Primrose School of Long Grove

Our Staff

  • Ms. Kirsten Hess, Director

    Ms. Kirsten Hess


    Hi, my name is Kirsten Hess, I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 30 years playing the roles of teacher, Assistant Director and Director. I recently earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Leadership from Rasmussen College where I was awarded Summa Cum Laude. I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin Parkside. I have worked as a Director and Assistant Director in both a corporate early education school and with a franchise school.

    I have always had a passion for working with children and helping create an environment where they can learn, grow, and explore. I enjoy becoming an extension of your family as you will be part of mine.

    My husband (Eric) and I enjoy all things outdoors! We love being near the beach or water. In my spare time, I enjoy doing boot camp / CrossFit and doing obstacle courses preferably in the mud. I love to snow ski and one of my favorite places to be in the mountains of Colorado. My family means the world to me. We are very close and love spending time together.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: CrossFit (Bootcamp), Skiing
    • Fast Food Chain: Panera Bread, and Chipotle
    • Color: Navy Blue
    • Candy: Milkyway, M&Ms, Mike 'N Ikes, Orange Slices, Milk Duds
    • Snack: Brownies, Pringles (Plain) Vanilla Ice Cream
    • Food: Steak, Potatoes, Burgers, Tacos
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms. Melanie Detloff, Assistant Director

    Ms. Melanie Detloff

    Assistant Director

    I have been in the education field for over 14 years. I joined the Primrose School of Long Grove in August of 2018 as a Preschool Teacher. I have loved every minute of being in the classroom interacting and helping children learn and develop.

    I’m excited to be able to expand my role of being the Assistant Director. I look forward to helping each child and their families grow and thrive here at Primrose! My son, Max attends Primrose and will be in the Preschool classroom this Fall. In my spare time I love spending time with my family and friends.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Crafts & Baking
    • Fast Food Chain: Portillo's, Noodle and Company
    • Color: Green, or Coral
    • Candy: Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, Hershey's Kisses
    • Snack: Pretzels, Caramel, and Popcorn
    • Food: Pasta
    • Drink: Sprite, Iced Coffee
  • Ms. Suzanne Keck, Education Coach

    Ms. Suzanne Keck

    Education Coach

    I have been working in the Early Childhood Education field since 2013 and have worked with children from infants to elementary aged students. I have had the privilege of working with many different teachers and using many different teaching philosophies over the years. I joined the Primrose School of Long Grove in 2018 as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and have fallen in love with the Balanced Learning Curriculum. I am thrilled to grow into the role of Education Coach and to be able to support our teachers. Teachers are the heart of our school and I will strive to provide them with strategies and tools for success!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, Swimming, Biking, & Netflix
    • Fast Food Chain: Wendy’s, Taco Bell & Starbucks
    • Color: Indigo
    • Candy: Sour Candies (Sweetarts & Sprees)
    • Snack: Salt & Vinegar Poatato Chips, Pretzels
    • Food: Salmon, Broccoli, Mexican Food, Pasta, Potatoes
    • Drink: San Pellegrino Limonata, Ice Tea (Unsweetened)
  • Ms. Mary Svihra, Admissions Coordinator

    Ms. Mary Svihra

    Admissions Coordinator

    Hi, my name is Mary Svihra, and I have been in the field of Education for 13 years. I attended Marquette University where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree, double majoring in Spanish and Education. After a few years in the field teaching at a private school in Milwaukee, WI, I returned to Marquette through a graduate assistant program and completed my Master’s Degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Upon the program’s completion, I returned to Illinois to teach at a local public high school. Throughout that time, I completed my second Master’s Degree at Loyola University of Chicago in English Language Teaching and Learning with an endorsement in Teacher Leadership and ESL. Nine years later I am a mother that understands the value of early childhood education and care. I fell in love with the school, the curriculum, its philosophy, and its staff – so much so that I decided to became a part of the Primrose family in a different capacity. I am now not only a Primrose parent, but also their new Admissions Coordinator. I am thrilled to be able to share with others what I love so much about the school and how it has truly become a part of our family and a partner in our parenthood journey.


