Academic Staff

Our academic staff brings together diverse backgrounds. But all our teachers must possess a similar passion for teaching. This is because the bottom line requirement for all our teachers is that they be excellent teachers. And to be excellent in any endeavor requires a passion for that endeavor.

The ability to get through to students and make them want to learn is critical. It is a mindset that all Bridgedale teachers must possess. Here is a universal truth that we believe applies to all learning: when a child is able to understand or do something today that he wasn’t able to understand or do yesterday, his self-esteem grows and his passion to learn/do even more is enhanced. This is as true in athletics as it is in academics.

This must be the mission of all our teachers, and we include our athletic instructors in our definition of teachers. Our mantra is: Training Elite Student-Athletes. That is what we do and we are proud of it. We regard each and every Bridgedale Academy student-athlete as an elite person. And our expectations for them are very high, not only as an athlete but also as a student. And so we take tremendous pride to train them to the best of our abilities, both athletically and academically.

Christina Di Pauli

Academic Dean and Head of School

Christina Di Pauli, Academic Dean and Head of SchoolAs Academic Dean and Head of School, Christina oversees all aspects of Bridgedale's academic and athletic programs. In this capacity she works not only with Bridgedale's teaching and athletic staff, but also with all the student-athletes to keep them on track academically and also in terms of preparing them for the next step in their lives, both academically and athletically. In addition, Christina teaches all the English Language Arts classes to Bridgedale's 7th graders, including not only Literature but also Grammar and Mechanics, Vocabulary, Composition and Spelling.

Christina has taught at the primary, middle school and high school levels and has been teaching virtually non-stop since 1988. She is trilingual (fluent in English, German and Italian) and has her State of Illinois Elementary Certification through grade 9, as well as State of Illinois Middle Level Endorsements in Social Studies and Foreign Languages.

Christina has two sons who played NCAA Division 1 college hockey on scholarship: Theo at Union College in New York; and Thomas at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Thomas played with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (“NTDP”) for two years and in 2016 was signed by the NHL Pittsburg Penguins. Theo played for the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League (“USHL”) and was recently honored as a Fulbright Scholar. Christina is thus familier with hockey development, having had both the NTDP and USHL experiences, and she understands the challenges that high-level student-athletes face in balancing their athletics with their academics.

Christina is a graduate of Illinois State University with a BA in Economics. She also has an MA in Teaching from National-Louis University. She is married to Alex and they also have a daughter, Sandra, also an athlete, attending Illinois State University.

Janene Kuhl


Janene Kuhl, 8th Grade TeacherJanene teaches Bridgedale's 8th grade English, Literature, and Composition classes, and also our 5th, 6th and 7th grade Science classes. Janene’s experience and training create a classroom rich in conversation and analysis. In her English classes this means an in-depth treatment of literary works, with a constant focus on the foundations of English grammar and vocabulary. Student compositions reflect the skills and techniques developed through these lessons. And in Science classes it means the students engage, learning concepts both hands-on and in the abstract.

Janene’s passion for teaching and love of learning provide an atmosphere of educational excellence for her students.

Janene is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a BS in Education and a minor in Spanish. She also has a MS in Education from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. Janene has her State of Illinois Elementary Education Certification through grade 9, as well as her middle level endorsements in Social Studies and Spanish. In addition, Janene is an academic tutor, specializing in helping students prepare for standardized tests. Her experience includes teaching middle level English/Language Arts, as well as coaching both athletic and academic teams. As a former high school and college athlete and the mother of three student-athletes, Janene understands the passion and commitment necessary to perform at a high level.

Terese Lumibao


Terese Deyoung, TeacherTerese teaches 8th grade Science and Geometry, as well as 5th and 6th Math, and 7th grade Pre-Algebra. She brings an infectious enthusiasm, positive encouragement, and a true passion for teaching to all her classes. Within each grade level she accommodates the students' varying levels of comprehension and proficiency, efficiently juggling things so that all her students are challenged to the highest level possible. She is a 2012 graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with her degree in Mathematics Education and is certified to teach grades 6-12 mathematics in Illinois.

While at Olivet, Terese competed for the women's volleyball program, starting as outside hitter for all four years. Upon graduating she has focused her knowledge of the sport into coaching young athletes, and this coming year will be her sixth year as a club volleyball coach at the girls high school level. Terese brings her knowledge of competitive sports to her students, not only understanding the grueling schedule of a student athlete and the opportunity for personal achievement in all areas of a young person's life, but also teaching lessons in Leadership through Bridgedale's leadership programs.

Mary Pat Murray


Mary Pat Murray, TeacherMary Pat teaches Bridgedale’s 5th and 6th grade English Language Arts and Literature classes. She describes her approach to teaching as "Balance, Belong, Believe, and Become." Using a balanced approach to teaching in a classroom, she creates a sense of belonging among her students, encouraging them to believe in themselves and take risks, knowing that by facing fears and embracing the unknown, they can ultimately become confident and productive adults.

As a teacher, Mary Pat expects “relevant and purposeful learning.” She strives to foster creativity and curiosity in a classroom environment where challenges and successes are viewed as opportunities to persevere and grow. She has experience in teaching middle school students, including at times helping struggling students utilizing the systematic and explicit Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory teaching method.

Born and raised in Chicago, Mary Pat graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. She recently earned her Master of Arts in Teaching Degree from National-Louis University.

Mary Pat is also the Owner and President of justGametime, Inc, a summer sports program located in the Naperville/Aurora area. One of the trademarks of the program is the coveted “SIC Award” which recognizes “Strength in Character” among athletes.

Kristi Florey


Bridgedale Academy Math Teacher Kristi FloreyKristi teaches Bridgedale's Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II classes.  She strives to get the most from her students by focusing her classroom on consistent daily structures and individualizing her instruction to achieve success and mathematical confidence with all of her students.  Daily practice, group problem solving, and cumulative assessing are some of the strategies that are integral in her teaching approach.  

Kristi's teaching experience includes 7 years as a math teacher and mentor teacher at Buffalo Grove High School and 3 years at Vanguard Alternative School in Arlington Heights. She has a BS in the Teaching of Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MS in Secondary Education/Curriculum and Instruction form Northern Illinois University.

Kristi has been a high school girls softball coach and now enjoys being a soccer mom to her four teen-aged children. 

Teaching at Bridgedale

(At this time we continue our process of hiring our teachers. We are delighted to have the insights and guidance during this process of Dr. Ken Calvert, Headmaster at Hillsdale Academy. Ken is helping to coordinate our teacher talent search and interview process.) Learn More About Teaching at Bridgedale here...