Kris Swanberg, Founder

Kris founded Friends of Chappell with a group of parents in 2012 and has loved watching it grow each year ever since.  She has two children: Jude (age 6) and Abby (age 2), and loves the community of families that send their children to Chappell.  As a child, Kris loved eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and could always be found goofing off.  Her advice to new parents is to make the school what they’d like it to be:  “a public school means just that - it belongs to the public!"

Annika Mitchell

Annika grew up two blocks from her own elementary school and fondly remembers walking home each day during lunch break to watch the Pine Valley drama of All My Children on TV with her friends. With her soap opera days behind her, Annika is the founding attorney of Mitchell Law Firm and focuses her practice on wills, trusts, probate, and corporate work. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in her community.  Her son, Jax (3rd grade), and daughter, Wynn (Kindergarten), are at Chappell and Annika decided to join Friends of Chappell after attending an open meeting: “The group was so welcoming and well organized!  Plus, it’s been a helpful way to learn more about this impressive school.”

Michelle Keller

Michelle could always be found reading in the library tree fort when she was in elementary school.  One of her favorite childhood memories was constructing a giant spaceship out of cardboard boxes and foil in fourth grade.  Michelle has two daughters at Chappell: Clementine (3rd grade) and Pearl (Kindergarten).  One of the Michelle’s favorite parts of the Chappell community is that many of the families walk together to the playground after school: “The parents connect, the kids play, and it really builds community.”

Megan Hagens

Megan always loved reading when she was a child and fondly remembers field day, spring musicals and learning to write cursive when she was in elementary school.  Megan has two children: Max (age 5) and Alexander (age 2).  Megan joined Friends of Chappell because she wanted to be more involved in her neighborhood school.  Her advice to new parents is to attend as many events as possible: “It’s a great way to meet your neighbors and child's friends.”

Lauren Blanford

When she was a child, Lauren could always be found doodling bubble letters and making up stories. She was crushed to always want (but never receive) a Strawberry Shortcake doll.  Her advice to her childhood self: just be you! Lauren joined Friends of Chappell as a way to be more active in the Lincoln Square community.  One of Lauren’s favorite experiences at Chappell was helping plan the first ever Dance-a-Thon and watching how much fun the students had dancing: “They all had their own style and I was so blown away on how talented some students were from doing the worm to breakdancing.”

Emily Mullin

When Emily was a child, her favorite cereal was Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. One of her favorite childhood memories was being chosen to bury a time capsule at her elementary school just before it closed. (Still can’t find it to this day!)  Emily has two boys at Chappell: Brennan (age 7)  and Jack (age 5).  Emily decided to join Friends of Chappell to meet other neighborhood parents and to give back to the community. Her advice to new parents is to get involved: “We all have something to offer the school community!”

Erika Hostetler

As a child, Erika was often found doodling in her notebook, dreaming about becoming a famous writer someday. Her favorite cereal was Apple Jacks! Erika’s advice to her childhood self, and her own children (Siena and Rhett): don't be in such a rush to grow up! She joined Friends of Chappell because she wants to help make Chappell better anyway she can: “It's my firm belief that a strong neighborhood school is the bedrock to a strong community.”

Jessica Sedgwick

Jessica loved Biography Day at her own elementary school when each student dressed up as a famous person and gave a speech about his or her life. She was a pretty good Grandma Moses!  Her son, Selden, is a First Grader at Chappell.  Jessica’s advice to new parents at Chappell is to speak up if you have questions: “Don't be afraid to ask another parent for help or advice. Chances are we've all gone through the same thing and can help!”

Eli Shearn

Eli’s favorite cereal as a child was GrapeNuts, and he always wanted (but never received) a GameBoy. One of Eli’s favorite parts of the Chappell community is the energy, enthusiasm and passion of the teachers.  He joined Friends of Chappell because he wanted to make sure the teachers and staff at Chappell have all the resources they need to continue doing an amazing job.  Eli’s suggests that new families volunteer as a way to get involved: “Volunteering is a great way to meet people and have fun!”

Ramon Rodriguez

When he was in elementary school, Ramon could be found waiting in line to play (and lose) at tetherball.  Ramon joined Friends of Chappell as a way to be involved in the school experience of his own children.  One of his favorite experiences at Chappell was the first Back to School Picnic his family attended: “It was obvious that there was a warm and connected community at the school, and it’s been great to grow into part of that community.”

Erin Nitz

Erin carries many lessons from her own childhood into adulthood, but none more important than this: don’t die from dysentery if you want to survive the Oregon Trail.  As a child, Erin could always be found playing tetherball and picking dandelions.  Erin joined Friends of Chappell because she wanted to contribute and help build the local community.  Erin has two children: Owen (6) and Isla (2). Her advice to help new families feel connected at Chappell is simple: “Participate!”