Laura has a BA in Education (Pk-3rd grade) from Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a license in Administration, Supervision, and teaching subjects. She has 12 years of experience in teaching preschool and kindergarten and has been in a leadership position as the School Director and Operations Manager of a Reggio Inspired Early Childhood Center for over 15 years. She has been married for 26 years to her wonderful husband and has two grown children, Kevin (24yrs old) and Haleigh (21 years old). She lives in Lakeview East in the Boystown neighborhood and loves living near the lake and all of the theaters and restaurants!
She had the opportunity to visit Reggio Emilia, Italy to see firsthand how a teacher’s work is grounded in advocacy. She believes that what we should strive for in education is to create learning spaces that allow children to be aware of the world and the context that they live in… to be aware that they can make choices… to be aware of how we treat other people with respect and that they have the right to be treated with respect themselves.
She wants children to feel safe, to be able to ask questions, to feel empowered, to feel competent, to be aware of their abilities and their potential; to be able to learn in an enriching environment and to be able to PLAY.
Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation
18 hours of credits in early childhood from Oakton Community College
9 years working early childhood
- children ages two to kindergarten
- two year olds the past six years
- I love teaching because each day is a new adventure never know what's going to happen.
- two year olds are amazing because it's an age where children are so curious, exploring their environment, becoming independent, and loving ample
Nora has an Associate’s degree in Child Development from Harry S. Truman College, and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood practice from National Louis University. Nora joined Total Child in January 2017. Nora has worked with infants, toddlers and preschoolers for nine years, and has eight years of previous experience as a nanny. Nora has a strong background working with diverse families and children. In 2012, she was invited to participate in a Webcast “Connecting with Families” in Washington DC for the Office of Head Start. In addition, Nora is a bilingual teacher and has participated in several events translating for Spanish speaking families in the community. Nora believes that, “children are born to learn and explore the world through play, and by developing strong relationships with caregivers and peers.”
I am a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. I received my B.S in Community Health with a concentration in Health Education and Pre-Med and my minor in Spanish. I worked at Total Child for a little over a year as both an Inclusion Aide and Substitute Teacher before taking on my current full time teaching position in the 3 year old Explorers Room. I truly love everything about Total Child from the teaching staff, to the classroom philosophy!
I am currently receiving my Masters in Special Education with endorsements in ESL and Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am deeply passionate about the fields of Child Development and Special Education and feel that Total Child is the perfect fit for my aspirations as an educator. This school community puts an emphasis on inclusivity, diversity and equity while also focusing on supporting your children in all areas of their development. I am so excited to be stepping into this new role this year and getting to know all of you!
Hello everyone! I have a B.S from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience. I am also currently a first year graduate student at the University of Chicago working towards acquiring my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in Special Education.
Over the years I have held numerous positions; teacher assistant, student aid, counselor and nanny, which has enabled me to work with children ranging in all ages and abilities.
My true passion lies with preschoolers, as I have always been fascinated by young children and their ability to view the world in such an exciting and unique light. I hope to create a classroom environment where every child has the opportunity to thrive and flourish, not just academically but within all aspects of their lives.
Barbara has a B.A. in English with a minor in psychology from Loyola University. She has taken many early childhood classes and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education this year. She has been a teacher’s assistant in the Early Childhood Program of the Chicago Waldorf School, working with children from 2-6 years old, and most recently, an Associate Teacher in Room 23 at Total Child Preschool. She is an advocate of play-based education where children are given the space, time, and tools to discover the world. Barbara has been teaching at Total Child since 2015.
Isabel has a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Colombia and has worked with preschool and kindergarten age children for many years. Isabel has been at Total Child since 2002! We all love Isabel’s positive energy and willingness to do what is best for the children-even if it’s hard for her! Isabel loves children’s imaginations and listening to their stories.
Heather has worked as an assistant teacher in elementary and middle school special-ed classrooms for 6 years before coming to Chicago and working as a teacher in preschools. Heather earned her BA in Anthropology from Eastern University and a CDA from Rasmussen College. Heather joined Total Child in August 2019. Heather says, “I teach because a child’s curiosity is contagious, their imagination is limitless, and their love is genuine.”
Karlyn earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Columbia College and has an early childhood teacher's license. Karlyn has experience working with children in various Chicago Public Schools, and visited Reggio Emilia, Italy to explore their beautiful, soulful, innovative approach to education. In 2014, she began studying the Project Approach with Judy Harris Helm through the Kohl Children's Museum. This year, she will serve as a mentor teacher to other childcare providers for the museum's "Introduction to Project Approach- Building a Foundation" program. Karlyn joined the Total Child staff in January 2013.
Jessica has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Elmhurst College, an endorsement in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University, and a Type 03 teaching license. Jessica has worked with children as a teacher both in the US and abroad, in addition to having experience as an ABA therapist, tutor, and nanny. Jessica joined the Total Child staff in October 2013. She loves early childhood education because, “It’s a new adventure every day! Watching the children make new discoveries about the world around them and themselves, and seeing them grow cognitively, socially, and emotionally is extremely rewarding.”
Jenny joined Total Child in the fall of 2018. Prior to coming here, she was a Junior Kindergarten teacher for four years at the Barbereux School in Evanston. She also taught elementary school in San Antonio, TX for 13 years. Jenny received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Illinois State University and went on to complete a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Reading Instruction from the University of Texas. Jenny holds and Early Childhood teaching certificate as well as a Reading Certification.
Jenny is the mother of three children ages 14, 10 and 9. Her oldest was born with physical and cognitive disabilities and her middle child was adopted at birth. She feels her children and her experiences bring a unique perspective to her teaching.
I am excited to work to support young children and their families at Total Child. I have 25 years of experience working in various roles in the Early Childhood field.
I received a Human Service-Bachelor’s degree from Kendall College/ National Louis University and a Master's degree in Child Development from Erikson Institute. I also currently hold my Developmental Therapy and Evaluator credential with Illinois Early Intervention. I am passionate about supporting parents and children using a family-centered and holistic approach. My goal is to enhance children’s learning, sensory, and executive functioning skills and to promote the social and emotional development of young children.