Leadership Team

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Lindsay and Matt Gopin

Founders

Meet Lindsay and Matt Gopin, founders of Rootz. As parents of three children in the North Shore, they are excited to be providing so many opportunities for our children, families, and amazing staff.

Lindsay studied Education and Kinesiology at Indiana University and earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University. For the past 10 years, she has worked in a private therapy practice focusing on children and families. Working with kids and impacting their lives is her greatest joy.

Matt studied business at the University of Iowa. He has spent the last 18 years helping companies run successfully. If you see him around town, he probably will be coaching a sports team or have a child in his arms. We are thrilled to have his expertise at Rootz.

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Lisa Panizo

Executive Director

Lisa brings multiple years of experience to the Rootz administrative team. A native of Deerfield, Lisa has worked with families on the North Shore for many years. Most recently, Lisa was the Executive Director at Starland and also worked as the Early Childhood Director at the Glencoe Park District. Lisa has also worked as a year-round Director at Banner Day Camp. In addition to her administration experience, Lisa was as a classroom teacher with children from pre-school through middle school. After attending the University of Texas for her undergraduate degree, Lisa went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University. Performing is a passion of Lisa’s. A previous board member of the Highland Park Players, Lisa has appeared on stage with multiple theatre groups in the area, including Up and Coming Theatre, Deerfield Family Theatre, North Shore Theatre of Wilmette, Center Stage Lake Forest, and many others.

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Jordyn Frelk

Relevé Dance Director

Jordyn is thrilled to bring Relevé Dance to Rootz! After 10 years at Starland, many spent as the Director of Dance, Jordyn created Relevé. Relevé is a program where dancers rise to their fullest potential in a nurturing and creative way. Jordyn has been teaching dance for 19 years all around Chicago and danced professionally with Core Project and Irreverence Dance. Jordyn is most proud of her role as “mom” to her two boys, Charlie and Blake.

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Katie Gassel Phillips

Theatre Director

Katie is thrilled to get back to her “roots” at Rootz. A theatre girl at heart, Katie has performed in, taught, and directed shows for over 20 years. Katie caught the theatre bug when she entered high school at New Trier, having already spent countless hours dancing and singing around her house as a kid – anything from Disney to Sinatra Katie eventually took her love for being onstage to making the productions happen backstage. Later in high school and at the University of Illinois, Katie began to discover her love of directing and choreographing. She has since served as the camp and theatre director for the Wilmette Park District’s Broadway Bound Camp, director and choreographer for multiple Edgewood Middle School musicals, and teacher/director/choreographer at Starland Kids for over five years. In addition to the stage, Katie’s other passion is kids! In 2009 she received her K-9 Master of Education from DePaul University. As Director of Theatre, she promises to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all kids to explore theatre and looks forward to keeping your kids singing and dancing around the house (but saving the volume for the stage).