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Our Team

Charlise Berkel, Interim Principal

Charlise Berkel is the daughter of multilingual Dutch Caribbean immigrants, who after attending the University of Chicago for undergraduate studies, began her career in bilingual teaching as a Montessori Elementary teacher. In recent years she has served as Multilingual Coordinator (TWI) in the district’s Multilingual Department, supporting the adoption of a Spanish/English dual Language Arts curriculum in two-way immersion classrooms in six buildings district-wide. She plans and facilitates district wide professional learning for K-5 TWI strands in alignment with school improvement and the district strategic plan, building TWI coaches and dual language teachers in biliteracy instructional strategies and sheltered instructional practices for multilingual learners. Her frontline service, as an ACC teacher, substitute TWI teacher and ESL teacher, keeps her connected to the evolving realities of the classroom and the diverse cultural linguistic journeys of students and their families. Ms. Berkel’s knowledge of literacy, biliteracy, content area instruction and pedagogy is expansive, with more than twenty years of teaching and coaching experience spanning preschool, elementary and middle school levels, across private, parochial, charter and public school contexts.

Elisa Lopez, Assistant Principal

I am a Chicago native, proud dog mom, and first-generation college student. I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I also earned my certification in Bilingual Education (Spanish) and English as a Second Language in 2015. As a language learner myself, I understand that language develops in early childhood, which led me to earn my National Board certification with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. I completed my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2022.

As a teacher, I have worked with many students from varying age groups, communities, and backgrounds. I believe that high-quality, culturally responsive education is a fundamental right of every student, regardless of ethnicity, native language, or country of origin. I have worked with Language Learners and Emerging Bilinguals as an ESL Interventionist, Dual-Language teacher, Bilingual Teacher, and Spanish Immersion Teacher. I am beginning my tenth year as a professional educator and student advocate.

Sarah Antrim-Cambium, Assistant Principal

  • District 65 Spanish teacher for 8 years.
  • Second year as assistant principal at Bessie Rhodes.
  • Service-learning leader, creating student-led projects in Mexico, Panamá, Cheyenne River Reservation, and Ukraine.
  • Inaugural cohort member (course author, teacher, regional coordinator) of the first virtual school in Illinois.
  • Passionate world traveler–48 countries and counting!