Svetlana Aleksic received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the Dusan Jerkovic Teacher’s Academy in Serbia. Svetlana has over 20 years of teaching experience and has been teaching at St. Sava Academy since 2001. Mrs. Aleksic is the Kindergarten and 1st grade Serbian language subjects teacher. Svetlana loves to dance and teaches folklore. She says: “Nothing is too difficult that it cannot be learned. Optimism is the way that leads to achievement”.
Cassidy Evans knew she wanted to teach the moment she began a preschool lab experience during her junior year of high school. Cassidy is overjoyed that her path towards becoming an educator led her to teach her first year at St. Sava Academy, where she currently teaches second grade English language subjects and is the Academy Art teacher. Mrs. Evans graduated Cum Laude as a part of DePaul’s class of 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a dual concentration in French and Psychology. Cassidy says: “I strongly believe that children are our future, and that they will be the ones to positively impact our world.”
Ljiljana Burza is the 2nd – 8th grade Serbian language subjects teacher. Ljiljana received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Belgrade in Serbia. Mrs. Burza has over 25 years of teaching experience and has been a teacher at St. Sava academy since 2005. Along with exhibiting expertise in her subject matter, Mrs. Burza grounds her teaching philosophy on positive reinforcement and the belief that everyone can learn.
Popadija Milijana Jakovljevic
Popadija Milijana Jakovljevic received her Bachelor of Science Degree in the Teaching of Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before coming to St. Sava Academy, she had been working as a math tutor at various community colleges. Currently, Popadija Milijana is a teaching assistant in preschool and has been with the Academy for over eight years both as a teacher and a teacher’s assistant. Additionally, Popadija Milijana leads Math Club activities and is happy to hand down her love for math to her students. Popadija Milijana says: “Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
Protonamesnik Father Radovan Jakovljevic
Fr. Radovan Jakovljevic is a parish priest for the southern parish of Holy Resurrection Cathedral. He has been involved with the Academy for the past eight years as a religion teacher and a spiritual advisor to the faculty and staff. Fr. Radovan holds two Masters Degrees, one in Christian Education and one in Bioethics. He enjoys teaching and working with young children. He is married to popadija Milijana Jakovljevic. Together they have two children, son Andrej and daughter Anastasija. Andrej is a former St. Sava Academy student while Anastasija is a current student.
Jelena Krsmanovic received her Bachelor’s Degree of Education from the University of Kragujevac, Jagodina College of Education in Serbia. Jelena has over nine years of teaching experience. She currently teaches Preschool Serbian language subjects teacher and is an English language preschool assistant. Jelena enjoys teaching young students and is very excited to monitor their progression into independent young learners.
Petra Milosavljevic is the Academy Chef. Teta Petra has been with St. Sava Academy since 2001 when the school was originally founded as Socrates-St. Sava Academy. The students of St. Sava Academy love all of Teta Petra’s food, however their favorite is her macaroni. Teta Petra is also an active parishioner of Holy Resurrection Cathedral where she has devoted countless hours of service.
Natasa Petronic is the preschool English language subjects teacher. Natasa has worked in the field of education since 2013 and has been a teacher at St. Sava Academy for the past three school years.
Jennifer Rooth is the kindergarten and first grade English language subjects teacher. Jennifer has been a teacher for over six years, all with St. Sava Academy. Miss Rooth attended Bradley University and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in English. One of her greatest passions in life is to help children grow and expand their overall education. Miss Rooth says: “I want children to portray a ‘can do’ attitude, and express a love of learning. Observing student progress is one of the many reasons why I love teaching. ‘To teach is to touch a life forever.’ I hold this quote dear to my heart. I want nothing more than to touch my students’ lives forever!”
Elena Sayed graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1982 with a degree in Russian Language and Literature and eventually received a Master’s Degree as well. She has over 20 years of experience in teaching Russian language in public schools and colleges. Elena Sayed began working at St. Sava Academy in 2013. Elena currently teaches students in grades Kindergarten – 8th grade. Elena says: “I expect my students to be organized because it will help them to achieve success in their studies. I love my profession and my students, and I enjoy teaching. To know the traditions, culture, and history of your native country is very important in the education of children and their future. I would like to see my students interested in learning Russian language and different aspects of life of Russia.”
Protopresbyter Fr. Dr. Darko Spasojevic
Fr. Dr. Darko Spasojevic completed his post-secondary education at St. Sava Orthodox School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois, in 2001. Fr. Darko earned a Master of Arts and Master of Theology degree at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. He earned his PhD in Theology and Ethics at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary located at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Fr. Darko currently serves as the Cathedral Dean and parish priest of the western parish of Holy Resurrection Cathedral.
Fr. Darko says: “Having the opportunity to teach someone, or someone’s child, is a great privilege and responsibility. Having the opportunity to teach and engage with the students and staff of St. Sava Academy is my greatest privilege. I consider the Academy to be one of the greatest historical accomplishments of our community and the Serbian Orthodox Church on this continent. It is a great honor and benefit to be a part of educating new generations within the context of the Orthodox faith and tradition, along with the Serbian cultural and religious heritage.”
Popadija Jelena Vranic
Popadija Jelena Vranic has been the Academy’s K-8th grade Music teacher since 2009. Popadija Jelena has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Faculty of Music, University of Arts, in Belgrade, Serbia. She is certified to teach K-12th grade Music in the State of Illinois. In total, Popadija Jelena has over 16 years of teaching experience. She is passionate about making music with her students and nurturing their musical talents.
Reverend Father Dr. Vasilije Vranic
Rev. Dr. Vasilije Vranic was born of the late V. Rev. Perisa Vranic, a Serbian Orthodox priest and Jelena Vranic, professor of Music. He is a graduate of Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy on the Holy Mountain, Goethe Institute in Sibiu (Romania), St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology in Libertyville (USA) from where he holds a Bachelor’s degree, Anglia Ruskin University – Cambridge Theological Federation in England where he received a Master of Arts degree, University of Cambridge from where he holds a Master of Philosophy degree, and Marquette University where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Fr. Vasilije taught at Marquette University and St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, IL. He is married to Jelena Vranic, professor of music education. They have two children, son Petar, and daughter Mila.
4th-8th grade math teacher
Pre-Kindergarten and 3rd grade English language subjects
4th-8th grade English language subjects
Kindergarten-8th grade religious education
4th-8th grade reading and language arts
4th-8th grade science