    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, crafting, walks with the family
    • Fast Food Chain: Panera, Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Color: Pink, Sage
    • Candy: Pretzel M&Ms
    • Snack: Pretzels
    • Food: Pasta
    • Drink: Coffee
  • Ms. Tara Baugh, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Tara Baugh

    Infant Teacher

    I’ve lived in Illinois my whole life and was born in Chicago. I have a younger brother who is 17 and a tabby cat named Jack. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family in my free time, and I also love dessert it's definitely my favorite meal.

    I’ve worked in childcare for the last 5 years. I started babysitting and then later on realized early childhood education was more of my thing. I just love watching children grow throughout their learning experience and seeing how far they have come is just amazing.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Spending Time With Friends and Family, Shopping, Getting my Hair & Nails Done
    • Fast Food Chain: Chik-Fil-A
    • Color: Purple
    • Candy: Milk Chocolate Ghirardelli Squares with Caramel
    • Snack: Dessert
    • Food: Buffalo Wings
    • Drink: Blue Gatorade
  • Ms. Ashley Alexander, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Ashley Alexander

    Infant Teacher

    I grew up in Gurnee and currently reside in Grayslake with my two children Elisia and Elias.  I have worked in Early Childhood Education for seven years and I love it!  I attended Robert Morris University and received my Associates Degree in Allied Health Science as well as my Bachelors in Business Administration.


    In my spare time, I love spending time with my children and watching scary movies.  Fun Fact:  I bowled competitively for eight years and placed Second in state my junior year of college!

  • Ms. Cloe Bunch, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Cloe Bunch

    Infant Teacher

    I was born in Missouri and moved to North Chicago when I was 20.I am currently working on getting my CDA.I have two cats, Luna and Noah. In my free time I enjoy going on walks with my boyfriend and our cats. I also enjoy exercising.

    When I was in Middle School, I already knew that I wanted to work with children. I first started working with children when I was 18 , just as an extra set of hands. I instantly fell in love with watching them develop and grow into their little personalities. Working with children keeps me on my toes.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, Watching TV
    • Fast Food Chain: Wendy's
    • Color: Baby Pink
    • Candy: Snickers
    • Snack: Pizza Rolls
    • Food: Ice Cream
    • Drink: Coke Zero
  • Ms. Marisol Eloiza, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Marisol Eloiza

    Infant Teacher

    I have been working with children for over six years; I earned my associate degree in 2016. I have worked with children of all ages, from infants up to elementary students. My favorite students to work with are our infants! Building trusted relationships with infants helps them in all aspects of their development, social, emotional, and physical. I love working with infants and helping them achieve their milestones.

    I spend most of my free time with my pit-terrier Luna, taking her on long walks and playing fetch. I will be returning to school this fall and will be prioritizing my time studying. When I’m not working on homework, I watch a good movie, work out, or listen to a crime podcast. Also, I’m a big foodie, so trying new food and restaurants is a must!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Working Out, Dancing & Singing
    • Fast Food Chain: Chick - fil -A
    • Color: Green
    • Candy: Airhead Extremes
    • Snack: Chocolate Covered Bananas
    • Food: Chinese
    • Drink: Sweet Tea
  • Ms. Mariza Espino, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Mariza Espino

    Infant Teacher

    I was born in Mexico, but I have lived in the United States for more than 20 years. I have four children of my own, one son and three daughters.

    For the past nine years I worked in childcare in Columbus, Ohio.  I recently moved to the area to be closer to my family. When I started in this field, I instantly fell in love with watching the children develop and grow into their own little personalities.  It is my passion to work with children!


    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Running, Cooking and Listening to Music
    • Fast Food Chain: McDonalds
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: Chocolate
    • Snack: Pringles & Doritos
    • Food: Hamburger, Tacos, and Tamales
    • Drink: Diet Coke
  • Ms.Samantha DeLeon, Infant Teacher

    Ms.Samantha DeLeon

    Infant Teacher

    I was born in New York City and just recently moved to Chicago.  I am currently enrolled at William Reiny Harper College working towards my associates in Psychology.

    I have been working in childcare for the past three years and I absolutely adore it!  I couldn’t be happier to continue my journey at Primrose and look forward to growing with our little ones.  I just love watching our kids grow and being a part of their journey.

  • Ms. Amy Delve, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Amy Delve

    Infant Teacher

    I was born in Chicago, and I have lived in the suburbs my entire life. My parents are from Romania, so I spoke only Romanian until starting school!

    I have worked with children for several years, and I look forward to seeing all of the new and exciting things happening everyday!

