Maribel joined OPFS in the fall of 2016. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Maribel has been working with children from 3 months up to 12 years old for 12 years. She loves working with infants, and toddlers. She loves making crafts with the children, and playing with sensory activities! Maribel is an animal lover, she has two dogs, five birds, and a cat. Maribel believes that play is the highest form of research, and it gives children a chance to practice what they are learning!
Ursula joined OPFS in the Spring of 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and has been working in early childhood education since 2018, with children from six weeks to five years old. Ursula plans to work in the field of prevention-based mental health care with children in the future. In her free time, she enjoys creating art and spending time in nature. Ursula is very excited to continue working with the infants and toddlers here at OPFS!
I was born and raised in Chicago, but have called Oak Park home for the last 13 years. I am a mom of three children who keep me busy with their active schedules of extra curricular activities. Prior to having kids, I worked in Early Childhood for over 10 years, mostly with toddlers and 2 year olds. Having had the pleasure of being home with my kids for the last 11 years, I am looking forward to returning to the field. I graduated from Denison University where I obtained a BA in Psychology. I have a passion for the outdoors and always love a good adventure. You will always find me, and my kids; playing baseball, hiking the dunes of Indiana, traveling to National Parks, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or biking. When it comes to being a mother and a teacher I agree that, “Learning is their journey. Let them navigate. Push them to explore. Watch them discover. Encourage their questions. Allow them to struggle. Support their thinking. Let them Fly.”
My name is Kashonte Woods but I go by Kash. I am a recent college graduate. I studied Law Enforcement and Justice Administration with a minor in Sociology and Psychology. I have a passion to become a police officer, a juvenile detention officer, and also a DCFS Child Welfare Specialist. I love hanging with my nephews who are three and four years old. I enjoy going out on adventures, even if it is just to the museum.
Aaliyah has been with the OPFS team since late 2020 and she has dipped her toes in the majority of age groups. Spending the most time with the lower school toddlers in Seedlings, she also loves having opportunities to move around the school. Ms Aaliyah moved to Oak Park in 2020 and found she really enjoys going outdoors and spending time with her husband and son. She also enjoys resting, watching her favorite TV shows, and faithfully participating in and attending church. She has been working in childcare for several years and she loves watching the children grow and develop. She studied classical fine art at Columbia College and hopes to be able to utilize her artistic abilities to further engage her students in interactive and immersive activities, meant to help with exploring colors, shapes, textures, etc., while also maintaining a healthy play-based education.
My name is Yasmin, I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in Chicago but currently live in Berwyn. I enjoy reading, trips to the bookstore, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the city. I graduated from Northeastern Illinois University and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Justice Studies with a Sociology minor. Throughout my college experience I had the pleasure of nannying for a family in the west loop. It was then that I discovered my love for working with children. Since graduating in 2016 I have worked both as an assistant and a lead teacher in pre-k, preschool, toddler, and infant classrooms. While I absolutely love working with all children I have found that the toddler classroom holds a special place in my heart. I believe it is important to create a safe, loving, and conducive environment in which the children can learn and grow. I look forward to molding curious minds and I am very excited to share everything I have learned along the way. I welcome all conversation and look forward to getting to know each and every one of you!
My name is SheDerica but I mainly go by Erica. I am originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and moved here to Chicago as a missionary 2 years ago! I currently am finishing up my last semester at UIC in Human development and learning and have been working in ECE the past 5 years! I love being able to be creative and try new things and I’m looking forward to continuing my growth here at OPFS.
Ellen joined OPFS in fall of 2021. An Illinoisian for 20 years, Wisconsin is her original home. As a child she was in the 4H club and her proudest moment was having both a grand champion rooster and rabbit in the local fair. She is an extreme animal lover! This passion later led her to become a dog trainer. She has an awesome, loving family which includes her fiancé, 2 step children, a 3-year old daughter, a crazy dog and 2 cats. Ellen adores children and is excited to work with the Acorn Room babies and their families.