“Play is the work of childhood.”
Jean Piaget

Cathy Shumaker, Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. While attending college I had practicums in preschool, a special needs classroom (with preschool aged children), kindergarten and elementary aged children. After these experiences I decided that I really enjoy working with young children. I obtained a job in Maryland at LaPetite Academy where I was employed for seven years. In those years I predominantly worked as a teacher with children from six weeks to kindergarten. I was promoted to assistant director and held this position until we moved to Chicago in 2001. I stayed home with our children over the next several of years until they were school aged. I then got a job at Creative Scholars when it opened and have been here ever since.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
I love working in early childhood because I can see how rapidly children develop and mature. You get to witness skills that weren’t previously attainable becoming second hand to them. I get to see more of the wonder and ah ha moments with young children.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Through play children develop their cognitive, social, emotional, motor and language skills. While children play they learn about the world around them. Playing is an important part of a child’s life. Playing by oneself and with other children is important for healthy development.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
My favorite way to play when I was younger would probably be playing with the neighborhood children. We would play all sorts of running games like tag, red rover, and hide and seek. We would also build forts out of mud, leaves, sticks, snow, you name it we probably used it. Anything to do with playing outside was my favorite thing to do.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
When I am not working I like to spend time with my family baking, cooking, traveling, watching them compete in swimming and water polo meets and visiting family.

“Play is the work of childhood.”
Jean Piaget

Madelyn Maldonado, Lead Teacher/Assistant Operational Manager

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I’ve been working with children for over 20 years, ages birth to 6. I am currently attending Truman College to receive a degree in Early Childhood Education.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
I enjoy working in early childhood because I can implant a positive learning in children and help them explore and learn how the world works around them.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Play is important in learning because it helps children figure out how things work; not in one way, but in many ways. It teaches them to use their imagination and expand the ideas they create.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
As a child I enjoyed using scraps to build something new.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
I enjoy exploring the city with family and friends.

“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.”
Marva Collins

Daniela Guano, Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I majored in social work and a minor in psychology at the University Of The Sacred heart located in Puerto Rico. I loved doing my internship in a community center where I worked in three schools from third to sixth graders.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
Every day is a new day to learn. Observing and teaching the children in discovering the world around them and how it works is ever so interesting since every child sees the world so differently.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Play is already the process in how the children learn and discover their surroundings. Using this method helps us to make learning fun once again and not something being forced on the child.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
When I was a child, I loved playing tag, hid and seek and telling scary stories with my cousins.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
When I’m not at work, I enjoy going to the library to learn about different cultures, writing short poems and being part of a dance group.

“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the education system.”
Sydney Hook

Alex Halsall, Early Childhood Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I graduated from the University of Iowa in May of 2018. While attending Iowa, I took many different classes in education that focused on early childhood education as well as special education. During my time at Iowa, I worked at an after school program that worked with kids with disabilities, helping them reach their daily goals. Along with that, I spent my summers back home in Minnesota as a summer school teacher, working with kids from 4-12 years old.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
I admire each and every child I encounter with their curiosity and excitement in life. I like that I am able to make a difference on these children’s lives each and everyday, and set up a foundation that can help them grow and learn.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Play gives children the opportunity to engage with the world around them. It is important because children are constantly growing and learning through their experiences. Play allows children to use their creativity which helps expand their imagination.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
I had quite the imagination and one of my favorite things to do was play with baby dolls and pretend I was their mom. I also loved playing school or house with my friends.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
Outside of CSP, I love spending my time with friends and family. I also love to get outside as much as possible, whether it be for a nice run or a walk along the lake.

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
Mr. Rogers

Charlie Anderson, Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I graduated with a Bachelors in K-12 Art Education Cornell College! Throughout my many practicums and semester of student teaching, I spent quite a bit of time with little ones! It always put a smile on my face to see their imagination and boundless creativity come through in their artwork.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
I love the energy, creativity and ingenuity that I see! It’s often that I set out to do things one way and then find myself seeing things through their unique and wonderful point of view! It’s so great to help them learn, grow, and be a part of their day.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
I think play is absolutely necessary to the learning process. Especially for the kiddos! When I was student teaching art, it wasn’t a surprise to me that a majority of my students loved art time because it was “play” …little did they know, they learned plenty about all the other subjects just through the hands on experience of mixing, measuring, cutting, coloring, etc.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
As a child, I loved making things! I would always make my own toys out of sticks or little odd bits I found around my house. My favorite animal is a horse, so I made plenty of wood chip horses help together with tape.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
When I am not at CSP, I’m almost always hanging out with my dog and best friend, Fox Mulder! Unsurprisingly, I also enjoy making art whenever I have the chance. I love drawing on my iPad or getting my hands dirty with clay!

“It takes a big heart to shape little minds”

Gabriela Barron, Teacher’s Aide

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I have been working with children for over two years from birth to five years of age. I am currently working on getting a degree in early childhood.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
Working with children is fun and rewarding to me. Children motivate me to be a better person inside and out.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Play is one of the main ways in which children learn and develop. Practicing and repeating skills and having fun is one of they key foundations to early childhood education.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
I loved going to the park with family and friends and playing soccer when I was younger.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
When I’m not at CS, I enjoy spending most of my time with my family and taking walks at the park.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
Muhammad Ali

Ahmed Ashoor, Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I obtained my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. I have been in the field for five years working in non profit organizations, private schools and public schools, My roles included being a lead teacher and assistant teacher for pre-kindergarten.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
being able to help nurture their development is the most important stage. At this time they are learning about themselves, their surroundings, likes and dislikes. I enjoy being the teacher that is able to help them develop and grow their way to success.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Through play, children learn to work through their emotions. Even before they can speak, they express their feelings through physical play, storytelling, art, and other activities.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
As a child I would spend majority of the time at the park playing with my siblings and friends. We would play sports such as, basketball, soccer and football. I was competitive that we kept score in every game that we played and made sure to have fun.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
I enjoy playing basketball with friends, listening to music, and enjoying watching movies.

“Children require long, uninterrupted periods of play and exploration”
Jean Piaget

Shari Tatosian, Teacher

Education and Experience in Early Childhood Care and Education
I attended two universities American InterContinental University where I received BA’s in Business and HealthCare Management, then attended Ashford University where I received a Masters in Organizational Management and Early Childhood Education. My experience stems from being a Nanny for many years which started in the summer of 1974, teaching in a small private school and helping in my church nursery.

I Enjoy Working in Early Childhood Because…
I love seeing a child’s face light up when he/she learns a new concept or discovers something new.

Play’s Role in the Learning Process
Play is how a child learns about the world around them. Through play they learn social skills and how to problem solve in different situations.

My Favorite Way to Play as a Child…
As a child growing up I loved to be outside using my imagination. With my friends we played Tarzan climbing trees and jumping into the ferns.

What do I do When I’m not at CSP?
I like to play World of Warcraft and spending time with my daughters and cats. I also enjoy walking the lakefront tail, hand quilting, crocheting and being a lifelong learner.