    In my free time, I like to hike with my family and eat.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Hiking and Napping
    • Fast Food Chain: Chipotle
    • Color: Baby Pink
    • Candy: Original Skittles
    • Snack: Jalapeno Kettle Chips
    • Food: Fries
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms.Lauren Praner, Infant Teacher

    Ms.Lauren Praner

    Infant Teacher

    I live in Port Barrington with my husband and our two dogs, Mac and Moose .Working with children has always been a passion of mine, since I first started babysitting at age thirteen. I am really excited to continue my love and dedication for Early Childhood Education here at Primrose. My personality if very friendly and upbeat. I look forward to making sure that your child is always having fun while here at school. My favorite part of working with children is helping them reach a milestone or learn something new! In my spare time, I love being outside. I spend a lot of time at the dog park in Wauconda. I love doing puzzles, camping over the summer and playing with my four year old niece Riley.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Walking My Dogs, Puzzles
    • Fast Food Chain: Potbelly
    • Color: Red
    • Candy: Wild Berry Skittles
    • Snack: Doritos (Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch)
    • Food: Chili
    • Drink: Orange Gatorade
  • Ms. Aleksandra Szymanska, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Aleksandra Szymanska

    Infant Teacher

    I was born in Todz, Poland and moved to Chicago when I was seven years old. In 2007 I moved to McHenry with my family and the small town became my home. Working with children and making a difference in their lives has always been my passion. I am currently working on my Associates in Early Childhood Education. I’ve been working with children since I was 19 years old.

    In my free time I love to spend time with my five year old son, Jonathan, my boyfriend, and my cat, Bella. I also enjoy scrapbooking, painting, and watching movies.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Scrapbooking
    • Fast Food Chain: McDonald’s
    • Color: Purple & Turquoise
    • Candy: Skittles
    • Snack: Cheddar Popcorn
    • Food: Pizza & Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
    • Drink: Lipton Tea
  • Ms. Nadine Ferguson, Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Nadine Ferguson

    Toddler Teacher

    I was born and raised in Des Plaines, IL and now live in Palatine. I have a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Education studies from Northeastern Illinois University. I have worked in Early Childhood Education for 5 years and I have grown to love and care for each student that I teach. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, my friends, and playing with my cat Odin or DIY projects shows on YouTube.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Hanging Out with My Family, Watching Movies, Doing My Hair & Nails
    • Fast Food Chain: Domino's
    • Color: Purple & Pink
    • Candy: Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Ferrero Rocher
    • Snack: Popcorn, Hot Cheetos Puffs, and Pretzel Crips
    • Food: Rice and Beans, Chicken Wings, and Pizza
    • Drink: Sweet Tea, Strawberry Lemonade
  • Ms. Patricia Koziara, Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Patricia Koziara

    Toddler Teacher

    I was born in a small town in Poland and moved here when I was five years old. I have by Associates degree and am currently attending UIC to complete my Bachelors in Child Psychology. I have worked with children of all ages for around 10 years now.

    I love working with children because there is never a dull moment around them. Nothing brings me more joy than to see each child learn and grow into their own unique personality.

    In my free time, you can find me somewhere outside, preferably by the beach. I enjoy traveling to new places and experiencing new things. I also love spending time with my family and friends.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Shopping
    • Fast Food Chain: Chipotle
    • Color: Purple & Black
    • Candy: Sour Gummies
    • Snack: BBQ Kettle Cooked and Spicy Chips
    • Food: Italian and Mediteranian
    • Drink: Tea & Coca Cola
  • Ms. Yeni Aguirre, Early Preschool  Teacher

    Ms. Yeni Aguirre

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I grew up in Round Lake, IL and currently still live there. I went to school at the College of Lake County and got my Associate in Arts degree. I have worked with children of all ages from infants to school agers for the last 5 years. I enjoy being with all age groups.

    I love working with children because they are the future and it gives me a chance to shape their young minds. They grow and learn every day and use the skills they learn on a daily basis. Watching them grow is the most rewarding part of working with them.

    In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and working out. I did Cross Country for 6 years and enjoyed running every day. I currently still keep it as a hobby and run when I can. I like staying fit and keeping a healthy lifestyle.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Running and Lifting
    • Fast Food Chain: Popeye's
    • Color: Pink
    • Candy: Ferrero Roche
    • Snack: Clif Bars
    • Food: Shrimp Alfredo
    • Drink: Gatorade or Water
  • Ms. Nicole Clement, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Nicole Clement

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I am a graduate of Harper College with an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher because I have always enjoyed being around children of all ages. It is fun getting to know each child’s unique personality and see their excitement in learning new things.

