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Our Staff

Meet our dedicated and caring staff of the 2023/2024 school year! 

Messiah preschool wauconda Director

Erica Jawnyj

Year I started at Messiah:

2013

Messiah Preschool and Kindergarten Director

 

Highest level of education:

BS Elementary Education

Language Arts and Special Education Endorsements 

Favorite part of working with children:

The unconditional love, hugs, smiles and the joy of watching children learn through play! Did I mention the hugs?! I also love supporting families as they navigate the very important journey of parenting young children.
 

Favorite children's book:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

messiah preschool before and after care Director

Deana Rossi

Year I started at Messiah:

2012

Before and After Care Director

Highest level of education: Associates degree in Early Childhood and Development

Favorite part of working with children:

They teach me something new everyday. They are little sponges that soak up everything around them. They surprise you with some funny comment that just makes your day, and you realize they are listening and watching your every move! 

Favorite children's book:

I love to read to the kids but I love singing with them even more. There is nothing better than hearing them sing my circle time songs in the middle of block building! 

messiah preschool wauconda assistant to the Director
messiah preschool wauconda office manager

Stacie Carr

Year I started at Messiah:

2016

Office Administrator

Assistant to the Director

Highest level of education:

BA in Psychology, MA in Industrial/Organizational
Psychology- Roosevelt University

Favorite part of working at Messiah:

I absolutely love working with our staff everyday and we are blessed to have the best families attending Messiah! It's such a delight to see our events come alive, or to watch the children engaged in imaginative play. There is no early education program that compares to the Messiah early education experience.

Favorite children's book:

All of the Bear books by Karma Wilson; Bear Stays up for Christmas, Bear Feels Scared, Bear Says Thanks etc...they are the cutest!

Stacy Folz

Year I started at Messiah:

2012

Office Manager

Highest level of education:

Bachelors of Science in Marketing, Indiana University - Bloomington, Kelley School of Business

 

Favorite part of working with children: My favorite part about working with children is getting to know them as individuals. Each child is so incredibly unique with their own special gifts and talents. I love watching them use those talents and develop new skills as they grow and learn throughout the year.

Favorite children's book:

My favorite books are Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

messiah preschool wauconda office assistant

Lucy Valencia

Year I started at Messiah:

2021

Office Assistant

Monday and Wednesday

Highest level of education:

Bachelors of Arts, Barat College

Favorite part of working with children:

The enthusiasm that children bring to every day.  Their laughter is like music. 
*The Messiah staff is the nicest group of people ever!

Favorite children's book:

I Am A Bunny, by Ole Risom

messiah preschool wauconda teacher 2's class

Amy Maliszewski

Year I started at Messiah:

2012

Currently Teaching:

Lead 2's and Care Assistant Lead

Highest level of education:

Associates Degree Early Childhood Development

Favorite part of working with children:

I love working with children! My favorite part of working with children is watching them grow throughout the school year. 

Favorite children's book:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  by Eric Carle

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Patricia Scott

Year I started at Messiah:

2014

Currently Teaching:

2's Assistant and Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

Harper College- certificates in Early Childhood

Favorite part of working with children:

I love watching the children grow throughout the year. Their laughter & smiles when they learn something new. I enjoy their hugs, especially when you had them in a previous year and they are so happy to see you in the hallway or store.

Favorite children's book:

The very hungry caterpillar- I raise Monarch butterflies every summer. I love when my kids & their friends get to learn about the life cycle and then release them.

messiah preschool wauconda 3's and enrichment class teacher

Lynda Janezic

Year I started at Messiah:

2002 

Currently Teaching:

Lead T/Th 3's 

 

Highest level of education:

Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education

 

Favorite part of working with children: I love trying to help children face challenges whether it be shyness, separation discomfort, fine or gross motor difficulties, cooperative play or any other issues. Helping each wonderfully unique child learn to enjoy learning through play is my passion!

Favorite children's book:

My favorite children’s books are Jim Gill’s A Soup Opera and Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat books never fail! 

messiah preschool wauconda 3's class teacher

Barb Lindquist

Year I started at Messiah:

1976!

Currently Teaching:

Assistant T/Th 3's

 

Highest level of education:

2 yrs. Valparaiso University

Favorite part of working with children: I absolutely love the kids and families, when I don't see them I still talk about them all the time! I just get a nice warm feeling when I think of my kids.  I love to work with them one on one at my table.  I love to read to them!

Favorite children's book:

My favorite children’s books are all Pete the Cat and Jim Gill’s A Soup Opera. 

messiah preschool wauconda 3's and enrichment class teacher

Cindy Hartmann

Year I started at Messiah:

2014

Currently Teaching:

Lead MWF 3's

 

Highest level of education:

Masters of Language Arts Education and Early Childhood EDC

 

Favorite part of working with children: I love watching them grow throughout the year, the hilarious and honest things they share and say, their smiles when they greet us in the morning and getting to know their families.  It is so fun to have siblings over the years and such a neat connection!

Favorite children's book:

The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf

messiah preschool Wauconda teacher

Brandy Perez

Year I started at Messiah:

2021

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

High School Diploma

Favorite part of working with children:

I love coming in everyday and seeing them smile and full of energy. Everyday I learn something new from them. Watching them them play with one another is always the best. 

Favorite children's book:

Corduroy by Don Freeman 

Messiah preschool wauconda 4's teacher

Kathy Rinaldi

Year I started at Messiah:

2004

Currently Teaching:

Lead TWTH 4's

 

Highest level of education:

BA in Marketing and Early Childhood Certificate

 

Favorite part of working with children: Favorite part of working with children:  I love their pure joy and curiosity of learning as well as their unfiltered honesty.

