Faculty and Staff
Tami Adams became the Executive Director of CMS in August 2013. She also teaches Algebra I, Part I. Mrs. Adams holds a B.A. in Education with a focus on Secondary Mathematics from Bowling Green State University, and has taught junior high and high school mathematics in Ohio and Colorado.
Dr. Jonathan Beckett teaches music. He is on the faculty at Parkland College where he also directs the Parkland Wind Ensemble. A professional saxophone player for over 30 years, he earned his DMA in Jazz Performance from the U of I, MM from the University of North Texas and BM at Loyola University. His CD, “Jonny Beckett, Son of a Mother,” was released by Armored Records in 2014. He enjoys performing with his own band Jive Bag and many other local musicians.
Lara Breeze-Troyer teaches Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 Part 2 and Physics. She received a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Physics with a certification in Secondary Education from Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. She has previously taught high school and elementary school, tutored students of a variety of ages, and homeschooled her own children. Lara lives in Savoy with her husband and three children, including one CMS alumna.
Kirstin Buford provides Instructional Support at CMS. Born in Chicago, she earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Eastern Illinois University. She has taught in Champaign County since 1995 and is the proud parent of 2 CMS alums.
Debbie Derr Weaver has been teaching 7th grade quilting and 8th grade sewing classes at CMS since 2008. Debbie received her BFA in Commercial Arts from Texas State University. She worked as a graphic artist for many years and has been a professional seamstress since 1993. She has taught numerous sewing seminars at University Primary and Yankee Ridge schools. Her quilting work has been recognized and awarded for its creativity and local ties to the community.
Beth Hogan teaches 6th and 7th grade English at CMS. Previously she taught at Centennial High School and Urbana High School. Ms. Hogan is certified in both English Language Arts and TESOL. She earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Illinois in Rhetoric and Women’s Studies, her TESOL certification from The University of Illinois, and her teacher certification and M.S. Ed from Illinois State University. She is a Great Books-trained teacher and a National Board Certified Teacher.
Sara Holleman is the CMS Office Manager and Physical Education teacher. She holds a degree in Child Development, and was the Director of Kids First Childcare in Champaign for 12 years. She lives in Champaign with her husband.
Katie Leininger teaches 6th and 7th grade Biology and 8th grade Science. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and worked in a laboratory setting for six years in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries. Katie lives in Champaign with her husband and two children.
Debra Casey Miller is the Director of Communications & Outreach. She also teaches 6th and 7th grade history. She has a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, a B.S. in Social Sciences Education from Illinois State University, and a B.A. in English from Indiana University. Mrs. Miller taught English and Social Studies for 11 years at Lowell High School in Lowell, Indiana where, for 8 consecutive years, she was named “Most Influential Teacher” by students in the top 10% of the graduating class.
Anna Nesbitt teaches Computer Science. She earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Biochemistry and Structural Biology. Dr. Nesbitt was a lecturer at the University of Illinois for just over a decade where she taught a variety of courses on the topics of data science, climate change, sustainability, and earth systems modeling. She started at CMS in 2013, and enjoys teaching girls computer literacy and programming with a STEAM powered approach.
Judy Nolen teaches 8th grade History and English. She is a retired teacher from Champaign Unit 4 schools, and she taught English at Centennial High School for 30 years. Mrs. Nolen earned a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Baylor University and obtained her teacher certification from the University of Illinois.
Traci Pines is the Fine Arts Educator at CMS. She holds a B.F.A. and a M.A. in Art Education with Special Visual Arts (K-12) teaching certification from the University of Illinois. Traci has been a professional artist and a community arts organizer for over 20 years. Her custom visual arts curricula focus on formal studio processes, as well as Upcycling, Found Object, and Assemblage art. Painting, sculpture, printmaking, wooden cutouts, power tools, and humor are central to her artwork.
Lola Sanjurjo-Espino has taught Spanish at CMS since 2005. Before coming to Champaign-Urbana, she taught for several years in public schools in Connecticut. She is originally from Spain where she earned a degree in Education from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Later she moved to the USA, where she earned a B.A. in Arts and Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She recently completed her M.A. degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics at Illinois State University.