Mrs. Olga, Program Director
Olga has an incredible passion for teaching with over 17 years of experience in the early childhood field. At the age of 16 she started giving private English lessons in her hometown in Russia and received a great deal of recognition for her teaching skills from the students and parents.
Born and raised in Russia, Olga attended Linguistic State University in Nizhny Novgorod, where she graduated in 1996 with a BA in Linguistics and Teaching ESL. She also has a BS in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University in Chicago.
Olga has lived and worked in Chicago for more than 18 years. Prior to joining New Einsteins Academy, she was a Montessori teacher at Park View Montessori School. She has also worked as a preschool teacher for a private school in Evanston.
Apart from dedicating her life to making a difference in young children’s lives, Olga loves travelling, cooking and learning new languages. One of her newest hobbies is learning how to enjoy the bountiful rewards of parenting while being a working mother.
Ms. Diane, Young Toddler Lead Teacher
Ms. Diane was born and raised in Humboldt Park on the west side of Chicago. She has an A.A.S. degree in Travel and Tourism Management from Northwestern College. She also attended Roosevelt University where she started the early childhood education program. Ms. Diane comes to New Einsteins Academy with a teaching background of almost 8 years, 7 of which she spent as a lead teacher. She enjoys working with young children and believes it is vital to be of service to them and to share the extensive art and cultural experiences that she has been fortunate to have through her life journey.
Beyond working as a teacher at NEA, Ms. Diane is a multi-talented performing and visual artist. As the creator of Chi-Caribena Designs and Global Booty Dance Fitness, she has been able to display her skills as a professional dancer and dance instructor, a pyro performer, and a choreographer. She also designed cultural costumes for performances in various Afro-Caribbean carnivals. If that is not enough, Ms. Diane is also a professional clown, face painter, and a mascot character performer for Make-Believe Professionals and a musician/backup vocalist/dancer for Mary Macaroni and the Impastas, the two well renowned family entertainment businesses in Chicago.
Miss Jadzia, Young Toddler Assistant Teacher
Miss Jadzia was born and raised in Chicago. She is the second oldest of four children and has been caring for her two younger siblings for as long as she can remember. Jadzia is currently a sophomore at CCC working on her associates degree. Although she is unsure what career path she would like to take yet, she has always had a passion for caring for children and animals. As a volunteer Girl Scout member, Miss Jadzia worked with younger groups to help them complete their badges and participated in large events such as opening and closing ceremonies and holiday parties. During her High School years, Jadzia also helped out in a preschool classroom for her volunteer work by supervising children on the playground and providing individualized attention to students who needed extra help with learning activities. Miss Jadzia hopes that working at New Einsteins Academy will help her grow her passion for working children.
During her spare time, Jadzia loves to paint and draw. She enjoys spending time with her family and her cat Shadow.
Ms. Alexis, Young Toddler Assistant Teacher
Ms. Alexis is a recent graduate from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in Event and Hospitality Management. She also has an associate's degree in Culinary Arts. Ms. Alexis' other passion in life is working with children. From volunteering at her mom's daycare to taking child development classes at college, Alexis has over 10 years of experience working in the early childhood field. She comes from a family of educators and has always enjoyed helping her aunts and mother in their classrooms. Miss Alexis is happy to be joining the NEA team and is looking forward to getting know your children and help them learn and grow.
When Alexis is not in the classroom, she likes to create new dances with her friends from the Iowa State C-Nettes, the first Multicultural Majorette Dance Team. She is a phenomenal cook and loves to crochet. But her most favorite thing to do on weekends is to work on her own small event planning business K'Dria Events.
Ms. Kimberly, Older Toddler Lead Teacher
Kim was born and raised in Chicago in a big family. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at DePaul University in 2018. She has been working with children of all ages since 2005, taking care of her younger siblings, babysitting for various families and working as a teacher’s aide and assistant in daycare settings. Ms.Kim loves working with children because it is fascinating to see them achieve their milestones. She is excited to take on the opportunity to lead the classroom at NEA.
During her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, attending numerous festivals throughout Chicago and going on exciting new trips.
Ms. Nia, Older Toddler Assistant Teacher
Miss Nia grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and later moved to Illinois with her family. She graduated in 2014 from Wilbur Wright College with an Associate in Arts, and took several early childhood courses at the same college. She discovered that she enjoys caring for younger children while working as an assistant teacher at a small daycare in Melrose Park. Nia’s current goal is to continue working in early childhood and get a teaching degree in the future.
She is a very caring person and loves to see children laugh and be silly. In her spare time, Ms. Nia enjoys playing the flute, cooking with her boyfriend and trying different cuisines. She also adores her beautiful niece and visits her in Canada whenever she can.
Miss Natasha, Older Toddler Assistant Teacher
Miss Natasha was born and raised on the North side of Chicago. She grew up in our Ravenswood neighborhood and has been a camper at Chase Park since she can remember. After graduating high school, Miss Natasha enlisted in the Illinois National Guard and is still part of the army until 2023. In 2016, she started working at Chase Park as a summer camp counselor, which made her find her passion and realize how much she enjoys working with children. Miss Natasha is attending Truman College for an associate degree in early childhood development. She loves how curious and expressive children are and hopes to achieve her goal of becoming a teacher in the future. Miss Natasha enjoys painting, listening to music with her friends & eating out with her family. She also loves learning about her culture and tries to visit Mexico whenever she can.
