Our institute leaders are recognized members of the AP* teaching community who are dedicated to improving student achievement through effective support of AP* professionals.
John Nici has been an AP Art History teacher since 1981, and is recently retired from Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst, New York. He is an adjunct professor at Queens College in Flushing, New York since 1990, teaching specialty courses in Medieval Art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque, and nineteenth century European art. He gives College Board teacher workshops, and has served as a Question Leader during the reading. He has published two books on art history pedagogy including Barron’s Guide to AP Art History, a third edition forthcoming in August. He has delivered a number of scholarly talks on subjects such as Delacroix and medieval crowns at symposia around the country. In 2004 he was granted the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by Adjunct Faculty by Queens College. He has two master’s degrees, one in English Literature and the other in Art History, both earned at Queens College.
Bill Roloff has been a high school mathematics teacher since 1982. From 1985 to the present, he has taught at Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. He has taught AP Calculus (AB and BC) since 1993. He has been a reader for AP Calculus since 2001 and has conducted numerous summer institutes and one-day workshops. Bill is also a National Board Certified Teacher. He designs his summer institutes to meet the needs of the teachers in the course.
James Chasey received his BA from Purdue University, his MA from the University of Illinois, and studied in the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago as the Christa McAuliffe Fellow for Illinois. He has taught economics in high school from 1969-2002, and economics part-time in college since 1985. He has enjoyed the privilege of being a grader, and a table leader in AP* Economics. Among his favorite professional activities are presenting at numerous one-day workshops and week-long summer institutes for AP* Economics. He is married and has two children, one of whom is teaching AP* Psychology. Mr. Chasey has written numerous works specifically for use in the teaching of AP* Economics. His main interest in presenting week-long summer workshops is to specifically structure the workshop to meet the needs of the participants.
English Language and Composition, Session I (new teachers),
Stephen Heller has completed 24 years of teaching, the last 12 at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, where he teaches AP* Language and Composition and Freshman Accelerated English. A question leader, table leader, and reader for the AP* Language and Composition exam, Steve also serves on the AP* Language and Composition Test Development Committee. His recent publications include two textbooks with Peoples Publishing: AP* English Bound, which features lesson plans for the pre-AP* classroom, and Entering the Conversation, a writing textbook geared for students in AP* English Language and AP* English Literature. A frequent presenter and consultant for the College Board*, Steve also co-teaches American Themes in the AP* Classroom, which looks at the skills common to AP* English Language and AP* US History. Steve is a graduate of Northwestern University, and he worked as an instructor at NU's Center for Talent Development — focusing on accelerated language arts courses — from 1987 until 2008.
English Language and Composition Session II (experienced teachers)
Dan O’Rourke teaches English at Riverside-Brookfield High School in Chicago’s western suburbs. He completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Villanova University, where he earned a BA in English and Philosophy and an MA in English with a focus on 18th-century British Literature. Dan has taught a wide variety of English courses over his 26-year career, including AP English Language & Composition. Dan also plays a major role in developing curricula at his school—especially for cross-curricular programs that involve the AP English Language course. For the past twelve summers, Dan has served as an AP Reader and Table Leader for the AP English Language exam. A National Board Certified teacher and mentor and a College Board consultant, Dan is accustomed to lending a helping hand to his colleagues seeking professional development. In addition, he presents regularly at educational conferences, most recently at the 2016 AP Annual Conference in Anaheim and the 2016 College Board National Forum in Chicago.
English Literature and Composition, Session I (new teachers) and Session II (experienced teachers)
Cathy D'Agostino is a leader teacher at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where she started both the AP English Language and Composition program and the co-taught interdisciplinary AP English Literature and AP European History class. She has served as a consultant for the College Board since 1988, conducting both AP English Language and Literature workshops. She has served as a Reader and a Table Leader for the AP English Literature Examination, as well as serving as Reader, Table Leader, and Assistant Chief Reader for the SAT-II Writing Exam. Her work with AP and The College Board has led her to consult with school districts in twenty-six states on developing AP English courses, improving composition instruction in all English classes, building vertical teams within English Departments, developing reading strategies in English classes, designing district-wide holistic assessments, and beginning Writing Across the Disciplines Programs in high schools. In 2004, she co-authored and designed a manual and workshop on Holistic Scoring for the College Board. In addition, she has been a regular presenter at state and national conferences since 1990.
Chris Freiler has taught Advanced Placement European History at Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, IL, since 1993. Additionally, he has taught Philosophy Honors since 2003, a course he proposed and developed. He has also served since 1997 as a reader, Table Leader, Question Leader, Exam Leader, and Assistant Chief Reader for the AP European History annual exam scoring. From 1998 to 2002, Chris served on the Test Development Committee (and later as an independent consultant) for AP European History, in the process authoring three document-based questions used on the national exam. From 2006-14, Chris served on the College Board Commission that redesigned European History, the last three years as co-chair of the Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee. He has authored an AP European test preparation book, published by McGraw-Hill, entitled AP Achiever: Advanced Placement Exam Preparation Guide for European History. Chris has been a College Board consultant since 1998 and presents one-day workshops during the school year and several week-long institutes each summer.
