Admin Staff


Dr. Randy Needlman
Head of School
Dr. Randy Needlman became the Principal of North Park Elementary School on July 1, 2015. After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, he taught at the elementary level in Orland Park and Lincolnwood, IL before becoming the Director of Early Childhood Education and English Language Learning in Skokie School District 68.  After earning his Master of Science Degree in Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, he became the Principal of Devonshire School in Skokie 68 where he spent the remainder of his public school administrative career before joining the North Park community. Prior to earning his Doctoral Degree from National-Louis University in Educational Leadership, he was selected as a J. William Fulbright Scholar, and participated in a Principal's Exchange Program with a School Director in Rosario, Argentina in 2009 and 2010. Dr. Needlman is excited to be joining the North Park Elementary School community and is looking forward to working closely with the Board of Directors to promote North Park's continued growth and progress.

Laura McCammack
Director of Development and Communications
Before joining NPES in 2018, Laura taught at public, charter, and independent schools in Indianapolis, Boston, and Chicago. She holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University and is excited to make the transition from the classroom to the development office! She is thrilled to work towards maximizing the experience of the students at NPES. She and her husband are White Sox fans living on the northside, and they have a young daughter who already loves Paul Konerko (she carries a replica Konerko statue around the house). In her free time, Laura loves to cook and read and is trying to get back into running.

Emily Friend
Director of Curriculum
After graduating with a Geography and Biology degree from the University of Colorado, Emily dove into her first teaching job through Teach for America as a middle school science teacher in Oakland, California. Within one year she was hooked - on both middle schoolers and teaching. After moving back to her hometown of Chicago, Emily began teaching at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and dedicated 10 years to BZAEDS. During her tenure, Emily taught 5th-8th grade and a variety of subjects from social studies to literature and language arts, but spent the vast majority of her years in the area of science education. After completing her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois Chicago, Emily acted as an adjunct professor. Emily also acted as lead teacher and service-learning/advisory coordinator while at BZAEDS. She feels strongly that it is our responsibility to help students become active and engaged citizens in this global world and has brought that focus to NPES since joining the faculty in 2013. In her downtime you will find Emily gardening, camping, reading, riding her bike, and hanging outside. While traveling is her greatest passion, she's traded that in for chasing around her three children Althea, Hayden, and Dalia, and loves every minute of it.

Kerry Maman
Office Manager
This is Kerry's first year at NPES but has a 17-year history as a general and special education teacher in suburban public schools. With a Master's degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University and many years teaching in a school system, she is excited for this administrative role to help keep the daily functions of the school running smoothly and organized. Kerry enjoys spending her free time with her three sons, ages 12, 9, and 6, trying new city restaurants with her husband, and running. Kerry is excited to be joining the North Park Elementary School community!

 Brenda Pantle

Brad Riggs
Director of Technology
Brad just joined the NPES community for the 2015-2016 school year. He taught in Boston at an independent school for nine years in the English, ESL/ELL, and Technology departments. His focus has always been about using technology in the classroom in a meaningful way and examine the social impacts that technology has on our society. He volunteers and helps a school in Haiti through an organization called Prior to teaching, Brad worked for IBM in their data warehouse as a corporate trainer focusing on communication skills and change management for programmers. He attended University of Wisconsin for his undergraduate degree and Boston University for his Masters.

Brad grew up in Wisconsin but was born in Chicago, so it is nice to be back. He still has his Bear's gear. His sister and her family along with his dad lives in Normal, Illinois. For fun, he's practiced Tae Kwon Do since he was nine years old and achieved 1st Dan Black Belt from 8th degree Black Belt Master Chom Son Cho in Milwaukee, WI. He was Wisconsin state champion in 1984 & 85 and went to the Junior Olympics those years.  He has an interest in publishing and photography. He was the photo editor of the campus newspaper and Editor of a zine with some friends in college, and he loves to travel. He's been to England for a semester and backpacked through Europe twice (pre & post EU), Budapest, Hungary, China and last year, took a train trip from Albuquerque, NM to Portland, Oregon.

Kim Smith
Director of Learning Services

With a Bachelors of Science in Social Work from St. Louis University and a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, Kim brought 11 years of service as a social worker in child protection and children's healthcare into her 4th and 6th grade classrooms in public schools in Texas and Kentucky. Kim joined the North Park community in 2012, following some time at home with her son, Owen. Now with more than 15 years in education, Kim works closely with students, parents, faculty, and outside providers to support individualized learning and success for all students at NPES. Owen and her husband, Sean, have become active members of the NPES Class of 2025 as well. Outside of NPES, Kim enjoys discussing Lego creations and super suits with Owen, exploring our wonderful city, and working out at Orange Theory.  

Marshall Warren
Director of Business and Operations, ext 114

Anne Zagotta
Director of Admissions
Bachelor of Journalism - University of Missouri


Contact Us

North Park Elementary School 2017 W Montrose Chicago, Illinois 60618
Phone: 773.327.3144      Fax: 773.327.0331