----Eggert-web.jpg Ms. Jennifer Eggert, Director/Teacher, has been working in early childhood education for over ten years and is excited to continue her journey here at Kinderhaven Preschool Academy! Jen completed her B.A. in Family Consumer Sciences with a focus in Human Development. Soon after graduation, Jen began her career in education working as a preschool teacher in the northern suburbs. Prior to joining Kinderhaven, Jen worked as both the Assistant Director and Director at an eco-friendly preschool in Chicago. She is excited to combine her background with KPA's Reggio Emilia inspired pedagogy. In her free time, Jen enjoys spending time outside, working on DIY projects around her house and spending time with family and friends.


----Ayala-web.jpg Mrs. Ariana Ayala is excited to return to another year at Kinderhaven Preschool! She began at KPA in the Fall of 2021 as a teacher's assistant in the blue class. Since then, she has joined both the green and red class. She has a daughter that attended Kinderhaven for three years. In her free time, she likes to cook and bake for her family as well as spend time outside with her daughter. She is excited to continue her journey here at Kinderhaven!

Mrs. Lindsey DeRose, Teacher/Assistant Director, earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Illinois State University and a Masters in Education from National Louis as a Learning Behavior Specialist. Before coming to KPA, she taught in special education at a therapeutic school for several years. Mrs. DeRose lives in Lake Forest with her son, husband and chocolate lab. Her favorite thing to do outside of school is to watch her son play baseball. Her other passions include baking, running, and especially reading!

----Essary-web.jpg Mrs. Julia Essary has over ten years of experience working with children. She is passionate about their growth and development through hands-on learning and exploration. Julia loves experiencing their joy when they master a new task or learn a new skill! Every child has a unique personality, and she believes we should foster them through play-based learning, following their specific needs. Mrs. Essary graduated with a master's in social work from Loyola University Chicago, and with a BS in psychology. She has worked as a both preschool teacher and a behavioral intervention specialist. Mrs. Essary lives in Lake Zurich with her two children, Luke (6th grade) and Aubrey (3rd grade), husband Kyle, two dogs and lizard! She is thrilled for the opportunity to learn about your child, and to help guide them in finding their inspirations at Kinderhaven!

----Hodge-web.jpg Mrs. Kathy Hodge is excited to be returning to Kinderhaven for another great year as an Assistant Teacher! Kathy's first career was in cancer research with a degree in Biochemistry from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. After staying home with her three children for 18 years she joined Kinderhaven in 2022. Mrs. Hodge lives in Libertyville and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, biking, and reading.

Mrs. Monica Krzeminski or "Mrs. K", Teacher/Pedagogista, has enthusiastically been teaching at Kinderhaven for many years. She holds a BFA in theater from University of Illinois and a MAT in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University. She also has several years of experience teaching in Montessori environments. While attending National Louis University, she taught Kindergarten in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. In this position, she was a finalist for the Kohl McCormick Teaching Award. Aside from her passion in education, she has a passion for her family, which includes, her husband, and three sons. Mrs. K embraces the Reggio Emilia approach, and she has attended many trainings with the Kinderhaven staff, including a spring 2017 intensive study trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy!

Mrs. Judy Nusinow is excited to join Kinderhaven as the lead teacher in the Green Class. Both of her boys attended Kinderhaven for preschool and she is excited to experience it as a teacher and former parent. Mrs. Nusinow earned her bachelor's at the University of Kansas and has previously taught 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds before staying home with her sons. She's thrilled to be back in the classroom teaching again at Kinderhaven! She enjoys exploring the outdoors, camping, and learning about nature, as well as being indoors reading a good book.

Mrs. Lisa Orsini, Purple & Blue Class Assistant Teacher, has been teaching at Kinderhaven for over 10 years and we feel fortunate every day to have her on our staff. During this time she has been an aide in every one of our classrooms. Mrs. Orsini lives in Libertyville with her husband and has three grown children as well as two adorable grandchildren. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years, but also did some work at her children's elementary school. As her children got older, she began working at Crocodile Pie, a children's bookstore in Libertyville. She continues to attend continuing educational events with the Kinderhaven staff learning all she can about the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Her creativity and organization are critical to our schools success!

Mrs. Janice Price, Blue Class Assistant Teacher, has been teaching at Kinderhaven for more than 20 years, and we are so happy to continue to have her experience, kindness, patience, and enthusiasm! After serving in a variety of teaching roles over these many years, Mrs. Price has settled into an assistant teacher role in the Blue Class. She holds a BA in Education and Special Education from Bradley University. Mrs. Price is a life-long Lake Forest resident, has raised three children and is also a proud grandparent. Mrs. Price is "priceless" to our teaching team!

----Shields-web.jpg Mrs. Kara Shields joins the Kinderhaven team as an Assistant Teacher in both the red and green class. She received her degree from Eastern Illinois University. Mrs. Shields lives in Libertyville with her husband, three children and Great Dane. In the classroom, she can always be found engaging with the students in thoughtful play and discussions. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Mrs. Peterson has many years of teaching experience in a variety of early childhood environments and classrooms. She graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Ed. She also holds a three to six-year-old Montessori Certificate from Seton Montessori in Clarendon Hills and additionally completed a 30 hour comprehensive K-2 Orton Gillingham Training from the Institute or Multi-Sensory Education. Mrs. Petersen has taught both in a play-based preschool as well as full-time in a Montessori preschool in Libertyville. In 2017 Mrs. Petersen was nominated for the Golden Apple Award. She has always had an interest in the Reggio Emilia approach and looks forward to working in this project-based early childhood environment. Mrs. Petersen spends her free time with her husband, three grown children and beautiful baby granddaughter. She loves reading, knitting and spending time in nature.