    Taking care of others has always come naturally to me – maybe because I grew up with three brothers. I have a large extended family with many aunts, uncles and cousins that I see often since they all live in the area. Family is important to me.

    In my free time I like to play with my dog, Callie, spend times with friends and family, and clean and organize.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Shopping
    • Fast Food: Wendy's & McDonald's
    • Color: Light Pink
    • Candy: Twizzlers and Twix
    • Snack: Double Stuffed Oreos & Flavor Blasted Extra Cheddar Goldfish
    • Food: Italian or American Food
    • Drink: Diet Coke or Starbucks Strawberry Refersher
  • Ms. Lindsey Guttman, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Lindsey Guttman

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I grew up in Buffalo Grove and now live in Long Grove. I graduated from Stevenson High School. I have taken classes in Child Development, Early Education and Teaching.

    I have always loved kids ever since I was little, because they make me overjoyed when I am with them! My hobbies are playing video games and listening to music (specifically K-Pop).

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Listening to Music, Playing Video Games, Talking to Friends
    • Fast Food Chain: Panda Express
    • Color: Blue, Green & Purple
    • Candy: Gummy Sweets (Bears, Peach Rings, Etc...)
    • Snack: Instant Noodles
    • Food: Asian Cuisine
    • Drink: Iced Tea and Bubble Tea
  • Ms. Lisa Malenchik, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Lisa Malenchik

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I was raised in Palatine and currently live in Buffalo Grove.  I have two sons, Evan and Logan.  I also have a dog named Charlie.  I have worked Early Childhood Education for over ten years.


    In my spare time, I love doing outdoor activities with my children, including sports, hiking and camping.  I also enjoy reading and cooking.

  • Ms. Natalie Reyes, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Natalie Reyes

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I have been working with children since I was 18 years old. I was always interested in helping kids learn and seeing them be excited about learning! I am currently going to the College of Lake County for Early Childhood Education.

    I recently got married and move to Vernon Hills with my husband. In my free time I like to either go out and be adventurous or I like to stay in and watch movies. It depends on my mood!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Playing Video Games, Going For a Walk
    • Fast Food Chain: Chic-Fil-A
    • Color: Purple, Pink, Black & White
    • Candy: Swedish Fish
    • Snack: Hot Cheetos
    • Food: Tacos
    • Drink: Root Beer
  • Ms. Christina Rossetti, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Christina Rossetti

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I graduated from Augustana College with my Bachelors degree in English Education. I grew up in Brookfield, but now live in Sleepy Hollow, IL. For the past six years, I have worked in many childcare settings in many different age groups. I love working with kids, watching them develop autonomy, independence, and their social skills. They truly are the light of my day to day life. I love working with them because it really shows what a difference a smile can make in a persons day.

    In my free time, you can find me volunteering in shelters, reading, spending time with friends, or using my camera. I love being outside, so you can find me taking pictures of any and everything!


    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Photography, Spending Time with Friends, Reading
    • Fast Food Chain: Taco Bell
    • Color: Purple
    • Candy: Chewy Sprees, Sour Skittles, Butterfinger
    • Snack: BBQ Pringles
    • Food: Pasta
    • Drink: Dr. Pepper


  • Mx. Anna Johnson, Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Mx. Anna Johnson

    Preschool Pathways Teacher

    I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Spanish.  While I have not worked formally with children before, I have three nieces and one nephew that I love with all of my heart!  It is because of them that I decided to change my path to early childhood.  I love seeing children grow, learn and change, so I am very excited to get to now all of the wonderful students and help them on their journeys.

    I grew up in Lake Zurich and recently moved to Wauconda, so the Chicagoland Suburbs will always be my home.  I love to visit the city, but I am much more of a slower paced suburb person.  Some thing I enjoy doing in my free time are listening to Tom Petty. Painting, playing trumpet or piano, and of course being with my nieces and nephew!

