Whittier Leadership

Whittier Leadership Team

WolfPrincipal: Andy Kramer
Assistant Principal:
Jen Ellen
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coach: Trish Cier
Instructional Coach/ILT Lead: Katherine Peregrin
Social Worker/PBIS Lead: Amy Bach
Psychologist/MTSS Lead: Alex Ames
Instructional Support Teacher (IST): Angelica Corona
5th Grade Teacher/Lead: Natalie Vanlaningham
4th Grade Teacher/Lead: Victoria Labelle
3rd Grade Teacher/Lead: Tamara Feldman
School-based Equity Facilitator (SBEF): Melissa Ramlow

Andy Kramer 
Principal Andy

Ms. Ellen has been serving the students of Whittier School for the past 3 years. It is her privilege to co-lead Whittier School and the many talented teachers and students.  Her goal is to continue the school improvement work by providing a supportive climate and culture that is conducive to teaching and learning.  By doing so, every student can experience growth to reach their highest potential.  Ms. Ellen looks forward to interacting with all stakeholders this year, to strengthen the connection between school and home.

Trish Cier

International Baccalaureate (IB) Coach

Trish Cier

My name is Katherine Peregrin.  I have been in the Waukegan district since 2004, where I have been a 3rd grade teacher, Reading Specialist, and now Instructional Coach. My favorite aspect of coaching is finding new strategies to use in coaching cycles to watch students grow.  I am a member of the MTSS team, IB team, and lead ILT.  My favorite thing about Whittier is the family feel!

Alex (Ames) Burks
School Psychologist/MTSS Lead


Mrs. Corona has been at Whittier Elementary School since 2005 where she has taught kindergarten and second grade and is currently the Instructional Support teacher.  She is a member of the MTSS team, IB team, and Instructional Leadership Team. 

She has a passion for small group instruction and believes in fostering a nurturing learning experience through collaboration, high expectations, and differentiated learning opportunities.  Her goal is to encourage curiosity and inquiry to create self-motivated lifelong learners and leaders.

Natalie Vanlaningham
5th Grade Teacher


Ms. Victoria Labelle is a member of the fourth-grade team and a part of the dual-language program. This will be her second year at Whittier and she recently joined the instructional leadership team. Previously, Ms. Labelle taught the IB program in both schools in Mexico and Colombia. She uses this previous experience to help support the IB implementation team. Fostering a growth mindset in students and creating spaces for inquiry based learning are two things she is passionate about. 

Tamara Feldman
3rd Grade Teacher


Melissa Ramlow began her public school teaching career at Whittier in 2015. She has taught both 4th and 5th grade and is currently a 5th grade  departmentalized ELA and social studies teacher. She recently became one of the Waukegan district's first school-based equity facilitators (SBEF); in this role her goal and hope is to make every person entering the doors of Whittier feel welcome and valued. She is a member of  ILT and PBIS; along with a colleague, Ms. Ramlow hosts an afterschool club called "Makerspace".
Prior to working in Waukegan, Melissa began her teaching career as a diverse learning educator. She began her work as a paraprofessional while in college and eventually became the assistive-technology coordinator for a small therapeutic day school. Her passion brought her to Waukegan where she always wanted to teach.

Andy has taught 3rd grade and 5th grade in Boynton Beach, Florida, Chicago Public Schools, and Northbrook prior to joining Waukegan Public Schools. While in Florida he was awarded the South Florida Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year nominee. Andy has spent the past four years as the Assistant Principal at Little Fort Elementary School in Waukegan District 60. Andy’s wide range of experiences have developed a sound understanding of how to serve people. Serving those he leads has shaped his approach to becoming a transformational leader. He leads by example and with his colleagues to build up their capacity. Andy believes that students come first and every staff member plays a vital role in supporting students. It’s been his pleasure to build relationships with staff and parents to provide the best learning experiences for students. He has helped transform student behaviors through community development and restorative justice. Andy has also shaped the school's approach to monitoring student data. He has coached and trained staff to understand standards and develop bite sized objectives and measurable exit tickets. This focus has led to teachers building their capacity to differentiate lessons and use data to drive instruction. 

Andy has been eager to get an opportunity to lead a building as the principal. He brings a supportive approach that believes in honest decision making with specific transferable feedback. Andy passionately believes in the transforming Whittier Elementary School into a International Baccalaureate school!!

Jen Ellen

Assistant Principal 

Jen Ellen

Mrs. Cier is currently working as the IB Coach at Whittier Elementary, leading the work of implementing the Primary Years Program (PYP) in our school. I have successfully led our team through our first year of IB candidacy and am looking forward to continuing to support our teachers and staff as we continue on our IB journey. During my tenure as an educator, I have worked in second and fourth grades in both Chicago Public Schools and here in Waukegan. I am so proud to work for Waukegan Public Schools and to be a part of this exciting mission. #MissionPossIBle

Katherine Peregrin
Instructional Coach / ILT Lead


My name is Alex and I have been the School Psychologist at Whittier Elementary School since 2018. I love being a School Psychologist because I have a passion for helping students and families find the support they need. As the School Psychologist I have the unique opportunity to work with students, parents, and teachers across all grade levels to help students at all stages of learning. Whittier is an amazing school community that has so many great teams working together to help students foster curiosity within their instruction, develop a passion for learning, and self-advocate around their own growth. Always feel free to reach out with any questions!

Angelica Corona

Instructional Support Teacher (IST)


Natalie Vanlaningham has been teaching at Whittier since 2011. She taught 4th grade for several years before moving up to 5th, where she teaches Math and Science. She has an ESL endorsement, Masters of Science in Instructional Technology, and is currently working on her National Board certification. As an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, Natalie has grown in her understanding of the Science and Social Studies standards, and is energized by the ways students engage in these subject areas. Serving both on the Instructional Leadership Team and the IB team, Natalie is passionate about all students engaging in differentiated and student-led exploration. She's excited to see how Whittier's students grow as global citizens this school year. 

Victoria Labelle
4th Grade Teacher


Tamara Feldman is starting her 19th year of teaching. She has taught at Whittier for seven years and in her twelve years working for Waukegan she's earned her ESL endorsement and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction. Ms. Feldman is a departmentalized math teacher for the 3rd grade team. She was a district technology innovation coach for nine years; first as an original member of the Lighthouse Lead Learners program and then as a WIN trainer. Ms. Feldman has been a member of the ILT building leadership team for five years. 

Melissa Ramlow
School-based Equity Facilitator

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.