Douglas O’Roark, Executive Director
In addition to serving as the Executive Director of MC^2, Doug works at DePaul’s STEM Center which seeks to improve math teaching across CPS. Previously he led the Secondary Math component of the UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program and was the first teacher hired at Payton College Prep. He was awarded the Radio Shack National Teacher Award, the MAA’s Sliffe Award for Distinguished Math Teaching, and the ICTM Rine Secondary Math Teaching Award. Both the City of Chicago Math League and Payton Prep have awards named in his honor. He lives in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood with his wife, a mental health researcher at UIC, and two children, who attend CPS.
Katherine DeLisle, Lane Tech Site Coordinator
Katie DeLisle is a mathematics teacher at Lane Tech College Prep High School. She recently graduated from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin with a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education. She was also a 4-year member of the Cross Country and Track & Field team at Carthage. She enjoys reading, running, and eating lots of pizza in her free time!
Sara Heiberger Payton Site Co-Coordinator
Sara joined the Payton faculty in 2014 and started teaching for the Payton Math Circle the same year. She transitioned to Site Co-Coordinator in 2015. In addition to working with Math Circle she enjoys coaching the Payton Math Team. Sara graduated from the University of Chicago with an B.A. in Sociology in 2009 and an MAT for Secondary Math Education in 2012. Outside of math she loves to cook and spend quality couch-time with her two dogs.
Maritza Rocha, Pilsen Site Coordinator
Maritza is the Director of Youth Services at Mujeres Latinas en Acción. Her professional career has involved serving, educating, and empowering youth and families in communities throughout Chicagoland. Maritza is thrilled to have Math Circles as part of her STEAM enrichment curriculum at the Project Youth/Proyecto Juventud youth facility. She enjoys riding her motorcycle, writing short stories and poetry, spending time with family, and enjoys the outdoors. She resides in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.
Benjamin Walker, Payton Site Co-Coordinator
Benjamin loves learning and teaching, and believes that working with young people is as much a privilege as it is an adventure, and that learning math is something best done as part of a team. Benjamin developed his love of mathematics at Miami University of Ohio (BA Math and Stats, BA Integrated Math Education), Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Colorado, Golder College Prep, and currently Walter Payton College Prep. Particular interests include math modeling, climbing, crossfit, vocal music, and traveling.
Jen Zimmerman, UChicago YSP Site Coordinator
In the fall of 2015 Jen joined MC^2 as the University of Chicago YSP Math Circle site coordinator. Additionally she has served as the Associate Director of the University’s SESAME Program for the past 13 years. SESAME is an outreach program offering Chicagoland teachers courses towards the State of Illinois Middle School Endorsement in Mathematics and Science. In her spare time she also runs a marketing campaign for the University’s Polk Brother Program, another teacher outreach opportunity.