Our Staff

A Skilled Team Offering Quality Early Childhood Education

Administration

Cari Christoff

Executive Director
I have worked in the field of education for over 30 years. Every day I get an opportunity to learn something new from the children. It is wonderful to feel the joy of discovery and the sense of pride in accomplishment that comes when a child explores their world. Every day is an adventure; no two days are ever the same. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching sports (especially football), and bargain hunting/shopping.

Vicki Gregor

Program Director
I have worked in the field of education for over 25 years. I find it rewarding to have the opportunity to work with the entire family. Family support is important in fostering school success in young children. In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, traveling to new places both near and far, listening to music, and singing in the church choir.

Beatrice Maldonado

Lead Cook
I have a total of ten years working in the food industry with previous employment at restaurants, catering companies, a cooking school as a chef’s assistant and today as Lead Cook for The Day Nursery. I have been with The Day Nursery for six years, and with each year bringing in new dietary accommodations, some simple and some more complex, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I attended Eastern Illinois University where I studied English. I am also a classically trained chef as I attended the College of DuPage where I studied Culinary Arts. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling to different cities to try new restaurants. I am also a coffee enthusiast.

Keshia McAllister

Operations Manager
I have been with The Day Nursery for 14 years, progressing from Bookkeeper to Operations Manager. Now, my granddaughter attends The Day Nursery! A favorite pastime, besides being with family, is bargain hunting. I love treasure hunting at resale and consignment shops.

Corey Nekimken

Parent Coordinator
I have been working in the field of education for five years. I like creating a constructive and stimulating environment that encourages children to be and grow into their best selves. In my free time, I enjoy artistic creation, hiking, bike riding, driving (any and everywhere a road will take me), video games, reading, and movies.

Garden Room

Kristen Del Medico

Lead Teacher
I have worked in the field of education for 13 years. I love to see the wonder in a child’s eyes. Knowing that they are learning with me is the biggest motivator that I can have. When they have the “aha!” moment when a concept has finally clicked for them, the smile on their face is priceless. In my free time I enjoy playing the Sims 4 and listening to Frank Sinatra and country music. My DVR is full of Bones, Girl Meets World, and Lip Sync Battle, as well as Doctor Who and Supernatural. I also bake cookies for my friends and family. On Wednesday nights you can find me at the dinner table with my 93-year-old Papa. We have been having dinner once a week for over five years. I love to play with my new dog Boomer! He is six and a rescue.

Lyndell Wilson

Teacher Assistant
When I was younger, I dreamed of many possible career choices. Being a pop star or a gymnast sounded pretty cool as a child. But as I became older, I found my greatest passion was education. It’s no surprise as I grew up with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that has stayed with me throughout my life. I hope to inspire that same love of learning in the lives of the children I come across during my time teaching. In my free time, you can usually find me demonstrating my love for another one of my interests – music! Over the years, I’ve gotten the opportunity to discover different instruments and even learned to play a few. I look forward to collecting many more instruments in the future and learning to play them!

Maple Room

Marian Moore-Rounds

Lead Teacher
I have worked in the field of education for ten years. I like giving children the cognitive and social skills necessary to become productive citizens and adults. I am not only educating the children of today, but also cultivating the adults of tomorrow. In my free time I enjoy listening to all kinds of music, taking walks, writing, reading the Bible, and spending time with family.

Latrenda Mabins

Teacher Assistant
I have been working with children for over 26 years. It is a new experience every day working with children. I strongly believe that from the beginning, you are conceived into this world you deserve love, protection, care, and respect. I love the fact that you have a chance to make a child love school. You have a chance to mold minds. You get to share, develop, and guide a child’s creativity. The children often keep you laughing and upbeat with the things they say and do. The smiling faces, the hugs, the respect and appreciation without speaking a word is priceless; and in a serious world you get to be silly, sing just because, and have a dance break. I could go on and on, but that’s just some of the reasons I love my job.

Rainbow Room

Susan Panico

Lead Teacher
I have always known that I wanted to be an early childhood teacher. I have worked in early childhood education since 1999, teaching children from two-years-old up to Kindergarten. My favorite thing about teaching is watching the children grow and learn, and being able to foster experiences that promote wonder and excitement. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my children, Elijah and Alyssa, and my dog Pepper.

Roschelle Moore

Teacher Assistant
I have loved working with children ever since I was a teenager. I knew that I wanted to teach and make a difference for younger children. My joy is when I see how much of an impact on learning that I have made in their lives – seeing and hearing what they have learned. I love reading to the children, and my all-time favorite is music and movement My Kindergarten teacher had a great impact on my life. She was kind, loving, caring, and nurturing.

Honey Bear Room

Tiffany McHarland

Lead Teacher
I have been working in the field of education for 17years. I love being part of those teaching moments. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing a child smile when they learn something new. I love it when they don’t want to leave because they are having fun. Most of all, I like meeting new families and learning about new cultures. In my free time I enjoy reading and doing any kind fo puzzles – jigsaw, crossword, etc.

Merry Vercillo

eacher Assistant
I joyfully joined The Day Nursery in July of 2018. I live in Chicago, am single, and have one grown, married daughter, Amanda. I have over 30+ years working with two- and three-year-old children in a daycare setting. I attended both Loyola University and Concordia University. In my spare time, I rescue and foster kittens, cats, and dogs, with focus on the very young and the “senior” dogs that need care. I love nature, gardening, music, and movies. I believe in strong parent-teacher bonding and communication. I love to have fun with my two-and three-year-old classroom!

Sunshine Room

Kira Smith

Lead Teacher
I have worked in the field of education for eight years. I love learning from children. They are the best teachers! In my free time I like listening to music and spending time with my family.

Latrice Jones

Teacher Assistant
I have been working with children for eight years. Teaching allows us to help shape children’s dreams. Children learn from a teacher who is also willing to learn from them. Teaching helps me be a better parent to my children at home. In my free time I like to watch movies, run, jump, play games, go out to eat, dance, and take care of my family.

“Floating” Teacher Assistants

Linda Jennings

I have been working in the field of education for 30+ years. I enjoy teaching because of the excitement that children display when they discover that they can do things “all by themselves.” In my free time, I enjoy working with children, reading, and watching movies.

Rene Richardson

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 30 years. I joined The Day Nursery in 2014. I am a true believer in lifelong learning because there is nothing more beautiful than a child’s smile and of the sound of their laughter. I enjoy every aspect of teaching and have realized in my years that they can teach us as much as we teach them. As a floating teacher, I am dedicated to each child and make it my goal to make sure that each child receives the best care and love that they all deserve. In my free time, I love to design different events – wedding, birthdays, baby showers, etc. My other passion, outside of loving everyone else’s children, I have two wonderful grandsons that I truly adore and spoil them “rotten”
Naeyc

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Your support is essential to keep quality early childhood education at The Day Nursery affordable and accessible for all families.​