Linda Zins-Adams teaches German and serves as the AP Curriculum Director at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, OH. She is a certified and trained AP consultant, reader/table leader, and reviewer for College Board, and has conducted numerous state, regional, and national workshops and webinars independently for school district throughout the nation. She is also a Secondary Freelancer for Vista Higher Learning and has conducted keynotes for Louisiana (LFLTA), Montana (MALT), and Wisconsin (WAFLT). She has received the Distinguished Alumna from the University of Cincinnati, the Federal Republic of Germany Friendship Award, and the AATG/Goethe-Institut Certificate of Merit, and recently the Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT (K-12), and is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding German Educator Award. She was the SCOLT Teacher of the Year in 2009 and served as president for SCOLT. During her term on the SCOLT board she served as the SCOLTalk editor and Awards Chair.
Margaret Schmidt, a Milwaukee native, has been teaching French language and culture at both the high school and university level for over 20 years. Margaret has a BA in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MA in French from the University of Texas-Austin, MS in Curriculum & Instruction and MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was also one of the first Wisconsin French teachers to obtain National Board Certification. Margaret has served as President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the AATF, as well as a member of the Executive board of the Wisconsin Association for Language Teaching. She has been an AP reader and table leader for the AP French language exam since 2004, and is a national consultant to the College Board, serving primarily the Midwest region. Margaret recently authored an AP French sample exam for French Four Years (4th edition forthcoming). She also shares her love of French at the Alliance Française de Milwaukee, where she teaches an occasional course
Daniel Berry has been teaching Social Studies since 1986 and Advanced Placement Human Geography since the fall of 2001. His educational background includes Bachelors of Arts degrees in History and Political Science, a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Master of Science degree in Geography. He has served as a Reader, Table Leader, and Lead Table Leader at the AP Human Geography Reading since 2003. A consultant with College Board since 2004, he has conducted one-day workshops in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia and summer institutes in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia, and West Virginia. As a member of the AP Human Geography Test and Curriculum Development Committee (2009-2014), he has written multiple choice questions and constructed response questions for the AP Human Geography Exam, reviewed textbooks submitted for adoption to AP Human Geography, and assisted in modifying the course outline.
Tina Athanasopoulos currently teaches Advanced-Placement Psychology at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tina received a BS in Psychology and Social Science Secondary Education from Loyola University of Chicago, a MA in School Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University, and a CAS in Education Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Tina is currently on the Test Development Committee for AP Psychology, has been a table leader for the Advanced Placement Psychology Exam for the past six years and a reader for the exam for three years prior. Since 2001, she has been a consultant for the College Board. She has taught AP Psychology at the Center for Talented Development at Northwestern University for the past three summers. Tina has presented at numerous conferences including the AP National Conference regarding topics in psychology and has hosted a Chicagoland conference for Psychology teachers.
Ken Stewart (BA International Studies and Spanish UNC-Chapel Hill; MA Spanish NC State University) is the 2006 ACTFL National Foreign Language Teacher of Year. He currently teaches Spanish IV and AP Spanish Language and Culture at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he is department chair. Ken has taught middle school through university levels of Spanish. He is the liaison for the dual language program at his school. Ken received his National Board Certification in 2003 and was recertified in 2012. He was an original member of the WLOTE standards committee for the initiation of NBPTS. Ken is a recent member of the ACTFL Board of Directors; he was a member of the SCOLT Board, and the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
Ken has been involved for many years with the College Board. He was a commissioner for the AP World Language Course and Exams redesign. Currently, he is a member of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Test Development Committee, a question leader at the AP Reading, and has been a national consultant for over 20 years. He has conducted over 100 AP and pre-AP workshops and summer institutes throughout the US as well as in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
Chris True has been teaching AP Statistics and AP Calculus in Nebraska since 1998. He has served as an AP Statistics reader, table leader and a member of the rubric team for the past 14 years. He has presented dozens of AP Statistics Summer Institutes, College Board workshops, AP Annual Conferences, National Math and Science teacher trainings and student study sessions. He has also presented at several regional, national and international Texas Instruments conferences. He has served as the Director of Mathematics Programs for the National Math and Science Initiative. He currently teaches Calculus II and III at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he also serves as a coach and mentor to the graduate teaching assistants who are teaching the recitation sections of Calculus I and II. In addition to teaching, he also leads a committee for the College Board called AP Insight. In this capacity, he is responsible for identifying challenge areas and creating resources for AP Statistics teachers.
US Government and Politics
Vanessa Lal Steinkamp has taught AP Government as well as Political Thought and World History at Stevenson High School in Chicago for eight years. She has acted as a Reader in AP Government and Politics since 2001 and as an AP College Board consultant since 2002. In her capacity as AP consultant, she has presented seminars at Butler, Ball State, St. Louis, Eastern Michigan and the University of Wisconsin. Ms. Lal received an MA in American Government from the University of Virginia, an MSEd from Northwestern, and a BA from Tulane. She also received a Madison Fellowship for the state of Illinois in 2002.
Lynda Hakanen has taught US History AP for 20 years. She was a Staff Developer for the History Department at Evanston Township High School. She has been an AP reader for five years. She is a College Board consultant. This is her eighth year teaching the AP History workshop at Northwestern. Linda has a BS from Drake University and a M.Ed. from Loyola University in Chicago.
Ryba Epstein taught AP World History, AP English Literature, and freshman social studies at Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois. She is a workshop consultant and table leader for AP World History and worked with the AP Course and Exam Review project. She has also read for AP European History. She is a lesson plan contributor to George Mason University’s web site “Women in World History,” and is current working on GMU’s new project, “Children and Youth in World History.” In addition, she has reviewed materials for AP Central, created a syllabus for the AP World History Teachers Guide, and has served on the board for World History Connected, an e-journal for teaching and learning about world history. Her M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign; she received her A.B. from U.C.L.A. Her dissertation was on African oral epic poetry.