Favorite children's book:
I love the books written by Mem Fox (Koala Lou, Time For Bed, Possum Magic)

messiah preschool wauconda 4's assistant teacher

Jennifer Radtke

Year I started at Messiah:

2019

Currently Teaching:

Assistant TWTH 4's

Highest level of education:

Associates degree in Early Childhood Education 

Favorite part of working with children:

All the laughs! Children of all ages are not only entertaining but can be very insightful too!

Favorite children's book:

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

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Melissa Kiekow

Year I started at Messiah:

2013

Currently Teaching:

Kindergarten

Highest level of education:

BA + 33 hours: Speech Language Pathology

Professional Educator License: Early Childhood Education with Special Education Approval

 

Favorite part of working with children: 
There are so many reasons I enjoy working with children, but If I had to choose my favorite I would say it was seeing the wonderment every day. It truly makes me appreciate the little things in life. I love their energy and overall zest for life!!!

Favorite children's book: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

messiah preschool wauconda kindergarten assistant

Becki Dellefave

Year I started at Messiah:

2022

Currently Teaching:

Kindergarten Assistant

 

Highest level of education:

MSed in Special Education; BSed in Early Childhood Education

Favorite part of working with children:

I love to see their smiles, curiosity and excitement!  It is amazing to watch all of their growth from the beginning to the end of the school year!

Favorite children's book:

One by Kathryn Otoshi  The Kissing Hand  by Audrey Penn and The Little Engine That Could  by Watty Piper

messiah preschool wauconda prek teacher

Megan Halm

Year I started at Messiah:

2012

Currently Teaching:

Lead 5 day Pre-K and Care Assistant 

 

Highest level of education:

Associates in Early Childhood 

Favorite part of working with children:

My favorite part of working with children is seeing the excitement they have when they learn new things and watching them grow each day. 

 

Favorite children's book:

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

messiah preschool wauconda prek assistant

Kathy Payette

Year I started at Messiah:

2015

Currently Teaching:

Pre-K Assistant and Care Assistant

 

Highest level of education:

Bachelor of Music

Favorite part of working with children:

I love seeing them be kind to one another. I also love helping them journal because I see how they learn to express themselves. And I love doing art projects with glitter on them!

 

Favorite children's book:

The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau

messiah preschool wauconda prek teacher

Jennifer Burton

Year I started at Messiah:

2018

Currently Teaching:

Lead 4 day Pre-K and Enrichmentc

Highest level of education:

Bachelor's in Elementary Education

Favorite part of working with children:

 I love helping children learn and enjoy their childhood. It is so rewarding to see those ground breaking first moments in a child's education.  It is also amazing to see a child's growth over time.

Favorite children's book:

Elephant and Piggie Series by Mo Williams

Books by Robert Munsch

messiah preschool wauconda prek assistant

Suzanne Speichinger "Mrs. Spice"

Year I started at Messiah:

2019

Currently Teaching:

Assistant 4 day Pre-K

Highest level of education:
B.S. Marketing

 Favorite part of working with children: 
I love their wide eyed enthusiasm about everything from making crafts, learning new things, playing games to making new friendships and having fun! I also love their hugs and smiles.

Favorite children's book:
I
 couldn't pick just one. My children had these favorites and I saved them all) :

"Green Eggs & Ham"

"Hannah the Hippo's No Mud Day"

"Is Your Mama a Llama" 

" Who Will Tuck Me In Tonight"  

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Shannon Wright

Year I started at Messiah:

2020

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

High School Diploma

Favorite part of working with children:

My favorite part is the genuine laughs and seeing their little personality’s coming to life. Getting to know them, and getting to see them grow and play never fails to make me smile.

Favorite children's book:

No David! By David Shannon

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Samantha Tinsley

Year I started at Messiah:

2020

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

Working towards my Early Childhood degree

Favorite part of working with children:

They have reminded me of how amazing the world can be. They have encouraged me to use my imagination and find new creative ways of doing things.

Favorite children's book:

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Laura Sprague

Year I started at Messiah:

2022

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

BA Communication

Favorite part of working with children:

Having conversations with them.  I love to hear their perspective on life and sometimes they say really funny things!

Favorite children's book:

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George 

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Angie Sennett

Year I started at Messiah:

2021

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

High School Diploma

Favorite part of working with children:

Watching them play and using their imagination. I love their laughter and energy.

Favorite children's book:

Snow by P. D. Eastman and Roy McKie, and The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Ashley Perez

Year I started at Messiah:

2023

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

High School Diploma

Favorite part of working with children:

I get to see their smiling faces throughout the day. I'm able to be a part of their growth especially making memories. It's fun to hear their conversations and be a part of their silliness!

Favorite children's book:

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

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Alyssa Wagner

Year I started at Messiah:

2023

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

High School Diploma
Some college credits in Business

Favorite part of working with children:

Favorite children's book:

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Dana Anderson

Year I started at Messiah:

2015

Currently Teaching:

Care Assistant

Highest level of education:

BS in elementary education

Favorite part of working with children:

Hanging out & talking with the kids. I love getting glimpses into their whole personality. 

Favorite children's book:
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. It’s a great book to read & talk about before preschool starts to help with any nervousness they might be feeling but can’t quite put into words! 

messiah preschool wauconda before and after care assistant

Ms. Sue Nierman

Year I started at Messiah:

Currently Teaching:

Music, Movement and Instrument Exploration

Highest level of education:

Bachelors of Science in Horticulture

Minor Early Childhood Development

Favorite part of working with children:

Their genuine interest and natural connection they have with music. I love to nurture children's musical curiosity and plant the musical seed that I know they will grow throughout their lives. They fuel my heart and soul with their unconditional love and unique personalities.

Favorite children's book:

I See A Song by Eric Carle

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