Admin Staff

Intercultural’s administrative staff supports both campuses and is overseen by the Executive Director in conjunction with the Board of Directors.

(presented in alphabetical order by last name)

edinamcgivern001Edina McGivern
Executive Director
Ms. McGivern is the Executive Director and President of Intercultural Montessori Language School, and a 25-year educator. As a Montessori-trained educator, she has trained teachers and served as academic program coordinator in several schools. She was a co-founder of River House Montessori School in London. Ms. McGivern holds a BA Honors Degree in Social Anthropology and Social Studies from Queens University, Belfast, N. Ireland, a Master of Science in Education from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University.
Rod Shaw
Roderick Shaw
Oak Park Campus Director
Mr. Shaw is originally from Panama City, Panama. He is a member of the Association of Illinois Montessori Schools’ (AIMS) Board of Directors and also serves as Treasurer. He earned a B.S. in Economics and an M.B.A. in Management from Northern Illinois University, and has more than 15 years of operations management experience. He has been Intercultural Montessori’s Oak Park Campus Director since 2011.
Alba Cardenas 2

Alba Cardenas
Extra-Curricular Coordinator, Chicago

Ms.Cardenas joined Intercultural since 2012 with extensive experience in administration, public relations, and account management. She also had experience working with children and youths. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, she performed and taught there for more than a decade as part of a folkloric dance troupe participating in national and international festivals. She also volunteered with a community of people displaced by that nation’s civil war. At Intercultural, she sometimes choreographs dances for graduation. She participated in a six-month Montessori session for parents and children classes and attended American Montessori Society training. Her daughter is a student in Intercultural’s Heping community. Alba cares about all of the school’s students as individuals, no matter their background or learning style.

Heather Craig-Somerlot
Program Coordinator, Chicago

Ms. Craig-Somerlot came to Intercultural Montessori with over seven years’ experience as a Head of School in Naperville, IL, in addition to three and a half years’ experience as an Assistant Administrator at two traditional early education schools, and twelve years as an early childhood educator. Heather graduated from North Central College with a BA in Psychology (Child). She received her AMS Administration Certification from Seton Montessori. She looks forward to the future in her pursuit for her Masters in Montessori Early Childhood Education. Heather resides in Naperville, IL with her husband and two sons – both have been educated in a Montessori environment since birth and will continue in a Montessori school environment through 12th grade. Heather is very happy to be a support and partner with families with Primary age students and looks forward every day to working with all of the students and families at Intercultural Montessori.
Mark Kaplan

Mark Kaplan

Mr. Kaplan has been Accountant at Intercultural Montessori since 2012. Since joining the school, he has assisted with developing a financial model used for securing the purchase of the Chicago Campus and related financing; implemented accounting system and budget process enhancements; written and implemented accounting controls, policies and procedures; and streamlined the annual audit process. Mr. Kaplan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Bentley University and earned his C.P.A. in Illinois. He has almost 40 years of accounting experience in public accounting, internal auditing and served as Controller for two Chicago-based commercial real estate management and development firms.

Robert McLean
Administrative Assistant

Mr. McLean has been working for Intercultural since 2013, assisting with a wide variety of duties in the Admissions and Operations areas. Prior to joining Intercultural, Rob worked in Customer Service for Groupon and DePaul University, as well serving as Pre-Press Manager for a small commercial printer. A 20+ year veteran actor in the Chicago theater scene, Rob received a BA in Theatre Arts from The University of Iowa.
Kimberly Norwood

Kimberly Norwood-Ingram
Director of Business Affairs

Ms. Norwood-Ingram has been with Intercultural since 2011. She grew up in Chicago and attended Lincoln Park High School before earning her Bachelor’s in Finance at Loyola University. She has been a finance professional for over twenty years. Ms. Norwood-Ingram is also the mother of five children, including her daughter Kaela who teaches dance in Intercultural’s extra-curricular program.

