chicago to Buffalo Grove, at which time they joined Saint Mary Parish. Laura joined the School Board in 2015 and is serving as Vice President. Laura has a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in English and a M.S. in Education, both from the University of Dayton. Laura has spent her entire career working in K-12 higher education environments. She currently serves as a consultant for an executive search firm that specializes in higher education enrollment management searches.

Kim Schaefges

Kim joined the School Board in 2016 and will be serving as Secretary. Kim and her husband, Craig, are the parents of three Saint Mary students, Mark (Class of 2022), Matthew (Class of 2023), and Madison (Class of 2025). The Schaefges' have been involved with St. Mary's since their son, Mark, started in the PreK3 program in 2011. This is Kim's first year on the Saint Mary School Board. Kim has a B.S. in Business with an emphasis in marketing from Bradley University. She is currently a Senior Cloud Consultant for Cloud for Good, a consulting firm that specializes in cloud technology tools primarily for nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

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