At ChooChoo Chicago, your Family Childcare, our teachers make us who we are. We have a team of loving, supportive, and educated caregivers. These teachers are carefully chosen with our ideals and beliefs in mind. They have educational and in-field experience, and they continue to nurture and guide our children every day. They know the ins and outs of child development, but they also know how to spread love and have fun.
Our teachers provide an environment where close personal attention, nurture, and the well-being of each child is the main focus. They spend their days guiding our children play, learn, and grow in their “home away from home.”
Mrs. Mia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Entrepreneurship from the City University of New York, accompanied by 15+ years of childcare experience in various settings. In recent years she has achieved Illinois’ Director Certification, Early Childhood Education Credentials, as well as Infant Toddler Credentials through Illinois’ Professional Development System and INCCRRA.
With her entrepreneurial skills, love for education and children as well as specialization in art history and studio arts, Mrs. Mia brings her love for arts and crafts as well as her reliable and reputable childcare experience into this family venture.
Locomotives Lead Teacher
Hoppers Lead Teacher
Ms. Jagoda worked with children of all ages as a daycare teacher for over seven years. Her passion for working in preschool grew over time, which prompted her to get her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Development from the University of Arizona Global. She loves to see children grow and learn from their surroundings and fun activities, and by far she enjoys implementing exciting arts and crafts projects into her classroom’s everyday curriculum. She moved to Chicago from California with her, now, husband in December 2020, with whom she enjoys spending her free time and discovering new places around Chicago. She is happy to be part of ChooChoo Chicago and is looking forward to making new friends.
Miss Taj graduated from the City Colleges of Chicago in 2020 with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood and since she entered the childcare classrooms she hasn't looked back. She is passionate about the toddler age group as they challenge her way of thinking and bettering the way she leads her classroom. Miss Taj loves dancing, movement, and telling stories, so you will see her engaged and busy with her toddlers. She believes in building strong foundations for each child that will support their educational and human journey throughout their life. Her goal for her classroom is to bring love and laughter into it each day. In her spare time, she loves baking, reading, and watching documentaries. She is super excited to join the team at ChooChoo!
Boxcars Lead Teacher
Cabooses Lead Teacher
Ms. Emi (Emily) holds a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with an emphasis on Creative Writing and Literature, with DCFS lead teacher qualifications. She loves to read in her spare time and says reading to children and encouraging early literacy is one of her favorite parts of early education. Ms. Emi has been teaching for about 2 years now. She is a Chicagoland native, growing up in the NW suburbs, who loves to travel and learn about different cultures and countries. When not teaching or reading, she crochets and cross stitches - pushing herself to make more interesting and intricate things. Her creativity and love for reading make her a true gem in our community.
Locomotives Assistant Teacher
Miss Audie is a Northside Chicago native. She holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently in school earning her Child Development Associate Certification from the City Colleges of Chicago. In her spare time, Miss Audie likes to spend lots of time reading books about psychology and human development. When not working, she enjoys picking up new hobbies like origami, knitting, and other fun crafts. Audie loves arts and crafts and is excited to share and explore different projects with her group of kids, while learning about how their little minds function. She is passionate about working with children and is looking forward to her future with the ChooChoo team.
Miss Dominique holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University accompanied by 6 plus years of teaching experience in various age group settings. She fosters special interests in human growth and development and especially favors the infant age group because it brings her absolute joy to see how much they learn and grow within a matter of months. Ms. D recently graduated with a second MA degree in Creative Writing. She is currently a self-published author that loves to express her creativity on paper through words while writing novels in her spare time. Her previous early childhood experience and love for children make her a great addition to our ChooChoo Team.
Boxcars Assistant Teacher
Miss Christina has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University, where she took classes in elementary education. Coming from a large Greek family, Christina has been looking after children for over a decade. She nannied for families in the north suburbs of Chicago and right here in Lakeview. In her free time, she enjoys being active; you might see her running or biking on the lakefront trail. She also enjoys a good binge-worthy tv show, and cuddles from her tortoise-shell cat, Berkley. She is always ready to play, dance, and read fun books to students in her classroom. Christina believes that children learn best when they’re treated with respect and she is committed to doing whatever she can to help the kids of ChooChoo Chicago thrive.
Miss McKenzie is a University of Alabama graduate, and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Child Psychology. She has several years of experience working in a preschool setting, paired with coaching and extensive nannying experience with a number of families in the Chicago area. She has a strong passion for studying the minds of children and building a strong connection with each individual child. In her free time, as a New York native she enjoys exploring the city of Chicago and enjoying all the wonderful cuisine the city has to offer. Her playfulness and kind personality inspire and put a smile on our toddlers everyday! We love having her here at ChooChoo Chicago.
Miss Daniela is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Peru. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood from St. Augustine College back in 2019. Since, she has been working in early childhood and found her niche to be with infants. She especially likes singing, telling stories, in both Spanish and English, as well as cuddling her babies. In her spare time, Miss Daniela likes to spend pleasant moments with her family, go to the beach, read books, watch movies and travel. She is excited to join the ChooChoo team and looks forward to a fabulous classroom time filled with love in Cabooses! We are thrilled to welcome her to our community.
Cabooses Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Cathy is a lifelong teacher! She has over 30 years of hands-on experience in Early Childhood Education and children of all ages but found her niche working with infants for the last 10 years. Mrs. Cathy is working towards a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. Knowing that her infants are waiting for her with smiles on their faces inspires Miss Cathy every day. Outside of teaching, Cathy has 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren. Mrs. Cathy loves skating, bowling, cooking, and most recently going to the gym. She loves spending time with her immediate family and looks forward to her Sunday family dinners! Mrs. Cathy has a bubbly personality with an infectious smile, she’s passionate about her babies and dedicated to her teaching role, which makes her a great addition to the ChooChoo community.
Floater / Substitute Teacher
Mr. Ted received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre from Columbia College Chicago. He has been working in education and childcare for the past six years in various settings. Most recently as a swim instructor for the youngest ones, and an actor in children’s productions throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. He is excited to incorporate his love of performing into the classroom to help kids develop their social skills and come out of their shells. In his free time, Mr. Ted enjoys making music, playing board games, and watching movies with friends. Mr. Ted marks a great addition to ChooChoo Chicago team.
Boxcars Assistant Teacher
Mr. Luke received his BA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago. An Illinois native, he first realized he enjoyed taking care of kids when his first nephew was born in 2012. Having sometimes felt misunderstood at school, he's passionate about making sure that every kid feels seen and included. Outside of ChooChoo, you might catch him onstage acting at one of the theaters around Chicago, watching scary movies, or listening to dance pop music! He is looking forward to learning the play-based teaching methods in the preschool/daycare setting that ChooChoo Chicago has to offer.
Floater/ Teacher's Aid
Miss Yanni has a passion for teaching the next generation about the wonderful world around us and is working towards a career as a wildlife educator for children. She is currently enrolled at Northern Michigan University and is majoring in Biology with a concentration in zoology, along with a minor in sustainability. She has had over years of experience caring for children in a home babysitting environment and enjoyed every minute of it. Her communication skills, people-centric nature, and compassion towards those around her, help her to lend a compassionate hand to the ChooChoo team. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outside in her garden and trying new recipes in the kitchen. She also loves hiking and spending time with her family, including the many animals she cares for at home.