Our Amazing Staff

Administrators

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Cathy Kurtz

Program Director

Cathy holds Bachelor’s Degrees from Iowa State University in Elementary Education and Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from National-Louis University. She started at Barbereux in 1992, teaching preschool and kindergarten for ten years and serving as Director of Barbereux for four years. She is also Director of Curriculum.

It was Cathy’s work that led to the initial and continued renewal of NAEYC accreditation for The Barbereux School. She is the parent of one teenage son.

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Lorie Donnelly

Admissions Director and Administrative Assistant

Lorie joined The Barbereux School in the Summer of 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree in Elementary Education from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, with a Music Minor and a Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Gifted Emphasis from National Lewis University.

She has 31 years of teaching experience in the public and private schools as well as serving as Nature Lady in Barrington District 220 for two years. She has also had experience working at Huntington Learning Center and Eye Level as a peer tutor. Lorie lives in Wauconda and enjoys spending time with her two grown children.  She also loves to sing, dance, and travel.

Preschool Teachers

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Leslie Troogstad

Preschool Teacher

Leslie joined the Barbereux School in the fall of 1995. Since that time she has served as classroom teacher, Assistant Director, Curriculum Director, Camp Director and educational consultant. Currently, she is happy to be back in the classroom helping to create a child-centered environment for our youngest students.

Leslie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University with an emphasis in Child Development. She also holds a Preschool-8th Grade Elementary Teaching Certificate.

Leslie enjoys singing, reading, creating and learning with our preschoolers and is the mother of two children.

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Cynthia Johnson

Preschool Teacher

Cynthia joined the Barbereux School teaching staff in 2018 as a Preschool teacher.  Cynthia earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Riverside Community College. She has taught preschool in Seattle Washington and most recently in Evanston Illinois at the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center. Prior to teaching at Barbereux, Cynthia developed curriculum for a creative studio in Glenview that focused on nurturing creativity in young children.  Cynthia resides in Skokie with her husband and son and enjoys gardening.

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Maliha Haq-Clark

Preschool Teacher

Maliha Haq-Clark is excited to start her first year this Fall at the Barbereux School as a preschool teacher. She has had over fifteen years of experience working at various preschools in Chicago after graduating from DePaul University with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. Maliha has been living in Evanston for two years with her husband Roberto, and daughter, Cataleya. In her spare time, Maliha likes to run, read, and watch movies as well as going on bike rides and playing tennis with her family.

Junior Kindergarten Teachers

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Gail Stein

Jr. Kindergarten Teacher

Gail joined The Barbereux School in June of 2017.  She taught Preschool for 17 years in prekindergarten and Head Start programs in DuPage county and the City of Chicago.  She also taught at the San Francisco State University Associated Students Children’s Center for two years. While working at San Francisco State she supervised student teachers who were working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education.  Gail received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Northeastern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a teaching certificate at Erikson Institute. Gail resides in Des Plaines Illinois with her daughter, Sarah.

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Joyce Parker

Jr. Kindergarten Teacher

Joyce joined the Barbereux staff in 2021.  She has had experience working with toddlers as an assistant teacher and lead teacher at two different preschools working with infants up to 5 years old.  She has had experience as an elementary special education paraprofessional with a one-on-one aide for a 2nd grade student with autism. She has worked in a blended preschool with students with developmental delays, behavior, and English learners. She has also been a remote learning special education assistant teacher with fourth and fifth grade students. Joyce is currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Special Education (K-12) and she lives in Chicago with her husband and 7-year-old son Luca.

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Ana Jurado

Jr. Kindergarten Teacher

Ana Jurado was born and raised in Mexico, where she was inspired to become a teacher at a very young age. She has a Psychology and Philosophy academic background. Ana is a current member of the Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association. She feels honored and blessed to be able to bring her love for the Spanish language and learning into the classroom. Ana resides in Evanston with her husband and two children. In her spare time, one may find Ana singing in a choir, reading, or making hand crafts.

Kindergarten / 1st Grade Teachers

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Patrick Blades

Kindergarten / 1st Grade Teacher

Patrick Blades, lead teacher, was born and raised in Evanston. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and later completed his Master’s Degree in Education with an Elementary Teaching certificate from DePaul University. 

Prior to starting at Barbereux in 2008, he taught English in South Korea, was a preschool teacher and worked for two years at Middleton Elementary School in Skokie as a Special Educational Associate Teacher. He currently resides in Skokie with his wife, Sung Min, and his son Soohyung.

