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


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.

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.

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 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.

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 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 Vice-President. 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.

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.

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