Meet Our Teachers!
Bright Beginnings Preschool standards are measured by the quality of our staff. Each teacher brings her own special skill and diverse background to the preschool program. Every class has a lead teacher and assistant. By maintaining the DCFS ratio of 1:10, our staff is able to provide children with a safe and stimulating environment. Our preschool staff must maintain 15 hours of in-service in early childhood every year, and are certified in CPR, AED & First Aid.
HOWARD LEISURE CENTER
Diane is the lead teacher for the Monday, Wednesday & Friday morning, and the Tuesday & Thursday morning 3 year old programs. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught preschool for over 35 years. Diane has been teaching classes at Niles Park District for over 20 years. She is married and has 2 sons. Diane loves teaching children and watching them learn and grow.
Mary is the assistant for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning 3 year old preschool class. She has been working in the Bright Beginnings program for over 8 years. She lives in Park Ridge in the home she raised her three adult children in, all of which attended the Bright Beginnings program. It was then she saw first hand how special the program was. She returned to the program once her own children were put through school to have the experience to see more children learning through play, exploration, and guidance. Mary is excited for the opportunity to provide the love, excitement, and encouragement that all young scholars need.
Heather is the lead teacher for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning 3 year old class. In addition to her class, Heather is an aid for the New 3's program. She has been teaching preschool at Niles Park District for 6 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science and teaching certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Heather lives in Niles with her husband and three children. All three of her children went through the Bright Beginnings Preschool program, and had a wonderful experience. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with young children and guide their learning and growth within a loving and safe school environment.
Carmelina is the lead teacher for the Monday-Friday morning 4 year old class. She has degrees in both Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education. She has been teaching children from preschool to 8th Grade for over 30 years. Carmelina enjoys teaching preschool and igniting a life-long love of learning.
Lisa is the assistant in the 4 year old classroom Monday-Friday mornings with Miss Carm. She has three children who attended St. John Brebeuf School. Lisa graduated nursing school from Sauk Valley College in 2011.
Sharon is the lead teacher for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning 4 year old class. Sharon has a BA in Early Childhood Education and an MA in Community Counseling. Before coming here, she was the coordinator of the Early Intervention Program at Shore School in Evanston and taught preschool at several schools. Sharon is an animal lover and is excited to learn, play and explore with your children.
Melanie is the assistant in the 4 year old classroom Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings with Miss Sharon. She is married with two children. Melanie started at the Niles Park District in 2007 as a tot class instructor teaching classes for ages 2-5. For the past three years, Melanie also has been the head counselor for our Early Childhood Summer Camp. Melanie is passionate about what she does and helping children learn allows her to do what she loves.
Not pictured: Amy Brownlow and Jackie Smolicek
Julie is the lead teacher in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday 4 year old classes and the Tuesday, Thursday 3 year old classes at Oakton Manor. She has an Early Childhood and Development degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. She has been teaching preschool for over 30 years and has been with Niles Park District for 15 years. She loves teaching and watching children learn through play.
Cheryl is an assistant on Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings & afternoons in the 4 year old classroom. She has worked for the Niles Park District Preschool Program for 25 years. She has also taught early childhood classes and is the birthday party coordinator.
Carol is the assistant teacher with Miss Julie on Tuesday & Thursday mornings in the 3 year old classroom. She lives in Park Ridge and both of her grandchildren attended the preschool program. Carol has been a part of the Bright Beginnings program for over 5 years. Previous to working in Niles, she was an assistant in a Kindergarten program for 9 years.