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Cathy Kurtz

Kindergarten / 1st Grade Teacher

Cathy holds Bachelor’s Degrees from Iowa State University in Elementary Education and Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from National-Louis University. She started at Barbereux in 1992, teaching preschool and kindergarten for ten years and serving as Director of Barbereux for four years. She is also Director of Curriculum.

It was Cathy’s work that led to the initial and continued renewal of NAEYC accreditation for The Barbereux School. She is the parent of one teenage son.

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Edward Freeman

Kindergarten / 1st Grade Teacher

Edward recently completed his undergraduate degree at Knox College in Music Education.

For his student teaching, he studied under Katy Sinclair and Hsing-Huei Huang in the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Choir Program. Edward is excited to return to Barbereux, being a former student himself.  He spends his free time playing video games or Magic the Gathering. He has a two-year old Shar Pei named Ajay.

Spanish Teacher

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Ana Jurado

Ana Jurado was born and raised in Mexico, where she was inspired to become a teacher at a very young age. She has a Psychology and Philosophy academic background. Ana is a current member of the Waldorf Spanish Teachers Association. She feels honored and blessed to be able to bring her love for the Spanish language and learning into the classroom. Ana resides in Evanston with her husband and two children. In her spare time, one may find Ana singing in a choir, reading, or making hand crafts.

Music Teacher

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Kelly Brand

Kelly Brand studied piano at the U of I in Champaign/ Urbana where she received a B.S. in Music Education and has been an active performer on the Chicago Jazz scene over the years playing at frequent clubs and a multitude of concerts showcasing her many talents!   Kelly is also an experienced teacher and clinician. She has taught privately for 2 decades and her accomplishments include: The Merit School of Music, The Ravinia Music Discovery Program, and The Chicago Schools with Pangaea.

Afternoon Teachers

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Donna McCluskey

Donna McCluskey, Afternoon Teacher, joined Barbereux School in 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Studio Arts degree from Arizona State University and a certificate for Early Childhood Education from Oakton Community College.

Barbereux is a natural outlet for Donna to share her talents and love of art and music. She is a member of a local choral group and resides in Wilmette.

“Children make me a more knowledgeable person: they are so curious. With all the questions they ask, I am often looking up answers in books and on the Internet.”

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Liz McElhatton

Liz joined The Barbereux School in 2014 as a substitute teacher. Since that time her role has expanded to include: Administrative Office Assistant, Afternoon Assistant Teacher, and Much Beloved Cook. Liz earned her BA Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Accounting from Marywood University in Scranton, PA.  Both of her children are former Barbereux students. Liz’s hobbies include cooking, reading, and trying new restaurants.

Here is what she wrote: I’m Liz McElhatton. I’m Barbereux’s cook and an afternoon teacher’s assistant. I’ve traveled a long road to get here…literally, figuratively and sarcastically! I’ve loved cooking since I was little. I’ve worked at restaurants as a prep cook and banquet manager in PA, and hotels in NYC and Boston.  After I married, my brother-in-law introduced me to commercial real estate, where I used my accounting degree.  I worked with various companies located in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and lastly, lastly Racine, WI. Once my son was born, I stopped working and he attended Barbereux. Over time, I became a substitute at Barbereux, then began doing office work, and now cooking.  Back to my roots and I love it!  Although, sometimes my commute to work can be difficult…if I’m barefoot! I live about one block from Barbereux, so I have the perfect work/life balance! I live on Harrison Street with my husband, Gary and two teenagers, Rachel and Owen, plus our dog, Bear. And that is the story of my long road to Barbereux…literally, figuratively and sarcastically!

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Shelley Phillips

Shelley started working at Barbereux School in 2012 as a substitute teacher.  She has been with the school as a substitute and has also worked during our Summer Camp program since that time. Shelley has extensive experience working in Early Childhood in a number of different locations both in California and locally. Shelley loves working with young children and helping them develop their social skills.

Shelley has a degree in Business Administration from Rock Valley College. She lives in Glenview with her husband, Dave. She is the mother of two grown sons.

 

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Sarah Wooten

Sarah is beginning her first semester of college this Fall where she will be working towards earning a degree in nursing. She spends her free time with friends and family, but often likes to walk and bike ride through nature. Next year she hopes to travel often, once the world opens back up and it’s safe to do so!