Welcome to our New Harper Staff Members!
ap  Melissa Feinberg - Assistant Principal

I am beyond excited to join the Harper team this school year as the Assistant Principal.  From the moment I stepped foot in Harper I got such a strong feeling of warmth, kindness, and collaboration.  I believe in strong school and community culture, and I'm excited to continue that here.  I am looking forward to supporting our Dolphins to be their best selves and thrive in our community.

My career began as a classroom assistant in Winnetka.  I am coming to Wilmette with 15 years of experience in Distinctive Schools in a variety of roles.  I have been a 2nd grade teacher, 3rd grade teacher, instructional coach, and most recently the Assistant Principal of CICS Irving Park for the last 5 years.  

Growing up I attended school in Deerfield and  went to Deerfield High School.  Knowing I wanted to be a teacher my whole life, I received my undergraduate degree in elementary education at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Go Hoosiers!  I then received my masters degree at National Louis University in Educational Leadership and Development.

A little bit about me personally, my husband Mike and I have twin 7 year old boys, Bradley and Taylor.  They are about to enter 2nd grade and the time has flown by!  Mike and I met in college during our Welcome Week freshman year.  He is also an educator and teaches 8th grade civics in Chicago Public Schools. In my free time I love spending quality time with my boys, reading, and trying new restaurants!

Shahina Virani 2nd Grade Teacher

I live in the Edgewater area in Chicago with my husband and two kids (6 and 2). This is my tenth year of teaching, and I have taught in Texas and Illinois. I earned my Bachelors from the University of Texas (Hook 'em Horns!) and just completed my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with Digital Learning and Teaching this summer. When I'm not at school, I am spending time exploring the city, traveling to see my family in Austin, Texas, or researching ways to incorporate technology tools for the classroom :). I love getting to know new people, volunteering, finding ways to be creative, and spending time with my friends and family. I am looking forward to getting to know you all as I embark this new journey at Harper! 


Kelly Pollack3rd Grade Teacher

Hello, my name is Kelly Pollack. I am looking forward to joining the Wilmette community to work with the 3rd grade team this year! Teaching is my passion! I have 21 years of experience teaching grades 1-4 in Chicago. Additionally, over the last 4 years, I was an instructional coach for my 3rd and 4th grade colleagues. I have received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Education. I have obtained a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an endorsement in EL from Concordia University. Some of my hobbies include gardening, traveling, baking, and enjoying nature walks with my family. 


Victoria Ottaviano- 3rd Grade Teacher

Hi everyone! I grew up in Park Ridge IL. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2021 obtaining my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement. The past 2 years I began my teaching journey at a private school in Mount Prospect teaching 2nd grade. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, learning new recipes, traveling and taking on lots of photography! I am so excited to begin this new journey at Harper Elementary and to get to know all of the staff and students from this community!

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Kate DocterLBS

I grew up in the Northern suburbs and am very excited that my husband and I just moved back.  You’ll find me spending my free time with any number of my many nieces and nephews now that I’m close by! After attending Georgetown University, I moved straight back to Chicago to get my Masters in Elementary and Special Education from DePaul University.  For most of my career I have worked in Hyde Park – first at Hyde Park Day School and then at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. I am thrilled to be joining the Harper team for my 18th year as a teacher!


Kate Black- LBS

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and now live in Chicago. I received my BFA in theatre from Rutgers University, and my Master's in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. I have worked in D39 as a paraprofessional for four years at Central and Harper. I completed my student teaching at WJHS, and I was a maternity sub at Highcrest in the spring.Outside of school, I work at the Wilmette Park District helping run their after school theater program. I also enjoy reading, and going to Dollywood. I am very excited to be back at Harper this year!  


Megan JulsethLBS

Hello! My name is Megan Julseth. I am eager to begin my sixth year of teaching at Harper! I grew up in Geneva, IL., and studied Special Education: LBS I at Illinois State University. I worked in Lyons District 103 for 5 years, and currently live in Chicago. I finished my Master’s Degree in reading education this last December of 2022, and obtained my Reading Specialist Certification. In my free-time I enjoy being with friends and family, staying active, baking, trying new restaurants, and partaking in any seasonal activity! Something fun I did recently was go to Ireland. I cannot wait to get to know everyone at Harper!