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Board of Trustees

These are the members of the 2020-2021 ACS Board of Trustees.

Chair of the Board
Brendan Sheehy

Brendan joined the Board to make an impact on the future direction of ACS and supports the school community because he feels that grade school and middle school are the most formative years of a student's academic career. He appreciates how ACS pushes students to their potential and sets high expectations for them both in and out of the classroom. Outside of the Board, Brendan has been an equity options trader for the 23 years. He is a concert goer and podcast listener, and his favorites classes in school were economics, statistics, philosophy, and religion. 

Board positions/committees served include the Development Committee, Buildings and Grounds Committee, and Enrollment and Marketing Committee. Board member since 2015.


Vice Chair
Sreeram Prasad Veluchamy

Sreeram joined the Board as he's been a part of the ACS community for over a decade and has appreciated the School's impact on his children (Avi, ACS'13 and Nani, ACS'18) and their friends. When the opportunity to serve arose, he was honored to participate in furtherance of the School's success. For Sreeram, an institution that nurtures children in an inclusive environment, and one that encourages thoughtful citizenship and risk-taking deserves its community's gratitude and support. Outside of ACS, Sreeram is an engineer by training, now a private investor by way of the derivatives markets of Chicago. In high school, and later in graduate school, his favorite classes were in commerce, economics, and business. He loves spending time, and traveling, with his family. 

Board positions/committees served include the Finance Committee and Strategic Planning Committee. Board member since 2016. 


William Atwood

William joined the Board to participate in the stewardship of ACS and to contribute to the experience of his daughter, her classmates, and all of the students at the school. He supports ACS because it has been the right place for his children to learn and grow, as it has been for so many other children. As parent, William feels it is important that he does what he can to facilitate ACS's continuation for future kids. Outside of ACS, William is the Executive Director of the Illinois State Board of Investment, and has served in that capacity since 2003. He enjoys traveling with his wife Reagen, daughter Ainsley, and son William, and he enjoys reading whenever he gets the time. 

Board positions/committees served include the Finance Committee (current Chair). Board member since 2014.



Assistant Treasurer

Julie Swinehart

Julie Swinehart is a proud parent of three children including ACS Class of 2019 alum Brandon Hornickle, ACS Class of2021 student Ben Hornickle, and Ben’s twin sister Emma Hornickle who attends public school in La Grange. She and her wife Andrea Hornickle have served as ACS Parent Ambassadors and have actively supported ACS each year since joining the community, including during the Annual Auction. Professionally, Julie brings more than twenty years of business experience to the Board, including a depth of financial and real estate experience, and she currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of a publicly-traded real estate investment trust.  She holds a B.S. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and is a CPA.  In her spare time, Julie enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and also with family – playing board and strategy games, completing puzzles, going on bike rides, and going for walks.

Board committees served include the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Board member since 2019.

Shannon Weinberger

Shannon serves on the ACS Board because she believes deeply in gifted education and in supporting the mission of the Avery Coonley School. To her, ACS is a unique and special place. Shannon believes it is important to give back to ACS so that other children and their families find ACS just as special as she did. In her personal life, Shannon is a volunteer who spends a great deal of time giving back to organizations that make a difference. When she's not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, spending time with friends, learning new things, getting involved in historic preservation, reading, and playing with photography.

Board positions/committees served include the Buildings and Grounds Committee (current Chair), Development Committee (former Chair), Committee on Trustees, and Strategic Steering Committee. Board member since 2005.


Assistant Secretary

Nancy Doris

Nancy is an advocate for The Avery Coonley School and the education and experiences that it provides. She promotes the ACS faculty as specialized in gifted education, and delivering unparalleled opportunities and support to students. As an alumna of the school, she is invested in its growth and success. With three children at ACS, Nancy is actively involved. In addition to classroom volunteerism, Nancy served as President of the Alumni Council (2015-2018), Strategic Plan Steering Committee Member (2017-2018), Strategic Plan Diversity Work Group Co-Chair (2017-2018), Development Committee member (2015-2018), and Alumni Representative to the Board of Trustees (2015-2018). Nancy joined the Board of Trustees in 2018. She serves on the Building and Grounds Committee and as co-chair of the Fleur de Lis Society. She attended Culver Girls Academy, Notre Dame, and Kellogg. After some consulting work, Nancy spent fifteen years at a medical device company in both global operations and global marketing roles. She specialized in product development, portfolio optimization, and marketing analytics while maintaining the patients’ needs and dignity as priority. 

Board member since 2018.

Past Chair
Amy Louis

Amy has been fortunate to have had a broad range of professional and volunteer positions with a range of not for profit institutions. She joined the Board in part because Avery Coonley's opportunities and challenges offer a rewarding chance to integrate her experiences to help ensure that the school continues to thrive. The Avery Coonley community played a central role in the life of Amy's family when her three children were growing up and she appreciates how the school attracts bright, engaged students who engage deeply with learning and with each other. For Amy's children, the chance to be constantly surrounded by like minded peers was critical in shaping their values and work ethic. In her personal life, Amy is an active person and likes to keep busy doing a variety of things. At this time, she is serving on five boards and is actively involved in the management of two start up business. In her free time she likes to participate in a wide range of athletic endeavors ranging from cycling to her current favorite, skulling.

