OUR ADMINISTRATIVE AND TEACHING STAFF
All of our teachers are qualified, caring and experienced professionals who pride themselves on a warm, sensitive, safe and educational environment. Lead teachers have a degree in education, an education-related degree or equivalent experience. Aides have previous teaching experience in the area of Early Childhood Education, many with Park District Early Childhood enrichment programs. All teachers are required to complete 15 hours of continuing education to stay current on Early Childhood Education trends. Each class has two teachers. Small class sizes and bright inviting classrooms enhance the child's experience.
Mrs. Sara Cunningham, Recreation Supervisor
Mrs. Cunningham holds a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She started her teaching career in Lockport School District 89 as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and then was promoted to Assistant Principal and District Coordinator. Mrs. Cunningham joined the Lincoln Learning Center in March of 2015 and is looking forward to her first full school year with the Park District beginning this Fall. In addition to teaching, she is the mother of three children that keep her very busy. Mrs. Cunningham enjoys golfing, dancing and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Cunningham is looking forward to working with all of the staff and parents in the Downers Grove community - as she grew up in Downers Grove and was a graduate of Downers Grove North High School. "The Lincoln Learning Center has an amazing group of teachers that has dedicated most of their careers to building nurturing, caring and play-based environment. As an Early Childhood Education professional, finding a program that continues to grow, has newly remodeled classrooms and is located in a historic building, which used to be an old school, in the downtown Downers Grove area just adds to the value of the program. Early Childhood Education is my passion and it continues to change every day. The Lincoln Learning Center has everything an Early Childhood Education program should have: dedicated veteran staff, updated classrooms and a facility and environment that allows children to grow and learn. I look forward to joining the team at the Lincoln Learning Center!"
Mrs. Sherry Bednara, Preschool Teacher's Aide
Before becoming a teacher at the Lincoln Learning Center, Mrs. Bednara was a Lead Teacher at All God's Children preschool. She also volunteered as a library assistant and classroom parent at Hillcrest School. Mrs. Bednara is always working toward continuing her education by attending Early Childhood seminar and conferences. A 20-year resident of Downers Grove, she has always enjoyed working with children of all ages, being a devoted mother of four daughters. She loves helping children learn new skills and seeing them smile.
Mrs. Kerry Finley, Preschool Teacher's Aide
Mrs. Finley is starting her third year at the Lincoln Learning Center as a Teacher's Aide for both three and four year old programs. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics with a minor in Psychology and Math from Eastern Illinois University. Before she started teaching at the Lincoln Learning Center, Mrs. Finley enjoyed volunteering at her children's elementary school by teaching Art awareness, as well as serving on several committees. She lives in Downers Grove with her husband and two children.
Mrs. Dana McGinnis, Preschool Teacher's Aide
Mrs. McGinnis has been a teacher's aide at the Lincoln Learning Center since 2015. Before coming to the Lincoln Learning Center she taught Preschool/Kindergarten Religious Education at St. Mary of Gostyn for 3 years. She also has home-schooled her special needs son. Mrs. McGinnis enjoys cooking and camping during her free time. She resides in Downers Grove with her Husband and three kids.
Mrs. Nancy Rottmann, Preschool Lead Teacher
Mrs. Rottmann received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics from Western Illinois University. She began her teaching career working as a substitute teacher in various districts before she became an instructional aide in Berwyn, IL. Mrs. Rottmann also works in the summer as a lead teacher for the Exploration Station summer camp. In addition to teaching, she is a mother of two daughters who have taken various classes at the park district over the years.
Mrs. Beth Sexton, Preschool Lead Teacher
Mrs. Sexton is beginning her third year as a Lincoln Learning Center teacher this fall. Mrs. Sexton holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and taught for the Summit School District for ten years and also taught in Michigan for two years. In addition to teaching in a school district, Mrs. Sexton worked for the Palos Heights Recreation Department for over 18 years teaching a variety of preschool and elementary aged classes, as well as coordinating the day camp and t-ball programs.
Mrs. Cara Shirk, Preschool Teacher's Aide
Mrs. Shirk received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/Public Relations from Bradley University in Peoria. After working in meeting planning for several years, she decided to switch careers and go into teaching. Mrs. Shirk received her Masters in Education from UIC and has her endorsement as a reading specialist. She started her teaching career in South Berwyn School District 100 as a 2nd grade teacher. Later she became the school's Title One Reading Specialist. She has been a Downers Grove resident for 9 years and is married with two school-aged daughters. She joined the Lincoln Learning Center Preschool as an aide in January 2015. Mrs. Shirk is a swim team mom always cheering her girls on at the pool. She enjoys reading, organizing family photo books and traveling with her family.