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.
In addition to our regular classroom Teachers, NNS has a “float” teacher role. 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.
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 three-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 Yellow 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.
Karen Berkowsky, lead teacher in the Blue Class, joined our staff September 2005. She has a B.S 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.
Stephanie Wen is the teacher’s assistant in the Yellow Class. Stephanie has a B.A. in Elementary Education with some Early Childhood credits from Michigan State University. She achieved National Board Certification while teaching in the Chicago Public School system for 14 years, while also earning degrees in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago and as a Reading Specialist from National Louis University. Stephanie has two children both of whom attended NNS.
Maureen Taylor, lead teacher in the Green Room, has a B.A. in Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University. Maureen taught preschool in Skokie before having her first child. She stayed home as her family grew and is happy to be back teaching again! She has 3 children and her 2 younger children attended NNS and they still love to come back to visit from time to time!
Jaime Thompson is the teacher’s assistant in the Green Room. Jaime has a B.A. in Interior Design from Michigan State University as well as a degree in Alternative Design from Archeworks Design School in Chicago. Her studies included a particular focus on the built environments impact on Early Childhood Education including collaborations with the Cove School where she developed numerous concepts for how classrooms can better accommodate children with various learning disabilities. Jaime is a loving mother of three children and her youngest, Nel, attended Northminster in both the Red and Yellow classrooms. She has a limitless appreciation for children and is perpetually inspired by their boundless creativity and vivid imaginations.
Megan Beltran Jewett has dual roles at NNS as our music teacher and as a float teacher. Megan has a B.A. in Music Education and Performance from UCLA and a M.M. in Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She performed and taught for over a decade before having children, all three of whom are former NNS students. Students are engaged in her amazing music class once a week.
Margaret MacKay is a float teacher as well as a Lunch Bunch assistant. Although many believe that Margaret is a fashion model, she is really just a regular person who came to be a part of the NNS family when her youngest of three sons George, started in the Green class in 2015. Since then, she twice was a long term sub for NNS as well as a Lunch Bunch assistant. Since August of 2019, she has been the Co-Director of the My Morning Out toddler program just downstairs here in the church. She has degrees in Social Work and German, but her greatest asset to NNS is her complete and dizzying love for the children and her comic relief. She is the crazy auntie we all want to have!