Ms. Maribel – Maribel has been working as a Teacher Assistant for 5 years. She has worked with children ages 2-12 and has enjoyed working with all with them. She has her associates degree in early childhood and is looking forward to going back to school for her Bachelors. She is excited to meet all the families and children.
Ms. Justine is excited to be part of the green room this year. She started working as a teacher assistant in preschool. She enjoys working with children and being part of their learning adventure. She has been in the field for 8 years and discovered her passion for children at a very young age. Ms. Justine continues to seek her passion in teaching and hopes to make a difference in the lives of children.
Blue Room (2-3 yr)
Ms. Shirley loves teaching and has more than 12 years of experience. She received her B.A. in psychology, completed Montessori training, and is currently completing her Master's degree in Montessori Education. She relies on her experience and education to meet the needs and interests of the whole child. In her spare time, Shirley enjoys being with her family, and serving her local church.
Ms. Lauren has been with OPFS for almost 5 years now, and this is her third year as a teacher in the Green Room. She has been working with children since the age of 11, starting as a babysitter, and has worked with all ages from babies to middle schoolers. She has worked as a nanny, teacher assistant, one-on-one aide, substitute teacher, and has found her calling working with the preschoolers!
After School Crew
Karen taught at Pilgrim Community Nursery School for four years in the 4-year-old classroom and recently, three years in the 2-year-old classroom. She has an Elementary Education degree, has done coursework in Early Childhood Educations, and attends continuing education workshops and seminars. She and her husband have lived in Oak Park since 1999 and have two adult daughters. Karen is an avid quilter and geocacher, and loves to travel and read.
Ms. Kelly – Ms. Kelly is teacher qualified but is mostly here in the afternoons through pick up. She has worked in childcare since 2008 as a nanny and substitute teacher at previous daycare centers. She has also babysat for family and friends. She is a Triton College alum and work another job from home. She is from the northwest side of Chicago and currently resides there with my husband and our dog. Kelly believes that working with children is a huge responsibility and a wonderful honor at the same time. Guiding young minds to be confident, independent and fully believe they can accomplish anything is an amazing feeling!
Alissa taught preschool in the Star Room (2 & 3 year old classroom) at Pilgrim Community Nursery School in Oak Park from 2010 to 2017. She has a Masters in Social Work and previously worked in an early intervention program with children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. Alissa believes in a play-based approach to early childhood education and values creating strong partnerships with the important adults in her students' lives. She lives in Oak Park with her husband and 3 children. All 3 of Alissa's kids went to Irving School where she co-led the Parent Outreach and Support Group for 10 years.
Green Room (4-5yr)
Ms. Allison - has been in child care for over 8 years and has a college background in early childhood education. She has two beautiful boys at home (Patrick 7 yrs. and Baby Mando) and loves to spend her extra time with them. Her philosophy for her kids in the classroom is the same as the philosophy She has for her sons. She strives to help guide the children to be independent and confident in everything they do. She is big on open communication so please feel free to stop in and chat with her whenever you need.
Ms. Ana also joined OPFS back when they were a home daycare. She is fantastic with the children and loves to watch them grow. She has much experience working with children and brings amazing qualities to the room. She has worked in Montessori schools and is currently pursuing her ECE degree.
Ms. Marisol has been working with Talley for over 5 years and has been part OPFS since the beginning. She likes to help the children explore their environment in fun messy ways. The messier the better! She is a big animal lover and always teaches the children about respecting all living creatures big and small. She is excited to be a part of each child’s journey and loves to see them grow.
Mr. Joel - Mr. Joel was born & raised in Chicago, a former foster parent for children with special needs, he has over 28 years of education background from ages birth -12 years old, hobbies include grilling, cooking playing wii games and entertaining family & friends! Mr. Joel also shares in our Director responsibilities.
Chloe has raised her family in Oak Park (around the corner from OPFS) for the past 13 years. She began working with Talley in 2013 and together, they officially established OP Friends School in the Spring of 2014. Chloe has a background in fine art and is currently pursuing her Masters in Early Childhood studies . She has three children-- Josie (8), Fiona (11), and Owen (13)--one husband, one rabbit, one goldfish, and one scruffy dog named Gertie. Chloe enjoys books, film, yoga, art, and travel. She used to play roller derby. She does not like balloons.
Ms. Brittany - Brittany Lowe is enthusiastic and creative young women, who loves working with the youth. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree, in secondary Education. She enjoys working with the afterschool kids, as well as within the green and orange room. She says, watching the kids grow and develop has been an enjoyable experience.
Chloe Cunningham and Talley Hann
Ms. Amanda has been with OPFS since they were a home daycare and we are lucky enough to have her be a part of the infant room! Amanda, a mother of two is very patient and always interacting with the children. Amanda has a background in creative writing, as this is one of her greatest hobbies.
Mr. Chris - Mr. Chris joined the OPFS team in the summer of 2015 as a part of the Orange and Green room team! A father of 2, Chris approached OPFS because he was excited about the approach and the atmosphere where his own children were being educated and cared for. He comes from a background in music, performance and composition and also works as a voice teacher at the Oak Park School Of Rock, his hobbies are playing and listening to music and reading.
Infant (Purple) Room
Ms. Nadine joined OPFS in November 2016. She has three kids of her own, and loves working with infant and toddler ages. She studied art education and psychology in school. She loves inventing cool sensory play activities and doing arts and crafts with the children.
Ms. Jessica - Jessica has been part of the Oak Park Friends community since 2013 - first as a parent and now as part of our staff. Her son attends the afterschool program and her daughter is in the Orange Room. Jessica has a Masters in Elementary Education and a Masters in Non-Profit Administration from DePaul University. This job is a perfect fit for her love of children, Pinterest, and spreadsheets. Jessica lives up the street from OPFS with her husband, 3 kids, and their perfect dog, Perry the Perro. She enjoys spending time with her family and neighbors, yoga, and baking.
Ms. Paige joined OPFS in the summer of 2015. She absolutely loves working with the infants and has decided to continue her education and is currently working towards her masters in early childhood education. She loves interacting with the children and watching them grow. Paige is also a yoga teacher and loves to be active and play with the kids.
Orange Preschool Room (3 -4 yr)
Talley has worked with kids since she can remember. First babysitting, then teaching everything from early childhood through university. As Chloe, she is currently seeking her masters in Early Childhood administration. Talley has lived in Oak Park since 1998, and Chicago since 1991, moving here from the East Coast to attend Northwestern and then never leaving. She lives with her supportive Husband Rob, and three sons Greg, Elliot and Thomas just up the street from OP Friends.
Mr. Morgan has been with OPFS since Sept 2016. He lives in Berwyn, IL with his wife and three kids, where he also has his own business dealing in antique and vintage furniture. Morgan loves playing and taking care of babies and toddlers.
Mr. Tom - Tom has been at OP Friends for almost a year and a half. Tom is currently at Concordia University studying physical education, but he is also looking into other options such as physical therapy and radiology. He is in no hurry to graduate and is still exploring many potential career choices. Tom is also a huge baseball and basketball fan. He plays on his own baseball team, the Norridge Orioles (like them on Facebook! www.Facebook.com/NorridgeOrioles), alongside his brother and former OP Friends counselor Mr. Billy! In his free time, Tom enjoys playing sports, working out, and collecting sports memorabilia.
Mr. Matt - Mr. Matt joined OPFS in 2017. He's a student at Concordia. He's a super athlete and often bikes to work. He's great with kids and a wonderful addition to the staff.