  • Ms. Constantina Mitropoulos, Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Constantina Mitropoulos

    Preschool Pathways Teacher

    I am happy to be a part of the Primrose School of Long Grove Family! I was raised in Lake Zurich, IL and I went to school at the College of Lake County. I have my Associates of Art from there with a focus on Early Childhood Education.

    I started working with children when I was 15 years old, doing everything from babysitting to coaching. I have been working in the early childhood education field since 2017.

    In my free time, I love taking care of my animals and playing video games!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Video Games
    • Fast Food Chain: Taco Bell
    • Color: Red & Black
    • Candy: Reese’s & Three Musketeers
    • Snack: Nutella & Bread
    • Food: Mexican Food / Greek Food
    • Drink: Iced Coffee (w/French Vanilla)
  • Ms. Gaby Garcia, Wonder Program Teacher

    Ms. Gaby Garcia

    Wonder Program Teacher

    I grew up in Bolingbrook, IL and moved to the McHenry area back in 2014. I’ve experienced working and interacting with children of all ages since 2010. Throughout the years I have taken a variety of Early Childhood Education College Courses to familiarize the appropriate needs for each age group. Not only do I enjoy building positive relationships with children, but I also enjoy building it with adults/families. My goal is to make a positive impact in people’s lives of all ages. I’m thrilled to be part of the Primrose team and care for your children!

    During my free time I enjoy spending it with my loved ones. I also love drawing/painting, baking/cooking, watching movies, and traveling.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Crafting, Drawing, and Painting
    • Fast Food Chain: Panda Express, Portillo's, & Freddie's
    • Color: Purple
    • Candy: Kit - Kat, Twix, Peanut Butter M&Ms
    • Snack: Carmel or Cheddar Popcorn, Chips, and Cookies
    • Food: Mexican and Italian
    • Drink: Iced Carmel Coffee
  • Ms. Abbey Helfand, Wonder Program Teacher

    Ms. Abbey Helfand

    Wonder Program Teacher

    I live in Vernon Hills, IL and I am currently studying exercise science at Illinois State University. After I graduate, I hope to do a nursing accelerated program to get my bachelors pf science in nursing.

    I have been working with children from infancy to school age for about seven years, so I am so excited to now be a part of the Primrose team!

    In my free time, I love binge watching my favorite shows and taking my dog, Kobe for walks and to the dog park!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, Playing Guitar, Going on Walks and Excercise
    • Fast Food Chain: Panda Express, Wendy's, Chipotle, and Portillos
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: Sweet-tarts, Kit-Kats, Three Muskateers, Smarties
    • Snack: Candy, Chips Ahoy Cookies, or Sugar Cookies
    • Food: Mac & Cheese
    • Drink: Diet Coke
  • Ms. Wendy Lindquist, Wonder Program Teacher

    Ms. Wendy Lindquist

    Wonder Program Teacher

    I just got married a couple of years ago.  I have two amazing sons!  Preston is almost 30 and Chandler is almost 27 years old.

    I am always seeking opportunities to work with and help guide children.  This desire to educate and watch them grow independently started over 30 years ago.  I have taught Kindergarten, Sunday School Classes and Awana.  I worked as a director and an assistant director but honestly, I would rather work one on one with children to help guide and direct their steps!

  • Mr. Trevor Bang, Preschool Teacher

    Mr. Trevor Bang

    Preschool Teacher

    I grew up in Arlington Heights and lived there my entire life. I have my Child Development Associate Certificate. I have been working with kids for about 10 years in the water and 2 years in classroom. I have worked with infants and all the way to kindergarten.  I love it when kids get excited to show me what they have done in the classroom. 

    During my free time I love to go hiking and explore nature.  Also, in my free time I love watching movies and talking about them with my friends or family members.


    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Hiking or Swimming
    • Fast Food Chain: Jimmy Johns, Depends on the Mood
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: M&M Peanut Butter
    • Snack: Nachos or Grapes
    • Food: Gyros or Shrimp
    • Drink: Pepsi


  • Ms. Simona Sabau, Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Simona Sabau

    Preschool Teacher

    I was born and raised in the wonderful medieval city of Sibiu, Romania, where I prepared all of my life to become a teacher. My dream came true and I taught elementary school children for 12 years before I moved to Illinois to join my husband. We have one daughter. Since I moved here, I worked in early childhood education with children of various ages, from infants to kindergarten.

