Fine Arts & Literary Team

  • Drama

    Jamie Querciagrossa

    Ms. Querciagrossa has been a Drama Specialist in the District 65 schools for 23 years. She is a proud graduate of Knox College (B.A. in Theater and Education) and Northwestern University (M.A. in Theater). Ms. Querciagrossa teaches a course in advanced creative drama each spring at Northwestern. This connection with NU brings many talented theatre students into our school to work with our students. She also facilitates our Project AIM (arts integration mentorships) arts collaborations which brings in visiting artists to work with our classroom teachers to enrich and enhance our curriculum through the arts. Ms. “Q” teaches Drama to our students in Kindergarten and grades 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8. She loves to create, tell stories, laugh, learn, explore and play! In the summer she loves to travel to Italy to visit family.

    Kate Szczepaniak

    Ms. Szczepaniak is happy to be teaching drama at King Arts this year- it is her 11th year teaching in drama in Evanston.She studied Theatre at Minnesota State University- Mankato, worked for CLIMB theatre in MN and did a national tour with Missoula Children’s theatre which developed my love for teaching drama and taking road trips! While working for several theatre companies in Chicago, she earned her Masters in Elementary Education from St. Xavier University. When not at school she can be found reading, planning my travels or spending time in nature with her husband, dog and 3 kids.


    Linnea Szczepanski, Choral and General Music

    Ms. Szczepanski received her BM in Vocal Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MMEd from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.She has spent the last seven years teaching Choral and General Music in District 65. Prior to this, she taught in Chicago and Lake Geneva Joint 1 School District.While teaching and directing in Lake Geneva she also served on the district’s Gifted and Talented committee. While she plays oboe, clarinet, guitar, and piano, choral music is her passion. She currently teaches General Music at Chute Middle School and King Arts, as well as King Arts Elementary Choirs, Middle School Choir and after school rehearsals for Shrek The Musical Jr. When not in the music room, she can be found cooking with her husband or chasing after her two little ones.

    Amy Church, Band

    Ms. Church has been teaching band in District 65 for 30 years. She received a Bachelor of Music degree with a double major in music education and piano performance, and also a Master of Music degree in music education, both from Northwestern University. She currently teaches band at both King Arts and Lincoln Schools. She began her teaching career at Nichols, Lincoln, Dewey, and Washington Schools, joining the King Arts staff in 2004. She teaches band to students in grades 4-8, which includes Beginner Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band. Ms. Church enjoys all things music and theatre, movies and books, is especially fond of siamese cats, and loves traveling whenever possible with her husband and daughter.

    Matthew Smith, General Music

    Mr. Smith earned his B.S. in Classical Guitar from Columbia College in 1993, when he began building his private teaching studio and performing guitar for private and public functions. He earned his Music Teaching Certification from DePaul University in 2007, after which he began teaching at King Arts, as well as Nichols and Chute Middle schools.He earned his Master’s in Classical Guitar Pedagogy from Northeastern Illinois University in 2014. In addition to guitar, Mr. Smith plays banjo, mandolin, piano, bass guitar, ukulele, and drums. He continues to teach private lessons and has maintained a performance career playing solo classical guitar, as well as with various rock, jazz, and Americana groups over the years. When he’s not teaching or playing music, Mr. Smith enjoys running, biking, hiking, gardening, cooking, and listening to vinyl records.

    Roberto Carrillo, Orchestra

    Mr. Carrillo is the Orchestra teacherat King Arts, Bessie Rhodes, and Lincolnwood. He completed his Bachelors Degree at DePaul University with a double major in Music Performance and Music Education and completed his Master’s degree in Music Education at VanderCook College of Music with an emphasis in string education. His principal instrument has been flute where he has been fortunate to have played with the Classical Symphony, the Chicago Businessman’s Orchestra, and Lakeshore Symphony. The first instrument he played, starting in 3rd grade, was the cello and is now one of his primary instruments which he plays with the Sherwood Conservatory of Music Community Orchestra, Wheaton Symphony, and currently a permanent member of the West Suburban Symphony. He loves to swim and has been a club swimmer since the age of 6 and swam all the way through High School. Currently a member of U.S. Masters Swimming where he has qualified for nationals, competed in 6 events, and placed 8th in 400 yd IM in 2010, and competed again in 2013 USMS National Championships.


    Eileen Sheehan

    Ms. Sheehan started her career as a modern dancer performing with the Chicago Moving Company (CMC) under the direction of Nana Shineflug. With this strong background of performance, teaching and Arts Administration, she grew as an Interdisciplinary Arts Educator with successful outcomes in collaborating and facilitating cross-curricular learning through the arts.CMC is known for its community outreach as well as artistic excellence. She has performed in well over 100 schools in the state of Illinois. The company also has performed at many venues including: Chicago Symphony Center, Columbia College, the New Regal Theatre, Hebbel Theatre; Berlin Germany, and the Cunningham studio New York City. Ms. Sheehan has a B.S. Education from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and MA, Education from North Park University IL.During the summer break she teaches at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) for the Department of Continuing Studies. In her free time she takes dance classes, practices yoga, and is happiest in the pool. It is exciting for her to be able to bring my passion and all this experience to her students and dance classes.

    Media & Visual Art

    Nan Stein, Media & Visual Art

    Ms. Stein received her B.S. in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MEd in Education Administration and Leadership from National Louis University in Chicago.She has been an educator in District 65 for the past 12 years, joining the King Arts Team after teaching at Dewey School. Ms. Stein has served as the District Art Department for the past 7 years.She has also served on the Evanston Arts Council, Project AIM Advisory Board and YEA Board. In her leisure time, Ms. Stein can be found creating artistic photographic memories as a freelance photographer, on Chicago Architecture Center’s walking tours, at the gym, or enjoying her family.

    Randi Vega, Visual Art

    Ms. Vega has been a Visual Arts teacher for 22 years. She received her BFA in Art Education and Studio Arts from University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign and her MA in Studio ArtsPainting from Northern Illinois University. Ms Vega has taught at King Arts for 5 years. Prior to King Arts she taught at Park School and Rice Children’s Center, Chicago Public Schools, and East Maine School D63. She developed an art curriculum for students with disabilities and is always eager to find ways to make art accessible for all. Ms. Vega loves to paint and sometimes exhibits her paintings throughout the Chicagoland area. She loves creating art, 1980’s movies and TV shows, and spending time with her family, their dog Lucy, and their turtle Myshell.


    Shalana Jaquess, Librarian

    Ms. Jaquess started her professional career in library broadcasting.She worked several years in Chicago radio doing both voice overs and live talent work.Shalana eventually returned to school to pursue a career in education. First as a teacher in Waikiki, Hawaii and later in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, she taught both fifth and first grade.Eventually she returned to school to pursue her passion for children’s literature with a Master’s in Library Science. Ms. Jaquess has been the Librarian at King Arts for the last 15 years.