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.
Floater / Locomotives Assistant Teacher
Miss Olivia has a BA in English from Illinois State University, where she took several classes on children’s literature and volunteered at the Normal Public Library reading with children. As she embarks on to this new career venture, she is excited to gain more experience working with children and eager to go back to school to earn her Child Development Associate Certification and become a Lead Teacher. In addition to her passion for working with children, Miss Olivia is currently undergoing training to become a certified doula. She believes in the power of providing support to expecting mothers and their families during the childbirth journey. In her free time, Miss Olivia loves reading, rollerblading, learning new instruments, and spoiling her cat Dudley. She is very excited to join the ChooChoo team and form a connection with each child.
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, currently exploring graduate school opportunities to enhance her academic qualifications further. With valuable experience in a preschool environment, as well as a background in coaching and extensive nannying for families in Chicago, Miss McKenzie brings a diverse skill set to her work. 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 every day! 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 an experienced and passionate teacher with over 30 years of dedication to Early Childhood Education. While she has experience working with children of all ages, she has found her true calling in working with infants over the past decade. Mrs. Cathy is eager to finish her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education to further enhance her knowledge and skills in the field. The joy she feels when greeted with smiles from her infants motivates Mrs. Cathy every day. Outside of the classroom, she cherishes time with her immediate family, including her two adult children and four grandchildren. Mrs. Cathy loves engaging in activities like skating, bowling, cooking, and recently, going to the gym. Her infectious smile and bubbly personality make her a cherished member of the ChooChoo community.
Floater / Substitute Teacher
Mr. Ted is a skilled and passionate professional with a BA in Theatre. With six years of experience in education and childcare, including serving as an assistant teacher and a swim instructor, he has now shifted his focus to his acting career. However, Mr. Ted still contributes as a substitute teacher here at ChooChoo, bringing his love for performing into the classroom to help children develop their social skills and boost their confidence. Outside of work, he enjoys making music, playing board games, and watching movies with friends. Mr. Ted is a cherished member of our team at ChooChoo Chicago, bringing creativity and enthusiasm to our students' learning journey.
Boxcars Assistant Teacher
Mr. Luke received his BA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago. Growing up in Illinois, he discovered his love for childcare when his first nephew was born in 2012. Understanding the feeling of being misunderstood at school, he is dedicated to ensuring that every child feels seen and included in their learning environment. Outside of ChooChoo, Mr. Luke is actively involved in the performing arts scene of Chicago, often participating in local theater productions. In his free time, he enjoys watching scary movies and listening to dance-pop music. Excited to expand his knowledge of play-based teaching methods, Mr. Luke is looking forward to being a part of the ChooChoo team and making a positive impact on the lives of the children in his care.
Floater / Teacher's Aid
Mrs. Ana (Snežana) is a native Serbian living in Chicago for the past decade. She has had a wealth of experience working with children of all ages, having worked as a caregiver, nurse, and nanny. Her commitment to nurturing young minds and hearts has brought her great joy throughout her professional journey.
Mrs. Ana enjoys engaging with children through activities like dancing and doing arts and crafts, but she especially likes to coddle babies. When she is not busy inspiring little ones, Mrs. Snežana cherishes quality time with her immediate family. She is the proud mother of two grown daughters and the loving grandmother of four grandchildren. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team, knowing that she will make a lasting positive impact on the children in our care.
Floater / Substitute Teacher
Mr. Zach is a Springfield native who moved to Chicago in 2019 to pursue his passion for music and establish a career in teaching. With a strong background in early learning and development, including experience as an Assistant Preschool Teacher, Zach quickly became a valued part of the ChooChoo Chicago team. Beyond his work in the classroom, Zach enjoys sharing his love for music with others, often performing around the city in his free time. Known for his ability to connect with children and their families, Zach’s warm and supportive demeanor has made him a beloved substitute teacher in all of our classrooms.