Our experienced staff knows how to nurture each unique child. All of our teachers are certified by state standards and trained in early childhood growth and development. Through participation in continuing education workshops and seminars, our teachers are always learning and bringing fresh ideas to their work.
All are trained in pediatric CPR and First Aid. In addition, they are experienced parents, bringing to their jobs extra sensitivity to the joys and occasional frustrations of the preschooler.
Margaret Parcell is our School Director. She joined our staff in the fall of 2005 as our float teacher and manager of the lunch bunch and tuition intake records. Prior to that, she had been an advisory board member for three years, and a parent of four alums. Margaret has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois and a M.Ed in Recreation from Springfield College in Massachusetts.
Janice Matera has been part of our regular staff since September 2000 after four years as a parent volunteer and Lunch Bunch assistant. She is currently assistant teacher in our two-year old class. Janice has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin and has taken Early Childhood credits. The two Matera children are NNS alums. Janice was co-chair of our advisory board and very active with school activities.
Caitlyn Nichols, lead teacher in the Red Class and assistant in the Blue Class, has a B.A. in Political Science and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before taking some time off to be at home with her children, Caitlyn was an assistant teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. She served on our Advisory Board and as one of our lunch bunch teachers, as well as a float teacher, since joining our staff in 2001. Caitlyn has two children both of whom attended NNS.
Sarah Page, the lead the teacher of the Yellow Class and Extended Day Program, has been a member of our regular staff since 1997, and was a substitute and parent for six years previous. Sarah has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Albion College and is state certified in elementary education. Sarah’s three children are Northminster alums.
Helen Gutsell has been the teacher’s assistant in both the yellow and red classes since September 2000. Helen has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Northeastern University. The mother of three grown daughters, she did extensive volunteer work with children before joining our staff.
Karen Berkowsky, lead teacher in the blue class, joined our staff September 2005. She has a B.Ss in Education from Northern Illinois University and a M.ED. from National Louis University. Karen taught Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades at Lincolnwood School in Evanston for 15 years. She is a consultant in the area of school safety and has worked as the Safe School Coordinator in Skokie for 8 years. Karen has three children.
Nina Alloco is the lead teacher in the Yellow class. Nina’s roots run deep at NNS, as both of her boys attended years ago. She had the privilege of learning very quickly what a warm and loving place it is. Nina has 11 years teaching experience in various grade levels, starting her career in kindergarten in the South Bend Public Schools and “ending” her career in 6th grade at the Wilmette Public Schools, with various grades in between.
In addition to our regular classroom Teachers, NNS has a “float” teacher. This person circulates among the classrooms helping with special projects, toileting needs, clean-up, snacks, dressing for outdoors and generally maintaining our adult/child ratios at all times.
Music and Physical Education are presented to our children once per week using the talents of teachers specializing in those areas.
Julie Leibforth (aka: Jumpin’ with Julie) joined our staff in 2008 as our gym and nutrition teacher. Julie has her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota specializing in Motor Learning. Julie previously taught high school physical education. Her two sons are NNS alums.
Joseph Agnew (aka: Jammin’ with Joseph) provides music appreciation focusing on rhythm, dynamics, terminology, enjoyment and fun. He joined our staff in 2010. Joseph has his B.M. from Roosevelt University and a M.M. from Northwestern University. He is a talented musician who has played his tuba and sung with numerous orchestras and choral groups all over the Midwest. He is currently Director of Music Ministries at Grace United Methodist Church in Lake Bluff. Joseph is the father of four.