• Saint Mary School
  • Buffalo Grove, IL - (847) 459-6270


The Saint Mary School Board consists of 12 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.

Jennifer Brandt

Jennifer joined the School Board in 2019. She and her husband Darren have been parishioners since 2011 and are the parents of Andrew (Class of 2020) and Alexis (Class of 2024). Jennifer has been active volunteering for school, FSO, and athletic events at Saint Mary School. She brings to the Board experience working with children and their families as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Augmentative Communication Coordinator at Arlington Pediatric Therapy. Jennifer has a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Cincinnati.

Katie Bright
Katie joined the school board in 2019. Katie and her husband, Michael, are the parents of two Saint Mary Students, Hannah (class of 2024) and Samuel (Class of 2026). In 2009, Katie and Michael moved to Buffalo Grove, at which time they joined Saint Mary Parish. Katie has been active volunteering in school activities at Saint Mary School. Katie has a B.A. in Political Science from Simmons College. Katie is an Associate Manager at Public Consulting Group, Inc. where she assists state Child Welfare agencies with maximizing revenue, improving service delivery and maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. She brings to the board strategic, financial, and project management expertise.

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.

Edmee Davis

Edmee joined the School Board in 2019. She and her husband Matt are the parents of Eva (Class of 2026) and Sofia (Class of 2028). Edmee and her family are residents of Long Grove and joined the parish in 2016, when Eva began Pre-K at Saint Mary School. Edmee grew up in the area, having attended St. Francis de Sales in Lake Zurich and Carmel High School in Mundelein. She brings to the board strategic, marketing, financial and analytical expertise. Edmee has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, an MBA from Kellogg (Northwestern), and works as a Marketing Director at AbbVie.

Bob Gutierrez

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).

Kerry Klbecka

Kerry joined the School Board in 2019. He is a long time resident of Buffalo Grove and has been a parishioner of Saint Mary Parish since the 1990’s. Kerry is a graduate of Quincy University in Quincy, IL with a B.S. in Accounting and has worked in accounting and local taxation at large to small corporations and a nonprofit organization in his career.

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.

Kim Schaefges

Kim joined the School Board in 2016. 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. 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.

Caren Soltysiak

Caren joined the Saint Mary School Board in 2019. Caren and her husband, Bob, have been Saint Mary parishioners for 40 years. Both of their daughters are Saint Mary School alumni: Tansy (Class of 1991) and Lacey (Class of 1994) and her granddaughter (Class of 2027) currently attends Saint Mary School. Caren is active in the Saint Mary Women’s Club and is a Bereavement Minister. She has been a teacher in the Saint Mary Religious Education program. Caren has a B.S. in Medical Technology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and a M.L.I.S. from Dominican University. Caren is retired after 24 years working in a public library as Head of Technical Services.

Catherine Wenzel

Catherine joined the school board in 2019. She and her husband, Michael have been parishioners since 2013, when they moved to Buffalo Grove. They are the parents of David (Class of 2027), Christopher and Natalie. Catherine has been active volunteering for Saint Mary School. She brings to the board experience from being a catholic school educator and working within higher education. Catherine has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Illinois College.

Lisa Carlson

Lisa joined the board as an ex officio member in 2019. She attended St. Norbert College and has her BA with a double major in Psychology and Communications. She worked in Human Resources and sales/recruitment before taking on the role of full-time parent. Presently, she handles HR and marketing for her family company. She and her husband, Bill, have seven children, four of whom are SMS alum -Hayley (2008), Kyle (2010), Katie (2012) and Michael (2015). Their youngest are currently enrolled - Mia (2021), Chad (2022) and Kelly (2023). Being an active member of Saint Mary Parish and school parent for 20 years, Lisa has experience in many volunteer roles. She is currently the FSO's Vice President of Special Events and will try to provide a synergy between the two organizations to work collaboratively for the advancement of Saint Mary School as a whole.

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