Co-Teacher Toddler Explorers
Anna is proud and excited to begin this new school year as the Director of WPSN. She brings more than 15 years experience in early childhood education, and has worked in public and private schools in both the US and the UK. She holds a B.A. in English from Sussex University in the UK, and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Webster University in St Louis, MO. It was while studying for her masters that she had the opportunity to explore the philosophy behind the schools of Reggio Emilia. Their ideas about children and learning resonated with her on a deep level. The more she learned, the deeper the connection she felt between their way of being with children, and what she had come to know and believe as an educator. She has a well-rounded understanding of the many facets of the school having worked as a teacher at WPSN since 2016, and experiencing the school as a parent. Anna feels especially lucky to have the privilege to work with young children because every single day they remind her of the joy and wonder of learning. She holds a Gateways Level 5 credential in Early Childhood Education and a Gateways Level 2 Director credential. When she is not at WPSN, Anna enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and spending time outside in nature.
3's Collaborators (3 Days)
Michelle is excited to bring her passion for early childhood education to WPSN this year. She holds her Bachelor of Arts in Education from National Louis University, and a Gateways Level 4 credential in Early Childhood Education. She has 15 years of teaching experience, working with children from preschool age to 4th grade. Michelle passionately believes that through imaginative and interest-based play, children develop the capacity for creative thinking, problem solving, and wonder, which will build a solid foundation for life-long learning. When not in her classroom, Michelle enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading, drinking good coffee, and taking long bike rides.
This year Lisa begins her thirteenth year of teaching at WPSN. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University and holds an Illinois Professional Educator License. Lisa is currently studying to earn her master's in Curriculum and Instruction. She has a Gateways Level 5 credential in Early Childhood Education. In 2016 she took part in a study tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy. This experience has had an everlasting impact on her not only as an educator but on a personal level as well. The three big key concepts she took away from her visit to Reggio are the importance of time, the image of the child, and importance of quality over quantity. Lisa is an avid pickle ball player and last year took part in the U.S. Open Pickle Ball Championships.
Elizabeth has been an assistant teacher at WPSN for six years. She taught at WPSN for two years beginning in 2001 before taking a number of years away from WPSN to raise her son. She holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Psychology and Educational Studies. She received her master's from Wheelock College in Boston in Early Childhood Education. In 2017, she took part in a study tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy, where she was able to experience the Reggio approach first-hand. Elizabeth has a Gateways Level 5 credential in early childhood education. When she is not at WPSN, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and quilting.
River 3's Collaborators
Susie has been teaching young children for 17 years and is excited to be beginning her fifth year at WPSN. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Indiana University and has a Gateways Level 5 credential in Early Childhood Education. Susie has been inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning since she first discovered it almost 20 years ago. She has attended Reggio conferences around the country and last year took part in the North America Reggio Emilia Alliance conference in Madison, WI. She brings her passion for nature and the outdoors to her work with children and enjoys wondering alongside them about the beauty and magic of the natural world. In her free time, Susie loves to spend time with her family and friends, go on long walks with her golden doodles, create in her garden and home, and watch her daughters play soccer.
River 3's Collaborators
Kathy Hardy has worked in the field of early childhood for over 30 years, holding positions as director, preschool teacher, elementary teacher, college instructor, mentor, and trainer. She specializes in documentation of children’s work, environments for children, families and staff, and the creative arts. She holds a master’s Degree in Early Childhood Administration and Curriculum from National Louis University, a Gateways Level 5 credential in Early Childhood Education, and a Gateways Level 3 Director Credential. She has been an active participant in the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership mentoring directors across the United States and serving on the Advisory Board. She is a frequent presenter at The Leadership Connection Conference, The NAEYC Conference, and Chicago organizations and early care and early childhood centers in the Chicago area. She serves on the Board of the Alliance for Early Childhood, The McCormick Tribune Board for Early Childhood Administration, and Learning Bridge Early Education Center. Kathy has visited the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy twice in her career and has visited many Reggio inspired schools across the U.S. Her obvious passion is young children. She is a fierce advocate of protecting the rights of children, especially safeguarding childhood.
This is Nicole's second year at WPSN. She received a B.S. in Education from the Ohio State University and holds an Illinois Professional Educator License with endorsements in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, and English as a Second Language. She has a Gateways Level 5 credential in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching since 2011 and has taught in a variety of classrooms and communities. Prior to joining Northern Suburban Special Education District and Winnetka Public School Nursery, she taught at Highland Park Community Early Learning Center and currently serves as the Vice President of their Board. When she isn’t in the classroom, she enjoys traveling, photography, serving with other organizations around the community, and seeking out delicious food with her family and friends.
Forest 3's Collaborators
Ola is beginning her 20th year of teaching at Winnetka Public School Nursery. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Harper College and has a Gateways level 4 credential in Early Childhood Education. In 2014, Ola took part in a study tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy. During this experience she learned about the importance of building strong communities. A sense of belonging helps people to interact with each other, share values and experiences, and build meaningful relationships. Ola views community as a wonderful learning opportunity where everyone has something to contribute towards a common goal. When she is not working at WPSN Ola can be found exploring and playing with her family.
Molly joins us this year from District 36 where she was the school psychologist for the past 11 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado College, a master's in School Psychology, and an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from Loyola University. She recently finished her studies at Erikson Institute in Infant Mental Health and is a consultant with community childcare agencies. She is excited to return to her passion of early childhood education, and join the staff of WPSN. Molly enjoys spending time with her family, surfing, baking, crocheting, and running.
AM 2's Investigators
AM 3's/Older 2's Inquirers
Nancy returns to WPSN this year for her 11th year. She has a B.S. in Child Development and Teaching from Michigan State University and has a M.A. in Teaching from National Louis University. She has a Gateways Level 4 credential in Early Childhood Education. In 2003, she attended an educator's tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Nancy enjoys sharing her joy for music with the children, and she loves the partnerships built with families here at WPSN. Outside of school, Nancy likes to sing, read, tap dance, and take long walks outside.