Scott Galson
Department Chair

You may want to know these facts about me: B.A. in Economics and Psychology with an emphasis in Statistics from Colby College; Worked as an econometric forecasting analyst, and then made what everyone warned me as a risky move: to become an educator; Before moving out to Illinois in 2003 from New England, my wife and I lived for two years in Suriname, South America as volunteers in the Peace Corps. M.S. in Mathematics Education from Northwestern University; Achieved National Board Certification in 2008; Received the Siemens AP Teacher of the Year award for Illinois in 2009; Golden Apple Award in 2013 Math Team coach; My wife, three sons, and I enjoy the outdoors. We love to bike, hike, ski, fly fish, and generally travel North America throughout the summer.

Email: sdgalson@cps.edu
Phone: 773.534.0034 Ext. 25006

Michael Caines
Teacher

I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of Chicago in 2001, and, after succumbing to my affinity for math, went on to earn a Master of Science in Teaching Mathematics degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2008. After a year of teaching at Lane Tech High School, I eagerly joined the team at Walter Payton. I enjoy coaching math team, and I am involved in the Chicago Junior Mathematics League, the City of Chicago Math League, and the Payton Citywide Math Circle. My other interests currently include: CrossFit, trivia, watching good TV shows, and sleeping when possible.

Email: macaines@cps.edu

Byron Espinoza
Teacher

I earned my B.A. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I joined the Walter Payton team in 2005 where I have helped with math team, after school tutoring, and sponsored the Gaming Club. I enjoy tinkering with new technology, and routinely use software such as Geometer's Sketchpad and Mathematica in my classes.

Email: bpespinoza@cps.edu

Sara Heiberger
Teacher

I proudly joined the Payton faculty in 2014. Prior to teaching at Payton, I taught at two charter high schools on Chicago's South and West Sides. I graduated from the University of Chicago with an B.A. in Sociology in 2009 and an MAT for Secondary Math Education in 2012. I also had the privilege during college and graduate school to work as part of the editing team for the third edition of the UCSMP high school mathematics textbook series and a teaching assistant for the University of Chicago SESAME Program. Outside of math, I love to cook and spend quality couch-time with my two dogs. (Fun fact: I graduated from WPCP in 2005.)

Email: slmahoney@cps.edu

Ben Hyman
Teacher

Hello! I joined the Payton faculty in the 2011-2012 school year. I teach CS, KAM, and PCBC, and also help out with Selenium and seminars programming. I earned my B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and have previously volunteered in four Chicago schools: Johnson College Prep (Noble Street), Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Prosser Career Academy, and Walter Payton. I help coach the Math Team, and also enjoy reading, exercising, and a certain long-running British sci-fi TV series.

Email: bjhyman@cps.edu

Jill Tani
Teacher

I joined the Math Department at Payton in 2008. After starting out as an actuarial and benefits analyst for Mercer Human Resource Consulting, I left the corporate world and spent several years as a classroom assistant at Near North Montessori School. I hold degrees in Mathematics and French from Grinnell College and have a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. Aside from shaping the minds of young mathematicians, I enjoy laughing at my own jokes and spending time with my husband and dogs.

Email: jtani1@cps.edu

Georgia Tolias
Teacher

I joined the Payton faculty in 2005 after having spent the previous 12 years as a full-time mathematics professor at Purdue University Calumet and DePaul University. I completed my doctorate in mathematics education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and my B.S. degree in Mathematics from Loyola University Chicago with a minor in Linguistics. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, cycling, being an ambassador of our great city, and overseeing the construction of my new home in Greece where my husband and I plan to live permanently someday. Payton students generally refer to me lovingly as "Doctor T".

Email: gtolias@cps.edu

Benjamin Walker
Math Teacher

Benjamin loves learning and teaching, and approaches his work creatively and energetically. He spends a lot of his intellectual energy figuring out how to foster and maintain high-performing, supporting learning communities. He constantly asks, "How can I best utilize all the assets that my students bring to the classroom? How can I create meaningful opportunities for students to build agency and authority? How can I appropriately challenge all students?" He enjoys teaching students the art of questioning, and generally frames the study of mathematics as the study of creative problem-solving. Benjamin strives to build positive relationships with and among his students that support their learning. He likes bowties, books, and persuasive arguments that convince him to change his mind. Benjamin also loves developing his practice and contributing to the professional learning community. In 2016-17 Benjamin and Esther Song, a colleague from Lindblom, gave a talk titled "Humanizing the Math Classroom" at the ICTM State Conference. He gave a talk at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas titled "Students Take the Lead; Fostering a Culture of Peer-to-Peer Accountability." He will attend Park City Math Institute's Teacher Leadership Program for the second time in June 2017 and then in July will take part in Northeastern University's Global Cohort for Experiential Education (Boston) with his colleagues Kathie Ang and Vince Vinluan. Outside of school, Benjamin loves crossfiting and climbing with his partner, biking around the city, enjoying good coffee, and seeing plays.

Email: blwalker3@cps.edu