Stepping Stones Nursery School employs a compassionate, talented, and professional team to foster a caring and enthusiastic environment.
Originally from England, Victoria is a certified primary school teacher with over 17 years teaching experience in the private and public sector. She has been described as an ‘innovative and enthusiastic teacher’ with proven results. Victoria was a lead kindergarten teacher in the English public school system for 6 years where she specialized in early years education, environmental education, and Special Educational Needs. This was followed by 5 years at the British School of Chicago, where her roles included Leader of the Special Educational Needs and Gifted & Talented program.
Victoria’s qualifications include:
-B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology
-Post Graduate Certificate in Education – early years specialist (qualified teacher status in the UK)
-Post Graduate Certificate in teaching English as a Second Language.
Victoria is passionate about environmental education and was awarded a European Silver Flag award by the Eco-Schools organization for her work with young children.
A mummy of two boys, Victoria opened Stepping Stones Nursery School in September 2012. Stepping Stones has provided opportunities to pursue Victoria’s two great passions: early childhood education and environmental education. In 2014, Stepping Stones Nursery School gained Nature Explore certification for its nature-based playground, in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the teachers, children, and families of Stepping Stones. In 2015 Victoria was awarded the ‘Innovative Entrepreneur’ Award from the Women’s Business Development Center. Victoria is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business program and is proud to be the owner of a small business rooted in her local community of Logan Square.
Miss Jackie joined Stepping Stones as our Lead PreK Teacher when we opened our new classroom in December 2016. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago, where she received her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education along with photography minor. At Columbia, she began learning about the Reggio Emilia approach to arts integrated education. Jackie believes that your children are capable beings, able to form a deep understanding of their place in the world through communication, investigations, and ever-present curiosity.
Outside of school, Jackie has a deep love for all of the arts and loves to take in new shows, visit galleries, and dabble in a variety of arts herself including photography, digital art/collage, sketching, journaling, writing, and Native American loom beading. She volunteers at PAWS when she can. She has a vast appreciation and respect for preschoolers, as their honesty and openness to each activity presented to them is truly astounding and admirable. Jackie is constantly observing and re-evaluating her own philosophy of teaching and hopes to never stop learning and growing as an educator.
Miss Leticia has been an integral part of Stepping Stones’ team since January 2015. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with the children in all weathers and is a very loved teacher amongst the children and staff.
Prior to joining us at Stepping Stones, Leticia worked as an Assistant Teacher at a local daycare center for two years, as well as tutoring reading and math with AmeriCorps. She was nominated to be a ‘Grow Your Own Teachers’ candidate from the LSNA cohort and is part way through her studies in Bilingual-Bicultural Education B.A. at Northeastern Illinois University. Leticia is the beating heart of Stepping Stones, a valued team member who always puts the children’s needs first. A native Spanish speaker, Leticia takes great pride in teaching our children the benefits of a multi-cultural education and endeavors to converse in Spanish with even the youngest child. Leticia is also a mommy of three children ages 17,15 and 8.
Miss Amy has been with Stepping Stones for over 5 years and has grown with the school, from the small home daycare through the expansion to our newly opened PreK classroom. Being here since the beginning she has watched all of our ‘founding babies’ grow into intelligent, caring and polite young children and looks forward to being part of more little peoples lives, helping them discover themselves and the world around them. Through her experiences at Stepping Stones, Amy truly appreciates how lucky the Stepping Stones children are to spend so much time outside, exploring and learning through play.
Before moving to Chicago, Amy completed her Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Sheffield, UK. In 2014, she qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Amy loves to lead an active life, enjoys playing almost all sports (though she has not found the love for American football yet!), and visiting new places.
Miss Mayra, mommy of a 8-year-old little boy, joined Stepping Stones in January 2017. She earned her associates in Arts and is a certified Paraprofessional by the Illinois State Board of Education. Mayra has experience working with both pre-school and Elementary school-aged children with her most recent experience stemming from a home daycare environment. A dedicated lifelong learner, Mayra is currently studying towards her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education.
Miss Olivia is a co-teacher in our preschool classroom. Olivia has been working with young children in some capacity for at least 9 years including babysitting, summer camp, and for the Chicago Park District. Olivia gained her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education at Columbia College with the Reggio Emilia Approach and earned her teaching license in 2017. Olivia has had the experience of observing and student teaching in infant toddler rooms, a preschool classroom, and primary classrooms. This was a wonderful way to explore these different classrooms and ages and Olivia has a good understanding of the similarities and differences with both the ages of students and the classrooms.
In addition to Stepping Stones, Olivia is a fan of fine arts. She took many art courses while in college and loved them all! Olivia explored ceramics, painting, digital art, drawing, and embroidery. Olivia plans to integrate arts into the classroom as much as possible because art is so vital, as well as fun, for children to experience and explore. View her art portfolio here.
Mr Eamon is the most recent addition to the Stepping Stones’ team, joining us in April 2018, as the Lead Teacher of the Nursery School. Between student teaching and working at previous childcare centers, Eamon has consistently worked for the past 6 years in classrooms with children of all ages, ranging from birth to third grade.
He attended Columbia College Chicago where he was trained in the Reggio Emilia Approach, which immediately connected with his love of hands on learning. Eamon combines this with his background in fine arts, providing children with the materials and techniques to see where their imaginations take them.