    To this day, I wake up every morning being thankful for how fortunate I am to be able to work with young children, to help them improve their communication, motor, and social skills on a daily basis, and to be able to learn from them every day how amazing it feels to be open to new experiences in a structured environment. Being part of a professional, talented team makes it that much more exciting to work at Primrose, doing our best to create a solid foundation for your children’s education.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Gardening, Listening to Music, Baking
    • Fast Food Chain: Portillo's & Panera Bread
    • Color: Red
    • Candy: Lindt Truffles & Ferrero Rocher
    • Snack: Chocolate
    • Food: Pizza
    • Drink: Lemonade
  • Ms. Zoey Trujillo, Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Zoey Trujillo

    Preschool Teacher

    I have lived in Wheeling for the past 10 years, and I have a three-year-old son named Caesar. Last March I completed my Associated in Child Development. I have been working with children for almost two years and I absolutely enjoy every minute of it! I have worked with various age groups and mastered many skills because of it.

    I LOVE watching my students blossom and master new skills. Seeing them become excited for learning is what reminds me why I love teaching!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Baking
    • Fast Food Chain: Starbucks & Chick-Fil-A
    • Color: Dark Green
    • Candy: Ferrero Rocher
    • Snack: Popcorn
    • Food: Mexican
    • Drink: Water and Coffee
  • Ms. Jessica Ceja, PreKindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Jessica Ceja

    PreKindergarten Teacher

    I grew up in Wheeling and have lived there my entire life. I am currently working on getting my Child Development Associate certificate. I have working in childcare over three years. I LOVE seeing the children’s growth from the beginning to the end. I knew at a young age that I loved working with young children, and I am happy that I am able to continue with my passion.

    During my free time I like being with my family and friends. I love doing make-up and creating new ideas.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading Books, Watching Movies
    • Fast Food Chain: Noodles and Company
    • Color: Silver
    • Candy: Chocolate
    • Snack: Fruit Salad
    • Food: Pasta
    • Drink: All Starbucks Coffee
  • Ms. Nichole Fleenor, PreKindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Nichole Fleenor

    PreKindergarten Teacher

    I was born in Tennessee and grew up in the Chicago Suburbs. I am a mom of a silly girl named Ariel. We love to sew, color and cook together in our free time.

    I have worked with children of many different ages. I have nannied and babysat off and on during my life. I love watching children grow and learn and seeing their big personalities blossom!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Sewing
    • Fast Food Chain: Panda Express
    • Color: Yellow
    • Candy: Dark Chocolate
    • Snack: Lays Pickle Chips
    • Food: Cheesecake
    • Drink: Dr. Pepper or Coffee
  • Ms. Lee Marcus, PreKindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Lee Marcus

    PreKindergarten Teacher

    I am so pleased to have the privilege of teaching at the Primrose School.  I grew up in Evanston and have lived most of my life in Buffalo Grove where I raised my two children, a boy and girl, both who are married with children of their own.

    I received my Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Northern Illinois University, as well as taking classes at Roosevelt University towards my master’s in business administration.  I spend as much time as possible with my grandchildren who are 7, 5 ½ , and twin 4 ½ year old’s.  I constantly learn new things from them; they are the light of my life. 

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Swimming, Learning to PLay the Piano, Traveling, Reading, Driving my Convertable
    • Fast Food Chain: McDonald's
    • Color: Purple
    • Candy: Chocolate,  Bridge Mix, Peanut M&Ms
    • Snack: Potato Chips
    • Food: Salami
    • Drink: Coke Zero
  • Ms. Emily Rhoades, PreKindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Emily Rhoades

    PreKindergarten Teacher

    I am from McHenry, Illinois and I have two children.  My daughter’s name is Adilynn (6) and my son’s name is Austin (2).  I found my love of teaching when I worked with adults and children with autism.  I have a Child Development Associate credential from the Council for Professional Development.  I am also currently enrolled at National Lewis University.  My goal as your child’s teacher is to help them reach their individual potential.

    In my free time, you can find me at the park or doing local activities with my children.

  • Ms. Monica Rodriguez, PreKindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Monica Rodriguez

    PreKindergarten Teacher

    I am the mother to five wonderful children. My oldest daughter, Claudia and my oldest son, Juan both attend Mundelein High School. My younger three children, Brandon, Jose, and Miguel attend West Oak and Diamond Lake Schools. I was born and raised in Illinois and have raised my family here as well.

    I have been in the Early Childhood field since 2004. I enjoy working with children of all ages and have experienced all ages throughout the years. I am looking forward to continuing my education in Elementary Education.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Soccer Mom, Watching Movies
    • Fast Food Chain: Mexican Food
    • Color: Lavender
    • Candy: Caramello
    • Snack: Cool Ranch Doritos
    • Food: Fettuccini with Alfredo and Broccoli
    • Drink: Fruit Punch
  • Ms. Heather Hartmann, Private Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Heather Hartmann

    Private Kindergarten Teacher

    I grew up and live in Fox Lake with my family. I have two brothers, two nephews, and one niece, along with my parents who all live in the area. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, scrapbooking, and crocheting.

    I have been teaching for eighteen years, Eleven of those years with Kindergarten, and seven years with Preschool. I enjoy helping children and watching them grow each and every day.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Crocheting & Scrapbooking
    • Fast Food Chain: China City
    • Color: Green & Yellow
    • Candy: None
    • Snack: Popcorn
    • Food: Chicken & Veggies
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms. Sunita Toke, Explorers Teacher

    Ms. Sunita Toke

    Explorers Teacher

    I have been teaching as a Montessori trained preschool teacher for last 20 years. I started as an assistant teacher and made my way up to preschool teacher and the Director at my previous job.

    Teaching preschool children is my most passionate job, my most favorite ages are infants & preschool children. However, I enjoy being with children of other ages as well. My husband and I have lived in Long Grove for last 9 years. We have two grown up daughters. I really enjoy being part of the Primrose family.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Travel, Reading & Crosswords
    • Fast Food Chain: Big Bowl
    • Color: Pink
    • Candy: Toffee
    • Snack: Popcorn
    • Food: Pasta
    • Drink: Coconut Water
  • Mr. Payton Baugh, Venture Program Teacher

    Mr. Payton Baugh

    Venture Program Teacher
    Apple of Our Eye

    I was born in Highland Park ad I have lived in Lindenhurst my whole life. I graduated from Lakes Community High School and played football and basketball.

    Before I started here, I was a down-stocker at Menards, so this is a big change for me. I took this job because it seemed like a great place to work, and it seems I was right, because I really enjoy it here!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Basketball, Reading, Working Out
    • Fast Food Chain: Popeyes
    • Color: Gold
    • Candy: Skittles
    • Snack: Honey Bun
    • Food: Buffalo Wings
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms. Patricia Scott, Venture Program Teacher

    Ms. Patricia Scott

    Venture Program Teacher

    I have lived in the Antioch-Lake Villa area all of my life.  I was in cheerleading for fifteen years.  While I was in middle school there as a program where I was able to help students with special needs learn routines and enhance their stunting and tumbling skills.  From this experience, I found a love of helping others to grow and achieve their goals.

    For the past three years, I have nannied for a special needs child.  This experience helped me realize that I want to help more children grow and learn.  I am very excited to watch my students grow and learn new things everyday.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, Hanging Out with Friends
    • Fast Food Chain: Texas Roadhouse
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: Starbursts
    • Snack: Fruit Pizza
    • Food: Steak
    • Drink: Raspberry Lemonade
  • Ms. Maria Rocha, Chef

    Ms. Maria Rocha


    I was raised in Mundelein, IL. I got married in September 2003. We have two children Jesus and Denise. I have been working in Early Childhood Education for the past 5 years, I've worked in Toddlers, Two's and School Age Students. What I enjoy the most about my job is working with the children.

    In my free time I like to go to the movies, go walking to the park and spend time with my husband and family.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Walking
    • Fast Food Chain: McDonald’s, Panda Express
    • Color: Purple
    • Candy: Ferrero Rocher, Twix, and Snickers
    • Snack: Popcorn, Cool Ranch Doritos, and Cheetos
    • Food: Pizza, Pasta
    • Drink: Coke
  • Mr. Andrew Wierzchon, Staff Support

    Mr. Andrew Wierzchon

    Staff Support

    I was born in Chicago and have lived in Wauconda since I was two. I am currently attending Carmel Catholic High School and I just work here part time.

