2015-16 Koldyke Global Teachers


Ryan Berba

Ryan Berba is an Advanced Placement Psychology and International Baccalaureate 20th Century History teacher at Vernon Hills High School. He graduated from North Central College with a BA in social sciences and minor in secondary education and finished a MA in curriculum and instruction from American College of Education.

Katie Gallegos

Katie Gallegos earned her BA in English and Spanish from the University of Michigan, and earned her MA in Education with the Chicago Teaching Fellows Program. She now teaches Spanish at the Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, where she serves as the Global Connections Program chairperson. With this program, she oversees coordination of school trips and exchanges, as well as advocating for global learning. Gallegos has traveled extensively in Spain and Latin America, and her and her colleagues have led curriculum-based immersion trips to various Spanish-speaking countries. Katie has over eight years of experience in secondary education and global education programs. Her other interests include hiking, making music, and spending time with her dog. 

Lydia Kurkjian

Lydia Kurkjian earned a master’s degree in teaching Social Studies and a bachelor’s degree in History and Journalism from Fordham University. She began her teaching career in her home state of New York before moving to Chicago in 2013. There, she first worked as a consultant on an educational research project at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She currently is a teacher of World Studies and US History, as well as being the Social Science department chairperson at Back of the Yards College Prep. Kurkjian lives with her husband and dog in the West Loop of Chicago, where she spends her free time reading, listening to podcasts, volunteering with various Armenian organizations, and exploring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.

Rebecca Orr

Rebecca Orr graduated from Northwestern University in 2012. After graduation, she spent a year in Singapore teaching at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic School of Film and Media Studies, where she taught Media Studies and Public Speaking to aspiring radio DJs. After her time in Singapore, Orr returned to Chicago and began teaching Media and English at DePaul College Prep. In addition to teaching, she is currently the head coach of speech and debate, and leads the annual service learning trip. Rebecca also hopes to start the DePaul College Prep’s first digital news publication in the upcoming semester.