Board positions/committees served include Vice Chair, Development Committee (former Chair) and Committee on Trustees (former Chair). Board member since 2012.



Mary Ellen Bull '79
Mary Ellen joined the board in order to serve the ACS community and help support the school's mission, with a goal to see it continue to thrive in the decades to come. As an alumna and parent of two ACS graduates, ACS is near and dear to Mary Ellen. It has influenced the life of her family in many positive ways, and she and her family are grateful for their experiences at ACS. In her personal life, Mary Ellen is the proud mother of two amazing young women. She was married for the first time this summer to an incredible woman, and is enjoying her 19th year as a hospital social worker. Her favorite ACS class was language arts with Miss Maycheck- her class used "Wordly Wise" way back then too. 

Board positions/committees served include Assistant Secretary and the Finance Committee. Board member since 2007.

Deborah Clarke

Deborah joined the Board because she feels one of the best decisions her family made for her son was to enroll him in ACS. She believes in the mission of the school, and would like to help it continue to thrive and meet the needs of the greater community. Any way that she can assist the school, to ensure it is available to future generations of students, is both a pleasure and honor to serve. Her son's experience has been the best reason for her family's support of ACS--not only was he appropriately challenged academically, he was challenged in a supportive environment that encouraged curiosity and openness as well, and has formed friendships that will likely last him a lifetime. Deborah firmly believes this school has had a significant impact on the formation of his character, and she wants to ensure others will have the same opportunity as he did. In her personal life, Deborah has been in the banking profession for more than 30 years, focused on lending and ancillary financial services to large and small businesses. She "retired" from the industry a couple years ago, and is thrilled to focus more of her time on other interests, which include history and genealogy, gardening, cooking, and mental and physical fitness. She has so many wonderful ACS memories: Halloween parades, Thanksgiving pageant, plays, special projects and presentations. Her son loved his social studies and science teachers, and he'll never forget having Mr. Maskell in 4th grade, who taught him that math can sometimes be uncomfortable, but that just means you're learning.

Board positions/committees served include Assistant Treasurer and the Finance Committee. Board member since 2016.


Brian Gilmartin

Brian joined the ACS Board in order to have a voice in furthering the mission of the school for the students of its future. This is primarily done via strategic planning which provides high level guidance to the administration. He believes in supporting ACS as it is preparing his children for a diverse world in a balanced program of arts, education, and sports, with like-minded peers. Outside of ACS, Brian is a finance executive helping companies and entrepreneurs navigate the accounting and finance world. His interests include in numbers, people, thought leadership, technology, food, and live music. 

Board positions/committees served include the Committee on Trustees, Development Committee (current Chair), and Building and Grounds Committee. Board member since 2014.


Sue Gould

Sue joined the Board to help with making ACS the obvious school of choice for all intellectually advanced students. She feels strongly that ACS is the only place where students are constantly surrounded by like-minded peers. In addition, the school has a great understanding of the social and emotional needs of academically talented students. In her personal life, Sue worked at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) as an auditor and consultant. She's also worked in a variety of volunteer roles with organizations such as AYSO, Hinsdale Swim Club, and Greater Chicago Food Depository. 

Board positions/committees served include the Enrollment and Marketing Committee and Finance Committee. Board member since 2012.



Raj Goyal

Raj joined the Board because as a physician, he's had experience in running a service-driven business which dictates high performance and quality products to others, finding it similar to how private schooling can be a difficult endeavor to successfully deliver and requires multidisciplinary personnel to guide the values it cherishes. Raj's support of ACS comes from his own experience as a student receiving private education, and of having children in ACS, where he's had the opportunity to see the educational and moral benefits of similarly minded peers in one's surroundings. He is an advocate of nurturing the learning atmosphere and uncovering the potential of young minds. Raj is a practicing eye transplant surgeon for 20 years; his goals have been focused on training the future surgeons in excellent care. Trained at Johns Hopkins, Raj was on staff for several years for his medical acumen and research achievements. His hobbies include competing in Olympic triathlons and performing magic shows. One of his favorite classes was symphonic wind ensemble, where he was one of the saxophone quartet who travelled throughout Europe playing on radio stations. Raj also serves on the Board of Examiners, American board of Ophthalmology, Written, and the Board of Examiners, American board of Ophthalmology, Oral. 

Board member since 2017.