Mrs. Nefira, Preschool Lead Teacher
Nefira was born and raised in Bosnia. Coming from a large family, even as a little child, she was always interested in babysitting and taking care of her younger siblings, nieces and nephews.
She immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 20 and lived in Arizona for several years before moving to Chicago. She stayed home to raise two children, and later applied for an assistant teacher position at her daughter’s daycare center to stay close to her. Mrs. Nefira loved it so much that she decided to pursue a career in early childhood education and received an associate degree in the field. Before New Einsteins, Nefira worked as a lead teacher at Bright Horizons for 16 years. She is happy and passionate about working with young children and enjoys teaching them new and exciting things every day.
Nefira loves spending time with her family, traveling to new places and meeting with people from diverse communities. She is looking forward to babysit her own grandchildren someday.
Ms. Claudia, Preschool Lead Teacher
Claudia joined New Einsteins Academy in September 2016. A native Chicagoan, she grew up in a culturally rich Mexican family. In 2006, she obtained her Bachelor's in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Spanish from DePaul University. While at DePaul, she received an award for academic excellence from the Department of Latin American Studies. Much of her experience in early childhood comes from having four beautiful children. Claudia also has experience working with kids with various levels of disabilities (physical, mental and cognitive), including two of her own children. Claudia is excited for the opportunity to incorporate Spanish songs and activities into the daily curriculum.
Outside of work, Claudia loves to spend time with her family, going on road trips and visiting parks, museums, games, and concerts. Her favorite color is blue. She is a big fan of Chicago Blackhawks, White Sox and New England Patriots.
Ms. Cristiana, Preschool Assistant Teacher
Miss Cristiana came to the USA in 2002. She loves living in Chicago because of the diversity that she encounters everywhere she goes. Cristiana has graduated from college in Romania with a degree in Theology. After her move, she attended Truman College to receive an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Working as a preschool teacher was Cristiana’s dream job since she was little. She used to gather all the children in her neighborhood back in Romania and played “teacher” with them all day long. Right after she received her degree from Truman, Cristiana worked for more than 3 years at Bright Horizons daycare center in Evanston, where she quickly gained impeccable reputation as an exciting educator. Cristiana is grateful to be a teacher, as she gets to learn so much from every one of her students each day. She is happy to be a part of NEA family and is looking forward to growing more each day.
When Cristiana has some time off work, she loves to travel the world. She is also a biker and enjoys reading books when she is not taking care of her two adorable babies.
Ms. Alison, Lead Pre-K Teacher
Alison grew up in Washington state where she studied Elementary Education at a local community college. She had the opportunity to transfer to a school in Hawaii where she studied Linguistics. A few years ago, Alison moved to Chicago and became a nanny for three wonderful girls.
Alison discovered her passion for child development at the early age of 9, when her first nephew was born. This passion was reaffirmed while she served two terms in AmeriCorps teaching English in Elementary schools. Alison is excited to learn the ins and outs of preschool teaching so one day she can open her own preschool. She has over 10 years of childcare experience.
In her free time Alison enjoys being out in nature and exploring all Chicago has to offer. She often spends her time reading, biking, or volunteering at a local animal shelter.
Ms. Gaby, Pre-K Assistant Teacher
Miss Gaby was born and raised in Chicago. She is extremely passionate about working with children and is studying Early Childhood Education at DePaul University in Chicago. Miss Gaby has worked in the field since she was a junior in college, doing internships for ages 0-6 and working as a substitute teacher at New Einsteins II, after which she was offered an assistant teacher position here in the summer of 2020. Whether it was babysitting her neighbors, or playing with her younger cousins, Miss Gaby has always loved spending time around children. She feels that Early Childhood Education is her true calling because she wants every student to reach their best abilities.
In her free time, she likes spending time with her family and her dog, watching movies, and being outdoors.
Ms. Gricel, Pre-K Assistant Teacher
Ms. Gricel was born and raised in Ecuador. Her passion for teaching started early in her life because she grew up in the family of educators. She has learned from her parents, who were both teachers, the important role of teaching and nurturing a child. She earned her Early Childhood Education degree in Ecuador and immigrated to the United States shortly after. In the US, Ms. Gricel worked several as a nanny for several years while studying English. She is currently attending Truman College to receive her teaching degree in America.
On top of being a student, a mother and a full-time educator, Miss Gricel has a passion and love for visual arts. Her hobbies are painting, dancing, and tutoring Spanish.
Mrs. Hilda, School Aide
Mrs. Hilda was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1969 five days before Christmas. At the age of five she moved with her mom and two siblings from the island back to Chicago, where her parents were originally from. She graduated from Lakeview High School and became a member of the National Beta Club. Today Mrs. Hilda is a wife, the mother of two boys, 26 and 19, and the grandmother to her first grandson Jordan.
There are many things that she enjoys outside her work. Hilda likes to cook for her family, enjoys camping, dancing and spending time with her large family. Her family’s favorite activity is family game night. Mrs. Hilda is very involved in her community and sees every day as a learning experience.