Arts Liaisons

Arts Liaisons serve as the on-site champions for their school communities. The role of an Arts Liaison includes:

  • leading arts programming and opportunities for their school communities
  • connecting students, teachers, and administrators to resources in the arts
  • inspiring their school community toward high-quality engagement in the arts

Arts Liaison Trainings
The Arts Liaison training program is designed to help you increase the impact of your leadership on your school and in the district. You will explore your leadership style while getting time and space to reconnect with your purpose. You will leave with a new mindset, skills, and strategies to immediately put into action in your school.

Each training session will build on the next and is organized around the themes of leadership, connection, and inspiration.

Training Schedule
There are six training sessions that take place immediately before the Ingenuity Summits.

Click HERE for the Training Schedule details.

Looking for the Arts Liaisons at your school?

Here is the most up-to-date list of CPS Arts Liaisons and principals with GSR mail run numbers:

Arts Liaisons Contacts SY17-18
Updated as of 5/10/2018


Principals — UPDATE your Arts Liaison every year!

Please fill out this brief form to nominate or re-nominate your school’s Arts Liaison. This must be done every school year to ensure accurate contact information:

Arts Liaison Nomination Form

Lead Arts Liaisons

Lead Arts Liaisons represent the district as the arts champion of their network and are essential in ensuring the CPS Arts Education Plan continues to flourish throughout the district. Leads receive an annual stipend to support their professional development as leaders in arts education.

The role of a Lead Arts Liaison includes the following:

  • Co-facilitating arts liaisons trainings, workshops, and professional development
  • Leading a session at the CPS Arts Education Conference
  • Supporting the needs and leadership development of arts liaisons in your network
  • Participating in the promotion, development, and delivery of student programs such as the CPS All-City Elementary Visual Art Exhibitions, Music Festivals, CPS Advanced Arts Program at Gallery 37, and CPS All-City Performing Arts Regional and Citywide programs
  • Collaborating with your network chief and staff on arts initiatives and resources

Leads Summer Institute
All Lead Arts Liaisons attend a Summer Institute to fully explore their role as their network’s arts leader and learn how to facilitate Arts Liaisons’ growth and engagement.

The 2017 Institute took place July 24–25 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Stay tuned for details of the 2018 Institute.

Leads Planning Sessions and Trainings
Lead Arts Liaisons are required to attend after-school planning meetings to help plan the Arts Liaison Training sessions. Planning meetings (six in total) take place one week before each Arts Liaison Training. Leads are also required to attend the six Arts Liaison Trainings.

To apply to be a Lead Arts Liaison, visit The application deadline for 2017 has passed; 2018 application information is forthcoming.

Meet the Lead Arts Liaisons for 2017-2018


Kimberly Varner, Network 1 and ISP
Walt Disney Magnet, Visual Arts Teacher

Areas of Expertise: School leadership and arts integration specialist; painting, drawing, ceramics, and cake decoration



Denise Pellikan, Network 1-2
George B. Armstrong, Music Teacher

Areas of Expertise:




Ross Roadruck, Network 3
Northwest Middle School, Visual Arts Teacher

Areas of Expertise:




Michelle Zlatanovski, Network 4
Brentano Math and Science Academy, Drama/Theatre Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Drama/theatre (acting, directing, set design, and costume design)



Jenn Lessmann, Network 5
Westinghouse, Fine Arts Dept Chair and Drama Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Curriculum development and arts integration (particularly with ELA standards); drama/theatre (direction, scene painting, stage management, set design, props design)





Amanda Chilenski, Network 6 and Service Learning Academies
Rickover Naval Academy, Fine Arts Department Head and Art Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Visual arts, specifically 2-D art, sculpture, graphic design and digital manipulation, and digital photography




Open Position, Network 7






Leah Stephens, Network 8
Hamline Elementary, Music Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Chorus, Orff, piano, Understanding by Design





Phillip Cotton, Network 9
Williams Preparatory School of Medicine, Visual Art and Design Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Fine and contemporary art, architectural design, and graphic design




Nadine Smith, Network 10
Walter Dyett High School, Music Teacher, Band & Choral Director

Areas of Expertise:





Timothy King, Network 11
Fulton Elementary, Music Teacher

Areas of Expertise:





Dominique Laurent, Network 12
Tanner Elementary School, Dance Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Dance, specifically ballet, modern, praise, tap, hip-hop, jazz, and stepping




Katherine Courtenay, Network 13
Langston Hughes Elementary School, Music Teacher

Areas of Expertise: Choral Music, Arts Integration (STEAM)





Rommy Mata, AUSL
Sherman School of Excellence, Visual Arts Teacher

Areas of Expertise:





Ulises Rivero, Charter Schools
Aspira Early College High School, Visual Arts Teacher

Areas of Expertise:





Rebecca Roppelt, Options Schools
Ombudsman Chicago West, Visual Arts Teacher

Areas of Expertise: