Primrose School of St. Charles West

Our Staff

  • Lisa Schmidt, School Director

    Lisa Schmidt

    School Director

    Ms. Lisa Schmidt joined us in November 2019 as our Director. Ms. Schmidt graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in Applied Family and Child Studies and has the Illinois Director Credential Level II from Illinois Gateways. Ms. Schmidt has been in the early childhood profession since 1992 serving as an early childhood teacher, assistant director, director, practicum director, and child development undergraduate faculty. In addition, Ms. Schmidt is a certified trainer in the areas of Early Childhood Curriculum Development and Early Childhood Assessment Practices for the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

    Other areas of professional expertise for Ms. Schmidt include teacher training, mentorship, and professional development; strategic planning; developmentally appropriate practice; and early childhood accreditation. Ms. Schmidt has been a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) since 1994 and has served in a variety of leadership roles on the Northern Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (NIAEYC) Board. Ms. Schmidt has most recently joined the St. Charles Early Childhood Leaders organization.

  • Brittani Daniels, Assistant Director

    Brittani Daniels

    Assistant Director

    Ms. Brittani Daniels joined us in January 2018 as our Assistant Director. Ms. Daniels completed her Bachelors of Science degree from Northern Illinois University in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development and a sub-emphasis in Leadership Studies. In addition, Ms. Daniels has the Illinois Director credential, Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 5, and Infant Toddler credential level 5 from Illinois Gateways. Along with her education, Ms. Daniels has 6 years of experience ranging from infants to pre-k.

  • Allie Gorvett, Assistant to Leadership Team

    Allie Gorvett

    Assistant to Leadership Team

    Ms. Allie Gorvett joined us as a Preschool Pathways teacher in September 2020. Ms. Gorvett has 3 years of experience in the field. Ms. Gorvett graduated from Northern Illinois University with her Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Child Development and a sub-emphasis in Child Life. She also have a minor in Public health and have the Illinois Early Education credential level 5 from Illinois Gateways.

  • Paula Alvarez, Assistant Infant Support Teacher

    Paula Alvarez

    Assistant Infant Support Teacher

    Ms. Paula Alvarez joined as an Assistant Infant Support teacher in December 2020. Ms. Alvarez has 5 years of experience ranging from infants to preschool.

  • Julianne Racki, Infant Teacher

    Julianne Racki

    Infant Teacher

    Ms. Julianne Racki joined us in December 2021. Ms. Racki has a Child Development Associates Credential and is currently working towards her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has fifteen years of experience in the field ranging from infants to preschool.

  • Rachel Degrane, Infant Teacher

    Rachel Degrane

    Infant Teacher

    Ms. Rachel Degrane joined us as an part time Infant teacher in January 2021. Ms. Degrane recently graduated with her Bachelors in Social Work from Olivet Nazarene University and has almost 10 years of experience working with children in a variety of capacities.

  • Angela Tanakatsubo, Infant Support Teacher

    Angela Tanakatsubo

    Infant Support Teacher

    Ms. Angela Tanakatsubo joined us as a Preschool teacher in August 2020. Ms. Tanakatsubo received her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from McHenry County College, in addition she has over 10 years of experience in the early childhood education field primarily with infants.

  • Anali Martinez, Infant Teacher

    Anali Martinez

    Infant Teacher

    Ms. Anali Martinez joined us in November 2021. Ms. Martinez has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from College of DuPage; in addition, she has seven years of experience within the field ranging from infants through school age.

  • Lauren Walton, Toddler Teacher

    Lauren Walton

    Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Lauren Walton joined us as a Toddler teacher in September 2019. Ms. Walton has a background in early childhood education. She has 5 years of experience ranging from toddlers to school age children. Ms. Walton has received her Associates in Early Childhood Education from Harper College and earned the Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 1 from Illinois Gateways.

  • Kassy Partida, Toddler Assistant Teacher

    Kassy Partida

    Toddler Assistant Teacher

    Ms. Kassy Partida joined us as a Toddler Assistant Teacher in March 2021. Ms. Partida is currently working on her Child Development Associates Credential and has four years of experience in the field ranging from infants to school age.

  • Maria Galarza, Toddler Support Teacher

    Maria Galarza

    Toddler Support Teacher

    Ms. Maria Galarza joined us as a Toddler Support Teacher in May 2021. Ms. Galarza is currently pursuing her Associates Degree Early Childhood Education at Elgin Community College. Ms. Galarza has four years of experience working with children in other capacities, and this is her first child care setting.

  • Carol Oh, Toddler Teacher

    Carol Oh

    Toddler Teacher
    Apple of Our Eye

    Ms. Carol Oh joined us as Toddler teacher in January 2018. Ms. Oh completed her Child Development Associates Credential in Maryland, Texas and Illinois. Ms. Oh also received the Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 1 from Illinois Gateways. Ms. Oh has over 25 years of experience in various childcare settings, including her own ranging from infants through school age.

  • Gabby Partida, Toddler Assistant Teacher

    Gabby Partida

    Toddler Assistant Teacher

    Ms. Gabby Partida joined us as a Toddler Assistant Teacher in March 2021. Ms. Partida is currently working on her Child Development Associates Credential and has four years of experience in the field ranging from infants to school age.

  • Beth Tucker, Early Preschool Teacher

    Beth Tucker

    Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Beth Tucker joined us as an Early Preschool Teacher in April 2021. Ms. Tucker has her Bachelors in Sociology, Psychology and Social Work from Rider University, the majority of her coursework focused on children and child development. Ms. Tucker has twenty-two years of experience ranging from infants through pre-kindergarten.

  • Brianna Russell, Assistant Support Teacher

    Brianna Russell

    Assistant Support Teacher

    Ms. Brianna Russell joined us as an Assistant Support Teacher in August 2021. Ms. Russell is new to the field and is currently pursuing her Child Development Associates Credential.

  • Megan Herra, Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Megan Herra

    Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Megan Herra joined us as a Preschool Pathways teacher in August 2019. Ms. Herra completed her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Herra also has the Illinois Director credential level 1, Illinois Infant and Toddler credential level 2 and Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 4. Ms. Herra has about 10 years of experience ranging from infants through school age.

  • Jamie Rowe, Pathways Teacher

    Jamie Rowe

    Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Jamie Rowe joined us as a Pathways Teacher in May 2021. Ms. Rowe has her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care from College of DuPage. Ms. Rowe also has twenty years of experience in the field ranging from infants to preschool.

  • Ashley Schmitz, Preschool Teacher

    Ashley Schmitz

    Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Ashley Schmitz joined us as a Preschool Teacher in July 2020. Ms. Schmitz has twelve years of experience in the field and she is currently completing Early Childhood Education courses at Elgin Community College working towards her Associates Degree.

  • Christina Toto, Preschool Assistant Teacher

    Christina Toto

    Preschool Assistant Teacher

    Ms. Christina Toto joined us as a Preschool Assistant teacher in September 2019. Ms. Toto has a background in working with children and families in different capacities for the past 5 years. Ms. Toto received her Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Kaplan University and has earned the Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 1 from Illinois Gateways. Ms. Toto is also currently pursuing her Child Development Associates Credential.

  • Katie Nelson, Preschool Support Teacher

    Katie Nelson

    Preschool Support Teacher

    Ms. Katie Nelson joined us as a Preschool Support Teacher in March 2021. Ms. Nelson has her Bachelors from Judson College in Elementary Education. Ms. Nelson has two years of experience working with children in kindergarten and school age.

  • Cecilia Shelton, Preschool teacher

    Cecilia Shelton

    Preschool teacher

    Ms. Cecilia Shelton joined us as a Preschool teacher in December 2020. Ms. Shelton has over twenty years of experience in the field with preschool aged children and teenagers in a therapeutic setting. Ms. Shelton received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Elmhurst college.

  • Andrea Petrarca, Preschool teacher

    Andrea Petrarca

    Preschool teacher

    Ms. Andrea Petrarca joined us in 2021 as a Preschool teacher. Ms. Petrarca has her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Aurora University; she also has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Petrarca has about eight years of experience in the field and six months of experience in the public school district.

  • Abbey Moyta, Assistant Pre-school Teacher

    Abbey Moyta

    Assistant Pre-school Teacher

    Ms. Abbey Moyta joined us in November 2021. Ms. Moyta has a Bachelors Degree in Special Education from Northern Illinois University and eight years of experience within the field.

  • Asha Roper, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Asha Roper

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Asha Roper joined us as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher in July 2018. Ms. Roper has 10 years of experience ranging from preschool – school age; and she joins us from a Primrose School in the southern regions of USA. Ms. Roper received her Child Development Associates Credential and also has the Illinois Early Childhood Education credential level 1 from Illinois Gateways.

  • Gloria Heinicke, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Gloria Heinicke

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Gloria Heinicke joined us as a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher in March 2021 as a new graduate. Ms. Heinicke has her Associates in Early Childhood Education from Elgin Community College.

  • Rameen Syeda, Kindergarten Teacher

    Rameen Syeda

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Rameen Syeda joined us as a Kindergarten Teacher in August 2021. Ms. Syeda has her Bachelors of Arts in Urban Education from University of Illinois Chicago. She is new to the early childhood education field but has experience working with children in kindergarten, second and fourth grade in the Elementary school setting.

  • Barbara Zadronza, Bus Driver & Kitchen Support Staff

    Barbara Zadronza

    Bus Driver & Kitchen Support Staff

    Ms. Barbara Zadronza joined us as a kitchen support staff member in February 2020.

  • Elizabeth Dunne

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Elizabeth Dunne joined us in January 2022. Ms. Dunne has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and LBS I certification for special education. She has eight years of teaching experience in the Elementary school setting.

  • Linda Raymond, Support teacher

    Linda Raymond

    Support teacher

    Ms. Linda Raymond joined us as a Support teacher in August 2018. Ms. Raymond has her Child Development Associates Credential along with three years of Elementary education experience and twelve years within the field.

  • Haven Zantjer, Assistant Support Teacher

    Haven Zantjer

    Assistant Support Teacher

    Ms. Haven Zantjer joined us as an Assistant Toddler teacher in September 2020. Ms. Zantjer has 6 years of experience in the field working with a variety of ages.

  • Jalena Borchardt, Assistant Support Teacher

    Jalena Borchardt

    Assistant Support Teacher

    Ms. Jalena Borchardt joined us as an Assistant Support Teacher in January 2021. Ms. Borchardt is currently attending Providence Baptist College pursuing a degree in graphic design. She has about six years of experience working with children in a variety of settings.

  • Mina Valenti, Support Teacher

    Mina Valenti

    Support Teacher

    Ms. Mina Valenti joined us as a Support Teacher in September 2018. Ms. Valenti has her Child Development Associates Credential and three years of experience within the field.

  • Martiara Williams, Pre - Kindergarten Teacher

    Martiara Williams

    Pre - Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Martiara Williams joined us in October 2021. Ms. Williams has her Bachelors Degree in Health and Human Sciences with a minor in Family and Child Studies from Northern Illinois University. In addition, she has fourteen years of experience within the field.

  • Megan Frase, Pre-K Teacher

    Megan Frase

    Pre-K Teacher

    Ms. Megan Frase joined us in November 2021. Ms. Frase has a Child Development Associates Credential and thirteen years of experience ranging from infants to pre-k children.

  • Mrugesh Patel & Shashi Kerai

    Franchise Owners

    Meet Mrugesh and Nilam Patel and Shashi and Pinal Kerai — the proud Franchise Owners of Primrose School of St. Charles West. These two couples believe strongly in the Primrose Schools commitment to develop the whole child, and they are excited to bring the thoughtful Balanced Learning® approach and its impressive character-building focus to the Tri-Cities area of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia.

    Shashi and Pinal were first introduced to Primrose Schools in 2013 while searching for an early education and care provider for their son. The couple quickly realized how amazing the Balanced Learning approach was for their son’s development, and they often updated their families on his academic growth.

    Mrugesh, Pinal’s brother, and his wife, Nilam, were expecting their first child in 2015 when Shashi and Pinal told them about Primrose. The couple knew they wanted the same high-quality early education for their own son. Mrugesh and Nilam decided to relocate so the families could open a Primrose school of their own in the St. Charles area.

    Between the four of them, this powerhouse team has a variety of skills that support the success of the school and its students. Mrugesh, a certified flight instructor, and Shashi, a neurophysiologist who taught residents in several states, have both taken a step back from their travel-based careers to manage the school. Mrugesh also draws on his experience in management and banking to run the school’s day-to-day operations. Pinal and Nilam will play a unique advisory role in the school as they continue to serve the community as an audiologist and pediatrician, respectively.

    Because their families have such a strong appreciation for science and math, the Patels and the Kerais value the depth of the Balanced Learning approach and how it emphasizes both academic and social-emotional learning to build a strong foundation for future success.

    The Patels and Kerais are thankful their own children have had the opportunity to learn and grow at Primrose. Nilam and Mrugesh’s son, Sidhdhant, and Shashi and Pinal’s daughter, Bhakti, will be the first students enrolled at Primrose School of St. Charles West. Having graduated from a Primrose school, Pinal and Shashi’s son, Khush, attends the Primrose Explorer Program.

    The Patels and the Kerais are overjoyed to provide unique early learning experiences to their community through Primrose School of St. Charles West. They’d love to welcome you to their Primrose family!

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