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Our Team

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

Founder/Program Director


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.

Ms. Jagoda 

Locomotives Lead Teacher

Miss Emily

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. Emily holds a BA in Elementary Education from Cal Poly Humboldt in Northern California. Before relocating to Chicago, she was a preschool teacher for 2 years in California. In her work with children, Miss Emily especially enjoys observing how they think and process the world around them. Miss Emily loves to make learning fun through movement, arts, and music. She believes in building a strong foundation 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. Miss Emily is still getting aquatinted with Chicago so in her spare time, she enjoys exploring the city, discovering new places, and walking around the lake. She is super excited to join the team at ChooChoo!

Ms. Emi

Boxcars Lead Teacher

Miss Dominique 

Cabooses Lead Teacher 

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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.  

Miss Ariana 

Locomotives Assistant Teacher


Miss Ariana worked with children of all ages as an educator for over three years for Right at School, the CPS aftercare program. This is where her passion for working with kids started. She enjoys spending time and helping children learn and explore their creativity. She is passionate about education and is eager to learn new teaching methods as well as further her knowledge in the field. Ariana is currently pursuing her Associate Degree in Biology, while, in her spare time, she loves to keep active in the gym, read books, or bike ride with her eight-year-old son. We are excited to welcome her to our ChooChoo family.

Miss Mckenzie

Boxcars Assistant Teacher


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.

Miss Amanda

Hoppers Assistant Teacher 


Miss Amanda is a north side, Chicago native. Her passion for early childhood education began in high school while volunteering at the local boy’s & girl’s club. While in college she worked her way up from a daycare assistant to a lead teacher in an in-home facility, where her experience and love for children blossomed. She has worked with children of all ages for the last 15 years. She holds an Associate Degree in Literature, ECE credential level 1 from Gateways, and is currently pursuing an Early Childhood Education degree.  In her downtime, Miss Amanda is an avid reader with a focus on mythology, a passionate baseball fan, and an outdoorsy gal who participates in runs throughout the city. Amanda's extensive experience and love for children make her a great addition to the ChooChoo team! 

Miss Daniela 

Cabooses Co-Teacher 


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. 

Mrs. Cathy 

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 currently pursuing her 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. 

Mr. Ted

Floater / Teacher's Aid

Miss Raphie

Floater / Teacher's Aid 


Miss Raphie is a Chicago native and Master of Public Health candidate at DePaul University. She also holds a BS in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with certificates in Asian-American studies and Global Health. She garnered interest in maternal and child health through volunteering in pediatric hospitals and hopes to bring her knowledge of childhood health and development to foster a positive and healthy learning environment for our friends at ChooChoo Chicago. Miss Raphie also has experience teaching at the high school level, so she is looking forward to learning the teaching methods preschool/daycare setting within the ChooChoo family.


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.

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