espi-bedoy-crop1Esperanza Bedoy “Espi”
Chicago Reception

Ms. Espi has been a part of both the Chicago and Oak Park teams. She is a Chicago native and a proud graduate of Morton East High School. Ms. Espi spent some time studying Human Services and Youth Counseling at Morton College. Her background and experience with children led her to Intercultural Montessori. She is a wife and a busy mother of two, Nicholas and Emily. She is currently Vice President for her children’s school’s Parent Teacher Organization. Ms. Espi has been with Intercultural Montessori since 2012.
laura-berndtLaura Berndt
Chicago Reception
Ms. Laura has lived in the West Suburbs of Chicago all of her life, except for when she was studying at the University of Illinois Springfield which she graduated from in May 2016 with a B.A. in English, as well as completing minors in History and Marketing. She is bilingual, her family is from Argentina, and some of the best experiences in her life are when she is able to visit family there. Each time she visits, she learns more about herself. Intercultural Montessori Language School stood out to her for similar reasons, and she’s excited to learn more about the multi-cultural environment the school offers throughout the time she works here.

Sara CisnerosSara Cisneros
Chicago Kitchen Staff

Ms. Sara was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and has been living in the United States since 2001. She is a proud mother of twin daughters and one son and has two grandchildren. Ms. Sara loves to work with the children every day and gives them lots of hugs.
Laura Intercrl Website Photo cropLaura Grossman
Chicago Reception
Ms. Laura is an east coast native but has been in Chicago since 2012. She joined the Intercultural staff in 2016. She received her B.A. in Peace Studies from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Laura is also trained in modern dance and has performed in Baltimore and Chicago, and has taught dance in schools and studios. She has worked at The Chicago Children’s Museum and non-profits focused on education. She is an avid traveler and has traveled in Africa, Asia, and has lived abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a lover of language and is excited to be part of Intercultural’s diverse staff.
Belicia KingBelicia King
Oak Park Reception
Ms. Belicia King is originally from Brooklyn, New York. Being a natural born traveler, she completed her undergraduate education across the country at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with major in Language Studies, and a minor in Education. She has lived in New York, Virginia, Hawaii, California, and has recently moved to Chicago after college to settle down. Her passion for languages stems from her Panamanian background, and her trips abroad to Europe, China, and Central America. She grew up speaking Spanish and is furthering her Mandarin Chinese studies after college. She is excited to be a part of our Intercultural community, and work with such a diverse staff and family.
d loezaDaisy Loeza
Oak Park Reception
Ms. Daisy has been working at Intercultural Montessori since 2009. Born and raised in Chicago, she graduated from Farragut Career Academy and spent some time at Everest College studying Medical Administrative Assistance. Ms. Daisy is the mother of two Intercultural students. She loves spending her days working with the kids as well as their parents.
maritza loeza cropMaritza Loeza
Chicago Reception
Ms. Maritza has a strong passion for helping people, which is why she is a great asset to the Intercultural team. She is a certified phlebotomist and EKG technician. Her experience working in patient care and helping people for over five years has recently motivated her to pursue her undergraduate studies in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. She really enjoys interacting with the students and families of Intercultural Montessori. Ms. Maritza has been with the school since 2014.
joann newJoann Rinella
Chicago Reception
Ms. Joann, born and raised in Chicago’s ‘Little Italy’, is proud to be a native. She received her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After graduating, she worked as an editor and proofreader in the juvenile justice system. Driven by her experience working with children, she obtained her teaching certification and worked within the private and public school sectors for over ten years. Alongside her position at Intercultural Montessori, Ms. Joann is currently a volunteer coordinator for religious education studies through the Archdiocese of Chicago. She has a son who attends Saint Ignatius College Prep. She has been with Intercultural Montessori since October 2011.

Jessica Smith
Chicago Reception
Ms. Jessica has been with Intercultural since March of 2018. A native of Chicago, she has worked as an administrator and receptionist for several companies in the Chicago area and is a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Front of House team. Ms. Jessica also works as an actor in theatre, television, and film around the country. She is excited to be part of the team at Intercultural Montessori.