Deena Habbal


Full-time Staff Member

Deena Habbal, also known as Lulu, is an alumnus of Tallgrass Sudbury School and volunteered at the school for two years before joining our staff full-time. She graduated from Benedictine University with a degree in social work and minored in criminal justice. She spent several months in Turkey teaching English. She loves to paint, cook, and travel and is fluent in Arabic.


Elizabeth Lund


Full-Time Staff Member, Financial Management Committee

Elizabeth has been involved with Tallgrass since 2010, first as a volunteer and now as a full-time staff member. She is a writer of young adult books and a professional editor. She grew up as an army brat and has lived in five states and three countries. She holds an English degree from St. Olaf College.

Elizabeth went to conventional public schools, but has had a lifelong interest in alternative education. She became involved with Sudbury education after staffing at Not Back to School Camp, a camp for unschooling teens. Her other interests include investing, birds, singing and dancing for the joy of it, and the academic study of children's and young adult literature, especially the work of Maud Hart Lovelace.  

Melissa Bradford


Part-Time Staff Member, Founder

Melissa holds a master's degree in Education (K-9) as well as a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Northwestern University. For 7 years she taught in the public school system, teaching Jr. High School science. She is now an adjunct faculty member at Joliet Junior College - teaching math and science in her spare time when not staffing at Tallgrass Sudbury. She is a doctoral candidate at DePaul University.

"I became involved in Sudbury education 20 years ago when my children were toddlers.  I love the way students are empowered and able to pursue their passions at Tallgrass Sudbury School."

Loretta Harper


Part-time Staff Member

Loretta was born, raised, and educated and raised her family in the Chicagoland area. She holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Loretta loves to travel, and has been to Europe three times so far. Florida and the Caribbean are other favorite spots to relax. Her interests include reading, journalling, yoga, swimming, education, theater, party planning, movies, knitting, and cooking.

"As a former unschooling parent (for 16 years) Tallgrass Sudbury School was a great fit for two of my three children. Both of my "Sudbury kids" have blossomed in this democratic, supportive, and most of all fun-filled learning and growing environment. I am so glad this school is in our state!"