Jacqueline Gupta
Jacqueline joined the board because she wants to help make ACS the best institution it can be. She is passionate about the school with all the traditions and experiences it has offered her three children and their classmates over the years. She feels strongly about supporting ACS because her two children, who are recent ACS alums, truly appreciate the educational foundation they received. It is important that generations to come can continue to experience the same traditions and educational offerings that her children have benefitted from while at ACS. Outside ACS, Jacqueline previously worked as a Certified Public Accountant in audit and financial consulting before becoming a full-time mother of three children. She loves attending all her children’s events and activities in addition to playing tennis, traveling, entertaining, volunteering, reading a good historical fiction book, and attending musicals and concerts. 

Board positions/committees served include the Development Committee, Graduation Committee, Finance Committee, Annual Fund (former Chair), and Auction-Live (former Chair)Board member since 2013.

John Harrast

John joined the Board to support the head of school and to help improve ACS in areas focused on the students themselves: their academic excellence, their quality of life, and their future opportunities. For John, ACS is a unique school of like-minded kids, a center for excellence in education, cherishing both timeless traditions and modern technology, with families committed to providing the greatest opportunities for their children to grow. In his personal life, he is an engineer by training, currently managing a company that provides consulting, analytic, and high technology services to organized medicine. John enjoys spending time with his family, coaching baseball, playing golf, watching Shakespeare, and walking his family's dogs in the woods. 

Board positions/committees served include the Policy and Planning Committee (former Chair) and Finance Committee. Board member since 2011.


Gerald Gablonski 

Gerry Jablonski joined the board because he believes Avery Coonley is the best local elementary school for academically bright and gifted students. As a parent of two students that transferred into the school, he was extremely impressed with the simultaneously challenging and nurturing culture that Avery Coonley provides. When asked to join the board he was grateful to be able to contribute to the future success of the school and its students. Outside of Avery Coonley, Gerry has been a nuclear engineer, a computer engineer, and a financial markets professional. He is on the advisory board of Greenhouse Scholars, the due diligence committee of Irish Angels, an angel investing group, and a member of the Village of Hinsdale Plan Commission. His recreational pursuits including cooking and mountain biking.



Kevin Peterson '69

As an alumnus, Kevin has always appreciated how ACS has enriched his life and joined the Board to try to give back to the school. He fully endorses the ACS history and mission. In his personal life, Kevin has had his own architectural practice since 1981. He has served as Chair of the Naperville Historic Preservation Commission and is a former board member of the Naperville Building Review Board. Love of family, motorcycling, vintage cars, skiing, and flying keep him going.

Board positions/committees include B&G (current chair). Board member since 2015.



Imran Qureshi

 As the proud parent of an ACS graduate, Imran is dedicated to ensuring that more children from wide-ranging backgrounds will also be able to experience the school’s unique educational programs. Imran brings a rich background of business skills and acumen to his position on the Board of Trustees, with experience in developing key relationships, as well as building engagement and retention among colleagues and community members. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, with Honors, from the University of Manchester in the U.K., and has guest lectured at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Imran continues to share his experiences and knowledge within the business community, and is a Director on the Board of the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC).

Board member since 2018.

Jennifer Reenan

Jennifer is extremely dedicated to the mission of ACS and appreciates the opportunity to preserve and strengthen the incredible learning environment that it offers by serving on the Board. She also very much enjoys collaborating with other parents, alumni, administrators, and teachers on initiatives and events that unify the community and support the goals of the school. For Jennifer, ACS is the place where each of her three kids has found a true intellectual and emotional home, and the bonds that they have formed with their incredible teachers and fellow classmates create a nurturing and inspiring atmosphere that has fostered their love of learning and strengthened their character. A deep sense of gratitude for all of this compels Jennifer to support ACS however she can. In her personal life, Jennifer double-majored in History & Literature in college, where her favorite class was "Concepts of the Hero in Ancient Greek Civilization." She did medical ethics research and consulted in medical education after graduating from medical school. Her hobbies include: the Home & School Association, attending jazz concerts and live theater with her husband, and NHL hockey. 

Board positions/committees served as Board of Trustees assistant secretary and new Development Committee chair. Board member since 2017.

Lisa Vaughan

Lisa's family joined the Avery Coonley School community in 2009 when her daughter, Britta, started in 2nd Group and her daughter, Tate, started in JK. She has enjoyed serving alongside great parents and Avery Coonley teachers and administrators in a number of different capacities with the school. She served as one of the co-founders of the HSA Fun Run in 2010. Lisa was Silent Auction Chair in 2011 and Auction Co-Chair in 2012. She has been a room parent, has served for three years on the Marketing and Enrollment Committee and most recently served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee of the Board. Her most enjoyable experience at ACS has been serving as an Admissions Tour Guide for the past six years, sharing with perspective families the valuable and enriching experience her girls have had at ACS. 

Board committees served include the Marketing and Enrollment Committee (current Chair) and Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Board member since 2019.

Alumni Representative
Shilpa Gokhale '94

Honorary Trustees
Peter Doris, MD
John Grube
Leslie Hindman '68
Fred Krehbiel
Catherine Slark

Head of School
Paul Druzinsky

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