    When I am not working or at school, you can usually find me doing something Lacrosse related. I play lacrosse for Carmel and also for a club team, Team One. In my free time I also enjoy X-box and reading.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Reading, Video Games, Lacrosse
    • Fast Food: Chipotle
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: Reese Peanut Butter Cups
    • Snack: Trail Mix
    • Food: Chicken
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms. Elise Wierzchon, Support Staff

    Ms. Elise Wierzchon

    Support Staff

    I am a student at Carmel Catholic High School.  I play varsity lacrosse for Carmel and in my free time, I play for TeamOne which is a regional club team.  I have been doing aerial silks for nine years – that’s more than half my life!  My dream job is to be a performer for Cirque de Soleil.

    In my free time, I enjoy drawing and painting.  Spending time with my friends is also something I enjoy when not working!


    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Painting my nails
    • Fast Food Chain: Noodles and Company
    • Color: Blue
    • Candy: Milk Chocolate
    • Snack: Cheez-Its
    • Food: Donuts
    • Drink: Water
  • Ms. Courtney Callen, Seasonal Teacher

    Ms. Courtney Callen

    Seasonal Teacher

    I was born and raised in Buffalo Grove and I am currently working towards my degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at Illinois State University. I have worked with children for several years and love it because every day is different and there is never a dull moment! I am excited to spend time with the children here at Primrose and watch them learn and grow.

    My favorite thing to do in my free time is spend time with my tuxedo cat, Bob! I also love to watch movies, spend time with family and friends, run, sew, and do DIY projects!

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Running, OrangeTheory, Crafts, DIYs
    • Fast Food Chain: Chipotle
    • Color: Pink
    • Candy: Oreos & Reese's
    • Snack: Goldfish
    • Food: Bananas
    • Drink: Water!
  • Ms. McKenna Larsen, Seasonal Teacher

    Ms. McKenna Larsen

    Seasonal Teacher

    I was born in Evanston and raised in Grayslake. I am currently a student at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein. I absolutely love working with children, so that's what brought me to Primrose to work part time.

    I would love to pursue working with children after/during college, so this is the perfect place for me! In my free time, you can find me at my dance studio, spending time with my friends and family, or reading books with my cat, Ocean.

    Some of My Favorite Things:

    • Hobbies: Dance, Reading, Hiking
    • Fast Food Chain: Noodles & Company
    • Color: Periwinkle
    • Candy: Peanut Butter Cup
    • Snack: Fruit Snacks
    • Food: Strawberries
    • Drink: Peach Tea
  • Jenny Wierzchon, Franchise Owner

    Jenny Wierzchon

    Franchise Owner

    Meet Jenny Wierzchon – proud Franchise Owner of Primrose School of Long Grove. As a long-time Chicagoland resident and an experienced early childhood educator, Jenny is thrilled to bring the Primrose Experience of premier early education and care to the families of Long Grove.

    From the moment you meet Jenny, you know she has a special calling for early education and care. She comes from a long line of educators and spent her entire career serving in local schools. After years of commuting long hours for work in another town, she began searching for a career closer to home that would allow her to continue serving local children and families. For a time, her search was frustrating and fruitless, but that changed when a family friend and Primrose Franchise Owner introduced Jenny to Primrose Schools.

    “In all my years working in education, I have never encountered anything like what is offered at Primrose,” Jenny said. “The Balanced Learning® curriculum is high-quality, research-driven and fully implemented at Primrose, and students spend time learning subjects that aren’t always taught in schools, like art, music and character development. I knew immediately that Primrose had something special.”

    Drawing on her background in early childhood education and school direction, Jenny will handle all day-to-day activities and operations of the school, working closely with students, parents and the Long Grove community at large. She looks forward to being involved in all aspects of the school to ensure the same standards of quality and care are implemented in every classroom.

    Jenny’s two youngest children will attend the Explorers after-school program when they aren’t engaged with other extracurricular activities. Andrew is an avid lacrosse player, and Elise is a passionate student of aerial arts. Jenny’s oldest daughter, Suzanne, followed in her mother’s footsteps and is an early childhood educator herself.

    “Primrose and quality education resonates so deeply with me because educators have been in my family for generations,” Jenny said. “I’ve been able to recognize and appreciate the power of high-quality education and care and am so grateful and honored to be in a position to provide a great foundation for the children of Long Grove.”

    Jenny is committed to providing children with a safe and nurturing environment to learn and grow their Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts® while providing parents with peace of mind, knowing their children are well cared for and receiving a premier education.


    Read More